Wednesday 24 December 2014

A Very Merry NOTD Christmas ...!


I honestly don't know where these last few weeks have gone and can hardly believe that Christmas Eve is here again ... !  I've had this week off work and have spent the last few days in what seems like a whirlwind of food shopping, cleaning and wrapping presents ... following by the custom of falling asleep on the settee every evening ... who's with me?  Distant memories of the Christmas Eve office parties of my youth with free booze provided from 10.30am - resulting in drunken antics involving various pieces of office equipment and riding up and down in the lifts (don't ask!) ... before we all headed off to a nightclub for the afternoon hired out exclusively for ourselves to dance the day away ... some of us would then make our way home nursing a hangover before the evening had even started ... and some would stay out and just carry on (as you do!) ... those were the days!

It's nice to be able to finally sit down though (for however brief a time!) and write up a quick post to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas!  And ... couldn't let this opportunity go by without a quick festive NOTD ...

Barry M Glitterati Nail Paint - Rockstar ...

I actually had no intention of buying any new nail polishes but when I was in Boots last week (buying my Christmas present from the hubby - best way to do it sometimes!) Rockstar just called to me and that was that ...!  This is my favourite of the Glitterati collection ... the other polishes are lovely but this one has something about it which grabbed me - must be the grey theme!

A picture of the Barry M Glitterati Nail Paint in Rockstar
A picture of the Barry M Glitterati Nail Paint - Rockstar

It's positively jam packed with different shades of  'reasonably' sized glitter  - I'm not so bothered about the 'great big chunks' variety for myself so this is perfect for me.  I think my camera was rather dazzled so had difficulty picking up on all the individual specks but you get the idea - maybe a proper macro lens is in order!  I'm not going all out bling with my Christmas Day outfit (do I ever!) - so it'll be good to wear something a bit sparkly on my nails.  Only problem is ... with the mountain of potatoes and vege I have to peel for tomorrow's dinner I'll have to get the hubby heavily involved to avoid Rockstar glitter in the sprouts ... ahh Christmas dinner problems!

This was only meant to be a quick post and I've waffled on for England so apologies if you're still with me!  I've only managed a handful of posts during December and am actually 'champing at the bit' to get back to a regular blogging routine. Plus ... I have a tonne of products to review and am running out of storage space ... my friend at work pointed out that I have a problem! (Thanks Amy!)

What will you be wearing on your nails this Christmas? Will there be any glitter in your sprouts? And once again Merry Christmas to all!

Jen x

Wednesday 17 December 2014

The Dr Marten Dilemma ...!


Yep ... it has to be said ... I've not been able to get my backside into blogging mode over the last couple of weeks!  I've either had no time or no energy (sound familiar anyone?) ... falling asleep at one's laptop obviously doesn't help!  I decided to just go with the flow (or lack of it) and not stress about it  ... there's enough of that about at this time of year.  Anyway ... in an attempt to get my bandwagon back on the road thought I'd share my current dilemma ...

It's no secret I've been after a pair of Dr Martens for a while ... I've tried to resist and I just can't ... it's time ...!  The hubby says he'll add them to my Christmas list ... see he does listen to me on the odd occasion!  They go all the way back to the late 40s and first appeared in the UK in 1960 ... adopted by skinheads in the 70s and punks in the 80s (the hubby had a pair during his punk era) as well as the odd new waver!  Nowadays ... well anybody can use a pair should they so wish ... I intend to be that somebody! I've deliberated over various versions/how many holes but think I've more or less settled on the 8 holer ...  question is which colour ... black, cherry red or green?

Love this look ... these jeans look like they're in the 'skinny boyfriend camp' ... right up my street!

Cherry Reds with skinnies ... just bought a parka similar to this one ...

Love Gwen's outfit ... absolutely love it ...

And last but not least how about with a little skirt ... รก la Jessica ... this would be a good way for me to make use of all the skirts/dresses I never wear for lack of footwear ... I'd have no excuse ...!

All Images  via Pinterest

Yes ... I think this itch must be scratched and the sooner the better!  What are your thoughts on Dr Martens - which ones would you go for and how would you wear them?

Jen x

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Charles Worthington Strength and Repair Pro-Heat Milk - Review


The  Charles Worthington Strength and Repair Pro-Heat Milk from his Secrets Collection is something I picked up out of sheer curiosity a few months ago and have been using after most 'hair-washing' sessions  ...

A picture of the Charles Worthington Strength and Repair Pro-Heat Milk
A picture of the Charles Worthington Strength and Repair Pro-Heat Milk
A picture of the  Charles Worthington Strength and Repair Pro-Heat Milk

The Pro-Heat Repair milk is lotion-like in texture and has ... I'd say quite a light sweet smell? I'm rubbish at describing scents so maybe just have a sniff for yourself!  It's a leave-in treatment which works with the heat of your styling tools to help repair and protect hair.   I apply one and a half pumps to my hair before blow-drying (I ain't got a lot of hair so this is enough for me) - not right up to the roots - but from about 2 inches from my parting, taking it down through the mid-lengths and ends.(I do apply an additional root lift product mid-way through styling - but that's another review in the making!)  I then blow dry and straighten.  I like that I can apply it directly with my hands to the places most in need so nothing gets wasted and I can just crack on and use my straighteners without having to apply another product.

