essjay23x

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

Archive for September 2010

Three reasons . . .

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Three reasons . . .

. . . why I’m pleased as punch with my lastest MAC purchase, a beautiful lipstick by the name of Impassioned!

1/ It is a gorgeous, unique colour that is hard to describe but certainly does not look this neon on. A lot of people seem to see different colours in it and indeed, it can look different in different lights. A lot of people  on Make Up Alley describe it as a bright pink but I find it slightly too coral to be a bright pink. However, I have noticed the more tanned I am, the pinker it seems to look. However, yes, whatever light you view it in, Impassioned would certainly fall within the “bright” bracket. However for me, this is a flattering bright (like Barry M 144) that does not betray me with the patchy effect that usually results from the baby pinks such as Saint Germain, Barry M 100 et al. Impasssioned is no baby pink. It has the vibrancy of Creme de la Femme and Snob on the lip and in fact reminds me of these two faves a lot despite been of a completely different colour. Impassioned is not so pink or purple and maybe not as girly. As Laura said here, it is a combination of brights, fushia, red and coral and it seems to have more of a younger, more modern edge then some of my old favourites.

However, I still want to group Impassioned with Snob and Creme de la Femme. Maybe because I love it so . . !

2/ With Impassioned on your lips, your lips are talking. There is an obvious impact when you apply this lipstick, I feel as if I’m getting my moneys worth when I apply it. It does not fade on to my lips in to nothing. Impassioned leaves a mark and actually seems more flattering on my naturally pale complexion then some conventional nudes such as Gosh Darling. Impassioned seems to lend my look an extra lift or something and as Impassioned talks then less time and make up needs to be used to complete the face. This is a lipstick which you can wake up and apply (as carefully as you can first thing in the morning) and you will instantly look more alive. No other products (well, very few) required! Hmm, liking that!

3/ As an Amplified, I was not sure how long Impassioned would last on my lips but it seems to last at least as long as Patesserie et al. In fact, I would say that even when Impassioned does wear away, it seems to leave a light, tidy, seamless stain on the lips leaving you with pretty lips that bit longer. That whole cherry lipstain look without the cherry colour!

I am still not great with taking the time to apply lipliner but I have been using the Barry M lipliner no 2 with Impassioned and I’m happy with the effect. I also use my fingers to soften the colour a little sometimes and in this pic, there is a little vaseline in the mix.

I looked in to buying Impassioned after seeing Laura’s recent post here. I’m sure I was not the only one, that girl should be on commission. Do you like/have Impassioned? What lipsticks are you currently using to brighten these ever darkening autumn days?

X

Written by essjay23x

September 30, 2010 at 2:04 pm

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Style snipping!

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Style snipping!

Lately I have noticed that I’m starting to find fashion, clothes, accessories and pretty things a little more inspiring.

Going back a few years, my wardrobe was higher on my list of priorities. Obviously my hair was always at the top of my list. I have a theory that every girl is either mainly a make up fiend, a hair one, a potions/lotion manic or a clothes horse. There is no doubt that I’m the hair one. However when it comes to fashion and cosmetics, they have sort of changed places back and forth as my life and circumstances have changed.

For example, when I was at uni with a whole lot of free time and a student loan (!) then fashion was more of a priority. I have never ever pounded any card like that Top Shop one. My style was never particularly sophisticated (always high street) but I would be in there every other day to grab what was new. Students can wear whatever they like whenever they like. Consequently it felt as if I never had anything to wear. Of course, I did. Tens more then I have now but I was young and knew no better.

Then I graduated, uni finished and it was out in to the real world where I was swamped by a new reality ie. a whole lot of bills, no money, little free ( ahem, shopping) time and a job where I was no longer free to wear what I want. Consequently I stopped thinking so much about clothes and my interest/pride in my wardrobe fell.

