dimanche 19 décembre 2010

Wedding planning so far

Bad bad blogger.

It would appear wedding planning takes up rather more time than anticipated.

I have already had that moment where I thought "Sod it! Let's just run away and get hitched, just us two". Not because anyone's putting demands on us or trying to take control, but simply because the idea of being the centre of attention is really freaking me out. I guess it's something all brides have to get used to.

So - let's focus on what I have achieved so far...

1. We've booked the church, and my godfather is going to marry us.
2. We've booked the organist and choir (again, all close friends)
3. I've bought the bridesmaid's dresses
4. I've bought MY DRESS!!!!!
5. I've designed, had printed and sent out Save The Date cards
6. We've booked the reception

Yet to do, and worrying me slightly
1. Music
2. Hair and makeup
3. Shoes and head....veil? Headpiece?
4. Flowers

On we go. My last Christmas as a Miss is just around the corner..

mercredi 27 octobre 2010

Wedding dresses I love but can't afford Part 2

All hail, Oscar de la Renta

Turns out I love lace. Who'd have thought it?!

Shout out to some great wedding blogs

I have entered a whole new world - it's like knocking on a door...someone opening it and finding a huge noisy party going on on the other side that you didn't even know what going on. My goodness - the wedding scene is massive - whether you're talking dresses, blogs, decorations, DIY, whatever.

So - in case there are any other brides out there - these are a few of the blogs that I'm loving. Most feature real weddings and provide great inspiration. Funny to see the trends - I wonder if 5 years ago people know that so many weddings would feature homemade photobooths (complete with moustache on sticks!) and artfully mismatched plates! Love it all. And it's a great place to see some wedding dresses 'in action'

Snippet and Ink

Green Wedding Shoes

Once Wed

100 Layer Cake

dimanche 10 octobre 2010

Dress heaven

I can't and won't spend a fortune on a wedding dress - I'm not sure even if I had thousands at my disposal I could bring myself to, but today I saw my first desirable big bucks frock.

99% of the other wedding dresses I've seen so far have left me cold, but today I stumbled across Alice Temperley's wedding dresses, or rather 'Temperley London' ones which are right up my street.

Behold - the Jean dress

image courtesy of this site

Potential dream dress alert!

I love slinky and retro looking. My ring is antique and I would love a similarly old looking dress to match.

The Mrs among you - what style was your dress? The Misses - what would you wear?

mardi 5 octobre 2010

This blog is changing...and so am I....

A quick update about some upcoming changes and the upcoming metamorphosis of this blog..

So, I've been away.

I went here:
and here:

and here:

and had an amazing time.

We ate great food, we saw beautiful things and we met lovely people.

And most excitingly of all, near the end of the holiday he asked me a question...which resulted in some shopping the weekend we got home. For one of these:

Yes, I'm getting married!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <-- it requires a lot of these, there's no getting round it.

So I'm thinking of trying to keep track and making this into a wedding blog. Bit specialist, but why not.

And now to catch up with all of you!

samedi 24 juillet 2010

A few things I'm loving right now

Nails Inc

As I think I said before, the naff packaging always put me off before, but it turns out they're rather great. I also love the way they name their shades after London streets. Latest addition - Warwick Avenue (and for the americans out there...that's 'warrick' if you're in London!)

Here's a rather slapdash application of 2 coats:


I bought a bunch the other day which looked and smelled beautiful. Now it's shedding vigourously so I've taken all the little dried buds off and am going to make some little pouches filled with them for drawers. It just smells gorgeous

Bourjois liquid gold eyeshadow

I received this in a swap with a friend - not sure if I'd have ever bothered buying it, but it's turned out to be a winner. I've run out of eyeshadow primer and every Boots I visit is out of stock so I gave this a whirl. It's received bad write-ups I notice but I find a few dabs on the eyelid, then you work quickly and add a beautiful subtle sheen. It also stopped the shadow I then put in my crease from creasing (!) at all - all day long.


Well - living in central London you can't hope for much garden unless you're loaded but this summer I planted up the long neglected window boxes for the first time and they're now flowering beautifully. Look at my geraniums!

