essjay23x

A Sincere but Light-Hearted Mission To Make More of Myself!

Archive for February 2010

Shopping is safe and let’s tweet!

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Shopping is safe and let’s tweet!

Hey Peeps!

I hope you are all having a fabtabulous weekend.

I’ve read a couple of posts and articles this week about Safe Beauty. Vex In The City discusses a new organisation which has been set up to raise awareness of how to keep our make up and beauty hygenic.

Being quite a newbie to full on make up, this is something that I would encourage. I would hate to think how many more times a day my chubby little fingers are making contact with my skin particularly my face compared to days of ye olde.

This is one of the things that has always put me off make up in the past. I’ve always been scared of becoming dependant on it (and guess what has happened . . ?). I’ve always felt that I would be very fake if I shovelled on the make up and somehow managed to pull off a stunning look, only to wipe it all away and reveal a uglier, spottier me that needs to be covered up. As much as I now love make up, that is what I want it to remain, a love affair. I do not ever want to feel that I can not possibly leave the house or open the door without make up on. Sure on most occasions, I certainly feel more comfortable leaving the house with a bit of lippie or mascara on but I need to remember to use make up to add a little sparkle to my life not to colour over and mask it  completely.

And I think one way of trying to maintain that balance is by using my make up and beauty products as safely and hygienically as possible, changing my mascara every three months etc. Hmm, you can’t deny that at the very least it is a pretty good excuse to go out shopping every now and then. Good or bad, why does making more of myself always seem to end up expensive?! Ok to stop the pennies that I can hear jingling down the drain in my head right now, I’m thinking that I might need to change my regular mascara every 3 months but the ones I don’t use quite so often maybe only need replacing every six months. And maybe I should just stop buying so many duplicates? After all, why have three mascaras you hardly use? Why not just have one or two because in three months, I’ll have a great excuse to buy/try another one.

Here are some interesting links related to safe beauty

1/ A post from the fantastic blog, Vex In The City

http://www.vexinthecity.com/2010/02/safe-beauty-association.html

2/ The Safe Beauty Association

http://www.safebeautyassociation.com/

3/ An article in The Daily Mail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1253442/Women-warned-make-bacteria-risk-average-cosmetics-bag-years-date.html

The article in the Daily Mail also says how Europe has now legislated that cosmetics should have expiry dates/periods etc. Am I seriously that airhead that I have not noticed on one item of make up, the mandatory expiry information? Are your items dated? Where on the product would I find such expiry information? What do you think? Did you suffer breakouts when you first started using make up or have you ever had make up related breakouts? Do you seriously throwaway your favourite limited edition lipstick just because it may have expired or been used on the eve of a breakout?

The second thing I wanted to mention today is that I’m going to start tweeeting, whoo! I have created an account specifically to work alongside this blog. So if you’re on Twitter and enjoy this blog a little then why not follow me? You’ll be the first to know about my blog updates and the first that I’ll turn to in the case of an emergency ie. When I’m in *name drug store of your choice* and can’t find the expiry date on a mascara I want to buy or when I’m in the hairdressers and been told that this hair product will change my hair forever. Ooh and then, there’ll be the times when I simply want to know what lipstick Cheryl Cole et al is wearing or your opinion on some post by some of the fantastic beauty bloggers out there.

Ooh, I’m looking forward to a little bit of tweeting but of course, I guess like talking, it isn’t much fun on your own. So please if you enjoy this blog and/or are just in to finding products that that can make our world just that bit more prettier then come and follow me on Twitter.

http://twitter.com/essjay23x

I think that is all I’ve got to say, keep smiling (and tweeting) Girlies

X

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Written by essjay23x

February 28, 2010 at 8:00 am

Yummy in other ways. . .

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Yummy in other ways. . .

I expect that many of you have already heard about the product that I am going to discuss today in my ‘Lush and I’ series. It is the Yummy Yummy Yummy Shower Cream Wash.

