Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain Review

Hello there!  On my travels I found myself wondering the beauty aisles of the airport duty free section.  I almost never purchase anything but after a particularly stressful work related trip I decided it was time to treat myself.
I've actually never bought high end make-up for myself before so it was quite an exciting moment for me to start what I hope will be the beginning of a small collection.  Seeing as one of my favourite purchases recently has been the Topshop Gloss Inks I thought I'd go for the high end version, in this case, the YSL Glossy Stains.
YSL Glossy Stain Review

After testing out multiple shades on the back of my hand I decided to settle for, what I thought, was a very natural shade of red.  Something to give my lips extra colour, but not so bright that I couldn't wear it every day.  My theory was that this would make the purchase more justifiable.  I picked shade no 9 Rouge Laque.
Glossy Stain no 9

I managed to take the two flights home with out breaking open the packaging and it wasn't until the next day when I decided I wanted to wear it to go shopping that I finally tested it out.  Oh boy had I been wrong about the colour!  It was super bright!  A gorgeous shade of eye-popping red nonetheless, it was not the natural every day colour that I had imagined it to be.  I must have majorly smudged out the tiny amount I had tested on my hand.

Luckily I loved it anyway.  The packaging is gorgeous although I have to admit I expected it to feel a little weightier.  I suppose that makes it more handbag portable.  Application was fairly easy with the soft applicator but I did have to make sure I swiped any excess lip gloss off the brush otherwise the stain could get a little difficult to control.  The main question for me was, would it last?  Well about an hour into wearing it my fiancé commented on how it was still really glossy.  It looked great until about an hour after that once I had been eating and drinking.  It was still there but it was a bit patchy.  I imagine that's to be expected though and the majority of the glossy stain was still in place which is quite impressive.
YSL Vernis a Levres

Would I buy this again?  I definitely would love to try out some more shades.  I am put off by the price so would probably wait until I was at the airport again.  If money was no object I reckon I would have about four of these in different shades right now!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Little things from my week

Hi there!  I've been away this week on tour with the company which is why there's been a lack of posts.  We had a nice trip to Germany which involved lots of travelling.  It was quite exhausting but a good experience nonetheless.  I wasn't able to take my camera with me so I have lots of photographs to take for future posts, however I do have some pictures ready that I took the week before I left.
I love going out for coffee.  This wasn't mine though, seeing as I'm avoiding caffeine, so I had to make do with taking pictures of my fiancé's (sad face).  I was experimenting with using the manual focus setting and liked that I managed to capture the froth on this coffee so well

 The sun was shining and I couldn't resist taking some pictures of these leaves in the sunlight.
I love it when the sky is clear and this perfect shade of blue.
 I bought this super snuggly oversized cardigan.  It's soooo warm and comfy.  I wore it during the whole of the tour to keep warm and had lots of people saying to me that they wanted to buy something similar.
 I got this yellow rose from a friend who was watching one of our recent performances.

 Candle weather is sneaking up on us.  This was the only one I had left over from last year and I suddenly felt the need to light it.
 I'm still really enjoying making my morning smoothies.  I bought some frozen berries and they make the drink turn this gorgeous shade of purple.

I drew my first 'Will you be my bridesmaid?' card.

Looking back at these pictures I realise how sunny that week must have been!  Since I got back from the tour the weather has been mostly grey and cloudy.  More candles and bath products have been purchased to counter the gloom!  In fact, it's time to go and light one of those candles right now!

Till next time :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Travelling Tips For a Plane Journey

Hello!  In my line of work we do a lot of travel.  Dancers will travel all over the globe for a job, often living far away from our families and friends.  This means making plenty of journeys in a year just to spend time with your relatives as well as potentially going over-seas on tour with the company.  I've passed through quite a few airports and found myself having my own mental travel check list to make the journey more pleasant.  I thought I would share some of these with you in case they might be useful.


I always have a medium sized bag to carry on board.  One that is definitely smaller than the hand baggage restrictions but large enough to fit all the travel comforts I need.  At the moment my oversized Cath Kidston bag is doing the job.  This bag is particularly useful because it is so light.  I always put my luggage in the hold because I don't want to be lugging loads of stuff round the airport and I don't want to be having to worry about whether or not my mini-suitcase is going to be a size issue at the gate.

I used to not bring any cosmetics with me in the cabin because of the hassle of putting them in a plastic bag and then having to get them out at security.  I have since realised that having a few bits and pieces with me is comforting, such as my perfume atomizer for when I feel a bit 'meh' on a long trip.  If you can, bring a small clear freezer bag from home as some airports charge for them.  This also means you don't have to sort your cosmetics stuff out at the airport and can have it ready when you leave.   I will do a separate post on my on board beauty essentials.