After the first use the Pro-Heat Milk left my hair looking healthy and swishy and I was thoroughly impressed.  Since then I've used it almost non-stop for the last 3ish months ... dare I say ... I think this has the edge over my much loved previous hair protector of Kerastase Ciment Thermique - never thought I'd say such a thing but yes I think this works better on my particular barnet.  It was recently confirmed by good old Phil the hairdresser that the state of my usual split ends wasn't at all bad when I went in for a cut a couple of weeks ago,  so for me it definitely does what it says on the tin!  I like the way it leaves my hair shiny and smooth yet with decent body/bounce through to the ends, it feels stronger and less prone to breakage.  There is no lank, greasy or sticky feeling and I only need to use my straightener to get rid of natural unwanted kinks.

My bottle is starting to empty now but I intend to repurchase without a doubt - it may seem pricey at £9.99/100ml but to me it's money well spent!  For myself, I think the longer I've used it the better the results - so long may they continue!

Have you used the Charles Worthington Strength and Repair Pro-Heat Milk? What's your favourite heat protector?

Jen x

Friday 28 November 2014

Driving To Work With Pete Tong ...!


Driving into work on these dark, grey mornings is so depressing and at times I need something to get my ass and mind in gear! The Pete Tong Collection seems to be a near permanent fixture in my car and our Pete's kept me going this week with his selection of 'banging tunes' ...

Eric Prydz - Pjanoo ... 

This has got to be one of my favourites on the album (the video is a tad weird but I'm concentrating on the track!) ... it has that trance/euphoric/uplifting vibe to it which make me want to turn it right up and play on repeat - played three times in a row the other morning - how sad is that - obviously I need to download a lengthy club mix!

Don't you just want to stand on stage in a club and 'give it some' to those crescendos?!  Rather difficult to achieve whilst driving into work! Still ... I arrived at my destination on a 'dance music high'  ... doesn't last long once in the office and presented with your work for the day but anyway!

What do you like to listen to on your way to work? Do you like to arrive on a 'dance music high'?

Jen x

Wednesday 26 November 2014

The Smallest Haul ...!


Did anyone witness any actual daylight today because it seems like twilight has descended upon us - hate this grey, murky, damp weather - my hair hates it too!  Unfortunately, according to the long term weather forecast things don't look much better over the next few days, not one 'sunshine' symbol to be seen (in these parts anyway!), only pesky black cloud - pants!

Anyway - just a few bits and pieces I've picked up over the last few weeks here ... been trying to restrain myself but you know when an 'offer' hits you in the face - sometimes one has to do that thang ...!

OGX Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil Shampoo/Conditioner & Biotin & Collagen Thick and Full Oil Treatment - I've been wanting to try more from OGX after using their Hydrating Macadamia Oil range in the Summer - review here. When Boots had one of their 3 for 2 offers on I dithered around over which to choose (there are so many!) but finally went for anti-breakage and thick and full!  I've already dipped into the oil - call me a bad blogger for doing so before taking the photograph but I couldn't wait!

Gatineau Floracil Eye Make-Up Remover - a firm favourite,  as you will know if you read my blog!  I spotted this kit on offer at £18 from John Lewis this weekend and jumped straight to it - no P+P either as I had it delivered to my local Waitrose to collect! A 400ml bottle plus 50ml travel size plus a make-up bag was a complete no-brainer - as the 400 ml usually comes in at around £22-24.  I was so tempted to order two sets but held back - this supersize will last for months so I can relax for a while!

Tell me ... if you were to pop into Boots for just the one item of make-up ie the Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Gel Eyeshadow in Permanent Taupe and realise the 3 for 2 is across all make-up brands - would you a) just stick to the original item and walk away ... or b) grab another two products of similar value ie Sleek Make-Up Eau La La Liners in Cocoa and Molasses and come home with the three?  No prizes for guessing which path I followed ...!

Last but not least I finally got to H&M last week to take advantage of my 20% discount card with Glamour magazine.  Red mohair mix sweater - may end up being my Christmas Day jumper - just love the colour!  Fitted denim shirt - need to get my thinking cap on and style this with something other than my usual/perpetual jeans - is double denim acceptable these days?  I don't want to resemble a member of Status Quo!  Suggestions from you lovely fashion bloggers welcome! Orange woolly hat - to brighten my barnet up on a dull day! Thanks again Glamour!

What have you picked up recently? Did you get hold of the 20% H&M Discount card? Double denim - yes or no?

Jen x

Sunday 23 November 2014

Clinique High Impact Mascara - Review


Believe it or not I seem to have 'calmed down' a little when it comes to buying mascara - I've found a couple that work well but still can't resist the odd magazine freebie - guess I'm not on my own there!  The Clinique High Impact Mascara (in black) was included with the Glamour magazine back in the Summer.  Described as a 'multi-benefit' mascara it's meant to add maximum volume, definition and length ...

