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

Archive for March 2010

Helllllloo Honey!

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Helllllloo Honey!

Hi all!

Let me tell you about a beauty haul of a different kind, a natural one. If you follow this blog, you will already know I am curious about natural beauty regimes and am considering moving in that direction especially now my Clinique products are running out. I have already started to gather and use a few products branded as “natural”.

First of all, there is my wonderful Moroccan Oil. I still love this product and yes, I’ve caved and purchased the full size. My hair is generally more managebable, softer and seems healthier especially the ends now that I’m using this product. However, I have found a couple of drawbacks too. After a couple of days, my hair does feel greasy and seems to need washing every couple of days as opposed to two or three times a week. I think I’m suffering from a build up of oil and am struggling to wash it out with my new staple Naked shampoo and have had to result to Curly Wurly and Big for a clarifying wash. I think it is time for me to wash and style my hair once without the Moroccan Oil to stop further build up but am I brave enough?! I’m not sure, I am seriously addicted to this stuff which is why despite some kind suggestions I have not surrended to the cheaper but probably as effective aragon oil instead. Despite some drawbacks, I can not imagine life without Moroccon Oil now.

Secondly, there is the Naked shampoo and intensive conditioning treatment. The shampoo is ok. My hair seems shiny but that might be the oil. I think this shampoo does clean my hair a little but I’m not convinced that it is anything special and think if you are using it regularly then you are going to need a throw a clarifying shampoo in to the routine once a week or so too. As for the conditioning treatment. Again, I think it is ok but I am not at all worried that I do not have a back up of this product.

Thirdly, we have my Dead Sea Salts exfoliator that I have spoken about before. I have found it messy and impratical to apply this product to dry skin as directed and actually now use it on wet skin. This seems to work well. I have also been dabbing a little bit on to blemishes over night before rinsing it off in the morning. At the very least, none of the blemishes have got worse when coated in the dab of salt. With some blemishes, the product seems to have helped in the healing of the spots.

Fourthly, we have honey. I have been coating my entire face in pure honey for about 15 minutes and it leaves my face so soft and refreshed once rinsed off.

Fifthly, we have lemon juice. I have tried covering my face in lemon juice and leaving for five to ten minutes. It stings a little when applied. When washed off, I feel like my face has had a bit of a workout. However, it does not seem to have helped much with blemished skin. However, it works wonders for my very, very dry hands. I have never used anything so effective on my hand. I just run half a lemon over my hands before bed and then for 24 hours afterwards my hands are so soft. Unfortunatly unless I repeat the treatment, they do seem to dry out again very quickly. I would still say if you are going to try any of these, I would say try this one and prepare to be impressed!!!

Finally, we have Olive Oil which compliments the Lemon Juice hand treatment. Once I’ve cleared the build up of oil in my hair, I would like to try this on my hair and am planning to use it to enhance my new tan.

So do you have natural beauty tips or raves? Please tell me, I’m getting in to this whole natural thing. I have to say that none of the above (apart from Moroccan Oil) are really finds of my own. I have read about them on various blogs but have relied heavily on posts from Bubblegarm’s beauty blog. There is so much information here and she really explains why the products might work too. And what is more, she test drives them all to give you more of an idea if something might be worth pursuing. So if you are thinking of moving in a natural direction then some of her posts are worth reading!


PS You might want to pop along to the GMTV website and read the deals of the week from money expert, Martin Lewis FIVE Bourjois lipsticks for £9 inc. delivery!


An Audrey of an apology!

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An Audrey of an apology!


So sorry that I have not posted much over the last week or so. Last week was just one of those weeks but that week has gone now and hopefully normal service can now resume.

Anyway amid all the strangeness, I also got a little bit lost. Lost, Scott Barnes and Audrey Hepburn style.

I mentioned Audrey Style (Audrey Style by Pamela Clarke Keogh) in my last post. Well, I am now halfway through and this book is brilliant, brilliant reading. Even in her own life, it seems Audrey really was the most extraordinary character. With amazing dress sense, obviously! And then of course, there was her make up sense and her grace. This lady seemed to carry herself in all the right ways and this magical quality (which I’m trying to trek down, can’t find it in Boots though. Funny, that) just seems to draw people to her. Even now. I think she is the only famous person that I have never heard anybody have a dig at or criticise in the slightest.

