Tag Archives: review

Moths and Glitter

So a couple of weeks ago on the show, I had the beautiful MothQueen Makeup speak to us – give a little background, and generally shed a little light into her life. This was not, I will be the first to admit, entirely altruistic. I am a massive fan of her work and have followed her on various platforms for some time. I was so happy when she agreed to start a You Tube channel – her tutorial on how to do the perfect smokey eye, for me just sealed the deal.

If you would like to hear what a MothQueen sounds like, and to get a little background on her – have a listen Lifestyle:MK Halloween special ft Mothqueen Makeup

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MothQueen Makeup is entirely relatable in a way that many artists on You Tube aren’t – she is polished, poised, her editing is fantastic. But she still manages to explain things, she is approachable and it is like listening to a friend walk you through makeup application. And of course, she uses products that are easy for most of to get our hands on.

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Now most of that shouldn’t be news to you – I have blogged about MQM before now – but I have got some updates for you – since we last spoken MQM has not only competed in the NYX UK Face Awards (and did amazingly well!) but she also represented ManicPanic UK at the recent Salon International convention in London. So she is getting her face out there – her skills are being recognised.

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But another… name that you will be familiar with if you follow this blog, and or any of my other social media outlets…. Oh My Glitter. Now the lady behind this company is working for and by herself currently and it is always exciting to see what she comes up with – I did a review on her products a couple of months a go and honest she has blow me away in the 3 months since that review!

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By I digress, and there is a reason that I am writing about these lovely ladies in the same blog – they make an amazing team! MQM did a fantastic bunch of videos for Halloween, and I based my halloween makeup on her Unicorn – although modified as I was going to be playing with a headset the entire time! And she extensively used OMG products to achieve her look. In fact if you take a look at her recent videos – including a stunning and rather gothic mermaid – OMG is all over her face!

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This isn’t a collaboration in the traditional sense, and like any of the times that I review or promote products, it is based on the product and not some sort of endorsement deal. The products are so good that they can easily be used for day wear, night wear and special effects. There aren’t many products that translate so well. Of course, I do love using drugstore products for SFX makeup. But they miss that… something… GLITTER. Of course there are other brands with glitter, pressed, loose, gel. But there are few options for an eyeshadow that is frankly just so versatile and so hardwearing. And that is why it works so well for MQM. It is a match made in heaven and I am so happy! (because it makes recreating or using her looks as inspo so much easier when I can use the same product!).

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So in a bid to help make this easier for you – here are some links so you can see what is making me all fangirly and giggly!

Moth Queen Makeup You Tube

MothQueen Makeup FB page

Oh My Glitter FB Page

Oh My Glitter website

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Read, Read, DEAD

Couple of weeks ago I have the pleasure of having, internationally renowned author – Mr T W Brown talk to the radio show. It was a bit of a big deal for me as I love his work. I first came accross TW Brown’s work as part of an anthology. I am a voracious reader, and after all the Publishers Clearing shops closed locally, I was  really finding it a very expensive hobby to keep up with. But I received a Kindle as a gift – there were initial reservations over owning one. I like, I love books. I love the gorgeous books with illustrations and pretty finishes. I love notes inside the cover. I adore picking up a book and having all the memories attached flood back.

Not a picture of me but pretty close :

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A kindle is like a tabloid paper, disposable, quick, easy, requiring minimal effort, and I honestly was concerned that authors would be missing out on earnings. So what I am about to say is probably shocking. There are a great deal of anthologies available on the Kindle for either nothing, or around 99pence. The idea of these anthologies, I gather, is that you discover an author and the first in a series of books that he has written. Once you do this, your end of the bargain (for say getting 10 books for 10 pence each) is that you follow up this relationship and buy the rest of the books in the series at full price.

Which seems like a fair exchange when you think about it – and it worked out well for me in this case. I won’t lie, there are a lot of books you will wish you never had the misfortune of reading. But there are going to be gems. 

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TW Brown has a few different series, all in the ‘horror’ genre for want of a better word. The first series that I read was the ‘Zomblog’ chronicles which are exactly what they sound like – they are a series of books written in a diary style depicting the end of the world as we know it. Once I came to the end of the series, I desperately started looking around for something to fill the void. What what do I find? Well the lovely TW Brown has obliged his legion of fans with another zombie filled, post apocalyptic work in which to dive into. The DEAD series is again, captivating. You get sucked in, and every chapter focuses on another individual (and by extension group) and how they are managing to survive and yes, if you are thinking George RR Martin, you are correct. Once I (thought) I had got to the end of that series – I am exhausted just recounting this – he has a further series which is a somewhat different change of pace. This series – That Ghoul Ava which is more, Tom Holt in its consideration. It is a perfectly normal and relatable world – it just also includes the Supernatural fraternity. It is very enjoyable, seeing creatures that you have always suspected exist coming to life. 

