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 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?