Monday, 31 December 2012

Top 12 of 2012 - My favourites

As the year draws to a close, I'm going to jump on the blogging bandwagon and share the products I've loved in 2012. Hope you don't mind, but have a gander and see if you see anything you like!

SKINCARE



Clarins - Water Purify One-Step Cleanser. This is a relatively late entry into my favourites (only bought it at the weekend.) but already really enjoying using this. It has mint so it really freshens the skin as it removes make-up and cleanses.

Superdrug - Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot-Cloth Cleanser. I bought this to see if I could get along with a hot-cloth cleanser without paying out too much for either No.7 or Liz Earle. I never will now because I love this offering from Superdrug too much! My skin feels squeaky clean and I've noticed an improvement in my skin's clarity since I started using this.

Benefit - It's Potent Eye Cream. I got a sample of this a few months back, and have just received the full size at Christmas. This is the only eye-cream (bar Body Shop's Elderflower Eye Gel) that has made a difference to my eyes, and the Benefit is the only one to make a difference to my dark circles, which are sizeable. I'm very impressed with this.

Lush - Cupcake Face Mask. This is another product which has made such a big difference to my skin. This had significantly reduced the oiliness of my skin, and has made my skin look less blotchy too. Plus it's chocolate. This is always awesome!

MAKE-UP









No.7 - Summer of Dreams Bronzer. This was the bronzer that made me realise that even ivory beauties like me can pull off a little bronze. This is light and buildable enough that I never look like I've gone overboard.

Guerlain - Sun in the City Compact. I am so glad I paid for this on holiday. This is a highlighter, body shimmer, eyeshadow all rolled into one beautiful, pearly compact. I love using this, it's so pigmented and full of mother of pearl and the gold shade looks so luxurious. Love love love!

Max Factor - False Lash Effect Mascara - My favourite mascara. Ever. That's pretty much all I can say!

MUA - Lipstick in Shade 12. I love all the MUA lipsticks, but this shimmery pink is the perfect perk-up colour for me. It has the slightest hint of glitter to it, so it's good for day-time glamour.

Estelle and Thild - Raspberry Lip Balm. This has really helped with my chapped lips this year. It has lasted ages, has the lightest hint of raspberry and is very moisturising for the lips.

Chanel - Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in L'Exuberante. This is my holy grail of lipsticks. Its rich colour, creamy texture and matte look means it is unlike any other lipstick I own. I always feel so classy and glamorous wearing it.

Benefit - Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation in Believe in Me Ivory. I thought, until I spoke to my local Bene-babe, that my skin was purely oily, and that I should only use matte bases. After seeing the difference this makes to my skin when I wear it, I wonder how I lived without this. I look glowy and healthy wearing this, and I've never had such a good skin tone match from any base I've ever used. Win!

Urban Decay - Smoked Palette. Another late entry to my top 12, as this was a Christmas present from my lovely boyfriend. So far I haven't used all the shades yet, but they all look divine, and the ones I have used shimmer and accentuate my eyes so well. It's hard to imagine life without this palette now!

So those are my favourites of 2012. I'd love to know your thoughts on my favourites, and what your favourites are too. Have a brilliant and successful 2013 when it arrives! :)

Christina xo

December Empties

It's the end of the month, and now the end of 2012! It's been a busy month and I've actually managed to use up quite a few products, so I shall show you wha I've used up this month, and my thoughts on the product.

SKINCARE






Soap and Glory - The Fab Pore Facial Peel. I've had this particular face mask for quite a while and have now finally finished it. I like it, but I have other face masks to use up first so I'll wait before repurchasing.

Boots Botanics - Moisturising Deep Clean Foam. Another product I've been trying to use up, but not because I liked it. I never felt like this made any improvement to my skin so I wouldn't buy this again.

Body Shop - Seaweed Clarifying Toner. This is the only toner I've used, and I really love it. It feels tingly and refreshing on my skin and I will buy this time and again!

Clinique - All About Eyes cream. This was a sample, and I don't feel it made much difference to my dark circles. No thanks!

Bioeffect - EGF Serum. This was a sample from my Selfridges beauty box which I've finally finished. I did feel like my skin texture and radiance was improved, but this costs £125 for 15ml, so no way am I forking out for that!

Lancome - Genefique serum. I received a 5 day sample set from Kris' mum (she still gets sent beauty products and samples even though she stopped being a Debenhams beauty manager 2 years ago). I love this so much, but right now I can't justify spending around £50 on a serum.

Dior - Skin Boosting Super Serum. I got this sample months ago after buying a Dior foundation. I just used this for the sake of using it. I didn't notice much difference to my skin.

Benefit - Total Moisture Cream. I received this sample after buying Browzings. This is a really rich moisturiser, perfect in the winter months. I've already received a deluxe sample size in one of the sets I received for Christmas and I can't wait to use it!

HAIRCARE



Percy and Reed - Splendidly Silky Moisturising Conditioner. This is the deluxe sample that Glamour gave away months ago. I used this like a hair mask, leaving it in to deep-condition my hair. I loved the fresh blueberry smell this had, but I wouldn't repurchase. It's nice, but I just prefer other brands at the moment.

Dove - Colour Radiance Express Treatment Conditioner. I got this free with a magazine, and it worked nicely when I used temporary dye in my hair at Halloween, but I wouldn't repurchase this.

Aussie - Colour Mate Shampoo. I bought this on offer a few months ago, mainly to use whilst I'd dyed my hair. I love Aussie, but I wouldn't repurchase, purely because I don't need to use colour shampoo.

VO5 - Refresh Me Quick Dry Shampoo. I liked using this, it had a lovely fresh, slightly flowery scent and left very little residue in my hair. I would repurchase this when my current Batiste can runs out :)

MAKE-UP 



Dr Jart - Premium Beauty Balm. I received this sample from Dr Jart's Facebook page after they started giving away samples. This was a little too dark for me, but it did work well. I would buy this is I could afford it.

BODYCARE



Rituals - Wai Lang Exfoliating Body Scrub. I got this sample from the Rituals store. I actually used this as a face scrub, and I loved it. Very scrubby, made my skin feel and smell lovely. I've already received more of this in the Rituals set I got for Christmas, so looking forward to scrubbing up with it!

Ren - Rose Otto Body Wash. This came in my Selfridges Lucky Bag, and it was one of the highlights of the bag. It smelled beautifully of roses, and I love a good rose scent. I would like this again, but I don't know if I would pay £17 just for a shower gel.

So that's all the loveliness I've used up this month :) what products have you used this month? Anything you loved?

Christina xo

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone - Presenting the present haul...

