Since I started this incarnation of my blog, I made it clear it was never going to be just about beauty. While beauty has remained its primary focus and will continue to be so, I’ve also shared personal stories about my children, book reviews, my crochet hobby, posts about my vaping habit as well as the rare and occasional political post.
I was all set to post about The Body Shop Vitamin E range today, and I still will this week, but today, I just can’t. Having sat here for the last hour, in front of my computer in tears, with the deep sense of worry I’ve felt since the US elections, and with a feeling of foreboding about the political climate of the world in the last few years, I cannot at least post something about what is going on.
Before I start though, I have to say this: I’ve heard that there are some on social media, and in blogging circles who are taking it upon themselves to berate anyone who ISN’T using their voice as a blogger to condemn what is happening in the world right now. I have to say that I feel this is completely and utterly unacceptable. We cannot dwell on the horrors all the time, it is not good for our mental health and well being. It is okay to step back, and spend some time reading about lipsticks or whatever it takes to restore happiness. If we are not happy and well balanced, we may not have the strength to be useful to anyone at all!
With that in mind, to turn away completely, to not think on these issues, whatever your view point… well here’s some tweets from people I admire:
“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.” – Elie Wiesel
— michael sheen (@michaelsheen) 29 January 2017
Remember sitting in history, thinking “If I was alive then, I would’ve…”
You’re alive now. Whatever you’re doing is what you would’ve done.
— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) 28 January 2017
I’m not the best person with words, nor can I sit here and say I understand everything well enough to talk about things with any authority, but what I can say is that all of this, this fascism, this right wing hatred, has been brewing so long, the public have been drip fed fear and hatred through the media, and through organisations such as Britain First and it’s been going on a long time. I don’t entirely blame people, fear is a big thing to manage, and there are people who still don’t understand or accept media bias, who hear about terrorist attacks and and top of the drip feeding of fear and hatred they read or hear in the media, they become fearful and hateful themselves.
But let history teach us, this is where it starts, this where as a planet, we decide whether to hate, or whether to love, whether to fact check or whether to believe lies without question, whether we keep fearing or we take a stand and unite. This is the moment. This is where it happens. This is where you decide how history views you.
And while we’ve got Trump doing what Trump is doing, with our Prime Minister refusing to speak out, rather, holding his hand for photo shoots, what has shocked me the most in recent years, is the tide has turned so much so that where once racists and hate filled people kept their horrible little thoughts in their horrible heads or talked only to their friends about their shared horrible little thoughts, we now live in a climate where it’s not shameful to spout hatefulness. Any news article that mentions refugees or immigrants, any news article that talks about Trump, will be littered with comments from supporters of hatred, not under aliases, but out and proud to hate. Shouting loudly about how right it is that Trump should do what it is he’s doing and when is our PM going to do the same. And this has been going on a long time.
Just this weekend on my local newspapers Facebook Page, there was a “story” about and I quote “the Trump Mulim Ban”… here are a selection of the comments…
” If they are coming to Europe then its for economic reasons, free hand-outs, money, housing, furnishings, and old & young people who have beautiful eyes who they want to F & rape”
“Sort out this country first …Bide worrying about someone else’s”
“I think people should stick to there own countrys..look after their own first ..full stop!!!!!”
“No he aint we should do the same”
“No not at all,keep them all out .Top guy Mr Trump”
“I didn’t realise I lived amongst so many pathetic snowflakes, get a grip Trump is the President and is going to be a great one too…. I’m guessing the same people that signed this petition are the same idiotic dead beats who want another referendum, very sad individuals you are!”
Glossing over the apparent shared lack of good grammar, that’s just a small snippet, and its the same every damn time. I’ve picked out the least offensive because I don’t want that sort of hate on my blog really, but that’s the stuff that really concerns me. How normalised this hatred has become.