Now I have heard a lot of people rave about this product so I was surprised when I used it that I just felt well, so indifferent. It is ok, it doesn’t do anything wrong. The scent is pleasant but I wouldn’t go as far as yummy and certainly not yummy, yummy, yummy. It does lather more then the Lush soap bars but still is not in the same bubble league as other cream washes I’ve used such as Soap and Glory’s. It does ok but nothing more. When I’m tired, I don’t think I’ll have a nice bath and I can use some of that Yummy Yummy Yummy to unwind. Instead I get in to the bath or shower and realise that I can not reach my soap/wash product of choice and grab this instead and then when I’ve finished washing, I don’t have to lather myself in lotions to get rid of the scent. I can barely smell Yummy, Yummy, Yummy on me and I like to be able to smell something fresh lingering on my skin when I’ve washed otherwise I fear that the  job has not been done properly. So I have to have the lotion on stand by just to get a scent. I have been reading the Lush brochure and it says the product is filled to the brim with fresh strawberries. I just wish I could smell them as soon as I step out of the water. It also says that there is almond oil, honey water and passionflower seed oil too. It all certainly sounds very delicious and in fact, even when you pull the lid up and smell the shower cream in the bottle, a lovely gorgeous smell seems to waft in to the air but I don’t know, I’m still not sure if I would buy this product at full price for myself again. I’m happy to use it if it is there but it isn’t a potion that excites me. This product does not really do anything wrong. I guess that I just find it rather bland.

However, bland things can have their uses. Lollipop26 discussed Yummy, Yummy, Yummy recently. I think that she rather liked it and said that often she will just use it for handwash. So I had a go. I work in a care environment and my hands are constantly in water or been dowsed by alcohol gels and during the last few chilly months, I’ve really noticed the horrible effects that this is having on my hands. I even try very carefully to hide them when I take photos for you, gals. They look horrible at the moment. I’m thinking of trying the Body Shop Hemp Hand Cream, has anybody tried it?

Anyway I’m going off track again but when I used the Yummy product to wash my hands, they did not feel quite as tight afterwards and on my hands, I could smell quite a sweet, fruity, spring smell. Lush also suggest using it for hair washing when you are in a hurry. Well, I wasn’t in a hurry but my shampoo was in the other room so I used this. My hair again benefitted from the same scent and I could still smell it later in the evening. It smelt nicer and fresher then many shampoos. However, my hair did need washing again more or less the next day.

Then as if I haven’t tried the product in many different ways already, I was reading the comments that somebody had left Zoella and this person said that they use Yummy, Yummy, Yummy to wash their make up brushes. Now, many of you know that I really want to look after my new Sigma brushes but am struggling to find a brush cleaning product to help. Well, I tried Yummy, Yummy, Yummy and it seemed to work ok. The fluffier brushes are still very soft and do not seem matted or dried at all. I have little experience of brush cleaners but most of the dirt seems to have been removed even some of the Revlon ColorStay (not all) and I have not had (fingers crossed) one new little blemish on my face since I used this product for brush cleaning last weekend so I think I will do the same thing this weekend and if the good results continue then maybe there will be a reason to repurchase Yummy, Yummy, Yummy after all. It is probably cheaper then brush cleaner, yay!

Ha! What is the bet that I repurchase it as a brush cleaner and then can not stop using it on my skin?! Sometimes products grow on me. Normally, it is as I’m just about to finish the bottle. Typical!

So any Yummy, Yummy, Yummy tales? Or have any of you got any secrets when it comes to a product that is meant to do one thing but you use to do another? Don’t forget, please keep commenting and subscribing. I lurvee your company!!!

X 

Written by essjay23x

February 27, 2010 at 10:00 am

Moroccan Miracle?!

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Moroccan Miracle?!

 
I went to the hairdressers yesterday. Ooh, is this where I insert a picture of new and improved style?! Ok but from a distance.
 