(DISCLAIMER: This will be a picture-heavy post. So... enjoy the pics :P)

Ho ho ho! Hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas with their families and friends, I know I certainly did (paying for it now though, my heaaaaad...). Sorry for the distinct absence of blogging from me, I was working pretty continuously in the run-up to Christmas, finishing at 4pm on Christmas Eve before doing a mad dash to Glasgow by bus. But once I arrived at Kris' mum's, drinks were poured,work was forgotten and I had a lovely 2/3 days at home with our families and friends!

The tree at Kris' mum's. Wow! And now the tree at my mum and dad's...

Niice! I love their fibre optic tree, it used to belong to my gran, so it's kinda like a family heirloom in some ways...  and yes that is a bottle of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey peeping out from under the tree :P

Now for the fun part: the presents! I shall preface this by saying I was unbelievably spoiled by pretty much everyone this year. I received so many beautiful and thoughtful gifts I think I would crash this post by trying to include everything! So since I'm trying to be a good beauty blogger, I'll show you all the lovely beuaty related presents I received. First up, my boyfriend Kris wins major man points for getting me...


Two amazing Benefit sets: Passport to Posh eye kit, and Let There be Bright Face Kit and the fabled UD Smoked Palette! I must confess: I squeed opening these. Like the world's biggest child. But if you can't do that on Christmas Day then when can you? I can't wait to share all these goodies with you guys!

Next up, we have...


The Stila All is Bright Lip Glaze set! My friend and fellow blogger Claire gifted me these and they look awesome! So excited to try these on :)

My Auntie Margaret and Uncle Raymond gave me the most beautiful Rituals Shower set! I believe it is called Time Out and it contains a shower foam, body scrub, shampoo and body cream. I do love a good shower, so I will be trying these out soon methinks...






Another person who knows I love a good shower pamper is my little brother (having lived with me for nearly 20 years, he knows I take a day and an age in the bathroom.). He gave me the Soap and Glory Bubbletime set, which comes with the cutest retro alarm clock. I'm hoping Kris will let me use it instead of using our phone alarms...


Finally, from my parents... I wasn't too sure of this at first, because I thought it was going to be more hassle than it was worth, but my mum and dad gave me a gorgeous black quilted cosmetics case!

 The idea behind this was that my mum and dad know I always bring a ridiculous amount of make-up and skin-care with me whenever we stay with them in Glasgow. So they decided that if I had a case of make-up there, I wouldn't need to bring so much every time! At first I panicked and thought: "Oh no, I don't want to choose what stays and what goes!", but having gone through my make-up, I realised I was being an idiot (It's not like me that. Honest...), and that it was a brilliant idea.



This isn't even everything. I also received some lovely nail polishes and make-up bag from my friends Sara and Fraser, Kris' mum gave me an Avon eye-palette and blush, Kris' little brother gave me a Bev Ridge hand care set (which smells AMAZING and comes in the nicest tin, which I plan to re-use as a lunch box.). I got loads of awesome presents in general, so if people would be interested in seeing some of my non-beauty related gifts I received, feel free to tell me :)

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your Christmas holidays, and have a fabulous New Year and 2013 when it arrives!

Christina xo

Sunday, 16 December 2012

When the Media Fails - Piers Morgan and CNN

Normally, I post a lot about beauty and make-up, but today I want to talk about something different.

You would have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the atrocious mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conneticut, committed by a lone gunman, whose name has been widely publicised but I refuse to name him here (Knowing his name, and not the names of the 20 innocent children and 6 adults he killed, portrays him as a name worth knowing, which I think we can agree, he isn't). There has been 24-hour coverage on many news networks all over the world, keeping us abreast of developments in this case, and most networks are doing well to report as factually as they can, trying to filter out the majority of the unsubstantiated claims, rumours and hearsay that inevitably arises when awful acts of violence such as this occur.

However, CNN, on Piers Morgan's show, decided to report on the shooter's background and possible mental state leading up to and during the shootings. During the show, they decided to discuss unsubstantiated reports that the shooter may have had autism or Asperger's Syndrome. I would like to stress that the only evidence they had for this was statements from family members who said they thought this man may have had autism; there was no mention of any formal diagnosis being made by a medical professional, and no firm evidence at all. Piers Morgan, being the sensationalist that he is, decided to run with this angle on the story however, bringing in a medical "expert" who claimed:

"...a symptom of autism [is that] something’s missing in the brain, a capacity for empathy, for social connection, which leaves the person suffering from this condition prone to serious depression and anxiety.”


 Some of you may know that I work for an autism charity, and my job involves supporting adults living with autism and ASDs in the community and in their homes. I might not be a medical professional, but I can tell you that from my experience in working with autism, this doctor is talking absolute nonsense. Yes, people with autism suffer from anxieties, but they do have a capacity for empathy and the capacity for social interactions and connections with other people. As for "...having something missing in the brain...", that's simply not known yet. Autism is a life-long, developmental condition that affects people's sensory perception, their ability to socialise (through the fact they need support to recognise social cues and conventions), and their ability to think flexibly (e.g. understanding routines, changes to these routines, dealing with unpredictable circumstances etc.). No-one knows definitively yet what cause autism, so for this doctor to reduce autism to "something being missing in the brain" effectively belittles the condition and stigmatises its suffer by portraying them as being mentally deficient.

People with autism are not mentally deficient. Piers Morgan is currently tweeting to anyone who will listen that the shooter was mentally ill. Autism is not an illness; illness implies deficiency, people with autism are, again, not mentally deficient, but are people who are capable of so much. The reason I am so angry at Piers Morgan in particular is that although (as far as I am aware) did not say anything directly about autism, he let someone else make sweeping generalisations without actually checking anything this "expert" was saying was even true. Each person with autism is completely unique, their autism is completely different to someone else's autism so to make a comment like that is completely unfair to people with autism. By letting this happen, Piers Morgan is standing by and leaving the autism community completely open to stigma, abuse and ill-informed bias. I imagine people with autism would also feel completely insulted and marginalised by being described as 'being ill' or as 'suffering from autism.'

The other reason I feel that Piers Morgan is culpable here is that another part of my job is promoting awareness and understanding of autism and ASDs. Again, by standing by and giving an unsubstantiated rumour air time on a world stage, without even bothering to check if this was true or having any real proof, is completely negating the job that myself (and other people like me) are trying to do in promoting a better knowledge of autism and ASDs. It is staggering how ignorant people are when it comes to ASDs, and Piers Morgan is making it even worse by making these assumptions about the shooter. The last thing we need is people assuming that the shooter definitely had a form of autism, and that all people with autism are inherently violent. They are not. People with autism can become anxious for many different reasons, and for some, their anxieties can lead to aggression, verbally and sometimes physically. However, for this doctor to imply that all people with autism are capable of this level of violence is completely idiotic. Allowing this doctor air time is also completely idiotic, Piers.