A picture of Clinique High Impact Mascara
A picture of the Clinique High Impact Mascara

Not sure you can tell from this pic but the brush is a bit longer than I'm used to and the bristles are a little more splayed out. Maybe this is why it doesn't add as much volume as I was expecting but more length and definition?  The formula is pretty standard, a bit thin and didn't really do much at all when first opened but now it's had chance to thicken up a bit it works much better.  Easy enough to apply, not too bad on the clump front as long as the excess has been scraped from the brush, a decent black pigment (as you would expect) and stays on all day, no flaking or smudging. Extra coats can be applied later on - again - following a 'good scrape'!   For some reason though I can't get right into the inner corner of my eye to catch those super-tiny lashes, the brush doesn't seem to pick them up, not sure why, maybe it's the bristles? I've tried on numerous occasions but can't seem to get the knack - annoying!

Lashes before and after below ...

A picture of the Clinique High Impact Mascara

So ... I'm a bit on the fence ... it's not a bad mascara but maybe I was expecting something a bit more 'in yer face' with the whole 'high impact' thing and all?  I'd not pay £17.50 for the full size but luckily this sample cost me just £2.00 with good ol' Glamour ...!

Have you tried the Clinique High Impact Mascara? Which is your favourite at the moment?

Jen x

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Autumn/Winter Nails ... Neutrals


I don't know about you but when it comes to nail polish I try to hang onto my Summer brights for as long as possible and since we were lucky enough to have that bit of Indian Summer not too long ago they stuck around for that bit longer than usual!  I tend to ease myself into the new season gradually (and somewhat reluctantly since I'm a proper 'Summer lover'!) moving onto neutral polishes,  and eventually the deeps!  Of course, you can obviously wear whatever the hell you want on your nails throughout any season and depending on your mood but this is just how I tend to roll ... generally!

So here's what I've picked out from my current stash - different depths here but I consider all these to be in the 'neutral zone' ...

From left to right...

Nails Inc - Basil Street
Maybelline Forever Strong - Taupe Couture
Leighton Denny - Supermodel
Barry M Matte Nail Paint - Mocha
M&S Limited Collection Nail Polish - Putty

And here they are on ... as always a rushed paint job (on a Sunday and I had to get a chicken in the oven shortly after - as you do!) ... but you get the general picture ...

Basil Street is the palest and reminds me of Baileys Irish Cream - usually need three coats with this one.  Haven't used Taupe Couture for ages and it's a deeper shade than I remembered but still has that flat brown/neutral vibe.  Supermodel is quite new and one of the thinnest polishes  I've tried but very easy to apply.  Mocha is unfortunately the least long lasting but I still love the matte effect.  Putty is my newest edition (you can see my NOTD here).

Must invest in a couple of those 'nail wheel' contraptions I know some of you use for these types of posts - would certainly make things easier when there's a Sunday dinner to cook!

What are your favourite Autumn nail polishes?  Do you cross over with neutrals or dip straight into the deeps?

Jen x

Saturday 15 November 2014

Have A Funky Good Time with Brother Strut!


Brother Strut are an up and coming funk and soul band, formed in 2012, we're talking real musicians, real instruments, real music!  The members have collectively performed on records that have sold over half-a-billion copies.  Not only has this line-up played on numerous hit singles and albums, they’ve also worked for the likes of Van Morrison, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Madonna, Elton John, Sting, George Michael, Robbie Williams, Al Green, Level 42 and Amy Winehouse ... the list goes on!  Find out more about Brother Strut right here!

If, like me, you're a lover of  'proper' music and like to 'get your groove on' every now and again then have a listen to this ...

Good grief how funky?  Brother Strut are performing live in London at the Brooklyn Bowl, O2 on Wednesday 3rd December.  I was invited down to the gig and I can tell you if I lived in or around the London area I'd have been there like a shot!  Sadly it's at the wrong end of the country for me but you can win one of 5 pairs of tickets to attend the gig by entering here.

I'm so envious!  Let me know if you manage to get to see Brother Strut,  I bet it will be an amazing night of pure groovetastic sounds!

Good luck to everyone!

Jen x

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Rosey Glow - Review


This is my Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks Blusher in Rosey Glow.   I once read that it is a reasonable dupe for Benefit Dallas, which I've used, loved and finished a good long while ago but have never got round to repurchasing.  I dithered around for ages over Rosey Glow and then picked it up the other week after reminding myself that it was only £1.99!

