Thursday, 31 January 2013

Tag! I'm it! (Again!)

I've been tagged once more, this time by the awesome Helen over at Beautifully Superfluous. The rules are:

1. Answer the 11 Questions set for you.
2. Make up 11 Questions for the 11 people you tag.
3. Mention the blogger that tagged you.
 So here I go, answering Helen's questions!
1. What is your main blogging goal?
 For this year, I would say to reach 100 followers on GFC, but in general, just for people to enjoy reading it. I've recently had some lovely feedback on my blog, and it's spurred me on to keep writing in my own style.
2. Do you have any pets and what are they called?
 Sadly no. Kris is allergic to most long-hair animals, and we don't have the space and time to look after anything exotic. Would love to have a little Jack Russell though; Kris' dad has one called Tanya and we'd love a little tyke like her!
Ain't she sweet!

3. Whats your favourite sweet thing to eat?
 Chocolate muffins. Yum yum yum!
4. What's your favourite book called?
 This has to be the worst question you could ask an English graduate. I'm going to have to pick 3 (make that 5):
1. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
2. Lanark - Alasdair Gray
3. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (yes it's a play, but I read it first) - Tennessee Williams
4. Killing Yourself to Live - Chuck Klosterman.
5. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer.
5. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
Glasgow. I'm a simple creature, I miss my home city.
6. What is your favourite beauty product and why?
 Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara.I have yet to find another mascara that works as well for me :)
7. If you could only wear eye makeup or lip products for the rest of your life which one would you 
  Eyes - I couldn't exist without mascara. Literally, I look like a ghostie without eye make-up on!
8. Whats your favourite piece of clothing and why?
At the moment, the navy cardigan I bought from Primark - you can see it in my haul post here! I wear it constantly -it's cosy and glam at the same time!
9. What's your favourite accessory and why?
The owl ring Kris gave me for Christmas. It's so pretty!

10. Which do you prefer - McDonalds or KFC?
  Neither - I'd rather go for some pub grub ta!
11. What is the one TV programme you just have to watch when it's on?

At the moment, Ripper Street. If you live outwith the UK and haven't heard of it, it's a period drama, set in 1889 around six months after the Jack the Ripper murders. It's about a team of police in Whitechapel trying to bring order to the streets after the the chaos of Jack the Ripper's reign of terror. I think it's really good, and it's just been given a 2nd series by the BBC, huzzah!!

And here are my 11 questions:

1. If you could only watch 1 film for the rest of your life, what would it be?
2. How would you celebrate your next birthday if money was no object?
3. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
4. What is your favourite shop and why?
5. What is your favourite restaurant and what's your favourite dish of theirs?
6. If you could live in any period in history, what would it be?
7. Do you have a sweet tooth, or do you prefer savoury snacks?
8. If you could use only 1 make-up item for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
9. What is your favourite animal?
10. What is your favourite photo?
11. What is your favourite blog?

I'm crap at thinking of folk to tag... so I tag everyone who reads this! Enjoy, and post the link to your answers in the comments if you do this!

Lots of love!

Christina xo

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

100 Day Spending Ban - Week 4

Hi spending ban fans! It's been another fairly uneventful week for me, I've mostly been working, although I finally had a bit of time off on Friday. All I've bought this week so far are some Rimmel Apocalips (with my Boots points, no money!), and some more shampoo since I was running out (Aussie, no offence but I will not compromise on my Aussie!). Oh, and I made my MUA order just after my last update.

(Cutest piggy bank ever!)

This week will be more challenging; I'm taking my friend Kirsty shopping tomorrow in Edinburgh (I'm being her guide to beauty counters if you like) so temptation will be rife! And at the weekend, I'll be heading home to Glasgow for a birthday pub-crawl, but there may be time for some city-centre wanderings... uh oh! I will have Kris with me in Glasgow though, he'll be great at distracting me!

My wish-list is still the same really...

Dr Jart Premium Beauty Balm
MAC Lipstick in Chatterbox
Chanel Perfection Lumiere/VitaLumiere Aqua.

And that's my update! It's a bit short and sweet, but I really have been working pretty continuously at the moment. We're very short staffed, what with holidays, people leaving and one of my staff team sadly passed away over the Christmas holidays. As a result, I'm constantly pulling extra shifts, good because it's more money to save and less time at the shops, bad because I'm shattered half the time!

Anyway, I shall love you and leave you, toodles!

Christina xo

Monday, 28 January 2013

Products I can't live without #1 - Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

Afternoon lovelies! I've decided to try and do a series of reviews based on products I rely on daily to make my face presentable (It's a hard job, I know!). First up is a relatively new addition to my daily make-up routine...

Yup, it's the fabled, ever-lauded Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. I know this has probably been reviewed to death over the years, but I thought I'd share my reasons for loving it and the way in which I use it.