What I would love to happen, would be for Piers Morgan to actually research autism (and evidence his research by doing an informative piece on autism), to admit it was wrong of him to allow this doctor to make so many sweeping generalisations about autism and ASDs, and I would like him to actually show us some evidence that the man who committed this awful crime had a form of autism. However, I suspect that Piers Morgan doesn't really care much, and will continue his coverage, without realising the uspet and hurt he is (ironically) causing for those with autism.

This is just my opinion, based on my experiences working with people who have autism or ASDs. Feel free to agree, disagree or comment at will :)

Christina xo

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Hauling from home...

There seems to be a pattern forming... every time I go home to Glasgow for a weekend, I end up picking up loads of make-up and beauty items! Well, technically this time some of it was online shopping that happened to arrive while I was away, but still, I've accumulated loads more stuff in a short space of time!

First up, I had placed a Body Shop order recently. They were offering £20 off if you spent £40, plus free shipping over £30, so I stocked up on some skincare (with a few Christmas presents for others thrown in!)
 

From L-R we have: Seaweed Clarifying Toner (in both 30ml and 200ml sizes). I buy both sizes so that I can travel with one instead of lugging a bigger bottle around.
Seaweed Pore Cleansing Facial Exfoliator - I'm in need of a new facial scrub, so I thought I'd try this. It seems to have had many positive reviews, so fingers crossed!
Elderflower Cooling Eye-Gel - I'm always hunting for something to reduce the dark circles and bags underneath my eyes, so time will tell if this will work. I'm keeping it in the fridge too to see if this enhances the cooling properties!
Vitamin E Moisture Cream (15ml) - I needed a travel moisturiser, so thought I would try the much Vitamin E range.

Next up, I made an order from MUA whilst everything was on 3 for 2, so that I could pick up some gifts for my friends...and a few for myself too! (I'm so cheeky haha!)


From my online order, I picked up: Intense Kisses Lip Gloss in Stolen Kisses (a plummy deep pink/purple), Mystical Glitter Nails in Seahorse (A green/gold glitter, it's lasting very well on my nails at the moment), and the much-lauded Undressed palette is also now in my possession! Looking forward to trying it out :)

Lastly, whilst I was out with my friend Lisa, I visited Superdrug, and we all know what happens next...


Barry M had an offer where if you spent £6 you received a free nail polish, and can I resist? Can I fuck! I bought Dazzle Dust in Mushroom (The most beautiful shimmering taupe shade), Nail Paint in gold glitter and a free Nail Paint in... It doesn't appear to have a shade name, my bottle just says "Superdrug Xmas" so this might be a limited edition offer from Superdrug. However, this is a lovely turquoise shade, with gold and silver shimmer through it, a very fine glitter almost. It looks like a middle ground between Barry M's foil effect polishes and their Glitter polishes. It's gorgeous anyway!

Lastly, from MUA I bought an eyeshadow trio in Innocence, Lip Pencil in Brooding Plum (it pulls more red than plum, but still a lovely shade.) and Mega Volume Mascara in Brown/Black. Because I also spent £6 on MUA, I received a free Artiste Palette, which I gave to Lisa since I already own said palette.

So that's my haul! What have you been buying yourself lately? Are you prone to treating yourself at Christmas while you buy presents for others (like me)?!

Christina xo









Glasgow Smiles Better - A Weekend at Home

My name is Christina (hello!) and I live in Kirkcaldy, in Fife (also known as the Kingdom of Fife, hence the name of my blog.). I haven't always lived here, just for the last 15 months. I'm originally from Glasgow, the West End of Glasgow if you want to be exact. I always try to get home to Glasgow whenever work allows, so I can see family, friends and relax in the city I call home! The reason I wanted to write this post was because there's been a few murmurs of discontent (myself included), that we Scots don't really get to see many events for bloggers (Not begrudging any other cities, or London, but it's just a fact of life it seems). I wanted to write this piece about my home-town, simply because I have so much love for it, and I want to share how awesome Glasgow is with everyone :)


This is the (slightly rainy) view from my parents' living room. Yes it's a motorway, but beyond said junction, that's Glasgow's Riverside Museum. And just out of shot to the right, are some of the Govan shipyards across the river that made Glasgow a famous hub of industry during the Victorian period (and beyond... Until Margaret Thatcher ruined it.) Also you can just faintly see Glasgow's Science Tower beyond that, and on a clear day, you can also see the BBC Scotland building at Pacific Quay. Isn't it lovely fact fans?!

Already, you can see so much of Glasgow, and we haven't even left my parents' yet :P Next up, one of my favourite places in the city...



This is me with my boyfriend Kris on my graduation day from Glasgow University (I'm an MA in English Language and Literature :D), and we're standing in the Cloisters. They look like something straight out of Harry Potter! Glasgow University is a beautiful place, nestled in the heart of the West End of the city, well worth a visit if you're nearby.

The main thing I love about Glasgow, however, is its constant cycle of reinvention and betterment. I mean that in a non-snobby way! Every time I return home, somewhere has been refurbished, or sold and re-opened as somewhere new. It's like a new adventure each time I return home and I love it! Following on from here are some pictures of what I got up to this weekend, with an explanation as to how this links in to the cycle of reinvention...



This is The Grosvenor, and this is now part of a cinema, bar and cafe, all under the same name; this part used to be just know as the Loft, and it was one of my favourite haunts while I was at uni. It's mainly a bar/restaurant, but it also regularly hosts events, craft fairs, even film nights. I met my friend Lisa here for lunch, and it was just the perfect place to sit and people-watch (we even spotted Colin and Justin, the fabulous local interior duo, as made famous by I'm a Celebrity :P).




In Glasgow, we have our own subway system. It's just one loop, going in two directions, the Inner and Outer Circle (a whole lot less complicated than London, yes?), and at the moment all the stations are getting a face-lift in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The first station to be completed was Hillhead, which was finished with an amazing mural from the artist Alasdair Gray (author and artist extraordinaire, he also created the murals in the nearby Oran Mor.) It's beautiful, and it sums up Glasgow perfectly, with its mix of people, local characters and more.

Finally, Glasgow always has some of the most delicious eateries, and while I was home, I got to try out a new one! A bar/eaterie that's so new that we visited on its 3rd day of opening!

Cocktail and Burger is on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow, nestled between all the bright lights and razzamatazz of the bars and clubs which surround it. There's a local blogger named James, who, along with his partner Pamela go around Glasgow looking for the best burgers, and they've reviewed it here. My thoughts? Amazing. Delicious burgers, and some of the nicest cocktails I've had in the city. It is so good, that it actually pains me to share it with people cause I love it so much that I don't want its beautiful simplicity to be ruined by over-crowding!