The designer that Audrey worked closest with was Hubert Givenchy (the designer who believed that a dress was not something you wore but something that you lived in) and it is in the beautiful dresses and creations that resulted from this partnership, where we really see The Hepburn Style blossomed. She said of him “There are few people I love more.” Not surprising when you see the beautiful outfits he designed, the cocktail dress in Sabrina et al. Although apparently Audrey was no pushover. She may have been a lady but she knew what she liked and what she didn’t, both on her own body and in fashion.

Anyway there are some amazing pics in the book with some very inspiring style ideas but here are a few that I found online (Google Image search. I do not own any of the copyright etc and if the owner of the copyright insists then I will delete their beautiful image obviously) in tribute to the oh so fabulous one. You may have seen some of them before but well, who could ever tire of the Audrey pics?! Enjoy!!!




Make up wise, it strikes me more that Audrey looks polished rather then ‘made up.’ She seems to have used make up to define, enhance and polish the features she already has. I’m hoping with the help of Viva Glam Cyndi, I may be able to pull off some sort of Audrey-inspired look. All I need to do is find some pearls and sunglasses. And I’m thinking hats or a headscarf. . !

What do you think? Do you like the Hepburn Style? How do you think she may have influenced you? What is your favourite Audrey film? What was that? Roman Holiday?! Yay, I’m with you.


PS If you have not done so already, check out Laura’s blog (Emerald Green, link in the sidebar). She is having a giveaway for a gorgeous Revlon Lilac nail varnish but I think, it ends tomorrow. Have a lookie, Laura’s blog is soo useful. Also Vex In The City has a post about a promotion that Boots have for some of the lucky advantage card holders. Extra points, yay, I hope I’m one of the chosen few!! 

Written by essjay23x

March 24, 2010 at 8:33 pm

My kind of treasure hunt!

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My kind of treasure hunt!

Hey Pretties!

Let me share with you a little treasure that I hunted down yday.

Firstly, hiding in MAC (of all places!), I uncovered . . .

Sable & Jest


& oh fancy that, another little encounter with Saint Germain. Well, bumping in to each other again. . , that must be a sign so er, yes, sold!


 And I guess in such a gorgeous haul, it was inevitable that the In Synch lipliner would invite itself to the party.


I also managed to bag a new Barry M Lip Lacquer Crayon in No 1 Red. I’ve yet to use it properly but a quick test suggests great pigmentation. A very strong and I suspect, long lasting colour but it is also very, very red and totally changes my look . . , hmmm!

Then finally two random(ish) finds, books. About Face by Scott Barnes and Audrey Style by Pamela Clarke Keogh. I haven’t looked at these diamonds properly yet- honestly I’m so pleased with all the treasure I gained today that I have been running from one gorgeous treat to the next and back again, occaionally shrieking and oohing- but flicking through Scott Barnes, it looks amazing and, uncanningly, seems to literfie all that my mission is about. Sometimes when I think about my mission, to make more of myself and to attain something as seemingly unattainable as beauty, it all seems a bit shallow, silly almost childish but deep down, there is so much more to my mission then meets the eye and this book hits the nail on the head.

I’m loving the quotes such as ‘You have the power to create your own MASTERPIECE’ and ‘Feeling beautiful leads to self-respect. Self-respect leads to greater confidence. And confidence commands attention’. There is some paragraph that suggests when you put your lippie or mascara on then you come from the background forward in to the spotlight or something along those lines . . !

Even if you find all these pearls of inspiration a little OTT or trite, there are honestly no words to describe how beautiful the make up and photos are. I know that I’m going to spend hours lost in this book.

As for the Audrey book, it seems part biography and part (indepth) analysis of her beauty, outside and within. It appeals to me because I’m curious about the lady under the gorgeous hair and make up and it seems a bit different to the usual biographies. I’m looking forward to reading this. I can only dream that maybe somehow I will soak up some of Audrey’s beauty just through the reading of this book.

Hope you Girlies are well. Any tips or thoughts on the little treasures I found today. Have any of you uncovered (or splashed out) on any treats lately? If so, I would love to hear all about them. The next good thing to having a stash of my own is reading about some of yours.

Anyway I’m off to find a treasure chest (or at least a decent hiding place) to stow all my new treasures. Maybe I should make a sign, ‘Sisters, hands off!!!’


Written by essjay23x

March 10, 2010 at 8:42 am

Lush and I: The Shampoo Wars!

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Lush and I: The Shampoo Wars!

