Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Anne Franks Diary (spoilers)

Hi there again,

I'm currently going through a phase of reading classic books.  So far I've done 1984, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, Of Mice & Men, and I have To Kill a Mockingbird waiting in the wings.  As part of this I also picked up Anne Frank - The Diary of a Young Girl.

I obviously knew the story, that a family hid in a room away from the Nazi's because they were Jewish, and eventually they got caught and killed.  But that's all I knew.  I'd been warned it was a tear jerker, and that kind of put me off it, because I hate anything soppy and sentimental.  My usual book fare is horror, and to be honest I'm not really sure what made me buy it.  I think I'd heard of it and it probably just popped up in my recommended or 'other people who bought this also bought' list.

So when I first started reading the book, my first impressions were of a precocious young girl who had very high opinions of herself.  And to be honest I didn't like her very much.  But as the nights went on, and I continued to read, I found myself looking forward to spending some time with her, to finding out how her days had been going, and what she'd been up to.

She goes into great detail of how they had to live, what they were eating, how they were bathing, and brings the characters around her to life.  She tells us about the interactions between them, and the hopes and fears of both the adults and children who were hiding out in the attic rooms.  She also tells us about the people who were hiding them, and about their lives too.  Her sister Margot sounds exceptionally intelligent, beautiful and kind. 

And actually I didn't find it a tear jerker at all while I was reading it.  Anne was very candid about her feelings regarding her situation and the people around her, and most of the time she tried her very best to remain positive.  When I was getting to the end of the book I was nervous that it was going to get sad or dramatic, but it wasn't like that at all.  It was almost like someone stopping talking half way through a sentence.  And for me that's incredibly poignant.

The thing that I find hardest to cope with, after having read it, and what has actually made me cry is that they were so CLOSE to freedom! There was only a month to go before the liberation of the camp that Margot and Anne were in when they died of Typhus.  I find that desperately sad. 

Her father Otto spoke about Anne and her diary in this video:
Since having finished the book yesterday, I've been Googling everything Anne related, I want to know more about her and her life, even though it hurts my heart somewhat to do it. 

Someone who has visited the rooms where she lived wrote a blog post about it, and took photos.  The link to that post is HERE

Actually when I was Annes age, I kept a diary too. It wasn't anywhere near as well written as hers, she had ambitions to be a writer or a journalist, and it shows. But nonetheless it was my diary and I used it much the same way as she did, to work through my life and get my thoughts in order. So I can relate to her in that way, and I understand how helpful her diary must have been to her.

Of all the books I've read (and it's a very big number), I don't think there's been one for a long time that's touched me so deeply, or affected me so greatly.  Obviously I knew about the Holocaust and the ethnic cleansing that happened in the Second World War, but I didn't know those people, and sadly it's human nature to have difficulty in finding great empathy when you don't know the people.  Anne changed all that for me.

It's the one book I think everyone should read.

So go and read it, please.  I bought mine from Amazon and it wasn't expensive.  Knowing what I know now about it, I'd have paid ten times the price and still felt like I'd got it too cheap.  If I gain one iota of her strength of character I count myself a very lucky person.

Until next time...


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Let there be light! ...for my blog photos

Hi all!

I've had this post in my 'drafts' folder for ages now, and as it's starting to get light again, I thought I'd better post it before it's no longer relevant!

Am starting to bet a bit fed up of going to work in the dark, and coming home in the dark.  Don't get me wrong, I love getting snuggled down in front of the fire with a hot choc, and wearing my chunky jumpers, but it's not condusive to good blog photos!

I'm a perfectionist too, I think most nail bloggers, and bloggers in general, are a bit that way.  We spend so long paying attention to the tiny details that we want it all to be nicely represented in our pictures.  Plus alot of nail looks take time to do, so why sell them short with substandard pics?

So, I've been on a bit of a mission to give myself some lighting options to allow swatching and photographing on the long winter nights.  Really it's the ideal time, as there's not much else to do when it's cold and dark outside.

So to that end, I've bought some things.  Here they are and the results I got.  Firstly, as a 'control' I took a pic today in the sunlight.  I've chosen my new BFF, OPI Skull and Glossbones, topped with Elf Fairy Dust, both of which will be swatched and reviewed in upcoming posts.
OPI Skull and Glossbones with Elf Fairy Dust
So the first option I have for indoor lighting, is the undercupboard LED lights in the kitchen.  These are my usual 'go-to' indoor lights:
And here's the result I got:
The colour match isn't bad, but the glare from the light means I lose some definition.