Sometimes I will bring a smaller handbag with a shoulder strap with me as well that I can take out of my larger cabin bag to wear around the airport and once I've reached my destination.  I put my purse and valuables in it.  It's good not to have to scramble around in your cabin bag when you want to pay for something at the airport or when you start to continue your journey onward when you arrive.  This bag can go inside the larger bag when you're at the gate to comply with some airlines 'one piece of hand luggage only' rule.

Before you leave home

Think about what you're wearing and make sure it's something that you're going to be comfortable sitting in for long periods of time.  Personally I much prefer to travel in a loose fitting dress made from soft fabric.  I find that the changes in altitude on a flight as well as plane food can make me bloated and uncomfortable in tight jeans.  Also bring something light with you in case it gets cold during the flight.  I like a light knitted cardigan or jumper that you can also easily fold in to your hand luggage if you get too hot wondering around the airport.  I would also sometimes bring a pair of warm fluffy socks in my travel luggage, particularly for long haul flight.

Drink plenty of water so that you don't get dehydrated and pack some snacks for the flight.  It can be much more expensive to buy snacks in the airport so I try to take some with me in my hand luggage.

If you can check in online and choose your seat.  I personally like to do this and make sure I am sitting in an aisle seat.  I feel much less claustrophobic in an aisle seat and I like to know I can get up to use the loo if I need to without clambering over anybody.

Packing your travel essentials

For me this often means a magazine or a book.  A small notebook and a pen.  Chewing gum, some sweets and my i-pod.  I like to make sure I've downloaded something to watch from i-tunes the day before.  The first couple of episodes in a new series I want to start watching, or a classic film you've always wanted to see for example.  If you're planning to sleep an eye mask and some ear plugs are good to have on you.

At the airport

Once you get through security I usually immediately seek out the cheapest place to buy a bottle of water and purchase it to keep on me for the flight.

 If I have time I look for somewhere to have a sit and a nice bite to eat so that I'm not forced to buy the plane food because I'm hungry during the flight.  Even though you have snacks with you it's nice to make sure you've eaten something meal like if your flight is going to be during a meal time and your food is not included, or is and turns out to be unappetising.

If you have time enjoy a nice little sojourn around the airport shops.  If you don't enjoy flying then this can be a nicer part of the experience so I like to make the most of it.  Just make sure you can fit your purchases in to your hand luggage if your flight operator enforces a one piece of hand luggage only rule.  Oh and be prepared to present your boarding pass every time you make a purchase.  This can be where the little handbag comes in useful as you can also pop it in there so you're not scrambling around for it in your hand luggage when you come to pay.

Go to the loo 5 minutes before you have to board if there's one near the gate.  You might be queuing for ages to get on the plane and then needing the loo when you're strapped in for take off.  Likewise try to go to the loo at least 40 minutes before you're scheduled to land so you're not strapped in for the descent needing the loo.

On the plane

Once I've boarded I like to sort my travel essential things out so they're in the pocket at the back of my seat ready for me to use (just don't forget to collect them all when you leave!).  I'll put my coat in the over head locker if I have one and keep my hand luggage under the seat.  Then try to sit back relax and enjoy the trip!  I like to start off with my book/magazine until the seat belt sign has been switched off and then you can enjoy using your electronic devices so music or watching something on my i-pod takes over.  I usually get inspired to write ideas down at some point when I'm sat for hours on the plane which is when the small notebook comes in useful.  Sometimes when I get really bored I'll touch up my make-up.  I am quite an anxious flyer and I find keeping myself pre-occupied and feeling productive helps to distract me from my anxiety.

So these are my tips for travelling.  I hope they have been useful even if some of them might be obvious.  Sometimes I travel so much I forget to do one of them so it's good for me to have this to refer to!

