Sunday, 30 December 2012

New Year's Resolutions

I'm not a big fan of New Years. I don't really celebrate it unless I'm going to something specific, I think it's too close to Christmas for me and I'm not the most sociable person. The one thing that I do like about New Years is resolutions. I think it's always good to have a fresh start and start doing something new. I'm normally not so great at sticking to mine, so I thought I'd do a quick post on what mine are for this year to try and motivate me! Plus I think it will be interesting to look back at this post next year and see how many actually worked out and which ones I didn't stick to!

In no particular order...

1. Get organised. I think I have this one every year! I suppose I'm a little more organised than most people, but I need to buy an organiser and plan my time better, particularly since I'm in my second year at university and when I enter my third year time management will be very important.

2. Gain weight. I've been trying to gain weight for about a year or so now. I used to be vegetarian but had to stop because it compromised my health, and although eating meat/fish has helped, it isn't enough. I have gained a little weight, but I'm still underweight. I need to start eating regularly. The main issue is that I don't like food (this is possible, believe me) and I will generally skip meals because I will forget to eat. I'm determined to reach the seven stone mark!

3. Start writing again. I used to love creative writing and I couldn't go a day without writing because it would stress me out. Since I've been at university I've not had the time to really sit down and get back into it. I need to make the effort to write at least once a week, even if it's just for half an hour. 

4. Get fit. This might seem a bit odd with another one of my resolutions being gain weight, but I'm really unfit. I need to start running or swimming at least once a week. I also need to stop being embarrassed and realise that exercising as as an adult will not be as mortifying as PE at school. Lets face it, it's a little embarrassing to be out of breath just from walking up the stairs...

5. Be nice. This is the easiest of all my resolutions! I think it's good to say at least one nice thing to somebody everyday, without fail. It might be the difference between somebody having a bad day and a good day. Sometimes it's the small things that make a big difference! I think the world would be a much nicer place if we all made this our resolution.

6. Make an effort with what I wear. This is the one that I am the least likely to stick to! I have so many days when I can't be bothered to go through my wardrobe and decide what to wear, so I just throw on an old faded band t-shirt and some jeans. This normally makes me feel a little run down for the rest of the day. I need to start actually thinking about what I wear and making a concious effort, because in the end it will make me feel better.

7. Be confident. I've had confidence issues for as long as I can remember. I also have a hard time with accepting compliments. Whenever anybody compliments me on anything I usually turn beetroot and quickly begin denying everything they've said and telling them how much nicer they look and so on. It can't be too difficult to just say 'thank you' and move on can it? I need to stop dwelling on the negatives and try to be a little more positive about the way that I look. This includes to stop running away whenever I see a camera. I think this is probably the most difficult of all my resolutions.

It shouldn't be too hard...I hope! I have also have a few mini-resolutions, like to organise my desk and to make time to play with Thomasina more (she is getting old now but whenever we get her toys out she gets really excited and I think she could do with the exercise), but I didn't think they were big enough resolutions to include! I hope you all have a fantastic and safe New Years!

What are your resolutions this year? Are they similar to mine?

Friday, 28 December 2012

My Christmas

So I arrived back from my aunts yesterday afternoon after a few hours on a very busy motorway. I actually didn't take as many pictures as I'd expected purely because my sister stole my camera (she decided not to take her own and use mine instead, she seemed to forget to tell me that she was planning to do this before we left) and so I ended up not really seeing my camera very much! I also ended up unable to take an OOTD picture because I didn't know where my camera was. Around 90% of the pictures that were taken came out blurred (nobody except me knows how to use my camera) which is why there's only a couple of them.

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! I also hope that you all didn't get rained as much as we did (it rained so much on Christmas Eve that we couldn't see the car in front of us on the motorway). Despite the rain we still had a wonderful time, ate far too much chocolate and received lots of lovely gifts! It was also really nice to see my Dad's side of the family too because we don't get to see them very often.

