jeudi 24 décembre 2009

Miss Selfridge code

For free shipping (in the UK only) on the Miss Selfridge website use MACXMAS at checkout.

mercredi 23 décembre 2009

Travelling home and some Christmas In & Outs

I switched on the TV this moring to be told gleefully by the presenters that today will be the busiest day for travelling and will bring nightmare conditions (weather and over-crowding) to all those heading home for the holidays.

Pah, you miserable lot!

I'm heading back home in a couple of hours - suitcase is full to bursting and I'm sure I've forgotten something. I can't wait to see my family - especially at the moment, we're all looking forward to being together. I'm looking forward to being by the fire, cat on my lap, glass of port in my hard. Bliss.

Hope you all have a safe journey home for Christmas if you have any distance to travel.

A few roars and raves (both beauty and otherwise) to finish the year...

1) MSF Natural - this is truly a revalation as it really does smooth the appearance of my skin
2) My new job - a friend recommended the most wonderful temping agency. They're small, delightlfully bonkers and most importantly found my some great assignments including the one I've been doing for six months that has just turned into a 'real' permanent job. I'm so grateful to have a job at all in this climate, let alone one I really like.
3) Presents - I'm feeling quite smug about all the presents I've bought this year - there truly is more pleasure in giving them then receiving them when you know you've bought something that someone will love.
4) The weather - thank you, thank you for all this sunny cold weather. Beats the hell out of the grey skies and rain we have so much of the year here.
5) London - as I blogged before, I am really loving London at the moment. It rocks.

1) Public transport - expensive, crowded...please all cross your fingers that my train home gets there and that it has space for me. Or even - dare I hope - a seat..
2) Retrospeck eyeshadow - I had such high hopes for you, but you've disappointed me deeply
3) So much rubbish on TV. The Christmas schedule seems to be full of cartoons and rubbish - where are the old classics?

That's all folks. Tell me yours


mardi 22 décembre 2009

Review: Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Cream

When I was in Sephora the other day I was given a sample of this, along with a rave review from the sales assistant who gave it to me:

Fresh's Black Tea Age-Delay Cream (with collagen boosting lychee)

I took all this raving with a pinch of salt, but duly gave the cream a go.

A couple of weeks later I've desperately squeezed the last little drops of this from the sample sachet, and I love it.

Fresh say this cream is:

"an advanced skin perfecting moistirizer that combines natural ingredients with cutting edge technology proven to strengthen the skin's structure, firm the complexion and visibly reduce the appearance of lines.

The sophisticated formula contains black tea to refine the complexion and enhance lustre and lychee to promote collagen synthesis, helping to maintain the skin's elasticity and resilience"

Agreed, this sounds like a lot of nonsense, but there's no denying that my skin has really loved this cream. It feels smoother and more even and the smell of lychee is gorgeous so it's really a pleasure to apply morning and night.

My love of it, is only engulfed by horror when I checked online to see how much it costs.....£80-£90 for 30ml/1oz! Ouch. Watch my inner turmoil as I try and justify spending quite so much.

Have you ever shelled out big bucks on a skin cream?

lundi 21 décembre 2009

Love London

I feel it doesn't hurt to big up London once in a while and remind myself what a wonderful city it is to live in. It's been my home for 10 years now - who'd have thought a country mouse like me would be happy in the city? For now, I am.

At this time of year so much of it looks particularly lovely - we've had some snow and some crisp sunny days and relatively little rain

I walk down Bow Lane every day on my way home and the Christmas lights never fail to lift my spirits.

The statue outside Buckingham Palace

Green Park

It's not half bad, London.

A little MAC..

I can't make head nor tail of the MAC foundation numbering system and their 'warm' vs 'cold' colouring etc.

I went through a phase years back when I wore their Select Tint in NW20...I felt this was a little orange and switched on a MUA's advice to NC20 which seemed to even out my skin tone a lot better. But, it didn't offer enough coverage and I switched to something else (a YSL one I think,but that's another story).

Then when in the store the other weekend buying something else I got talking to a MUA about needing some new foundation and she sized me up, and gave me two Studio Fix (fluid) samples NW20 and NW15. It turned out the NW20 was waaay to dark and NW15 seems to be spot on! What's with that? I don't know whether my skin colour is changing or whether there's discrepancies between the types of foundation and the colours...has anyone else found this? Anyway, my super sensitive skin seems to be happy with the Studio Fix - I'm hoping a good week's trial is enough time to see if it's going to freak out and break out and so far so good.

I also bought a Mineralise Skinfinish Natural in Light Medium while I was there which has exceeded all my expectations. Studio Fix + MSF Natural = pretty damn near perfection. The MSF evens out my skin and gives it a really beautiful finish despite. I love it.

For anyone not familiar with it, the MSFs are described by MAC as providing low coverage, and a "dimensional yet natural-matte finish". And it does exactly that.