Anyone who cares, demonstrates, protests, comments on memes or Facebook posts, retweets, anything anti trump, or shows any concern at all for the welfare of other human beings outside of our own small circle is shouted down as a liberal lefty (as an insult of course!), the great unwashed, special snowflake…well if caring makes me any of those things then I guess I’ll just have to take that on the chin because I won’t be changing any time soon.
But to circle back to the start of my post, it wasn’t just badness that made me weep this morning, it was seeing so many people standing up and taking action, videos of the protests in the US, marches and rallies being arrange across the UK today. It’s all good stuff.
Amazing, emotional scenes here at Dulles as some passengers finally unite with crying relatives surrounded by protestors welcoming them. pic.twitter.com/h8sW3LR75N
— (((YousefMunayyer))) (@YousefMunayyer) 29 January 2017
For a long time apathy has been an issue, but perhaps now, perhaps now the political climate is so extreme, perhaps now, people will find their voices and use them because we must speak out where we see great wrong, I would just argue that people should NOT feel compelled to do so on their beauty/mummy/pet blogs, but do contact MP’s, join any of the many protests today, do whatever, but speak out.
PS: As an aside, but still on topic, I’d recommend EVERYONE read this book https://www.amazon.com/Wave-Laurel-Leaf-contemporary-fiction/dp/0440993717
Heads up for this beautiful brand, Kind Natured.
If you’re looking for body care products that are absolutely premium but at affordable prices, then look no further. The Kind Natured range seems fairly extensive, with lots of products to choose from, from hair care, kids products, bath products as well as hand and body care. The brand prides itself on being 97% natural and free from Sulphates, Parabens and Petrochemicals.
The products I’ve tried work exceedingly well, the Foaming Sugar Scrub in particular is wonderful and the Body Lotion, but what I feel makes them so premium are the beautiful scents from the products I tried, the ones containing Monoi are amazing, such long lasting exotic scents. Truly beautiful! If I’ve not sold you on the range already, then try the prices, not one of their products retails for over £5.99.
Using Kind Natured products, at least these ones I’ve tried, feels like being in on a secret, a really good beauty secret. Fantastic effective products with beautiful long lasting scents that don’t cost the earth.
If you only buy one product though, my top pick is the Moisturising Coconut & Monoi Foaming Sugar Scrub, it’s absolutely dreamy.
The whole range is available on Boots.com, go check it out!
*Products received free of charge for review purposes but all views are my own
Happy New Year to everyone! Keeping up with tradition I have made absolutely NO resolutions, what about you? After an extended Christmas break from blogging, I’m back, but I thought I’d kick off with something not beauty related. Nearly a year ago to the day, the 11th January 2016, I wrote a post about how I’d taken up crochet. At that point, I’d only been going for a couple of weeks, look at the shocking state of those squares!
By the middle of March, I’d really discovered how much I loved it and had started to make more and more things. I’m not known for my ability to stick to things, but a year on from that first post, I’m still here, crocheting away and I’ve made loads so I thought I’d do a little post showing what I’ve made this year (well, since March!).
In March I did the lovely Happy Flower Decoration by Lucy of Attic 24, a really quick and easy project and so cute.
At the end of March, I made the gorgeous Sopan, both the design and the hand dyed Yarn came courtesy of Verity at Truly Hooked.
Next came the Fortune’s Shawlette in May.
March to July saw me make the Harmony Blanket, again the pattern is from Attic 24. It might look nice but don’t be fooled. I hated every single second of making it, and I made an awful error with every single round of every single square meaning it’s basically fallen apart. I also put some of the squares in the wrong order. I just think my heart wasn’t in this one, at all.
In July I made the All Tied Up Summer Top for Lola, she loved it and so do I.
I’m not sure what happened for the next couple of months, I started a blanket I’m still working on, but nothing seems to have been made! But at the end of September I started making Christmas presents. It feels so good to have a skill and to be able to make things, but I can’t say I was confident giving any of these away, what if the recipient didn’t like them! I was however pleased.
I started with a Road Trip Scarf for my sister, skipping the flower details.
Followed by an adorable Sleepy Bear for my lovely nephew.