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Now as you may recall, I recently did  review on Simon Bestwick and one of his zombie lit books in  A fresh Undead. I wanted to clear something up before I go any further. Simon is a clear voice amongst the dredge in the zombie lit genre. As is TW Brown. They have very different writing styles and it works well. There really is no comparison between the authors. Simon for example, if one of the few British authors that I enjoy. I am not sure what it is about British authors, writing about a place that I know. Maybe that is the problem, I know it too well and I don’t know what I see, or maybe it isn’t what I expected. When I read a book based in a foreign country (planet etc) then it adds a layer of escapism? I don’t know what it is, and really.. does it matter ? Go pick up a book and find out how you find it! 

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Now, TW Brown chatted to us about his work for our halloween show, if you want to see me fangirling over it there is a video on the show FB page (link at bottom), and we got to know  him a little better and his process. Simon chatted to us about reviews and how important they are. I am currently reading DEAD:Onset so I will do a review on this book in the hope that you have picked up one of his books before I finish.

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What I hope you take away from this blog is that – authors are people as well, they can be awesome people. In fact they often are. But like us all, they have an ego and need to be reassured that they are doing a good job. So for that reason, once you have read on of their books (both TW Brown and S Bestwick have a great back catalogue), I know they would appreciate you leaving a review so that others are able to see how much you enjoyed the books but that the authors themselves are able to gauge how good a job they are doing entertaining us. 

I do have something special for those of you that prefer to listen to audio books – if you would like some more information please do not hesitate to drop me a message 🙂 

Here are some important likes for you all :

LifeStyle:MK Halloween special ft TW Brown

LifeStyle:MK Reviewing the Situation ft Simon Bestwick

TW Brown Amazon profile

Simon Bestwick’s Amazon profile

LifeStyle:MK facebook page

Read, read, Undead

Couple of weeks ago I have the pleasure of having, internationally renowned author – Mr T W Brown talk to the radio show. It was a bit of a big deal for me as I love his work. I first came accross TW Brown’s work as part of an anthology. I am a voracious reader, and after all the Publishers Clearing shops closed locally, I was  really finding it a very expensive hobby to keep up with. But I received a Kindle as a gift – there were initial reservations over owning one. I like, I love books. I love the gorgeous books with illustrations and pretty finishes. I love notes inside the cover. I adore picking up a book and having all the memories attached flood back.

Not a picture of me but pretty close :

books2

A kindle is like a tabloid paper, disposable, quick, easy, requiring minimal effort, and I honestly was concerned that authors would be missing out on earnings. So what I am about to say is probably shocking. There are a great deal of anthologies available on the Kindle for either nothing, or around 99pence. The idea of these anthologies, I gather, is that you discover an author and the first in a series of books that he has written. Once you do this, your end of the bargain (for say getting 10 books for 10 pence each) is that you follow up this relationship and buy the rest of the books in the series at full price.

Which seems like a fair exchange when you think about it – and it worked out well for me in this case. I won’t lie, there are a lot of books you will wish you never had the misfortune of reading. But there are going to be gems. 

books

TW Brown has a few different series, all in the ‘horror’ genre for want of a better word. The first series that I read was the ‘Zomblog’ chronicles which are exactly what they sound like – they are a series of books written in a diary style depicting the end of the world as we know it. Once I came to the end of the series, I desperately started looking around for something to fill the void. What what do I find? Well the lovely TW Brown has obliged his legion of fans with another zombie filled, post apocalyptic work in which to dive into. The DEAD series is again, captivating. You get sucked in, and every chapter focuses on another individual (and by extension group) and how they are managing to survive and yes, if you are thinking George RR Martin, you are correct. Once I (thought) I had got to the end of that series – I am exhausted just recounting this – he has a further series which is a somewhat different change of pace. This series – That Ghoul Ava which is more, Tom Holt in its consideration. It is a perfectly normal and relatable world – it just also includes the Supernatural fraternity. It is very enjoyable, seeing creatures that you have always suspected exist coming to life. 