Clarins describes its famous Beauty Flash Balm as follows:

"The ultimate pick-me-up for tired, stressed skin—Clarins best-selling radiance booster helps eliminate signs of fatigue in a flash! Instantly moisturises, brightens and tightens facial contours so skin looks rested and relaxed. Olive and Witch Hazel extracts help smooth the skin’s surface, diffusing the look of lines and wrinkles. Soothing Bisabolol helps restore skin’s youthful glow. Preps skin for perfect make-up application and hours of luminous wear."

We all know what olive and witch-hazel are and what they do, but what is Bisabolol? Well apparently it is a compound derived from camomile, and it is used in cosmetics for its anti-inflammatory, skin healing properties. It's also what gives the Beauty Flash Balm (and I'm guessing quite a few other Clarins products) its light floral scent.

Essentially, Beauty Flash Balm attempts (and succeeds!) to moisturise, reduce redness, irritation and soothe the skin, as well as brightening the skin and acting as a primer to give your foundation a smooth base to rest on.

Most people recommend using this like a primer before applying foundation or as a moisture mask overnight. However, I like to mix this in with my foundation/base of my choice in order to give my bases a more dewy finish.

This mixes really well with all my bases; even the thickest matte foundations I own become more luminous with this, and although it doesn't claim to, I believe this does make a difference to the appearance of my pores also, minimising their appearance. I generally love the finish this gives my skin, it leaves it dewy, glowing but without making my terminally oily skin any worse. Bonus!

I have no idea how I existed without this in my routine. This has even changed my view on the kind of finish I like from my bases. Prior to trying this, I felt like I had to use matte bases because my skin produced so much oil. After using this, I'm beginning to embrace luminous glows and dewy finishes. Yaaaay!

Have you ever tried Clarins Beauty Flash Balm? And what kind of finish do you prefer for your skin?

Christina xo

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Three Horsemen of the Apocalips!

I jumped on the #bblogger bandwagon. Yes I'm weak, but these were too pretty to pass up.

Unless you live on the moon, you will be aware that Rimmel have just released their version of a lip lacquer; they are entitled Apocalips (we'll ignore my annoyance at the misspelling and pun). Rimmel describe them as:

"The earth-shattering lip lacquer from Rimmel London combining the intense colour of lipstick with a lacquer like shine, Apocalips Lip Lacquer is an explosive make-up phenomenon that represents the end of colour as you know it. Packed with pure colour pigments, its lusciously creamy, conditioning formula promises a never-before combination of colour, shine and comfort that last and last. Available in 8 shades, from subtly sexy to spectacular."

As you will see, I went towards the spectacular end of their 8-shade colour spectrum.

  I chose Big Bang (A Hollywood pin-up style bluey red), Apocaliptic (a deep berry-pink) and Stellar (a bright pink-coral). I don't know if you've noticed but I don't do neutral lips! These shades stood out to me the most when I saw them in Boots (They're on 3 for 2 in Boots at the moment, QUICK!). These retail at £5.99 each and having never tried a lip lacquer, I thought this was a reasonably affordable way to try some.
(N.B. Don't worry spending ban fans, these were bought with Boots points!)

(Top - Bottom: Big Bang, Apocaliptic and Stellar)

These live up to Rimmel's claims of creamy application and conditioning the lips; like a lacquer they apply like a gloss but have the pigmentation and colour opacity of lipstick. I can't make any claims to their lasting power, but the colour? My God it packs a punch!

(Top - Bottom: Apocaliptic, Big Bang and Stellar)

As you can see, they have a lovely sheen, akin to a moisturising lipstick, but these feel like a gloss on the lips with an impressive colour pay-off. I understand the hype behind these now! They also have a faint watermelon smell and taste, I know this can put some people off, but I don't mind it.

I'm really glad I caved to the hype now, was worried about people thinking I just bought these to hop on the blogging bandwagon but in reality I'm just that addicted to bright lips!

Have you tried the Apocalips range yet?

UPDATE: I wore Stellar to work last night with a coat of Lipcote over the top, I put it on around 7.30pm, and throughout the night I kissed my boyfriend (eew cooties!), got rained on, ate, drank, blew my nose (gross I know, but need to give you an idea of how rigorous my testing was!) and I didn't have to top up until 5.30am! Granted the colour had faded slightly but it was still there after about 10 hours wear, which is very impressive! I topped up without Lipcote, and the colour held for at least 3 hours before I took it off to go bed, which is pretty good as well. So in essence, these last very well indeed!

