Friday 30 January 2015

Keep Me Warm and Turn Me On!


It's no secret that I'm not a lover of Winter ... it's not even the dark mornings/evenings ... it's the cold. I am so sick of the freezing weather ... my body is not compatible with it and can't seem to keep warm when the temperature drops ... even if the heating has been ticking over (on low) all day.  Poor circulation, a spot of Raynaud's here and there and at worst my chest muscles seem to seize up in places ... ok it's not the end of the world but bloody annoying! Where are those hot flushes when you need them! Thermals and multiple layers are a must and regular exercise is essential to boost my circulation.  This is why I love prancing around, be it on the machines or in a class at the gym - feels so good to be hot and sweaty (nice) and have the blood pumping round at an acceptable level! 

The other night when it had snowed heavily and I couldn't get down for my usual 'gym fix', I had to slap some 'hot' music on to keep myself sane  ... so our Kevin here stepped in and obliged ... !

Kevin Lyttle ... Turn Me On ....!

This tune ... this is such a favourite girls night out track ... and every time it comes on there is always some proper 'Zumba style' shape throwing going on I can tell you ... !

Seriously ... does it not make you feel like getting on down and dirty (dance-wise) at that Caribbean beach party with not a thermal or sock in sight!  This is so one of my cold weather pick up tunes, it takes me to a 'hot weather high' and turns my circulation on just listening to it!  

How do you cope with the cold?  What's your favourite 'hot weather high' tune?

Jen xx

PS:  I've just had to have a dance round the kitchen ... the family think I've gone mad! :)

Wednesday 28 January 2015

No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation in Deeply Beige - Review


Thought it was about time I shared my thoughts on the No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation in Deeply Beige.   Just to explain ... back in the day (by that I mean earlier on last year) I wandered into Boots and took advantage of the No 7 Match Made Service (very quick and easy it was). I was matched to Warm Beige and given a few different No7 foundation samples.  I ended up buying the Instant Radiance Foundation (only just opened and not yet reviewed - surprise!).  Come September I felt I wanted something a little warmer/deeper on my kite, I returned to Boots, was advised to try Deeply Beige and given a sample in the Superlight ... the rest is history ...

A picture of the No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation in Deeply Beige
A picture of the No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation in Deeply Beige
A picture of the No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation in Deeply Beige

Easy to apply from the little black bottle after a quick shake-up, it's a thin water based formula with a silky, lightweight finish, not too matte and not too shiny.  I mostly use my fingers to apply but sometimes grab a brush if I want to work it in a little more for a bit of extra coverage.   It doesn't totally mask every single flaw and pore (and I have many!) but it does even and brighten things out and up and to be honest,  for everyday use (read that as non heavy make-up days), this is my product of choice as I don't want anything too full on. You may still need a bit of concealer in the usual places but it's ideal for a natural daytime look and it doesn't feel heavy, greasy or cakey.  I don't find it aggravates my oily t-zone or particularly highlights any dry/dehydrated bits (although as with any foundation - you do have to be adequately moisturised/primed beforehand - otherwise even the most forgiving of products will sit wherever the hell they want!).   I've used with and without a primer, works fine either way but obviously lasts longer on with a more heavy duty primer, although there is a bit of shine to contend with after a few hours (but that's no biggie!) and tends to just fade away evenly towards the end of the day - put it like this - I've never looked in the mirror on an evening and thought 'Heavens above! I need to retouch my foundation!'.

Obligatory before and after mug shots ... apologies for the melancholy expression there ... !

A picture of the No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation in Deeply Beige

I have to admit I'm really impressed with this foundation ... it helps my skin with that dull, grey thing I seem to have going on at this time of year and is my current 'everyday' favourite.  Comes in at £14.50/30ml so not too expensive - but I have one of those No7 money off vouchers to use (you know the ones!) ... must get over to Boots!

I should also mention that the lovely ladies on my No7 counter seemed to be more than happy to provide samples of their foundations, so it's a great way to try out several different finishes to see which one suits you best!

Have you tried the No7 Match Made Service? Which is your favourite No 7 foundation?

Jen x

Wednesday 21 January 2015

A Pathetic Sales Haul and a Treat ...!


I love a bargain (who doesn't?) and usually manage to bag a few in (what used to be) the January sales!  Didn't really happen this year -  my intention was to go the day after Boxing Day but the large dump of snow put paid to that. We set off but had to turn back.  I was disgruntled to say the least!  Not to be beaten I decided to have a look online and ordered a couple of bits from New Look ...

Brave Soul Chunky Knit - £10 - a change from my usual grey/black and is so warm on ... my resistance to the cold is going from bad to worse so this is a keeper!  My mum likes it apart from the huge 'B' logo - ah well you can't win 'em all!

Lace collar dress - £10 ... couldn't make my mind up - I mean I don't really 'do' dresses that often so would this turn out to be one of those items that ends up living out it's life in the wardrobe and no place else? Anyway - right or wrong I decided to keep it at the last minute ... suppose if push comes to shove I could always wear for work with opaques and boots ...

