essjay23x

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

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Come and join me!

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Come and join me!

I hope you are all well. Just a quick post to let you know that from now on, I will no longer be updating this blog with new posts. I’m hoping to still blog probably in my typically sporadic manner. However, any new posts will only be found at http://www.essjay23x.blogspot.com .

I would love it if you came across and joined me there. Thank you for all of your support so far!!

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Written by essjay23x

March 1, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Posted in Babble, Uncategorized

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Yay!

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Yay!

Well, just a little post today.

I just wanted to let you know that The Beauty Bible (that I raved about here) has a fabulous site here online 24/7. Duh, why didn’t I know about this site earlier?!
I popped over to check it out and it was amazing. It was that good, that dinner is late, I couldn’t drag myself away.
There are lots of up to date product recommendations; a question and answer area where the extremely knowledgable team answer your beauty queries; updates on Beauty Bible products and associated publications as well as a Beauty Blog.
If you have a moment to spare this weekend, why don’t you check the site out?
You can be sure I will be stalking this site!

Happy weekend Girls!
X

Written by essjay23x

December 4, 2010 at 11:30 am

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Five little obsessions!

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Some of you may be used to my passing phases now. Sometimes I get all obsessed with some item or regime and then one morning, I wake up and it is all forgotten.

Remember, the Shred?!

Ouch!

However, when I’m indulging in the passing phases, they become the cornerstones of my beauty routines.

Here are five phases that I’m currently entertaining.

1/ Bitter Chocolate from Botanics

Over the last two or three months, I keep returning to this colour. Yes, the colour payoff (in the semi-permanent) does not last very long maybe only a couple of weeks but I do love the shade that emerges after the first shampoo. Dark hair may seem a little boring or blah but there is no doubt that the darker my hair is, the healthier and shinier it looks.

Sometimes my hair colour seems half-hearted and just a mish mash of lifeless browns. For once, my hair looks solid, shiny and polished. I initally took note of this colour after Carolyn Bax commented used a Boots Semi-Permanent Chocolate dye recently.

2/ The Teeth Whitening

It was back in the summer when I last became obsessed with my white pearlies. That was in the BlanX era. The BlanX product that I used did seem to work. However, the full white results do not seem quite so lasting so now I am using the Beverly Hills Toothpaste. Sarah has raved about one of their toothpastes before. I’m hoping my new habit will keep my teeth on the right side of white economically. I really do lay stock in the fact that Sarah believes in it and also that Watchdog have given it a thumbs up.

3/ RapidLash

For me, this year has been all about the lashes. Lash enhancers and mascara. I have just fallen for yet another mascara which I will tell you about soon but I have also started using another lash growth product. So far, I have used Lipocils, Ardell, the L’Oreal Lash serum and now I have started to use RapidLash. I must admit that I am using this very tentatively after reading an earlier post of Laura’s. However, there are so many positive reviews out there for this product and as I’m so desperate for Bambi lashes. I am now applying this little product each evening and keeping my fingers crossed that firstly, I do not lose my lashes altogether and secondly, that I infact gain more lusterous, fluttery lashes.

4/ The Probiotics

After reading in the amazing Beauty Bible, that an annual 90 day course of probiotics could be of benefit to troublesome skin. I have been glugging the old Actimels down. I’m not sure if they are helping but this habit is a lot cheaper then some of the other regimes and creams that I have tried this year and at the very worse, the daily dose is probably only of benefit to my general health.

5/ Manuka Honey

Some of you may have read my earlier post on the benefits of honey. Well, now I’m going further and trying Manuka Honey. I will do a post on this soon but apparently Manuka Honey has special antibacterial properties which can be of benefit to your well-being which of course, will be reflected in your appearence. This phase has struck at the right time as there are few things that can get me out of my warm bed in these cold, cold mornings like the promise of hot porridge and honey.

Do you have daily beauty habits? What are they?
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Written by essjay23x

November 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Magik results!

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Magik results!