I feel like a proud parent! Just wait until we move further out and I get my hands on a whole garden! They're just beautiful.

vendredi 25 juin 2010

Things I'm loving right now


I was a lover of Laduree even before they hit the big time in England and became fashionable, and there's very little I wouldn't do for a salt caramel or blackcurrant violet piece of heaven from them, but while at the Taste of London festival this year I discovered someone else who makes them - a company called Bougie. Macarons - delicious, packaging - gorgeous.


My two favourite flowering things in the whole world are peonies and cow parsley. Not that they really go together, but there you go. Anyway - I finally got round to buying some the other day and am loving watching the slow unfolding of them. Mother Nature really was on top form the day she made them

New shoes

Who'd have thought M & S could churn out such a beautiful, fashionable and comfortable pair of shoes? Never overlook the old favourites - they actually have a good selection in there at the moment. There was a beautiful pair, similar to these but even higher heels. Again they were wonderfully comfortable but I was getting to be "transvestite tall" in them and I don't want to tower over every man in the room. So, this pair I'm very pleased with

How cute?


This glorious weather is making me very happy indeed. The thing about living in a country with such unpredictable weather is that we're thrilled when the sun comes out for two consecutive days in summer. More please!

The lovely weather also means I'm currently walking 8 miles a day (the journey from home to work is 4 miles - I google mapped it!) which has to be a good thing and means I avoid the sweaty grimness that is the tube. Mr C has downloaded a cool app to his iPhone meaning I'm always trying to take arty photos - here's a lovely one from our walk in yesterday morning. Times like this I realise how much I love London.

lundi 31 mai 2010

Bank holidays rock

In the style of one of my very favourite bloggers, loveaudrey I feel a lovely bank holiday weekend is best summed up in list form:

- cooking polenta for the first time. And not the last!
- strolling through Green Park - still lovely even amid the gathering storm clouds (and feeling smug for missing the rain!)
- sweet smelling freshly ironed bed sheets
- making peanut butter swirl chocolate brownies (courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa - someone I fell in culinary love with while living in the US)
- spending time with one of my oldest, best friends and her family - this includes 3 gorgeous children. Broody? Who, moi?
- too many G+Ts
- hoovering, washing, tidying - worth the hard work to finish the weekend with a lovely tidy home
- having three lie-ins. What a treat.
- dancing like an idiot on friday night and then..
- ...having my saturday hungover somewhat softened by being brought breakfast and a trashy newspaper in bed (Mr C really is a diamond)
- booking a trip to Paris for my birthday. How has it been 2 years since I last went to Paris!

mardi 25 mai 2010

Claus Porto soap

I'm a sucker for an expensive soap. If it's genuinely good quality then I don't mind paying. I thought I'd found one with the Iris soap from the Farmacia Santa Maria Novella, however shortly down the line I found that it really didn't have much oomph and it's beautiful just didn't last longer than a week or so.

Latest discovery? Claus Porto.

I lobbed this in the shopping basket on our final sweep of duty-free on our way home from Lisbon. Mr C gasped at the price but it's proven to be money so well spent:

Violet soap. Violet has to be one of my favourite fragrances of all time (I've considered trying to track down a Violet perfume) and this soap smells very strongly. And what about that beautiful packaging.

The first day I reverently unwrapped it I admired it, of cousre, but then when I came home from work and found the whole house smelling of it I was thrilled. And, weeks later I can report that it still smells lovely and is in turn making me smell lovely. I'm using it all over, and it's not drying at all.

The website for Claus Porto tells me it's been around since 1887 and has many more lovely looking products to discover, and I intend to find out a little bit more.

lundi 24 mai 2010

Nails Inc - what a pleasant surprise

I've been incommunicado on the blog front so I'm sure this freebie has been done to death but I felt it was worth a mention.

The prospect of a long train ride home + the promise of a freebie saw me picking up a magazine on Friday. Something I never do these days. Anyway, as you'll know In Style is giving away one of 3 shades of Nails Inc nail polish at the moment.

I picked up Mink

Très Chanel Particulière, non?

So I tried to take a photo on my way home
..with the Eye in the background....but as you can see without much success. So here's another more successful one:

I thought I'd hate it as much as the grey one, but I actually love it. It's strangely flattering on my skintone, which is a surprise as I thought it'd be one for the tanned ladies only.

