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

Friday 3 October 2014

Clearing My Head ...!


I'm working quite a bit of overtime at the moment.  The extra dosh will obviously be appreciated (wait until you see my current wish list!) but also as my job role has changed over the last few months it's better from a training point of view as I'm performing new case types, system routines, calculations and learning about new procedures.  I've done this type of work before I had my children but not since returning from maternity leave (many moons ago!) so the knowledge of certain things takes a back seat and you do forget that you were ever any good at it - you lose your confidence to some degree and it was all rather daunting at first.  Anyway - I'm back in the thick of it now, albeit with a much older brain!  I have to say I leave the office feeling slightly spaced out - from all the stuff that's been rammed into my head and also probably due to the re-cycled air that we're all breathing in!

The only way I can clear my mush is by going down to the gym in the evening (after the kids have been fed and various chores completed!) and blasting something like this out on my IPod ...

Chase and Status - Count On Me ...

Only released last year but it 'had me' from the start ...

This tune is so like the 90s dance music that will always have a place in my heart - probably why it appeals to me so much!  Get on the cross trainer with this one and build up the pace with the crescendo ... it takes me to a different place ... away from those rubbish work type things! In my head I'm now on the dance floor throwing some serious shapes - job done!

It's funny ... my hubby does the morning exercise thing before work and then has a couple of drinks in the evening to wind down but my way is evening gym with loud  'in yer face' music.  Of course I return home ravenous and with a tired body but my head is so much clearer!

Do you like to exercise am or pm? What's your way of winding down after a hectic day?

Jen x

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