Like most places in the UK, Liverpool has been under a blanket of snow for over the past week (actually at the point I am posting this, it's all gone - Thank god!!). Last Tuesday, we recorded the lowest temperature in the whole of the UK, it was -17 degrees c, colder than Moscow!!
As you can imagine, the extreme cold weather coupled with my agonising 3 hour commute each way to work (which usually takes 30 minutes) and back has left my skin in a bit of a state. Sore, dry and incredibly tight. My skin was not happy with the current weather and boy did it let me know about it.
Imagine how delighted I was to hear Nic from Pixiwoo recommending Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream in a recent video, as her winter skin saviour. Nic has got fantastic clear skin, although I believe her's leans towards the dry side. Whereas mine is most certainly combination. Either way, her skin looked so flawless and calm that I decided to give it a whirl. You can view the video here . Actually, I just noticed that Sam is also using the same cream and uses it in a 5 minute face tutorial that you can view here. Anything that can make my skin look as good as the Pixiwoo girls, has got to be worth a shot.
I purchased Oilatum Natural Repair Face Creamfrom Boots and it cost about £7.99. The texture is somewhere between a cream and gel. It emulsifies quickly into the skin, leaving soft, smooth finish. Given that I have combination skin, I have mainly been using this at night and randomly throughout the day while I've been at home. Thankfully, my skin no longer resembles a crocodile. Shame I have to go back to work next week really, but I hope that my commute will be shorter and that my skin won't get into the same angry, painful state as it was in.
Thank you Sam and Nic for introducing me to another great product. Do you have a winter skin saviour?
I'm not going to lie. I hate sale shopping. Overcrowded shops, worn out/pissed off staff and shoppers who think that sales shopping is a contact sport. No thank you! However, the one exception I make is for perfume, usually from Boots. My lovely Aunties and MIL/FIL provide me with a small stock of Boots vouchers in lieu of presents and I will usually brave the sales to stock myself up with perfume for the year. It's something I've been doing for a number of years, so I'm becoming quite adept.
This year was much the same. I opened gift-cards on Christmas Day with worried glances "I hope that's ok? It is what you wanted, isn't it?" YES! It's exactly what I wanted!! So yesterday, The Boy played a blinder and offered to go with me to Mecca, I mean Boots. God love him, he was regretting it from the moment we set out. With all the snow we've had, he probably would have just wanted to stay in and play on his xbox. And yet, he still offered to come with me, out of a sense of complete devotion or stupidity. We couldn't decide which. Perhaps both!
I decided that I was going to aim for perfumes that I don't currently own. Although I did make one exception. And this is what I came home with.
Giorgio Armani - Armani Code
Jean Paul Gaultier - Femme Classique
Givenchy - Play
Dolce & Gabbana - The One
Calvin Klein - Euphoria
My exception to the rule was Euphoria. I love this perfume. I was given a bottle by a friend who didn't like it. It was love at first sniff for me. I also have very fond memories of my birthday trip to New York, as this was the scent I took with me. Plus, the 50ml bottle of EDP and body lotion at Boots was a steal at £21.50! What is not to like.
Femme Classique I've had before and I thought it was about time I revisited. Armani Code and The One are both entirely new to me. I've given each a thorough sniff, but never actually got round to purchasing. This has now been rectified. Play is a bit of a funny one. I actually wanted the Play Intense (which is the little purple bottle on the right hand side of the gift set) but I only found this full price at the stores I checked. If anyone see's this on offer, can you please let me know? I NEED that for my collection! Anyway, Play is a nice scent in it's own right, so I've decided to give this one a whirl too.
I did get some other perfume sets for Christmas from the Parental Units (Givenchy - Ange Ou Demon), my Bro (Paco Rabanne - Black XS) and my cousin (Hugo Boss - Orange). So I think I'm all set for a beautifully scented New Year.
Has anyone else braved the sales or has any perfume to recommend? You know me, I'm all ears!
Has anyone seen the new MAC collections due for release in the UK in early January 2011?? Ladies, I've got some serious lust going on!!