 
 

 

I have pretty much the same style and colour as ever. I’m not very daring with hair. I’ve had a few disasters in the past. Sometimes I think that it would be nice to have a change but I get over it by the time, I hit the hairdressers chair. This style is just me, I guess and I can’t imagine being me if I changed it. I can’t picture me going about my life with different hair and as much work as long hair is, I love the verstaility. I think there is a bit of a safety net in the number of things that you can do with it when you have a bad hair day and I get a few of those!

Anyway back to the subject of the post which actually is Moroccan Oil which was the salons latest rave yesterday. Now I never need much convincing to add a product to my purchase at the end of my visit (although once home, I’m rarely overwhelmed by them) but my hairdresser did not have to do much work to sell me this Moroccan Oil.

1/ Apparently, it is a ‘magic’ product.

2/ My salon claimed it can cut your hair drying time by up to one half.

3/ It is natural and I’m trying to do more natural this year.

My hairdresser used the conditioning treatment version of this product on my hair after my colour and then the actual oil before blowdrying and my hair was so, so soft. I had my purse out before my silly hair bib thing had been whipped off. However, at £29 for the full size product. I had to make do with this incy teeny jar for £4.95.

It is better then nothing and will let me make a more informed decision before I purchase the biggest version. This should last a while as it is to be used on damp hair after washing hair which I’m trying to do only 2-3 times a week and you literally need only a couple of pea size dollops which you take through all your hair. I’m hoping this jar will last me about a month.

Have you heard about Morrocan Oil? Have you used it? Apparently it is great for moisture and reduces frizz without making the hair flat. I’m sure the name is familar but I can not remember what I have read or heard. I has a quick look on Beauty Brains and they seem a bit dismissive of the product. I need to have a proper look at the Moroccan Oil website http://www.moroccanoil.com/en/our-products.html  

I would be interested to hear about any of your experiences if you have used the oil. If you haven’t used Morrocan Oil, do you believe in magical products? If so, what is yours?

X

Written by essjay23x

February 26, 2010 at 10:00 am

Lashes, I love thee!

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Lashes, I love thee!

Hey Girlies

Lashes, lashes, lashes . . !

I am loving using these lash enhancement products (notice, I said these. More later)

I have never been in to gardening but now, I’m getting why some people go out at the break of dawn each morning to water flowers and move tomato plants. I think it might give them the same lovely warm, fuzzy proud feeling in the pit of their stomachs that I get as I watch my lashes bloom. That is right, bloom! It is so satisfying to take the time to give my lashes a little tender loving care each day. Now okay I’m not watering them but like a gardener, I like to think I’m nourishing them and now, spring has arrived early. Well . . , in the world inhibited by my lashes and I anyway.

Here are some pics.

The pics above were without mascara.

 

The pics above are with the Max Factor Lash Extending mascara, that I may have mentioned once or twice before. ;-)

See, I don’t know if you can see in the pictures but there is length here and over the last week or so, I think there is definitly extra volume. Although rather then new hairs growing in the gaps of my lash line, new lashes are starting to grow slightly above my normal lash line. In effect, this is giving me two rows of upper lashes. Is this even possible?!

Now I think about it, it probably is not. Maybe I need to take a closer look. I will probably find the roots anchored in the same line. Maybe the new hair is just growing with different direction and curling differently giving the two row effect.

Ooh, lashes . . , aren’t they fascinating? :-)

I stopped using my Ardell product last Wednesday, just over a week ago. I am happy that it improved the condition of my lashes and certainly gave the impression (and possibly reality) of longer lashes. When I was using it, each individual lash looked thicker and stronger. I am not sure if it added volume to my lash line or filled in any gaps.

