Thursday, 28 February 2013

Make-Up Academy Matte Perfect Primer

I picked up this primer in MUA'S 50% bonanza (I actually picked up 2 - my previous primer ran out before my order arrived so I nabbed one in my local shop to tide me over). 
At first glance, it seems to me that this primer is trying (and in my opinion, failing) to be a dupe for Benefit's Porefessional (which I like). I like a primer that can mattify and, to an extent, control oil on my face, as well as trying to smooth over and minimize what I like to call my 'Moon Face' i.e. craterous pores. Benefit are capable of this with Porefessional, but can MUA do it with their offering?
Short answer: no. It does mattify my skin before I apply my foundation, but beyond that it doesn't seem to do much else. It just... sits there. Doing nothing. Lazy bastard (not sure why I'm anthropomorphizing my primer but ho hum...). In all fairness, for £4/2 in 50% sale is a small price to pay for a primer that does half the job I need it to so I shouldn't complain too much. I've included some before and after pictures of my skin with and without primer. WARNING: My skin is not pretty at the moment... :P

As you can see, there's not an awfully big difference; some of my pores have been blurred but there are still a lot of visible pores (as well as a few annoying spots that have popped up, yuk!)
As I said previously, I shouldn't complain too much considering how cheap this is, but I won't be purchasing MUA's Matte Perfect Primer again, sorry.

Christina xo

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

100 Day Spending Ban - Week 8

Hi there spending ban fans!

I've been pretty good again this past week. Considering I could have slipped into buying things as a means to make myself feel better, that's pretty impressive. My only purchase has been a pair of tights to wear to my grampa's funeral (£3.50 from M+S).

One thing I have noticed this week is that I'm beginning to realise what I place value on in the beauty world. I think investing money in good skin-care and good base products are important, such as good foundations, and particularly a good primer (I am not a fan of the MUA one I am using at the moment... more on that in another post.) 
As we get older, it's important that we begin to look after our skin. Personally, I wouldn't consider surgery to retain my looks, I would rather look after my skin as much as possible now and in later life, because I believe growing old gracefully is the most beautiful thing any woman can do. :)
My wishlist stays the same:
 1. Dior BB Cream
2. Chanel VitaLumiere Aqua.
3. Dr Jart Premium Beauty Balm.
4. MAC Lipstick in Chatterbox.
5. Lancome Genefique Youth Activator.
6. Illamasqua L'Imperfection Nail Polish in Fragile.
7. Marks and Spencer's Limited Collection Multi Blush.
8. Sleek Aqua Collection. 
One day it will (hopefully) all be miiiine :P
Over and out mes amies,
Christina xo  

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

100 Day Spending Ban - Week 7 Update

Woohoo, Week 7 means we're nearly half-way through this blasted spending ban. Yee-ha!

I don't have an awful lot to report this week unfortunately, other than I was sorely tempted to buy some new clothes this week. However there was a reason why I wanted a new outfit. Sadly on Sunday evening my grampa passed away after a long illness, so I was considering investing in a new black dress for that. In addition to the funeral, I will als be attending the closing gala of the Glasgow Film Festival (exciting!) and... the UK premiere of Joss Whedon's new film, his adaptation of the Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing. Wooo! And not only that, but the man himself will be there! Even more exciting :)

So all in all, a good week for my wallet (ish), and a mixed emotional week to come...

No changes to my wishlist either, if you want to read my full list as it stands then take a peek at my update from last week here.

Sorry I haven't blogged much lately, as I mentioned above things are a bit rough right now, so I'm not quite feeling my usual witty and sarcastic self, feeling more grumpy and miserable than anything else. Kinda like this...

Now I know this one might seem terrible to laugh at, and a bit close-to-the-bone for some, but it made me laugh out loud today, which meant a lot. So enjoy (or complain righteously. Whichever you prefer really...)

Christina xo

Monday, 18 February 2013

Products I Can't Live Without #3 - Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara

Hello, my name is Christina and I am a mascara-holic.