Christina xo

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

100 Day Spending Ban - Week 3 Update

After last week's disaster, I knew I had to try harder to stop myself from spending unnecessarily. And I've been very successful... because I've spent all week at work. I have literally been working constantly since last Tuesday (15/1/13) and I won't have another day (I say day, I mean 24 consecutive hours) off work until Friday (25/1/13). This means I won't be near any shops that will lead me to cave. Yaaaay! There is a 'but' to all this though...

I need a new primer.

Now by my own rules, if I don't have something I can replace it, and preferably with something cheaper than what I usually use. I have done this. I usually use L'Oreal Studio Secrets Resurfacing Primer (£14.29), but I am going to try MUA's new Matte Perfect Primer (£4). My only issue is that MUA currently have their 50% off + free delivery offer... and you have to spend a minimum of £30 (£15 after discount). I think I will make a purchase, since I've yet to find any other high street primer that I liked, but I know I'll probably get a lot of stick from fellow spending ban-ers for supposedly caving! Sorry guys, but I want to try this primer and if I can avail myself of an offer that saves me money in the long run, I don't see that to be a bad thing.

And now my wishlist: it has changed slightly this week. It currently consists of:

Dr Jart Premium Beauty Balm
MUA Pro Fixing Mist - I'm going to purchase this in my MUA order, after hearing some really good reviews about it.
MAC Lipstick in Chatterbox.

and now I'd like to add...

                                    PERFECTION LUMIÈRE Long-Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup SPF 10

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation. Or Vita Lumiere Aqua, I haven't quite decided yet. I've seen several reviews of both and I am really impressed with the finish and the quality of Chanel's foundations, so I would love to try one! They are expensive, but I don't mind paying more for a good foundation that lasts and works well for my skin. Plus I love Chanel. It is synonymous with class and elegance and I always feel lovely when I wear their products!

That's my spending ban update! How is everyone else getting on? Remember, spending ban chat on Twitter is 8pm on Thursday. I won't be able to take part this week (I'll be working) but go check it out. And if you want to catch up with other bloggers doing the ban, head over to Marvelle's Blog of Shadows for her comprehensive list of bloggers doing a spending ban. :)

Christina xo

Friday, 18 January 2013

Primark and Dorothy Perkins haul

Guess who broke their spending ban last week?

*shuffles awkardly* That would be me. I went to Edinburgh last Saturday with my mum, and being surrounded by so many beautiful and well-stocked shops (many that we don't have in Kirkcaldy), my willpower and resolved weakened and I ended up buying myself new clothes. Some I needed and some I didn't, and my mum treated me to a few things as well. One of the items I bought I have already reviewed; the Clarins Blush Prodige, and now I shall show you the pretty clothes I splurged on...


Metal bow bag - £8 - This was one of the items my mum treated me to. I love these kinds of accessories; classy, elegant and very lady-like.

Top: Quilted stud slippers - £3, reduced from £8. These were reduced in the sale, and I bought them to match a dress I will show you later (or as it turned out, two dresses!).
Bottom: Multicoloured studded slippers - £6, reduced from £12. This was the other item my mum treated me to. My eye caught these and I just couldn't resist, they're so shiny and sparkly! Plus, because they're multicoloured, they will match many outfits.

Dotty skater dress - £5. I can't believe this was only £5! It's the perfect 'throw-on-and-go' kinda dress: it's stretchy, comfy and effortlessly stylish.

Bow-front chiffon dress - £13. I love blue dresses, and I love bows too so this dress was a match made in heaven for me. This was the dress that made me buy the cream slipper shoes, and I think they will go perfectly with this dress. Can't wait to wear this!

Top: Slubby white/black jumper - £12
Bottom: Western-style studded cardigan - £14

I've been needing some more warm clothes for work (and in general), so I thought I'd invest in some more winter knits. I particularly love this cardigan, the stud patterns are so lovely, and it means the cardigan brightens up any outfit.

After my Primark splurge, I thought I was done. Alas, I still had some Dorothy Perkins vouchers to use from Christmas, so I thought I'd have a nosey on their website and look what I found...


Top: Uttam London bird-print dress - £25.
Middle: Little Dior quilted bag - £39 reduced to £18.70.
Bottom: Charcoal neppy tee - £9.

I loved this dress, plus it matched the Primark shoes and the Little Dior bag so I added this to my shopping basket. The bag was reduced in the sale, and since I don't have many neutral accessories (and I also have an obsession with Chanel 2.55 bags), I knew I wanted this. I'm not normally bothered by labels, but the fact this was also a Little Dior bag attracted me. The t-shirt isn't quite so exciting, I need more tops for work and I liked the plain, laid-back nature of this t-shirt.

So those were my purchases last week, and this was also my first fashion-based post. Let me know what you think: would you like to see more post more about fashion and my style/style in general?

