"Zest is the secret of all beauty. There is no beauty that is attractive without zest." - Christian Dior

Sunday, 24 June 2012

"Promises, promises"....... holiday edition

Well, the end of another week, bringing me ever closer to my big summer holiday. Although it's not that much of a holiday (we're not going anywhere exotic as I will still be marking exams while I'm off), it's still three blissful weeks at home, sat in my pants, watching Jeremy Kyle. 

However in order to ensure the three weeks are not entirely an unproductive write-off, I have made myself some beauty-related promises that this time I WILL KEEP. 

Promise 1) Exercise four times a week.  Over the past year my bingo wings have steadily progressed from "light aircraft" to "Boeing 747".  Need rid of them, finally - so more running, coupled with some toning weights. Plus, I could do with sweating a few toxins out of my skin.

Promise 2) Drink more water. I know, I know - this one is so fundamentally obvious so you must be thinking I am the world's biggest dumbass. I just......... forget. Plus, it tastes of NOTHING. It's BORING. So, with the help of a bit of sugar-free Robinson's squash I am hoping to go from zero glasses a day to more-than-zero glasses. Added to Promise 1, I am hoping to have clear, beautiful, youthful skin in a matter of days! Yeah, right.

Promise 3) Take off make-up before bed. Some of you are now really thinking, "who is this monster?". But I genuinely do not take off my makeup before bed. Sometimes I do - mostly I don't, and yes I end up with the whole panda-eyes thing in the morning. I have a genuine excuse for this one though - due to the extreme dryness of my skin, I loathe cleaning my face, whether it be with soap and water, cream cleanser or make-up remover.  Even baby wipes. However I have found some products which don't leave my skin feeling too tight and itchy, so I am willing to give this whole "being clean" thing another try!

Promise 4) Don't impulse buy make-up. This is the one I am going to struggle with the most. However, I have a spreadsheet listing all of the different products I want to buy and try, where to get them, and out of which pay-packet I'm going to pay for them (must be the accountant in me!). So I am going to try to only buy things off the list, which are things I have researched and thought about and would genuinely use. This is the promise I think will be hardest to keep.

Promise 5) Throw some stuff away. I don't know if you have the same problem, but I have one of those mindsets of "it'll come in" - a phrase I learned at a young age from my family, who also hate to throw anything away if it might have some future use. So that bright yellow and blue eyeshadow I bought for an eighties-themed party? "Keep that, it'll come in!"

I also have the same problem with high-end make-up products - no matter how unsuitable it is for my skintype/colouring, if I've spent a fair few quid on it I am loathe to get rid of it. I don't think I will be able to bring myself to put it all in the bin, but I definitely need to find good homes for them because they're just cluttering up my dressing table and making the place look untidy.

I think that will do for now - wish me luck!


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Did I mention I bought some shoes?

Zoinks! Wowsers! Gadzooks!

No further introduction needed; I have finally caved and bought some Louboutins.

Being up in Manchester on Wednesday afternoon, having got there ridiculously early for a Pearl Jam gig (oh yeah, did I mention I went to see Pearl Jam, too?), we found ourselves at a bit of a loss so I took His Nibs round Selfridges and Harvey Nicks, and BY GOD could I have spent some serious dough. Selfridges had a sale on, so got a couple of bits for Mr S and had dinner in Harvey Nichols' restaurant feeling severely under-dressed (remember - we'd be dressed for Pearl Jam, so it was all about the jeans, battered Converse and a lumberjack shirt. Seriously, the Nineties are not dead).

Whilst there, I tripped and fell over and found myself walking out with a Louboutin bag.

I won't say much, other than this is a moment I have dreamed of for quite some time - yeah, yeah, yeah I know they're just shoes. They even look like "just" shoes (and feel a bit like that too - nothing overly special) but OMFG THEY'RE CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN SHOES AND THEY ARE SHINY AND THE SOLES ARE RED. 

I went for some that look normal because I am a normal person, not someone that usually takes to wearing leopard-print, 8-inch heels and peacock feathers. I should get some decent wear out of these.

Pics, just because:

What do you think? Waste of money, or stuff of which dreams are made?


Friday, 15 June 2012

MAC lipstick - Half 'n' Half

Wowsers, it’s been a while. Have I REALLY not thought about makeup in all this time? Well………….. yes. Of course I have. Silly question, really.

Anyway, I wanted to introduce you to a little bit of disappointment, in the form of Half ‘n’ Half. This is on MAC’s permanent line, and is an Amplified Crème formula. I find that this (along with the lustres) is pretty much the only formula of MAC’s that I can wear, due to scabby-lip syndrome (although that has been tempered somewhat after finding my my Holy Grail lip balm).

Not sure what the name is supposed to reflect – the fact that it is half brown, half pink? Or that it’s a relatively moisturising formula, that it feels like half lipstick, half lip balm? Or the fact that it’s half the price of a high-end lipstick, therefore it doesn’t matter if they’re half the quality? Hmmm.

It’s not that I hate them. I don’t, I quite like them. I just think that they could perhaps be a little bit better for the price – I’m not expecting the staying power of a Chanel Rouge Coco, or the pigmentation of a Dior Addict, but I think there are just too many little disappointments in this product.

On me, lasting power is about an hour (but please do bear in mind I am a tea addict – one hour on me could very well translate to a lot longer on someone that doesn’t average at least a cup an hour).

Pigmentation and moisturisation from the Amplified Cremes is, in my experience, a lot better than the Lustres (which have a little bit too much slip for my liking). And to be fair, Half ‘n’ Half is one of the better ones I have tried (a lot better than Shy Girl, for instance, which is so drying is feels like it’s going to pull my lips off whenever I apply it). But it’s still not great.

So, a little disappointment with staying power, a little disappointment with the pigmentation, a little disappointment with the moisture……… but then again they are only £13.50 so I suppose you can’t expect miracles.

On the MAC website, this is described as a “creamy pink”, and the online swatch would seem to confirm this; however, despite the fact that my lips are quite pink anyway, on me this wears brown. Very, very, very brown. The disappointments are just racking up.

Here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

Awwwww, look at it - looking all classy and understated

See, what did I tell you? Brown. A little tiny bit of pink in there (but that's more due to my lip pigmentation than the lippie); it's mostly brrrrrrrrrrrowwwwwwn.

One thing I will say – I do really like the packaging. Small and sleek, relatively sturdy, and the lid stays on no matter how long I leave it in my handbag and dump stuff on top of it.

In conclusion – ok for the price, and the range of colours and finishes available is nothing short of amazing, but I think on balance I would rather have one Rouge Coco than two of these.

MAC lipsticks are available through their website for £13.50.