essjay23x

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

Archive for August 2010

Blog for Look Magazine!

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Blog for Look Magazine!

Ok, so it is official. I want Nadine Coyle’s wardrobe (throw in the hair too please, Nad). I love this look that I spied in the latest Look magazine.

Now I don’t stand anywhere on the whole Nadine v Girls Aloud thing but plainly this look just works, doesn’t it?! Very classic and simple and if you’ve got the money in the first place, easy to wear.

I absolutely adore that bag (even through we can only see half ot it) and I love the way she has balanced the look with the gorgeous trinkets on her opposite wrist. Even the nail varnish, which I suspect could look a bit dull and flat elsewhere, complements this look perfectly.

However, today’s post is not about my wardrobe envy (well,not much) but about the Blogging competition for Look. I keep meaning to blog about this and er, forgetting  (oops!) but now the closing date is almost here I’m going sit here and type before I forget. Again!

Look magazine are currently running a competition to blog for them from the front row of the Look Show in September. You will also get to stay overnight in a luxury London hotel.

You can find details of how to enter here  but be warned, the closing date is next Friday at 5pm.

I read some of your blogs everyday and think you should ALL enter asap.

So, good luck!

 

X

Written by essjay23x

August 29, 2010 at 10:43 am

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Hands up, all those who have slathered their skin in olive oil in the hope that it might transform in to something more silky and smooth.

Oh yes, me!

In fact, I guess I should put up not only one hand but two.

For I have not only slathered my skin in olive oil several times, I have also been known to pour vast qauntities in to the bath where it sort of lingers in a lump before sticking stubbornly to all surfaces once the water has ran away.

Be warned, the olive oil may be economical but the cost of cleaning in time and money will accelerate.

Now, although I’m not going to suggest pouring olive oil in to the bath, slathering myself in olive oil after a bath or shower does seem to go a little way in to moisturising my skin and making it a little softer. The oil can also give you a little bit of that much sought after ‘healthy glow’. However, you do have to be careful as it is easy to go beyond the glow and in to grease territory. Unfortunately this is not the only negative with the kitchen remedy.

Used daily, Olive Oil can become a bit of a chore. I went through a phase this year of using olive oil daily to moisturise my body, more often then not I would also use it to soften bath water and even as a hair treatment. Usually, the olive oil delivered great results.

Still once the bottle was finished, I felt I had earnt the right to fork out on other body products to do the same work. Olive oil is great as a one off but to be honest, frequent use got a little bit tiresome.

Olive oil is very sticky. It is hard to dress afterwards without everything clinging. Seriously pulling on skinny jeans equals mission impossible. Then even if you decide to stay in and give the olive oil time to soak in overnight, it has the strangest smell and to be honest, it was one that after half an hour or so really put me on edge. So although it works, it is not the most sociable of body treatments and probably should be kept aside as an emergency remedy or something.

So I’ve used various gels, bubble baths and melts and body butters since but one of my more recent acquisations has really impressed me and that is the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Moisturising Body Oil.

Image from here

This can be used in your bath water to moisturise your skin and also on damp skin after showering or bathing prior to patting yourself dry.

This oil is easy to use. It washes out of your bath tub easily and seems to be absorbed in to your skin relatively easily and with very little stickiness. Oh and the scent is slightly remniscent of the Body Butter one but a little lighter and a little prettier. As you are using it on damp skin, it will not only moisturise your skin but it will trap some of the water in your skin from your bath or shower mutiplying the moisturising function.

I have used Palmer Products before and have never been disappointed. I am a fan of their body butters although I hate the old style bottle and lid packaging. That is useless for thick body butter, I get so little out. Even after throwing the bottle across the room, I just get a dollop. Great!

Alas, similar packaging does work for the oil and I like the fact you can use the cap to measure it out. You can’t do this with the metal olive oil caps, I have caught my skin on those a few times. Ouch!