Christina xo

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Clarins Blush Prodige Illuminating Cheek Colour - Miami Pink

If you read my spending ban update this week, you'll know I was a bit naughty and bought lots of clothes and I also used my Debenhams gift card on this little beauty that I'm going to share with you today: the Clarins Blush Prodige Illuminating Cheek Colour in Miami Pink.

It looks extremely pretty no? The shade Miami Pink, as you would expect by the name, is a bright, beachy coral-pink and it comes in this rather gold (plastic) compact within a red velvet pouch.

I don't know if you can see the swatch, but it swatches more pink that coral, but with warm undertones so it gives a really nice flush to the cheeks. I first fell in love with this when I had my make-up applied at my local Clarins counter, and even my mum remarked how lovely this looked on my cheeks. When the MUA showed me the colour in the pan for the first time, I will admit, it did look a bit too bright. However, deftly applied to the cheeks, it doesn't appear too bright and overpowering, and offers a soft pink glow.

You can see it slightly better in the picture with flash, but these pictures still don't quite do this colour justice. I really like this blush, it's bright and perky but without being too over-powering.

You can buy Clarins Blush Prodige from most Clarins counters, and from Debenhams, House of Frasers, Boots and more, generally retailing for around £25 and comes in six shades including Miami  Pink.

Let me know what you think if you've tried this blush. Also, what other Clarins products would you recommend? Just... y'know... for when my ban finishes... :P

Christina xo

Monday, 14 January 2013

100 Day Spending Ban - Week 2 Update

With week 2 comes a weak Christina... yeah I went a bit nuts.

First up, on Tuesday, after posting my successful week 1 update, I went out and bought more cleanser, a scrub and some heat spray (I had run out of heat spray so that was at least justified.) The only reason I caved was because the particular range I'm using from Superdrug is half-price at the moment, so my rationalisation was that it would be cheaper to stock up now at the reduced price, than to wait and pay full price when I run out. I'll leave that up to you guys to decide whether that was more sensible...

On Saturday, I met my Mum in Edinburgh for a bit of a wander and some lunch... the wandering turned into shopping and the rest is history. I bought a tonne of new clothes in Primark (and my Mum also treated me to some new accessories there too) and I finally spent my Debenhams voucher on a very nice Clarins blusher I've had my eye on for a while. And last night, I spent my Arcadia vouchers from Christmas on some new bits from Dorothy Perkins.

Essentially, not the greatest week of my spending ban ever, and possibly one of the worst in the history of spending bans! The one plus side to this week is that my wish-list has shrunk slightly (if you want to see the list, click here.) - I'm no longer enamoured with the Clarins Rouge Eclat Eye Quartet, after swatching it in Edinburgh, and realising that I already own similar shades in various palettes and singles.

In due course, I shall share the spoils of my weakness with you, in the mean time, here is Grumpy Cat's summation of my week...

Congratulations. A Perfect 'Zero'.

How is everyone else getting along with their spending bans?

Christina xo

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Get Fit, Feel Epic - A Competition and a Challenge

I am the world's laziest bum.

Yes, you read that correctly, I am the world's laziest bum. That is a statement of fact, mixed in with a little smidge of shame too. You may remember that I mentioned in my 2013 Goals Post that I wanted to be healthier. This involved drinking less, eating less crappy foods and exercising more. How am I getting along with this? 2 out of 3 of these have happened entirely by accident; I used to be prone to a cheeky glass of wine with dinner every evening, now I've been either drinking water or fruit teas. I used to be really bad for eating huge portions and pigging out on junk food constantly, now I'm eating less during the day and my boyfriend Kris is helping to control my portions at meals. The lack of drinking and the eating less during the day occurred because since New Year I'd been suffering with the flu, so my appetite went flying out the window.

Where I've been less active is getting more exercise, which brings me back to my original statement: I am the world's laziest bum! I know why I've been lazy so far though; Since the bells heralded the beginning of 2013, I've either been ill or working (both at times too.). Right now, however, I have a week off work, and still not much has happened. After seeing this "Get Fit, Feel Epic" competition over at Sandra's Black Pearl Blog, I've decided to use this post as my manifesto to help me get fit and feel epic!

Under the heading of getting fit and feeling epic then, I've set myself some mini-goals to (hopefully) help me and give me a skeen bootin' (kick up the back side if you want the English translation).

1. Getting Fit - Don't get the bus you lazy swine!

Let me explain... Right outside my front door is a bus-stop. Only one service goes past, and it's every 15 minutes. It's called the K6 and it's a local service that takes me down into the town centre. Convenient no? NO! It's only a 15 minute walk into the town centre, so I need to stop using this devil-bus and walk more. Small step, but walking everywhere helps.