I'm also impressed with the formulation - just thick enough and it's lasting very well chip-wise. Nails Inc are onto a good wheeze with this (and the Coke give away they did recently) as it's a brand I would never have considered buying before - probably if I'm honest because I think the packing is so naff and cheap looking - but now I'm definitely going ot investigate the range further.

Do you have any Nails Inc favourites?

Clarins Everlasting foundation - HG?

So bumbling round the duty free on my way to Lisbon I was browsing foundations. For some reason I find the staff in airport makeup counters are incredibly snooty and unfriendly but the girl at the Clarins counter was a sweetheart. And so I ended up buying something - their Everlasting Foundation (SPF 15)

My initial thoughts about this:
1. I can't believe they have a shade that matches my pale skintone
2. This smells lovely!

I'm now a good few weeks into useage and feel reasonably comfortable with saying that I truly love this foundation.

Things I like:
- I have shade 103 - Ivory and as you can see it blends into my skin really well.

- It gives quite full coverage, which I like, but it does depend a little on your method of application.

- It has a strong fragrance -very similar to Bulgari's eponymous perfume, which incidentally I have, and like - but this might put some people off.

- Price - I believe it was around the £20ish mark which I think is fine for a foundation if it's a good one

- ..and finally its name! Silly I know, but 'Everlasting' - very fairytale!

The only slightly critical thing I have to say is concerning one of its big selling points - the supposed everlasting-ness of it. I find unless I finish it with powder, I do end up a little shiny faced in the afternoon, but perhaps that's just my skin. Otherwise, a big smiley thumbs up from me

jeudi 29 avril 2010

Closed for holidays

I'm off to Lisbon!

Happy Bank Holiday weekend everyone!

mardi 27 avril 2010

Revlon 3 for 2

I'm almost down to the bottom of my "I love it but it's not quite the right colour" Estee Lauder foundation. Though I love everything else about it I'm reluctant to buy another bottle as it doesn't match and required endless custom mixing with other foundations every morning to get the shade right.

So, since it's 3 for 2 on Revlon in Superdrug at the moment I thought it might be a good time to give the fabled PhotoReady a go. I'm a little - no make that very - wary to try it after how much my skin hated ColorStay but lots of people seem to have liked one and hated the other so I'm giving it a whirl. And I they seem to have great shades. Better than any other drugstore or high end foundation.

Anyway, I shall report back after I've used it a while.

I also picked up one of their new lipglosses - no.170 in Coral Reef

I just couldn't resist as it's such a beautiful shade...

The consistency is not too sticky and I love the colour but as ever, I'm regretting my hastiness and remembering how I don't really like lipglosses very much. Hmm, we'll see.

I was all set to pick up another black GOSH eyeliner but since the Revlon was 3 for 2 it made sense to make my third item an eyeliner. How exciting can eyeliner be? It's ok.

In other news I've decided to be brutal and purge a some blogs from my reading list. I found myself increasingly disappointed at the number of reviews that either started or finished with a disclaimer - "this product was sent to me for review purposes.." etc etc. I know many people are sent the odd item and I don't mind reading a few freebie review, but some now seem to be made up of nothing but and so it's those I'll be removing.

Having just been out and blown 20 hard-earned smackers on this Revlon mini-haul which I shall use, scrutinise, and then carefully write about I find that I want to read about people who do the same. People who've spent their own money on something. It means they've put thought into it and invested usually money (and therefore probably more thought) in the purchase. Does that make me a bit dull and self-righteous? Yeah, perhaps. But I feel like some blogs have drifted away from where beauty blogging originally started.

Am I on my own? Thoughts welcome.

mercredi 7 avril 2010

Tag - 3

d I nI do love a questionnaire, and I nabbed this one from the delightful loveaudrey - one of my favourites. Hop on board and give it a go.

