Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Birthday Presents & My Week

I've been getting so stressed lately. I've had a few appointments and things that have taken me out of the house and away from blogging. You miss a day or two and before you know it, you've got a backlog of posts, photos to edit, emails to reply to and blogs to read and comment on. You get into this frustrating cycle of trying to catch up but there's always new posts, so you never can. All the while in the back of your mind you're wondering if people are losing interest in your blog or think you're treating it half heartedly just to get the posts published and ticked off your to-do list purely because you feel like you're rushing through blogging and not giving enough time to taking photos and promoting through social media and all that jazz. My life has been hectic in and outside of blogging and not a good or happy hectic, so on Monday, I thought, that's it, enough is enough. I'm taking time to do nothing. Instead of chasing my tail which doesn't achieve anything, I'll really "do nothing" and so I spent the entire day in my jammies watching cheesy films that I've never seen before (LOL, New Year's Eve, What To Expect When You're Expecting and Beastly if you're wondering). It was brilliant and exactly what I needed. I wasn't worrying about work, it was completely stress free.
Yesterday I was still in my jammies, but I decided to tackle the blog posts I've missed over the past few weeks (bloglovin' is great for that). I managed to write comments on 38 posts (round of applause, thank you) and still have a ways to go, but thanks to Bloglovin' keeping me right, the remaining posts seem much less daunting (boy have I missed reading about your lives btw). For someone who isn't in the least bit OCD, I find I like things neat and in order in my mind, so this was a big achievement yesterday. I did end up watching Valentine's Day in the afternoon and then fell asleep for an hour because I was shattered, but a productive day nonetheless. Which brings me to today and my plan is to tackle my own blog posts that have been neglected and reply to your comments. Starting with some snaps of my birthday pressies this year throughout this post and how much do we love the 'when I grow up' pony to unicorn card my l'il sis got me? Adorable! The Gorjuss mermaid one, my Mum made for me (she's very into crafting and card making).
My birthday was bleurgh this year! For the past few years, I've not only had non-eventful, but in most cases actually disastrous or chaotic birthdays! This year, I spent most of the day alone until my sister called at lunchtime to say she was getting away from work early (she was supposed to be off, but at the last minute had to go in). I was knackered, grumpy and still in my pj's and in no mood to celebrate. It was a lovely day though, so we went out for a walk in the afternoon with the wheelchair (very quick outfit post coming soon on TSGD). I feel guilty if I don't take advantage of nice weather, seeing as it's few and far between right now, but at the same time I've just been so tired that I've not felt up to going out. My wee sis has tried her hardest to make this birthday work (bless her) and got me a lovely Disney Fairies cake, put up unicorn birthday banners and brought me home this huge piece of tiffin (which I looooove) from Bibi's.
Anyway the next day my sister was off, so we planned to go and see an afternoon screening of Epic. We saw Rise Of The Guardians last year and as this is much the same we thought we'd like it. It was brilliant (so beautiful) and I really enjoyed it.
My other sister had been mucking us around all day with the 'we might be through to see you at some point' vagueness that she's so good at (!), so I'm glad we stuck to our guns and just did what we wanted to do, even if we did spend an hour afterwards waiting for big sis to arrive! She, by the way, bought me shoes. She wanted to attempt and get me something other than money and although I commend her efforts and it was sweet of her to try, the shoes had like a 2" heel and were just not to my taste at all. We like the complete opposites and she struggles to walk in 1" heels, so it was almost doomed from the start! I couldn't actually get the zip pulled up at the back anyway, so she's returning them. I felt guilty, but she did say I had to be honest about them and it was actually a stroke of luck that they didn't fit. She also got me a jewelled hair clip, that I wore the other day and it's so pretty on.
My little sister got me Rainbow Dash from the new My Little Pony range at Build a Bear. I'd known for weeks that I was getting it, but completely forgot in the run-up! She also got me a unicorn that drops sprinkles for cakes out of it's ass, because everyone needs one of those right?
Among other things from my parents who were and still are on holiday (they miss my b'day every year, tut tut), I got this amazing teal clutch with sparkly skull. The skull is huge, I wasn't sure if I captured the depth of it in my images, it's really massive. I also got this air-balloon necklace, pen and amazing bag covered in vintage inspired sewing pieces, it's so cool! I think it's supposed to be a makeup bag, but I'd like to use it as a clutch because it seems a waste to hide it away.  