Lovelies, just how important is your hair?! Mine is so important and I really feel as if it could define me which is why I try so hard (maybe too hard) to make the most of it.

My ideal hair is something like the locks adorned by Angelina Jolie and Jess on The Real Hustle. Both have healthy, glossy, shiny dark locks but neither of them have extreme volume or tight curls so why if I’m not using a shampoo called Big then I am using one called Curly Wurly?! Curly Wurly and Big are more hair nightmare then dream for me!

Therefore, it follows that Big shampoo and Curly Wurly shampoo from Lush have been the two major staples in my beauty routine over the last couple of months. Huh?!?!

To note, I tend to use both of these shampoos twice. I never get a lather and hardly any bubbles or soapiness, especially with Big, the first time that I use it.

When I brought these products, Big cost £9.90 for 330g (and with my current once a week regime, this goes very far). Meanwhile Curly Wurly costs £8.60 for 220g. I would say one pot will last me about 4-6 weeks using the regime detailed below.

Now to the review. . .

I started using Big shampoo first. This was just after I had finished the pre-shampoo treatments which I could not afford to repurchase. I was intrigued by what I had heard about the Big Shampoo. Big contains Sea Salt; Lemon and Lime; Softening seaweed and Cocoa Butter. I had never heard of a shampoo with solid bits before. I read somewhere that this shampoo acted as an exfoliator for hair and to me, this made sense. It would break down and get rid of all the gooey and sticky chemicals that I constantly seem to dowse my hair in as well as all that rubbish that my hair just picks up in daily life eg. exhaust fumes, smoke, make up/beauty residues. The solid flakes would be able to loosen, release all this rubbish and scrub my hair squeaky clean. Clean hair, yay! However, I had concerns that such a routine was a bit harsh and too rough for my hair but soon forgot this when I read that there was Cocoa butter in the shampoo. I love Cocoa Body Butter so surely Cocoa Butter could make any product gentle?!

Lush claim that with Big, ‘shine, softness and optimal volume are at your fingertips’. When I started to use Big, my hair really did feel throughly cleansed and so soft. The flakes rinsed out easily enough. However, I was a little worried about the effect a “heavier, slightly more solid’ shampoo would have on my hair extensions. For a couple of hours after a hairwash, the rows would feel as if they were sitting in a slightly different place but after a couple of hours, this feeling either disappeared or I just did not notice it anymore. My hair was not flat after using Big but nor was it massive by any means. However, it still looked better, it was less puffy and less frizz made it more managable.

So far, so good!

However, it was only after I started using the Big shampoo that I began hearing negative reviews about the shampoo. In fact, suddenly everything I heard/read seemed to be negative. The main concern was that it could dry your hair out. Oh, not good. Especially for me. I already feel as if my hair is very dry and damaged. Personally, I don’t think my hair became drier just because I used this shampoo. However, the panic button had squealed and I started to look at ways, others were employing to counteract this. Some people were using Big about once a month or so as an intensive, clarifying shampoo. Others were using it more often but mixing it with an alternative moisturising shampoo. Note, there seems to be lots of reviews in Beauty blogs and on You Tube for these products. You should find some easily. I read and heard lots. I know there is a review from Bubblegarm and I’m sure Lollipop26 mentioned Big in a You Tube video.

I brought Curly Wurly and used it alone once or twice a week and then for my final hairwash each week, I would mix some Curly Wurly with Big for a deeper hair cleanse.

Curly Wurly was a Lush shampoo that I knew nothing about except that it was very moisturising (it is 15% coconut) and was reportedly suitable for any hair type, not just Curly Hair. When I brought the shampoo, the assistant made a point of making sure I knew how to use the shampoo. He said that it really needed to be worked in to the hair for a minute or so. I was very, very surprised when I opened the pot to see that this shampoo had solid bits in, like Big. I don’t know why, I just was not expecting it. This shampoo was sweeter then Big (a lovely peach colour) and very, very sticky. Now I understand why the assistant said the product needed to be worked in. Otherwise nothing would be loosened up and once applied, the gloop would just stick there where it had been applied. It needs to be worked in to clean the hair and for the good things to be dispersed.