Three jobs I have had:
1. Picking ragwort from fields on a farm. I actually got an amazing tan that summer
2. Pot washer in a cafe
3. Data Analyst

Three places I have lived:
1. Dorset
2. Bristol
3. New York City

Three favourite drinks:
1. a very dry Martini
2. Elderflower cordial
3. Red wine

Three shows I watch:
1. Damages
2. Mad Men
3. Glee

Three places I have been:
1. Japan - my brother lived there for a couple of years so I was able to visit - it was amazing.
2. New York - living there was the best time of my life.
3. Malaysia - beautiful place, beautiful people, delicious food - I love it.

Three places I would like to visit:
1. Nepal
2. USA roadtrip
3. Always reamed of taking the trans-mongolian express one day

Three people who text my regularly:
1. folks
2. bro
3. Mr C

Three favourite old TV shows:
1. Seinfeld - Best. Show. Ever!
2. Arrested Development
3. Sex and the City

Three favourite dishes:
1. Greek yoghurt and honey
2. Steak frites
3. Creme Brulee

Three Makeup products I can't live without:
1. Foundation
2. I could live without the rest, but I must have a perfect smooth canvas or I'm just not happy!

Three things I'm looking forward to:
1. Having a lie in at the weekend
2. Going to Lisbon at the end of the month
3. On a more long term scale, one day buying (and more importantly decorating) a flat with Mr C

lundi 29 mars 2010

Cheap treats

I braved Westfield at the weekend. Let's break it down...

The Good
- threading - I've been dying to get my eyebrows threaded for ages and finally got round to it. I am hugely impresssed - they've been subtly and beautifully reshaped. I'm a total convert. However, I need to find a non-mall place to get them done. My friend at work who's Indian fell about laughing when she I told her how much I paid.
- a few purchases..a little beauty, bit of clothing and some jewellery.

The Bad
- the crowds...oh my goodness the crowds. I think though if you can be in and out by early afternoon you'll miss the worst of it as it seems to peak 3pm-ish
- queues - why don't shops build more changing rooms? They don't need to be big.. I'm happy to try something on in a cupboard if it has a mirror - I don't need to swing a cat but seriously - I just don't have the patience to queue
- Inglot sales staff (some). Some are lovely but there's a guy in there who stalked me and my friend round the entire shop, even after we politely said we didn't want any help

I bought this ring (which Mr C hates, but which I adore)

Cheesy I know, but oh how I love it.

Also, some of the ubiquitous grey nail polish

Hmm. Not sure about this trend. Perhaps beige/taupe is better. That said, while watching Sophie Dahl's cookery programme I've been loving her simple french manicure. It's been an age since I got out my bottle of Chanel ...er....Mademoiselle is it? Anyway, a nice pale nude pink one.

Photos of my rather lovely but vile smelling Inglot lipstick coming soon, I promise.

Also - review of Revolutionary Road (the book, not the film) also coming soon.

jeudi 25 mars 2010

Tag - Literary Geek questionnaire

I love to read, and I can get really evangelical about books I love "go one, read this - you'll love it, go on, seriously - borrow it or else!"

Anyway, nice to do a non makeup tag for one - give this a go!

What author do you own the most books by?
I own everything Truman Capote ever wrote. And a lot of Jack Kerouac, F Scott Fitzgerald and Nancy Mitford

What book to you own the most copies of?
I have a couple of copies of both The Great Gatsby and The Catcher In The Rye

What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Edmond Dantes - tres sexy!

What book have you read the most times in your life?
I've read all the books in the Tales of the City chronicles by Armistead Maupin over and over. They're my comfort books and have seen me through some miserable times.

What was your favourite book when you were 10 years old?
The Adventure books by Willard Price - Whale Advnture, Amazon Adventure etc I wanted to marry Hal Hunt when I grew up.

What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
Chick lit in general - can't stand any I've tried

What is the best book you've read in the past year?
The year so far? This is tough - perhaps Sarah Water's Little Stranger and I just loved Nightingale Woods by Stella Gibbons which was a treat I know I will reread time and time again.

If you could force everyone to read just one book, what would it be?
Can I have two? Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo because you'll thank me for it and St Expury's Petit Prince because I think it has some important messages in it.

What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Restless by William Boyd is just crying out to be made into a film

What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Same as above..if they dared mess it up

What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
I have a deep love for gory crime thrillers

What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
I tried so hard to battle through Martin Amis's London Fields but it got the better of me.

Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?

Austen or Eliot?
Jane Austen. Love her.

What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Tons. I haven't yet read anything by Dostoyevsky, Henry James, Thomas Hardy, DH Lawrence, Edith Wharton....

What's your favourite novel?
I can't pick just one - but a handful of nearest and dearest would include Kerouac's On The Road, The Great Gatsby, Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote, The Count of Monte Cristo, lots of Nancy Mitford and The Invisible World by Stuart Cohen.

Favourite play?
Far too long since I went to the theatre. One of my favourites is This Is Our Youth which I saw many years ago (nothing to do with Casey Affleck being in it, of course..)

Favourite short story?
I loved reading Guy de Maupassant

Favourite work of non-fiction?
I hardly read any non-fiction..a couple of biographies.

Who is your favourite writer?
Truman Capote and Nancy Mitford

I tag YOU!

Cream blush and BooHoo

So a little while back I picked up a cream blush on a whim while browsing Space NK. There was just something so delicious about the NARS ones that it was clearly the perfect time to give it a whirl as I've never tried one before

Do you have a preference with cream vs powder blush? I've been using the NARS multiples a fair bit recently so have become a little more accustomed to using something non-powder but it does take some getting used to. I think I kind of like it!

NARS Penny Lane

The colour looks vastly different in these two photos, and I'd say the reality is somewhere in between - kind of a dirty taupe-y peach-y pink

I've blended the swatch out a little to try and show this

Payday is looming at last thankfully so I dipped my toes in the waters of a new internet shop this week - BooHoo . It's very similar to ASOS - lots of cheap and cheerful clothes, accessories and footwear. Just like ASOS a lot of their clothes have a catwalk video which is so helpful to get a real impression of the item of clothing. So I bought some jeggings (urgh, how I hate that name) and this vest top

I love the studding all over it and it fits beautifully -the back even has a little detail

I love it. I definitely suggest checking out the site if you want a few affordable fashionable things to perk up your wardrobe!

jeudi 11 mars 2010

Review: Rimmel Moisture Renew lipstick - Latino

I went into my nearest Superdrug, armed with a list of makeup that I wanted to pick up, and as is so often the case, not a single thing on the list was stocked - grrrr!

So, I picked up this lipstick instead. I've heard good things recently about Rimmel lipsticks but never actually tried one.

Latino is a quite a bright blue-toned pink

The scent is very familiar - I can't think what it reminds me of - lipsyl perhaps? It's nice though. The consistency is creamy and it seems to last pretty well.

It's a touch brighter than I'd hoped, probably because my lips are so pigmented naturally, but I like it. And - I think I'll be back to try more from Rimmel.

Do you have any Rimmel lipstick favourites?

mercredi 10 mars 2010

Tag - 40 questions

I love a tag, and here's the one that's doing the rounds right now..

How many times do you wash your face daily?
Morning and night, but I must admit morning is a very pefunctory affair - I'm much more thorough in the evening.

What skin type do you have? (dry, oily, combo)
Probably best summed up as oily-ish combination

What is your current facial wash?
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

Do you exfoliate?
I gotta say... I don't. I just scrub a little hard with the muslin cloth from time to time. But perhaps I should be doing it properly

What moisturiser do you use?
I'm still waiting for my Darphin wonder cream to arrive so currently using Neal's Yard Violet Day Cream which I bought, didn't like, and put to one side. Having given it another proper go I'm rather liking it now.

Do you have freckles?
Yes, and I love them. I used to have tons more but they've faded a little as I've grown up :-(

Do you use eye cream?
Yes - a Garnier one which I can't remember the name of. I don't think it does a thing, I hasten to add.

Do you or did you have acne prone skin?
No major acne thank goodness, but the odd little breakout here and there when I was younger. These days, pretty good on the whole.

Did you ever have to use Pro-activ?
No. I don't think it's very readily available in the UK either.


What foundation do you use?
MAC SFF and Estee Lauder Double Wear

How about concealer?
Babara Daly from Tesco. Keep meaning to give the MAC studio finish a go

Do you know your undertone colour?
Hmm - this one has always confused me. Pinkish I guess - I'm a classic 'english rose' colouring

What do you think of fake eyelashes?
I marvel at how beautiful they look on other people, but never had any success with them myself. Recommendations for affordable fail-safe ones please!!