I have used the oil all over my body except my face and neck and gained near enough instant results especially on my legs and elbows. The skin feels so much softer then I am used to especially around the notorious dry knee and elbow areas.

I was a bit wary of using the oil around my decolletage as in the past, some lotions and oils seem to have broken me out there but that is not the case with this beautiful oil. My skin just looks happy and well looked after.

Yay and that is all for the small price of £4.79!

Now if only I could find such a product to work such wonders on my face and neck.

X

Written by essjay23x

August 29, 2010 at 9:23 am

Posted in Babble, skincare

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Tag 8 questions???

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I have been tagged by the gorgeous Nicoletta, thank you, with eight questions.

So here we go . . .

1. What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?

I love Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food which is the primary reason that I try to avoid it! Otherwise, I think it has to be a tub (not so keen on cornets) of vanilla ice cream with strawberry sauce and I like to let it melt a little ‘cos it is easier on the teeth and quite frankly, tastes even yummier that way.

2. How many times have you really been in love?

Twice!

3. Favourite body lotion?

Hmmm at the moment, it is all about the body oil for me and yes, there will be a post;) However, I love the Soap and Glory Daily Smooth body lotion. It smells so pretty and layers with many perfumes so fragrantly. I also like the Body Shop Butters especially Vanilla but feel that they may be slightly overpriced.

4. Do you believe in spirits/ ghosts?

My head says no but in my heart, I do! I’m not in to horror but I do find some tales, the less scary ones, fascinating. There are just too many unexplained happenings out there.

5. Whats your favourite drink? Alcoholic or soft drink?

When I was at uni, it was all about the tequila and aftershock (ouch!) but now it is all about the odd cocktail or orange and tia maria once or twice a year.

Ahem, that is the official line anyway.

On a day to day, it tends to be tap water for me although I’ve ridden the green tea wave.

6. Do you have a big family?

Yes, I do! I have so many cousins, aunties, uncles and the most gorgeous little nephew in the whole wide world.

7. Did you have a nickname at school?

I don’t think so. Not one that I knew about anyway.
Some of my family call me Number One because I’m the eldest of three girls and I’ve also been called Spam because my christian name is Samantha.
My gorgeous little nephew calls me ‘Ammie’ and consequently, that is my favourite word in the whole wide world but he is the only one allowed to call me it.

8. What 1 makeup/ skincare item are you lusting after?

Boring and predictable but the Naked pallette, it looks gorgeous and so usable.

Laura also tagged me with the eight questions, you can see that post here. This time I am going to pass the tag on and try to come up with some questions of my own.

So.

Let me think. . . tick tock . . .tick tock . . .

My questions are

1/ What was your last make up purchase?

2/ What is your favourite perfume?

3/ What would your ‘perfect’ Sunday entail?

4/ You can only buy one eyeshadow or one lipstick, which do you choose?

5/ What do you spend the most energy (and maybe even money) on, your hair cut or your hair colour?

6/ If you could spend a month anywhere in the world, where would you go?

7/ You’re shopping and your friend has lost you. Are you at the make up counter, rummaging in among the clothes rails or in the shoe department?

8/ Who is the one person that you would like to speak to today?

The chosen ones I tag are

belles boutique

B U B B L E G A R M

Get Gawjus

I Heart Cosmetics

Life, love and lipgloss

Superficialgirls

Tacky Blue Eyeshadow

The fashionteller notes

Happy Bank Holiday!
All images in this post were found in a google image search.

X

Written by essjay23x

August 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Posted in Babble, Tag

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Moroccan Oil Update!

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POST REWIND: Moroccan magic, Hair delight!

THIS IS A POST FROM EARLIER IN THE YEAR WHEN I FIRST TRIED MOROCCAN OIL. I STILL USE IT AND CAN NOT IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT IT NOW. HOWEVER, I HAVE HAD A SLIGHT BUILD UP SO USE A GOOD SHAMPOO. PERSONALLY, I DIDN’T FIND THE NAKED SHAMPOO FROM BOOTS SUITABLE.