So then, we get on to things I bought this week.  The first thing I bought was a 'daylight' energy saving bulb.  The brightest one they had in the shop was 100 watt equivalent:
As you can see, I paid £5.99, and the nail envy is for size comparison.  So here's the results I got from it:
I found this lighting really awkward, I put it in my bedside light (yes we do have chipboard wallpaper lol), it took five minutes or so to warm up, but for some reason the lighting seemed to confuse the camera and I had trouble with the camera zooming in and out of focus.  I don't know if that's the fault of the lighting or the background, but I wasn't liking it much.  Also the bulb got so hot, I got a bit worried that my hair was hanging near it. 

One other thing, it was difficult to get close enough to the bulb to get enought bright light without actually getting the bulb in the shot.  So all in all, not a great success, but on the plus side, it's not a bad colour representation, and it was fairly cheap.

So next we have my trusty craft light.  I've mentioned this in quite a few posts before, so here it is:
It's a really handy thing, the top section is all bendy, I usually have it down my side of the sofa, and I bend it down out of the way while I'm not using it.  The top bit comes away, and it came with a table clip you can use.  It also came with an additional extension pole so you can use it as a standing lamp, handy! 

It has lots of LED's inside, and a magnifying glass:
It's good to use while painting my nails when other half is watching TV, as I can angle it away from him so he's not bothered by the light, and I can still see what I'm doing.  It's nice and bright to work by.  Here's the nail picture result:
I couldn't get the awesome flakies to show up, the colour is washed out, and you can see the ring of lights reflected in the polish.  In dark cremes this is even worse, not great for swatching then.  I do sometimes use it for taking quick Friday night instagram pics, but I like the photos on my blog to be as good as they can be.

So then, on to the big purchase I made this week.  you may have noticed in the craft light shot, there was a black bag in the background.  Well this is my new portable photo studio:
I bought it from Amazon, I paid just over £30 HERE's the link

And here it is (badly) assembled.  I had some bits left over so I know I did it wrong, but I was excited to try it:
Looks pretty professional, right?  It was much bigger than I expected, from the Amazon reviews I thought it was going to be teeny tiny.  Cool that all this fits into that bag.

So here's the result:
This is probably the nicest lighting from all my experimental lighting, but a little bit yellow which I wasn't expecting, and was a little bit disappointed about that.  I got good definition, and it picked up the flakies nicely.  I also tried to use just one of the lights from the kit directly without the filter box:
This turned out even more yellow, no good.  Plus now I can see a streak in my topcoat, and a dent, which I hadn't noticed before.

So there we have everything I've tried so far, nothing as good as daylight yet, but the photo box set up will probably do when I'm desperate to do some swatches.  I wonder how the craft light will work using the photo box filters? hmmm still things to try then....

Apologies for the picture heavy post, I hope it hasn't caused you any problems, the hunt goes on!

Until next time....


Sunday, 17 February 2013

Nails Inc TK Maxx Bargain Haul

Hi there again,

A happy Sunday to you.  I hope you're having a good day.  Mine has mainly involved driving round car sales garages looking at cars for other half.  He's finally decided which one he wants now and my taxi-ing days will soon be over.  It's not been too bad actually because he doesn't work too far from home and it's just meant getting up 15 or 20 minutes earlier so no big deal.

Unfortunately for me, now I've seen a car I want too!  Typically it's just slightly outside my budget and they won't budge on the price.  I could stretch to it, but am not sure if I should.  I know that my current car is getting pretty decrepit, and it's at the stage now where it's going to need some pretty serious money spending on it if I want to keep it, so I'm wondering if I'm just better off putting that money towards this new(er) car instead....  decisions decisions!

The sun has finally put in an appearance today so I can come up with some decent nail swatches.  Luckily for me this has coincided with my most bargainous nail find ever!  I was in TK Maxx (unsurprisingly) yesterday, and was lamenting again about how they've hardly had any polishes in since Christmas.  My TX Maxx was always awesome for polishes, with Nails Inc, Orly, OPI, and Color Club collections all knocking about, and the occasional Leighton Denny in there as well.  So, as recently usual there was hardly anything, so I went to the tweezers and brushes section, and was just having a root about, when I realised my nose was nearly touching a plastic wallet with three Nails Inc polishes in.  So I had a look and it was priced at £4.99!!  Well, of course I had it off that hook quicker than you can say 'bargain'.  It must have been marked up wrong as the RRP was £18, and as we all know Nails Incs sell for £11 each.

To be honest, I knew I already owned one of these.  That was the light pink Elizabeth Street, because I got that when it was free on the front of Glamour Magazine, and I knew I didn't like it.  But hey ho, it's still £4.99 for 2 polishes and the other two were nice.  It wasn't until I got them home I thought, hey, they look similar to the two Barry M polishes I bought a couple of weeks ago, and when I came to check, lo and behold, pretty much dupes!  So I thought I'd make this a comparison/Barry M swatch fest too.  Hence this is a pretty picture heavy post.

So without further ado, let's get on with it.  I'll show them in the order I swatched them, so here's Elizabeth Street in sunlight:
This is a pale pink sheer with a pearly shimmer.  The first coat was streaky.  It strikes me as a very 'there but not there' office appropriate colour which would be good for french manicures.  The dry time was medium, and it was self levelling.  Still slightly patchy at coat two.  Maybe at three I could get away with it VNL-wise, but I didn't try as I know that if it needs three coats I'll never bother with it.
Here's how it looked in the shade:
Nails-Inc-Elizabeth-Street-swatchSo, I knew I wouldn't like this, and I don't haha.
Onto the next one, All Saints Road.  A vibrant cobalt blue.  Here it is in sunshine:
It's the usual nice glossy nails inc formula.  With careful application this could be a one coat wonder.  I did two coats though for all of these swatches.  Dry time was medium/fast.  It dries slightly darker than the bottle colour and did require a little bit of clean up. 
Here it is in the shade:
A lovely colour, but I realised when I got it home, I already had Barry M Cobalt Blue.  So how does it compare?  Well let's see:
Almost the same!  So let's get it onto my nails and see how it fares, is it still a dupe?
Yep!  The Barry M is sliiiiiightly darker, but there's hardly anything in it.  As you can see, my index and middle still have the Nails Inc on, and I took it off my ring and little finger to put the Barry M on.  Formula wise, Barry M Cobalt Blue has a thinner formula, but similar opacity.  A bit more difficult to get neat with one swipe.  It has a slower medium-ish drying time. This is 2 coats.  Here's a comparison of the brushes:
So which did I prefer?  Well I found the Nails Inc slightly easier to apply and a little bit faster drying, so if they were the same price I'd go for the Nails Inc.  But seeing as the usual price for a Nails Inc is £11 and the usual price for a Barry M is £2.99 I would definitely recommend the Barry M.  Unless of course you got the deal of the week like I did and got your Nails Inc for £1.67 haha.

So, onto the third and final Nails Inc polish I got in my set, Belgrave Place.  A royal bluey purple (blurple?).  Here's the sunshine swatch (try saying that after a few G&T's!):
It was a thinner than usual formula, but still opaque and could be a one coater.  My thumb got bubbles as I'd shaken bottle vigorously, this is not usually an issue with Nails Inc because of the thicker formula.  In some lights it looks inky blue, and in other lights it looks like a rich purple. The dry time was medium/medium-fast.  a lovely glossy finish, but it did stain my cuticles on removal.  Here's a shade pic:
So, when I was getting my Barry M Cobalt Blue out of my stash, I came across a dupe for this one as well!  Barry M Indigo.  Here's the bottles side by side:
Pretty similar right?  Here they are on my nail.  Again I took the Nails Inc off my ring and little finger and put the Barry M on.  In sunshine:
Nails Inc Belgrave Place vs Barry M Indigo
And shade:
Nails Inc Belgrave Place vs Barry M Indigo
The Barry M was a slightly less opaque formula, and I got some bubbling on my little finger.  Indigo is faster drying than Cobalt, med/fast dry time with a whisper of VNL at two coats.  Colour wise it's virtually a spot on dupe.  So which do I prefer?  There's so little to choose between them, that again I would recommend the Barry M purely on price.
Here's the brushes:
Barry M Indigo vs Nails Inc Belgrave Place
And there we have it!  One swatchathon done and dusted.  I hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Whats been your best nail polish bargain?  Have you done a post on it?  Post a link to it in the comments if you have, would love to see!

Until next time...


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Kerastase Masquintense Review

Happy Saturday! 

Has been a week of driving other the half about, as he has no car at the mo.  Managed to get to the shops today though, and picked up 3 Nails Inc polishes at TK Maxx for £5! Has got to class amongst my best polish bargains ever! Will swatch them for you if we EVER get any sunshine, it's so dreary at the mo. Never mind, it'll soon be Spring. I've also started to pick up a few bits and pieces for my 100 followers giveaway, as it looks like I might actually get there, which is totally out of this world. 

Today I have a review of another hair product, Kerastase Masquintense.