aomblog1

Now as you may recall, I recently did  review on Simon Bestwick and one of his zombie lit books in  A fresh Undead. I wanted to clear something up before I go any further. Simon is a clear voice amongst the dredge in the zombie lit genre. As is TW Brown. They have very different writing styles and it works well. There really is no comparison between the authors. Simon for example, if one of the few British authors that I enjoy. I am not sure what it is about British authors, writing about a place that I know. Maybe that is the problem, I know it too well and I don’t know what I see, or maybe it isn’t what I expected. When I read a book based in a foreign country (planet etc) then it adds a layer of escapism? I don’t know what it is, and really.. does it matter ? Go pick up a book and find out how you find it! 

zomblog4

Now, TW Brown chatted to us about his work for our halloween show, if you want to see me fangirling over it there is a video on the show FB page (link at bottom), and we got to know  him a little better and his process. Simon chatted to us about reviews and how important they are. I am currently reading DEAD:Onset so I will do a review on this book in the hope that you have picked up one of his books before I finish.

zomblog5

What I hope you take away from this blog is that – authors are people as well, they can be awesome people. In fact they often are. But like us all, they have an ego and need to be reassured that they are doing a good job. So for that reason, once you have read on of their books (both TW Brown and S Bestwick have a great back catalogue), I know they would appreciate you leaving a review so that others are able to see how much you enjoyed the books but that the authors themselves are able to gauge how good a job they are doing entertaining us. 

I do have something special for those of you that prefer to listen to audio books – if you would like some more information please do not hesitate to drop me a message 🙂 

Here are some important likes for you all :

LifeStyle:MK Halloween special ft TW Brown

LifeStyle:MK Reviewing the Situation ft Simon Bestwick

TW Brown Amazon profile

Simon Bestwick’s Amazon profile

LifeStyle:MK facebook page

A fresh Undead

Oh … right… that doesn’t sound right does it ? Well, I make no secret one most of my social media platforms that I have a deep love for zombies. They are fantastic. Kinda like, Vampires but without the snobbery. And glitter. I love glitter but the genre is far to … ‘glittery’ now. So of course, pretty much everyone has seen The Walking Dead. It is back in October. I am surprised by the timing as if they had left it another week it would be out for Halloween. But then I guess we are working with American Autumn schedules which are a little quirky.

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But believe it or not, this is not about TWD as much as I could talk your ear off about the show. And the show has been very influential. For a still relatively new show, it has spawned a great deal of interest in the genre, with new films, games, tv shows all cropping up. Hey I am not complaining!

The only thing that get to me, is I adore reading, and of course, zombies are a great subject. But TWD have infected (see what I did there) the genre to the extent that I would suggest that whole sections of dialogue were written while the author was watching the show. It isn’t always a bad thing. Some authors has used a degree of imagination in pushing through what the writers of TWD may have ignored, or glossed over. Going into more details of the hows, and whys. There are of course we have a variety of different types of zombies, some fast, some slow. Some remember, some are selective in their dinner – and there was one book that used cats in a really disturbing way.

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I would also hesitantly suggest that it is cultural, most of these authors are American. There is a sense of wanting to look at society, the breakdown thereof, what people must or chose to do to survive. British authors tend to be a little bleaker in this respect and not as hesitant to just kill people off, and do it in rather inventive ways. But there has always been something missing, I don’t always quite grasp the motivation of the character, or care. So, what I am trying to say, is that the Zombie genre is muddy at best as everyone fights to get a piece of TWD action.

So, when a friend suggested I read Tide of Souls by Simon Bestwick, I really was not sure what to expect. You see, zombie novels are comforting to me. I know what to expect, there is almost a formula to the story, drag it out over as many books as you like. I have to be honest, I didn’t read the synopsis, I just dove directly into the book. I figured it would be a tale as old as time, with a new finish.

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And boy was I wrong. I am at the edge of my seat reading this book. I won’t spoil it, I am not finished yet. But it is a rare thing for me to be so effected by a book. The language used is refreshing. It feels, real, there are colloquial terms thrown in and you feel as if you are transported. And don’t get me started on the descriptive narrative. I can still hear the flesh tearing from bone, much like our protagonist still does. The book just won’t let you relax. Often, when reading, I find myself skipping through pages as there seems to be filler. Unnecessary paragraphs thrown in, to help us better understand characters. Or as I cynically assume, to help with the word count. It does little or nothing for the word count, and in a book that falls somewhere between action and horror, you really shouldn’t need filler.