There's an obscene amount of presents, mainly because there's so many of us.
I was going to photograph all of the presents I received, until I realised that I'd already ripped half of them open and put some of them away! I did manage to photograph a few of them, though. I bought the Game of Thrones book with a gift voucher on Boxing Day, and I had to include separate photographs of the cover because it's such a beautiful book! If anybody wants a review or a post on anything here (books included), please let me know!

The lighting in my room is terrible, and I was too tired to try and fix it.
These were from my mum, they are amazing!
Did you all have a good Christmas? Did you receive anything nice?

Friday, 21 December 2012


Winter is probably my favourite season. I love coming in from the cold into the warm, and I love snuggling up at night with the cat (she sleeps inside with us instead of in her kitty room in winter) and watching films with hot chocolate. I think by now you've gathered that I love Christmas. I enjoy buying presents for people and wrapping them up (I'm one of those peculiar people who likes wrapping) and I love decorating.

So far we haven't had any snow whatsoever, but we have had a lot of rain. The field next to my road has flooded! I'm staying at my Aunt's for Christmas this year, and apparently it has already snowed down there so I may get to see some snow this Christmas after all (I'm one of those people who likes looking at snow but hates going out in it and complains about it after a week, plus cold weather makes me seize up).

I'm also pleased to say that we haven't had a single bauble casualty this year. Thomasina has managed to knock off some of the plastic ones and chase them around the living room for a few hours and she has discovered that if she crawls under the tree we can't pick her up to put her in bed, but aside from that she has behaved herself (so far).

Can you see that gold bauble on the right? She knocked it off as soon as this picture  was taken!

My hair is now black again (it's due to be dyed so it's very faded right now) and I have a blunt straight fringe instead of a rounded one. It's much better and I haven't been complaining about it as much (I can't believe it either). I will get round to taking a picture sometime soon! There isn't anything that I detest more than taking photographs of myself, so it takes me awhile to find the motivation to attempt it! Also, I'm not going to be doing a separate review on this, but I used this hair colour on it yesterday. The smell was so awful that it actually made me feel really nauseous for the rest of the night. Absolutely vile stuff! I can still smell it on my hair this morning.

I also thought I'd show you my new winter coats. I was planning to show them on here when I bought them, but I didn't think that they warranted a whole post, so I thought I'd stick them in here (that's what these random update-y posts are for, right?) I've not included me in these shots purely because I'd spent the day doing coursework and I didn't feel like applying make-up and straightening my hair to take the pictures, haha! I get lazy when I'm not at uni...

This one is from the Petite section in Dorothy Perkins. It isn't the type that I normally go for (it isn't black for a start) but I loved the black fur and because it's a petite one it fits really well. Personally I think I was just so shocked that I managed to find something that wasn't hideous in a petite section! It's really warm. I can't remember how much it was, but I know it was 20% off. I'm still not sure about the belt though.

You can see the ruffles best from a side angle. They are quite big!
This is one is from Miss Selfridge. I actually saw this several months ago but I was put off by the price tag (it was £75.00). I love coats with a bit more shape. I went to a Debenhams event last month and this on offer. It also had a button missing, so I got another 10% off even though it had a spare button with it, so I got it for £54.00 in the end. It's still a lot, but I live in coats. This is probably a coat that I will save for going out. You can't tell on the picture, but it's actually a dark berry colour, not red!

I'm also pleased to say that I've managed to get a good chunk of my uni coursework done. My The Castle of Otranto/Frankenstein essay is pretty much tied up, and I've made a good start on the research for my Measure for Measure one, which I'm actually really looking forward to writing!

Also, have you all been to see The Hobbit yet? If you haven't, I highly recommend it. I was a bit sceptical after reading the reviews before I saw it, but it is absolutely worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed it (so much so that I would pay to see it again).

I'm actually heading to my aunts early on Christmas Eve and I come home on the 27th, so I will be gone and unable to answer comments or reply to anything on Twitter until that time. I will probably do a late Christmassy post with pictures when I get back (I'm also planning to do an OOTD while I'm there). If I don't post again, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Are you all ready for Christmas? Have you had any snow?

