Tuesday, 31 July 2012



I believe I have issues with the colour purple, not the book, but yarn dyed the colour purple. See that there? that is a ball of Malabrigo Sock in Abril, it is beautiful (if you ignore the ball winder injury sustained on the right) but I cannot knit it.

There is something about purple that is making me shy from patterns, nothing is quite right, nothing quite fits how I want my finished project to look, nothing suits the colour variegation in the skein, nothing is darn good enough.

I have so far tried to knit 2 patterns from this skein, Travelling Woman and Kleio, both beautiful patterns in themselves, but thank god this yarn is great at keeping its tension when it has been frogged because otherwise I would have wasted £12. I want to knit a scarfy/shawly thing that I can wear to work, I want it to have a considerable amount of lace with a minimal amount of block stockinette or garter stitch because I really am not fond of variegated yarns in blocks of standard knitting, the pooling never seems to look nice to me.

I have trawled the Ravelry project pages for this particular shade of Malabrigo Sock, a favourite past time of mine when I haven't a clue what to knit a lovely yarn into, and nothing is jumping out at me. Despite my rules I am tempted to try a 'holey' wingspan shawl as project number 3, or buy another skein in a complimentary colour and knit either Colour Affection or Stripe Study Shawl (I could always use that periwinkle yarn I couldn't knit before I suppose) all of which could result in more pooling vomit and frogging.

I could of course simply give in and make some socks.

One can never have too many socks.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Just Call Me Pandy

I have recently discovered something about myself, I hate waterproof mascara!


I had been wondering lately why I didn't wear waterproof mascara, with the weather getting hotter, and hayfever making my eyes itchy and watery, it seemed like the logical thing to do. Wear waterproof and it solves my problems!

I bought the L'Oreal Telescopic waterproof mascara after Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup had raved about it so much thinking that it would surely be the one to try, but alas I am afraid I have to disagree with her. Now don't get me wrong, I like the telescopic range, I love the brush for its separating capabilities, I just hate how much effort it takes for me to get the damn stuff off. Even using my Micellar Solution following Lisa Eldridge's instructions and then following with my Hot Cloth Cleanser I struggle and end up losing at least one lash. 

After making my eyes even more sore using this for a few weeks, I caved and went and bought a different, plain old lets the water make it run mascara and I am now much happier. Waterproof simply isn't for me it seems, I'd choose panda eyes any day over red sore ones! 
And which lesson has this taught me? If I don't use something and haven't for a good long while, there is probably a reason for it, and just because I can't remember that reason 
doesn't mean I should question it!!

Now, what to do with the second one I bought as part of the offer.

Do you wear waterproof mascara?

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Review Avene Cleanance Line


Recently I have decided to have a little overhaul of my skincare routine. I have stuck with Cetaphil as my morning cleanser, Sanctuary Hot Cloth Cleanser as my evening one, and Micellar solution to remove my makeup, but there are a few steps surrounding those that needed a little change.

I mentioned in an empties post a while back that I wasn't enjoying the Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion as my facial moisturiser anymore, and since finishing my Roaccutane treatment I have tried several other day moisturisers, all of which haven't really felt right. They were either too dry or too slick, they left me oily or clogged my pores, some even gave me an allergic reaction. I was getting a bit frustrated by it all when I walked into boots and decided to have a look at some French pharmaceutical brands, ones which were more into treating sensitivity as well as other complaints, and I settled on Avene.

I picked up a mattifying cleanser, the Cleanance Anti-Shine Regulating Lotion, and a chemical exfoliant the Cleanance K, both of which are highly recommended by various YouTubers and Bloggers. The moisturiser is described as a lotion, but is more of a gel formulation, as is the exfoliator. This means that they both feel incredibly light and don't leave my skin feeling tacky, a big no no for me. Both products are specifically targeted to reduce oil by drawing it away from the skin and trapping it in special microcapsules within the formula, and the exfoliant uses both glycolic and salicylic acids to get rid of dead skin cells that cause clogged pores in the first place. 

I have been using both for a few weeks now, and I have noticed a big difference in the amount of oiliness I get during the day, especially on my forehead which is a real problem area. I haven't noticed a huge difference using the exfoliator, but I have to admit I haven't been religious about applying it, it does recommend you use it every evening, but I have used it on average once a week. I will be more strict with myself from now on and see if I can spot any noticeable changes. I don't think I would completely swap from a physical exfoliant to a chemical one, but careful combination of the two within a set routine would be ideal I believe, and is something I hope to achieve.