Seeing as my parents weren't around and not much else was happening, my friend had said she'd come down to visit on the Sunday and we'd go out for lunch. I don't get out much, so this was a bit of excitement for me. This was her first time driving long-distance alone with her daughter, so we had it all planned with the best times for her to be driving (and the baby sleeping) and when she'd need fed etc. It's always a struggle in town to get parked and especially as I can't walk very far, I really need to be parked right outside where we're going. I didn't bother to book anything just incase we couldn't get parked and thought it was better to keep our options open of where to go. I was anxious about it all week, because it was the bank holiday weekend and the weather was nice, so the town had been busy and I knew my friend would get cranky if we had to drive around and muck up her daughters routine (even if it wasn't my fault). Plus because I'd had the dentist and cinema etc beforehand, I was tired and not feeling like getting dressed up and chatting and smiling all day, as much as I appreciated her making the effort.  So we'd messaged on Facebook the night before and she was due to arrive around 11am which if I'm honest is very early for me to get up and dressed, but it worked for her. Anyway, I was quite impressed that I wasn't rushing last minute and by quarter to eleven was all ready to go.
My friend doesn't get reception on her mobile at home, so I didn't expect to hear from her. Come half 11 though, I started to wonder where she was. She'd mentioned her baby would need to eat at 12, so I wondered if she'd been running late and stopped to breast-feed and would be here after 12. Twelve came and went as did one and by then I was getting really worried. As I knew she was driving alone, I feared the baby had distracted her and something had happened, so although I hate texting people when they're driving, I didn't have much choice. Still no reply. If she'd been unable to make it, she would've phoned right?  There was no message on the landline, no missed calls or texts, so by quarter to 2 I began to fire up the computer to see if she'd said anything on Facebook.
I have to admit, I was at the point of not wanting her to come, because I had no energy left and the thought of acting all cheerful was filling me with dread!  I was tired and cranky (not to mention starving) as I'd literally been sitting waiting for 3 hours with nobody home and no tv or computer on as I'd expected her to arrive any second. I eventually got on FB and there's a message from her at half 8 in the morning, saying she can't make it because her and the baby have a stomach bug. I. Was. Fuming! Well first of all, I was relieved nothing had happened to her and illness can't be helped, but it was the way she handled it. She has a landline, so all she had to do was leave a message on my phone (landline or mobile) because you can't just assume someone will log onto FB especially if you know they'll be rushing around and probably won't have time, plus we'd already confirmed arrangements just a few hours previous, so I wasn't expecting a change in plans.  She knows the effort it takes for me to get ready, so I would've thought she'd have tried to spare me that, by letting me know of the change as soon as she could and making sure I heard!  Seeing as I never replied to the FB message, she would know I hadn't got it and should have tried calling. I was sooo angry and sooo pissed off. I'd wasted my time getting ready (talk about being all dressed up with and nowhere to go) and not only that, I'd wasted hours doing nothing when I could've been working and was tired from getting up early and sitting uncomfortably. I had put my older sister off coming on Sunday as I'd had plans, plus my little sis had run around hoovering, cleaning and dusting before her work, so the house was tidy.  All a big waste.  
I actually had a wee cry, which was more exhaustion than anything and for a second considered getting on the next bus and just going anywhere by myself, so the whole day (and outfit) wouldn't be ruined, but I was too shattered. Instead, I ate my weight in chocolate (yes it's a family sized bar, but I didn't eat it all and no judging!), cookies and crisps (man those deep ridges are addictive) and also because I hadn't taken bread out of the freezer so there was nothing else to eat! What a shite birthday eh? It was so pathetic you have to laugh really. I sent a reply on FB to the friend and because I can't be mean to anyone face-to-face, I was polite and all 'oh not to worry, can't be helped, hope you feel better soon' (while seething on the inside) but I did let her know I hadn't received the message until 2, so she's never replied-probably feeling guilty or else not bothering her arse, who knows? She wants to come down in a couple of weeks, but I'm still too mad to arrange anything just now! 
So there you have it, my week of crap. I wouldn't recommend turning 33 or indeed anything after 21. No I'm joking...kinda. I do want to thank you all for your lovely messages on Facebook, they genuinely cheered me up! I've got some amazing beauty hauls to show you, now that I have my money situation resolved and a new pair of shoes, then there's my outfit you'll get to see that nobody else did from the day of doom, lol!!! I've also just realised that the whole point of going to the trouble of dying my hair again was because I knew I had all these 'events' arranged, had I known I'd just be sitting in the dark in a cinema I wouldn't have bothered!  Soooo, I want to hear your dramas too, what pissed you off recently, who let you down, what's bugging you? Have you had an absolute disaster of a birthday?  Shout, shout, let it all out!  I know some people think you shouldn't get too personal on your blog, but I'm of the opposite opinion, there's nothing worse than looking at someone with the perfect wardrobe, hair and life, where nothing goes wrong and nobody gets stressed, it's just not real is it?  We keepin' it real here homes!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Monster High Monday: Gloom Beach Clawdeen