Did you know that you are supposed to change your mascara every 3 months?
Yes - I'd heard that. But there's a lot of things I'm *supposed* to do and don't. So there.

What brand of mascara do you use?
Living in New York I became a huge fan of cheap and cheerful Maybelline Full+Soft - I heart it big time. Didn't realise until I moved back to London that it doesn't seem to be available in the UK. A friend's american girlfriend is hopefully bringing me some over when she visits next week!
High end - nothing beats Lancome.

Sephora or MAC?
I love MAC, but I have BIG love for Sephora. If only there were branches all over London. Despite my pleas, they won't ship to the UK either. Meanies.

Do you have a MAC Pro card?

What makeup tools do you use in makeup application?
I could live with 3 brushes if necessary - 187 for foundation, and angled blush brush for sculpting and blush and a fluffy eyeshadow brush. Also fingers!

Do you use makeup base/primer for the eyes?
Yes - Urban Decay primer potion - long since de-potted by my dear Pa into a little jar.

For the face?
First outing into the world of primers (GOSH) was not successful. I'm mulling over trying a different one.

What is your favourite eyeshadow?
All That Glitters

Do you use pencil or liquid?
I've toyed with liquid in the past but now am firmly pencil only. Liquid just doesn't work on me

How often do you poke your eyes with eyeliner pencil?
Only when jogged!

What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?
I have a few MAC ones that I was given - but I don't think I'd ever go out and buy any.

Do you use mineral makeup?
I tried Lilly Lolo which I know many people love, but it just didn't work on me. However - I've found it makes quite a good concealer.

What is your favourite lipstick?
Clinique waterviolet or MAC Patisserie

How about lipgloss?
Barry M toffee no.2

What is your favourite blush to use?
MSF in redhead is probably the one I use most often

Do you buy your makeup on ebay?
Nope, never - it just seems a bit risky, especially for something you're putting on your face.

Do you like drugstore makeup?
Yes - I wish you could combine the best of UK and US drugstores into one almighty affordable shopping haven - GOSH, Sleek, Wet'n'Wild, NYX, etc etc

Do you go to CCO's? (cosmetic company outlets)
I don't think we have them in the UK do we? Do we? I'll be thrilled if you tell me yes!

Did you ever consider taking makeup classes?
No. Toyed with paying for one of those MAC makeovers where they supposedly teach you stuff, but I've heard such mixed reports. I'd pay a lot for someone to tell me how to make the best of myself though.

Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?
Not especially, but I can't be bothered to spend too long doing. I think we get efficient and making it work don't we?

Name a makeup crime that you hate?
I'm not mad for lips so nude they disappear into the face. I know lots of girls love that look so I don't hate it - just something I see a lot that's not for me.

Do you like colourful shades of makeup (lipstick, eyeshadow) or neutral ones?
Mostly neutral. I would love to learn to embrace colour more.

Which celebrity always has great makeup?
I've long been obsessed with (and I think blogged about) Whitney Port and Leighton Meester as Blair. Both look so perfect.

If you could leave the house using just one makeup item, what would you use?
I was pondering this one the other day funnily enough. Eyeliner, without a dout.

Could you ever leave the hosue without any makeup on?
Yes of course. I try to do so at the weeekends. I never wore any makeup until a few years ago.

Do you think you look good even without any makeup on?
I just look like me. I'm a lot more comfortable with myself now than 10 years ago.

In your opinion, what is the best makeup line?
I guess you can't beat the sheer variety offered by MAC

What do you think of makeup?
It's a wonderful diversion. It can transform the way someone feels about themselves and it's great that such a community has sprung up surrounding it. I love that I talk to girls all over the world about makeup through blogging!

mardi 9 mars 2010

Things every home needs...

.. a drinks tray. I'm gradually becoming more organised and tidy at home and I'm pleased to have finally gathered a lot of the drinks supplies so there in one place.