Those of you who are, oh so fashionable, and already following me on Twitter may already know what I thought when I tried the Moroccan Oil for the first time on Sunday.

In a nutshell, I thought I was dreaming!

This time, it seems the hairdressers are not exaggerating. This oil rocks. It is very early days, I have only used it once myself and want to use it longer before I endorse it fully and suggest that anybody goes out and purchases it, especially at £29. Update 26/8/10: It still rocks!!!

However, I can tell you that I’m pretty certain that I’m going to come up with the cash and purchase the full size. Update 26/8/10 I did buy a full size bottle and it has lasted me a good four months and there is still some left! We all have very different hair and needs but for me, this worked like a dream.

Let me tell you what I liked about it.

* I liked the fact that my hair did dry quicker then normal. Also my hair didn’t go quite as mad when I was drying it. Normally it flies this way and that and then whizzes down the back of the hairdryer sometimes even causing it to cut out. (Note: I don’t always pay the attention I should when I’m drying my hair and I suggest for safety reasons that everybody gives hairdrying a little more attention then me). My hair seemed more controlled and better behaved when drying after an application of the Moroccan Oil.

* I loved the fact that I could style my locks so easily after drying. I only ran the straighteners through the head once quite throughly and I was ready to go. No serum or additional product required. I always need to run the straightners through more then once if my hair is freshly washed and I want a sleekish, lasting style immediately after washing. Often I either wash my hair the night before or have to wear my hair tied up for 3/4 of a day after a hairwash in order to look half decent and groomed. My hair can be very manic and fluffs up so quickly. On this occasion, I also required no additional styling product. All I used on my hair was the oil and a heat protector. Normally to style freshly washed hair, it would take some S-factor Serum from Tigi and maybe some Bedhead flattening mousse on the ends of my natural hair to blend in with my extensions and eliminating the step effect. Er, not this week.

* I adore how soft and silky (that does sound like a hair ad, doesn’t it?) my hair felt and how shiny it felt. It also still feels that way 36 hours later. It looks sleeker and flatter then normal but not too much so. The product does not seem to be weighing it down unnecessarily, there is also no horrible sticky, gooey feel to give away my shamful little secret (ie. that these healthy, groomed perfectly behaved locks are not purely a work of nature). Update 26/08/10: My hairdresser actually asked what I had been using on my hair last time I visited. She said it felt very silky. I think that is a result of both the moroccan oil and phyto products I was using.

* I adore that the effect seems to be lasting. I haven’t straightened my hair today. Granted, it was up for work but I work in a Care environment and more often then not at the end of the shift come out with a birds nest and frizz galore and those silly little baby kinks in the sillest and most obvious of places. Not yesterday, not today. Update 26/08/10: My hair is certainly more manageble

I should admit here that my hair is always a bit better behaved for the first two weeks or so after I have had a major hair appointment but I still think that this is better then that.

I wanted to try and show you the effect of the Moroccan Oil (and I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t imagining the top notch results). So I washed and styled an old hair extension of mine in exactly the same way as I did my hair on Sunday (using Curly Wurly shampoo once and Aussie Long Hair Conditioning treatment for 2-3 mins) except I used Moroccan Oil on one half of the extension hair only.

This is the before. The extension is folded in half so the hair does appear quite thick.

Here are the two afters. Can you see a difference? Please note in the afters, less thickness will be percieved because the extension is laid flat out and not doubled over as above. Oops!

Styled without Moroccan Oil
Styled with Moroccan Oil

I think you may see a slight difference between the two after pictures if you are really squinting. Where the oil has been used, the hair appears slightly shinier and possibly fuller (although the extension may vary in volume, it is an old one!)

In reality, I have to admit that I can not see the dramatic difference that I feel there was when my locks was coated in the oil on Sunday. However, I can see some extra shine and vitality in the oiled extensions here. Also it was easier to dry the oiled side of the extensions and easier to lay these out straight. When you add all these little differences up and multiply by the number of hairs on my head (I normally have at least four to six of these extensions sewn in to my hair plus my own hair which is not much shorter), I think you will agree that the wow factor I thought was achieved is certainly attainable.