Tide of Souls doesn’t give you this option, there isn’t a simple or easy place to put the book down, stop reading … or … dare I say it… turn off the lights. Although I do suggest taking regular breaks because you may do yourself an injury! Somehow, the characters, as small as their part might seem, are so … real? So well written, that you get a feel for them. You can understand them. Maybe you see reflections of people you know, or can empathise with them. Simon shows a confidence in his writing, that he doesn’t need to spend a page or 5 describing a character’s background, upbringing or failed relationship. He is confident enough that he has used fairly recognisable archetypes in his book, while still maintaining their individual uniqueness. And as much as I want to shout from the roof tops (read the book, you will HATE me) he has also managed to tap into several fears, both real and imagined and weave them into a genre that, honestly I thought was over saturated. It isn’t since I read Girl with all the Gifts (seriously if you haven’t read this, do it … like after Tide of Souls, but do it) have I been so impressed with a genre book.

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Edit: since writing  this blog have finished the book, the pace does not let up, in the third part when you think thinks might settle down, be a little more subdued? Not at all, you are just waiting, you know something is going to happen. There is no breathing room. The idea behind it is pretty stark, it is bleak and sad. It is a very, very sad book. There is really little in the way of bright moments, there isn’t what I would call a happy ending .. this is all so very difficult to write without spoiling the book for you and I really do not want to do that. This book keeps you guessing, wondering, it keeps your adrenaline going. It is bleak, but in a way that takes away any distractions from the story, and the story telling. Please, please – go buy this book!

I thoroughly recommend this book, and author and hope you buy and enjoy his book(s) – please let me know if you have already read his books, or if you go on to read this book – let me know what you thought!

CLICK HERE for handy Amazon link to the book 😉

Heaven Sent

So, in between all my rants, I do like to give a heads up for great companies. We are all about supporting small business in this household! If I can get something locally, or made by an independent business I will do my best!

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Why buy independant? Have I covered this before? Because frankly, you are helping someone’s dream come alive. Without entrepreneurs we wouldn’t have many of the companies we know and love. While I agree that most companies won’t ever be the global behemoths that occasionally are created, it feels nicer to be able to help someone’s dream and vision. And often you get something completely unique. Are we all over the 3 for 2 offers on gifts yet? I know I am!

It is worth being a little opportunistic on social media, Twitter, with which I have a love/hate relationship, is one of the best. If you sign up to feeds that might be interesting to you, you might find a company, person, business being retweeted or referenced. It is a great marketing tool for business, big and small and often free. But that is for another blog! The reason I even mention it, is because a couple of months ago I saw a tweet about a small company and intrigued I had a little look at their website. Well… what can I say?

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Let me introduce you to Heavenly Marshmallows and if you Click Here you will be able to check out their website and all the delicious recipes. Now I will hold up my hands here and admit – I haven’t had the pleasure of trying them. YET. It is on the list.

And I suppose that doing a review of a product that I haven’t actually had a chance to try (yet) but I have to be honest, every single person I have ordered these for have been beyond positive in their reviews. The first order was delivered to my home and I was blown away with the packaging and attention to detail. I have ordered a handful more for people and am so pleased with the level of customer care that I receive each time. This includes offering small touches that makes these stand out.

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I remember getting a message after my second order as the lady behind HM realised that it was being sent to another address and asked if I would like a note included. Simple little things like this. This is a small company that truly offers those small touches that make small companies stand out in a way that larger companies often can’t compete with. But let’s get back to the subject in hand. Marshmallows. Not any marshmallows either, these are marshmallows in such a gorgeous selection of flavours. And I will repeat again, if you missed it. MARSHMALLOWS! Little clouds of heavenly flavours. Again, I am sorry I have no first hand knowledge but have reliable information informing me that they are indeed heaven sent. 

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I really cannot recommend this company more, the price point is fantastic, the variety of flavours will suit every taste. The customer service is incomparable. And the variety of sweet treats available? There are not only marshmallows, although, why would you be looking any further? If you have an event, corporate, personal, need party favours? I would certainly give this company a look out. And the great news is that they also attend local market days, so it is worth checking facebook or twitter to see where they will pop up next and you might even snag yourself a freebie to try before you buy (one of each flavour). 

As well as the website linked in the body of the text, you can find Heavenly Marshmallows here: 

Twitter

Facebook

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OH MY GLITTER!

So, a little back story, I love makeup and a few years ago my path was brightened up when I cam accross a indie makeup company selling mineral eye shadows. I am an eyes girl specifically. I would come up with all sorts of combinations, blues with purples, pinks with greens, think peacock, then think of a box of over 100 colours to choose from. But around a year ago, I had a change in circumstance and I found myself starting to dress a lot more conservatively, including utilisation of my UD Naked 2 pallet. Now don’t get me wrong I do love UD but the pallet is safe. I was slowly being stifled, and became very unhappy. That is another blog post, but just to wind this up a little, I changed things up, I am a lot more happy. One thing that really was bothering me, despite all the makeup at my disposal, I had lost my mojo. Although, what I mean, is I lost my mojo for my day to day makeup. 