I bought this after a recommendation from someone (so sorry, I can't remember who) on #bbloggers chat one Sunday, who was replying to someone who was looking for a cure for frizzy hair. I got it from Amazon LINK here

My hair has been a problem ever since Permageddon.  I went to Toni & Guy to have my hair permed, and when it was first done, I loved it.  Then after a couple of days the curls started fall out.  By the Thursday my hair was pretty much straight again in parts.  I phoned them up and they booked me back in to re-perm it again for free.  This time they didn't perm the whole lot, and even said to each other, "don't worry that bit's underneath no one will see it", I'm not deaf!!

So anyway, the curls in certain (different) areas started dropping out AGAIN!  This time when I phoned them up, they said, " it can't be falling out again", and made me feel like I was lying, so I didn't go back.  Annoying as the cut and perm together cost over £100.

It's sad though, because the cut was really good, and next time I have my hair cut I'll probably go back, but will never, ever, have a perm there again.

Because of the double perming, my hair has been gruesomely frizzy ever since.  I keep trying lots of different hair products, but haven't found anything so far that really helps.  I thought Morrocanoil might be it, but that doesn't help either.

So, I thought I'd give this one a go.  I know it's shallow, but when it came I fell in love with the packaging!
I am loving that orange and white together, so fresh and modern!  I almost don't want to throw the box away.  Here's what the front of it looks like:
You certainly wouldn't be ashamed of having this one out in the bathroom!  Or maybe it's just me, I think it's really pretty.

Here's what it looks like inside:
You can tell by the fact that it isn't falling back down into the bottom of the jar that it's a pretty firm consistency.  It has a fresh smell, almost identical to Shield soap, and quite similar to Head and Shoulders original shampoo.

Here's what it looks like out on my hand:
It actually feels like putting high end facial moisturiser in your hair, nice!

The blurb says:
 Highly concentrated nourishing treatment for dry, extrememly sensitised, thick hair.
• Glucose: Provides an energy boost for the nutrition of the hair fibre.
• Proteins: Nourish the hair fibre and leave it feeling soft.
• Lipids: Protect the fibre from drying out and improve its natural protection.

So, does it work?
 Well, it's not a miracle worker, but I can definitely see a marked improvement to my hair!  There is definitely less frizz (although still some there), and the pleasant smell does stay in your hair for quite a long time, over 12 hours on mine.  Seeing as all the other 'miracle' products have not made a jot of difference to my hair, the fact that there's any improvement at all is a real testament to it.

As beautiful as the packaging is, in use, I would much rather have had a pump, because the jar does get slippy if you're using it in the bath, and one day I have a fear that I'm going to drop it and lose the whole lot in the bathwater. I would not be happy.

At £18.95, it is expensive, but if like me you have problem hair, I would recommend it, as it's the only thing I've used lately thats made an improvement.  And believe me I've tried alot.  As this is a L'Oreal product, it's not cruelty free.

Are there any products you'd recommend to me?  I've tried the argan oil products, I've tried the Frizz Ease products, I've tried the K-Pak products (review to come), I've tried the Ojon products, and I've tried ALOT of high street products.

So apart from those, what can I try?

Once the weather gets warmer, am thinking of having most of it chopped off anyway, so I don't really know why I'm bothering, oh well!

Until next time...


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Ojon Products - what do I think?

Hi again!

Hope your week has started well.  Been mad-crazy for me at work these last few weeks, am feeling the need for a long bath to de-stress!  I don't get to have many baths, just showers, as our water is only heated by a coal fire, and when we're at work all day there's not time for the water to heat up enough before bed time, so they're a real treat when I get them. 

We're due some more snow tomorrow too, brrr!  Apparently it won't stick around for long though, which is good.

It's Pancake Day today, I haven't decided yet if we'll be having any, I've put 3lbs on over the last couple of weeks, so if other half doesn't realise it's today, I'll keep quiet haha.

Well here I am with a review of the Ojon products I've used so far.  Some time ago, Ojon had a special offer on their website, a free shampoo and conditioner with every product, plus free shipping. 
Who doesn't like free stuff?  I'd been wanting to try their revitalising mist on my frizzy twice-permed hair for a while, so it seemed like a win-win to me. 

I already own their intensive conditioner, so this is now the products I have.  I finished the shampoo and accidentally threw it away, which is the main reason you never see 'empties' posts from me! 
As you can see, the revitalising mist only has a tiny drop left in the bottom too, so I knew I would accidentally throw it away at some point, which is why I'm making my post now!

All these products smell pretty similar to each other, a nutty, sweet scent that I'm not too keen on.  It reminds me of the smell of the Aussie hair products, so if you've smelled those you'll know what to expect.

Here's close up of each of the products:
They say:
"Instantly hydrates and restores healthy condition to hair damaged by over-exposure to chemical processing, sun, or excessive heat styling."