Let’s not forget even if with long term use, it just stregthens and conditions, this oil could be worth something. Not sure about £29 though, I guess in my heart of hearts I am hoping that it will provide all the gimmicky bits too. It is early days but my heart and the mirror is telling me that there could be something in this ‘magic oil’ marlarkey. Update 26/08/10: I have concluded that Moroccan Oil is a ‘magic oil’ or something very close.

Now I’m just waiting to see how long my hair will go before it needs another wash. I’m thinking if there are any downers with this product, it may be that the oil makes it look greasier sooner or/and that it may look limper earlier because it is already a bit sleeker and has less puff to lose. If these hurdles occur, I’ll have to deal with them but for now, I’m floating in a little bubble of hair delight!!! Update:26/08/10: There is a build up of oil but not every time that I wash. Maybe once every couple of weeks, it needs a super wash. Don’t forget I’m the girl that overuses products with lots of very fine hair so you might not even have a problem!

At the moment, this product gets a big thumbs up. Who knows? All could change but I don’t think it would be too much to say that this is one product that could be heading for holy grail status. Update 26/08/10: I think I’m about to endorse it Holy grail!!!

Well, I’m off to enjoy having slighter nicer and more managable hair. Hee hee, I don’t know which I will appreciate more, the pretty factor or the less maintenance one?

What is your favourite hair product? Do you spend hours maintaining your hair or do you prefer something more manageable?

You can also read about Moroccan Oil here

X

Written by essjay23x

August 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Handbag lipsticks!

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Handbag lipsticks!

Gemma recently talked of the gorgeous Ambre Rose as a ‘Handbag Lipstick’.

I love the term ‘Handbag Lipstick’. I think I have used the term ‘Go to’ before but that sounds so boring and functional in comparison to ‘Handbag Lipstick’.

Handbag lipsticks are those lipsticks that you keep in your bag everyday, the ones that you know you can just slap straight on to your lips, sans mirror, and they deliver a perfected finish without you giving a thought.

So this got me thinking what are my handbag lipsticks?
Please be warned, this post is picture heavy and some of them are not good but it should give you an idea of shades to google etc!

Ambre Rose, Patisserie, Hue, Beehive and Skinny Dip!

Ambre Rose from Maybelline

Firstly, I agree with Gemma. Anybody who has read my earlier Ambre Rose post will know that this is a lippie that I turn to. It is not particularly exciting but it always does the job and complements just about any look. It is also cheap and long lasting. With this in my bag, there is no reason why my lips should not look polished!

Patisserie from MAC

For some reason in reality, this reminds me a little of Ambre Rose and I tend to carry one or the other. I have to say that Patisserie is not a lipstick that I find myself daydreaming about or jumping out of bed to wear. I don’t find the colour of the stick or the swatch that inspiring but it does flatter the lips and add something once applied to the lips. I was surprised when Tanya Burr tweeted about this as a failsafe bridal lipstick. However, when I see pictures of looks using Patisserie, the lips always look lovely so I hope mine do too when I use it. It may not be my favourite MAC mate but there is no denying that Patisserie never really lets me down. There are never any tell tale lippie lines or patches. It almost looks so natural and maybe that is what disappoints me slightly but nevertheless, Patisserie does make the perfect handbag lipstick!

Hue from MAC

I love Hue. I have used her tirelessly. She gives a very pretty finish to the lips which I find particularly noticeable on camera. Unlike the pinky pinks, this peachy pink is less noticeable if you smudge or go over your lipline. It just seems to merge in to my natural lips seamlessly no matter how slap dash my application. I can’t resent paying MAC prices when I end up with a lippie as lush (and useful) as Hue, my very first MAC lippie and my original handbag lipstick!