Till next time :)


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Topshop Gloss Ink In Sugar Rush

Hello there!  Ever since I bought Topshop Gloss Ink in Smitten I've been, well....smitten.  Ha, I had to.  Seriously though, I was so impressed with the staying power of the bright pink lip stain that I was determined to buy others.  I thought I needed a day/work version, something as long lasting and pretty but in a more natural shade.  Enter Sugar Rush.  The perfect everyday pink.
I love the shade.  It really is my natural lip shade but with a slightly more enhanced pink hue to them.  Plus the glossy-ness is quite nice.  The formula is really nice to apply using the soft doe foot applicator and it smells good too.  It smells super sweet which suits my taste fine, I mean it is called Sugar Rush after all!  It has a slightly gel like consistency which feels like it should be very sticky but isn't.
So far so good.  Unfortunately the down side of this shade is that it doesn't seem to have the lasting power of Smitten.  Maybe it's something to do with the high pigmentation of the colour of Smitten that means it still seems to be lingering on my lips even into the next day, but with Sugar Rush as soon as I had gone out for some lunch I needed to re-apply it.  The thing I loved most about the Gloss Ink was the lasting power so this was disappointing.  Maybe the other brighter shades will have the staying power of Smitten but Sugar Rush doesn't stain the lips as well.  Never mind though, I still love the shade and will just have to keep re-applying it for the time being!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Gold Shoes For The Wedding

Hello there!  How are you?  I've been searching for the perfect pair of gold coloured shoes for my wedding dress. So far I have picked up a super glittery pair from Dorothy Perkins for a bargain £29 and a luxe gold leather pair from a second hand discount designer shop called Dress For Less in Angel, Islington.
They seemed to be very good quality leather shoes and in perfect condition considering they are second hand as well.  I wanted to wear a lower pair for the ceremony and these were low and comfortable to wear which is the main reason why I bought them.  Now though I'm not sure if the colour is quite right.  I feel like I might actually want something more bridal looking.  I'm quite surprised at how fussy I feel about my wedding shoes.  I thought I'd pick up a cheap pair and it would be a done deal.  I better get it right next time otherwise I'm going to end up spending a fortune!

Till next time :)


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Little Things From My Week

This week has been a moderately stressful one for me.  I've been struggling to deal with pressures at work so in my free time I've been focusing on little treats to get through.  They seem to be mostly food related treats though from looking at the pictures!
I have trouble digesting food in the mornings so getting the fuel I need for dancing is difficult.  I have started making smoothies for breakfast and I feel much better.  I can get the fuel I need and my stomach tolerates the liquid breakfast much better than a solid one.  I worked up the courage to add some spinach to this smoothie in particular and it still tasted great!
I bought a new kettle after getting sick of finding sediment at the bottom of my tea from all the lime scale that had been building up.  The filter in it was damaged and it was an old one we'd inherited from a friend anyway.  This kettle was the cheapest decent one I could find and was on offer too.  It definitely seems to be doing a better job than the old one so far.
I bought this milk to try after not having much success with the coconut milk version.  Unfortunately I still couldn't stand the taste of it in my tea and coffee.  The taste of nut in it was very strong.  I could tolerate it in my smoothie's though I probably wouldn't buy this one again.  The taste was just too strong for me.
I bought myself some mini macarons from the supermarket as a treat.  I've never bought them before but been tempted often.  There were pink ones too but they were all gone by the time I took this photo.  They were best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.
I've been struggling to avoid caffeine recently, falling foul mostly at work during my mid morning break.  However I'm very pleased with myself for avoiding it totally now for two days in a row.  This is a picture of a decaf tea I made to go with my mini macaron afternoon treat.

Have you had a good week?  I hope so, and I hope the next one is better for me than this one was!

Twirlybirdie xxx

Friday, September 12, 2014

Wearing My DIY Wedding Head Band

Hello!  I recently shared a photo of a wedding head band (hair band?) I made.  I thought I would take a photo of me wearing it to get a better idea of how it would look.
 I don't know for sure that I'm going to wear it.  There seem to be myriad ways in which it could be worn.  Under the veil; over the veil; on it's own like a hair band or around the forehead.  I don't have the veil in these photos but you can see what it looks like as a hair accessory on it's own.
Here it is as a normal hair band.  I wanted something with a slight vintage feel and I think this chain which I bought from Accessorize has a slight Art Deco look to it.  I added the cream ribbon to it to make it more bridal.
Here it is around my forehead.  I got the idea to wear it like this from looking at bridal accessory websites where a hair band like this was tied around the veil with the veil covering the face.  It looks amazingly ethereal but I'm not sure how practical it would be in reality!
The sun was shining when I was taking these photos so I wanted to take some that captured the bands pretty sparkle in the sunlight.

I love a bit of sparkle.  Are you thinking of making your own wedding accessories?

Till next time :)
Twirlybirdie xxxx

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Most Used Make-up Products Lately

Hello!  As autumn sneaks in I have been noticing myself using the same make-up products over and over the past couple of weeks.  I have been feeling glossy brown shadow and natural lips with a hint of pink.  Starting back at work after the summer holidays has been a struggle so I've been in need of hiding the dark bags under my eyes.
1.  Clinique All About Eyes Serum

I've been finding it difficult to wake-up in the mornings and like using this cooling roller ball under my eyes to reduce puffiness before applying concealer.  Honestly I have no idea if it actually works but it does feel nice.