*Phew* Glad I got that off my chest! I have anything up to 12 mascaras at any one time, though at the moment I have less because I'm trying to work through them instead of buying new ones during my spending ban. However, there is one mascara that I always rely on and continually return to...

Max Factor False Lash Effect (FLE) Mascara (in Black-Brown). I think it was around 18 months ago that I first tried it. And ever since then I have always had a tube, either of the classic FLE or of their new formulas that they bring out from time to time (Fusion, 24-hr and at the moment I'm using Clump Defy formula).

So why is it a main-stay in my make-up collection then? Quite simply, I'm blessed with long lashes but with squat volume. Max Factor FLE provides that volume. Wearing this, I've had people commenting on my eyelashes, saying they look long enough to be fake... never sure if that's a compliment or not, but it's clearly the desired effect Max Factor were after when they created this!

For me, I have eyes that are not hooded nor small, so the large rubberised wand is fine (read: fantastic) for me, although me being me I usually blob it everywhere because I'm so clumsy! However I know for some that the wand is too big and causes more mess than it helps. For most formulas, this is the standard type of wand. At the moment though, the Clump Defy FLE is different...

Hopefully you'll be able to see that the wand on this is smaller with a curved and a flat edge, in order to define the lashes more without making them clump into one big mess. Unfortunately you will have to take my word for it that this works brilliantly - at the moment my face is not fit for public consumption. However, rest assured that I would not be recommending Clump Defy FLE so highly if I didn't have every faith in it. My lashes look long, fluttery and well-defined using this, and you can build up as many layers as you like without lashes looking clumpy.

I will always have a Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara of some description in my make-up collection. If you wish to add one to your collection, the range is available from most Boots and Superdrug stores and online, averaging at £10.99.

Christina xo

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

100 Day Spending Ban - Update 6

Hello ladies (and gents too)! Sorry for the slightly later spending ban update, life is always busy it seems...

Well this week has been successful, no items have been bought, either out of necessity (i.e. stuff I needed like shampoo etc.) or frivolity. There have been a few more items tempty-tempting me this week, so I have a few additions to make to my wish-list.

In addition to:

1. Dior BB Cream
2. Chanel VitaLumiere Aqua.
3. Dr Jart Premium Beauty Balm.
4. MAC Lipstick in Chatterbox,

We now also have:

5. Lancome Genefique Youth Activator. This has actually something I've been wanting for over a year now. I keep receiving/scarfing samples from various sources, but I would still love a full-size bottle. One day...


6. Illamasqua L'Imperfection Nail Polish in Fragile. I love all the nail polish from Illamasqua's new range, but I am particularly fond of this beautiful blue shade. Reminds me ofCadbury's Mini Eggs!

Nail Varnish in Fragile

7. Marks and Spencer's Limited Collection Multi Blush. I may cave and buy this, seeing as it's only £6 (bargain!) It's just so pretty and cute!

8. Sleek Aqua Collection. I want pretty much everything here. Maybe it's because I'm getting a bit fed up with all the wintry weather and fancying some bright summery colours to cheer me up? Maybe it's because I'm a colour magpie, drawn to shiny bright things! Who knows/who cares: WANT!

(Had to borrow this pic from a blog, not sure where it came from because I just Googled and hoped for the best. Sorry if it's yours! Not meaning to thieve :()

So that's my wish-list for this week. Speaking of wintry weather, who else has snow at the moment? This is what it currently looks like from my living room window...

To my fellow spending ban-ers: Keep strong! :)

Christina xo

Monday, 11 February 2013

A Triple Threat Liebster Award!

An awesome thing happened this week - I got nominated for a Liebster award... THREE TIMES! I was very honoured to receive these nominations from the lovely ladies Katie (of Oh To Feel Pretty fame), Bellissima Beauty and Catriona Louise from Sitting Under the Apple Tree, so in the spirit of doubles - I'm going to do a double whammy: I will give 33 random facts about myself, answer the questions from each blogger and then set my own 11. Aren't you lucky people! :P

The rules are:
  • Each person must post 11 (33) things about themselves
  • Answer the questions that the nominator set for you, plus create 11 questions for the people that you've nominated to answer
  • Nominate 11 other people and link them to your post.
  • Go to their page and tell them.
  • No tag backs! 
And so, to my 33 facts!
1. I used to be an Irish Dancer - I wasn't a world champ or anything but I was pretty good. I hated the fake tans and the wigs though...