After a huge amount of searching I finally found my dream glove pattern, the Super Easy Grunge Gloves. I made myself a pair, swiftly followed by a pair each for the girls.
Naturally, I needed a hat to go with my gloves, and I’m so fussy it was hard work finding anything I liked, something not too crochet-y looking. The Caron Cable Twist Hat fit the bill. Learning to cable was a huge learning curve for me, but got there in the end!
Finally, using the cotton I made the girls gloves with, I’ve knocked up a couple of face cloths! So, there is a tenuous beauty link there after all! And that is pretty much it! I have two blankets in progress at the moment and a list of things I want to make as long as your arm but thats everything I’ve made since March!
So please, if you are a fellow hooker and you’re on Ravelry, add me as a friend, I’m on there as JustCharlieG and I’d love more people to follow myself! And if you’re not already, do follow me on Instagram, I share most of my WIP’s on there!
EDIT: I don’t know how I forgot this one, but I made this Virus Shawl for my Mum’s Christmas Pressie too!
Gosh, I don’t know where this year has gone but here we are writing/reading what will be my last post before Christmas. And so it is that I’m reviewing a couple of products from bareMinerals. The Original SPF15 Foundation in Fair and Well-Rested Eye Brightener SPF20. I really apologise for the next two photographs. Call it retro, they are in the style of a beauty blog 2009. No props, just on my table!
I’m no stranger to BareMinerals foundation actually, I tried the Get Started in Light back in 2011 (post here!) and it wasn’t a great success on account of the orangeness. I remember the shades just weren’t right for me at all, in particular the concealer which was really dark and orange on me. So I gave up. I don’t know if Fair is a new shade in recent years, or if has always been there, but I had a craving to try a mineral foundation again and discovered the shade Fair.
As well as the Foundation I also picked up the Well-Rested Eye Brightener SPF20, which is a mineral powder to be swept on around the eyes to help hide dark circles and minimise the look of tiredness. I picked it up to act as a general concealer, both around my eyes and on blemishes. It is a great deal lighter than the generic concealer, Bisque so I hope it might work for me.
Swatches, Fair Original Foundation on the Left and Well-Rested on the right, if you look closely!To apply, I start with the Well-Rested. I dust this around my eyes with a fluffy brush, otherwise it sits in all my fine lines, and then I cover redness and blemishes using the Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush which I already owned. As soon as I started using this I remembered how much I love mineral concealers. Redness vanishes and it really packs onto blemishes and it never ever seems to budge. I tend to get those hard shiny spots without a head that can be so hard to conceal, this stuff is like magic and I’m annoyed I didn’t try it sooner!
Then onto the Foundation. Again I use a bareminerals brush, namely the Full Flawless Application Brush. The jars are sifter jars so you tip a little into the lid, swirl your brush around, tap off the excess then buff into your skin. A little goes along way. Coverage is extremely good, but stays looking extremely natural. Things to note are a) the longer you wear this, the more natural it looks b) carry a brush around with you, all you need to do is buff again and flawless finish is restored. When I’ve finished applying my foundation, if I can spot any other marks or blemishes I go over with the concealer brush and the foundation, dabbing on only the tiniest amount. I finish with a gentle swirl with a very soft kabuki. It’s just brilliant.
The colour match for me, Fair, is perfect, it’s so perfect that I look spectacularly pale (I am very pale!) but uniformly so, so there’s no skimping on the bronzer and blusher. I need to add a touch of colour back to my face, but in a good way rather than redness!
After immediate application, it can look a touch powdery, nothing I find unappealing, but as I mentioned, over time it settles and become more and more natural. It’s just brilliant.
Honestly I’m completely sold and I can see why the brand is so huge. More things to note:
Immediately after application.
I’ve just invested in the Mineral Veil too and will review that in due course. I bought all my bits from Look Fantastic, the Foundation was £26.50 but I bought it during one of their huge discount events, and the Well-Rested eye Brightener was £19.00 but again I bought it with a large discount.