Interestingly this was a time when I became obsessed with growing my own nails. I wasn’t too worried about painting them but I desperately wanted long talons. They seemed so ladylike. I might not have been able to afford the clothes of a grown up but at least, I could have the nails of one. Honestly I got so obsessed, I would wear a plaster over a nail if it broke and it would remain under the cover of plaster until it was long again. Nice!!

Anyway this year and blog has been all about making more of myself and I was kind of drawn to the beauty side of this resolution particularly make up.

Beauty shopping tends to be more tranquil. Unless a new MAC collection is being released then quite often there is space to shop and usually an assistant to hand (ok I concede, sometimes they are more in the way then to hand) but at least, you can normally find somebody to pay without queueing for half an hour when you’ve selected your purchases. I also got in to beauty because transformations (especially some of those showcased on blogs and in videos) can be amazing and well to be honest, it is nice not have to stress about sizing (Sidenote: this is just another reason why I absolutely adore perfume!).

However over the last few months, I have built quite a make up collection and now I’m starting to realise that although cosmetic items avoid the sizing issue, one product still does not fit all. For example as lovely as Gosh Darling might be for you, it doesn’t matter how I work it, it will never become a go to for me. On the other hand, as little as I hear about Creme de la Femme in the cyber beauty world, I still know that I am more then likely to reach for it at least once a week until I hit pan (Nooooo, not pan! Not this lippie!).

I guess what I am saying is that now I have learnt a little more about what suits me and what does not. I am making more sensible choices and spending a little less (just a tiny bit less time though as it still takes up a large percentage of my brain space) time thinking about eyeshadows and lipsticks and I can’t help thinking that this is why I have suddenly become more interested in my wardrobe again.

I now have the brain space and time for such curioisity and pretty daydreams.

However, unfortaunately my budget does not quite match my interest so I have had to reach a compromise and consequently have spent a little time this last week, shopping virtually through magazines and things. If I want to basket something then I cut it out and add it to this pile. I will soon be purchasing a corkboard and will pink all my little beauties up.

I am quite excited about my new super duper style board (super duper because obviously I can not abandon beauty completely and a few beauty items have been cut out too).

The idea is remniscent of a style folder, polyvore or collage but putting it on a noticeboard means I can update it or change bits easily as and when I want. I saw something similar in one of Carolyn Baxters recent videos and thought it was such a positive and inspiring idea.

I think I have already realised that a lot of the colours I choose are neutral. Khakis, blacks, Camel. I also seem to like items which only have one or two colours in. Oh and I seem to find long hair inspiring!

Here is a peek at some of the items that have made the cut so far!

A Military Style Jacket.

Some sixties style dresses and tops.

Some winter jackets.

Some perfumes I want to try.

Some celebrity inspired ponytails.

Some bangles.

A new Rachel Stevens hair pic for my very own long (when it gets to that stage) hair style
Some sparkly diamond nail art in the style of Katy Perry 

Who knows?

Just maybe, one day, some of these things will make it in to my life for real. In the meantime, not only can I see what I’m drawn to and what my own personal style might actually encompass, but I also have inspiration to seek similar items and even if I fail at all this and realise I have no conducive or attainable style then at the very least, I will have lots of pretty pictures to look at.

Are you a make up fiend, a hair one, a potions/lotions maniac or a clothes horse?

Do you scrap your style? How do you do it?

X

Written by essjay23x

September 13, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Umberto Giannini Haircare!

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Umberto Giannini Haircare!

There is currently an offer at Boots on the Umberto Giannini range. You can get two products for £7.50. I’m not sure how long the offer lasts and if it is just online or not but it might be an offer that you may want to consider.

I recently took advantage of a different offer on this range, I think it was three for ten pounds. Anyhow I walked away with three products, all of which I use almost daily.

That really is value for money. Normally when I take advantage of such offers, I walk away with at least one product that is soon relegated to the back of a drawer somewhere!

So to my three utterly fabulous products . . .