This is one of the cheeseburgers they serve, photo taken from Cocktail and Burger's Facebook Page. Kris, my friend Vicky and I each had a burger, Kris had a beer and a White Russian (the best he's ever tasted), and Vicky and I both had a daiquiri and a mojito each. Total cost for all this deliciousness? £23!! I literally died and went to foodie heaven after reading the receipt...

Cocktail and Burger sums up what I love about Glasgow. Every so often, somewhere new pops up which utterly blows people away with how good it is, whether it's a new shop, exhibition, or a new restaurant. And there's something for everyone in Glasgow too :) just ask and ye shall find!

I hope this post has helped sum up my feelings for Glasgow in a way that people can understand. I just want people to love my hometown as much as I do!

Have you ever been to Glasgow? Would you like to go? And if you have been, what did you enjoy about it?

Christina xo

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Christmas Tag... AGAIN!

I can't help it, I loves me a good Christmas tag, so I've completed another one!
This was taken from Stacey at Journey of A Thousand Miles. You can find her blog here. :) (It's fab, give her a follow!)

1- What do you want for Christmas?

I have a long Amazon wishlist (used only to collate the things I want. Won't buy from Amazon until they start paying their taxes in the U.K.) It's mostly make-up and skincare, so that's what I want for Christmas!

2 - Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

Mostly on Christmas Day, though if I'm not going to see folk I'll open/give presents before then.

3 - What is your favourite Holiday drink form Starbucks?

I hate Starbucks coffee. I grew up with waaay better coffee, thanks to living in the West End of Glasgow. My favourite holiday hot drink would have to be a praline latte, loads of places have them.

(Also are you aware of how prolificly tax-dodging Starbucks are? If you're free today, check out UK Uncut here. They're staging some peaceful sit-ins in branches of Starbucks up and down the UK in protest at lack of taxes paid by the company in the UK. Check it out!)

4 - What is your favourite Christmas film?

The Nightmare Before Christmas. I'm not that big a fan of traditional Christmas films...

5- Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

We have a fake tree. It's fibre optic so I don't have to fiddle with lights and things :P

6- What do you do on Christmas Eve?

This changes year-to-year. This year I'm working from 7.30am til 4pm, then running to hopefully catch a bus to Glasgow, so I can spend the rest of Christmas Eve with Kris' mum and her partner :)

7- Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Not particularly, other than making sure I drink copious amounts of mulled cider and Christmas coffee I don't have many traditions!

8- What is your favourite Christmas song?

Christmas, Baby Please Come Home - Anberlin :)

9- What is your favourite Christmas food?

Four Bird Roast. Last year was Kris and I's first Christmas on our own as a couple, and that was what we had, and it was delicious! That and lots of chocolate.

10- What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

Being with my family :) last year I didn't get home for Christmas, and I probably won't next year (In my line of work, if you work Christmas one year, you get it off the following year and vice versa.), so seeing as much of my family and Kris' family is really important to me.


TAG you're it! Why not give this tag a go?

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Company Magazine... Yeah you're on your own ladies...

I was innocently shopping in the Co-op on my way to work, looking for some reading material (after I've finished my work, there's not much to do) so I had a browse, picked up Glamour and then spotted Company Magazine, boasting a special #Superbloggers issue. I may not be the world's most prolific blogger, but I enjoy writing for my little corner of the internet, which led me to pick up this magazine and sat down to read it after work.



My big mistake.

Company had several articles related to blogging in this issue, some admittedly good interviews with bloggers Bip Ling, Susie Bubble (to name but a few) asking about how they began blogging, their tips for success and positive outlooks on writing. Where this issue of Company fell flat on its face was with two articles:

1. Do You Speak Blog? - An "A-Z" of blogging. I'll go into how awful that is in a moment.

2. Shitbloggerz.com - Yes really. Good god. I can't even bring myself to describe the negativity with which this article was written. It was basically a list of "Don'ts" of blogging, but instead of offering any kind of constructive advice, its message was basically: "If you do these don'ts, you're an idiot and your blog is shit." - Great plan...

Do You Speak Blog

This was an A-Z of blogger's "favourite" things. I have selected some highlights for your consideration here:

"A is for Apple: And that means iPad, iPhone and Macbook Air. All portable, all totes essench for the tri-screen lifestyle of a blogger. No wi-fi, no likey." -Wow. How much did Apple pay you for that delightful piece of product placement?? This happens again with "C is for Canon 5D". Well colour me irrelevant, I use my (Samsung Google Nexus) phone camera and my good ole' HP laptop that likes to die on me every so often. Clearly my blog is 'totes not amazeballs' (I really hate that type of speech. I have two degrees, it makes my brain hurt.)


"B is for Beard - The obligatory component of any credible style blogger's boyfriend. And hey, if he can take your outfit photos for the blog too. #winner!" - Bad grammar aside, this is hilariously misogynistic, assuming that we lady bloggers need a man to help us out. Also, I did not realise the success of my blog directly correlated with my boyfriend's facial hair length. (I am fucked on that front - Kris' attempt at Movember was a 5 O'clock shadow.). We'll skip over the irony of misogyny being present in a WOMEN's magazine...



Now here comes the one which seems to be causing the most ranting:



"D is for Daily. If you're not posting every day, or more, then frankly, you're a part-timer." - Comma splicing aside (seriously, where the hell did they find their writing and editing team??), I'd like to say one thing to Company magazine, whether they're joking about this or not... fuck off! (I should've warned you, I swear. Lots. Sorry!)

What's wrong with posting every other day? What's wrong with your blog being a part-time hobby? Equally, some people have been attacking bloggers who post daily on twitter, saying that these people have no lives. That's a bit unfair too. I read blogs that are updated daily, and those that update every other day. Both are equally fab, and I enjoy reading all blogs.


For me personally, I don't post every day, because more often than not, I'm working, I'm tired and when I get home my brain is roughly the consistency of mushy peas. I like to post when I feel fresh, inspired and in the mood. For some people, they feel like this every day, but I'm just not one of those people. We're all different Company, might want to think about that...

There are many more gripes I have with this piece, but the best one, is R:

"R is for Retouch. Well you didn't think we'd upload photos without a pit-stop via Photoshop did you?" - Well, yeah I did actually. If you use Photoshop, no problem. Congratulations in fact, because it just confuses me! I haven't any issue with people using Photoshop, but I do have an issue with Company assuming that your blog is invalid unless you use certain software.

