Friday, 31 August 2012

REVIEW: Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint

I've mentioned my love for this product before I know, but I thought it deserved a more in depth review :)  I lived on free samples of this foundation/tinted moisturiser for a while, and was so impressed with it I decided to buy the full size version.  I couldn't believe my luck actually - I was going to buy the 'Liz Earle trio' (Cleanse and Polish, Skin Tonic and Skin Repair moisturiser) and the Sheer Skin Tint anyway, so guess what the August bundle was? All four products for just £41 (worth over £66)!! I snapped that bad boy up on the first day of the deal ;)  The deal ends on 5th September so what are you waiting for? Go go go!!

Liz Earle describes this product as:

"The perfect way to enhance your skin. Our rich and creamy, yet lightweight formula leaves all skin types looking naturally dewy, even and radiant. With mineral UV protection SPF15, it’s enriched with our own blend of natural source vitamin E, borage and avocado, specially selected to work in harmony with our skincare range."

Me with no makeup on *gulp* I'm still recovering from being ill so be nice!

 Me with just Sheer Skin tint on my skin, and a tiny bit of mascara and Korres tinted lip balm.

Full face on - over Sheer Skin Tint is No7 pressed powder (now discontinued), No7 Natural Blush Cheek Colour, Bare Minerals Pure Radiance to subtly highlight,  Eyes - MAC Paint Pot in Vintage Selection (LE), L'oreal Carbon Gloss liquid liner, Lips - Chanel lipstick in Rouge Orage
I'm in two minds about this product, but generally I really really like it.  Most foundations aggravate my uber sensitive skin, but this in fact seems to soothe it!  A lot of makeup also seems to break me out at the moment, but Sheer Skin Tint makes my spots disappear... I kid you not!! On the rare occasions my rosacea flares up, this foundation clears it up.  So it's kind of a win/win for me.  
I have quite dry skin so I'm sold on anything that makes my complexion dewy and glowy.  If you prefer a matte finish, this foundation is not for you.  Sometimes I feel like this product makes me almost too shiny, so beware.  Of course, you can just set it with a matte powder and then you're fine, which I sometimes do.  For daytime wear, when I like having light coverage and radiant skin, this product is perfect for me.
So why am I in two minds about it? It is really really REALLY light coverage! I have quite dark shadows under my eyes, and the sides of my nose are red thanks to broken capillaries, but that's pretty much all that's wrong with my skin - I'm lucky not to have any scarring, and I don't break out that often.  Even for the sides of my nose and under my eyes, though, I find myself reaching for my concealer to mix with the Skin Tint (is it kosher to mix concealer and foundation?! Please tell me if this is taboo!) for better coverage.  
So yeah, I would prefer something with slightly more coverage, but as this is marketed more as a tinted moisturiser than a heavy duty foundation I can't really complain!  I do love the fact that it seems to be good for my skin and calms it down rather than being irritating or making me break out (this may not be the case for other people though so always patch test!).  It's a total "my skin but better" product, giving me a radiant and evened-out complexion, but don't buy it if you want/need better coverage :)

Thursday, 30 August 2012

FASHION: A/W12-13 Trend#1: GLAM GOTH

Is it just me who can really feel the changing of the seasons right now? The crispness in the morning air, the leaves beginning to turn colour and the deluge of rain yesterday can only mean one thing - winter is coming (nope, that line never gets old!). 

Autumn/winter does come with some benefits - Christmas, cosying up, hot chocolate and of course A/W fashion! I get so much more excited about this season than I do about S/S in terms of fashion (obvs I always look forward to summer weather, but in Scotland summer sometimes doesn't arrive!).  

A/W clothes for the last few years have been what I would call 'elegant goth'.  Dark lace and leather, but with opulent textures like fur and velvet softening the look.  This look is sticking around for another year, and here are my favourite items so far for the look:

Sunday, 26 August 2012

BEAUTY: Why I've gone back to drugstore products

I used to be all about the luxury.  Whether it was the act of saving up (ok or more likely diving headfirst into my overdraf) and spending a small fortune on something luxurious that was now all MINE, the sophistication of the packaging, or the feeling of owning something that was definitely considered High End, I don't know, but I loved every aspect of it.

Realistically, however, with only a few exceptions, I have been disappointed time and time again with my overly-priced products.  As I said - there are a few exceptions - Liz Earle skincare and Skin Tint (I have yet to try other products from their makeup range), Urban Decay shadows (I <3 Naked 4eva) and eyeliners, and .. yeah that's pretty much it!

To give you my current examples of total HE failures...

Dior - Diorshow Blackout mascara

Now, I don't want to criticise this mascara completely - when it was good it was very good, if that makes sense! However, after owning this mascara for ~6months the wand now looks something like this:

Yeah.  I kid you not.  The bristles have just gone down completely flat, except for the base and the tip.  And it doesn't matter how often I clean it so it looks normal again, as soon as I stick it back into the mascara, it reverts back to this.  I know I have no leg to stand on - you're not 'supposed' to use a mascara for more than 6 months due to potential risk of infection yadda yadda yadda, but we all do, right! But I have NEVER known a wand to look like this.  So this £22.50 mascara will never be applied again - it is in fact unusable!  
I'm going back to Maybelline thank you....