Hey, it seems that my recent ‘hauling’ did not end with fashion.

I have suddenly hunted down and stashed various goods in a final (some may say, desperate) frenzy as my mission grows ever closer to a year of age.

These include to name a few, a Kiehls eye cream; the Origins mushroom moisturiser; the Liz Earle cleanser; the Lush Mask of Magnamity and these little gems here.

Last night, I used a couple of these products. It was, in fact, a return to a couple of products that I raved about in one of my earliest posts, a shampoo and serum from Dead Sea SPA Magik.

The shampoo and conditioning products that I have mainly used for about the last eight weeks or so, have been the Rainforest shampoo and body butter from the Body Shop. Now although I have no complaints over the product and, indeed, am impressed that the products have lasted me so long. It seems my hair has now decided that it is stalemate time. For the last ten days or so, my hair has appeared increasingly blah. Lifeless and dull, I guess.

It may be that all it needed was a good clarifying shampoo but of course, since I’ve used these paraben free products such as Phyto and The Body Shop, I have suddenly become a bit too fearful of more “chemical” products. It is a silly psychological side effect but still I kept putting off finding a nice harsh shampoo because to me clarifying surely equals lots of scientific, tough, unforgiving ingredients to give the barnet a proper going over and clean the locks properly.

Giving the holy grail status that the Morrocan Oil Treatment has so deservedly earnt (in my opinion), I was very tempted to try the rest of their haircare range. With my main qualm being only the price.

So there I was in Holland and Barrett the other day, looking at face masks when the Dead Sea Spa Magik products caught my eye. I remember been so impressed last christmas with the products especially the serum that really you have to agree, I had nothing to lose by forking out just two pounds ninety five for a couple of sachets. One of the shampoo and one of the serum (they come together, the shampoo one is meant to be a freebie).

Now last time I remember my focus was on the magic serum (It really is called Hair Magic Serum and apparently it was voted best conditioner by Woman magazine) and the gloss and shine that this was to deliver. I also wanted the ‘thirst quenching’ ingredients that the products claim to contain. This time my hair is probably more hydrated maybe even slightly weighed down with conditioning products.

Therefore my focus was on the revitalising promise. I do remember the life that this brand gave my hair before and it just seems lately that my increasingly flat mop of hair, especially the roots, is crying out for some life and to be frank to, dance again.

Dead Sea Spa Magik claims this shampoo revitalises hair and wow, it really did. Again! My hair actually had proper volume (even after my normal mandatory application of moroccan oil) and looked a lot thicker after using these products. And in a strange but good way even though it looked like I had more hair (I love the way it bulked my layers out and made them look longer), my hair actually felt lighter and freer. It seemed easier to get the brush through and style.

And as if this was not good enough, it looked glossy. Yay. I think the serum may have had a hand in that.

I used the magic serum as a conditioner and massaged it right in to the scalp and down the length of the hair. I then left it about five minutes before rinsing out. Trust me, this stuff is magic and it probably would not be advisable to leave it in too much longer.

I shampooed generously twice and I still have maybe half the sachet of both the shampoo and serum left which I will be stowing away very safely.

I am really torn now between the moroccan oil haircare purchase plan or just buying the full size of these products. They really do seem to be that good.

Oh and yes, these Dead Sea products do claim to be made from the mud, salt and mineral extracts of the dead sea with some certified organic ingredients and no parabens.

So a volumiser, a clarifier and a moisturiser; these products could be billed magic and amazing. Maybe that is where my worry lies. In the long term, are such results too good to be true?! What do you think? Have you tried this brand? Do these products sound of interest to you? What haircare is making your hair sing and dance at the moment?

X

Written by essjay23x

October 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm

At last!

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So lately I have been very inspired by various blog posts and fashion tidbits to update my wardrobe.

There seems to be so many pretty things out there. I have all these ideas of all these things I want to buy (remember my style board) so lately I have spent most days off in one shopping centre or another on a mission to gather some treasures to form a wardrobe which I can be proud of.