My goodness, I'm behind with work right now. I've had a pretty hectic few weeks, so want to apologise to all the lovely bloggers that I've not had time to visit lately. I've missed getting to comment on your blogs each day, but am planning a Bloglovin' super catch-up when time permits. I have a couple of The Shoe Girl Diaries posts for you and some beauty hauls (finally got me some pennies, whoop whoop), but for now, here is this week's Monster High Monday.
Clawdeen the fiery little wolf, has a plethora of bright colours for this swimwear line and a lot of purple in her hair which I'm sadly lacking (I just woke up one day it and it was pale lilac!). Not to worry I tackled a freshen-up colour today and gave my hair quite the chop. You know when you just cut off a little bit more to even the sides, then a little bit more and a little bit more, until you practically have no more to cut? Yep, that was me! Less to dye, that's my reasoning! Anyway back to wolfy and I can't say I love wearing pink eyeshadow and coral lips, but I guess I got the colours pretty spot-on. The only thing to note is, Clawdeen's lips are really washed out from the flash in these photos and in real life are the darker shade mine are.
So I'm still into my contouring this week, can't say it's very noticeable when I'm looking at these photos, but I'm still trialling different things and have made a few purchases to help. On the face is Lancome Teint Miracle in 005 with Dainty Doll Concealer in 002 on blemishes and finished with Clarins Ever Matte Mineral powder Compact in 00. For highlighting I used BeneFit Eye Bright pencil and Pout Face & Body Illuminator in Love Glow and for contouring, Teint Miracle in the darker 010 shade. On my cheeks is the blush colour from Lancome Blush Subtil Palette in 01 Rose Flush.

The main issue with the eye makeup was 'is it pink or is it purple?' Well it's an in-between violet shade, although when I zoomed in on the images I took of the doll, it definitely leaned more pinky. I trialled a lot of purples and pinks before finding dupes and my dupes were definitely more pink than purple. So on my eyes is Too Faced Shadow Insurance, over which I applied Anna Sui Eye Color Accent in 303 up to the crease. On Clawdeen there is very little colour difference between the two shades she's wearing, but the lid shade appears to be frosty looking. The Anna Sui colour has a little shimmer so seemed appropriate. I felt it was leaning a little too pink though, so smoothed some of the frosty lilac shade from Milani 07 Wild Violets quad over the top using my finger. It toned down the pink and helped get that slightly pink, slightly purple tone.
Above the crease I applied the deep pink shade from Givenchy Prisme Again! in Purple Emotion 3 palette and also ran it along the lower lashline. My eyeliner is YSL Waterproof Pencil with Lancome Artliner for the flicks and YSL Shocking Volume Mascara on my lashes. I then ran a thin line of the black eyeshadow (called Graphic Garden) from MAC's Graphic Garden Palette following the crease. The line isn't hugely prominent on Clawdeen, but I felt it helped separate the two colours.
I think the colours looked brighter on me because of my pale skin compared to Clawdeen. The lips were a coral shade but with a red undertone and not a 'bright' coral. I used Lancome Color Fever Lipstick in 110 Hot Stuff Rouge, which was actually a perfect dupe when swatched, but looked different on my lips. So over that I applied a sheer, almost neon pink, No7 Sheer Temptation Lipstick in 08 Pretty Please and my lipliner was MAC Subculture. I think it helped combining the two shades.
So that's me for another week! Not as much fun as last time, but I certainly got to test the power of my cleansing water to remove this lot! I should have my outfit post up tomorrow and I'll update this post with the link afterwards.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Micellar Blind Trial

Escentual have set me and 99 other bloggers, a blind-test trial. The products we are sampling are French micellar waters. There are seven waters and each one comes packaged in an identical dropper bottle labelled A-G, so we have no idea which is which. After we've sampled each one, we have a survey to fill in on how we thought each one performed.
I think it's a brilliant test, because you can't subconsciously be swayed by "ooh I love that brand" or packaging, you're basing your opinions solely on how it works, feels and smells. We have 14 days to trial all seven, so I've taken to using one for two days at a time as that gives me 4 (morning and night) applications and a good idea of how it cleanses and also how good or bad it is at removing makeup. I'm halfway through and have varying opinions on the ones I've sampled thus far. One I really didn't get on well with. After my 2 weeks, I thought I'd let you know details of each one. It's a really interesting trial isn't it?
What's even better is I haven't tried any of the seven before this trial. Actually the only cleansing water I've tried is Lancome Eau Micellaire Douceur, so it's interesting to see how these perform against that too.  The samples we are using are the following:

Dior Instant Cleansing Water
Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Water
Caudalie Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water
Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution
Vichy Purete Thermale Calming Cleansing Micellar Solution
Avene Micellar Lotion Cleanser and Make-up Remover
La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution

I can't wait to let you know how they did.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Monster High Monday: Roller Maze Lagoona

Sorry this post comes a little late, but it's well worth waiting for. Last week, I had a lot of issues colour matching Howleen, even although the look I was replicating was supposedly 'no-fuss' neutrals. I didn't like the finished look and I didn't even enjoy the application. So this week, I picked a doll that to be honest, I've been avoiding since I purchased her. Why? Well she's wearing lime green eyeshadow, bordering on neon and lots of it! That's never going to work on me surely? To make matters worse, the lime is then mixed with green (eww at the colour clash) and bold pink lips. On the doll, it looks fabulous though, but that's because it's Lagoona and she's ridiculously pretty and could pull off anything! After my failed attempt at neutrals, I'd definitely lost a bit of confidence in my makeup artistry skillz (!) and I felt I was destined to look ridiculous. Clown ridiculous. To say this is the antithesis of Howleen last week would be an understatement!
When I started to pick out colours and saw how bright the eyeshadow was that I would be using, I was utterly convinced it would look nothing but hideous on me. O-M-G, I was so wrong! I absolutely nailed the look this week and it's possibly my favourite Monster High Monday ever!!
All the girls in the Skultimate Roller Maze line had some sort of lime in their outfit and hair and/or makeup, so I was dubious as to whether I had a shade bright enough in my own collection. I could only think of one and it was a little more yellow than I would've liked. I then spied my MAC Eyes On Manish palette which I've been using for previous MHM's and within that is a bright yellow and bright green. The green was perfect. I had a little fiddling around to find the correct lip shade, but otherwise it was relatively easy to find dupes.
Note there is also some glitter involved in the eye, as if the colours weren't enough!
I'm trying out highlighting and contouring this week and even although Lagoona wears no blush, I wanted to try and incorporate my HaC methods into this look. I've only properly tried it a couple of times and am already loving it, so I'll maybe do a tutorial/FOTD post once I become more natural with the process. I started with Lancome Teint Miracle foundation in 005 and applied Dainty Doll concealer in 001 to blemishes, under the eyes and as my highlighting colour. I used Pout Face & Body Illuminator in Love Glow on the top of my cheekbones, Mark Good Glowing powder blush in After Glo on the cheeks and Cameo Glo as my contour colour and finished with Clarins Ever Matte Mineral Powder Compact in Transparent Opal. HaCing does involve a little more products and brushes than usual!
On the eyes, I applied Too Faced Shadow Insurance and some Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eye Gel in Backstage for the glitter, just under the brow. Despite the glitter being gel based, I still managed to lose a lot of sparkle as I tackled the rest of my makeup, however it turned out just like Lagoona, with sporadic glitter.  I decided against the line Lagoona has in her crease, I felt I didn't need it.     
On the lids up to the crease, I applied MAC Shimmermoss eyeshadow. Then taking a blending brush applied the lime shade from MAC Eyes On Manish palette from the crease upwards and also under the lower lashline. It's bold, it's bright, it's kinda ugly, but it's exactly what was required. It's a really harsh colour, but somehow it's worked.  I finished with YSL Waterproof Eye Pencil in Black Ink and Lancome Artliner for the flicks and YSL Shocking Volume mascara. I also filled the brows a little with the brow powder from the Jelly Pong Pong Wakeup Makeup Palette.
For the lips I had to mix a couple of shades together to get just the right colour. Although the pink is bold, it's a little more dull than most of my bright pinks. So I used MAC Outrageously Fun (Cremesheen) as a base over Pout 36DD Lip Liner and then MAC Romancin' (Lustre) over the top. It was perfect.
I had no idea these colours could look so good together, especially as I have green eyes and I'm sure there's some stupid beauty rule about not wearing eyeshadow the same colour as your eyes, along with only wearing either bold eyes or lips and not both. If anything this post just proves that it's worth doing something outside of your comfort zone, no matter how subtle that might seem and that beauty rules are there to be broken.
I was so happy with the finished look and the photos, I felt great and who knew lime eyeshadow would be the reason?! I think my HaCing is partly responsible too as I've been having such trouble with my skin lately but this sculpting and glowing can't fail to make you feel good. You can see my full outfit and slightly less green eyes on The Shoe Girl Diaries now. How do you think I did?