Shampoos and Conditioners (and all hair products really!)

Over the years I have really been a hair snob (can you tell?).  I shuddered at my boyfriend's Herbal Essences and crossed myself whenever a friend raved on about H&S/Pantene (ok I still do that).  Some of the brands I have used include - Kerastase, Macadamia Natural Oil, Redken, Tigi S Factor, Tigi Bedhead, KMS California, Wella, Orofluido, Aveda.... the list goes on.  
With the exception of Tigi S Factor Diamond Dreams (which I now don't use because the once-delicious strawberries+cream scent now is overly sickly because I used it for so long!) and Aveda Madder Root (which I can't use because it'll deposit red pigments into my Cuella de Ville *cringe* hair),  I was disappointed with the lot of them. Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Treatment made my hair really really really weighed down so I gave it to my sister.  Wella products gave me an allergic reaction to the extent that 6 months after using it I still have an itchy and sensitive scalp!

Anyway, I could complain all day, but basically Tresemmé Vibrantly Smooth shampoo and conditioner has made more of a positive difference to my hair than anything I've ever used.  I love it so much I could write about it all day.  What I've realised, particularly with the Macadamia Oil, is that my hair really can't take silicones - they make it weighed down and greasy-looking, yet really dry and dehydrated when I wash it off.  I also would recommend to everyone to NEVER USE SULPHATES.  On your face, body or hair.  'Mkay?  I could, and maybe someday will, dedicate an entire blog post to this ingredient of Satan.  Anyway, this Tresemme s&c are cone free and reduced sulphates.  Pretty awesome if you ask me.  They leave my hair soft, frizz-free and totally manageable :)

Basically, I am giving up on buying any more HE products.  My Naked palette, 24/7 pencils, and my Liz Earle products can stay until I finish/hit pan.  But really next time I will probably try out Purity Skincare, which is supposed to be as natural and organic as Liz Earle, at a fraction of the cost.  I am also going to stop using my Chanel lippies, which fade really quickly and dry my lips out, and replace them with some of the exciting new Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stains, which I have been hearing so many good things about on the blogosphere.

What have you guys found? Have high pricetags guaranteed you good quality of product, or have you been left disappointed like me?


Saturday, 25 August 2012

MEMEME: Where have I been?

Hey, sorry I've been a bit AWOL the last few weeks! Things have been mega hectic - working ridiculously long days (7:30-5:30 anyone?!), helping out at a local stables on a Saturday and trying to catch up with people in what little spare time I have! Oh and therefore falling asleep in front of the TV at like 8pm a lot of nights too due to the above hecticness! Woohoo party animal :|

However, I have managed to fit in some 'playtime' - me and my two BFFs descended on my sister's new home in York last weekend for some proper girly time and an awesome reunion.  I couldn't remember the last time the four of us were all in the same place at the same time, so it was really good for us all to catch up together.  We explored York and walked a lot, went out Saturday night and did a cheeky bit of shopping too!

L-R BFF#1, my sister, me and BFF#2!
 Me skiving at work (lab timer always at hand though) in the sunshine
 Topshop's amaze-ing A/W collections - I am pretty much lusting after every single one of their products!! Get in my closet now.
 Sneaky Topshop purchase - a necklace I've been eyeing up for ages
Yorkminster - totally awe-inspring :)

So what else is new? As you can probably tell from the first picture, my hair has faded from an awesome blue and chocolate to ... mint and chocolate.  It looks so stupid, and I really wish I had gotten it fixed before my weekend away! I can't be dealing with the crazy upkeep that is bright colours, and I also am sick of having a sleek bob that looks crap unless I straighten it every day! Don't get me wrong, my stylist did a great job but the colour and style are both really high maintenance!!

So.  I have set myself a challenge.  STOP OBSESSING OVER YOUR HAIR! I swear to God, I have gone from being obsessed about skincare (and we all know how that ended *cough*mostsensititiveskinintheworld*cough*) to being obsessed about my hair.  As you can probably tell from this blog, I have changed my hair colour+style approximately once a month since Christmas.  I think it's just cos I look at pics of people on the net and be like "ooh i like their hair.." and try and copy it, especially cos I'm not very happy with myself/the way I look currently.  But at the end of the day, I know what suits me best and that's long and dark choppy hair.  So no more obsessing.  No more changing.  No more dissatisfaction! (Cheesy motivational speech ahoy).  I am setting myself the challenge of growing my hair out, not looking at hair blogs/tumblrs and only getting a TRIM every 3 months.

I'm going to give myself until the date that my job contract ends - November 1st, 2015.  So that's it for the rest of my time in Scotland! No more hair craziness.

Mike and I are planning our next few months - we're thinking of starting snowboarding in the next couple weeks, I want to start having proper riding lessons next month and he is getting into aggressive skating + biking.  Well, you're only young once right?! We're both doing everything we've always wanted to do but always made excuses for why we don't do it.  I just feel like, neither of us drink anymore so we don't go out at night that often, but that doesn't make our lives boring - I think we're more daytime people tbf, so we should do lots of outdoorsy activities.  