Disclosure: I bought all the items featured in this post myself.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Stargazer White Liquid Foundation

Stargazer are one of those brands that I used for years in my early teens (it was easy to get hold for me and it was cheap) but I seemed to gradually stop using it as I got older, for no real reason other than it became a little more difficult for me to get hold of. I finally decided that I needed a white foundation after trying and failing to find a foundation to match my skintone (aside from Illamasqua). As somebody who is very pale, I decided that I'd definitely get a lot of use out of it and I'd be able to use up some foundations that I own that are a little too dark. I hate walking around with the knowledge that my face and neck don't match. In the end I went for the Stargazer one purely because it was cheaper at £4 (prices for this seem to vary).

This foundation comes in glass bottle. It doesn't feel cheap, and it's quite heavy! It has a spatula applicator which means it's quite difficult to get the amount of product you want out at once, and it's impossible to reach the bottom of the bottle. I much prefer foundations with pumps, as it's so easier and you don't waste as much product. It's also very difficult to pour out of the bottle because it's so thick.

Before I mixed it with my usual foundation I decided to try it alone for fun (I do strange things when I'm not uni). This foundation has quite a thick consistency, yet I was surprised when I found that it applies very sheer. It has a very sticky feel to it. I found that it doesn't blend very well and the coverage isn't great. You'd need quite a lot of it to get a completely white finish. If you apply a thin layer of it on its own it does brighten the skin without paling it down too much. I haven't been able to test how long it lasts on the skin because I haven't had the opportunity to wear it out (the coverage isn't good enough and I'd feel a little odd wearing this on its own).

In terms of mixing foundations, this works perfectly. It lightens my regular foundation and means that I don't have a difference between my face and neck, and I'm much less self concious and paranoid about going outside with my normal foundation on. It's much easier than having to pay a lot more of a lighter high end foundation, and it also means that I'm not wasting the foundation that I already bought.

If you are looking to pale down your skin, I would say you'd be better with the powder that I reviewed here. It's much easier to build up and get a completely white finish, and it doesn't have the strange sticky feel to it.

This foundation costs £3.50 (depending on where you purchase it from) from Stargazer.

Disclosure: I bought this product myself.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

MAC Eyeshadows in Cranberry and Amber Lights

I was browsing the Debenhams website a few weeks ago, and I ordered two more MAC shadows in Cranberry and Amber Lights. Cranberry was one of those shadows that I'd always planned to buy but never did (I don't own a lot of red shadow) and Amber Lights was one that I ordered on a whim. I'm not usually a fan of gold shadow, but I was feeling Christmassy (I will stop talking about Christmas pretty soon I swear) and I decided to give it a go. I was torn between Amber Lights and Goldmine, but something about Amber Lights swayed it for me.

These come in the standard MAC packaging. I probably ought to buy a palette and just buy the refills as my storage box is getting a little full. I really like MAC packaging because it's pretty sturdy, and it's easy to identify shadows in the morning.

I was pretty excited when these first arrived! The colour in the pan is gorgeous for both of these shadows. Cranberry is a berry red and Amber Lights is a golden orange (not quite the way to describe it, but you'll see in my swatch). They both have a frost finish. My camera couldn't quite pick up the red in Cranberry so it looks more coppery on my swatch, it's such a shame because it's a beautiful colour.

These both apply really well. They are soft, smooth and I haven't had any issues with creasing. I did get a teeny bit of fall out with Amber Lights, but nothing too bothersome. The pigmentation is really good with both of these. Over primer I've not had any issues with staying power, but they do begin to fade a little bit when I skip primer (I have extremely oily eyelids). With primer they last all day on me.

Overall, I love both of these shadows! They're both a really nice addition to my collection because I don't own anything like them. I can see me getting a lot of use out of them (particularly Cranberry, as it works well with so many other colours). They're definitely festive shadows!

Do you own either of these shadows?