And not so so much of a secret, I am a glitter addict. As I have already said, I love to give small businesses a chance, and I especially love indie makeup companies. You see, there are some fantastic indie makeup companies out there, doing fun things with glitter, throwing rule books out of the window when it comes to colours and designs. But it can get expensive, when you take into considering exchange rates, postage and packing charges, and then custom charges it can become an expensive investment.

Et voila – the reason for this blog, I am pleased to introduce Oh My Glitter by Robyn – this is her Facebook page, Click Here

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I initially got sent a lucky dip eye shadow, a red which I was super pleased with as red is such a difficult colour to find. Now the eyeshadow is an unusual composition – It isn’t a loose powder, and it isn’t quite a dry pressed powder. It also isn’t waxy, in the same way that you will find the tattoo shadows. What they are is easy to use, beautiful to blend in a way that many traditional shadows are not, and really fun to apply. For example I apply the shadows equally with my fingers and a short tapered brush. They really are fun to experiment with. I placed an order after having so much fun with the first one for mermaid colours – that was my actual wording, and had some glitter shadows thrown in – this is the swatch of the second order :

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The shadow is really beautiful, you really only need a tiny amount, and it builds up fantastically, just keep blending it out until you have the coverage you wanted and then add layers until you get the required intensity. With the glitters now also available, you can layer up the base with a glitter which helps both pop. That said the glitters stand up all on their own – the above swatch is just one swipe. 

I cannot tell you how much fun with the eye shadows over the last week – up to and including using the normal blue and blue glitter as lip stick 🙂 

So if like me, you love supporting indie makeup brands, supporting small businesses… oh and did I forget to mention that the makeup is cruelty free and vegan? Please go check Robyn out – her facebook page is featured earlier in the blog. There are so many options – not only the colours, her basic and glitter shadows – but she does sample/tester posts and pallets. There is talk of doing subscription boxes as well. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. If you do try out her makeup out – please let me know what you think!

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I totally need Poison Apple in my next order! It looks gorgeous! 

 

Shower like an Aussie

So, who here hasn’t used Aussie hair products? They are cute, funny, the suggestions on the back of the bottle on how to use the products are a much needed change from the usual ‘wash, rinse and repeat as necessary’. The philosophy is simple, natural ingredients from Australia that help you become the Goddess you always knew you could be. Or something along those lines. 

In the late 90’s there was an influx of hair products endorsed by celebrity hairdressers and we were slowly becoming more used to and happier to spend a little more money on our product. We were starting to come out of recessions and the idea that we needed to save every penny and wanted to be able to spend our hard earned cash on a little affordable pampering. This is the environment that Aussie Hair came in, we were ripe for a product that was new, different, that wasn’t preaching from an Ivory tower, and that was appealing to our new sensibilities that meant we wanted fresh, natural, organic. We wanted to get away from the things our parents used, from Head and Shoulders, Wash and Go and even from washing our hair with bubble bath or washing up liquid. We wanted to avoid unnaturally bright colours and chemical smells. 

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And now, who hasn’t used their hair products? They smell great, they do great! Use it little of often there must be a handful of people that have managed to avoid using the shampoo and conditions or at least been confronted by them in the bathroom.

So, here we are in 2016, and Aussie Hair have released shower gel. I don’t even know if it was really advertised, I am the sort of person that puts Netflix on and watches an entire series as background noise. I am assuming some advertising was done. And as usual, the philosophy behind them was sound, mimicking the hair products, four different types were released and CLICK HERE to see them on their website. The ingredients again are for the most part found in Australia and all have very different properties, be it moisturising or energising.

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Being the part time fan of the Aussie Hair products that I am, I was curious to see what they would be like, so when I was on my weekly shop, I had a look and found that, at £3.00 I would give them a miss. I am a big fan of looking after my skin, I moisturise religiously. But there is a limit to what I will use while standing in the shower, I just won’t buy into anything promising moisture while standing in water. So I gave it a miss, I always have plenty of shower gel on standby, and I was sure I wouldn’t be missing anything.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the body wash had gone down to £1 each. I grabbed one of each, I mean who doesn’t want a bargain. It was a weird situation, oh look I am getting a great deal. By spending the same amount I usually spend on the same product. I can’t really review the individual products as I have only started on one of the 4. It smells lovely though and does have a similar consistency to the shampoo. The only real different is the size of the bottle which is smaller than their hair range at 250 ml which is good for people like me who are blind as a bat. But then it is unfortunate as it is an average size for body wash/shower gel, it is significantly smaller than their more well known products and we are pretty visual by nature. The bottle looks smaller than my other gels. Because it is round and not flattened so even though I know it is the same nett weight… and the other issue is that it was over £3 standard price. You are being asked to spend the same amount of money on a smaller amount of product, that you spend on either washing or conditioning your hair. 