A picture of the Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Rosey Glow
A picture of the Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Rosey Glow
A picture of the Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Rosey Glow

This does seem like one of the palest blush powders I've bought.  A fleshy pink in the pan with a touch of the nude vibe? It's not matte, nor shimmery but verges on 'ever so slightly pearly' in finish. The pigment is surprisingly good but I do have to layer it up a little to achieve a decent 'flush' of colour - being a bit darker skinned and all.  Buffing it in with my Real Techniques Blusher Brush seems to work well, although I do find the formula a little powdery - it fluffs up 'Puff the Magic Dragon Style' when you touch the brush to the pan so a good blow/tap is advisable before applying but it lasts well on - most of the day in fact (again surprisingly) - without going patchy.  Rosey Glow does have a tendency to look a bit 'candy pink' when swatched but once on, it's actually quite a flattering tone, not overly colourful on my skin tone but with a pleasant warmth to it, which is sometimes all you want/need on your kite - particularly at this time of year when skin can start to look a little grey?

Swatched below and blended above ...

A picture of the Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Rosey Glow

And on the kite ... ignoring the shocking dark circles please ...!

A picture of the Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Rosey Glow

And here's a quick swatch of Benefit Dallas on the left and Rosey Glow on the right - only snapped on my phone in Boots (as you do - hence the weird angle and bad lighting!).  Dallas is much deeper with more of a burnished tone to it don't you think?

A picture of Benefit Dallas and Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Rosey Glow

Anyway back to Rosey Glow ... overall I think this a very decent little pot of blusher, especially considering it's £1.99 - isn't that the price of a Starbucks Cappuccino (my favourite by the way!)?  It's a great 'everyday product' and is one that I could probably apply in the semi-darkness of the morning without making too many mistakes - now there's a challenge!

Have you  tried any Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks colours?  What do you think of Rosey Glow?

Jen x

Friday 7 November 2014

Cheese Series #2 - A 90's Girl High ...!


It's Friday (yipee!) so I needed a happy tune and this is the one ... you know when something from the past just pops into your brain at random and you can't get it out!  I'm going all the way back to 1991 here so youngsters won't have a clue ... you older peeps may well remember though! The weather is dull and gloomy but inside the sun is shining and I'm bouncing along ... (not literally - I don't 'bounce' in that way - unfortunately) but you get the picture ... have a listen ...

Amy Grant - Baby Baby  ....

My hubby dislikes this kind of tune ... it's one for the girls after all ... with a proper dose of corny lyrics ...
Baby, baby, the stars are shining for you, and just like me I'm sure that they adore you
Baby, baby, go walking through the forest, the birds above a' singing you a chorus ...
See what I mean!  Have to say I would never have thought to verse my feelings for the hubby quite so poetically, whilst walking through a forest or otherwise!  Corn aside what a happy tune, happy cheesy corny tune don't you think?  It makes me smile, sway and sing along every time and I've always loved all those key changes since 1991, good grief I was so young and everything was so plump and fresh back then!    And see that magnificent corkscrew perm of Amy's? I was the proud owner of a very similar creation (as I'm sure many of us were) - the more defined the curl the better - remember? Also had a pair of those slightly questionable stone-wash high waisted jeans too ...!  Didn't we all?!

Can't help myself - been singing out loud at the top of my voice all day, doing the hoovering, loading the dishwasher, even running up to the loo ... the dog thinks I've gone mad!  Laugh if you will ...who cares I'm on a '90s girl' high!!

Do you remember this tune? Has it brought back memories of  corkscrew perms and stone-wash high waisters? Are you on a '90's girl' high right now?

Jen x

Wednesday 5 November 2014

October Empties!


How can it be Bonfire Night already?  I happened to casually point out to the girls at work that 'this time in a couple of months Christmas/New Year will be all over and done with' ... and was told to shut up!  Anyway ... on with last month's empties ...

L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Everstrong No Sulphates Shampoo and Nourishing Intense Mask - I really like this range - I reviewed it back in March here and have used it on and off since then, in between other products. I still have some of the standard conditioner (always the case with conditioner!) but have finished up the shampoo and mask.  I like the way this makes my hair feel and will repurchase at some stage to dip in and out of whenever I feel the need to replenish and revitalise!

Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash  - love this as a morning face wash - it's so zingy and refreshing! Leaves my skin soft with no dry or tight feeling, Full review here and I've already repurchased!

Gatineau Defilift 3D Eye Contour Cream - I do like this cream for a.m. use. Firming and tightening is important when you get to my age and I do feel like it does the job quite nicely, however, this bottle must have been a 'dud'! I've used quite a few Gatineau products and although quite pricey, they usually last for ages making them worthwhile.  This, however, has already run out after not long at all and it's not as if I've used loads as you only need a small amount - I think it must have been half full - big disappointment! 

Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel - another favourite cleanser that's had it's tube cut to scrape every last bit out!  Works well as a morning face wash but was also very effective as a refreshing and purifying evening cleanser.  I do switch to cleansing oil for winter nights but will repurchase to use come Spring/Summer.

Organic Surge Orange Flower Toner - I won this in a giveaway held by my young blogging buddy Sasha at Ramblings of a Beauty Bird.  A lovely hydrating toner suitable for sensitive skin with a subtle orange flower scent at a brilliant price of only £7.50/200ml.  I'm currently finishing off a travel size of the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic but will be repurchasing this one I'm sure!