2.  Maybelline Fit Me Concealer.

I have this in shade 20 which I think is slightly too dark for me but if I just dot a little bit of it on under my eyes and blend it out it looks fine.  It's a nice creamy consistency too.

3.  Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24hr in On and On Bronze

Nice shimmery metallic-y bronze.  Not too much of a stand out colour but adds some depth to my eyes and brings out the little bit of green I think I can see in them.  It does slide off my lids after a while but I exercise for a living so I think that's to be expected.  Autumnal, but light enough for daytime.

4.  Joik Red Wine Lipgloss

More of a nice lip balm than a gloss.  I like to put this on to soften my lips before adding colour over the top.

5. Topshop Gloss Ink in Sugar Rush

Very wearable natural pink.  Glossy on first application.  Does wear off though.  Looks natural and adds a subtle wash of colour to my deathly pale lips.

6.  Models Own Shading Brush

I've been using this to blend in my concealer under my eye and much prefer it to just dabbing it with my finger like I was before.

7.  Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh in my portable perfume bottle

Very useful for regular mid rehearsal spritzing.  The scent is fresh and not too overpowering for work.

So that's my list for now.  I'm sure my make-up tastes will get darker as it gets further in to darker and colder weather.  For now a nice subtle brown shadow and polished lips are easing me in.  Has the weather convinced you to change your make-up habits yet?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Save the Date Design For An Afternoon Tea Wedding

I've been posting up quite a lot of wedding things this past week.  It has given us a great excuse to be creative and one of the things we've been experimenting with is the stationary.  My fiancé drew up these designs for our save the dates and our order of service.
I think they're super cute!  It's always nice to have something unique.  As you can see we're planning an afternoon tea theme.  Very popular at the moment but I guess we're a product of the times!
I like the heart balloons in this one!  We've already ordered the prints of the save the dates from www.printed.com and they have arrived ready to be sent out.  It's all happening now and I'm very excited!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Stripy statement shoes

Check out these shoes that I bought in the sale last summer.  I found them in Dune in Covent Garden.  They are difficult to wear though!  I find they work best with a very plain outfit.  I wore them for the first time a couple of weeks ago with skinny pale blue jeans and a white shirt.  
They definitely got noticed, I had quite a few compliments!  These are without a doubt the most eccentric shoes I own.  I have such a weakness for shoes.
Don't they make you think of licorice alsorts?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sparkly Wedding Head Band/Tiara Easy DIY

As well as the veil appliqués I wrote about yesterday, I also bought a sparkly head band/tiara to play with the idea of maybe wearing one with my veil.  I'm not sure if I want to sew it to the front of the cap, or just tie it around my hair like a head band.  I even tried to tie it so that it fell across my forehead which I thought was quite nice for a bohemian looking style.

I bought this head band in Accessorize.  It was about £6 in the sale so a real bargain.  Originally it was attached to some black elastic to hold it on the head but I cut that off and sewed some cream ribbon on to it either side of it instead.

I picked this headband as I thought it had a bit of a vintage vibe which suits my dress.  It could be worn with the veil or without for some extra sparkle during the reception.  It's been sewn to the ribbon a bit roughly by me so I might sew something on either side to hide the stitching where I've sewn the ribbon together.
I love that this is so simple and pretty, perfect if I just want to have a hint of sparkle on the day.  With a bit of ribbon it was so easy to transform this head band to a wedding worthy hair accessory!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Veil DIY, some craft details

It's time for a veil DIY update!  As I expected now that I have a dress I need to re-do my veil as it isn't exactly the right shade.  I have already bought my ever so subtly differently coloured tulle fabric and I have also collected a few different bits and pieces which I may or may not sew on to it.
I found these pretty lace appliqués in the John Lewis haberdashery section.  There were also some stunning lace fabrics in there I wanted for my veil but they were way too expensive for my budget!

These two are just so delicate and pretty.  The scattered beads sparkle in the sunlight.
I might sew these on either side of the cap.  The other piece I bought was this one.
This piece of lace is gorgeous but a bit more substantial.  This could either go across the top of the cap instead of the more delicate pieces if I want to make more of a statement.  Otherwise I was considering attaching it to the train of the veil.
These appliqués were only between £8-£10 which I thought was a pretty good price.  I'm really undecided at the moment as to how simple or extravagant I want to go with my veil right now, there are so many pretty options!