Both of these products cost £10.50 for 40ml, not cheap when you consider they are to be used every day, but as they are available from Boots there is always the chance to say a bit of money with an offer.

Have you tried Avene before?


Saturday, 21 July 2012

June Empties


I am trying to get back on track with posting these Empties, but I always feel like they don't need to be as prompt as say favourites posts, probably a completely whacked out way of thinking, but then it is me!

Anyway, a few items last month, a couple of long time workers too!

Original Source Vanilla Milk and Raspberry Shower Cream
£2.30  from Boots

I grabbed this when I was taking advantage of a buy one get one free offer and had been drawn towards a pineapple scented shower gel (definitely in next months favourites!) I wouldn't say this is as nice as the pineapple one, though being a shower cream it is more moisturising. It is a nice scent, but probably more for winter than summer, and as always it is nice to see Original Source using plenty of natural ingredients. If I was stuck for other scents, and I was getting one free I would grab this again, but my top choice would be Pineapple!

The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask
£12  from The Body Shop

The first of the long time workers, I have been trying to finish this pot of mask for about a year, I believe I wanted to finish it when I first started my project 20 pan. I have nothing against this mask, it is just messy. The tub it comes in allows it to dry out over time, so you have to rehydrate it to get it to spread evenly over your face, and it is harder to get off your skin than other clay masks I have used, especially if you have any opened pores, I always seem to end up with seaweedy bits stuck inside them.  I think this si a great mask for drawing out impurities, though it takes a day or two before they all come to the surface, but I would only repurchase if the packaging improved.

OPI Start to Finish Base and Top Coat
£13 from Sally's

I've had this a while and really didn't like it, there's a bit left in the bottom but it is too gloopy to get out. It didn't help keep my polish on or prevent chipping, which I find odd as the OPI Natural Nail Base Coat is fab, I definitely wouldn't buy this particular one again.

MAC Studio Moisture Tint SPF 15 in Light
£20 from MAC

The second of the long time coming products, I have been trying to use this tinted moisturiser up forever, and now I wish I hadn't! After using my Laura Mercier I have decided this one was a little bit better, being slightly stronger pigmented and thicker. I wouldn't repurchase however as I am trying to move away from MAC products as much as possible (I want to try other brands a bit more) but I am glad this is finished as I can now get a free lipstick!

The Sanctuary Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser
£10.50 from Boots

This is the second of my holy grail skincare items, and I absolutely love it. I had the old formulation in one of my past empties posts and I really wasn't that keen on it, it did the job but I am so happy to be back to using the new formula, it leaves my skin beautifully smooth and soft every time I use it.

Have you tried any of these products before?

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Review: Essie Nail Polishes Old and New


As I am sure you all know, recently Essie released a difusion line of their most popular nail polish shades in selected Boots and Superdrug stores across the UK. When i heard about this I got very excited, as I have ordered a couple of shades from eBay before and in general I quite liked them, and wanted to try more. I already had Mint Candy Apple and Marshmallow, which can be seen above, and I love the shades. However the application has a little bit to be desired, they could be a bit hit and miss and often took three or four coats rather than two to be opaque.

However my hopes rose a little bit when lots of bloggers began talking about them and how great the new brush is which supposedly improved application no end, great I thought, problem solved! But when I saw that brush, my heart began to thud with dispair. It looked exactly the same as the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure nail polish brushes, which I am not a fan of!

A couple of weeks ago while in Lincoln I decided to bit the bullet and try a couple of shades I had been admiring anyway, Splash of Grenadine and Lilacism, and risk hating the brush. However I am really pleased with these! The previously thought of as awful brush actually works wonderfully with the quite thin formula of the polishes, a combination which Sally Hansen didn't achieve, and application is really quick and easy because of it. The brush is a standard length and density bristle brush, but the bristles are arranged flat, with ever so slightly curved ends, which generally just means less streaks!

I will definitely be picking up a few more of these next time I am in Lincoln, top of my list are Tea and Crumpets, Merino Cool, and Angora Cardi.

Have you picked up any of the Essie Diffusion Line polishes yet?