Beehive from the No 17 MirrorShine line

This is currently my most worn lipstick. It has been endorsed by Holly and Laura and many others. It has been so well hyped and I’m pleased to say it more then lives up to all the raves. It is easy to apply and the colour is one I love, very similar to Hue although these pictures don’t really show this. Beehive is pinker then Hue but not as pink as my camera suggests and I certainly can not go wrong with Beehive. I have never noticed a blotched lipline(and I get a lot of those) with this gem. However, I have certainly noticed the mirror shine. This lippie finishes with the most flattering, subtle gloss and also as if it couldn’t get any better, Beehive also feels very soft and soothing when applied. This has been especially appreciated recently as my current skincare woes mean my skin and lips have become a little dried out and sensitive. This particular handbag lipstick was retailed below £5 in Boots and it is certainly worth every single penny!

Skinny Dip from Benefit

I have used this shade for years. It was my first ‘grown up’ lipstick. It is my perfect nude and for me, it can not be duped (let me know if you know one). It is a pinky nude, very pretty and feminine. I would say it doesn’t give me a lipstick finish but a pretty bare lip finish. My lips seem to be quite pigmented and so this works for me especially with my pale skintone which instantly looks softer after a swipe with Skinny Dip. It might not work so well for you but you never know, i it matches your colouring then I bet you will love this beauty. I suggest you all take two minutes to pop along to a Benefit counter just to check out my perfect nude, it may be the handbag lipstick you are looking for.

My handbag lipsticks all seem to be more nude then bright. I guess that is no surprise since handbag lipstick can be applied with no care and instantly deliver a polished look. You could hardly slap St Germain on and expect it to merge seemlessly in to your lips. However (and this is where you and I may differ) nor can I slap the notorious nude nudes such as Gosh Darling or Barry M 101 on my lips without chalky, tacky tell tell lines.

For me personally, it seems a handbag lipstick it needs to be a slightly muted pink or peach. Nothing brighter, nothing lighter.

What are your handbag lipsticks?
X

Written by essjay23x

August 25, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Hello

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Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Hello!
Hi everybody!
Long time, no post. Sorry, I’ve been trying to find my feet in my new job. I will make amends and catch up with you all very soon.
One of the posts will probably be a skincare update. In the meantime, you may want to check out my wordpress blog and in particular, ‘The Doctor Brand’ post https://essjay23x.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/the-doctor-brand/ where a couple of lovely people have left some feedback about the brand which you might want to consider if such products are of interest to you.
I hope you are all ok. I have been trying to keep up with the blogs I follow and there have been some very good posts lately so that has given me even less time to post!
I hope you don’t get too wet in all this rain we are having.
Until next time . . .

X

Written by essjay23x

August 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

My kind of floral!

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I know that florals have been all the rage recently but after trying a few on, I came to the conclusion that unless I was on holiday ( or needed a nice pretty background for my blog pics) then they were not for me.

 Well after trying this little gem on, I have changed my mind. It is from George at Asda and costs £10. I know the nights are getting darker and autumn already seems to be kicking in so I’m a bit late on this but this floral top looks really pretty with a pair of skinny jeans and flats. I love the two vertical strips at the front, very flattering.

And hurrah, it doesn’t cling!

It is also quite low cut so I did buy a size bigger then usual. Huh, a size bigger you might be asking, surely then it will be even more low cut?! Er yep but I can layer it and layering always makes me feel a little more confident.

Oh and I watched a great video  http://www.youtube.com/user/dawndelrusso#p/u/82/tYVmXyzW5aU on wearing florals after purchasing this top. Dawn advises to avoid big flowers, busy patterns or loud colours. I think my top passes on the colour and although my flowers are quite big, there are actually not too many of them and they are well spaced. So they are not exactly in your face. All in all, a top that seems to redeem what I find a ‘difficult to wear’ trend.

 Do you like florals? Are there certain trends you love or hate?

 X

 

 

Written by essjay23x

August 10, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Babble

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