Dr Jart V7 Turnover Booster - technically used up in September so should have been included in last month's empties - whoops! I really like this for use  during the warmer months as it's cooling and refreshing and revitalises the skin.  Review here.

Clarins Blue Orchid Oil Face Treatment Oil and Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate - a couple of little gems! Been using up these sample sizes under moisturiser at night.  Love my facial oils once the weather turns.  Full reviews are here and here

Mandara Spa Island Paradise Moisturising Shower Gel - trying to make a dent in my huge shower gel stash. This one is so refreshing with all those grapefruits and lemons!  I can see me repurchasing at some stage - I have soft spot for Mandara Spa!

Have you tried any of these products? What have you used up last month?

Jen x

Sunday 2 November 2014

Cooking with Gourmet Gorman - Roasted Pumpkin stuffed with Lamb Mince & Chickpea Curry - a Halloween Special ...!


I couldn't let Halloween weekend go by without a quick post based around my 'musician brother' Mike's (aka Gourmet Gorman)  'frightful' culinary antics - the video is a few years old from his Cooking with Gourmet Gorman series and this particular one is the Halloween Special ... !

Roasted pumpkin stuffed with lamb mince and chickpea curry ... I don't think I need say anymore ... apart from it's absolute bonkers! I'll let the maestro do the talking now shall I ...?

Yes I know ... what can I say ... my brother is a nutter! You can see the extremely fine line between genius/insanity thing can't you?  The dish looks good though!

Hope you've enjoyed Halloween weekend! What have you been cooking?

Jen x

Saturday 1 November 2014

NOTD - M&S Limited Collection Nail Polish in Putty

Bonjour ...

I've not done a NOTD for a while now - actually haven't bought a new nail polish for a while ... I was trying to 'shop my stash' but this all changed last week when I popped into M&S to pick up some edible goodies (as you do!) and then all of a sudden found myself in the beauty department - which is on a totally different floor ... how this happened I have no idea! The Limited Collection Quick Dry Nail Polishes (which are only £3.50 anyway) were on offer at buy one get one half price - after this discovery it all went downhill ... or uphill whichever way you look at it ... I'm waffling again aren't I...?

This is one of shades I picked up ...Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Nail Polish in Putty ...

A picture of the Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Nail Polish in Putty
A picture of the Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Nail Polish in Putty
A picture of the Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Nail Polish in Putty

No idea why I don't own more of the Limited Collection Nail Polishes as I have a bit of a soft spot for them - I find them really quick and easy to apply - the brush is user-friendly and the formula just the right consistency.  It's opaque in two coats, has a good glossy finish and is touch dry in a jiffy.  They also last quite well on with a decent base and top coat which is always a bonus!  Putty comes out with a richer purple hue than I expected from the bottle but has a touch of grey mixed in which gives it that bit more of a flat/neutral vibe which I really like - a good Autumn nail colour!

Have you tried the M&S Limited Collection Nail Polishes? Will you be buying any new Autumn nail colours?

Jen x

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Escentual French Pharmacy Offer!


I couldn't resist a teeny tiny order when I discovered that Escentual have up to a third off their French Pharmacy brands throughout October - see here.  I should have ordered earlier on in the month but you know how it is ... anyway ... there are still a couple of days left to grab something if it takes your fancy ...

I had to exercise some restraint (boo!!) .... so only ordered a few bits ...

A picture of my Escentual haul

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum - an old favourite within a new package. I have one on the go at the moment (as always!) but couldn't resist getting another for a rainy day as I use it every morning - great product for dehydrated skin - full review here.

Vichy Idealia Eyes - Eye Contour Idealizer Care - can't wait to try this one. It's meant to reduce the look of dark circles, illuminate shadows and smooth the look of fine lines and skin texture. Bring it on!

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Cream - I've used this hand cream over the last few months and it's been ideal for my super-dry, sensitive hands so much so I've had to repurchase - especially as it's only £3.33 at the moment.

La Roche-Posay Hydreane Light Moisturising Cream - another product that I've repurchased after having used recently, day and night, especially as it's currently down from £12 to £8/40ml. It's light but hydrating and suits my skin down to a T!

So that's my extremely small Escentual haul.  I do have more in depth reviews coming up on the La-Roche Posay products so haven't harped on too much at this stage and will crack on with Vichy Idealia Eyes as soon as I've given it a good go!

Will you be making any last minute French Pharmacy orders from Escentual?

Jen x

Friday 24 October 2014

Soap & Glory Super-Colour FabuLipstick - Perfect Day


This post was meant to be 'out' midweek but the dreaded overtime struck again - which resulted in a few sessions of 'ronking' with the laptop on my knee as I tried to blog!  I should explain that 'ronking' is an Anglo-Indian term for dozing whilst sitting (with or without laptop).  Ronking = late blog post! Anyway ... better late than never!