Saturday, 14 July 2012


Just a quick post to show off my new glasses as I haven't got around to filming a video wearing them yet. What do you think? 
I absolutely positively LOVE them!


I had been needing new glasses for a while, so much so that the screws on my old ones had almost worn out the threads! After completing my librarianship degree I knew I wanted something undeniably librarian like. Tortoiseshell was a must, I had to have those warm brown hues. I tried on several pairs, most geek like in shape or cat eyed, and ranging from Dior to Ray Ban to Karen Millen, and it took me about 3 months to find this pair of Chanel ones amongst all the others. 
I mainly chose this pair because the frames are relatively thin and light, most plastic frames currently are incredibly large and chunky, which is fine if you have strong features, or you only wear them occasionally to accent the rest of your style, but I needed something lighter. Chanel do make a more delicate frame in the tortoiseshell, but the shapes didn't suit me, and all the other brands were far too chunky for my face, so I went for this pair which have a relatively lightweight plastic frame, with the classic Chanel chain strap sides, which also helps to keep them delicate. 

Now the one thing to remember if you like these is they are far from cheap! They set me back £300 including lenses, they would have been cheaper if I had wanted a lesser set of anti scratch and glare coatings, but I need the best stuff for my night vision problems, so I sucked it up and went full whack. If however you only need a basic set of coatings on your lenses and are happy to take the risk of them not fitting right (or pay extra for fitting) they are much much cheaper online. The model in case you want to do your own search is the 3221Q and I have them in shade 714 Dark Havana.

I think going for a pricer choice of specs this time around instead of plumping for a pair from Specsavers that I could make do with was definitely the right choice for me. I need to wear these all the time now unless I get contact lenses, and they feel very very me, almost as if by embracing slightly geeky glasses I am embracing my inner geek too. I hope they will last me a good few years, and I actually aim to simply have the lenses and screws replaced when I need to, rather then buying new frames as I love them so much.

If you live in the Lincoln area and are looking for a Chanel Opticals Stockist, I bought mine from Dixons Opticians on Lincoln High Street, and I would recommend them highly, they were lovely with me and considering I had been treated quite rudely at a store closer to my home, I think it says a lot that I was willing to travel to get these.

How do you choose your glasses if you wear them?

P.S. Major points to anyone who knows where the quote in the picture is from, it is quite possibly my favourite action film!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Holy Grail: Sanctuary Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser

"Here may be found the last words of Joseph of Aramathia. He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the holy grail in the Castle of Aaauuuggghhh... "


Whenever anyone in beauty land mentions a Holy Grail product I always think of Monty Python, does anyone else?

Anyway, this Grail is that of The Sanctuary, their Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser to be precise. Usually when you see Hot Cloth Cleanser and Holy Grail next to each other you will see "Liz Earle" somewhere near by, but I am afraid that you wont find a rave about that product here. I have never tried it, and at the moment I don't feel the need to because I am put off by the scent. The Sanctuary is plenty enough for me. 
I have read posts where people have compared the ingredients lists of the two products and found barely a difference, but I haven't got access to them myself so I can't speak on that point, but it certainly seems to me that this is a cheaper, more accessible version of a hot cloth cleanser that may or may not do exactly the same thing. I can tell you that the Sanctuary cleanser contains several naturally derived oils, such as beeswax, cocoa butter, hops, coconut, jojoba, chamomile, grapefruit, and flax seed oils.

Now I have talked about this before but I felt it needed a shiny post just because it is so awesome. 
This cleanser works the same as most hot cloth cleansers, you wet your face (or not, I prefer to dampen mine) and then slather some of the cream on, put the included muslin cloth under a hot tap and place it over your face for a few seconds to steam it, then buff off the product with the cloth, and rinse. 
I normally do this twice, just because I love the clean feeling I get, and because it is amazing at unblocking my pores when I do so.
That is the main selling point to this product for me, nothing else gets my pores so clean, I can physically tell if I dont use this for a couple of days because my skin becomes congested and I have to do the whole face mask shebang, which is more work than I can be bothered with normally. I also always use this as a second time run to take off my eye makeup even though it doesn't actually state that you can on the bottle, it has never caused me any adverse drying or stinging, so I will continue to do so as it always takes off every last scrap. I believe part of the reason I don't react to it on my eyes is because it barely has a scent, there is the faintest natural scent there, but it isn't overpowering and doesn't make me feel nauseous.  
This stuff is so easy to get hold of, it is stocked even in my little Boots near work, and often on offer which means I spend around £5.50 a tube on this stuff, an absolute bargain for a wonder product in my opinion.