Overall, my feelings on this article were a mixture of anger, disbelief and amusement. Disbelief because I cannot believe this issue made it past an editor (or a proof-reader too. The irony is, in the Shitbloggerz.com, they have a go at people for using poor grammar. My inner English geek giggled at this.). Anger because by making such shallow, half-cocked comments about blogging communities gives someone looking at this from outwith blogging the impression that we are all this consumer-driven and vapid. Amusement because I can't help but laugh at how ridiculous some of the A-Z suggestions are, such a "T is for Tweeting" - i.e. you have to tweet every meal you eat or your life is invalid.  Yup, in summary, according to Company, my blog is shit, I am an invalid human being and I don't speak blog. Off to weep in a corner now...

Dare I ask what everyone else thought of the article? If you read it that is? Or if you didn't, any thoughts on this entire furore?

Christina xo

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet - Luminous Matte Lip Colour

...That title is one hell of a mouthful. But then this particular Chanel lipstick is one hell of a lipstick! This was one of my duty-free purchases when I was heading through Glasgow Airport en route to Gran Canaria in September. I originally wanted to purchase the red shade, La Fascinante, but ended up being swayed by the beautiful, deep pink shade L'Exuberante instead...




The pictures really show off how beautifully pink it is, living up to its luminous title! I would describe it as a warm, deep pink. Matte lipsticks can sometimes be slightly chalky, and difficult to apply, but not this offering from Chanel. It glides on effortlessly, and it stays put for c. 4 hours (and that was without Lipcote over the top!)



And here's me wearing it! Looking back at this pic, it does seem to warm up the complexion a little, yes? It feels luxurious to wear, and I feel very glamorous wearing it. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour comes in 9 shades and costs (on average) £25. You can find it at most Chanel counters, House of Fraser online, Selfridges online and many more. I paid £20.50 going through duty free though. It is a pricey lipstick, but it's well worth it for its lasting ability, the quality, and also the way it makes you feel. I really do feel like an invincible queen when I wear this! If I receive any beauty gift vouchers over Christmas, I may invest in another! I would go so far as to say this is my holy-grail lipstick!

P.S. I accidently dropped it as I was writing this, and because it's in a solid metal container, it just bounced off the floor. So it's also good for any of you who are as clumsy as I am!


Have you found your holy-grail lipstick? Do you have a favourite brand of lipstick? Or do you prefer lip-gloss?

Christina xo


Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas Tag

I've seen this Christmas tag floating around on a few blogs, so I thought I'd give it a try and get myself in the Christmas spirit (Always takes me a while... bah humbug :P)

This is my Christmas tree! (pic from last year, mine's isn't up yet)
1. What is your favorite part of the season?
  Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, because I can just relax with Kris' and my family (wherever we may be) and have a laugh, have a drink (or 12) and just recharge.

2. Which is your favorite Christmas song?
"Christmas, Baby Please Come Home." - covered by Anberlin, find it here :) Or "What's This?" from the Nightmare Before Christmas. Yeah I'm not a traditionalist, sorry!

3. When do you put your decorations up?
Around the 2nd week in December. I've always thought anything prior to that is too soon, especially now tha I work with autistic adults. Christmas is a big enough change of routine for someone with autism, so to build that up for weeks on end just strikes me as cruel.

4. Giving or receiving presents?
It's nice to receive, but I much prefer giving. Mainly because if I do say so myself, I'm usually pretty good at finding awesome gifts for people!

5. Favorite Christmas movie?
The Nightmare Before Christmas. Or possible Die Hard. Not the biggest fans of the regular twee-ness.

6. Snow or frosty mornings?
I love snow on days that I'm not working, because if I get snowed in at work, I'm screwed. It snowed while I was on night-shift last night and was literally terrified I'd be stuck there :P In general, snow.

7. Mince pies - love or hate?
I like mince pies, but I can only eat one or two, because I find them quite rich and sickly. 

8. If you could wish for one thing this Christmas, what would it be? 
That everyone has a good day really. That's about it :)

9. Farther Christmas or Santa clause?
Father Christmas. Sounds like someone who would look after you and keep you safe :) Whereas Santa Claus sounds like Sandy Claws and I think of Oogie Boogie. Not cool!

10. Going out with friends or staying in?
Both, I like being able to do a mixture of both in the run-up to Christmas. Though it usually entails me forking out to go home to Glasgow because no-one comes up to visit us in Fife (le boo!)

So there you go, feel free to try it yourself! Have a fab Christmas when it comes!

Christina xo

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

November Empties!

This is my first empties post, mainly because it takes me so long to actually use anything up! This is the first month I've managed to accumulate enough empty products to warrant a post, so here we go...

MAKE-UP






Benefit's The Pore-Fessional Primer - This was a sample which came with Glamour Magazine UK. I enjoyed using it, and have already scored some more sample sachets to use. Would I actually buy it? Probably not, and my next empty will explain why...

L'Oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer - This is my holy grail of primers. Reduces oil, minimises pores and creates a flawless base for my foundation. I've already repurchased this.

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara in Brown/Black - Again, another holy grail item. This is my favourite mascara. It lengthens, defines and volumises, and I've already repurchased!

L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic in Brown/Black - I wasn't overly keen on this, the brush wasn't great for separating or defining eyelashes, I only ever used it over other mascaras to try and add length. I won't be repurchasing this.

SKINCARE





Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash - This was a great little sample I received from Debenhams. I really liked this scrub, felt very cleansing and kept my skin pretty clear. Only reason why I'm not repurchasing right now is because this costs £22, and I can't really justify shelling out that much on skincare in the run-up to Christmas.

Aesop Parsley Seed Antioxidant Serum - This was a fantastic facial serum/oil, which left my skin soft, and clear. Again this is pretty pricey at £43 for 100ml, but maybe one day I will be able to afford it!

Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask - This is another "if only I could afford it" item. I loved using this face mask, it literally solved my oily skin problems for a while, but the only downside is that a full-size jar (50ml) costs £57. Though if Santa brings me Harvey Nichols vouchers, I may hop across the River Forth to Edinburgh and buy it...

Simple Clear Skin Oil-Balancing Moisturiser - I always like Simple products, they do what they say on the tin. This helped keep my skin moisturised without it becoming too oily. It didn't do it particularly well, but it helped. I have other moisturisers to use up, but I would consider repurchasing it.

Rituals Face No.1 Facial Cleanser - This is a sample I received when I visited the Rituals store in Glasgow Airport Duty Free. I didn't realise this is actually a men's face cleanser until... NOW, but it worked pretty well for a sample and it managed to get all my make-up off. I wouldn't repurchase this because it does have a bit of a manly smell to it, and personally I'd rather leave the manliness to my boyfriend :P

BODYCARE


 Soap and Glory Flake Away Scrub. Soap and Glory are my current favourites for body scrubs, and I already have another tub on the go, as well as a gift set as back-up.


Rituals Yogi Flow Shower Foam - I have loved this ever since I received my first bottle in last year's Christmas Glossybox. It has the most beautiful scent of sweetness and roses. Next time I am near a Rituals store or counter I will probably repurchase this. Once I've used up the millions of other shower gels I have too though...