Oh, and planning a mahoosive shopping trip end of next month so watch this space ;)

Other than that, not too much is going on.  Cats are still nutters.  I'm addicted to GoT (nearly finished book 3!).  Doing yoga every night - it's really making such a difference to my strength and flexibility! I fully recommend fitsugar for lots of different yoga sequences for every problem.

Have a great weekend people, I'll be snuggled under a blanket watching Jackass and Breaking Bad (I'm such a guy lol).


Monday, 6 August 2012

MEMEME: If you really knew me...

I've seen this post floating around the blogosphere (I love that word!), and when Dani at Sometimes Sweet (my favourite blog ever!) blogged it I knew I had to join in.

If you really knew me...'d know that I'm less of a music snob than I used to be! I used to listen exclusively to hardcore / metalcore / emocore (basically anything *core!) but now I love running to hip hop and rap, relaxing to emo or Lana del Rey, and singing along to Rihanna! My playlists are pretty eclectic but I like it that way :)'d know I like animals more than people.  I love my two cats so much my friends accuse me of being a crazy cat lady.  Whenever I go past someone walking their dogs I have to go 'awww!' over their animals.  And don't get me started on horses!'d know that I'm stronger than I seem.  I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, stress, psychosis, social anxiety, SI and suicidal tendencies, disordered eating, slight OCD-like compulsions ... I've been on so many medications ... and I still manage to keep my head up high and keep going.  I know that everyone has their own cross to bear, and this is mine, and I don't let my disorders define me anymore.'d know I used to be a total Lord of the Rings nutcase when the films came out! I could still probably quote the Silmarillion on request...'d know that I'm always looking for the next new thing.  Whether it's fashion, jobs, hair, place of residence ... I'll be constantly planning for What's Next.  Turning down a job offer in Brisbane about 6 months ago (my dream city) made me realise that I think I need to spend more time on the present because maybe it's not so bad after all!'d know that I'm a total mix of geek and chic - I love fashion and all that 'shallow' stuff, yet I work in a lab and heart off Game of Thrones.'d know that I definitely had my 'wild time'.  I can't and don't want to speak of most of the things I did between the ages of 19-21, but they definitely give me stuff to look back on and laugh.  I'm much calmer now and have many great memories and stories that start "remember when..."'d know that I could probably eat my entire weight in chocolate.  In one sitting.  Om nom nom....

Your turn :)

Sunday, 5 August 2012

MEMEME: Week in Pictures 3

(OOTD#1, me, stars and faded pink hair, OOTD#2, sunny Scotland, snug Sparrow, sleepy Sparrow, poppy, both cats, Italian cuisine week, foil head, new hair#1, Sparrow losing her bracelet, thigh tattoo ideas, Harley shop, new hair#2, Italian roasted veggies, grotty converse, Sparrow loving her dad, new top)

Hi! I've been AWOL for a while, so this is a massive catch up! Wow. Where to start! I had a week's annual leave where I planned to do sooOOooo much, and ended up having a very relaxed detox week.  This basically entailed daily yoga, jogging round the neighbouring fields (see pics for how gorgeous it is!) and eating a lot more healthily and mindfully.  Had Italian week last week at home, which entailed eating a ton of yummy food. Started back at work last Wednesday, and already I can feel the stress creeping back in :( It's not even my job that's the issue - it's such a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.  Something I need to work on anyway :)

Mike dragged me to the Harley shop, to show me the bike he wants! It was full of bearded men (how stereotypical!) and shiny bikes.  He has his first 'taster' sess a week tomorrow, and is so excited, bless him.  I've banned him from growing a beard though ;)

I realised when uploading all these pics that most of my kitty piccies are of Sparrow, and only one of Seren! This is not favouritism btw!! - just that Sparrow is more social with us, and also does the stupidest things! I'll make it my mission to photograph cutey dragon-nosed Seren more often :)

I've updated my hair (again, I know, I just haven't been happy with it the last few months, and still a bit scared of it now! Someone told me I look very sci-fi, which I suppose sums it up pretty well! I've got a black (ok, a warm level 4 brown, but looks black) and blue bob, with a full fringe.  I've never had such short hair before!! Can't even tie it back! I do love it, though the blue is fading to greeny-grey already, and I've only had it done 5 days!!!!!!!11 I don't even wash it every day!  

I've also decided that I want a new tattoo, on my thigh this time.  I fell in love with the above pic, but obviously want to make it my own and not copy somebody else's.  I'll keep you posted :)

I've started volunteering at a local riding for the disabled charity!! I went in yesterday to help out, and it was mostly feeding and grooming the horses as there weren't any riders that day.  I'm sure I've mentioned here how much I love horses, and to be able to help out a charity at the same time is awesome!

Um other than that, not much else to tell you! Oh I bought myself some new Liz Earle - they have an offer this month for the trio of skincare (Cleanse and Polish, Skin Tonic and Skin Repair), plus a full-size of the Sheer Skin Tint, all for just £41!!  I have tried and loved (and reviewed) these products before, so I was mega excited for the delivery :)

How was your weekend?


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