What I really want is one of those wonderful globes with a bar hidden inside, but for now I'll happily settle for having everything up together where I can find it when I need it:

I just need to lay my hands on some sloe gin for the decanter.

samedi 6 mars 2010

5 Favourites in heavy rotation

A little round up of the things I find I'm reaching for every day and loving

1. GOSH velvet touch eyeliner -
I have smallish eyes, and I find liquid eyeliners and very precise lines just make them look even smaller so I prefer a softer smudged look and this eyeliner is so soft and creamy that it's perfect. I'm on my second and off to buy my third today!

2. NARS Multiple in Copacabana -

close to perfect as a highlighter and so easy to just swipe and smudge. I use it along the top of my cheekbones, down the centre of my nose and just under the arch of my eyebrows on my brow bone. I just love the chunky matte packaging too.

3. Estee Lauder DW + MAC SFF -
Ok, so I think I have finally found the perfect shade of foundation for my skintone and it's a squirt of Double Wear in 1C1 Shell (too pinky white on its own) and a squirt of studio fix fluid in NW15 (too dark orange on its own) and combined they're pretty much spot on. Tedious to have to mix them every morning but it's definitely the best match I've come across, and my skin is happy with both brands.

4. Diptyque Philosykos perfume -

I got through several bottles of Jo Malone's wild fig and cassis, and several Philosykos candles from Diptyque but I've now switched the the actual perfume. The smell of just fig (no cassis) is purer and cleaner and fresher and I much prefer it. My only gripe is it's poor lasting power. I've used other Diptyque perfumes in the past and they've lasted on the skin very well but this one is dreadful. Nevertheless, I love it.

5. MAC lipstick in Patisserie -
this isn't one I've ever heard anyone get excited about at all. I don't think I've ever noticed anyone reviewing it on a blog but I stumbled across it and it's the perfect neutral shade for my lips. To be honest the selection of lipsticks leaves me feeling a little over-awed - so many to go through so I'm glad I found this one quite early on in my swatching!

What are your current beauty top 5?

vendredi 5 mars 2010

Making your home your own

We live in a rented flat. The upsides are just being able to call someone whenever anything breaks or goes wrong and not having to pay for it.

One of the downsides is not being able to feel like you can truly make the place your own - usually you're not allowed to make any major changes like painting, changing flooring, putting up pictures etc.

So, I have become somewhat obssessed with dreaming about one day having a place of our own. And too many hours spent wallowing in the interiors heaven that is Apartment Therapy have got me way too full of ideas that I can't yet use. I've started to keep track of things/websites/ideas that I one day want to use, and I just found another...

These wonderful, bonkers Jeeves and Wooster lampshades are going on my list

...aren't they wonderful?

My first primer

Some weeks back I bought the GOSH primer. I'd browsed reviews on MUA, of which it has a huge number so I know this has a lot of fans. I love the idea of something that will make your makeup 'better' and longer lasting.

Here it is:

I gotta say - I really hated it. On their website GOSH say that this will create a "uniform, matte and unique, silky soft surface". One of the promises it makes is that "your foundation will never again look dry or patchy".

Unfortunately dry and patchy was exactly what I got. For starters I just hate the feeling of it - that weird liquid/powder touch - I suppose this is what's necessary to fill in all those pores and lines and provide the smooth base for makeup.

But as I said, the major gripe I have with this was that it seemed to actively dry my skin out. I moisturised first - but soon as I applied this is accentuated any dry patches. Really disappointing as this wasn't that cheap.

So, it's going on MUA to swap.

Any other primers you can recommend that you've loved?

mardi 23 février 2010

Brrrrr (still)

For for being lax on the blogging front - I'm pleading little the 'fingers of ice' defence.

We're still without heating or hot water, 7 days after the boiler broke, so it's all I can do not to fill a hot water bottle and dive under the duvet as soon as I get home. The end is hopefully in sight though, and I am crossing fingers that regular service will be resumed by the end of the week. All very dull I know, but it's all I can talk about at the moment.

I'm considering subscribing to Tatler as they're offering a free gift of Darphin Stimulskin Plus Firming Smoothing cream with the subscription - which seems like an amazing deal.