Lets face it, it's freezing cold and snowy out there. So I've been safely tucked up at home watching Temptalia's You Tube videos and I have to say I'm quite taken with a number of items from the MAC Stylishly Yours and Champ-Pale collections.
Although I would find it quite difficult to work with the vibrant pinks and purples of the Stylishly Yours collection, I'm instantly drawn to it. It's certainly not a collection for the Neutral Nellie's amongst us, although the Cream Colour Bases appear to be quite wearable (for me and my pale skin anyway!). I particularly like Tickle Me Pink and Virgin Isles.
Champ-Pale is certainly less threatening. If you liked the Urban Decay Naked Palette, you'll certainly love this. Muted, classy and understated, there is not a single thing from this collection that I wouldn't want. I'm not going to lie, I want all the Lip Gelee's (Bubble Lounge, Luxure, Sin-tilation and Straight to the Head) and pretty much all (I'd say 3 out of 4) of the Paint Pots! Greedy? Moi? My favourite lust is the Rose Ole Special Reserve highlighting powder, it looks so beautiful. But then again, I bet the Chez Chez Lame is pretty amazing too.
I'm not exactly sure where the time has gone, but it has been 8 weeks since the BBWLC began. I didn't bother posting any update last week. I stayed the same, was my TOTM and I was probably getting the start of this horrible cold that I have now got. In truth, I was very lethargic about the whole thing. This week however, I lost another 4lb making that
-13.5lb in 8 weeks!!
To say I'm delighted would be an understatement and I've decided that this week, there are some benefits to this rotten cold!
I think that using the WeightWatchers system has made me think more about the kinds of food I am eating, portions and also realising that I don't have to deny myself anything, I can have a treat and still not fall off the wagon. I'm not going to lie and say it's all been plain sailing. It hasn't. The change from Points to ProPoints threw me a bit of a curve ball. There is nothing worse than learning a system, only to have it change 3 weeks in!! But I can say that it has been easier than I thought. Changing how I view food has been pivotal for me.
It turns out that I've turned into a bit of a "bargain hunter", deciding not to trade in my Points values on food that I don't feel is good value. Oooooh get me?!? However, there are some occasions where only a Cadbury's Twirl will do. Bugger the points!
So this is the end of the BBWLC and I'm delighted to have taken part in this challenge with all the ladies listed below. Everyone has been so supportive. I've loved the updates on Twitter. It's been a really positive experience and I want to take the chance to thank all the girlies for their support and congratulate them on their achievement too.
However, this is not the end of the WeightWatchers road for me. I intend to plod along my merry way and see how I get on. I won't continue to bore you all with the weekly updates though. I will spare you that much. Rest assured my journey is just beginning and I'm positive that this is the start of a Change4Life for me.
Having heard so much talk of late about Avon, I was glad when my Mum informed me that a work colleague of hers was an Avon representative. I could have just ordered on-line, but I thought as I was feeling the "old skool" vibe ordering from Avon, that I'd like to have a browse through the brochure.. I used to spend hours looking through my Auntie's Avon catalogue as a child. Ahhhhh happy days.
So, I got the SuperShock Mascara in black, as well as the black option of the much discussed SuperShock Gel Eyeliner. As I am full of cold, I've not really had the inclination to have a play about with make up, or actually wear any at all. I'm afraid I've generally been looking like a hobo of late. Hopefully normal service will resume shortly. And while I can't tell you about how it wears on the eyes, I can tell you is that I was rather impressed at the staying power of the gel eyeliner swatch on my hand. I do have the tendency to have slightly watery eyes, but I guess I'll just have to road test it, although initial reports are good.
I also picked up the In a Blink, Eyeliner and Shadow pencil in teal and a Ultra Colour Rich lipstick in the colour Pout. I'm getting quite into lipstick at the moment. I've always been a gloss girl, not quite sure what has exacted a change - dare I say it - my age? Who knows! Pout is a lovely creamy nude. Its an inoffensive, glossy neutral that would look great on anyone. It's also fairly low maintenance lip colour, which is a winner for any day I am at work.