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I went shopping the following week. The price had reduced again to 75pence and only 2 varieties remained, so I popped one of each into my trolley. This week? nothing left. I had a quick look over the shelves as they had been replaced by another product but couldn’t see them. It seems that the store, like me, felt that although the product showed willing and had the best intention, it failed to deliver.

Like I said, the product itself is okay, I use it to wash my body. As long as I smell okay and feel clean, while avoiding an allergic reaction… I am happy. Do I expect to be more awake… yes, that is why I have a shower in the morning. Do I expect to feel moisturised, well that is what I rely on my body butter from the Body Shop to take care of. Body Wash to me is just that. I really don’t expect much from it, I wish I could afford to use something from Neal’s Yard, but I can’t so I don’t. I feel that it was a failed experiment, it was an idea, but actually when it comes to premium body wash, others got there sooner, and did it better. The shampoo came in at a time that we needed and were looking for something new and is firmly now in our beauty vocab for great smelling, and beautifully conditioned hair.

If you find it on offer, I would go for it, they all smell really lovely. I just wouldn’t suggest it is worth the price tag at full price. If you want to spend a little more money and be sure of using natural, organic products, The Body Shop, Lush and if you have a few more coins, Neal’s Yard are all excellent places to go.

If your hair needs TLC and you want it to smell great, Aussie Hair is a great place to start 🙂

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CLICK HERE for Neal’s Yard, CLICK HERE for The Body Shop and finally CLICK HERE

 

Wigs to the rescue

So, it has been well documented that I love wigs, I wear them as often as possible. I have my favourites, I have wigs that I wear more often, or that I wear for longer periods of time. I also have wigs that may not be treated as well as they might, I store them all over my house, on the stairs, on my desk, on stands, in bags. On top of that I style my wigs, and use them around special effects make up. 

So, as much as I love my wigs, I have to be honest and admit that they sometimes need a little TLC. You might remember a while ago, a lovely friend took in one of my more problematic wigs after it got ruined on a night out. Well, that we so well, I thought I would give her a much bigger job, and this is my review of the work on the wigs! 

The lady in question is Scarlett Von Trapp Eco-Uture CLICK HERE for her Facebook page. She also makes costumes and general dress making, up-cycling and re-purposing material to make sure it is as eco-friendly as possible as well as unique.

But that isn’t what we are here to discuss, we are here to discuss wigs, before and after! I sent 3 wigs to Scarlett, 2 were well loved wigs, and another was a poor quality Ebay wig that needed attention desperately. I only have photos of the first two, which were bought from Geisha Wigs, Watermelon and Red Riding Hood :

These were (and are) 2 of my favourite wigs and therefore the ones I would reach to immediately. I started to notice that the crimp was slowly dropping out of Watermelon, as you can see in the photo, and Red Riding Hood was a slightly defective wig from the outset but I had waited so long for it to come into stock, I rolled with it. As they started to wilt, I stopped wearing them which was sad. The third wig in the batch was another crimped wig, which was unmanageable from the outset. I attempted to straighten out the ends to help but this i also didn’t work so I ended up leaving it in a bag to be forgotten. 

I happened to be discussing this with the lovely owner and woman behind Scarlett Von-Trapp who suggested that she would love to give them a make over, so off I bundled them knowing from our previous transaction, that the wigs would be in good hands. I didn’t discuss exactly what needed doing or what I wanted prior to the wigs being received as I wanted to get an honest opinion on the wigs and what would be possible so I wouldn’t be going into the transaction is misguided expectations. 

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Once she confirmed receipt, we discussed the wigs, and initial thoughts on what she could do with them and what she felt would be best. We agreed for a simple re curl on Red Riding Hood, and she suggested tight curls on Watermelon. I didn’t really know what to expect but I was pretty excited to see what she would come up with. The last wig, the taro, I again gave her a pretty free reign on, I really just wanted a wearable wig.

At every point, I was kept in the loop, I got progress reports and pictures. Every step was discussed with pictures being sent so I could see what the wigs looked like. This is pretty important when you are dealing with people online, it isn’t as simple as popping to your local high street.  