I also bought Retrospeck which I've ogled online for a while, but I'm rather disappointed by it. You work hard for very little colour pay-off. I think perhaps I'm too pale for it to do very much on my skin, but it's a major disappointment. If I could return it, I would.

It actually looks ok on my fingertip but on my eyes it's next to invisible.

Anyone else been disappointed by an eyeshadow recently?

samedi 19 décembre 2009

Back soon

On Thursday we lost my grandmother. She was the grand old age of 93. And they were 93 happy, fulfilling years full and I feel lucky to have known and loved her for 32 of them.

I'm grateful her life was so full and that she never lost her marbles. She slipped away pretty quickly in the grand scheme of things which is something to be thankful for I know as I couldn't have watched her suffer.

So, I've been absent for a bit because of this, but will be back soon.

She was a beautiful person on the inside and out and someone I've learnt a lot as her outlook was always positive, wise and above all she had a sense of humour about everything.

lundi 14 décembre 2009

Here's a treet (!) for you all..

Usually I like to get our tree as soon as they start selling them. You have to buy your tree where you can in London if you don't have a car and you're going to carry it home, and that means exorbitant prices, so I like to get my money's worth. However this year what with being away on holiday it's only just gone up, a little later than usual.

I love the fact that Mr C and I are already growing our collection of tree decorations, and hopefully over the years we'll add to our collection. I love anything simple, sparkly, rustic on the tree - I think that about covers it. So, here she is, in all her glory:

And here are a few of my favourites...

a sparkly cupcake with a golden cherry on top

little rustic wooden hearts with polka dots and antique looking glass baubles

And...what's that on top of the tree? A star? A fairy?

Well there's a garden centre near my folks' place that has an amazing winter wonderland display that goes on through room upon room each Christmas. Last year I went with Mr C and cooed over all the beautiful birds (I love all things bird-y) so I went this year on my own, under strict instructions from him 'no birds!'

So, what could I come back with but a bird? He now sits proudly a-top our tree looking beautiful:

Just because...

Posting this photo just because I like it.

We went ice skating at the weekend at the Natural History museum which after dark is a beautiful twinkling magical place (if you can ignore the heaving crowds...). They've done away with the faux German Christmas market in favour of one stall selling oh so Christmassy pasties and chips. But - they do have this beautiful carousel there now.

The Natural History Museum is one of my favourite places in London (how amazing is it that it's free???) and is beautiful whatever the time of day or year but here's a fuzzy photo that gives you a small idea of how pretty it is at Christmas, with the ice rink

I do love Christmas. Even when it comes with crowds.

Are you skating this year?

dimanche 13 décembre 2009

New York beauty shopping

So as promised earlier on, here's a little more on the few things I bought on holiday.

First up -

Sephora Star Gazer Palette:

It's from their 'Pure' collection, and is free of various chemicals presumably usually present in lots of makeup. The palette itself is made of bamboo.

: much as I love the idea of a bamboo's not actually that great as it feels little brittle, doesn't shut that securely and the inserts don't fit that tightly and I can imagine them coming loose unless I treat this one with kid gloves.

That said, the colours in it are good and pigmentation seems strong:

Blush: Soleil | Eyeshadows (top L-R): Aurora, Galaxy, Polaris (bottom L-R): Heaven, Jupiter, Orion

I've used all of them and find the shades really wearable (though the glitter in the top centre and bottom right shades might restrict how often you use those two!) Aurora is a shimmery silver, Galaxy a dark matte grey with fine silver flecks of glitter, Polaris is a matte charcoal. Heaven is a shimmery very light heather colour, Jupiter a similar tone just darker Orion is a matte deep blue-y purple with pink fine glitter.

NARS Silent Night single eyeshadow
Well this one was an impulse purchase - $9 at the till. They really know how to suck you in don't they? It's a beautiful rich gold colour in the pan:

Thoughts: Once you try using it you find there's some really chunky glitter in it and pigmentation is a little weak. You really have to get stuck in to extract much colour. I've found it works better wet. I actually don't mind the glitter too much - especially at this time of year I'm just about going to get my money's worth from this bad boy, so overall I'm happy. Had I paid full price - I'd be less happy.

Wet 'n' Wild Idol Eyes in Techno and Pixie:
These were something ridiculous like $1.99 each I think. Quite soft and creamy consistency. I like 'em.

Thoughts: As you can see, the colour payoff isn't bad either and for this price, you just can't go wrong.

NARS mini multiples set
This is limited edition available only from Sephora.

Now, these really are mini at only 0.14oz compared to the usual 0.5oz so $ for $ it's not technically great value ($40 for this limited edition set compared to $37 for a full size multiple), but it does offer an affordable way to try out three of the most popular shades.
You have Copacabana, Orgasm and South Beach.