(L-R SuperShock Gel Eyeliner, In a Blink Eyeliner/Shadow and Ultra Colour Rich Lipstick)
As is often the case with Avon, I also managed to benefit from a free gift. I got an additional SuperShock Mascara, Nailwear Pro in shade Romance and Spotlight moisturising shimmer gel. If I'm honest, I would only end up using the mascara. I'd love to try out the nail varnish, but it is just not the kind of shade I would usually go for and as for the spotlight gel - it is just something I would never use!
I've already decided that these few freebies can be added to the ever increasing pile of goodies/essentials I've collected for Give and Makeup. If you haven't heard about this non-profit initiative and their work supporting Refuge, I urge you to check out their website and offer your assistance in any way you can. It's for a great cause.
Have you been revisiting the Avon catalogue recently? Any gems to report?
This week, the lovely people at QVC sent me a sample of the brand new Elemis Melting cleansing gel and I have to say, I thought it was fantastic. I'm not usually a fan of orange scented things, but this cleanser smelt just like 2 of the only orange scented/flavoured things I actually like. Cointreau and Terry's Chocolate Orange. It was really luxurious texture and my skin felt clean but not stripped.
So the reason QVC sent me a sample of the cleanser was to herald the amazing Elemis TSV. At the time I am writing this post (12:21am) over 20,000 people have ordered this TSV because it is such amazing value.
1 x Skin Nourishing Hand & Body Lotion (300ml) - in a limited edition super size, this intensive milk protein lotion that is gentle and skin-friendly helping to moisturise and soothe.
1 x Melting Cleansing Gel (125ml) - Elemis' newest product; an ultra purifying dual-phase cleanser perfect for challenged, tired and stressed skin.
1 x Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (30ml) - award-winning moisturiser helps to actively reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles whilst hydrating you skin.
1 x Exotic Frangipani Monoi Bath & Shower Cream (200ml) - gently cleanses your skin leaving it feeling soft and delicately scented.
1 x Exotic Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt (35ml) - this is rapidly absorbed into the skin leaving it satin-smooth with a beautiful aroma.
1 x silver bag
I love the Pro Collagen Marine Cream, but I cannot justify the cost of that one product alone. That's why I love the TSV's, where we get a chance to try a little of everything. What I particularly like is the fact that they are offering this product on 4 Easy Pay's of £9.99, which means that you can afford to treat yourself to this fabulous set without feeling guilty. It's not usually the time of year that you think about treating yourself is it?
Well, I have my TSV, that should be arriving in 3-5 working days. Will you be treating yourself?
So, another week has passed. And after last week's disappointment, I can be forgiven for not relishing the opportunity to have another stand-off with the bathroom scales. But I am happy to report that I am...
-1lb lighter this week!
The lovely The Bristol Beauty Blog informed us that collectively, the BBWLC have lost 51.5lb!! A MASSIVE achievement. Well done ladies and still another fortnight to go....
Quickly changed my nail colour this morning before we went to see Harry Potter (yes, it was awesome!), so here it is. Essie Smokin Hot, especially for WBB and Debbie. It looks much darker on the nail than in the bottle. But that only serves to make me love it even more. I'm so glad I picked this one.
I came home from work to find that my eBay nail varnish mini haul had arrived from the US of A. Whoop Whoop! And so while I've just jumped in the bath, I enlisted the help of The Boy to photograph my new purchases (Thank you x).
First up, is China Glaze Bogie (pictured above) and is taken from their Vintage Vixen collection. As the name might suggest, it's named after Humphrey Bogart and is quite simply, a classic. It is a gorgeous plum metallic. It does look a little darker in the bottle, but that's just up my street. I'm so glad I picked this one.
Also from the China Glaze Vintage Vixens collection, I picked Emerald Fitzgerald, a teal blue/green. In natural light, you'd be hard pushed to say this wasn't black. Gorgeous. I love colours like this.