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As you can see, quite a transformation and I really do love the progress photos, it is interesting to see the stages of the work! I am so happy now the wigs are happily back with me, and I cannot think Scarlett Von-Trapp not only for the care and attention, but for the work that she has put into the restoration of the wigs. And there are the little touches with the packaging, it is always feels as if it is an actual present you are receiving in the post. And seeing the care in the wigs, considering that Watermelon has had a complete restyle, she has made sure that the tracts and the wig cap is still in perfect condition. And I have to say, although it looks as if it should be super heavy, it is light and very easy to wear! 

A brief interlude to appreciate the wigs as they are now :

I honestly cannot recommend this lady enough, she cares deeply for her craft, for wigs, and is amazing at restoration and restyling. There is not a safer pair of hands to place your wigs in. She does do international work, and is very responsive to messages. If you are curious about what she can do and what the charges are. At no point is there any pressure to commit to anything. And like I said earlier, she also does other work so it is worth checking out her Facebook page to see what else she can help you with 🙂

Do that dupe

So I have been fairly outspoken about issue lately and I wanted to be a little more light hearted before I launch into the next topic! 

So this will be a review post on 2 makeup products, both Maybelline, so I hope you enjoy! 

A couple of weeks ago while in Superdrug, I saw a small eye shadow pallet that caught my eye, rose gold is the colour scheme that most closely describes it. If you are thinking Urban Decays Naked 3 pallet…. well so was I! CLICK HERE to see it on their page. Because of my combined addictions of both Wild Bangarang leggings, and wigs, I haven’t been able to justify the expense of a new makeup pallet. I have to be honest, until my birthday last year, I wouldn’t consider buying such an expensive product. When I received it as a birthday gift I was blown away by the colours, how beautifully it blended, and because I am super lazy, how it stayed perfect until the next morning (with the help of primer). I was converted. The problem is that with a limited budget, you have to be sure that you are picking the right product. How many times have you settled on Foundation or mascara to realise it just isn’t living up to the hype. Our bodies and our own image is so personal that no matter what percentage of testers thinking the product is Number 1 – it may not work for you. 

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Due to the popularity of the Urban Decay, a number of companies are now offering pallets with similar colour schemes, many in a more comfortable price range. I had tried Make Revolutions offerings but found that unlike other MR pallets, the colour payoff was not there. No company is entirely consistent. I just figured the universe was telling me to wait until I could afford the real deal. 

But I had seen the pallet – The Blushed Nudes by Maybelline and it was on my mind all week and I had got an idea for a makeup look that I really wanted to try… so I had a look while shopping. A word to the wise, I had to go to 3 different stores to find a pallet that didn’t have loose trays. These were unopened pallets but for some reason the individual trays had come loose. But I was on a mission and so I decided to keep looking and eventually found one – they seem quite popular! Now the pallet colours, for me are somewhat alien. I am more about bold colours, some of this is because I pretty much always wear my glasses for work I need something to stand out, some of it is because I am reverting to a toddler and want to throw all the colours at my face. 

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I had a look at the back of the case and after swatching the colours and being surprised at the colour payoff (then remembering I am white, white at the moment) I noticed that the 12 colours are sections off and there is a guide on the back on how to apply it. This is actually a really nice idea, nothing new, pallets have had this for years. What I did find surprising is that although the quads are set up in a similar fashion, the placement on the eye is different. I am game for anything so on Sunday I carefully applied as instructed, and because I am not the delicate of people, blended it out until happy. I also went the whole hog and contoured my face before heading out for a woodland walk. Quite pleased with the results, a neutral look which enhances the eye.

On Monday, again, I picked the next quad along, and again, contoured my face for a woodland walk. Yes, before you ask, I do put makeup on before going to the gym. For me to go anywhere for a prolonged period of time, without a stitch of makeup is a crime. But more about that in another blog. I have to say, while neither day is a look I would routinely wear, I found the shadow really pretty on, subtle and great for every day. You could easily add a much darker lip for a simple evening look in seconds. I opted for a very light lip as I don’t generally wear that either. Weekend of firsts.

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Now while I was in the store, I picked up Maybeline’s Brow Drama pomade crayon. I have been looking for something new to help with my brows. For general maintenance, I have my brows threaded or waxed (dependant on time between appointments), trimmed and tinted. That sounds like a lot, it isn’t expensive, at least not here in Northampton. However, my brows need filling in, and I have tried so many things to help. I have for many years used eye shadow but then finding the right shade is a pain, pencils are fine but I find it can be difficult to get the right shape and takes time to blend in. The brow mascara.. is … an acquired taste, and as much as I love the brow kits with wax, I always run out of wax first. The only thing that has worked for me lately is a felt tip from GOSH cosmetics but again, it is a case of letting it set and wiping off and often I forget (my way of using it, not necessarily how it was designed to be used).