(L-R South Beach, Copacabana, Orgasm)

Thoughts: I've mulled over getting one of these for ages so was excited to finally have three in my possession. They're all very shimmery and the shades are beautiful.

To be honest it's taking some practice applying these. As opposed to using a powder highlighter/bronzer/blush you have to take more care as to where you put them on your face. I'm just not used to using cream blush etc. But - I ike them and can see myself ending up buying one or more full size ones once these run out.

Neosporin Lip Health:
This is something I read about on Belle's wonderful blog before I left for holiday, then spotted in Duane Reade and remembered her rave review:

It's super cheap - a couple of dollars and is an 'overnight renewal therapy'. It claims to reduce/heal dry or chapped lips in 3 days.

well, this stuff got a real road test while we were on holiday - the wind in New York in winter is biting and it's very hard to avoid getting dry or chapped lips. So I duly slathered this on at night and it really worked! By morning they were miraculously restored. So, a big thumbs up from me for this beauty bargain as I'm sure it's one I'll be using throughout winter.

And finally...

Revlon's Silver Screen nail polish

Excuse the sloppy manicure - to be fair to Revlon it's been over a week since I painted my nails..

Now, I don't know if you remember me raving about their Steel Her Heart which is a dark pewter/steel colour, and how I wished they did a pure silver one? Well, it turns out they do! I don't know whether it's not stocked in the UK, or whether it's just that I haven't yet come across it but imagine my squeal of delight when I saw this in the drugstore!

I bought two bottles, just in case. And - British ladies, get this - it's $4.70 in the US...compared to something like £7 over here. Not fair!

Thoughts: I can't get over how good Revlon nail polishes are. And that it's taken my this long to discover them. Even one coat is almost passable if you're in a rush and they seem to have really good lasting power. Love it.

So there you have it. Sorry if the post ended up waffling on too long for your liking!

samedi 12 décembre 2009

Dance with me...

Oh man I love dancing (watching that is....if only I could dance..). Any film with dancing in it is a treat in my book - from 42nd Street to Singin' In The Rain to Take the Lead.

So here's the first of a few of my favourite dancing scenes...

vendredi 11 décembre 2009

Festive Tag!

My little haul post is coming but taking a while as I haven't been able to take photos in daylight since I've come home.

So in the meantime, a fun, vaguely festive survey I found on Look Ma No Patterns! (a lovely craft blog I enjoy reading).

Anyone reading - I tag you!

Favourite colour:
Green, silver and gold

Yes. I need to prune though.

Favourite Christmas song?

Christmas Tree - real or fake?
It's got to be real. I LOVE the smell of them too

Hottest Celebrity?
I still have such a soft spot for Mr Big (or should that be Detective Mike Logan)

....and should I confess to a secret crush on 'George Costanza'?

Favourite Restaurant?

I'm going to be pretentious and say a New York one - Marseille on 9th. We had all our special meals there when we were living round the corner. It's beautiful, dimly lit and the food is gorgeous.

Favourite magazine?
Vanity Fair. This was the first issue I bought (I can't think why the cover caught my eye) and I've subscribed ever since. I love it - I read it from cover to cover. And I've saved every copy. I couldn't possibly admit to going through a weird phase where I catalogued the articles..

Favourite holiday drink?
Mulled wine or sloe gin - glass of either one by the fire back home at my folks' place is perfection

Favourite Christmas movie?
No question, White Christmas. Family tradition to watch this on Christmas Eve

mercredi 9 décembre 2009

Back to Blighty

Our New York 5 day fairy tale is now over and we arrived back in London this morning. The rest of the day has been largely spent dozing and doing some very light unpacking and laundry. Oh the glamour.

We had a wonderful time and while we were there New York had its first snow of the year - it was so magical! I'd forgotten how often you get blue skies there...the dreary grey of English skies can feel a bit bleak at times.

Our time was largely spent prowling round our old neighbourhood, checking out old haunts and finding new places. Lots of walking, and eating and drinking. I do love a long cosy wood panelled little bar.

Although I live with my boyfriend, when you both have busy jobs it's surprising how little you see can each other what with working late and heading off to work early, so having 6 whole days to spend together felt like a real treat. And, in my opinion if you're going to mooch around somewhere hand in hand then I can't think of a better city to do it in. Bliss.

I managed to get a fair bit of Christmas shopping done for family, but apart from that, I was restrained on the shopping front, and makeup-wise I came home with the modest haul you see below...

I'll do some thoughts and swatches in another post

mercredi 2 décembre 2009

New York, here we come!

So tomorrow is the long awaited return to New York..and I'm so over-excited about it, I'm realiably informed I'm being a real handful.

All that's left to do, is pack. My packing is always done at the eleventh hour.

Hopefully I'll have a few haul-type posts for you all when I'm back.

Have a lovely weekend