Firstly, there is the Glam Hair Morning After Dry Shampoo.
This works and even on my dark hair leaves no white flakes (unlike certain other brands that I have discussed before) unless I really, really, really heavily spray.

This product has a beautiful fragrance which is maybe a little overpowering (air freshner) at first but soon settles down to pleasantly and gently scent the hair for a good five or six hours.

I have been using this product quite often sometimes more to scent my hair then to clean it and I still have a fair amount of product left. Full size Umberto Giannini products seem to come in fairly big quantities and I would hope would last a reasonable amount of time.

This dry shampoo gets a big thumbs up from me. It really has renewed my confidence in the whole dry shampoo concept.

Secondly, there is the Glam Hair Backcomb In A Bottle.

Ok, this is currently my fovourite of the three products. I use it all the time and it gives my hair some pisazz. The whole thing about this product is that it is meant to give you the backcombed, big hair look without any actual backcombing. Now I very rarely use volume/backcombing products but this one works. You spray it at the roots of where you want the big hair look, ruffle and play with the hair on the top a bit and ta dah, height and glam hair. Result!

Now I have been using this product quite haphazardly just to give me more glamorous looking but natural hair (contrary, I know, but true) and to cover my extension seams or clips (yep, I have gone back to clip ins. More on that soon). This product is brilliant for helping to conceal tell tale signs of such fakery. It gives my own hair the actual height to ensure that nothing betrays me beneath. However, I am not sure if this product would work as an ideal replacement to more conventional styling methods/tools in more structured looks where bumpits or technical ‘backcombing’ is needed but for plain, simple bigger hair, this product delivers. Again, I have noticed no residue and very little product seems to need to be applied. Love, love, love this product.

And finally, there is the hair treatment, Spa Rituals Overnight Magic Hair Repair.

Don’t we all want the healthiest hair in the world? This one contains bergamot (something I seem to like in my perfumes), lavender (the scent that overwhelmed me and took some getting used to but now seems to ‘signal’ bedtime) and honey. This concoction is billed to condition, nourish and beautifully smooth your hair while you sleep. Hmm, like Sleeping Beauty!

Well I am a sucker for hair treatments and this one appealed to me because you use it every night. However, no rinsing whatsoever is needed in the morning. Supposedly you can just get up and go with newly revitalised hair.

Note: With this product even I am only using the recommended pea size amount (and we all know how I like to pack the product in) as I still fear this product could build up.

Now I wasn’t that sure when I brought this product as I have brought a hair beauty balm type product from this brand before (the Overnight Beauty Moisture Balm) and was not absolutely overwhelmed with the results.

However, this time I have been using this product mainly on my natural hair -now my sewn ins have gone, there are no extensions to be matted at night etc- and I think this product could be doing something. It is hard to tell but my hair seems to feel quite soft and the colour pretty awake as soon as I wake up in the morning. There certainly seems to be fewer frizzy and wiry bits. I am sure in the very least it is keeping my hair quite smooth which then means less product and heat is needed in the morning which can only be helping the condition of my hair which can only mean another thumbs up for the Umberto Giannini brand.

I really recommend viewing the products in this brand even if none of my suggestions seem something for you, the brand is huge and the product names very inspiring (an ‘enviable body blow dry’ or ‘catwalk beauty hairspray’ anyone?) so why not try something and then tell us all about it?!

X

Written by essjay23x

September 12, 2010 at 9:53 am

The Final Curtain!!!

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The Final Curtain!!!

Oh, sometimes a final curtain is something to celebrate.

Often when it is stage exit for those bad boys also known as horrible, evil sodding blemishes, the original drama queens!

Yes, people, my skin is clearing at last.

Three cheers, please!!!

I will never know exactly why the blighters are moving on now (but er, yay! Go, go, go!!!). However, I suspect it is a combination of letting time take its course and some of the numerous products I have been using.

It would be impossible for me to pinpoint cause and effect exactly but if I may just summarise some of my thoughts for you.