Leopard fur coat - £25 ... I really liked the idea of this baby but unfortunately it didn't fit properly on the shoulders and the collar stuck up in a funny fashion so it had to go back - gutted  I was!

The only thing I managed to pick up in-store was this V-neck knit from H&M at £10 - it's slightly over sized, warm and not black . Need to find something to layer underneath though as that V is a tad deep on!

How pathetic is this? The single beauty item I managed to bag in the half price sales at Boots this year was a Soap & Glory Righteous Butter ... I don't know whether to feel ashamed or proud ...!

And now for the treat ... I couldn't resist this recent TSV (Today's Special Value of course!) from QVC.  Supersizes of the Liquid Gold and Absolute Eye Complex and full size Balancing Cleanser.   This kit is now priced at £70 on their website but the crazy TSV price was £30ish - it was a no brainer!  The Balancing Cleanser and Absolute Eye Complex I've used before and although I have tried Liquid Gold a couple of years ago, I didn't really get on with it ... but the beauty blogger in me wants/needs to give it another go to help with dull winter skin - I have to say the signs are promising this time round!  I shall report back once I've given it a good going over!

So what do you think? Was I pathetic, sensible or just in the wrong place at the wrong time?!  Did you manage to bag many bargains in the sales?

Jen  x

Sunday 18 January 2015

NOTD - M&S Limited Collection Nail Polish in Storm ...


Perhaps I should have named this post 'Nail of the Stormy Day' in light of recent weather ... I don't like storms but then again I don't like bitter cold, snow and ice ... I just don't like Winter - end of!  Anyway this is the Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Quick Dry Nail Polish in Storm ... I bought it a couple of months ago ... and yes ... it's taken me all this time to get this post out ... disgraceful I know ...!

A picture of the Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Quick Dry Nail Polish in Storm
A picture of the Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Quick Dry Nail Polish in Storm

The colour comes out richer on the nail than in the bottle and is a deep grey in colour, probably one of the darkest polishes I own but very wearable - even on hands of my age! I like that's it's almost black but not black.  It calls to my inner rock-chick - although I'm sure sophisticated ladies would carry it off with great success!

Have I mentioned that I have a bit of a 'thing' for these M&S polishes? They have a good glossy finish with average wear time and they are so easy to apply with a good sized brush.  I find the consistency just right - it's more on the thin than thick side but that's preferable to a gloopy mess in my opinion.  A steal at £3.50 each and very often on offer at buy one get one half price!

So ... would you be channelling your inner rock-chick or sophisticate?  Have you tried the M&S Limited Collection Polishes yet?

Jen x

Sunday 11 January 2015

2014 Favourites!


So ... 2014 favourites here - been trying to get this post out for most of last week and didn't even do overtime one day so I could finish it off but then got embroiled in that thing called 'housework'.  Did four loads of washing, various cleaning tasks and the food shop ... you know when you're on a roll, forget that you're no spring chicken and just keep going ... then wonder why you ache to the bone like a 'mother' in the evening?  Think I'd have been better off sat on my backside at work!   Anyway ... 2014 favourites ... I did intend splitting into different categories but ended up lumping the whole lot together ... I've sneaked in one or two products in that could be classed as 'December Favourites' if we're splitting hairs ... nobody minds ... right?   Some I have reviewed but some I've not got round to yet ... but I will (famous last words)!  Best get started then ...

Mandara Spa 'Amber Heaven' Nourishing Miracle Oil  -  I bought this ages ago as part of a set and decided I need to make a dent in my stash so cracked it open last month - I guess this is classed as a December favourite then!  It's a multi-purpose oil which can be used to moisturise, massage or as a hair treatment.  I've only used as a moisturiser after bath/shower and oh my goodness, the scent ... I'm in love ... it's so warm and musky, perfect for this time of year and it lingers on the skin for hours afterwards ... like I said ... it's love!

No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation in Deeply Beige - great natural looking foundation which I've been using for the past few months.  I have to say I've become quite attached to it and there will be a full review up shortly!

La Roche Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Cream - the Lipikar range works to replenish dry, excema prone skin which is just what I need.  I use most nights as an overnight treatment cream - some hand creams can sting when my hands are having a 'sore phase' but this is completely soothing and hydrating and seems to have kept my hands in check over the last few months and changing seasons ... I took it away on holiday in the summer and then got myself another when that ran out. At £5/50ml (mine were both cheaper though as they were on offer on the Escentual website) it's something I'll continue to repurchase. Definitely give it a go if you're prone to sore,chapped hands!

Dove Youthful Vitality Thickening Essence - I've been using this for a good few months over the top of my Charles Worthington Strength and Repair Milk. Just spray -  mostly around the crown area, smoosh into the hair with your fingers and blow dry.  Should really have done a full review but basically it does what it says on the can. Leaves hair with body and bounce with no sticky/greasy feeling. I'll be repurchasing as it's become a favourite - although I may not need to for a while as this bottle seems to be lasting forever!