Curly Wurly does give shine and again, makes the hair very soft. I would say it has pretty much the same effect on my hair as Big did. This one is allegedly less drying but I would say it is much more difficult to use. Primarily because it is so hard to rinse out. Obviously I might find it harder then some of you with the sticky flakes getting caught up in the rows of my extensions but I don’t think anybody would be able to rinse this out very quickly and I sometimes have to leave a few remnants in until I rinse out the conditioner. Otherwise I seriously could run out of hot water! Curly Wurly is made up of Coconut, Cocoa and Avocado.

Lush claim that Curly Wurly has a delicious scent. Both of these shampoos were scented. Big smells like a couple of exciting raw ingredients and Curly Wurly smells like the gorgeous pud or cream that the ingredients make. Both shampoos are pleasantly fragrant and much nicer then the overpowering scents of the Pre-shampoo treatments discussed in an earlier post. Interestingly you may also want to note, that I used a shampoo from the Boots 97% natural haircare range, Naked, for the first time recently and found the scent much falsier and manufactured then the Lush shampoos. In fact, it was slightly off-putting.

When it comes to ease of use, I prefer Big. Big is much easier to rinse out. The sharp salt(?) flakes are not trapped in a sticky gloop. However, I am put off by all the warnings about the drying effect that Big is supposed to have and consequently use this shampoo less then Curly Wurly. In fact, it is very rare that I use Big alone now without mixing it in with Curly Wurly.

I also do not like how unsettled my hair, in particular my extensions, feel after using Big. It really feels a bit windswept and out of place although it actually looks sleeker and acts more managable (but still feels wrong).

When it comes to overall results, there is little difference between Big and Curly Wurly. My hair may feel ever so slightly cleaner with Big but otherwise there is little in it. Both give shine, softness and managibility. I can only think of one drug store shampoo brand which could achieve so much and that would be, Aussie. The Lush shampoos do seem slightly cheaper then the ones I buy from my hair salon but I would say that the Lush ones are just as good.

I am going to put it out there and say I prefer Curly Wurly but to be honest, it is mainly only because I’m a scaredy cat and worried what effects Big could have on my hair in the long term especially since fingers crossed, the condition of my hair should be improving. Maybe the condition was so bad before, Big couldn’t make it any worse. It would be interesting but scary to see what effect Big could have on healthier more typical hair. Another concern I have, with Big, is that if it is a hair exfoliator, it may break down any hair dye quicker then a conventional shampoo. After all, aren’t exfoliating scrubs what we rely on to remove patchy tans?!

I do not like the sticky flakes that I find falling out of my hair after using Curly Wurly but I have no concerns about the long term effects that Curly Wurly could have on my hair. To the contrary, I would have some optimism in the continous use of Curly Wurly.

I would repurchase both of these shampoos again. In fact, I have already used two pots of Big. However before I buy them again, I am keen to gain more experience of natural haircare products. I’m very interested in the Phyto range as well as some of the Holland and Barrett ones and I’ve just brought a Naked shampoo and conditioning treatment from Boots.

Have you used any of the shampoos mentioned here? Any thoughts on these or on Lush haircare?


Written by essjay23x

March 9, 2010 at 10:00 am

Berrilicious Moisturiser!

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Berrylicious Moisturiser!

I’m loving all of the sunshine that we have had this weekend. Fingers crossed, it continues. My lovely sister is home for a month and it’ll be great to have a few sister dates to nearby cities, beaches and things. It suddenly feels so light. It is easier to focus, everything seems less murky and easier to see. Then there is the fact that my feet suddenly seem under the spell of some magic dust or something and I am springing around everywhere and I’m humming. For some reason, I can not stop humming . . ! Yep, be warned, it seems the sun is going to my head!
Anyway this is a quick catch up post. As you all know, I’m trying to go a little more natural. At the moment, I’m defining my all natural as been free from Parabens whatever that means. Marie Claire defines parabens as the chemicals widely used in beauty products. I picked up my Marie Claire (April 2010 £3.50) and complementary Power Berry Daily Moisturiser from Neals Yard. Like all products from this brand, apparently it contains no parabens, uses organic ingredients and is not tested on animals. This particular product is supposed to boost radiance and protect youthful skin. state that the cream acts as an anti-pollutant which could help to combat ‘city stress’. Sounds impressive.
I can’t wait to try this properly, I have been eyeing up Neals Yard for ages. They may play some part in my new skincare regime when I finish up with Clinique so the 20% off Neals Yard voucher also with Marie Claire could be very handy! I’m so impatient that I have to admit that I wiped all my makeup early just to have a go. The scent was very different to any creams that I’ve tried before but the cream seemed to sink in to my skin gently and with little residue. However, I will use this cream some more and I’m sure that some sort of review will soon pop up. If anybody else has this cream or gets it through Marie Claire, it would be interesting to discover if we come to the same verdicts.
Regardless of what I think of the cream, I plan to check the Neals Yard website out a bit more as there seems to be a vast range of products and lots of information. Most of what I’m discovering in this ‘natural’ mile of my mission is coming from and Bubblegarm (links in the sidebar) so it is good to know that there may be other sources of information out there (even though a retailer will obviously have ulterior motives in educating me), regarding natural ingredients and remedies etc.
Does anybody else know of any other sites/books that may provide me with more information about natural beauty ingredients? Has anybody tried Neals Yard or indeed, this Berry Moisturiser? If so, what do you think? Any other natural product suggestions?