Enough of the waffle - here's my  Soap & Glory Super-Colour Collagen Boosting Fabulipstick in 'Perfect Day' (what can I say - I had a voucher to use!) and here's how Soap & Glory describe it ...
"Featuring ULTIMELT™ lip shine & shaping technology, 3-D PLUMP™ peptide complex, Shea Butter, Monoi Butter & Vitamin E. Hyaluronic acid and Ceramide 2 (for aging repair and visible wrinkle reduction) help to give a soft, smooth, dewy, plump colour-fill pout." source

A picture of theSoap & Glory Super-Colour Fabulipstick in Perfect Day
A picture of the Soap & Glory Super-Colour Fabulipstick in Perfect Day
A picture of theSoap & Glory Super-Colour Fabulipstick in Perfect Day
A picture of the Soap & Glory Super-Colour Fabulipstick in Perfect Day

Swatched above it has a real dusky/fleshy pink tone to it, which is what attracted me I reckon. I've been using without a lip balm, unless my lips feel super dry and then it doesn't hurt to stick some on underneath.  Either way it glides on with a 'satin finish' and is quite well pigmented.  As regards staying power - I'd say it's pretty standard, blotting and reapplying always helps of course but I do need to stick more on after eating.  Other than that it lasts me a good couple of hours and fades away evenly leaving a non-patchy (quite pleasant!) stain.  The colour is not too 'in yer face' but enough to give a bit of a pop (just a little one mind!) and is a great 'everyday' shade when I want a change from the usual nudes ... perfect for Autumn!

For once I'm not 'ronking' ...

This is my second Soap & Glory Fabulipstick - you can see 'Naked Beige' here.  They come in at £9 each, not so cheap but I usually wait until there is some sort of offer on, gotta love those offers!   The ones I have are not super long-wearing or anything (is it such a chore to have to re-apply lipstick anyway?!) but they are great for sticking in your bag for everyday use and the colours seem so wearable that I feel the need to try another quite soon.  I'm thinking 'Man Trap' or 'Red My Lips' - what do you think?

Are you a fan of the Soap & Glory Super-Colour Fabulipstick? Which is your favourite? Have you been 'ronking' lately?

Jen x

Sunday 19 October 2014

It's A Brow Thing ...!


It's true to say I have a slight complete preoccupation with eyebrows at the moment - I generally don't leave the house without my brows on and I'd certainly say they're up there with my lash obsession! At my age I'm not into the whole 'overly drawn-in thing' but I do like them to look like they're meant to be 'there' with good colour and definition - makes such a difference to one's kite ... here's my current 'brow wardrobe' ...

Clockwise from left ... HD Brows Palette in Foxy, YBF (Your Best Friend) Automatic Eyebrow Pencil in Universal Taupe, Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Ebony, Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Black/Brown, Laura Geller Brow Marker in Dark Brown and Mally Beauty Brow Fix in Taupe ...

Where to start with all this lot? They all have different colours, textures and application techniques - here they are quickly swatched on paper and then on my arm ...

HD Brows Palette - you can probably see from the palette that one pan is well used - that's the Dark Brown and I use only this colour on my brows, I use Nude as a matte brow highlighter and Warm Brown/Carbon as eyeshadow sometimes. Love this HD Brow powder, it goes on so easily with the little brush (mine has broken in half though!), gives great depth and a soft 'fullness' to the brows and is really quick and easy to apply. I can't justify a repurchase of the whole palette though as I'm only addicted to Dark Brown (I'll be gutted when it runs out!) but will have to hunt around for a similar brow powder in this colour.
Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade - which I reviewed here in Ebony - I'll therefore not waffle on too much about it!  Takes a bit longer to apply until you get the hang of it but it gives a good natural brow with great pigment and is waterproof!

Mally Brow Fix - came with a QVC  kit - it only seems to come in this one colour and is not one I would have chosen for myself as it's too pale to add much definition but makes a good 'fixing' product to use over the top of something else. It has a waxy texture so tames and keeps stray brow hairs (not that I have that many to stray!) in place.  It's around £20 from QVC and isn't something I intend to repurchase as I can live without it - if you know what I mean!
YBF Automatic Brow Pencil - a product my mum gave to me a while ago - a twist up pencil with a 'spoolie' brush at the other end (which I forgot to photograph!). It has a dryer texture - almost like compressed powder but doesn't pull or tug at the skin and is a good flat brown colour. If I use on it's own I have to layer up as the shade is not as deep as I would choose, but it's great for adding extra definition or tidying up over another product. Comes in at around £18.00 for a duo from QVC and I would consider repurchasing as I like the texture.
Rimmel Professional  Brow Pencil - this is something I have used for years and will continue to repurchase. The colour is just right for me, really quick and easy to apply, either on it's own or to neaten up over the top of another product. Comes with its own little brush and is only £2.99. Easy to get hold of and a complete bargain!
Laura Geller Brow Marker - this is a good idea in theory as it's like a fine felt tip so you can 'mimic' fine hairs as you draw them in? Unfortunately the colour has a definite 'warm brown vibe' and isn't deep enough for me to carry off. Not something I'll repurchase - I don't do warm brows!