And all that remains is to wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope to see you again when it’s all over! Thank you for reading in 2016!
*Products featured in this review purchase by me with my own money
I recently received a beautiful package courtesy of Woods of Windsor. I’ll be honest, Woods of Windsor as a brand were not on my radar at all until this beautiful parcel arrived.
I think at a glance it’d be easy to see the products, read the scents and dismiss this brand as being for the older generation but a closer look reveals products that not only perform well, smell beautiful but are also affordable luxuries.
The range of products include Hand Creams, Hand Washes, Soaps, Drawer Liners, Dusting Powders, Bath and Shower Gels as well as much more.
Lets start by talking about the beautiful packaging. The whole range had a revamp in Autumn, drawing inspiration from both modern and vintage flower illustrations. Have a closer look, it’s beautiful and makes the products worthy of any dressing table or gift.
Looking at the website, it would seem the main fragrance lines are White Jasmine, Honeyed Pear & Amber, Pomegranate & Hibiscus, Blue Orchid & Water Lily, True Rose, Lily of the Valleyand Lavender. I’ve not tried all of the scents, but let me tell you that all the products I have tried have been beautiful, but Honeyed Pear & Amber is absolutely stunning. White Jasmine (I LOVE Jasmine) and Blue Orchid & Water Lily are also worthy of special mention.
Honestly, this is one of the nicest ranges I’ve tried in a long, and not at all granny-ish! As for the products themselves, I have been especially enjoying the Bath & Shower Gels, as well as the Dusting Powder which I have been dusting on with wild abandon using it’s big fluffy powder puff. Even the kids beg for a dusting after their baths!
Truly a beautiful range and if you are still looking for Christmas Presents, you might not be too late so head over to the Woods of Windsor website to grab some beautiful gifts! Prices start at £6.99.
*Products Received Free of Charge for Review Purposes
Just a quick heads up for the Foreo Cleansing Discovery Must-haves gift set.
Regular readers will know I’m a big fan of the Foreo devices and the LUNA Play is perfect either for travelling or for someone who just wants to try out a Foreo cleansing device before plumping for one of the larger models. The LUNA Play is a small silicone face cleansing device that is good for up to 100 uses and then you bin it, and this gift set comes with 15ml Day Cleanser and 15ml Night Cleanser. The gift is a steal at £29 because if you bought the products separately it’d cost £43.
You can see my full review of the Foreo LUNA Play here but it’s definitely a worthy purchase and a great idea for your beauty loving friend who has everything or for yourself! I’ve got one of these in use and another two tucked away for future use. I can’t imagine anyone regretting buying one of these, the cleanse really well along with your chosen product, as well as giving you a massage.
Also available in Mint as well as Pearl Pink as shown.
For this and other sets available for Christmas, head over to the Foreo website.
*Product received free of charge for review purposes
I love bagsy Beauty, the products are just so lovely and the concept is also great, so it’s great to hear about a new collection from them, namely the Savannah Miller X bagsy Collection.
Packaging perfection as always with this brand! Savannah Miller is a fashion designer who worked with both Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson but who now has her own collection, Nine by Savannah Miller, which you can find in Debenhams.
The collection is small, perfectly formed and stylish, with each product housed in black glossy casing with embossed lettering.
First, the Intensifying Ink Liquid Eyeliner (£15)
For me this is a dream. I struggle with liner thanks to my age and hooded lids. No matter what I use, what promises it makes, it always always transfers to my upper lid in time. This does not. It is also one of my favourites to use, it just works for me really well allowing me to draw near perfect lines (I still suck at liner, the fault there is me, not my products!). I also really love that the bib is reversible, so if yours starts to look a bit battered, you can turn it round! It dries really fast, and doesn’t budge. Great stuff and definitely recommend.