So did it?
Well, no, not really.  I've used all the shampoo now, and am at the stage where I have to turn the conditioner upside down, and I have to say I didn't really see any difference to the condition of my hair.  It didn't look any better, or any worse, than using my regular high street shampoo and conditioner.

Here's the conditioner out of the tube:
As you can see, quite thick and creamy, and if you like a nutty smelling product you'll probably quite enjoy it.

And so on to the revitalizing mist:
They say:
"Fortified with pure Ojon oil, the 500-year old beauty secret from the tropical rainforest, this lightweight leave-in conditioner helps smooth away tangles, and prep the hair for styling"

And did it?
Yes it did detangle.  But it didn't de-frizz, which I was expecting it to.  Once it had dried I couldn't tell I had it on my hair. And for £20 for 175ml I'd expect to see some kind of difference.  Not incredibly impressed.

And on to the Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment Plus.  I'm going to save you from the blurb of this one as they make it sound like some kind of hair-angel that came down from heaven to save us all:
Yes I know it looks scummy, I apologise.  I just couldn't bring myself to get it all over my hands, it's so greasy!  I don't actually know what that saucer thing is supposed to be for, it's bendy soft plastic, I use it as a scoop to get the stuff out of the jar so it doesn't get under my fingernails.  Heres what it looks like in the tub:
It's almost exactly the same consistency when set as lard.  Which sounds worse than it is.

You take some out of the tub and rub it in your hands, and it very quickly melts to runny oil.  You then rub this into dry hair, comb through and leave it as long as you can.  It is messy to do, and I use a plastic comb to work it through my hair which is easy to wash after.  Apparently the longer you leave it in your hair the better.  In the summer I put it in my hair when I'm sitting out in the sun, and the heat from the sun is supposed to make it penetrate better.  Other times I put in in before I go for a jog.  When you're ready, wash it out with normal shampoo.  For such a heavy oil, it washes out suprisingly easily. 

Did you see on the box that they said new lighter scent?  I dread to think what it smelt like before then, because I think this one smells pretty strong!  It's not unpleasant, it's just I'm not keen on coconut/nut smells in general, so I'm not loving it.

So does it work?
Bit trickier this one.  I would say to a degree that yes it does.  My hair certainly looks shinier, and feels softer after I've used it, and it's one of the only products that other half has commented that my hair smells nice with (typical!), but it was still as frizzy and flyaway as usual, so I didn't see any improvement while styling.  As you can see I'm quite near the bottom, so something must make me keep going back to it.

I've looked up their cruelty free status, and according to PETA, Ojon are owned by Estee Lauder, which makes them not cruelty free.  Sad.  You wouldn't guess for a minute that they had anything to do with Estee Lauder, there's not a breath of it on their packaging.  So no extra brownie points there.

So to sum up.  I don't HATE these products, but I'm not in love with them either.  They didn't make huge amounts of difference to my hair, but I'm happy to use them until they're all gone.  I doubt I'd repurchase them though.  They have had rave reviews on QVC though, so I'm sure they work brilliantly for some people, just not for me.  You can buy it on the Ojon website with free delivery HERE

Have you had better results with Ojon products?  Would be interesting to find out if it's just my hair being freaky and awkward haha.

Until next time...


Friday, 8 February 2013

Getting unfollowed - Twitter adventures

Hi there again!

I guess this post comes under the "everything else" heading. 

It's a pretty gratuitous post, but nowhere near as gratuitous as the a-ha post I've got planned when I get to 100 followers haha!

You probably know, I like Twitter.  Quite a lot in fact.  On days when I'm feeling good, and funny, I feel like I can be quite entertaining.  Other days I'm feeling quiet, so I just sit back and watch other people be entertaining. 

When I'm feeling lonely or down, there's usually someone there to listen, and I try to be there for other people when they're having a bad day. 

All the best bits of real life without having to bother brushing your hair or teeth.

So, when you first start, you go out and follow lots of people, usually starting with the famous ones that you're a fan of.  Then you usually start to find things you're interested in, and follow some people there, and then eventually, through finding friends of friends and #ff's, you end up with a little community, and don't bother going out to look for people to follow as much. 

Then someone turns up and follows you out of the blue.  So, you have a look at their bio.  If they look like a bot, you just say to yourself, ah ok, a free follower, and don't follow back.  They usually fall back off after a week or so anyway, no big deal.

If it's an actual person, it's more complicated.  You have a look at their bio.  If they're following 30,000 people and have 30,000 followers, see bot.  If they've only got 1 tweet, see bot. 

