Saturday, 30 June 2012


Yes that is my hand in bandages, I injured my little finger the other night. It's not broken but sprained but it means for a few days I'm having to everything one handed. It also means I can't type that well, so I'm having the weekend off of typing but doing lots of reading. Have a great weekend everyone and keep safe! x

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Ciate's Bon Bon Vs. Nails Inc. Portchester Square

Left: Ciate in Bon Bon. Right: Nails Inc. Portchester Road
I never really been a nude nail girl, I'd rather have my nails making a bold statement, but then I may be mellowing in my old age and starting to think about getting some nudes in my collection. Marie Claire has this one in their magazine as a freebie (it will be ending this week so grab then while you can, there are two other colours to collect). I did wear it for a while (NOTD here), and while it's a reasonable varnish, the colour really didn't bowl me over.

I then did an order with LatestInBeauty (Here) where they were (and still are) selling this colour for £6.00 instead of £11 and thought why not? I received my order on Saturday and while watching the F1 (wasn't it an awesome race?!) painted my nails and wondered how the two together would compare.

Taken on daylight (when it was sunny!)

The first thing that strikes me is that the Ciate Bon Bon is acutally more of a lilac, while the Nails Inc. Porcester Square is a lot more of a nuder brown. I also found the Bon Bon against my skintone was right at all, while the Nails Inc complimented more. Painting wise, I found the Nails Inc much more easier to use and in these pictures it's only one coat while the Ciate has two.

I also put them to ultimate manicure test - I painted each hand in the colours and did two hours of housework (scrubbing, hot water, cleaning chemicals, the whole thing!). The Ciate didn't fair well and started to chip towards the end. However, the Nails Inc stood up to the test and still look reasonable glossy.

So sorry Ciate as pretty as your bottles are, when it comes down to giving it some punishment it didn't stand the test of a good house clean. Nails Inc wins!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

My First Order with is another company that offers sample sizes before purchase, this one is slightly different that you can choose the three sample sachets that go into your box for the cost of £1.50 that is added to you mobile phone bill.

After adding my details into my profile they picked a selection and from that I picked: TRESemme Split Remedy Set (Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave-In Treatment), Dr. Organic Rose Otto Lotion and SUPER by Dr Nicholas Perricone Bright Eyed. They arrived 3 days after I ordered, I got two sachets each of the TRESemme and SUPER but only one of the Dr. Organic. The box was also much thicker than the products and could of easily fit into an envelope, cutting down on postage costs as I feel that £1.50 is a little high for what I actually received.
The TRESemme turned out to be a great 3 set, the scent wasn't unoffensive and smelt like any other hair care product out there, however I really liked the leave in treatment. I normally wash my hair, leave it damp over night as I don't have time in the morning to go through the whole routine. I also have really dry hair because I dye it, I woke with really soft and volumised hair even after a nights sleep on it. More impressive that trying it this way meant that I was allergic to it, as with other TRESemme products in the past.

The two skincare products that I received were nothing really to rave about. The Dr. Organic Rose Otto cream is a slightly thicker lotion than the normal, however you do need to really like the smell of rose it is heavily scented (and not best for people who have sensitive skin), I got about four good uses out of one 5ml sachet. The SUPER eye cream is a light eye cream designed for the more maturer skin, couldn't smell any scent and sunk is quickly. It stopped the area feeling dry, but other than that it didn't rock my world.

The main reason I tripped over the sight was that Never To Broke For Beauty gave a heads up to the Luxury sample side of the website that currently have a 30ml Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish for £3 for a limited time. Never trying it before (and there was a free p&p code), I grabbed myself one, then spotted the hero Nails Inc. shade Porchester Road for £6 instead of £11 and whoops that went in as well (reviews to come).

I find a mixed bag, it's sample service is OK but the choice of luxury sampling is far better. I have just ordered their themed box by YOU magazine and The Beauty Bible, costing £11.90 (including P&P), it has their top picked of beauty products valued around £40. Interest? Buy it here

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Masterclass - Introduction to Massage

The basis of massage consists of manipulation of superficial tissue and underlying muscle; this can be done by using different ways using hands, feet, elbows, and knees. The word massage comes from different languages but the general translation's to knead, touch, feel or handle.

Th practise of massage can be recorded to years back, Hippocrates (the founder of medicine) in the fifth century wrote that, "the physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing". He was an advocate of being "rubbed" to aid illness, fatigue and injury before any understanding of the circulation system was noted. It now be found widely used throughout the world with each country having its own technique and practise.

The benefits of massage are now clear in the modern world:

  • Pain relief - When used correctly in injury can relieve slight swelling by moving liquid away from the area.
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Temporary lowers blood pressure and heart rate as it is a destresser.
  • Can be used to treat people with depression alongside medication.
At most massage it a complimentary therapy which means that it can be used alongside or instead of modern medication (however if you are on medication it is best to get the go ahead from your doctor). 

One of most destressing part of massage is having a human contact that it involves as well as having that "time out" for yourself, and in the most part that's the most healing part of the treatment. There is also many ranges of massage so there is one for everyone, and not all of them involve taking your clothes of which is most common question about massage!