So, The Doctor Brand. These products felt good to use. I loved the feel of the cleanser and even though the Pore Clearing Gel made my skin sting slightly. It felt as if it was doing something. However a few days after religious use, spots were still appearing although they did not seem as aggravated as earlier ones.

This regime did not clear my skin in two weeks (and the marketing does suggest clearer skin in two weeks) and I soon became disheartened with it and took a break of about a week from almost ALL facial products using water alone to cleanse and bio oil to moisturise.

But then after recieving a positive comment on my wordpress blog about The Doctor Brand, I decided to finish the products off and this was when I first really noticed an improvement in my skin.

About time!

Now, it may not have been the work of The Doctor Brand but at the very least, the regime did not break me out further although I have recieved some negative feedback about these products.

Personally, I believe that The Doctor Brand may help to clear the skin to some degree but would suggest that you give it time and not expect miracles.

I read somewhere that no skincare product will clear your skin if you or your body are not healthy in the first place. This makes sense. After all, your skin is the biggest organ that your body has and therefore is likely to reflect what is going on inside. I do wonder if my low water intake -I’ve bored you all before with how I never get thirsty- contributed to why I found it so difficult to clear my skin. It may be that I’m not the ‘perfect’ or ‘accurate’ lab test for skin regimes and those of you who drink more may find products that I have dissed slightly more effective or speedy. This would explain the blemish problems I have had and why when one area of my skin clears such as my back, another breaks out. This has never worried me too much before because firstly, the blemishes are never major but usually there are some quietly somewhere and secondly, because in a decade, my face (what everybody sees) has never ever broken out to any noticeable degree. Until this year!!! Now I suddenly really do realise why the water uptake needs to be upped.

Bio Oil (by the way, big wow to the bio oil and er, why wasn’t this on my shelf earlier?) and The Doctor Brand are the latest in a long line of products and regimes that I have employed since the new year to enhance what was actually relatively good facial skin. Since my skincare resolution at the beginning of the year, I have encountered more skincare problems on my face then I have since my early teens fifteen years ago. Hard lesson learnt, if it ain’t broken, don’t try to fix it!!! When I think of all the money I have spent on cleansers, exfoliators and er, spinach which have barely brought my skin back to where it was a year ago before I first started messing with it . . , argh!

Now I have admitted before that my former skincare regime (pre blog and 2010) consisted of little more then the occasional exfoliation and a whole lot of moisture and this is what I am hoping to move back towards. I have no doubt that my skin reacts well to as much moisture as possible. However when it comes to the cleansing, it seems to make little difference to my skin. I do wonder if over the last few months, my relentless scrubbing scrubbed away not only all the horrible dirt and grime but also the poor innocent protective layer which had so angelically defended my skin until silly operation scrub. Now I will clean my face two or three times a day with pretty much standard products (I’m currently using a Neutrogena scrub) unless this too starts working against me. I will follow with moisturiser maybe a cheapie, maybe a splurge but basically just whatever I want. I think I have been over thinking the whole skin thing.

Finally, the spinach and the supplements.  In certain lights, there has been almost a certain glow and softness in my skin over the last month or so. This may be the all the spinach and antioxidants from the green monsters. If so, nice payoff.

However, I would not go as far as to say that such nutrition alone was ever going to clear my skin even though I am now taking a daily skin tablet from Laboratoire Physcience (yes, the hair one as suggested by Lollipop26 impressed me that much) which I hope will help to protect and preserve my new clearer skin. I would suggest that nutrition is more preventative then reactive. Going back to the water though, I’m not sure anything will be reactive without it but like spinach, once the blighters are blemishing your skin, I am not sure if the water alone will be enough to take the baddies down.

Anyhow, that is enough of my ramble, my very senseless one. I am not a skincare expert and there is probably no science to back up much of what I have said here. However, these thoughts are just some that I have had over the last few months when I have been ever so slightly skin obsessed!

X

Written by essjay23x

September 11, 2010 at 8:18 pm