Now, when I got home, I fully thought that the crayon would required some blending or other intervention by me once applied. Wrong, so very wrong. All I have to do is apply the crayon along the length of my brow and I am done. I am so happy, I cannot tell you. It hasn’t budged and hasn’t left my brows feeling or looking weird. The other benefit for me, is that my brows look natural from up close and further away. This is going to be going into my ‘must have’ pile. 

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Now, my recommendation on the eye shadow, it is a good pallet and in the same price range as other brand offerings in the drugstore. I have been pleasantly surprised by the colour pay off, and they all blend really well. The applicator included is basic, I used the brush to apply the base coat both days but I wouldn’t really do a full eye unless you are really stuck. The product itself is a little powdery rather than creamy, so be careful when picking up. The colour lasted well – I didn’t apply any base or primer because i like to give it a test free of any help! The pallet itself is a nice size and should easily fit in a makeup bag so it is a good investment for your handbag – I haven’t tried the last quad, which looks a little darker, and might be your go to to change up to a smokey eye if going out straight after work. The brow crayon is perfect, if like me you are lazy and want a simple way of filling in brows that you are happy with shape wise. 

Sorry this review has turned out longer than intended! Hope you enjoyed reading it! 

Getting that Lush feeling…

1013So I am writing this post about my skin. I like my skin, I care about my skin. It covers me, and keeps me together so I do try and take care of it. I have occasionally sensitive, dry skin for the most part (I am a water baby which doesn’t help) and have combination skin on my face which gets a lot thrown at it (makeup, special FX, latex etc) so I do try and treat it a couple of times a week with a face mask.

Last night I popped into my local Lush store, in Northampton as I was having a minor face emergency – you can relate to this I hope… you keep looking at the mirror all day, and the redness… it is spreading… it is isn’t it ?! Everyone can see it .. omg are they all too nice to say anything… you don’t want to make things worse by piling more makeup on your face…

So I was glad I saw a friendly face when I ran in last night. I made a bee line for the fresh face masks – I have used them all, over the years but …. wow.. there is a bright blue face mask… it drew my eyes .. but would it be the best one for my face.. or should I go for a more soothing one… but it is new. And blue, I mentioned it is blue right ? Don’t Look at Me is new to the Lush Face Mask Family.

So I discussed my concerns – my face was not actually that bad, I have been assured. Until I insisted at pointing at it repeatedly. But I digress – I was warned that some people have had a reaction to the face mask and so I was given a sample to try.

I have to be honest, I don’t always get along with exfoliants as they can be a little enthusiastic on my skin, with masks like Love Lettuce can be a little uncomfortable to remove. But in this mask, it was just a soft polish, no scratching or digging.. no holding your head under water and hoping for the best (never works, just no…). My skin felt fantastic afterward, both clean and polished and moisturised so a winner for me!

https://www.lush.co.uk/products/masks/dont-look-me

While we were discussing new products and skin, I was shown a new moisturiser, Magical Moringa – now I will say right now… I have occasionally dabbled with Lush moisturisers but never felt the product justified the price tag? They are good .. but there are better which are more economical? And that isn’t really a comment on Lush pricing, everyone’s skin is different and it is hard finding one that works. Especially if, like me your skin continuously changes.

Now, when I was shown the moisturiser, it had a strange consistency and honestly, reminded me of coconut oil, upto and including it melting into the skin. Now, I love coconut oil, it is the best way of removing makeup, and I use it as a night cream when my skin really hates me. But as a day cream? I have combination skin so I just saw my makeup sliding off along with my glasses!

However, it melts into your skin. I used it this morning, and my skin… my skin! I have pretty good skin for the most part, a couple of problem areas. But I couldn’t stop touching my face. It feels so … soft and … touchable?! I went with just the moisturiser, then liquid and powder foundation. I do wear primers usually to give a good base but wanted to see what would happen.

Throw out your primer. Well, don’t, use it up and then buy this moisturiser instead. It has left my makeup in place, my skin feels soft and smooth, I am so impressed. The oil that had initially melted onto my skin has left behind a perfectly balanced base of my makeup!

https://www.lush.co.uk/products/moisturisers/magical-moringa

Let us just say that next time, I will be buying full size products as I have been sold 🙂