2. Getting fit - Use your diary.

During the summer, I attempted to either go jogging in the morning or swimming in the afternoon every day. When you work on a shift pattern, that's a terrible idea, because with rota shifts and extra shifts coming out of every orifice, it leaves very little time and energy to do so much exercise. What does work however, is scheduling time for it. Such an obvious thing to say, but it makes such a difference. If I set aside 2-3 days a week where I can do more exercise it will make all the difference in the world. Not only will I be helping myself become physically healthy, but mentally I will feel epic, knowing that when I put my mind to it I can be healthy.

For me getting fit isn't really about losing weight, although ideally I'd like to do that as well as a by-product. I just want to make sure that I'm looking after myself and not eating/drinking myself into an early grave (as some Scots are prone to do with our penchant for all things deep-fried...) In a perfect world, I'd like to get back to being as size 10/12 as I was when I was about 19, but I'd be just as happy if I stay the way I am now, because I'd rather be happy and healthy than painfully thin and miserable because I can't eat anything I want to. Not that that will happen anyway, I have boobs, hips and an arse, always have done and I always will!

This is what I looked like at my slimmest. I was happy then but that's not to say I'm not equally happy now. I just want to be healthy and not feel like crap!

Feeling Epic

Us lucky folk in the UK get to see the adverts for Money Supermarket, so whenever someone says "Feel Epic" this is how we hear it:

To help myself feel epic, I'm going to do a number of things.

1. Pay someone a compliment every day. I don't want to do this in any kind of forced or contrived way, I just want to spread the love and remind people that they're brilliant, fabulous and beautiful :) Awww!

2. Challenge myself. I'm already doing this in a way; I'm organising a fundraising gig night in March for the charity I work for, Scottish Autism. Last year, I abseiled down the side of the Forth Rail Bridge for them and raised £641, and I felt so good about meeting that challenge so I thought I would do that this year too by organising this concert. It's something I've never tried before and I am terrified but still excited about it at the same time. It feels good knowing I'm trying something new and helping people with a difficult condition too.

3. Don't be so hard on myself. This is going to be extremely difficult for me. I am the world's most neurotic worrier and I panic about the most ridiculous things. I am very lucky my boyfriend has a lot of patience and understanding for me, but I really need to learn to relax and not to sweat the small stuff. I'm also really critical of myself and I need to focus on the positives more.

And just to remind myself that I'm not that bad, here's a picture from my abseil:

I was completely shitting myself at this point, but I made it to the bottom. BOOYAH!

So hopefully, this is all going to help me get fit and feel epic! Now that I've put this into words, I have to do it :P at least that's the theory right?

Here goes nothing...

Christina xo

I've been tagged... Again...

The lovely Chloe over at "It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn" has tagged me, so I thought I'd answer the tag!

Answer the 11 set questions, made by me :D 
Set 11 questions for the 11 people you tag to answer
Mention the blog who tagged you

1. What was the best moment of your life so far?
 Probably graduating first time around (I have 2 degrees!) Here's me on my graduation day, and in full Harry Potter style robes...

2. Which do you prefer, books or films? Why?
 Books. I'm an English graduate, remember? There's nothing better than reading a good (real) book. I like my Kindle but it just isn't the same.
3. Describe your perfect wardrobe.
 One with a Mulberry Bayswater, Hermes Birkin and a Chanel 2.55 in it :P Oh and lots of Louboutin shoes too...
4. Animation or real people?
 Animation, or anything by Pixar. So, so good!

5. What's your favourite high street store?
 Probably New Look, always has gorgeous dresses that I want and shouldn't really buy!
6. Who is your favourite super hero? Why?
Batman! I cannot get enough of Batman. He's just so bad-ass...
7. Which do you prefer, sandwiches or wraps?
 Sandwiches. Nothing beats a good bacon and fried egg butty :P
8. Describe your perfect world.
 One where bacon doesn't make you fat, all make-up costs £1 by law and Ben and Jerry's ice-cream is ridiculously expensive...
9. Do you have any pets?
 Nope, I used to have a guinea pig though. Would love a pet hedghog actually...
10. What are you looking to achieve this year? 
 Hopefully, a move back to Glasgow, for my blog to become better and to try to be healthier. This last part is failing miserably though, since I just went out for pancakes and a fry-up with my mum. Nom!
11. What would your last meal be on Earth should something awful happen?
Mushroom bruschetta, followed by Surf 'n' Turf Steak with chips from the Two Figs in Glasgow (their chips are so damn tasty y'see...) rounded off with a hot choc fudge brownie with Mackie's Raspberry ripple (Do they do a raspberry ripple? I hope so, their ice-cream is amazing!)