Written by essjay23x

March 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm


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Hey Girlies!

This is so the wrong post for a lovely spring day but well, the site that I am going to talk about is fab.

Polyvore, do any of you have a Polyvore account?!

Basically Polyvore is a site which lets you make sets. You can pull together fashion from everywhere and make a set just for fun; to compete (there are plenty of online competitions), to release your creativity (or in my case, to try and get some) or for inspiration. My sister ( ) creates inspiration boards to use as a starting point for her jewellery and scrapbook designs.

You can also have a browse at the creation of others and dabble in a little online window shopping! Also you can ask or answer a question using the sets. For example, somebody might say how can I wear these shoes and then people create a set to show you. Fab. Fab site and everytime I hop on, it seems even better. There is also a blog with all the latest fashion trends etc. I would show you my sets but they seem too wintery for a sunny day like today and with the weather we have had lately, I’m not tempting fate. I will try and post a more seasonal (sunny) one soon!

Here are the links:


Written by essjay23x

March 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I love your blog!

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I love your blog!

Well, the Oscars are drawing ever closer. How exciting! Can’t wait to see George in his tux and all the gorgeous looks that the oh so glam crowd will be rocking. Hey girls, you’re the only crowd that are even near hot on their heels!

Anyway that little gold man equals awards and well, I think I already mentioned (shouted from the rooftops) that Laura gave me my very first blog award recently.

In order to accept it, I have to award some blogs myself. I think we are meant to tag 15 other blogs, Laura tagged 8 and I’m going to award as many as I can.

Over the last few months, I have encountered tens maybe hundreds of beauty blogs and I’m not sure that there is one that I would not return to but for me, these are the ones that do stand out and for whatever reason, my little computer arrow ends up clicking on.


2/Lollipop26 writes. . .



5/15 steps, then a beauty blog.

6/Natalya’s Beauty Blog

7/Vex In The City


9/ Bamboozlebeautyblog

10/ PearlsandPoodles

11/ The MakeUpGoddessGuru

12/ Random London Girl

I know that this is not the most original list (and I am aware that some of these bloggers have already recieved the award) but this award is a ‘I love your blog’ award and for me, these are the blogs with that little extra magic. I wish I could surprise you with special discoveries of my own but maybe there is a reason (and not necessarily YouTube) why these blogs are so loved by me and many others. There are a couple more blogs that I really, really like and would have added to this list if only they were updated a little bit more. I know it is hard to make time to update. I have certainly being slipping lately so if I do any shoutouts in the next couple of weeks then they are likely to be about a specific post that I like rather then an actual blog.

Anyway if by some mistake, you are not already following any of the blogs listed here then go and say hello now. These are the creme de la creme!

Ooh and also I have to admit that I don’t think I can but if I could I would be awarding Laura straight back. Her blog is wonderful, full of swatches and info about the very latest products (esp. MAC). I think you can normally tell how much work somebody puts in to a blog, I think that Laura puts buckets and buckets of work, time and lippie in to her beautiful blog and is rapidly gaining a very loyal following.

It means a lot that Laura gave me this award, did you see the quality of the other blogs she awarded?! Yet, she still had a space for my blog on on her list. Thanks, Hun!

For the bloggers I’ve nominated, apparently these are the “rules” for the award.


– Post award on your blog

– Link the person who has given you the award

– Pass the award to 15 other blogs you’ve discovered

– Remember to contact the bloggers you’ve nominated.

 Remember this is another step closer to an Oscar, hee hee.


Written by essjay23x

March 7, 2010 at 12:53 am