If they've passed all these tests, you go on to have a look at their tweets.  Some people's tweets may be offensive, or about cars or some other such nonsense, and you don't want that on your feed, so you think, OK I won't follow back right now, but if they start replying to my tweets, and we get on, I might forgive them their weird interests and follow them anyway.  If it gets too annoying I'll unfollow them later.

Or finally, you've checked their bio and they're not a bot.  You've checked their tweets, they seem normal.  So you decide to follow them, and see if you can be friends.  And then you are!  And you're tweeting away like buddies before you know it.

So what happens then, after all this, if one day you check, and they've given you the big heave ho?!

I hadn't been on Twitter long and I got up to 30 followers, and one of my friends said, thats really good to get up to 30 followers so quickly, however I didn't know anything about bots etc, so I thought that these were Twitter people and I must be the funniest overnight star on Twitter ever (as you do).  So imagine my dismay one morning when I got up and checked my Twitter and I'd dropped from 30 followers to 19 overnight!

I went through all my tweets, and I couldn't see that I'd said anything different, and that's when I got some unfollow software see what was happening.  The first one I got sent DM's to all my remaining followers about how to get more followers and how much I liked certain products, and that probably lost me any actual human followers I might have had left anyway.

Now.  I know that Twitter isn't the same as actually seeing someone in real life.  As far as I know I don't live in the same village as anyone else on my Twitter, if someone unfollows me it's not like I'm going to bump into them in Sainsburys.

But, if you go to your Twitter, see your followers have gone down, and when you check you see it's someone you actually like, you can't help but get stabbed in the heart a bit.  Why doesn't this person like me?  What did I say that was so bad they actually wanted me gone out of their life?

I like to think I'm a sensible rational adult, and when I get unfollowed I know all of the following things:

Everyone can't get on with everybody.

Just because you like someone doesn't mean they have to like you.

Your interests may not be their interests.  If you have alot of friends on your Twitter who all talk about your interests, they may find it boring, or annoying.

You may accidentally follow a nutter.  I once got unfollowed by someone for saying I didn't think Paranormal Activity was that bad a film.  That's a crap reason to unfollow someone by the way.

They may have followed you by accident.  Elizabeth Shatner I'm looking at you.

It's their Twitter, and if they don't want to follow you, they don't have to.  Why should they look at your stuff just because you want them to?

I KNOW all of this stuff, and it still hurts to get unfollowed.  Because they don't like me.  I go out of my way for people to like me, and if they still don't, then I've failed.  It's human nature.

Now, I've unfollowed people too, even knowing what it feels like.  Usually because they swear too much.  I don't mind jokey swearing, but some people are always "effing p*ssed off", and it's too confrontational and aggressive for my liking, so away they go.  I know it will probably hurt them, but I have to do it anyway. 

Otherwise my Twitter becomes something I don't like any more.  And it's the same for everybody else.  I get it.  But it still hurts.  And around it goes.

Eventually I come round to, take it on the chin, get on with life.  And then I do.

Am I thinking about it too much?  Yes probably.  But I'm that kind of girl.  I've never been the popular clique-y easy come, easy go, kind.  That's probably why I've never been popular haha.  It's also why, when I do have friends, they're usually really good, loyal, beautiful people.  I'm happy about that.

I would swap all the popular persons' 6,000 followers for 10 real friends, on Twitter or anywhere else.

So that's how I deal with it.  And I'm pretty sure I've got it right.

Until next time...



Liz Earle Haul - QVC Todays Special Value

Hi everyone!

Happy Friday!

Today I have a slightly different post for you all.  It's not really a review, but a run down of my recent purchase from QVC.  Not long ago they had a 'Todays Special Value' from Liz Earle.

Now, not all QVC's TSV's are especially 'special'.  Sometimes they've only knocked a fiver or so off, and sometimes you can still buy the product somewhere else cheaper, although of course you probably won't get the 30 no quibble money back guarantee like you do from QVC.  Plus I find their P&P quite expensive.  So as you can imagine, I'm not snapping up TSV's all the time.

But this one caught my eye.  It came at exactly the right time, as my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish has just about run out and I was considering getting some more.

I like Cleanse & Polish.  I don't use cleanser much, and actually I usually just use a Liz Earle muslin cloth and warm water, no cleaning products at all on my face.  However I don't usually wear mascara as my lashes are dark anyway, and thanks to Revitalash they're pretty long too, so I don't feel the need.

So, if I'm going out (which is when I do use mascara, and a waterproof one at that), when I get back I want to get all the make up off my face.  That's when I get my C&P out.  I can rub it right over my closed eyes and rub at my mascara-y eyelashes, and give then them a rub over with the cloth and warm water, and voila! Nice and clean.  No stingy eyes, and no dry skin after.