2. I can play the flute.

3.Apparently I don't sound Glaswegian, even though I'm from Glasgow. If someone could tell me what I'm meant to sound like that would be much appreciated...

4. I'm a bit of an Xbox fiend; my favourite games are the Mass Effect series ("I'm Commander Shepard and this is my favourite blog on the internet." :P)

5. I have never camped. And I never will. 

6. I once went speed-dating and it was a brilliant night. I had so much fun and got a date! Turned out to be an arse, but still...

7. My musical guilty (sorry, not sorry!) pleasure has to be Ke$ha...

8. I have two degrees: an undergraduate Masters in English Language (i.e. Linguistics) and Literature and a PGDE in Secondary Teaching (English). I haz a smarts :P

9. My undergraduate dissertation was on Zadie Smith, Monica Ali and how their novels symbolised a move from postcolonial literature into "Multicultural Literature", whilst still retaining some of the key themes and symbolisms that were used in postcolonial literature. Actually enjoyed writing it...

10. My favourite poets are Edwin Morgan and Dylan Thomas.

11. My alcoholic drink of choice would be gin. Except Gordon's. That shite tastes nasty.

12. My favourite bands are Runrig, Idlewild, Less than Jake, Queen and Thin Lizzy.

13. My favourite solo artists are Joshua Radin, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, and Ludovico Einaudi.

14. I get on terrifyingly well with my parents. Most people seem to have had years of arguing and tantrums in their teens but I never had that. Meh.

15. I have slight fear of ladders - it's the fear of falling off them. 

16. My pet hate when reading a blog is poor grammar. Take note.

17. I hate saying the word 'moist'. *shudders*

18. My favourite city to visit is Barcelona. It is such a visually stunning city!

19. I'm a city kid, and the thought of living in the country does not appeal in the slightest. I feel like I'm trapped in rural hell in Kirkcaldy and it's a huge town with 50,000 people for goodness sake!

20. I can't drive and have no intention of learning. I have no need of a car, I definitely won't need one once I move back to Glasgow (there is never anywhere to park so what's the point?) and I've witnessed too many car accidents to ever want to learn.

21. I might be Scottish, but I hate ceilidhs. If I wanted to watch lots of English people tripping over their own feet, I would go and watch an England footy match.

22. One of my ambitions in life is to throw a steak at Morrissey during one of his "Meat is Murder" rants, just because I'd like to see how he'd react.

23. I hate Starbucks and Amazon, for the simple fact they don't pay taxes. Pay up tight-wads!

24. I hate wearing jeans and I feel much more comfortable wearing dresses.

25. My all-time favourite TV show would have to be "The O.C." - "You're talking to a boat, Seth." "Yeah, I talk to a plastic horse, too. But that never worries anyone."

26. I am crap at doing house-work. 

27. I do not understand the trend for Geek t-shirts that's lurking around the high street. I have yet to see someone who is actually a geek in the true sense of the word actually wearing those shirts.

28. My favourite foods are calamare, steak and bacon. If I could have all of these in a meal that would be amazing.

29. My favourite thing to bake is blueberry muffins. 

30. I love tea, all different kinds. At the moment, my favourite is Twinings Cranberry Green Tea. 

31. I'm getting into my anime; at the moment I'm enjoying Ghost in the Shell. 

32. I love watching Adventure Time - the cutest cartoon ever!

33. I love owls. I had a falconry lesson for my 21st birthday and I would love to do it again!

Me with a European Eagle Owl... I think...

And now to the questions!

Bellissima Beauty

 1)Why did you start blogging?

I started because I needed somewhere to talk about some of the horribleness I felt after deciding to leave teaching. After a while, it evolved into a beauty blog and the rest is history.

2)What's your all time favorite movie?