Next week we'll look at the basic techniques used in massage, so you know what movements construct a massage routine and what it should feel like.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

NOTD: Avon's Starry Night

My 50th Post goes to the new amazing "Starry Night" by Avon. I've now worn it for 3 days and it has only started to show the smallest (and hardly noticeable) sign of wear. It is a shimmer of silver with I've found a few slightly larger pieces, it reflects light very well to the point that my husband said that it looks like I've painted mirrors on my fingers. The brush I find is good to paint with, and you don't need to wipe too much excess lacquer off to cover the nail. Two coats will give a strong colour, and would be easy to use in nail art.

Avon are defiantly now one brand to look in for affordable varnish and they currently are running an offer of 2 bottles for £8 (Normally £6 each) HERE. I brought Romance, a shimmer pink/mauve, at the same time and am now looking forward to trying it now.

In artifical light (with Instagram, just painted)

In daylight (after 3 days wear)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Why I Love Red Lippie

The first time I ever tried a red lipstick was when I had it suggested that I should try it because I had that classic English Rose look. I brought my first red, a Bourjois in a matt red case with gold on it, it a blue/red with a matt finish and I loved it, it instantly made me look glamorous with little effort. From then I was hooked, I loved the way it brightened my skin and earned me the nick name, "Snow White" because of my dark hair, pale skin and I was told my "perfect" lips that can pull off the red pout.

One of the many times I've worn red out

So why is red lipstick still one of the go to colours of our time? It comes from the Western history, Japanese geisha's painting their lips red in contrast to the whiteness of their skin (more on that later as it is a subject I dearly love). The look was steadily coming over to the east, in 13th century Italian ladies worn them as a mark of status in the upper classes.

It wasn't until the glamour of the early 20th century with the 1920's flapper girls and of course the huge Hollywood productions. Max Factor, Elizabeth Arden, and Helena Rubinstein were the first names to see a market for mass production of cosmetics. One theory of it's popularity is that the red lips to men could remind them of something else on a woman, which I'm not sure how true this can be.

Red, to me, is the easiest and most glamorous way to update any day to night look, it instantly makes me more womanly. In colour therapy it signifies passion, love and fire, and is associated to my star sign of Aries.

My collection (as current but I'm always looking for more to add my collection so any suggestions are welcome) stands as the following:

The best I had was one from Boots No7 and it was a double ended wand with a paint on colour then gloss,  but I lost it on a night out and I dearly miss it. These are great colours and I do seem to go towards the more pinky reds, while the Rimmel is more a blue/red. The Silk Red was part of a Christmas lipstick collection that Estee Lauder did about 2010. My most recent was Boots natural collection and comes up almost sheer with shimmer.

Maybe it's a time to get a new one, well you cannot never have too many reds?

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Masterclass - Eyelash Extensions/False Lashes

Common false lashes are made out of nylon or real hair, the recent conterversal use was mink hair in London salons. The hair brushed from the mink and collected by hand, and that is wht here is a £125.00 price tag for a pair of lashes in salons. They are suppose to give a more natural appearance, however don't discount the nylon variety. They have a better reputation of holding a curl that most false lash lovers crave, and for me, they're much more kinder to animals like the minks.

False lashes are applied to the eyelid along the lashline to plump out the existing lashes to give that wide eyed look that was fashionable in 1960/70's. They can also be corective by filling in gaps of missing hair as well as be a addiction to fantasy make up.

Lashes come in individual and strips, as well as perament and temporary. With perment lashes they are applied by a consulatnt after a patch test for the glue is performed one by one, starting at the inner corner and working ttheir way outwards. It can take anythign from 1 and half hours to 3 hours depending on the skill of the therapist, and after that you will need to return every 2 to 5 weeks to refil and maintain the growth.

Temporary lashes can be applied by yourself, come in strip (where the fibres are attached to a small strip where the glue is applied) or indival (where the fibres are put together in small groups). You will need some good light, tweezers and a very steady hand, always read the manufactures instructions and skin test the glue 24 hours before use.

Removal is simple with tempoaries - With clean hands lift the strip from the outer eye edge, gently pull the lash away from the eyelid. They can also have the adhensive removed and a gentle clean to be reused (unless they're past past their best, threw them out!).

There are some fabulous fashion lashes out there that add that dramatic edge to any look.



The paper ones are just amazing when used, the recently been featured in The Hunger Games movie on Eeffie Trinket. I prefer it when the lashes do the talking, keeping the rest of the face simple with any focus on the eyes.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

In The News - Is this a case of business before ethics?

Another company has succumb to the business pull of china, Urban Decay announced a few days ago that they were going to start trading in China (Press Release). China currently allows animal testing on cosmetics as part of their "safety" control for their consumers. I have written in the past about Lush's Campaign about animal cruelty and the shock tactics they used. I reiterate now that I do not feel any need for this treatment, and am disappointed that this still goes on with the technology advances that there are currently.