I am tempted to get a Clarisonic to see if I can make this product even better, but at the moment I don't honestly need it so it would be an unnecessary expense, it would be interesting to see if it too is made better with the contraption like its herbal cousin.

The only negative I have so far is that I can't find a mini version for when I travel. There is one in a gift set, but I don't need the rest of the stuff, so it would be a waste of money. I am still searching though!

All in all, I love this product and will continue to use it for a while yet.

Have you tried this cleanser? Would you be willing to give it a go?


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Birthday Haul

So, the month of May was the month of my birthday! At the very beginning of the month in fact, and it was a very happy occasion with lovely weather and good food and I went to see The Avengers at the cinema, which was hilarious.

As any beauty girl does when it is her birthday and she receives some money, I decided to tick a couple of items off my wishlist. I could have gone crazy and picked a few more, but I stuck to these three because they were items I either really fancied or had wanted for a long time.


A few days after my birthday me and my Mum popped into Lincoln for me to go get fitted for a new pair of glasses (which will have their own post soon) and we popped into Boots and Debenhams. 

I had a gift card for Boots, and a points voucher to use up, so I bought my most expensive treat there, the Dior Rosy Glow blusher. This isn't my first piece of Dior makeup, as I have one of the Addict lipsticks, but it is the first big piece of Dior makeup I have ever bought. 
I had been after a fairly light cool pink shade of blush as my beloved MAC Blush of Youth Beauty Powder can be a right pain to try and use sometimes, and this product's ability to change to suit the wearer seemed like it might be a good one to try. 
The lady at the counter was lovely and explained how the product worked to me, warning me that as it changes colour that I should use it very sparingly in case it decided hot pink was the colour for me. I have been using it on more special occasions, as when I am in a rush I tend to just slap some colour on my cheeks and this requires a gentle patience. 
I tend to use the brush that came in the compact to actually apply the product, as I find it easier to build up the product in layers that way, and blend with my normal blush brush. The brush in the compact is really very nice, not that I should be surprised. It is soft and not too dense, the perfect size to sweep along my cheekbone too.
The colour this takes on me is a very bright but cool doll pink, which I actually quite like! I have to be careful, as the smallest amount too much can make me look fluorescent, but applied just right it looks fresh, youthful and pretty, exactly the look I tend to go for.

On the same day as I said we popped to Debenhams, where I had a £5 reward to use up. 
While Mum wandered over to the Radley handbags I spent a bit of time debating between the YSL, Clarins and Urban Decay counters. The Debenhams in Lincoln doesn't have the largest range of counters, but it had enough that I was able to tick another product off of my wishlist,
I have been after one of these for years purely because of the packaging, but knowing that the wear time isn't long I was always slightly put off. After a bit of swatching I decided to go with number 30, Faubourg Peach, which is a lovely pastel coral/peach. 
The formula, as expected is gorgeous, soft, pigmented and so so smooth. The wear time is also as I expected, not very good, but I reserve this again for special occasions so that it isn't wasted. It is quite easy to over apply this, and I prefer to almost dab it on, rather than swipe. It doesn't emphasise the lines in your lips if you apply it that way either, which is a huge bonus!
This should be a great shade for the summer, and I am so glad I picked it up.

Finally, a sneaky treat that I wasn't going to go for, but thought what the hell, threw caution to the wind and dashed into House of Fraser. I was actually there to try out the new Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Compact foundation, which I am still considering for when I have finished some of my other ones.
While I was being matched though I thought I would swatch the infamous Boy Rouge Coco Shine lipstick. I had originally planned to get Liberte in the Rouge Coco Shine formulation, but having just bought a peach from YSL, I thought a neutral would be the wiser choice. 
Just like everyone before me I fell for this shade immediately. It is beautiful. It matches the pigmentation of my lips perfectly and simply makes them look more groomed and neat.
As expected the formula is smooth and a little glossy, but it stays on for longer than expected at a couple of hours without eating or drinking. 
I seriously hope Chanel never discontinue that one, because I think it has become my new "posh" go-to lippy.

All in all I think I did well this year, I was restrained, but still treated myself. I think the decision to invest in higher end products has been very satisfying lately!