Essie Going Incognito is from their winter line. This beautiful jewel like green really jumped out at me. I have a scarf and hat in this colour. Again, this a deceptive colour. At first glance it appears to be almost racing green, but give it a bit of flash/natural light and you have got a gorgeous vibrant Jade. I wear alot of black. So I get a feeling that this will be worn lots. Looking forward to trying a bit of Konad on this over the weekend. Would be the perfect base colour to show of white Konad designs.
Woah mama! Essie Smokin Hot is the most amazing murky guruple. It's not quite mauve, grey or taupe. What it is, is seriously lovely. If you like those dirty, muted colours. This one is for you. Instantly I can list about 4 people on Blogger/Twitter/YouTube that will adore this colour. WBB, you are one of them!!
Currently on my nails I'm wearing William Tell me about OPI (Swiss Collection) which I adore. I would have taken a pic, but its been on for a week and is getting a little shabby. Will try and do a NOTD over the weekend using my new additions.
What do you think ladies? Anything that has caught your eye?
So it's week five and I've hit a bump in the road.and put on 1/2 lb. To be honest, I've not been as good as I know I can, and have been since the BBWLC began. The change to the Weight Watchers programme to ProPoints has lulled me into a false sense of security too. But no excuses, it happens!. This is a brand new week and I am back on the WW wagon. I'm not too upset, I've still lost 8.5lb overall in 5 weeks. So that is nothing to sniff at.
Hopefully I'll be back next week with tales of loss!
Ladies, how goes it this week? Lots of success I hope.
The Body Shop Wild Cherry Shower Gel was certainly nice enough. I think I bought this when it was on offer, 2 for £7 maybe. I love anything cherry scented but I wasn't blown away by this. It was nice, but not amazing and the scent was a touch synthetic for my liking. I'll purchase from this range again, but probably not this particular scent.
Philosophy Coconut Macaroon 3 in 1 was a pleasure to use. It came from The Cookie Exchange set that The Boy got me last Christmas. As you know, I don't like coconut to eat but I love the smell. For me, this was a perfect combination of coconut and cake. Sort of coconut and vanilla if you will. Exactly what it said on the label. It made for a very warming, comforting bath-time. Perfect for chilly autumnal evenings. I love the recipes on the front of the Philosophy products and I always think I should give them a whirl, I just never get time! Has anyone tried out one of their recipes? I'd be very interested to hear the outcome. Again, I'll be certainly re-purchasing from the range but not this particular scent. It's not made it into my Philosophy top ten!
L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore Shampoo and Conditioner was purchased yonks ago and it has taken an eternity to finish them. That's great news for your purse, but only if you love the product. Thankfully the brand advocate (Cheryl Cole/Tweedy - or whatever she is calling herself these days) didn't put me off purchasing. Anyway back to the products, I think the main reason I bought this was that it was seriously reduced in Superdrug, I needed shampoo/conditioner so I gave it a shot. It's by no means the greatest shampoo I've ever used but it was adequate. I got the "weak, limp, lifeless" version. Do you think they may have been referring to Cheryl with that?!?!? Ok then, just me! Elvive was supposed to improve my hair's strength, density, vitality, shine and silkiness. I'm not sure if I can say truthfully that it achieved any of those claims. Certainly if it did improve any of those 5 key areas mentioned, I sure as hell didn't notice it. I wouldn't rush out to re-purchase this. But if its was the only thing I could lay my hands on, I'd use it again.
There's nothing I'm particularly bowled over with this week. Anything you are mad for at the moment? I could do with a bit of inspiration.
Apologies, this is totally non-beauty related post. But oh well, I'm afraid you will have to humour me. I'm a very proud girlfriend and I want to share it with you.
The Boy has been working his little techie arse off for the past 2 years to achieve his MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) qualification.and today he finished his final exam. He has funded this qualification himself, with no assistance from his employer (that's another story!) yet they will stand to benefit greatly from his achievement. To put this into perspective, he is now the most qualified member of the IT Services Team. I just hope he gets the recognition he truly deserves from work. Although, that appears doubtful!!