So that's my little 'brow arsenal'. Which one I use depends on how much of a rush I'm in to get out the door, what I'm doing once I'm out and how strong a brow I want! Apart from the Anastasia Dipbrow though (which is fantastic in hot weather) they will all melt or rub off to some degree on a hot day or in a warm environment (not a good look to have your eyebrow smearing across your forehead!) so I think a setting product is my next port of call at some stage!

How do you like your brows? How many brow products do you own? Which is your favourite? Sod it let's just have a coffee and chat about it shall we? :)

Jen x

Friday 17 October 2014

Cheese Series #1 - I Was Made For Dancing ... !


Last weekend I was feeling a bit fed up (as we all do I'm sure from time to time!) - the hubby decided to indulge in a few cheesy tunes from Spotify to cheer me up whilst I was cooking (bolognaise if you must know!) and here's one of the tunes he came up with ...

Leif Garrett - I Was Made For Dancing ...

all, all, all, all night long ...!

Ignoring the fact that I was actually  made for dancing all, all all all night long ... (age and circumstances make this a sheer impossibility these days!) ... oh my goodness what a blast from the past ... made me smile ... and slightly cringe in a good way! What on earth made him choose this one I'll never know - must have been near the top of the 'cheese' category!  Back in the day I was a bit too young to really get into the whole Bay City Rollers thing but our Leif was a different matter and I had rather a large 'not quite a teenage crush' on him - as many of us did 1978/79 -with posters on my wall etc.  Ladies of a certain age - this must surely rekindle some memories when you cast your gaze once again upon all that hair and tight leather trews! Even you young 'uns must be able to see it to a certain extent ... if you ignore the complete 70s disco crumbly cheese vibe here!

It's made me realise I have a whole host of cheesy goodness to share with you - hence the title - why keep it all to myself? Expect some proper gems in the future!

Who was your 'not quite a teenage crush'?

Jen x

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Apple and Ginger Cake - Recipe


Every year around this time my mum and dad end up with an abundance of apples from the 4 trees in their garden! My mum makes up her annual batch of spicy apple pickle (marvellous stuff!) and various apple crumbles, pies and cakes. I have a fair few of said apples to use up so decided to try a variation on one of my mum's cake recipes ...

A picture of Apple and Ginger Cake

8oz flour
4oz butter/baking margarine
2 eggs
4oz sugar
4-5 tbsp milk
1 large apple (or 2 small) - finely sliced
2oz crystallised ginger - finely sliced
Couple of handfuls of raisins (optional)

A picture of Apple and Ginger Cake

Just the usual of method of mixing together the flour, butter, eggs and sugar with milk to make a decent consistency and throw in the apple, ginger and raisins. Stick it all in your greased baking tin (this one measures approx. 16cm square) and bake on 180 deg for 50 minutes or thereabouts ...

A picture of Apple and Ginger Cake

Make yourself a cuppa (or 'brew' as Dave at work likes to call it!), sit yourself down and enjoy ... !  What's your favourite way to use up a tonne of apples?

Jen x

PS. Apologies that I've used Imperial measurements above - showing my age!

Monday 13 October 2014

September Empties ...!


First empties post in a while here - they're not all strictly from September - some are from August and even now there a couple of products I've forgotten to include so they'll have to be tagged onto next month ... that'll teach me to not keep things all in one place!

A picture of September Empties

Gatineau Floracil Eye Make-Up Remover - think this is actually an empty from the back end of July (whoops- told you I was behind!) -  gentle and effective, gets everything off (even waterproof mascara) without and need for rubbing or scrubbing. Have repurchased and am well into my new bottle!

Dove Refresh and Care Dry Shampoo - not going to waffle on too much as I have a whole 'dry shampoo thing' coming up but I do like this one and have already repurchased.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil - my second bottle empty and I'm now on my third!  I use this for my evening cleanse and find it especially comforting during the colder months - a firm favourite in my routine. Full review here.

Gatineau Firming Throat Gel  - ok stupidly I managed to hide the fact that this is actually the Gatineau Firming Throat Gel but I promise you it is! Another backdated empty from the start of August here. I'm now on my second tube (gifted from my mum!) and use every morning. Although I do like it's tightening effect, I'll probably have a hunt for something else after this finishes as it's a bit expensive!

Gatineau Radiance Enhancing Gommage - this, on the other hand is a product I probably would repurchase. I'm on my second tube and it's a large one so should last for a while. Love the fact that it smooths and brightens my tired old kite! Full review here.

Treacle Moon 'Her Mango Thoughts' Body Butter -  I do like a bit of 'Treacle Moon'!  This one feels like silk and smells like a load of lovely mangos. Will probably wait until it's on offer in my local Tesco to repurchase - cos that's how I roll!

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum - another empty from August and another ongoing favourite!  I use every morning under moisturiser to keep my skin hydrated. Can't remember how many times I've repurchased this one now but am on my upteenth bottle! 