Dawn to Dusk Eyeshadow Palette (£24)
The Dawn to Dusk Eyeshadow Palette is a great palette. The shades vary in finish, there’s mattes, shimmers and satins meaning it truly does work for day and night. Honestly it’s hard to say why I’m so fond of this palette, the shadows aren’t as pigmented as other leading brands, and I think the price is a little high, but regardless, I wear this every single day. I think it’s partly to do with the colour selection which is great, as well as the fact that they combine really well to create a really beautiful look, and they are really blendable. There’s a handy little brush included, which is adequate, and its a really great product for the handbag. Every shade is wearable. It’s not a must-have but it’s definitely a lovely-to-have. Swatches at the bottom of the post.
Finally, Vermillion Lipstick (£16)
DREAMY! I can’t even tell you how much I love this moisturising lipstick. It’s got a satin-matte finish, meaning it’s slightly more forgiving than a straight up matte. The colour, the colour is just perfection. There’s not much more to say… just look! (I’m also wearing the Intensifying Ink Liquid Eyeliner).
So not shown in my post is the beautiful looking Bronzed Brilliance Shimmer Bronzer (£20), the Pitch Black Mascara (£18) and the stunningly packaged Glamour Tease Hair Texture Spray (£8). A really lovely collection and I’d be thrilled to have any piece of this collection in my (non existent!) Christmas Stocking! And don’t forget the lovely little quotes on each piece…
The whole collection is available now on the bagsy Website, go check it out!
*Products Received Free of Charge for review Purposes
If you’re looking for Christmas Gifts that look beautiful, smell beautiful and don’t cost the world, then look no further than the beautiful gifts available from Yardley London.
The packaging for all of the gifts is sublime, I am in love with the artwork! And for such a quality brand, the prices are incredible for Crackers with a little Hand Cream in them for £4, up to about £20, none of the gifts on offer are going to break the bank.
This gift, the Mixed Body Spray Collection is my favourite and has my favourite packaging and retails at £9 for four 75ml Body Sprays.
This English Lavender Talc and Soap set costs just £9 and will make a beautiful gift, again, that packaging!
The English Lavender scent isn’t just a straight up Lavender, but rather it’s blended with bergamot, clary sage, wood, vanilla, patchouli amongst other beautiful scents such as violet and jasmine. The result is a fresh light scent with a warm heart.
Finally the English Lavender Eau de Toilette & Body Lotion set costs a very reasonable £15, which considering the size of the products, is a great deal!
Yardley London have been in existence since 1770 and are still going strong and that is testament to the quality and popularity. English Lavender is the signature scent and it’s not hard to see why, it’s lovely, but its April Violets that’s calling my name, I absolutely LOVE the scent of violets!
If you’re still Christmas shopping, or having started yet, then do head over to Yardley London, there’s much more on offer than these three beautiful gifts, you’re sure to find something for someone!
*Products received free of charge for review purposes.
I’ve got to start with an apology though because it looks like this palette is out of stock everywhere, I’ve had it a while I must admit, but life has really been getting in the way of blogging lately. I’m trying to get back on top if now though, sadly in the case of this beauty, a little too late. The main reason I’m still doing this post is that palette contains shades that are available in other formats as well as those that may well appear in future palettes. There are five vintage shades, five shades from previous palettes and seven shades currently available as singles. I am sorry this review is so late, but hopefully it’s still useful for someone!
So the reason I love this palette, or one of the reasons I love this palette is because while there are new shades, there are also really old favourites too (Gash, Acid Rain and UV-B). I’ve remember when Urban Decay first hit Exeter, going in and marvelling at the beautiful products. I especially loved the lipsticks so I’m thrilled to see the Vice Vintage Lipstick Collection… I’m TOTALLY getting as many of those as I can afford!
Okay back to the UD XX Vice Ltd Reloaded Eyeshadow Palette, henceforth known as the Vice Reloaded palette in this post! Retailing at £43, the palette houses the usual 20 shadows in a variety of finishes, with the usual stunning packaging and attention to detail, as well as the double-ended brush.
The vast majority of the shades in the palette are perfection, just like UD shadows always are. There are a couple of shades that are a touch patchy and harder to work with but I’ve found patting on over a primer solves that.