I just want him to know how incredibly proud I am of him and his achievement. See, all that hard work has been worth it in the end. Well done, you little IT Geek! ;o)
Could I love QVC any more than I currently do? Hmmm I don't think so. So, just to seal the deal they are having another Beauty Day on Sunday 14th November. Have a look at Alison Young's preview video here
I believe the TSV is Gatineau . Not something I'm interested in and I have my Mother's Christmas present already, so it will be a no-go for me. Still, fingers crossed they will have a few Beauty Day special prices and gifts. I think I'll have a jarmie day on the couch on Sunday. Not sure if I'll be able to distract The Boy from the xbox for that long though. Wish me luck ladies!
So here we are at week 3 already. Doesn't time fly in the run up to Christmas? As you already know, a group of Beauty Bloggers are aiming to lose 7lb by the 6th December. And we are well on track to smash this goal.
I was actually dreading my weigh in this week. It's TOTM for me and I'm full of cold, so I wasn't feeling as though I'd had particularly successful week. So this morning I edged onto the scales and realised that....
I lost another 1lb!!
Considering that I had everything crossed that I didn't put anything on, I'm both surprised and delighted that another lb came off!
That makes my total at week 3: -7.5lb. But I am not stopping there! No, I'm going to carry on and see what happens. My WeightWatchers online membership runs until January. So I will just keep plodding along my merry little way. The lovely The Bristol Beauty Blogreliably informs us that we have collectivley lost 38lb so far. Well done ladies. I'm so proud of us!!
I've been wanting to try these OCC Lip Tar's for aeons, so when Nic introduced me to the Love Make Up website a few weeks ago, I snapped up a couple.
I didn't find the pictures very useful in helping me decide on what colours to go for. They are stock website images that don't show colour very well. So, I turned to my fellow bloggers to help me out.. I checked out the colours and decided that I wanted a "classic" red and a winter berry shade. So with that in mind I chose Stalker and Strumpet for £8.99 each. You can check out the OCC Lip Tar's here. There are so many shades to choose from ranging from nude's and berries, to blue, green and even black! If you are a MUA, I imagine these would be a really useful addition to your kit. Being able to mix custom lip shades on demand would be awesome.
Don't be disappointed at the small size of the tubes, you get 8ml of product and that is tonnes, trust me. I'll be honest, this product is going to last you for the rest of your entire life! Even if you used it every single day, you only need to use the tiniest drop of the product to get a very dramatic effect. At first glance the Lip Tar looks just like a regular lip gloss, but a word of warning - they are nothing like lip gloss and you will need a lip brush to apply the Lip Tar.
The consistency of the Lip Tar's are much runnier than lip gloss and certainly not sticky. In fact, I think they are a cross between a liquid lipstick and a lip stain. They certainly are not for slapping on whilst on the train to work, otherwise you'll end up looking like coco the clown. I think this requires a bit of precision application to get the finish just right, hence the use of a lip brush.
Stalker (left) and Stumpet (right) are incredibly pigmented and opaque, as you can see from the swatches above. They also have a slight minty scent to them, which I really quite like, but might not be to everyone's liking. These are certainly the kind of colours I would reach for to create a dramatic lip. They dry down to a kind of satin finish but could easily be made glossy with an application of lip gloss over the top.
I have worn both of these shades to work over the past few weeks. However, I think that I personally would keep these products for use on evenings out. That is more of a reflection on me, than on the Lip Tar itself. I don't really like high maintenance looks, especially at work. I barely have time to pee some days, let alone check that my lippie hasn't migrated all over my face. Which is why I am obsessed with lip stains, but I digress and will save that for another post. The Lip Tar's were surprisingly long wearing, but they would probably require a bit of a touch up throughout the day to maintain the original colour intensity.
If you fancy watching a You Tube video on the subject, I can totally recommend QueenofBlendingMUA who has several videos on the OCC Lip Tar's, including colour swatches and application technique. You can watch those here, here and here. You can also check out this video in which she reviews the colours I chose which are from the A/W10 collection.
Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the OCC Lip Tar's and certainly think I will add some other colours to my collection. Perhaps not black though!