Disclosure: I bought this product myself.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

NOTD: Revlon Gold Coin

I've actually had this polish since last Christmas, and this is the first time that I've worn it. I'm not sure but I think that this was free when you bought two products or something of the sort. It isn't the kind of colour that I would actually buy so I'm assuming that it was something like that, and it ended up in my nail polish box and has remained there for nearly a year.

I have always been a little curious about this one, but it looks a little too sparkly in the bottle for my liking and I was always a bit wary about using it. I decided to try it out yesterday as I'm stuck in the house working my way through coursework and it seemed like a good opportunity to experiment.

I'm still very much undecided about this one! It's a shimmery metallic gold colour, and I've never worn anything remotely gold coloured on my nails before. It's quite Christmassy. In some lights I really like how it looks, but in others I'm not really sure about it! I may end up giving this one away to my sister. I think I may prefer it as an accent nail.

This polish is opaque in two coats and dries very quickly. It doesn't have a shiny finish but it is very shimmery. I can't seem to work out if this one is still available or not, I'm sure there's a ton of similar shades out there, however. 

What do you think to gold polish? Are there any colours that you are a little wary of trying?

Disclosure: I think this was free after I bought two Revlon cosmetics last year. It was an offer of some sort, anyway!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Garnier Olia Hair Colour in Deep Black 1.0

I dye my hair a lot. At least once a month. And the only thing that bothers me about dyeing my hair quite often is how dry it gets. I normally have to arm myself with hair oils and conditioner to lather on for the rest of the week in order to repair the damage, so when I saw Olia advertised which claimed to reduce hair damage I was very, very interested.

I picked up the colour Deep Black (1.0). At first I wasn't actually aware that there was a Deep Black option, I was wandering around Boots with Black when I came across an Olia colour chart and noticed there were three black shades available.  I always go for darkest one; especially since the red that I dyed my hair last time is still trying its best to hold on and is still peeking through. It was on offer for £5.99 when I bought it.

It comes in the usual big hair colourant boxes (which is a little larger than most) and contains colourant cream, developer cream, a mixing bottle, gloves and conditioner. The box also has a hole in it to balance the Olia bottle, which I didn't use as it just seemed like more hassle and I didn't have any problems with it tipping over.

The only problem that I had with the application is the bottle is a little large for my tiny hands! I found it quite difficult to get a good grip on it, but aside from that the application went really smoothly. It didn't irritate my scalp and I didn't have any itchiness which happens with a lot of hair colourants that I've tried. One bottle was just enough (I think I will have to use two pretty soon) to cover my thick hair which is just past my shoulders.

Now, I stupidly forgot to take before and after pictures...I dyed my hair with this about four weeks ago so taking one now would be a little pointless, so when I next dye my hair with this I'll do an update post so you can all see. The colour result did surprise me a little. When the hair colour was on my hair it was a really dark black colour, but when I washed it off it wasn't nearly as dark. I'd say it's more of an ordinary black rather than a deep black. I also still had some red peeking through (my hair holds red really well, I assume it's because my hair is naturally red). The result wasn't as shiny as I was expecting either.

One good point about this hair colour is that my hair was definitely less dry. It wasn't breaking or splitting, and I didn't have to lather it in conditioner. For once the conditioner that comes with the colour actually managed to cover all of my hair (this never happens there's never enough in the tube) which was a bonus!

Overall I am a tiny bit disappointed with the colour result not being as shiny as I would like, but I am really pleased with the condition of my hair after I used it. It's great for people who have dry hair but still want to colour it. I don't think I will repurchase unless it's on offer, but I will probably use it again at some point just because I really like the condition of my hair afterwards, and the fading hasn't been too bad either.

Olia costs £6.99 and can purchased from Boots and Superdrug.

Disclosure: I bought this product myself.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

OCC Lip Tar in Black Dahlia

I'm always a little wary when it comes to products that have a lot of hype surrounding them. To be honest I'd never really been interested in the lip tars by OCC, mainly because they're difficult to get hold of here, you can only really buy them online and I much prefer being able to actually see something before I buy it. This changed when I saw the new Heroine collection (it's inspired by horror heroines which I thought was very exciting) and I loved the look of Black Dahlia, and I took a gamble and ordered it.