Up. I cry solidly during the opening montage but I love it. I am banned from watching it too often because of how much I cry through it :P
3) What was the first beauty product you ever bought?

I think it was a purple Glitter Babes nail polish from Boots. Do they still exist?
 4)What is your job/what are you studying in school or college?

I'm a support worker for adults with autism, working for a charity called Scottish Autism. Check out our website and the work we do :)
5)What's your favorite song at the minute?

Warrior by Ke$ha - total guilty (not really) pleasure but love the lyrics "We were born to break the doors down and fight until the end, it's something that's inside of us, it's how we've always been."
6)Who is your favorite blogger?

My favourite blogger is my friend Claire. Eyelining Obsessions is full of her honest reviews and her witty take on life!
7)Are you a summer or winter person?

Summer, at the moment winter is annoying me. 
8)What perks you up when you're in a bad mood?

  Brace yourself for the twee overload... A cuddle from my boyfriend. (bleurgh)
9)Do you sing to yourself in the car/shower?

Not in the shower, but in the bath yes.
10)What TV show do you love?

At the moment I'm loving Ripper Street :)
11)What's your favorite thing about yourself?
Again, brace yourself for a mushy moment: My capacity for caring. I worry about people, I help anywhere I can and I care deeply about my family, friends, boyfriend, colleagues and the adults I care for too.  

Katie's Questions: 
  1. What's your biggest beauty sin?
    Forgetting to take my make-up off when I'm drunk. I am terrible for that!
  1. If you had to eat at one restaurant/eatery once a week for the next year which would you pick?
    Velvet Elvis/Criterion in Glasgow's West End - Technically it's two gastro-pubs that are owned by the same people and share a kitchen. But hey, it means plenty of choice :P
  1. Favourite movie you saw in 2012? 
    Probably Batman: A Dark Knight Rises. I don't really enjoy the cinema much to be honest. 
  1. If you could look like any celebrity who would you pick?
    Christina Hendricks - she is genuinely the most beautiful woman ever!
  1. Which beauty products are top five on your wish list?
    Lancome Genefique, Dior BB Cream, Omorovicza's Deep Cleansing Mask, Chanel VitaLumiere Aqua and MAC lipstick in Chatterbox.
  1. What's your favourite place in the world?
    Glasgow on a sunny afternoon, sitting outside Bar West, in the Templeton Carpet Factory with an ice-cold stein of St Mungo's lager. Yum!
  1. If you could go on holiday to anywhere in the world where would you most like to go?
    Necker Island - the island owned by Richard Branson. Apparently you can hire it out, but I don't imagine it'll be cheap...
  1. Favourite name for a boy?
    Ruaridh - have to love a good, strong Gaelic name. 
  1. Favourite name for a girl?
    I might sound vain, but I kinda like my own name, Christina!
  1. Do you own any complete boxsets of TV shows or movie series? Which ones?
    I own all season of "The O.C." - I think that's about it...
  1. Zombies, Werewolves, Vampires or Witches?
          None of the above to be honest...

Catriona's Questions: 

1. What was the first blog you ever read?

It was my friend Claire's blog, Eyelining Obsessions. 
2. Your favourite ice cream flavour? 

Mint chocolate chip :)

3. Favourite shop on the high street?

Probably New Look :) always finding pretty dresses there, much to the dismay of my bank balance!
4. Do you own anything designer?

I own plenty of designer make-up, mainly from Chanel but I don't own any clothes or handbags that are designer.
5. Do you have a pet? (Adorable pictures earn brownie points, hehe)

I wish! Closest I have to a pet is Kris' dad's little Jack Russell, Tanya. She's lovely :) 

6. What's your dream home like?

I have an exact address in mind: Lancefield Quay in Glasgow. There's a block of flats right next to the river and the penthouse is incredible. Over two floors, and its living area has 3 of 4 walls made of glass. Stunning - here's one of the other flats to give you an idea.
7. Which of the main cities in the world is your favourite? (Paris, London, New York, Rome etc.)

I've only ever been to London, but I would love to visit Paris and New York. 
8. Do you have any siblings?