Last Wednesday, I started using Talika Lipocils. This was meant to be on stand by for when I finished Ardell but I still have a little Ardell left and despite, Ardell’s grade A results, I still got bored and as I like to swap it up, the temptation of Talkika’s 28 day promise was too much and I changed my product of choice. Talika guarantee eyelash growth in 28 days. They also say that the product allows your lashes to reach their maximum growth potential. It is described as an eyelash conditioning gel with vegetal extracts. I will keep the raminder of my Ardell on stand by for when I finish (or get bored of) Talika.

I chose Talika as my new product because like Ardell, it was relatively cheap and had better reviews then products such as L’Oreal’s new lash enhancement serum. Reviews and results were key and I was almost tempted to splash out on Revitalash or Lash Food but changed my mind after reading some discussions and posts on BeautyBrains which seemed to say that any lash enhancement products would not be able to maximise lash growth unless they were a drug as it is affecting the body’s metabolism and if it was causing growth then, the product was a drug. All of the big players have no drug license and it’s use would be technically be illegal in the USA (and I presume the Uk). I know that JulieG713 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67f0l9oF2Ho has done a brilliant review of Talika as has xsparkage http://www.youtube.com/user/xsparkage#p/u/49/r-aMjr0g-GE  and I must say that these were very influential when I was considering what to buy.

Talika was the first product authorised to advertise it’s eyelash growth claims in France so I can not help thinking there is something in it. I have been using this product twice a day and have noticed an increase in volume since I started using this. However, I’ve only been using the product about a week and the new hair which I’ve only just noticed already seems quite long so I wonder if Ardell started this new growth off. Maybe I hadn’t noticed it before, when I was using Ardell, because the hair was new and short and now time is passing and it has grown a bit and I can see it.

Reading this post back, I do seem quite gullible. Longer lashes may be just about believable but extra rows of lashes which are long and glossy straight away, it sounds almost like the less believable claims conveyed in some mascara adverts!

So apologies but this is my review and this is truly what I percieve when I look in the mirror. I wonder if some of it is illusion and my lashes though possibly a little longer are merely standing differently now maybe stronger, they are dancing and curling differently and somehow this is making them look thicker. Maybe just adding the product gives the illusion of thickness. After all. coating your barnet in colour makes your locks look thicker. At the end of the day, isn’t this what mascara is all about? Maybe this clear gel just reflects the light differently and the coated lashes give out the illusion of length. Hmmmm or maybe all these fears sound just as nonsencial as the orginal growth claims.

Well, whatever! I am very impressed with how I percieve my lashes at the moment and will continue to use these products until they finish and I’ll probably share another review of Talika when the 28 days are up.

What about you? What is more important, length or volume? Do you, would you use Lash enhancement products? What is your gut feeling? Do they work or am I just skipping around in pure lash fantasy?

X

PS You can find out more about the Lipocils product here http://www.talika.com/product-8910.html I ordered mine from HQhair.com. 10mls cost me around £20. It took about two and a half weeks for the product to arrive due to stock issues.

Written by essjay23x

February 25, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Design an Illamasqua Nail Polish!

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Design an Illamasqua Nail Polish! 

Hey Lurvies

Just another very quick note to tell you about another competition that I’ve heard about. You can find some details here http://www.lipglossiping.com/2010/02/22/illamasqua-nail-polish-competition/ but basically who wants to design an Illamasqua Nail Polish?!

You can but again you need to be quick. The closing date is the 14th of March!!

I’m not very arty or particularly competitive but I’m loving all of these opportunities floating around at the moment.

Good luck, let me know if you are going to enter any of the ones I’ve found. Also have you heard of any fab comps or giveaways lately?

X

Written by essjay23x

February 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm

FAO:Shoe designers, beauty bloggers and those who paint purple!

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FAO: Shoe designers, beauty bloggers and those who  paint purple!

Hey Girls

I don’t know if anybody caught the Fabulous magazine yesterday. I never realised how inspiring this little supplement is for me until I began blogging but there are some absolute diamonds of fashion and beauty features (and one heel of a competition for any wanna be shoe designers).