Charles Worthington Strength and Repair Pro-Heat Milk - love this and have repurchased - my go-to hair protector.  I'm not going to waffle as there's a full review here.
OGX Hydrating Macadamia Oil Shampoo and Conditioner - I always reach for this when my hair feels in need of some TLC and it never disappoints.  Full review here.

Philosophy Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette - this has a pleasant scent, clean and fresh and floral all in one go. It's not the strongest or even most long lasting spray that I own but there's something about it that I just can't resist.

Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top and Base Coat - I've just repurchased this duo.  It's been the best base/topcoat I've tried so far - dries in a jiffy with a good glossy finish and whilst we're not talking a whole week or anything, it definitely gives me an extra day's worth of longevity (always welcome) and tends to chip off at the ends with most polishes rather than peel off in one go - which is good because if I know it can peel then I will peel - such a bad habit!

Cloud Nine Original Iron - I bought this a few months ago after some a lot of deliberation and I'm so glad I did!  I straighten the ends and fringe of my barnet most days and really feel that these beauties have played an integral part in minimising damage.  They have a variable temperature control and literally glide through the hair with no dragging or friction. Not sure whether to do a full review on these so if you want one let me know!

Make-Up Revolution Ultra Blush Palette in Hot Spice - ok so I've swatched this quite a while ago and use it most days - a mixture of warm peachy tones - it's love! . Full review on it's way!

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade - my favourite brow product of the year! Practise definitely makes perfect with this one but I've nailed it and never looked back! Full review here

Mally Perfect Prep Under Eye Brightener - love this product!  I use every morning to counteract dark circles - it's so hydrating and does a great job with my dark circles.  Full review to follow

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream - a proper cult classic - can't believe I've only just discovered how good this is! It's a sample from an old beauty box,  I dug it out last month and stuck in my work make-up bag. It's an all round skin protectant that can be used for dry, chapped bits and cuticles etc. I love it as a lip balm - it feels so hydrating and soothing and sticks around without being sticky (sorry!). I need a full size sharpish!

Phew ... maybe I should have split into categories ... sorry I've gone on so long and congratulations if you made it this far!

What have been your favourites from 2014?

Jen x

Friday 2 January 2015

Compliments of the Season!


So ... I realise that the 'Season' is practically over but I started this post mid-week and couldn't think of another title!  Anyway ... hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year - despite the snow and ice!  Our Christmas Day was very merry - literally ... the turkey crown had slightly frozen over in the meat drawer at the bottom of our fridge (my own stupid fault - meant to move it further up on Christmas Eve and forgot!).  It therefore went in the oven later than planned so dinner was pushed back, resulting in a fair amount of alcohol going down during the wait - which had the knock on effect of a dubious Christmas Day extravaganza of hubby and brother performing  MC Hammer's - You Can't Touch This ...! The video ended up on Facebook and has had over over 1500 views - there is no hope!  I won't subject you to the entire video but here's a still ... you get the picture ...!

A picture of the Christmas Day Video

Once again we have enough choccies to last until Easter ... they'll be rationed out accordingly and over time ... my kids know the drill by now ...! Walnut whips are my favourite of the moment ... how do you like my large 'whip stick'?

A picture of the christmas chocolate

Some of my lovely presents from hubby and family ... most gratefully received ... the little green bag is the cutest manicure set ever from my mum ... along with a large jar of neck and decolletage cream ... Mum knows best! Started reading Sali Hughes' Pretty Honest the other night ... it's addictive!

A picture of the Christmas presents

And look what Santa brought ... didn't realise he read my blog ... !

A picture of the Dr Martens

Plenty of cosy nights in watching a whole array of films with the kids ... Spiderman, Maleficent, Uncle Buck and Snow White and the Huntsman to name but a few ... plus our seasonal cinema outing to see the last instalment of  'The Hobbit' ... what a brilliant movie - transported me to another world for a few hours (and I got to sit down!) ... not one you can chill out to whilst watching though ... too many Orcs around!  Star Wars planned for next year ... cannot wait!

And to round off New Years Day ... another superb meal cooked by my mum of Chicken Biryani ...

A picure of the chicken biryani

and Meatball Curry ...

A picture of the meatball curry

What a combination ... taste bud heaven it was ...!

The snow and ice stopped me (literally) from getting to the sales this year ... despite my car having four wheel drive we were still sliding around on some of the hills (we have a lot of hills round here!) so gave up and I ordered some bits from New Look instead. When I did eventually make it I couldn't find anything really ... typical ... may have a quick look through the dregs next week but that may be it!

Anyway ... I only got to the gym once in between Christmas and New Year so have been suffering 'gym withdrawal symptoms' - sad I know, but true - so I'm off to visit the treadmill, cross trainer and  giant cross-stepper shortly with my IPod!

How did your Christmas/New Year go? What did Santa bring? Did you get to the sales?

Jen x

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