So those are my empties! What have you been using this month? Any particular products that you love or loathe?

Christina xo



Friday, 23 November 2012

The Beauty Blogger's Tag

I am not much of a beauty blogger, but I like blogging about make-up and beauty and things, does that make sense?

With that in mind, I saw that Sophia of Tattooed Tealady fame created her own tag, so I thought I'd give it a go...



Why did you start blogging and how long have you been blogging for?
I started this blog last October, as a way to help me cope with the stress and anxiety I was feeling at the time. I used to teach, but I then realised it wasn't for me, and for a while I couldn't sleep, cried all the time and felt like I couldn't cope, so the blog helped me to vent a little bit. Over time it's morphed into a beauty blog, since I needed a place to talk about make-up, boys don't like talking about fluffy stuff like that...

Whose blog did you fall in love with first?
The first blog I fell in love with was my friend Claire's blog, Eyelining Obsessions. She is open, honest, and her recent posts on her cosmetic surgery have been brilliant, especially since quite a few bloggers I've read have been a bit sniffy on the subject of surgery (judgy-wudgies:P) 

What was the first blogosphere hyped about product you bought and was it worth the hype?
My first Sleek order was probably the first time I caved to the hype. I bought Original, Storm and PPQ palettes, and a Lip Paint (the much-hyped dupe for OCC Lip-Tars). And they were well worth the 3 weeks I had to wait until they arrived. My most recent caving was prbably buying a MAC lippie, again, worth it!

What are your favourite five things about blogging and being a beauty blogger?


1. I love the honesty of bloggers. It's the best way to get an honest opinion on a product. For the most part at least...


2. I love the fact that I've been introduced to so many different brands through writing and reading blogs, I'm becoming more aware of indie brands too.

3. I love the fact that most bloggers have twitter, and that they're all lovely to chat to and will often give you great advice if you ask politely :)


4. I've become more aware of offers and companies giving away samples or products via Facebook and Twitter. For example I was very lucky to win the chance to test 3 full-size products from Dainty Doll because I follow the Debenhams Beauty Club on Facebook. 

5. Most of all, I just like having my own space to be a bit girlie. Living with my boyfriend 60 miles away from the majority of my friends and family means I don't get the chance to be girly with my gal-pals too often, so the blog helps me vent that a little :)

What have you learnt from being a beauty blogger?
I've learned that just because something costs more doesn't necessarily mean it's better or will work for you, and that equally some of the cheapest make-up can be utterly amazing!

Have you changed anything since being a beauty blogger?
Yes, I'm now more aware of skincare and trying to take care of my skin. I also use brushes more in my make-up routine, and I now see the importance of keeping them clean too!

What advice would you give to a beauty blogger just starting out?
I am kinda just starting out myself ahaha! I think my advice would be to be honest, talk about what you like, what you think and don't feel like you should have to apologise for it. Also, get talking to other bloggers, they're lovely!

Name your top five brands!
For high-street make-up, it's MUA hands down, you just can't beat the prices and the quality. For designer make-up, my favourite is Chanel. I always feel that little bit classier when I have some Chanel make-up on!
For bath and body-care, I absolutely love Lush. The smells, the quality and the value, all are amazing.
I haven't found 1 skincare brand that I particularly love over all others yet, but for hair-care my 2 favourite brands are Aussie (great value, leave my hair in a great condition and smell great) and Bumble and Bumble (more pricey, but still great value and I want everything from their website!)

Recommend your top five favourite beauty products!
1. Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub.
2. Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Matte Lip Colour.
3. MUA Immaculate Collection.
4. Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara.
5. L'Oreal Studio Secrets Resurfacing Primer.

Tag other beauty bloggers to do this tag!
Anyone who wants to do this tag to be honest. Give it a go, go on go on go on!

Feeling Lush - My Latest Buys

During my last trip home to Glasgow, I took the opportunity to visit Lush on Sauchiehall Street, since we don't have a Lush store in Fife (Fife misses out on a LOT!). I'd been hearing so many great reviews on so many lovely products so I wanted to have a nosey and see if anything caught my eye...



Which it did, this is me we're talking about after all! After using up my Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask sample, I was looking for a new face mask that could help with oil control. The sales assistant I spoke to recommended the Cupcake mask, and with the mention of chocolate I was sold!



(INGREDIENTS: Rhassoul Mud, Linseed Infusion, Glycerine, Talc, Cocoa Powder, Cocoa Butter, Fresh Mint, Sandalwood Oil, Vanilla Absolute, Spearmint Oil, Peppermint Oil, Limonene, Perfume)

I've used this once, but already I feel it works! When applying it, the mask feels lightly scrubby, like it's also exfoliating while you apply. I can feel my skin lightly tightening as I wear it, and once I wash it off? WOW! Oil-be-gone.This would not be a great mask for those with sensitive or dry skin, since it really does curb oil production on your face, but for those of us with a shine complex this is a fabulous face mask. This retails at £5.95 for 75g.

My next purchase was the Snow Fairy Shower Gel. In the run-up to Christmas everyone seems to rave about this bubblegum wonder, so I thought I would see if the hype was right.



(INGREDIENTS:  Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Propylene Glycol, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, Lactic Acid, Synthetic Musk, Titanium Dioxide, Blue Glitter (Polyethylene terephthalate), Methyl Ionone, Benzyl Benzoate, Colour 45410, Colour 45380, Methylparaben)

This costs £6.25 for 250g. The first thing to note about this is the smell. It smells of Pear Drops, which I find lovely, but it is an extremely sweet smell, so if you're not keen on those kinds of scents then you will hate this! I like the smell, but I use this sparingly lest I should end up smelling cloying! The gel lathers up really well with my loofah, and there's even a tiny hint of glitter through the shower gel, so it's perfect for giving your body a little hint of sparkle in preparation for those Christmas nights out!

My final purchase was the product I've used the most since purchasing, the Popcorn Lip Scrub. I bought this because in winter, my lips go on the fritz, and I have to spends ages trying to restore them to some kind of presentable condition. I thought I'd give this lip scrub a go to see if it helped get rid of all the flakey dry bits that like to appear on my lips. This comes in at £5.25 for 25g.


(INGREDIENTS: Caster Sugar, Jojoba Oil, Sea Salt, Polenta, Coconut Oil, Popping Candy)

This really does taste like popcorn, it's all I can do not to just eat it!  After scrubbing my lips with a tiny fingertip of this, my lips feel a lot smoother, and in conjunction with a good lip balm my lips are so much better this year. I don't have much to say about the lip scrub, other than it does exactly what it's meant to, it works and it tastes lovely!