The beauty feature this week is called ‘Ultra Violet’ and basically shows three different ways of incorporating purple in to your make up look.

There is a purple sparkly look for the eyes using Barry M Fine Glitter in Silver and a Bourjois Little Round Pot Eyeshadow in Midnight Purple and Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Blackberry.

 

The second look has a more vivid purple on a nuder face. There is a little MAC pigment in Violet or Rose over the top of the cheekbones and then an Urban decay shadow (Purple Haze or Cult) lining the upper lid with a subtle Bare Minerals Lip Colour, Bellani, on the lips.

 

The final look is all about the lips. Again the actual face is very natural but I think the model looks very bronzed. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Va Va Violet has been placed over a neutral base and within the borders of some lipliner and then the nails polished with OPI Lincoln Park at Midnight really completes the unique look.

What do you think? Are we liking purple?

I think there are two reasons why I’m more then a little influenced by Fabulous.

Firstly, it is published on a Sunday and Sunday seems to be that crazy day when I get ‘I can do that’ and ‘I will do that’ and ‘Isn’t that a great idea?’ type voices in my head!

Secondly, I very rarely buy magazines now and the cyber beauty community is my biggest influence. You will notice that I have added a stamp in my sidebar. This was after reading Muhsine’s post about the importance of beauty bloggers http://bubblegarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/blogging-is-new-media.html. I found a lot of what was said by her and others in the comments, to be very true and she had this little stamp that she would like you to add to your blog if you agreed with what was said.

Muhsine’s post is just one of a few posts about beauty blogging which I have been interested to read over the last week or so. These posts really hit home.

At the beginning of the year, this blog and I were honeymooning and I was loving it. Actually I got slightly obsessed with getting all the latest products, reading all the new posts, commenting and writing my own. This little blog was taking up so much of my energy and then suddenly about a week ago, I woke up disillusioned with the whole thing and missing some of the things I used to do. So now I’m going to make an effort to create a bit more balance in my life. I’m going to continue the blog. Of course I am. Deep down, it is my baby and even when I thought I’d be giving it up, I was still planning posts in my head. I must post this and that etc. As frustrating as I was finding my blog, I couldn’t let go. It is almost as if we have been going through the terrible twos or something so I’m just taking a little time to step back and breathe life in again. There may be less posts then again, maybe not! I hope you don’t mind. The British Beauty Blogger has written a little about our love-hate relationships with blogging on her blog http://www.britishbeautyblogger.com/2010/02/blogs-heart-of-matter.html and there was a little post by Zoella http://schoee.blogspot.com/2010/02/my-most-asked-question.html  which also reminded me that at the end of the day, my blog is mine and it can be whatever I want it to be or feel like it being. Ha, watch out!!! ;-)

Ooh and before I go, I had better mention what some of you have been waiting for. Going back to Fabulous, there is an awesome competition inside. Basically you have to design a pair of heels. If your heels win, they could be sold in Faith stores across the UK and online with 20% of sales going to the Wellbeing of Women chairty. You need to send a coloured drawing of your design with a short description to the magazine. I’m sure you can find full details, terms and conditions on Fabulousmag.co.uk but hurry, the closing date is at the end of March.

Wow, I only wish I could draw but imagine if one of you won!!!

X

 

 

 

Written by essjay23x

February 22, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Happy Sunday!

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Happy Sunday!

 So I hope you have all had a lovely little Sunday today. I did!

I went shopping. (Yay)

Actually I spent very little. (Huh?)

I spent very little out of choice (Er, ok, double yay!).

As many of you know from my storage post, I have a drawer full of products I barely use. I tend to wear very little make up to work, if any so I really do not need to be make up shopping every single week. I’m in love with Snob but earlier this week, I remembered a lipstick I had almost forgotten about. Barry M, 144 and you know what? That was nice but because I brought it at the same time as the 100, it ended up forgotten. Such a beautiful colour lost and buried under new purchase after another after another. How sad!