Maybelline Big Eyes Volum'Express Mascara - I've never really got on with Maybelline mascaras but was pleasantly surprised with this one - well with half of it anyway. Loved the big brush but couldn't do much with the small one -shame! Full review here.

So that's it as far as 'empties' go (for the moment!). Must try to keep on top of things in future otherwise it could really get out of hand!  

What products have you got through last month?

Jen x

Friday 10 October 2014

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream - Review


This is my Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream - I picked mine up back in July so went for the Bronze option.  As you can see it boasts 3 pigments - Apricot, Green and White for Anti-Fatigue, Redness and Dark Spots (respectively!) and is meant to give you a "luminous complexion and smooth skin" with "24hr hydration and SPF 15" ... yes please ...!

A picture of the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream in Bronze
A picture of the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream in Bronze
A picture of the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream in Bronze

The Bourjois CC has quite a runny texture and is golden in colour.  It applies well just with fingers (but I guess you could easily buff in with a brush) and works best for me if used fairly soon after moisturising. If I get sucked into the usual trap of "I'll just empty the washing machine, put another load in and sort out the dishwasher" before putting my face on (sound familiar?) then I have to stick on a bit more moisturiser, otherwise it does tend to cling a little to any dryer bits.  For this reason I reckon it may be better suited to normal/combo skin, dry skinned gals would have to ensure they're using a kick-ass moisturiser!  I find it does provide a decent level of coverage - more akin to a light foundation.  I tend to wear mostly on days off and weekends but have worn to work on a few occasions over a primer and it has actually worked really well - so easy to stick on your kite in the morning when you're bleary eyed and half asleep!  My T-zone does have a tendency to shine through from lunchtime onwards (nothing that a bit of Bare Minerals Mineral Veil can't sort out) but generally speaking it lasts really well during a day at the office of dreams (!) without going patchy etc.  I can't speak for all of the Bourjois 123 colour options and I'm not sure you can tell in the pics below but Bronze does have more of a 'yellowish' hue to it once on than I would usually go for - for that reason I may not use into the depths of winter when my face takes on it's usual khaki/grey tone but we'll see ... may try one of the lighter shades ... any excuse ...

A picture of the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream in Bronze

On the left is a nice selection of my usual open pores, a dash of redness and a few freckly type things on my cheek thrown in for good measure. Bourjois CC applied on the right (not directly under the eye) and nothing at all done to the pic (apart from cropping a bit of the old conk off !).  Although it doesn't completely cover everything in sight (if I wanted that I'd be using a full coverage foundation) I think it does a decent job of disguising most of the bad stuff, smoothing, brightening and evening out skin tone - whilst keeping the hydration going - job done. Don't ask why I look so solemn - anyone would think I was at work!

All in all I think this is a great little product - bit of a multi-tasker, easy to use, effective and affordable at £9.99/30ml.  I think I will try one of those lighter shades for Winter!

Have you tried the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream? Which is your favourite CC?

Jen x

Sunday 5 October 2014

Autumn Wishlist ... !


We've been lucky with this recent 'Indian Summer type thing' haven't we?  It definitely feels colder and crisper these past few days though and the timer is now preset for the heating to come on for a few hours each evening!  Anyway ... here are a few bits and bobs I have my eyes on  ... I realise there are no chunky knits, scarves, coats within this list but that'll come later on I'm sure ...!

Autumn Wishlist!

Paul Mitchell Thicken Up - ok I realise this has nothing specifically to do with Autumn as such but I feel the need to try this out - not that I need any more hair products at the moment - but all the same - it could be 'the one!' 
Office Cutout T Bars - I'd like these primarily for work - will go with my usual black trousers and maybe even a skirt or two!
Top Shop Cigarette Pants - speaking of  'black trousers' - really need a new pair for work and Top Shop trousers usually fit me quite well so will have to pop in next week and check these out!
Cloud Nine Standard Iron - been 'umming and arring' over some new straighteners for ages. If I end up with these I'll be doing a little dance!
The Doors 'LA Woman' T Shirt - I must have this T Shirt - not this particular one as it's Vintage 1970s (and therefore very expensive) - mine will be a much more purse friendly option!
Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Chestnut - everyone needs (read that as 'should treat themselves to') a new lippie in Autumn - and what could be more fitting than a lippie by the name of Chestnut!
Urban Decay Anti-Ageing Eyeshadow Primer - I'd say this is actually more of a need rather than want. My current Elf Eyelid Primer is ok ...but I'm curious to see how much better my eyeshadow would sit and last using legendary UD. The old eyelids are getting a bit crinkled and wrinkled so this anti-ageing option seems a good choice!
Chunky Black Boots - I have no need for these beauties at all but I bloomin love em! I'd wear with skinnies and my Doors TShirt (and the Smashbox lippie) - if I had some sort of furry jacket to stick over the top then that would be marvellous! I'll save that for my next Wishlist!

So ... that's my lot for the moment can go on forever once you start can't you?! What's on your Autumn wishlist?

Jen x

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