It came in a plain white box, which was a little bit bashed, but makes it easy to wrap if you're thinking of buying it for someone as a gift.  It would make a great valentines gift actually!

There was quite alot in the kit, and it was reasonably priced for this brand (although still pretty expensive really). This is what I got:
Here's a closer view of the big items:
And here's what it says on the blurb -

Step 1 Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. 

Has won over 80 awards, including the QVC Customer Beauty Award for Best Cleanser.  Its gentle cleansing power is suitable for all skin types and delivers instantly visible results.

Step 2 Gentle Face Exfoliator. 

Our smoothing trouble-shooter for congested skin gently buffs away dead skin cells with fine jojoba beads to reveal skin that looks fresh, smooth and radiant.

Step 3.  Choose your treatment mask.

Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask.  If your skin is dry or sensitive, our creamy intensive nourishing treatment mask is perfect for soothing parched, stressed and sensitive skin, when it's most needed.

Deep Cleansing Mask.  If you have oily or combination skin, our deep cleansing mask can help draw out impurities and leave skin balanced and calm.

Brightening Treatment Mask.  Our brightening treatment mask is a fast-acting pick me up which revitalises dull skin.

Here's a pic of the small stuff:
And a bit more blurb:

Step 4.  Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer.

Our instant boost skin tonic spritzer refreshes, revitalises and brightens while adding a fine layer of moisture to your skin.  Gentle and alchohol free, it contains hydrating aloe vera, soothing calendula, conditioning natural source vitamin E and the heavenly fragrance of rose scented geranium.

Step 5.  Superskin Concentrate.

Winner of the QVC Customer Beauty Award for Best Anti-aging Product, Superskin Concentrate is a rich blend of pureplant oils including argan and rosehip, plus aromatic neroli, lavender and chamomile, to soften and rebalance all skin types.

Step 6.  Skin repair moisturiser.

Packed with naturally active skin-conditioning ingredients including borage seeds and avocado oils, toning echinacea and hops, plus antioxidants beta-carotene and natural source vitamin E, our three skin repair moisturisers help prevent moisture loss and leave skin feeling soft and smooth.

The booklet also gives you instructions on how to use each product.  There are also some accessories.  Two muslin cloths, a sponge for removing the face masks, and a hairband, which is supersoft and closed with a velcro fastener:
So for all this, and including the P&P I paid £50.95, which is alot, but I do feel like I got enough products to justify that price.

It is still available on the QVC website at the regular QVC price of £55.00 plus £5.95 P&P HERES the link theres more photos and reviews there too.  The item number is 200281 if that link doesn't work for you.  As you see, as a TSV I only got £4 off, but hey, that's better than nothing!

So what do you think?  Too expensive?  Or OK for what I got?  Is there anything you'd like to see me review?

I normally wouldn't put up a post like this, because I always think to myself that I'll review all the individual products like some kind of super-blogger, but of course that ends up never happening, and things get ruined or thrown out (for a typical example of this, theres an up and coming Ojon review that perfectly illustrates my point haha), but for sure I will end up reviewing some of them.

As another positive, Liz Earle state on their website that they NEVER test on animals, and that they are completely cruelty free.  Also their products are all vegetarian, although some formulas do contain animal-friendly products such as beeswax or manuka honey.  Another reason to feel good while you're having a pamper :-)

Anyway, I'd better go, this post has ended up waaay longer than I intended!

Until next time...


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Valentines Nail Art - Ideas for short nails

Hi there,

Here I am again, have had a day off work today for a dentists appointment, so managed to get some cheeky mid-week nailart in.  I can't wait until summer when I get enough light at night to let me post more than just at the weekends!

My index nail finally gave up the ghost, it got a big dent in the weak bit, so I've had to file all the other nails down to match.  In a way it's a relief, because I was fed up of babying it along, and now it can grow back nice and strong again.

Also, it's given me a chance to show you that nail art isn't only for long nails! 

I specifically haven't included any stamping here, because I think there'll probably be alot of that around at the moment.  I actually saw some stamping sets in Claires Accessories today, so if you don't want to buy from the internet, then you can pop to Claire's to pick one up.  There was only a choice of 3 plates, but knowing Claire's, they'll improve that if they sell enough kits.  I think they were £9.00 (or maybe £12).  I don't see them on their website yet.

I've tried to do a few different designs, to hopefully get your creative juices going, I know what it's like when you just have a bleugh day, you look at your polishes and no mojo... 