Right: now for my 11 questions:

1. What's your favourite thing about where you live?
2. What is your favourite TV show and why?
3.Where is your favourite place in the world?
4. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be, why and what would you call it?
5. If you could make one law for the world, what would it be?
6. What is your favourite drink? Alcoholic or otherwise...
7.What's the one item of clothing or make-up that you just cannot live without?
8. If you won big on the Lottery, what would be the first thing you'd do?
9. What is your favourite memory of 2012?
10. Who would play you in a film about your life?
11. What's your favourite restaurant and your favourite dish from said restaurant?

I tag... everyone! I'm not big on picking people so I reckon everyone should have a go! :) Let me know if you do it and I'll come and have a read...

Christina xo

Thursday, 10 January 2013

40 Questions - Beauty Tag

I do love a good tag! I saw this on Stacey's blog over at Journey of a Thousand Miles and thought I'd give it a go :)


-How many times do you wash your face daily?
Twice, because I'm a good little b-blogger!

-What skin type do you have? (dry,oily,combo) 
It's a combination of normal/oily but with a few cheeky dry patches here and there.

-What is your current facial wash?
Superdrug's Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser and I also use Clarins Water Purify One-Step Cleanser for removing make-up.

-Do you exfoliate?
Yes, I exfoliate every other day.

-What brand do you use?
For...exfoliating? Body Shop, quite a lot of my skincare comes from the Body Shop.

-What moisturiser do you use?
I use No.7 Moisturiser for Oily Skin. Can't mind the full title :P

-Do you have freckles?

I do indeed! Lucky me, my mum always mistakes them for smudges and tries to get them off... til she realises it's my skin.

-Do you use eye cream?
Yes, I use Body Shop's Elderflower Gel. So light and refreshing on the eyes :)

-Do you or did you have acne prone skin?

Not really, I had a few spots but I never had full-blown acne.

-Did you ever have to use Pro-activ?
Nope... what's that?


-What foundation do you use?
I use a few, GOSH BB Cream, 17 Miracle Matte, Benefit's Hello Flawless, Dior Forever Flawless.

-How about concealer?
Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer.
-Do you know your undertone colour?
I think it's pink.
-What do you think of fake eyelashes?
I've only worn them once or twice. I don't mind them but I wouldn't use them often.
-Did you know that you are suppose to change your mascara every 3 months?
Yes, but I never do, I'm a lazy blogger :P
-What brand of mascara do you use?
I use Max Factor and Benefit mainly, but I use quite a few different ones.
-Sephora or MAC?
MAC, I've never tried any Sephora. Would be nice though... *hint hint*
-Do you have a MAC Pro-card?
... Is it bad I have no idea what that is?

-What makeup tools do you use in make up application?
I use Real Techniques and ELF brushes.

-Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes?
I use either an MUA primer or I've just started using an Urban Decay one too.
-For the face?
I use either L'Oreal Studio Secrets, or Benefit's Porefessional.

-What is your favourite eyeshadow (colour or shade)?
I love a good green shade :)

-Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?
-How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?
Not at all actually, though now I've said that I probably will lol!
-What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?
If I had a more deft hand I'd be fine, but I find them a bit messy.
-Do you use mineral makeup?
No, I've been told I should though, but I hate mineral powder foundations.
-What is your favourite lipstick?
I love my Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet. It is my absolute favourite!

-How about lipgloss?
I'm loving my Stila Lip Glazes at the moment :)

-What is your favourite blush to use?
Benefit's Hervana.

-Do you buy your makeup on ebay?
Never, I wouldn't mind though, but it's hard to check the quality and the validity of the product so that makes me wary...
-Do you like drugstore makeup?

-Do you go to CCO's? (cosmetic company outlets)
Nope, we don't have one of them in Fife.

-Did you ever consider taking make-up classes?
-Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?
Yes, particularly with eyeliner!
-Name a makeup crime that you hate?
Wearing the wrong foundation shade, going too dark. The Wotsit look is not a good one ladies...
-Do you like colourful shades of makeup (lipstick,eyeshadow) or neutral ones?
I love it! Would wear bright colours more often if I could.
-Which celebrity always has great make up?
Blake Lively. My god she is so beautiful!
-If you could leave the house using just ONE make up item,what would you use?
Primer. On the days I can't be bothered it's all I'll put on.

-Could you ever leave the house without any makeup on?
Yes, I do it all the time :)

-Do you think you look good even without any makeup on?
You'd be better asking my boyfriend that :P

-In your opinion, what is the BEST makeup line?
For drug-store, MUA, for high-end I'd go for either Chanel or Benefit.

-What do you think of Makeup??
  I can't get enough of it! Love it love it love it!

If you want to do this tag, go forth and do it!

Christina xo

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

100 Day Spending Ban - Week 1 Update

Is that 1 week of 2013 gone already? Time flies when you're... stuck in the house with the flu for most of it! Yes, this has been a pretty successful 1st week of my spending ban, if only because I've only left the house to go to the corner shop for supplies whilst I was ill, and then to work when I was feeling better. I haven't bought a single thing, and I've even held off on using the vouchers I got for Christmas so far (after a bit of humming and hawing on Twitter about it.)