So that's my latest buys from Lush, have you visited a Lush store recently? What are your favourite Lush products? :)

Christina xo

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Selfridges Lucky Beauty Bag - The Un-Baggening...

I don't know if unbaggening is a word, but I have an English degree, so I say it should be.

ANYWAY... I was about to finish work yesterday morning (was on nightshift) and I had two minutes to check my emails. Saw I had a Selfridges email, telling me the bags were now available to order, managed to bag (ho ho) one, and had it ordered before I left work. Came home from work this afternoon to discover that not only had it been dispatched, it had been DELIVERED and left with my lovely neighbour Tania! Cue major excitement from me and a fair bit of squeeing.

So does the Beauty Lucky Bag live up to the awesomeness of its predecessor, the Box? Well let's see what I got... 




In my box was:


OCC Lip Tar - £10 (Full size)
Anatomicals "Our Lip Balm's Better Than Yours" SPF 15 Lip Balm - £2.55 (Full size)
Ren Rose Otto Body Wash - 50ml Sample = £4.25 (Full size is 200ml for £17)
Eve Lom Rescue Mask - 15ml Sample =  £8.25 (Full size is 100ml for £55)
NPW Luxe Talons Nail Caviar - £2.50 (Full size)
NPW Beauty Junkie Ginseng Mud Mask - 15ml Sachet = £1.50 (Full size)

Bag cost = £15 + £4.95 delivery, Actual Product Worth = £29.05

I love the look of some of the products, and I'm especially excited by the OCC Lip Tar. I actually had no idea Selfridges stocked OCC, so looking forward to trying this gorgeously vivid pink shade! The Ren Body Wash smells gorgeous, so again, a thumbs up for me! The Anatomicals Lip Balm tastes nice and feels moisturising... but I have around 10 lip balms at the moment, so it is just another lip balm to me. I've never tried anything by Eve Lom (mainly due to budget :P) but I'm looking forward to giving this mask a go.

The NPW products have left me feeling a bit...meh? I think it's just because nail caviar and sachet masks are so easy to buy from any high-street chemist/pharmacy, and I was expecting to receive products that us mere mortals find it more difficult to obtain. Where this also leaves me feeling a bit downhearted is in the actual value of the products. I paid £19.95 for just under £30 of product, whereas most beauty subscription boxes give you more every month, and the Selfridges Beauty Box had a whopping £150 of product for the same price as this. I dunno, maybe I'm being cheeky, but I expected a little more from Selfridges. I suppose that's the point of any lucky bag, that you win some and lose some, but still...Feel free to disagree!

Overall, I'm looking forward to using these products, but I... I dunno I feel slightly cheated. Did you also order the Beauty Lucky Bag? What products did you receive?

Christina xo

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Why Do You Wear Make-Up - Tag

I've seen this tag going round lots of blogs at the moment, so I thought I would try it, seeing as I love my tags at the moment!

Why do you wear make-up?

1. When did you begin loving make-up.

I'm not sure I started really loving it until very recently. My first experience with make-up was playing with Glitter Babes (Remember them? Do they even still exist?) nail polishes when I was about 8/9, but that was all my mum would let me buy. That and glittery body gel (Why Mum, why?). When I was 11/12, for our last primary school disco however, my mum agreed to let me wear a little eyeshadow, liner and mascara, but she applied it. Good thing too, would probably have looked like Coco the Clown if I'd tried it myself. I didn't really start wearing make-up regularly until I was about 14/15, but it's only really been in the last year or two that I've really begun getting excited about make-up and trying new things :) So I'd say I was about 22 when I first started to really love make-up. I know, late bloomer and all that...

2. How do you feel without make-up?

I honestly feel fine without make-up. I don't wear it a lot when I'm working, because working in a care job doesn't always lend itself well to maintaining yourself, as more often than not, I'm more preoccupied with what my service-user is doing rather than remembering to blot, powder and reapply lipstick! Mostly for work, all I do is: Skincare, blot, primer (seals in skincare and protects against the elements) and lip-balm, and maybe some tea-tree oil if I have a spot. My skin's pretty good despite its oiliness so I don't mind baring all when I head out!

3. What do you love about make-up?


I love its versatility mostly. You can use it to just enhance your natural beauty - like you, but better - or you can use it to dramatically alter how you look. You can be anyone you want to be!

I also love the fact that, like with many things, cheap doesn't necessarily equate to bad quality products, and expensive make-up isn't always that great. Sometimes it's more about what works for you personally.

The final thing I love about make-up is that it's a great leveller. You can have all the designer make-up in the world, but if you don't know how to apply it, then it's pointless. I've seen some budget beauty challenges that created amazing looks, and I've seen some designer make-up tutorials that looks awful. It doesn't matter what make-up you wear, just make it work for you :)

4. What are your 3 Holy Grail items?

1. L'Oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer - £14.29 from here.

I've yet to try a better primer than this (P.S. this is a pretty good dupe for the Clarins Instant Touch Primer, and it's cheaper, score!). It mattifies, it minimses my huge pores, it makes my base last the whole day (bar touch ups on oily bits). I love it!

2. Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara - £10.99 from here.

This is my go-to mascara. I don't need much length, but I need volume and definition, which this gives in spades. I always have beautiful doll-like, voluminous lashes with this; it just works for me better than any other mascara I've tried. I like it better than Benefit's They're Real.

3. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in L'Exuberante - £25 (I paid £20.50 in Duty Free) from here.

I originally wanted a different shade, but when I swatched this as I passed through duty free, I fell in love. If you want to make one designer purchase in your life, make it a Chanel lipstick. It makes you feel like a goddess! If I feel a bit crap, I get glammed up, put this on, and I instantly feel better, like I can take on the world! I shall try to review it soon for you, and let you experience it in its full gorgeous glory!

Why do you wear make-up?

Christina xo

Friday, 2 November 2012

I went to Glasgow and all I got was...

... a shit ton of stuff!

One thing I like to do whenever I return home to Glasgow is to check out some of the shops I wouldn't normally find in Kirkcaldy/Fife at large (where I live currently). One of these shops is Lush, so I decided that while we were down in Glasgow for some Halloween celebrations, I would go in and check out some of their products since I hadn't visited a store for a while.

Another thing Kris and I like to do when we can: catch up with his mum and her partner. Kris' mum works long hours as a Menswear manager in Debenhams (score) but... she used to be the Cosmetics Manager, and she is angling to get back there soon! (Double score!) As a result, she still gets beauty samples from colleagues instore, as well as having stuff sent to her by beauty PRs (TRIPLE score!). Kris' mum gets sent so much stuff that she shares it out with her sisters and (because Kris has a brother and no sisters) ME (Grand slam!) We got chatting about beauty and make-up, then she said "Come and I'll give you some goodies!". I squeed. Loudly.