So, I’m just going to go ahead and show the swatches, with the official colour descriptions and a note or two where I see fit! All swatches are done without primer.
Starting with the top row:
Suspend (greige-brown matte), Oil Slick (black matte with silver micro glitter), Roadstripe (iridescent white with blue/violet shift), Gash (metallic brick red), Midnight Cowboy (pink champagne shimmer with silver glitter). I don’t know why Suspend is so patchy in my swatch, it just doesn’t come out like that when applied to my eyelid, but to be fair I always use a primer. Roadstripe, this is gorgeous if you love your duochromey shades.. while you can’t really see it in my swatch, its really beautiful!
501 (deep metallic blue with copper micro glitter), Shallow (pale taupe-silver satin), Laced (pinky taupe matte), Hot Pants (pearly medium pink) Mildew (deep metallic green shimmer). The shades in this row are all amazing. Shallow is one of my favourites in the whole palette, for no other reason than I just love the shade. Hot pants is a glorious pink, not a colour I can wear with ease but glorious anyway, and Mildew is a stunning rich shade of green!
Smog (deep coppery bronze shimmer), Misdemeanor (deep olive green matte with green micro shimmer), Freakshow (bright purple satin), Asphyxia (hyacinth shimmer with blue shift), Acid Rain (pale yellow green shimmer with green shift).
Yes I know there are two photographs for this row, but I thought they captured the tones and hues and richness of these shades. All of these shades are incredible.
Moonflower (metallic rose gold with gold microshimmer), UV-B (bright blue with violet shift), Goldmine (bright metallic gold), Twice Baked (rich brown satin with gold micro glitter), Anonymous (pale peachy cream matte).
Another gorgeous row, all the shades are beautiful, Goldmine is incredible, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a gold like it. Anonymous isn’t rubbish, its just the same shade as my skin unfortunately, but look closely and you’ll see the swatch is there!
Overall, this is a GREAT palette and if you can find it anywhere I would absolutely recommend it. I’ve not tried an Urban Decay palette I wouldn’t recommend yet. They are great for everyone, always a great mix of shades and finishes, making them good for ages and all occasions!
I’m sorry I can’t recommend a stockist, but keep checking the Urban Decay Website, there’s always new goodness there and as I previously mentioned, some of these shades are available as singles!
*product received free of charge for review purposes
Color Wow Coconut Cocktail is the second Bionic Tonic I’ve tried out (you can see my Kale Cocktail review here) and I’m absolutely loving them. In the most basic terms, these are leave in conditioners or treatments.
A recap on my hair, lots of bleach but holding up quite well despite that, fluffy and prone to frizzies even before bleach, but more so now with a touch of dryness. That said, I’ve been using the Kale Cocktail for quite some time now so perhaps that’s why my hair is holding up so well!
Okay so while the Kale Cocktail is for strengthening weak hair that is prone to breakage, the Coconut Cocktail bonds a lubricating layer to the hair’s surface to restore silkiness which is just what my hair needs.
To use, you just apply a coin sized amount to damp hair. The size of the coin depends on the amount of hair you’ve got, and I have found its a bit of trial and error to get it right. Apply it to the lower sections and ends of your hair, comb through and if at all possible dry your hair with a hair dryer, it will accelerate and enhance the effects of the product.
The other great thing is that you can combine the Cocktails, so for the first couple of washes after I’ve had my hair coloured/lightened, I use both Kale and Coconut, before switching to using just Coconut alone.
My hair is always going to be a bit fluffy, that’s my hair type, but wow, Coconut leaves my hair feeling and looking much nicer, and smoother. Oh and it smells glorious.
That picture is actually a few weeks old now, my hair is a little blonder, a good couple of inches shorter and looking better than ever. £22 will get you 200ml and it lasts and lasts, becuase you need to use so little.
I’ve said it before but I definitely recommend these Cocktails, and actually everything I’ve tried from Color Wow, so do check the website out!
*Product received free of charge for review purposes