The blurb sounds amazing (of course) - and the MUA reviews are pretty glowing. Has anyone tried it? Or any other Darphin products? I'd love to know your thoughts.

mercredi 17 février 2010

Yummy nails

Slipped into Superdrug on the way home this evening to pick up the GOSH primer. I've debated buying this for a while. Anyone who reads me regularly knows I have foundation issues, and I feel it could perform better so I though it worth giving a primer a go, having never tried using one before.

Of course on my way to the till, two more items miraculously hopped into my hand

Can you argue with earrings that are less than a quid? I don't think so. And I've been wanting an orange nail polish for a while - behold Rimmel's Orange Bliss!

I'm sure over the years various people have tried tinkering with the brush in nail polish bottles but I've never found they're much cop. This one however, the 'new maxi brush' is really great

Flat and wide and tapered nicely at the end so it fits your nail. I think I even do a good job several G+Ts down the road with this brush. And look at that colour - orange bliss? Tangerine Dream, surely!

I need these treats to take my mind off the fact we have no heating or hot water at home. Apparently, a new boiler could be quite a few days away yet, so I best put another jumper on and fill the hot water bottle. Brrrrr!

EDIT: I now have a stiff Martini, a bobble hat, and a hot water bottle. I shall survive until the mister gets home!

mardi 16 février 2010

City or Country?

I love living in London, I really do, but I find I feel intensely claustrophobic when I get back to town after visiting my folks, who live in deepest darkest countryside.

I miss the space, the silence and the earthy smell of growing things everywhere.

It takes me an age to put my hard shell back on adjust to the jostling and the bustle. I suspect I'll always remain a country girl at heart.

Besides, where else do you get to wrestle over the morning paper with a handsome cat?

Still - for now - London isn't half bad as an alternative.

How about you - town or country?

Homemade cards

I spent some of yesterday with a cutting mat, a craft knife and huge concentration getting Mr C's valentine's card ready (we're celebrating - in the loosest sense of the word - tonight)

So thanks to Martha Stewart (can't find the exact link) and my dad's art supplies I have a card to hand over:

Not perfect by any means, but homemade.

How was your valentine's day?

mercredi 10 février 2010

News of the World + Barry M

I'll admit, I like a bit of salacious gossip with my breakfast on a Sunday so I'm a regular buyer of the News of the World (or News of the Screws as it's also sometimes known - which gives you an idea of the sort of paper it is if you're not from the UK).

I really like their little magazine "Fabulous"; it always has nice cheap and cheerful fashion and makeup ideas, and in line with this they've had an offer on for the past month to collect a token each week and after four weeks collect a Barry M special collection from Superdrug.


Worth £20 apparently, but free with 4 tokens!

A pillar box red nail polish, one quick coat rather haphazardly applied:

A black eyeliner, a charcoal eyeshadow, and a Glossy Tube lip gloss

The eyeshadow has a slight silvery sheen, and the lip gloss is a very pigmented nude - miraculously not sticky at all either - which is a revelation!

So, all in all - not a bad haul. I think I've been pleased with everything I've ever tried from Barry M, and it's funny to think about the (well deserved) love and recognition the brand is now getting after languishing on the outskirts for so long.

dimanche 7 février 2010

No. 17 - you've surprised me!

I don't usually take much notice of No.17 makeup, but Friday I took refuge in Boots while in an insanely crowded Euston station. I noticed some solo eyeshadows on special offer. At £3.49 each they're hardly expensive full price, but they're currently £6 for two.

I quickly swatched a few and grabbed two me (ie neutral) shades. I've been very pleasantly surprised by these. It's a small thing, but I love the way they finish these - like a fan of pleated fabric - so beautiful

L-R: Statuesque, Mardi Gras

Statuesque is a peachy gold colour, and Mardi Gras is...well - Satin Taupe, but cheaper - a nice walnut brown.

I can't believe how pigmented they are, and how soft and creamy in texture. I don't know whether I got lucky with these two shades, or whether the rest are equally good but I urge you to check them out for a cheap treat.

L-R MAC's Satin Taupe, 17's Mardi Gras and Statuesque

These are just one swipe, no primer or anything - look how strong the colour is. And look how much more pigmented than MAC's Satin Taupe.


Have you found any gems in the no 17 range?