I have been eyeing up several things though, so I thought I'd share my little wish-list with you:

1. Dr Jart Premium Beauty Balm.

I used up some samples of this recently and I really love it. When I finish my current BB cream (GOSH if you're interested, really good), and when the ban is finished, I think I will invest in this.

2. MUA Pro Base Fixing Mist.

I've never tried a make-up fixer before, and since MUA are consistently pretty good, I think I'd like to give this a try.

3. Clarins Rouge Eclat Eye Quartet.

I saw this a while ago on British Beauty Blog and I instantly thought it was beautiful. This is the product that has been testing my resolve the most this week, mainly because it's a limited edition product and I have no idea how long it will be available for. I don't want to miss my chance!

4. MAC Lipstick in Chatterbox.

I've been wanting to treat myself to another MAC lippie for a while, and after seeing Chatterbox over on Tattoed Tealady's blog, this has been the shade I'm craving. I love pinks, and this just looks beautiful!

Overall, the 1st 7 days of no-buy have gone well, if only due to staying inside. Hope everyone else is doing well too! :)

Christina xo

Monday, 7 January 2013

Urban Decay - Smoked Palette

WARNING: This post contains pictures of my face. Close up. *Shudders*

UPDATE: I just noticed, this is my 50th post! Wooooo! And what a post I have for you...

You may remember (if you read my posts consistently, if you don't, why not?? :P) that for Christmas, my boyfriend Kris gave me the Urban Decay Smoked Palette. This is a palette I swooned over for months, so to finally own it was a joyous moment indeed! I literally squeaked when I opened it, that's how much I'd coveted it (and how much of a sad case I am.).

Each Smoked Palette comes in this lovely neoprene, scuba-suit-type feeling case, and is accompanied by a 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion (Black), a travel sized Primer Potion and a handy little look book, which contains tutorials on how to use the shades to create different smoky-eyed looks.

The shades are, in order from L-R then top-bottom:
  • Kinky – Light natural peach with a matte finish.
  • Freestyle – Medium tan with a matte finish.
  • Mushroom – Warm grey shimmer with taupe undertones.
  • Backdoor – Matte dark brown.
  • Blackout – Matte blackest black.
  • Barlust – Metallic deep golden brown.
  • Rockstar – Deep purple shimmer.
  • Evidence – Navy blue shimmer.
  • Loaded – Deep metallic emerald green.
  • Asphalt – Shimmering gunmetal grey.
Sorry, I forgot to watch the eye pencil. Suffice to say it's extremely good quality; it is light, creamy, applies well, and comes in Perversion (black). So far I've only tried some light smokiness with this, but in the spirit of full reviewing, I tried one of the looks from the little tutorial guide. I went for a look titled: "Iconic with Colour."

Yeah it doesn't look much like the book, but I tried!! I do like the way it turned out though; smoky but subtle enough it doesn't look terrifying against my pale visage. I used Kinky, Freestyle, Loaded and Backdoor to create this look. Let me know what you think of the look!

Overall, I am so impressed with this palette. This is my first piece from Urban Decay, and it appears their eye products are of a very high quality, in keeping with the hype that surrounds them. I would definitely buy more products from their range. Not right now though, I am determined to stick to this no-buy come hell or high water! I think you can still buy the Smoked Palette online from a number of retailers, including Beauty Bay and House of Fraser.

Do you own/want to own the Smoked Palette? Any Urban Decay recommendations for me?

Christina xo

Skincare: Home and Away Part 2

On Friday I shared with you the skincare routine I follow while I'm at home. Some of you may know that I am a support worker for adults with autism, and that job sometimes involves staying overnight at work on night-shifts and sleepover shifts. In addition to that, I also travel home to Glasgow often, so having a good travel skincare routine is crucial. I thought it might be interesting to show you guys what I use on the go as well, since people seem to have enjoyed my first post!

Yes I use face-wipes. So sue me. For some reason, quite a lot of beauty bloggers have a problem with face-wipes (I don't know what or why), and they seem to look down upon using wipes. For me, these T-Zone Shine Control Cleansing Wipes are brilliant at taking all my make-up off fast, reduces shine and also have tea-tree oil so it means they help a bit with breakouts. The reason I use face-wipes is that in my line of work, you never know when something might happen, or when someone might need you, so there's not always enough time to do a full cleanse-tone-etc. routine, so these wipes come in handy for that. The link will take you to an online retailer, but if you live near a Home Bargains store, they sell these for 49p a pack. BARGAIN!!