I may not have been in to make up for long but I take things to an extreme and have gained an awful lot in a very short period of time. I need to cherish and value what I already have. I’m considering a Project 10 pan or something but am too feckless to commit to anything (esp. after seeing the swatches for the Alice In Wonderland palette from Urban Decay from LipGlossiping. They were gorgeous, swoon, swoon!)

Today I went shopping with my Mum. We went in to The Body Shop and I brought nothing. We went in to Space Nk and I brought nothing although I can still hear Rose de Baume calling for me. We went in to Lush and I brought nothing although I did frown at Vanilla In The Mist and went round and round the shop several times looking for a scrub that Muhsine (Bubblegarm) raved about recently and then we went in to MAC and I brought nothing although I picked out Angel and St Germain without even peeking at the names on the bottom and then I kept picking up different little pots of Honeylust.

Amazing! I brought nothing yet all of these beauties were just sitting there on the shelf waiting for me. Bet you’re wondering how I managed it?!

Well, my secret is a little decoy action. I brought for my Mum instead. That way I got to browse and test all of the products. So, the enjoyment of shopping was still there but I wasn’t adding to an already much too much collection. As if that wasn’t enough, the highlight of my plan was that Mum looked gorgeous. She always does but this is gorgeous in a different way and her smile says it all. She likes her look. A lot!

 

I brought her (with my hard earned Boots points) the L’Oreal Visible Lift Foundation (picture sourced from Google/l’oreal-paris.com). I suggested that we buy this mainly because I was so impressed with my L’Oreal True Match weeks ago. I have got used to my Colorstay but still remain underwhelmed plus my Mum is so busy and I know that she has not got time to flaff around. Unless I flaff around, I find ColorStay very messy and hard work. On the other hand, the L’Oreal Lift has a pump which seems to dispense the foundation efficiently. It is in a lovely little portable bottle and the foundation really does seem to airbrush my Mum’s skin. I’m not sure about the lift but she looks more polished and even from a distance her profile particularly the chin area looks more defined. Tomorow I will look at her again very closely as apparently this foundation fights wrinkles the day after wear. So positive first reactions and high expectations for the long term so I’m hoping Mum and I can do a better review of this L’Oreal product (Who knows, maybe she will even pose for a pic. Fingers crossed!) and all it’s promises, maybe around Mother’s Day, when she has worn it for more then a hour. Mum matched the Rose Porcelain shade.

Being the lovely daughter I am, Mum’s treat went beyond foundation. I also let her pick out a MAC lipstick and she picked out, Pink Plaid. I was so surprised how similar our tastes are, it was a lovely smooth pink and I would certainly have been tampted to borrow it but it wasn’t to be. Mum wouldn’t let me spend £12 on a lipstick for her so in Boots, I recommended Barry M. She liked 101 but I said she could have mine if she really wanted it as I prefer Gosh Darling anyway. There was no other Barry M shades that she thought she could wear so I took her over to Maybelline as I know there has been a lot of posts about the Maybelline Color Sensational lippies and straight away, she picked out Sweet Pink and it looks absolutley beautiful on her lips. She did not even have to conceal her natural lip colour. Sweet Pink is very vibrant and there is a slight shimmer but it only adds to the polished look.

Here is a picture from Google (originally from http://www.beautyswatch.com/2009/10/maybelline-color-sensational-lipstick.html).

 

Good choice, Mum. I wish I could guage colours, that so effortlessly suit me, as quickly as Mum managed to.

Hmmm, maybe one day. Anyway, I hope that all of you lovelies have had a Sunday as happy as mine. Happy days!

X

PS The one thing that I did buy for myself today was some Neutrogena Make Up Remover after watching Lollipop26’s You Tube video. My relationship with Clinique is still bumpy to say the least and I want skin like Laura’s (Lollipop26). I will try to review soon!