:) xo

Sunday, 1 July 2012

June Favourites

I have decided to do my favourites on my blog this month, as it is a bit easier for me to do than filming and editing, and I have been rather busy lately.

I suppose really this should be favourites of right now, as I haven't done a favourites post for a couple of months. Unfortunately nothing much was sticking around enough to be a favourite, and I don't believe in just cobbling a list together if they aren't worthy!


There are quite a few things on here, so lets get started!

Aussie Luscious Long Leave in Conditioner

I got this ages ago, and in a bid to use up some of my hair products started using it instead of my usual serum, and now I am thinking of using up my serum and keeping this! It is fab for how I have been styling my hair lately, I have just been shoving it in a top knot when wet and letting it dry, or just leaving it down and lightly brushed through with a tangle teaser. Both of these easy, messy styles don't really require much effort, but can leave my hair a bit ratty without this spray which keeps my hair soft and smelling pretty.

Bare Minerals SPF15 foundation in Fairly Light

Another product I started using intending to use it up so I could minimise my products, and I have ended up preferring it to my MAC Mineralised Skin Finish, in fact I can safely say I wont be repurchasing that, but a BareMinerals product instead. It gives me a more natural finish, without being too powdery or dulling me down. After this is finished I intend to use up my mineral veil to see which I prefer!

Revlon Lip Butter in Sweet Tart

This has been my handbag lipstick of late, it is incredibly pigmented yet easy to apply and not too drying so is useful for when I all of a sudden decide I want to brighten things up a bit or look a little more put together. It is far from the sort of lip butter that would replace my lipbalm, but as a go to grab on the go lipstick it is handy to have.

No7 Lash and Brow Perfector

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before or not, but this is the main way in which I groom my brows on a day to day basis. I avoid brow pencil unless I really need it, and this gel holds my naturally full brows in place for me all day. The main reason I would choose this over a cheapy one is because of the brush, it has a short bristle side and a long bristle side, which comes in very handy.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser in Nude

Since I finished my MAC tinted moisturiser this month I have been cracking on with using this one, which has been waiting in my drawer for almost a year! I have to admit, I am missing my MAC one, as a smaller amount of it went a long way, where as this is a runnier formula (the mess in the lid is pushing my OCD a bit) I do like it though for being light and breathable, and not clogging my skin up, I also love their shade range! 

No7 Lash Adapt Mascara

I mentioned in my last empties post that I liked the No7 Exquisite Curl mascara, well I think this one might be my new favourite for soft volume. It doesn't hold my curl as well as Exquisite Curl does, but it makes my lashes full and fluttery without weighing them down too much or being flaky. So far so good!

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Bunny Hop
Discontinued, but other shades are £14 from Boots

This looks a right mess in that pot, but that is because it had completely dried up, and I followed the instructions on this blog to get it going again. Ever since I have been using it instead of my MAC paint pot, and although I like the texture for being soft and not drying my delicate eyelids out, the shade isn't flattering on me at all. It does seriously make me reconsider Benefit Creaseless Cream shadows in general though!

Lush Maple Taffy Lip Balm

This little pot of yum is awesome! I picked this up just to give Lush lip balms a go a few months back and I am glad I did. Although it would be too sickly sweet for some it reminds me of pancakes with syrup, and that makes it a winner. The texture is ever so slightly gritty too so I feel like it is ever so slightly exfoliating while I wear it as well.

The Body Shop Honey and Beeswax Hand and Foot Butter

This stuff is great if you have a job that keeps you on your feet all day. I have tried several foot and heel balms, and none of them are quite so nice and luxurious as this one. I can put a bit of this on before bed once a week and my feet will still be soft by the next application. I use a small amount for general applications and it sinks in quick enough that I don't make my sheets greasy, but if I have missed a few weeks a thick slather of this and a pair of moisturising socks and my feet are in tip top condition by morning. It is great for hands too especially if you are prone to cracking between your fingers, and smells lovely.

Boots Spectacle Care Kit.
Not on the website, but the Lens Cleaner is £5.49  from Boots

Really this is about the cleaning spray, I got my new glasses last month and my old Specsavers lens cleaner just doesn't seem to do the trick. This Boots one, in combination with the included cloth really does get rid of all smears and specks. The little screwdriver is handy to have in my bag too.

What were your favourites this month? Anything I should give a try?