If I have time to do a full routine, whether at work or if I'm away, I start by cleansing with DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. This was the infamous mini given away with a Glossybox and I'm still working my way through it. Self explanatory: rub into face, leave for 1 minute, then rinse. Done! This bottle is nearly finished, and as much as I like it I can't rebuy it (Damn you no-buy!). Next up, I have a travel size bottle of my favourite Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Toner, because it's the one product I can't travel without! After toning, I use a serum, No.7 Pore Refining Serum. I use this in my travel bag for 2 reasons: 1. My pores are craterous and 2. It's the only serum I have that's travel friendly (i.e. it's not a sachet.). It's good for reducing the size of my pores, but I should really try to use it more often to reap the benefits. Because it's currently winter, I'm using Body Shop's Vitamin E Moisture Cream for moisturising, which is doing wonders for balancing out the dry and oily parts of my skin, leaving it more evenly matched. And for spots, my trusted T-Zone Spot Zapping Stick, from Home Bargains.

There are some similar products in here and in my home routine, but my general rule for travel skincare is don't let it take up too much bag space. Which is why I take as many minis as possible. Body Shop are particularly good for offering travel sizes of their best skincare products, and whenever you can, ask at counters for sample sizes. If you don't ask, you don't get so it's always worth a shot!

That's my travel skincare routine and my tips; how do you take care of your skin when you travel? What products can you simply not travel without?

Christina xo

Friday, 4 January 2013

Skincare - Home and Away!

Since the bells rang in 2013 I have not worn a single ounce of make-up! No base, no mascara, not one single piece of make-up has graced my skin. Mainly because I've had the flu since New Year and have barely left the house, lucky me. Today, since the only thing I've been using since then is skincare, I would take you through my daily skincare routine, what I use and why. Also, since I do overnight shifts at work quite frequently, I thought I would show you what skincare I use when I travel too! So here we go...


For cleansing I like to begin with Superdrug's Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser. This is my first foray into using such cleansers, but I really like this, it has a very light fragrance, and it cleanses well, leaving my skin feeling refreshed and looking bright. If I'm removing make-up first however, I will use Clarins Water Purify One Step Cleanser with a cotton wool pad. This is great at removing all traces of make-up (though for mascara I tend to just use water, I don't like eye make-up removers).

Next: exfoliation. I use Body Shop's Pore Cleansing Facial Exfoliator. This a great scrub for me; I like scrubs that are quite chunky and scrubby (know what I mean?), and this fits the bill. My skin always feels extra smooth after using this.

Some people don't like to use toners, but I feel I need to in order to reduce the amount of oil and open pores on my face, so for that I use Body Shop's Seaweed Clarifying Toner. It's light, not harsh on the skin, but does the job I need it to do. And it does it well too!

My next step is to use a serum/facial oil. At the moment, I am working through some samples of Lancome Genefique. It is amazing, my skin is smoother, more radiant when I use it. If only it didn't cost £56 for the smallest bottle! Even though I've managed to stretch out a 5 day sample pack into nearly 3 weeks worth of usage, I'm still not entirely convinced that this is worth so much money. My preferred option for this step is Antipodes Avocado Oil and Rosehip Divine Facial Oil. This is very rich, and it does take some time to fully sink into the skin, but it has helped so much with my spots (when I have them) and it smells divine, as the name would suggest!

Moisturiser is my next step, and at the moment I'm using No.7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream for Oily Skin. For a moisturiser designed for oily skin, this is actually quite thick, more akin to a moisturiser for drier skin types, however it doesn't make my skin feel greasy, and it provides the right amount of moisture for my skin. At this point I also like to use an eye cream/gel. I know some people don't really see the point of these, but the one I use at the moment, Body Shop's Elderflower Cooling Eye Gel has made the skin under my eyes feel firmer and, I might be having some kind of placebo effect here, it appears to have reduced the dark circles under my eyes. For added benefit, I keep this in my fridge; this keeps it cool and means you get an extra boost of freshness when you apply it, great for a kick on those early rises!

When my skin needs a deep clean, instead of cleansing I'll start off with a face mask instead. The two I use at the moment are Eve Lom's Rescue Mask (which is lovely, but smells weird and doesn't seem to do much) and Lush's Cupcake Fresh Face Mask (which smells like chocolate, reduces shine and redness, and leaves my skin fresh and non-oily.).

Also, an extra product I use when I get spots is T-Zone Spot Zapping Stick. This is a little rollerball with tea-tree oil which you rub over your spots and this will reduce redness, swelling and keep the area cleam. This always yields results for me and I've used this for years. I usually buy this from my local Home Bargains, so if you have a store near you, have a look because it's usually much cheaper there than elsewhere.

That's my skincare routine in a nut-shell! What products do you use in your routines?

Christina xo