The Lip Tars come in a small tube with a precise nib. It also comes with a mini lip brush, which is really handy (it would be an excellent brush for travelling as it's so small). It also dissuades people from attempting to apply the product with their fingers!

You need the tiniest drop of product. A small amount goes a very, very long way and I can't really stress that enough! When I was applying this the other day I actually squeezed the tube a little too hard and it went everywhere. You have to apply this with a lip brush, I wouldn't even attempt applying this with my fingers, it'd be messy to say the least.

Black Dahlia is a gorgeous blackened red. I own a ton of dark lipsticks and I don't actually have one that is even close to this colour. It's really beautiful. It also fades into a light berry colour, which is more like a stain. The colour isn't as opaque as I was expecting, you have to gradually build up the colour, which means that you can apply it lightly during the day and really build it up to a darker colour if you're going out in the evening. I really need to buy a dark red lip liner to wear with this as I did find that if you over apply as I did in my swatch to build up the colour it will begin to feather. (if anybody knows of a good affordable one please let me know!)

My skin is freaking out a bit at the moment, my skin around my chin is really dry and everywhere else is really oily...apologises for the dry patches! :(
The stain that it leaves. 

While I didn't find this to be drying, I did find that it showed up the dry areas on my lips (although my lips are very dry, it may not have this effect on you). It's long-wearing, but it will fade into a light berry stain after eating/drinking. The only downside to this product for me is that it's not a product that's easy to apply on the go because it requires a lip brush. Fortunately the brush and the tube is small and compact if you do want to take it out with you, but it's a little more awkward than packing a lipstick into your handbag.

Overall I'm absolutely in love with this colour! It's beautiful. I'd definitely think about getting more of the lip tars, and I'd love to find a colour similar to this in lipstick format.

I bought this from Cocktail Cosmetics for £9.95.

Have you tried any of the Lip Tars?

Disclosure: I bought this product myself.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

It's that time of the year again...

It's December now so it's absolutely fine for me to go off on a Christmassy tangent isn't it? For those of you who don't know, I love Christmas. It's my favourite holiday. I think I get more excited about Christmas as I get older, which is a little backwards, but since my 23 year old cousin is the most Christmassy person I know I think it's a family thing. As soon as it hits December I'm itching to get the Christmas boxes down from the loft and to start putting everything together.

I've been quite pleased with myself this year, as I've actually bought everything (except one extra tiny present which I'm not counting) for everybody, before the last week of Christmas! Nottingham gets insanely busy around Christmas time and I try to avoid having to go into town later on. Fortunately having to get the bus in town to get to uni everyday meant that I could go on mini shopping trips and get everything done without a five hour stint in town, which gives me the rest of the month to actually enjoy Christmas.

So, I thought I'd do a Christmassy post on here (mainly so I don't inflict my excitement on my friends, I think they've suffered enough of my Christmas rambling for this year to say the least) and show you all my Christmas decorations! Christmas is a big deal in my family, as it's my Dad's birthday on Christmas Day (which means we have to find him double the presents, difficult is not the word). It's also one of the few times that I get to see all my Dad's side of the family together. This year we're going to my aunts for Christmas, which I'm super excited about! We're all creatures of habit and we have the same traditions that we go through every year. I actually like Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day when we decorate the Christmas cake, make the gingerbread house and then snuggle down just before bed to watch The Polar Express. Never too old right?

As I said - our decorations are very old now, haha! I had to tape up the top because it broke last year. :(

I always forget how messy our decorations are...we've had them since before I was born, and we never seem to throw any of it away, and we always end up with bits of tinsel (even though we don't even use tinsel...) and tree all over the place. I'm currently keeping an eye on Thomasina and making sure she keeps her distance from the tree. I don't want any bauble casualties this year!

My tiny tree. I don't like how unorganised the bauble's are...

What's your favourite part of Christmas? Do you all like these ramble-y nonsense posts or do you prefer more structured ones with more of a point?
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