So here is a collective haul picture of everything I came home with yesterday...






(N.B. I actually got a whole lot more from Kris' mum but I shared it with my own mum and my friend Vicky when she popped round for a visit after she finished work :))

From Lush we have:
Snow Fairy Shower Gel - This smells like pear-drops and candy-floss - love it!
Cupcake Face Mask - The kind salesman offered me this  face-mask after I told him about my oily face woes. Again, it smells amazing and I can't wait to give it a go!
Charity Pot hand lotion - Once I manage to actually open the tin I will tell you what this is like. At the moment I can't get the lid to unscrew :S
Popcorn Lip Scrub - (sweet tooth much, Christina?) I love this! I've had very chapped lips of late, and this has helped get rid of the dead skin, and helped my lips to feel smoother and  healthier. May have to stock up when I'm next near a Lush store...

And from Kris' mum's bag of goodie we have:

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair - I'm intrigued to see what effect this has on my skin, will use this once I've finished with my current facial oils and serums.
Lancome Genefique 5-Day Starter Kit - I died and went to heaven when I saw this! I had a sample of this back in July and my skin loved it - it looked radiant and I felt like my moisturiser worked better with this also. Looking forward to using this soooo much!
Floozie by Frost French lip balms in Plum Pudding and Cupcake - I tried Cupcake this morning and it tasted yummy. I now have enough lip balms to last me a lifetime, so it may be a while til I get around to using these!
Clinique All About Eyes - I've been in desperate need of an eye cream to help with my bags and dark circles (caused by an abundance of late/nightshifts at work), so this, so far, is an extremely welcome addition to my skin-care routine.
Marc Jacobs Dot Perfume - I already have Daisy and Lola from Marc Jacobs' perfume range, so I'm excited to give this a sniff!
Ojon Hair Restorative Mask - I'm really into my hair-masks at the moment, so again, glad to have this to try!

Also, the more eagle-eyed among you will have spotted a cheeky little Nails Inc Nail Polish hiding at the back there. There are four different shades free with this month's Glamour Magazine (UK), and I chose this lovely deep blue/black shade.

I'm really looking forward to trying everything? Is there anything you would like me to review specifically? Please let me know :)

And lastly, here's my boyfriend Kris and I dressed up as Poison Ivy and the Riddler for Halloween, along with our friend Scott who is Batman!




Christina xo

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

My First MAC lipstick - Costa Chic Review.

Everyone can remember their firsts: first kiss (Scott R, also my first boyfriend at 14), first club (B-Lo, on Exchange Square, Glasgow. Now called Common, yuck.) and every beauty blogger remembers their firsts too. First time wearing make-up (I was 11 and my mum let me wear eye-shadow and mascara to my last primary school disco), first nail-polish (I was 7 and it was baby pink) and, for me, their first MAC lipstick.

MAC lipsticks have something of a holy grail status within the beauty blogging world. The reason I bought one was a complete (happy) accident. I had bought a lip-liner from ELF which I thought was bright pink, but it turned out to be coral-coloured. My solution to this was to find a lipstick to wear it with (total b-blogger logic here), and I took the opportunity whilst out shopping in Edinburgh in June to have a look round the beauty counters and see if I could find something. First stop was Harvey Nichols, and the first counter I saw was MAC. I produced the lip-liner and swatched it for the lovely doe-eyed assistant, and she near-instantly pulled out Costa Chic.


I had to put the flash on to allow you to appreciate how bright this really is! It is definitely not a shade for the faint of heart. Costa Chic is described by MAC as a "Frosty Light Coral" and this is a pretty accurate description. However I wouldn't say it's too cool-toned, I think it's pitched just right so that all skin tones could wear this. But that's just my humble opinion.


It doesn't show up quite so bright on my hand, but it still stands out. On the lips, it glides on relatively easily, and lasts around 2-3 hours before needing a touch-up, and that's 2-3 including eating and drinking (I road-tested this on a night out).


And this is what it looks like on my lips (apologies for the slightly glazed expression, I'd just finished an 18-hr shift). In person it stands out more, but in this picture it looks quite subtle. Personally I love it! It's so bright and fun, it helps inject a little colour into your life. It's quite a summery shade, but I reckon you could find ways to wear it all year round. If you really like this shade, it costs £14 from MAC stores, counters and their website.

What do you think of MAC lipsticks? Do you have any favourite shades?

Christina xo



How Much is Your Face Worth? Part 1.

I've seen this tag swimming around on blogs for a while now. It's intriguing, because I've seen people who use as much as £300+ worth of make-up... for an everyday look (I know, WTF??). For me that seems a bit OTT, but that's just my opinion. I also read Sophia, a.k.a Tattooed Tea-Lady's version, where she did two looks - one where she used the cheapest but best quality products, and then another where she didn't care about the cost, and the difference in price was amazing! (You can read part 1 of that series here and part 2 here). Sophia's posts inspired me to do a similar version, so today I'm going to do my "work" face. Part 2 will be a "going out" look, and we'll see if there's a big difference... That should be up tomorrow, if not, tweet me and give me a kick up the arse to get it done :P

So... moving on to my face (why does that sound wrong??)



Sorry about the ghost-face, the best light I can find at the moment is the natural light from my living room window! So let's break down what I've used and how much:

FACE: 

L'OrĂ©al Paris Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer - £14.29
Stila One-Step Correct Serum - £24 * (Although I got this in the Selfridges box, still counting it, as the question is how much it is worth, NOT how much you paid.)
GOSH BB Cream - £9.99
Vichy Dermablend Concealer - Free Sample
Benefit Hervana Blusher - £23.50
ELF Studio Complexion Perfection - £3.75

EYES:

MUA Eye Primer - £2.50
MUA Dusk til Dawn Palette - £4.00
MUA Eye Pencil in Brown - £1.00
MUA EveryLash Mascara in Brown - £3.00
Eyeko Eyeliner in Pink - £9.50*
Benefit They're Real Mascara - £18.50
ELF Eyebrow Treat and Tame in Light - £3.75

LIPS:

Estelle and Thild Lip Balm - £14.00. * I normally would wear some sort of neutral lippie here too but my lips are still playing up a bit and I didn't want to inflict the horror on you lovely people!

Total worth: £131.78

Good Lord! I had no idea my face was worth so much. Out of fairness I've starred the products that came in beauty boxes and have mentioned where samples were used, but that still seems like so much! Kinda dreading doing a going-out face now, it'll seem crazily expensive compared to this now!! This is my usual work make-up look, very un-fussy, and very much about make-up being able to stay put on my face, as well as not clogging up the pores too much.

What are your thoughts? Do you think your daily make-up would add up to more, less or about the same? Let me know what you think!

Christina xo