Friday, 31 August 2012

A quick one eyeshadow look using Accessorize

Hiya lovelies!

I've been making much more of an effort on my blog recently and as such I've been doing lots more things for the blog, including looks and swatches.

Here's a quick look I did a few days ago using one eyeshadow, the merged eyeshadow in Cocoa from Accessorize. It's £3.95 (currently) and is available from Superdrug and larger Accessorize stores. It's a huge eyeshadow, too, coming in at 3g. 

I highly rate all of Accessorize's make up and nail polish and think they offer fab quality for a good price. I have a few eyeshadows, a few normal single eyeshadows, a baked blusher and 6 or 7 nail polishes and they're all really good.

Onwards to the photographic evidence!

Other things I used:
Dermablend concealer tester (from Glossybox)
Urban Decay Naked Palette shade 'Buck' to fill my eyebrows in
Avon Supershock Max mascara in black
MUA bronzer shade 2 as contour
e.l.f. blusher 'Glow'

Although the eyeshadow is primarily brown, in has purple tones in it. It's a really lovely shadow, richly pigmented and so easily blendable. I have 2 more of these merged shadows to show you soon, which I bought about a year ago for the wedding and never showed you.

Have you tried anything from the Accessorize make up range?

Union Jack toilet seat

Hello you :)

This is a bit of a strange post, but I am a bit bonkers.

Our toilet seat broke a couple of weeks ago. We had a lovely leopard print loo seat which everyone commented on, but we couldn't find another leopard one which had metal fittings. The reason our other loo seat broke was because it only had plastic fittings which were painted to look like chrome. They were very flimsy and I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did (about 18 months.)

Buoyed up by all the wonderful things which have happened this year - the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and now the Paralympics - I decided to plump for a Union Jack loo seat. It came today, so I fitted it straight away.

It has all metal fittings so hopefully will last us a few years.

Do you have any Union Jack merchandise in your house?
Do you have a funky loo seat?

It's weird, but although I identify as English rather than British, I prefer the Union Jack to the St Georges's Cross. The only other patriotic thing I have in the flat is Union Jack bunting up in the sun room. I can see it from my sofa and if the windows are open watching the bunting dance in the wind is all the entertainment I need.

Lisa, if you're reading, what flag do you identify with most - the Union Jack, St Patrick's Saltire or the Irish flag? I'm so nosy!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Look using MUA Undressed palette & new Avon foundation


Almost the weekend, whee!

I did a look with the MUA Undressed palette today to see how it compares to the Urban Decay Naked palette. All photos can be clicky-clicked for larger images.

Top row L-R = Shades 1-6
Bottom row L-R = Shades 7-12

I used Shade 1 as a highlight under my brows
I used Shade 2 on the inner corners of my eyes
I used Shade 8 on the main part of my eyes and blended outwards
I used Shade 11 on the outer corners of my eyes blended up and out

I also used:
Avon Supershock Max mascara in black
Avon Supershock gel eyeliner in black (on waterline)
MUA bronzer shade 2 as contour
e.l.f. blusher 'Glow'
MUA lipgloss Shade 1

So, how do they compare?

The colours may be pretty similar to those in the Naked palette, but they're not as pigmented. I needed to use more product to get the same effect as I would when using Naked. Having said that, at a fraction of the price, using more product is no issue for me. It may be an issue for you if you're time-limited, as obviously more product application means more time.

I'm using a new foundation. Avon were doing a deal last week where I got a foundation, a mascara and an eyeliner for £12 when it should've cost £30 in total. I read the reviews on Avon and this foundation seemed to be highly rated. I didn't have high hopes as every foundation thus far has been too dark for me (underneath the freckles and ruddy red cheeks my skin is actually ghostly.) Never fear, Avon to the rescue. This foundation is amazing. A little goes a LONG way (I can do my whole face on less than one pump), it hides redness brilliantly and the shade light pink is perfect for me. I didn't need to use any concealer at all. It feels moisturising. The only place on my face it stuck to some dry skin was between my eyebrows, which is always parched as I pluck there regularly to stop the monobrow taking over my face.

You can find this incredible foundation here. It retails at £12 but it £7 right now. Avon always have offers on, so sign up to their emails and you'll soon be getting free delivery codes and all sorts of bargains!

(Edit, I discovered Avon test on animals now so I no longer buy from them.)

Saturday, 25 August 2012

In depth - Covetous


I hope you're all having a lovely weekend.

A new catalogue came through the door from Simply Be this morning and I started to circle round the things I like with a purple marker pen. Before long it occurred to me that I must've circled about a thousand pounds worth of clothes and shoes that I have no hope in hell of ever buying.

Again, as I have before, I started to muse about why it is I'm so covetous. Maybe it was my childhood. I was brought up below the breadline in abject poverty and never had nice new things. If I did get something 'new' to me, it was surely bequeathed by someone else or purchased with my mum's desperately cobbled-together pennies from a charity shop. We were so poor we had things donated to us at Christmas time by the Salvation Army - blankets, etc., as we lived in a freezing hellhole, water heated by a coal fire, with no double glazing and no central heating - in fact the only source of heat we had was the gas fire in the living room and the sooty coal fire in the kitchen, which we dared not huddle around. 

At school I felt like a bit of a pariah at times. That's not to say I didn't have fun, but there was always a feeling of inadequacy in the back of my mind. I went to a grammar school, the first person in my family to do so. Wealth and intelligence often go hand in hand (due to the access to 'better' schooling) and many of my peers had rich parents - usually two of them - nice houses, and expectations of good things to come. I was a wild card, I guess, an anomaly. A reasonably intelligent kid who came out of a crap school and a broken family, but one with half a brain. There weren't many kids of divorced parents at school, much less ones who were so poor they had to rely on the state for free school dinners, another sense of daily shame.

I left school at 16, not expected to stay on by my teachers, crushed by their lack of faith in me yet burdened by the need to find work and bring some money into the household. At last I had money to buy things for myself and give my mum housekeeping, but the stigma of feeling dirt poor may never leave me, even years after I left real poverty behind. Of course there have been tough times since, but none so bad I've had to starve like we did when I was a kid.

OR there is the possibility I could just be a greedy, materialistic ho-bag who craves excitement through a never-ending series of new purchases. I suppose it's natural to be buoyed up by sparkly new things. I just wonder if I'll always be like this, if there'd ever be enough money to satisfy my shopping urges. I'm sorry if this is a bit deep. I'm quite keen on trying to work out why I am the way I am.

Do you get excited by the thought of new purchases and sparkly new things? If so, have you ever considered why?

To me, it's like there's this hole inside of me which constantly needs filling (no sniggering, dirty minded sausages!) and no matter what happens, I always want more. It's quite sad actually. My husband finds ways to make money and I find ways to spend it.

Your thoughts?

Friday, 24 August 2012

My husband and I


Insomnia can be quite productive. As I was laying in bed last night I was thinking about doing a quiz type thing about me and my hubby, and which would be nice to ask my readers too.

Where we met: We met at a rock pub in London called The Intrepid Fox.

When we met: April 2003, on my birthday night out.

How old we were: I was 29, J was 22.

My first impression: I wasn't at all impressed at first. J was a friend of a friend and asked to borrow a hair band to tie back his long hair. I know for a fact this was an excuse to talk to me, as he never ties his hair back when he's out because he's so vain about it. I thought he was a bit wishy-washy character, and don't actually know why we ended up kissing. Blame it on the booze! Now I thank my lucky stars we got together.

Our first kiss: This is a matter of debate. As it was my birthday, I was quite tipsy and can't remember!

Our first date: We met up at a pub in London, then went to The Intrepid Fox again.

Our first year: Our first year was very challenging. We were 70 miles apart, only seeing each other at weekends, which was a small inconvenience compared with what was to come. 3 months in, despite being on the pill AND using condoms, I fell pregnant and had an ectopic pregnancy. I didn't know I was pregnant until I was dangerously ill. I spent 3 days in hospital and the baby died in my tube. It was a bit of an ordeal really, but not as bad as last year's ectopic pregnancy, by any means!

Our first home: After J and I had been going out for about 18 months, he left London for sunny East Sussex! I'd recently moved into a tiny studio flat by the seaside and J joined me and started job hunting. Since then we've lived in 3 more flats, and are very happy where we live now.

Our engagement: There was no romantic evening, no going down on one knee. Prior to January of last year, we had no plans to get married. I didn't think J was the marrying kind. When I collapsed in hospital last year when my fallopian tube ruptured, J had a real scare. He didn't think I'd make it out of theatre alive (neither did I.) I came out of hospital and one night in bed soon afterwards I started talking about the possibility of getting married. There had been a few suggestions from people while I was pregnant that J should make an honest woman of me, so I kinda said 'Why not?!' Our friends in Sweden kindly offered to help us with the costs if we did get married, so with that little bit of security behind us, we decided to get spliced. It gave me something positive to focus on while I was in pain, which was a bonus.

Our wedding: We got hitched in April this year. We had help from both sets of parents and our Swedish friends Pete and Marina. It was a wedding on a shoestring, but one full of love.

Our goals as a couple: To be parents, pure and simple! To have some fur babies.

*   *   *   *   *

I don't want to leave out my single readers, so if you're single, tell me what qualities you look for in a man or lady friend. (This is absolutely a gay friendly blog.) Do you have a type? Describe them! Tell me your famous crushes!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Poundland spoils! Stila and hair feathers

Hello you!

On my recent shopping jolly, I fell into Poundland, as you do.

I'd read on someone else's blog about the Stila goodies on sale in some branches. Stock does vary, and all my branch has is make up sponges and A SPF30 tinted moisturiser, so I bought the latter.

It's actually light enough in colour to use on the areas I need help covering - around my nose, chin and forehead - without leaving a tell tale orange tide mark, which is unusual since I'm so pale underneath my three gazillion freckles. It's quite thick in texture, thicker than any tinted moisturiser I've tried before, but blends in nicely and is buildable. I liked the feel of it on my skin as I applied it, and once it blended in it was weightless. It is VERY sheer. It gives me a 'my skin but glowier' look. For £1, I'm sold, but then I am a bargain lover. In fact, if there are any left next time I go into town (which is unlikely, since I only go into town about once every 2 months) I'll buy another. It's worth it for the SPF alone.

I will do some more testing to see if it breaks me out or anything (and frankly, I am already resembling a very spotty thing) and how it wears and report back. Side note - whoever said spots are a teenage problem lied through their teeth. Piffle!

EDIT - 2 full days of wear and no spots. My skin is lovely and soft.

I also bought some hair feathers in Poundland. You get 2 feathers in each box.

They clip in with those snap-shut combs, but because these are cheap combs, they don't really work that well. One broke in my hand the first time I tried to close it and the others are quite troublesome to close. It's a problem which can be easily addressed - either by using a kirby grip to hold the comb in place, or by taking the comb off and using a kit from eBay to attach the feathers to a silicon ring which then goes in your hair. I have such a kit after reading about hair feather application on Kandee Johnson's blog, which has an excellent post and video about it here. You can get kits from several sellers, although I think I used this one.

Here's an Instagram shot of me wearing one.

What are your fave Poundland buys?
If you're abroad, do you have a go-to bargain store?

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

New Look jewellery BOGOF bonanza!


When I fell face-first into New Look the other day, I also bought some jewellery as it was on BOGOF (buy one get the cheapest free.) Of course the temptation was to go mad and buy loads of stuff, but NO. I do have some control....just not much.

This ring was £3.99

£4.99 for 6 pairs of earrings is pretty good....even if they probably will turn my ears green. Ha! The two items cost me £4.99 altogether.

Girls (and guys if there are any reading) - how do you explain away a splurge to your other half? Do you get into trouble? Do you hide your purchases at the back of the wardrobe? Or is your money your own so you can do as you please?

I'm very lucky, hubby is pretty forgiving as long as I don't go too mad.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Someone save me from myself (and New Look.)


I went to town to meet two of my girlie mates today and I knew I wouldn't be able to resist falling into New Look. In fact I positively avoid going to town to try to stop spending money.

Alas.....I came out with a sale top and a new top. This little bobby dazzler was £10 in the sale. It's got a lovely sheen to it in the light. I can't find it on the website any more so it looks like it's only available in stores.

The top below is new and was £14.99. I don't have anything lace at all in my wardrobe, so this had to be addressed, obviously! A rock chick with no lace?! Outrageous!

As I have a tattoo on my right boob and a big colourful tattoo on my back this will show them both off nicely.
I think I should do a post soon where I show off my 4 tattoos. What do you think?

I don't know why I keep buying tops. I really need bottoms. Bottoms, bottoms, bottoms! I need a high-low skirt I think, then I can show off the knee high boots hubby bought me for Christmas last year.

Do you buy loads of tops, loads of bottoms, or a bit of both?

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Week ending 19/08/12 Instagram photos


I hope things are good where you are and you're having a lovely weekend!

Here's this week's selection of Instagram snaps.

Fridge magnet from Dean Morris Cards
What I look like after yoga
Even my Graze box is patriotic
This week's mani, MUA shade 7
Our new kick arse fan
Windswept in the car
A walk in Crowhurst
A very old tree
A lovely field
Bitchface because I was so hot
James and the giant tree
Lovely blue sky
The ruin at Crowhurst

How has your week been? Have you been anywhere nice?

We're having a bit of a heatwave!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

What's in YOUR pants?

Hiya! Today's subject is a hairy one.....

Moving swiftly on ;) If you're a little shy or squeamish you might want to pass this one up.


I was a little shocked just now when I read on the Daily Mail Fail website about a product for sale in India which is used to tighten and rejuvenate the vagina. O rly?!

Yes, you heard right. The article is here (link) if you want to have a look. If that isn't creepy enough, later on in the same article it talks about a vaginal whitening cream. I've heard of porn stars having their chocolate starfishes (bum 'oles) whitened for aesthetic appeal with their 'discerning' punters in mind, but suggesting a person's foof is more appealing the lighter it is....well, it's just plain wrong, isn't it? I know it's part and parcel of the caste system in India (wherein lighter skinned people are treated more positively than their darker skinned counterparts, from what I understand) which is bad enought as it is, and it's something which weirds me out to think about. Surely women should have more pressing and important things to think about than the colour of their minny?!

If you think about it, society as a whole is always trying to tell us ladies there's something wrong or shameful about the vag in its natural state. I can't help but think society (i.e. male-driven society) wants us to believe if your lady garden is as bald as a new born mouse, entirely scent free, bleached and tighter than a nun's chuff that you're somehow more worthy than someone who has well sculpted pubic topiary, smells like an actual woman, has a vag which has been the same shade for life and one which might be perceived to be 'loose'. And whilst we're on THAT subject, isn't it subjective?! A man with a very small implement could say that about an average lady's slot and throw her into a lifetime of insecurity. Well, it goes both ways, I suppose.

I say use any product you like on your flange if it makes you happy, but I don't believe you have to. That's why these messages sent out by the media worry me - us grown women are old enough to call the media on its bullshit but teenage girls may not be able to do that, and end up with a whole load of insecurities.

Scented products do exist for one's front bottom, some of which I have, being intimate wash and fanny (if there are any American's reading - we call our vag our fanny) deodorant for those hot days when I want something cold to refresh my downstairs area when I'm on the run. Not because I think a vag which smells like a vag is hideous, but because I'm worried about upsetting the pH balance of things and don't want to use any old thing near my cranny. I have had times where I've used a scented shower gel and have ended up with rampant crotch itch for a couple of days, so unless I'm using a really non-irritant product like Sanex sensitive shower gel, I'll use minge wash, or at least until walking down the road scratching like a flea-ridden dog comes into vogue.

By the same token there are various pads and liners you can use, both to freshen up or to catch leaks if you have urge or stress incontinence. I'm quite fond of scented panty liners. Mmmm, cotton fresh and individually wrapped! I like the idea of changing a panty liner if I need to halfway through a day rather than changing my knickers. One singly wrapped panty liner in a handbag is a lot more discreet than a balled-up change of undies, after all. Whilst we're on the subject of knickers, I tend to find cotton ones best. Although cotton knickers may not be as sexy as lace or other gossamer things which are designed to crawl up your bum crack and hypnotise your shag partner, I have also come down with ye olde crotch itch after a few days on the trot wearing naughty knickers. You know, those tarty ones you can see through if you hold them up to the light. You must have a pair somewhere, even if like me they're hidden behind a dozen pairs of Bridget Jones knickers. That's a lie actually, I far prefer boy shorts, but you get my drift.

What's your opinion on all things vag?

What's your favourite slang word for vagina? (Mine's probably minge!)

Bonus points if you count how many euphemisms for vagina I used in this post!

P.S. Please feel free to use the anonymous comment function if you're afraid of talking about such a personal subject.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Me wearing clothes! OOTD post.


Yes, here I am in an actual outfit. I know, calm yo' tits! ;)

This was taken on my camera phone this weekend when we were in Birmingham spending time with the bereaved boyfriend of my friend who passed away 2 months ago, so I wasn't overly concerned with my appearance. I changed my shoes before I went out.

Dress £24.99 New Look
Sparkly cardi Debenhams (a few years ago.)
Leggings Very £14 (part of twin pack.)
Tiger pumps £7 Asda

I really need to wear a belt with this next time as I do have (a bit of a) waist, honest! I'm rubbish with belts. I have a small collection (about 5) but always forget to wear one. D'oh!

What's the one thing you forget to add to an outfit? Something I'm great at adding to my outfits is STAINS! Hahaha.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Recent MUA purchases


When MUA had their 25% off and free delivery offer recently I bought some bits and bobs. All photos clickable for larger images.

Undressed palette

This palette is a shade for shade duplicate of Urban Decay's Naked palette. I've yet to use or swatch it yet but that's next on my agenda.

Starry Nights palette

Glamour Days palette

I've used shade 16 and it's amazing. It's a hotter pink than reflected here - I had trouble capturing its true colour. It goes on thickly and smoothly, dries at lightning speed and doesn't chip any more or less than far more expensive polish. It doesn't smell hideous like some polishes do, either. Brilliant! I'm a convert.

I'll have swatches of the palettes coming up for you ASAP!

Did you snag any goodies while the 25% off offer was on?