I start with a semi-fail.  I found a new shop in carlisle called Fun-2-Do, which has all craft stuff in it.  They do have a website, HERE but not every item in the shop is on the site.  So anyway, I was in there, and I saw some table confetti, it was little red hearts and they looked like they'd be good for nail art.  I've also think I've seen them on Amazon HERE but I can't be definite they're exactly the same ones.

So I used them in my nail art and....Easy-Valentines-Nail-Art
Oh no! They bleeeeedddd.... This is not good, I have a BIG bag of these!  So I had to come up with something.  The red I used is China Glaze Ruby Pumps, how pretty is it?!  Two coats here.  It reminds me so much of juicy strawberry jam.  The pink is OPI Mod About You.  You're going to see alot of that pink in this post, as it's my number one light pink.  On my thumb I taped off to do the lines, but on the rest of the fingers I decided that was too much hassle, and just freehanded.  A top coat of seche which was intended to make it look prettier haha.

I did do another look, that I decided not to go with, but I managed to topcoat it without bleeding it:
Easy Valentines Nail Art
For that look I used Color Club polishes Antiquated and Hot Like Lava from their Foiled Metallics collection.

What I decided to do was to try to take the colour off them with polish remover.  Initially I put some in a freezer bag with some polish remover.  The idea was to swish them about a bit, rinse them off, et voila!  Nice clean non-bleedy hearts.  It didn't quite work out, the bag leaked, I lost a load while I was rinsing them, and all in all it was more hassle than it was worth. 

It was much easier to give them a rub with a cotton pad dipped in polish remover one by one.  Yes it seems like it might take longer, but actually it's not too bad.

So now I have silver hearts instead of red.  So I have to come up with a new colour scheme.  This is what I went with:
Valentines Nailart OPI Mod About You
I messed up a bit, as I made the index finger stripe too thin, but hey, we're just experimenting here!  The polishes I used were OPI Mod About You (I told you that you'd see it alot) for the light pink, and the darker pink is Nails Inc's Bruton Street.  Both have lovely formulas and are topped off with Seche.  I could have done with another coat of Seche really, because by the end of the day I'd lost a few hearts.

So these looks I actually did last weekend, and today I did another one.  Well, it's two into one really, because there's step one, which is one look, and step two which is different....  I'll just get on with it shall I...

So, because I didn't get my tooth mended at the dentist (had to make another appointment, as it was apparently just a check up appointment that time, sigh), I thought I would go shopping to cheer myself up.  And SOMEHOW found my way into Fun-2-Do again.  I found some more hearts, and thought I would take a chance.  These were the ones I got, they cost me £1.50:
Now, I couldn't find these on their website, or anywhere else for that matter, but as soon as I got home I tested them, and HOORAY they don't bleed!  Typically of me though, I decided not to use the red ones today haha.  I went for the gold ones, and a Butter London polish called Fiddlesticks that I bought before Christmas and havent used yet.

I thought I'd keep it clean and simple:
This does have a coat of Seche over it, as it dries to a matt-ish sheen.  It's got a very similar glitter feel to ruby pumps, only much more magenta.  Think raspberry jam instead of strawberry.  Also here you can see how short my index nail is now.

Here's another pic as I loved this look so much:
This look worked really well in low light, as the hearts picked up any bit of light and flashed brightly every time I moved my hands.

Then of course, I got bored of being understated and stylish.

So I made another look with it:
To do this, all I did was used a ring reinforcer to mask off the top of my nail, I got mine from Amazon link HERE but you can buy them from lots of places.  I then used my Color Club pink striper, also from Amazon, to draw some stripes on the ends of my fingers.  I started with the middle stripe and worked my way out to try to get them even.  I messed up one stripe on my little finger, but I think this look turned out be pretty, and perfectly demonstrates that short nails don't have to be boring.

And I STILL wasn't finished!  I had one more idea.  I got my trusty Mod About You out, and Nails Inc's Devonshire Row.  The two went so well together, but what to do?  Then I realised I hadn't done any dotty looks yet, so I got out my dotter and away I went.

This is what I ended up with:
Dotty Nail Art
Now the heart on my middle finger didn't come out exactly how I wanted, but you can still tell what it is, so that's ok.   I topped it off with a coat of Seche.  As you can probably tell I was starting to lose the light by this time.  Probably a better represtentation of the colours is in this picture:
So there you see, on short nails and still pretty.  I actually really like these two colours together, and they are going on my 'do this again' list.

And that's it!  Which is your favourite?  I think mine is the Butter London stripy one, but the dots come a close second. 

Have you got any nailart planned for Valentines?  Hopefully if you've been stuck for ideas I've given you a bit of inspiration.  Please feel free to recreate any of these looks if you like them, and if you do, please give me a shout, I'd love to see!

Until next time...