Have you tried the OCC Lip Tar's before? What do you think?
So I was asked for lip pics by Debbie and Jan, so here they are. I'm a good girl and do as I am told!! I was a little haphazard with the application but you get the general idea, don't you?
So on the left we have the OCC Lip Tar in Stalker and on the right is Strumpet - both pictures are taken with flash.
How lucky am I? The Boy got me the recent L'Occitane TSV, because he says he scrubs his arse with my other nice products, so it was only fair that he replaced a few. Who am I to argue with that logic!?!? Would you say no... hmmm thought not!
The "warm" version of the TSV arrived this week, in the most humongous box,. which opened to reveal this... Honestly, this box alone had me excited. It's a hardened lacquered cardboard gift box in the most beautiful jade colour, that was so pretty and shiny, I almost forgot what was in there. Almost! Have a little peek inside.
1 x Shea Vanilla Shower Cream (500ml) - creamy, detergent-free formula to leave skin soft and delicately scented.
1 x Liquid Soap Sweet Almond (500ml) - enriched with shea butter and soothing aloe vera extract; gentle enough for dry or sensitive skin.
1 x Bergamot Tea Shower Gel (250ml) - delicate shower gel, infused with sparkling citrus and subtle tea.
1 x Ruban D'orange Sunny Shower Gel (250ml) - cleanses softly and leaves a fresh and sparkling scent of citrus fruit on the skin.
1 x Almond Shower Oil (75ml) - when in contact with water, the oil transforms into a lavish, softening foam.
1 x Shea Vanilla Hand Cream (30ml) - softens the skin and leaves a soft and delicious scent of shea with a hint of vanilla.
1 x Shea Milk Soap (50g) - formulated with a 100% vegetable base and enriched with nourishing shea butter.
I chose the warm selection for the 500ml Vanilla shower gel alone. I make so secret of the fact that I am a "Vanilla Girl" so this was the first product I had a sniff of. It actually wasn't what I expected. It's Vanilla Flower and it has the most lovely creamy, yet understated smell. It's a bit like mixing vanilla with a very light floral scent. It's not the cloying cakey smell (that I love!) that my Mum would wrinkle her nose at . There is something more grown up about it. It's such an attractive looking product. too It's appears almost metallic in the bottle, which I am assuming has something to do with the shea butter content in the shower gel. But I could be wrong. They also included a Vanilla hand cream. I use L'Occitane Shea hand cream on a daily basis, so this was always going to be a winner for me. Again, the scent matches the shower gel. This will have pride of place in my handbag.
I already use the Sweet Almond liquid soap and the Almond Shower Oil, so they are already firm favourites. What I haven't tried, or smelled before, were he Ruban D'Orange Sunny Shower Gel or the Bergamot Tea Shower Gel. I'll be honest, I wasn't holding out much hope for these as they are not the usual types of scents that I would gravitate towards. I don't like citrus fruit, unless it's in the form of a Terry's Chocolate Orange and I don't drink tea, I'm a coffee gal. However, I am very pleasantly surprised that I like them both. The Boy says that the Ruban D'Orange smells like "Sunny Delight" and he's not far off!! It has a sweet, almost fizzy scent to it. I'm not sure how they can make something smell fizzy, but they do. It's as though you've been drinking Fanta (which coincidently, I don't like!) and all the bubbles have rushed up your nose. That's what this shower gel reminds me of. This will be a perfect pick me up on dreary winter mornings.
As for the Bergamot Tea shower gel, I would say this is a unisex scent, however it does lean towards the masculine side of the spectrum.. It's mildly herby, but not strong enough to interfere with any perfume you choose to wear afterwards. There is actually something quite appealing to me about this smell. Maybe it's the slightly masculine edge to it. I think The Boy will like this one too.
I'm probably going to refrain from using this for another few weeks. That will give me time to finish off a few opened bottles of shower gel and truly appreciate a dash of L'Occitane luxury at bath time, when the weather gets a little colder.
Do you use L'Occitane products? Any recommendations?