I have a little brother, Andrew. I say little, he's been taller than me since he was 13. He'll be 20 in May (fuck that makes me feel old...)

 That's me and Andrew just before Christmas :P
9. Favourite colour?

10. What was your first blog post about?

It was about how I felt after leaving teaching, and how much anxiety I had to deal with. It's not a nice read, otherwise I would link it. 
11. And finally, have you ever met anybody famous?

Quite a few. I met Baron Attenborough at a hotel in Glasgow (I was 2 and he told my dad he thought I was beautiful, aww!), I've met various bands and musicians. Quite a few folk actually, but I don't want to name-drop and sound like a douche!

Phew! All done. I know at this point I am meant to tag more people to complete this award, but instead I'm just going to tag everyone who reads this! So enjoy, and if you feel like taking part, please do!

So here are my 11 questions:

1. What was the highlight of 2012 for you?
2. What is the one item of clothing you could not live without?
3. Who would play you in a movie of your life?
4. What's the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
5. How old were you when you started wearing make-up?
6. If you had to eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
7. What's your favourite thing about your hometown?
8. What is your first memory?
9. What is your dream job?
10. Best holiday you've ever been on?
11. Who is your hero, and why?

Lots of love!

Christina xo

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A Guest Post...

Hi guys!

Just a quick cheeky heads up that I wrote a guest post for Helen over at Beautifully Superfluous - and it's all about travel beauty.

If you haven't checked out Helen's blog, go now and have a peek, it's fantastic, and I hope you enjoy reading the post as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Let me know your thoughts!

Christina xo

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

100 Day Spending Ban - Week 5

Hey hey!

Week 5 of the spending ban is already upon us (how time flies...). The only purchases I've made this week were repurchasing... I discovered my beloved Kleenex Blotting Sheets were going to be discontinued, and having found them online at Superdrug for 99p each, I stocked up! That and a new Max Factor False Lash Mascara to replace an old one. More on that later...

Have I added anything to my wish list this week? I have indeed. I seem to be going all gooey-eyed over bases at the moment, because there's another I'd like to add to my list - Dior's new BB Cream. My skin has never looked dewy and flawless! Want want want!

That in addition to Chanel's VitaLumiere Aqua, Dr Jart's Premium Beauty Balm and the MAC lipstick in Chatterbox is my current wish list?

Are you doing a spending ban? What's on your wish list?

Christina xo

Monday, 4 February 2013

Products I Can't Live Without #2 - Lipcote

Hello! Sorry for the distinct lack of blogging lately, I'm just going to quickly blame my job once again and move on...

You may have seen my 1st product that I cannot live without - Clarins' Beauty Flash Balm (see the post here) and now I will introduce you to the 2nd... Lipcote.

I'm aware that a lot of blogger aren't particularly keen on Lipcote like I am, but hear me out...

I wear a lot of bright lipsticks, because I'm just a show-off like that (and I have the mentality of a 4-year old who likes shiny bright things). My main concern with wearing such products is longevity; making sure that they can last for a long time without transferring onto clothes, glasses, mugs, boyfriends and so forth. And Lipcote helps immensely with this mammoth task. After I've applied my chosen lippie, I fire this on over the top and it means whatever I'm wearing lasts all day/all night without getting everywhere.

Most people complain that it smells like turpentine/nail polish remover. Yes it does, there's no escaping this fact. However, that slightly unpleasant smell disappears within a minute once it dries and then no more smell! Just lovely lip colour sealed in. I've never had much issue with scents/smells in my cosmetics, but I know some folk do so it's worth pointing out. For me, the slight whiffiness is overpowered by the amazing staying power this gives to your lip products.

One tip for using this though: make sure your lips are well moisturised, and you have no broken/dry skin on the lips. Otherwise this will sting like an absolute (cover your ears kids) bastard.

If you're a lipstick addict like me, it's worth a go, because I've yet to find anything that gives lipstick as much staying power as this does. If I apply this before a night out, I won't need to touch up all night, that's how good this is.

Have you tried Lipcote? What are your thoughts on it?

Christina xo