Urban Decay follows Estee Lauder (and the companies they own like MAC, Bobbi Brown, Clinique etc.), Avon, and Mary Kay that has seen the potential market in China and decided that they want a chunk of it. In that part I do not see how they could avoid it. In the climate we are in China are a very strong economy and in that sense there is more dispensable income to be spent.

This is the thing that is not sitting well with me, Urban Decay was one of the first companies to get the BUVA (Press Release) on their product , which they have now been stripped of (other strippees include L’Occitane, Yves Rocher, and Caudalie). They also launched a campaign to stop animal testing called "How Could We?". They promoted a majority of their business on the fact that they were cruelty free, and that's why this bothers me. China are actually on the brink of signing to use non cruelty testing in the late summer (PETA), so couldn't they wait?

So my question is "How Could they?"

Masterclass - Eyelash Perming

First and foremost, I need to empathise an important point - There are some things that can be done at home and we have spoken about some of them; this however should be done by a therapist that has qualified in this. I hope after you read about this you will understand why I say this.

Curling the plashes can open up the eyes and while eye lashes curl tools can do this, they can over time weaken the lashes and lead to breakage. Lash perming is perfect for when your going on holiday and occasions as it is waterproof and it can last up to 6 weeks. They are also more suitable for people with shorter lashes that can have problems curling them. It is not recommended for people with already naturally curly lashes, very very short lashes (that are also sparse), and lashes that are already very fragile. The Therapist should take a consultation with you to make sure that this is the best treatment for you and not waste your money.

The perming itself is very similar to perming the hair on your head. The area is cleansed and the correct size roller is applied to the edge of the eyelid, then the lashes are gently curled on the roller using a cotton bud and stuck down. The perm lotion is then applied to the lashes, left to set then wiped off. Then another a solution (the fixing lotion) is added and covered for 10-15 minutes. This is then removed and then the rollers are gently (and it should be gently!) removed towards the chin. These lotions break down the protein chains in the hair follicles so the reaction softens them so they can "fixed" into the new curled shape. After the fixing solution is applied and removed, the lashes have a moisturising lotion added so it can condition the hair after treatment.

I had this done a few years ago as a model for the local college course for the students to watch, the tutor I had been practising for a few years and put me at great ease. The resulting lashes were beautifully curled and lasted well to 6 weeks were they grew out. There are two things I feel I need to mention about the treatment from my own experience: I found the sensation of the rollers on my lashes took a long time to get used to, it is a really odd sensation but the results are worth (as well as the head massage I got while it developed). The other is the perming lotion smell, there is nothing that can be done about that, a good therapist should make sure that the room is well ventilated.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Jubilee Weekend

We seemed to of timed our garden party rather well and had it early in the weekend on Saturday, we actually had a little bit of sun in ours. Where we live is in a small community in a cul-de-sac that circles a community grass area, which turned out useful as we didn't need to cut off our car par to join in the festivities.

There was enough food to feed a small army and a lot of people has gone to the trouble of baking fresh cakes and scones - yummy. Our little area was once a over 65's (which recently changed), so a lot of the residents were they for the original coronation and told us stories from there. Toasts were done and national anthem was sung (badly by the younger lot including me) before the bigger kids started playing games.

The celebrations have been great to watch, I was really moved by Prince Charles's speech at the concert last night. It was really heartfelt, warm and humourless, the concert itself was a bit hit and miss but you did have to fit in 60 years worth of different music to suit everyone. The floating pageant was great, it was really a sight watching all those boats floating on the Thames, but I was very glad to be indoors with the Jubilee tea blend.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Happy 60 Years!

Happy 60 years!
Today is the start of 4 days of celebrations for the Queens 60 years of reign (and if you didn't know that then you must of been a hermit the past year!).

If you really need a woman to admire in the modern age then Elizabeth II is the best example of someone is strong, independent, and is making it in mans' world (and doesn't stand for anything!). She also is making changes that is reflecting the 21st century; if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first child is a girl she will automatically been next in line.

A good fact for you as well: The longest running sovereigns have all been women (2nd behind Queens Victoria at 62 years). More facts are here

I hope you all enjoy the parties and celebrations (as well as extended days off, my thoughts are to those who are working). Congratulations on 60 years and may you reign for many more, pass the Pimms!

PS Can I borrow a Tiara :D

Friday, 1 June 2012

NOTD: Shake Your "Bon Bon"

Oh I do love a freebie, especially when it's a nail polish that should be £9 but is a price of a magazine (£3.70). This one is from a collection of 3 from Marie Claire magazine. I've never used Ciate (it does have a little accent above the E but my Asus tablet panics when I try to get it to work), so this was for me an ideal way of trying it out. As I said this is part of a collection, there is a soft lilac which is beautiful and a summery bright pink. I wanted this one as I just had to throw my Nails Inc version away; I find in comparison that this is more lilac than mushroom which I really like. I wore it today in a job trail for a reception job and last well against the typing of the keyboard, it has a good brush, varnish goes well on in two coats and the curved bottle is very good to hold. I most of all love the little black bow, such a sweet little touch. Currently resisting looking at the website ( as I know I'll buy something and I'm very very broke!