Yay!

Except, normally I come home disheartened. You see, it all seems to go wrong once I hit the changing room and today seemed as if it would be no exception.

First of all, inspired by Zoella’s recent post, I hit Primark and actually I was surprised how tidy it was. Maybe early morning (not as early as Zoella’s though), mid week visits are the way to go. I actually found quite a few items to try, a couple of basic tee shirts in pink and grey with some feathery shoulder embellishments; a vest with sequins and the statue of liberty on the front and a gorgeous little black and white polka dotted coast but trying them on, each seemed too long or a little too clingy in certain places and baggy in others. I’m sure I must be such a strange shape. Nothing between a size 8 or 12 is ever one hundred percent too big or one hundred per cent too small. Just too big or small in this place or that and then the opposite in another. Argh. . !

Anyway despite the threat of rain, I bravely persevered and headed to TopShop. There, I fell in love with a white delicate cowl neck jumper but they only had a size 12 and the neck was just too big, it sort of fell past my stomach. I’m tempted to order online and try a smaller size but I can’t find it. Argh! However, such a delicate garment was unlikely to see Clumsy me through until Christmas. Still Boo!

I also tried the chain vest (as highlighted by Laura). I tried a black one and the mustard one but wasn’t sure how I would wear it. I tried on some leather effect leggings to do the rock thing. I was quite excited about this as my style is not normally so rock and roll but unfortunatly they were so, so long (I think it was these) and I took this disappointing length as an omen.

All in all, it looked liked my shopping mission was yet again destined to fail

Until. . . I casually popped in to my local department store who were having a twenty per cent off day and it was here in the Warehouse and Miss Selfridge concessions that I struck gold.

Oh yes, three cheers please!

Firstly, a basic black tee shirt from Warehouse with similar shoulder embellishments to those I tried earlier in Primark but this tee fitted so much better and was a smart and safe black so yes, purchase one was made. I have to say black tee shirts are my weakness, I just think they are such an investment and can be worn up or down. You can never have too many.

Then there was this gorgeous cream shirt with some ruffle detailing down the front. Again so wearable, my two favourite words!! I’m not brave enough to try that red, workman tarten shirt look that a lot of girls seem to be pulling off at the moment but I do tend to find that shirts and three quarter length cardigans are more flattering and swamp me less then most knitwear items I find.

And finally we have the ultimate buy of the day. I absolutely adore this brown frilly dress. It fits so well and really pulls and conceals in all of the right places. It makes me feel slender and very special. It has a very deep V neckline which could do the talking for more dressy occasions but the gorgeous number could also be layered for a more casual look.

The sleeves scared me at first as they looked huge on the hanger. Indeed, quite divaish but once I tried it on, I could see they hung in a way that actually worked and I was much more comfortable with these then I am when I’m wearing shoulder pads. I think that the length and the tapering of the sleaves helped tone down the drama to the right notch.

There is a beautiful tie at the back. I just think this dress represents the style of decades past well and is timeless. It is very girly but in a great shade of brown, soft and it is not skin tight or too much. It is also very verstatile. Normally as a short girl, I have to be very careful layering long tops or dresses over trousers etc and have to select a special pair but today in the changing room, this little number instantly looked at home over my very casual, worn Matalan jeans which I happened to be shopping in. A good omen surely!

Oh and I nearly forgot. I have also got myself a pair of the New Look wedges that have been mentioned by a couple of bloggers. For example here and here Many of you may remember the suede heels that I loved from Primark earlier this year. Well, these wedges are suede too and they are very, very high which is good ‘cos I need the extra height and I find the safest way to get such height is on the top of a wedge or platform heel so I’m hoping to get lots of wear from these.

So, there we go, a little fashion haul! At last!!

What do you think? Have you brought anything exciting lately?

X

Written by essjay23x

October 27, 2010 at 6:14 pm

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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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

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Written by essjay23x

August 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm