Friday, February 27, 2015

High Street Mascara and Eyeliner

Lumene Blueberry Liner

After having quite a spendy December and January I promised myself that I would keep to a tighter budget this month.  I wanted to buy a new mascara as the L'oreal Telescopic one I had been using was drying out a bit and I like to have more than one mascara on hand at a time.  I was determined to buy high street so went for a browse in our local department store.  One brand on sale here is called Manhattan, which when I looked it up is owned by the same company that produces Rimmel make-up.  I had noticed that some of their packaging was exactly the same, particularly their own version of the Rimmel Apocolips.  I quite like Rimmel products so I decided to check out a mascara from Manhattan as Rimmel is not so widely available here.
I took a look at all the brushes and settled on the Volcano Explosive Volume mascara as it had a nice big bristle brush, similar to brushes I have liked in the past.
I also wanted to try a liquid eyeliner again after not using liquid liner for ages in favour of eyeshadow or pen liner.  The reason I stopped using liquid liner was because it started to irritate the skin on my eyelids a little.  I was using the L'oreal Super Liner Eyeliner and loved it as it was so black, richly pigmented and easy to apply.  Possibly because I was wearing it everyday for many months I suddenly developed a slight reaction to it which was disappointing and unsurprisingly put me off liquid eyeliner for a while.
I decided I wanted to get back in on the liquid liner so I decided to opt for Lumene's Blueberry Liquid Liner which, with 90% natural ingredients, I am hoping wont irritate my skin.  I also chose it because of the applicator which is a tapered nib which I find easier to use than a thin brush.  The colour was a rich dark black, similar to the L'oreal one.
Lumene Blueberry liner
I've been using these on and off for about a week now.  The mascara when I first tested it out wasn't what I had expected it to be.  The bristles on the brush were much stiffer than what I had imagined and it turned out the formula was waterproof which I normally avoid because I can't be bothered with the hassle of trying to get it off.  Once I got the hang of it though I didn't mind and I'm sure the waterproofness will come in useful.
The liquid eyeliner has also been good.  I've been enjoying having liquid liner back in my life again and love the definition it gives my eyes.  No irritation so far either.  I'm wearing both the liner and mascara in the photo below.
I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening!  I feel like I could use an early night tonight,
till next time :)


Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Needle and Thread dress for a red carpet event


It's been a few days.  My apologies, I've been busy and distracted by life in general.  I've been reading a lot more to try to calm my distracted mind which is something I'm feeling happy about.  I'm nearly through Cloud Atlas but I can't believe how long it's taken me!  I'm feeling proud of myself though as I've had it for about 5 years and don't think I thought I would ever read it in the end.
One of the things I was distracted by was a formal event I was lucky enough to be invited to which I needed a lovely long dress for.  I didn't have anything I felt was appropriate so I had to find something very quickly, within about three weeks in fact.  After a bit of a panic I bit the bullet and purchase a Needle and Thread dress that was on sale on ASOS and prayed it would a) arrive in time and b) fit.

Luckily it arrived quicker than expected and fit well enough that felt I could get away with!  It was slightly snug around the waist band which actually sat on the bottom of my ribs.  I prefer the slight restriction to be there though than on my actually waist because I can't stand any tightness around my stomach.  I was a little bit worried about it but after trying it on a couple of times at home on the actual night itself the waist band didn't bother me at all so maybe it stretched out a bit?
I thought the dress itself was really pretty with geometric beading which was very sparkly in the light.  I wore it with my hair curled and nude satin and lace shoes I bought from New Look a couple of years ago for a wedding.
Needle and Thread dress from ASOS

A few beads did seem to have come loose on the dress but the dress comes with a tag attached which states something along the lines of... due to the delicate nature of the dress some beads may have come loose and this is normal, or something like that.  I was a bit annoyed that there were beads missing when it was supposed to be brand new but honestly there were so many beads on it you could hardly tell.  The dress also came with a small supply of beads that matched so I could have tried to fix it up if I was really bothered.
In the end it didn't matter at all and I felt absolutely gorgeous.  I was apprehensive to spend so much money on a dress at first but then I realised, how many posh events do you get invited to in a lifetime?  Not that many actually (well for me!) so I'm glad I decided to make the most of the opportunity and treat myself to this dress, the photographs will be something I can cherish forever!

Till next time :)


Thursday, February 19, 2015

A pretty bright pink gloss from Pupa


I hope you're having a good week.  I had a performance yesterday of a modern piece that I sometimes struggle with the beginning of because it has to be slow and controlled.  It's quite hard to step on the stage and do something like that because you don't have any time to shed your nerves.  Luckily for me it went better than the last time mostly because I felt a bit calmer.  I wish I knew why and there was some magic cure for nerves but I can't work out what makes it different one day to the next!.
A couple of weeks ago I went to some shops out of town and came across a shop which had some Pupa make-up on sale.  I have only ever bought one eyeshadow from Pupa in the past so don't have much experience of their make-up.  I've always thought it looked really pretty and intriguing but was a little bit too expensive for me.
The Chubby Gloss sticks caught my eye as I had been looking for something really easy to wear at work or in the daytime.  These were obviously on sale because they were part of their Summer 2014 collection but at just 5 euros I couldn't resist!  The shade 003 Hot Shot Pink was just what I was looking for colour wise and the formula was moisturising, soft and glossy.  My lips have been feeling a bit dry lately with the cold weather so the moisturising formula was welcome.  The colour wasn't as pigmented as the other lipsticks I've been going for recently but that was what I wanted so I could wear a bit of colour on my lips without it being OTT.
I love the packaging and feel of the Chubby Gloss and find it really easy to use.  It's really light which makes it great to keep in my handbag for regular touch ups.  The colour can be built up to a really visible bright pink if desired.  It also surprised me by leaving behind a bit of a tint on my lips, which means it doesn't have to be touched up as frequently as I was anticipating.
I've been using this lots since I bought it and it's pretty much constantly in my hand bag in case I want to add a hint of colour without drying out my lips.  It has me hankering for other shades so I can switch it up a bit.  A trip back to that out of town shopping centre might be on the cards!

Till next time :)


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pancakes for breakfast!


If you read my last post you will know that I really enjoyed Valentine's Day this year!  Basically I spent a lot of time just doing things that I enjoy.  This didn't include the usual laying about and watching TV/ getting lost down the rabbit hole otherwise known as the internet.  No this time we were very productive but mostly just getting out and about doing things that we enjoyed.  It was like taking a little holiday in our home town.
Somehow pancake day falling on the following Tuesday felt like it was prolonging this proactive-ness in that if forced me to get out of bed in the morning and get cooking!  Normally I laze around in bed pressing the snooze button for at least half an hour (terrible I know but I set my alarm earlier than I need to because I know I'll probably end up doing this).  I'd never have the time to do any cooking in the morning before work after all that snoozing.  On Tuesday I was actually a little excited to get up and treat my fiancé to some pancakes for breakfast.
I decided to go for American style pancakes because they're my favourite.  I was a bit selfish as my fiancé prefers the crepe style pancake, but seeing as I was the one doing all the work.....
I used the same recipe I always do, the American Blueberry pancake recipe which I found on the BBC good food website.  It makes a lovely fluffy batch of pancakes though sadly I didn't have any blueberries to add in this time.  It's good that I got up as early as I did because it does take a bit of time to cook them all up if you're making four at a time like I was.
baking, lifestyle blog
We ate them with golden syrup and they were delicious!  The recipe made far too many pancakes for just the two of us so I was able to store some in the fridge and have them for breakfast the next day.
It made a lovely change for breakfast to throwing things in the blender and whipping up a quick smoothie (or just dipping some biscuits in tea when I can't even be bothered with that!).  I think changing your routine around a bit like this can really make a difference to how you feel.  Now that I've done a bit of baking I want to get in to the habit of it again.  Next on the list of things I want to bake is some scones!   I just need to purchase a cutter first.

Did you enjoy whipping up some pancakes for Pancake Day?

till next time :)


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How we spent our Valentine's Day

Hi there!

How was your weekend?  I really enjoyed mine and had one of the best Valentine's Day's I've ever had!  I've been feeling a bit down and confused lately about my life and the direction in which it's heading (mainly career issues) so was really surprised to have such a great day on Valentine's Day as we had no specific plans.  I'm really lucky that I have my lovely fiancé and that we were able to spend most of the day together.  In the morning I went to my training class at work but before I left my fiancé presented me with a little gift!  I wasn't expecting a present at all and was really touched that he had remembered a couple of books I'd been looking at in the book store.  It really put me in a good mood so I went off to work happier than usual.

Having these books to read has given me even more incentive to get on and finish the book I'm reading at the moment, Cloud Atlas.
After the class I needed to go to the shops to pick up the present I was going to get for him...a home made cake!  He had been talking about how much he wanted birthday cake lately so even though this is exactly what I had done for him last year I thought he wouldn't complain if I made him a cake again.  I haven't baked for ages so it was really nice to get baking again!  Once the cake was baked we headed out for coffee and a cake (think there's a theme here!).
We went out to a really popular cafe at a really busy time but somehow we managed to find a table (!).  After a lovely time having green tea and cake we headed back home and booked tickets to go to the cinema to see The Imitation Game.  I also wanted to ice my cake but when I took a proper look at it.....disaster!  It seemed that the very centre of it was not properly cooked.  I wanted to throw it away and start again but my very level headed fiancé suggested we cut out the centre and make it a doughnut cake.  I was extremely sceptical but he was insistent that he wanted the doughnut cake instead of a new one (bless him).
We had a couple of hours until the film started so we went out for sushi but the restaurant was really busy!  We ended up going to a different restaurant instead and I had a nice light salad which was good because it left room for my favourite thing about going to the cinema....popcorn!
The film was entertaining.  I enjoyed watching it although was a bit disappointed that the script writers seemed to have taken so much poetic license with the story in order to make it more entertaining.  Some how parts of the plot didn't ring true for me but I thought that the acting was brilliant and it's good that it's highlighting such an important event in history.
Cake baking icing blogging

Then we came back home and I iced the doughnut cake at my fiancé's request.  I decided to use blue food colouring in the icing but because of the yellow from the butter I used it came out green!  Green is my fiancé's favourite colour so in a way that was perfect.  Honestly it tasted pretty good!  We have been slowly polishing it off ever since.
I had a bath and read some of Cloud Atlas which was lovely and relaxing.  I'm getting much more into reading again and I can definitely sense that my brain is more alert!  After that we watched Endeavour on TV which was really beautifully filmed and the 60's costumes are just lovely to look at.
I really enjoyed my day and have to say it felt like the best day I had had in a while.  My fiancé and I both agreed it felt really good to be rushing around doing things we enjoyed for a change.  I think I learnt a little lesson in what makes me happiest that day.  Hopefully it's something I can apply to more days than just Valentine's in the future!

Till next time :)


Friday, February 13, 2015

January Empties

Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturiser, Burt's Bees Body Lotion

I used up some products last month so I tried to save them up so I could make a post about them and let you know how I got on with them!  A couple of moisturiser empties (I always go through a lot of them in winter), my all time favourite day cream, and a hair oil.

The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturiser

OK I write about this all the time!  I finally used one up though so I thought I would include it.  SPF 30, need I say more?  A good day moisturiser with a relatively high SPF at not so bad a price (when there's a sale or an offer on!).  I like the fresh citrus-y scent and it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin.  I use this every day without fail.

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment

I got this small sample with the Macadamia no tangle brush I bought.  This has lasted me quite a long time.  I wasn't sure at first about using a hair oil as I already use a hair mask now and then and a lot of conditioner.  I enjoyed using this on the ends of my hair from time to time before I used a hair dryer.  It smells really nice and just seemed like it must be doing some good for my hair.  I thought it would make my hair feel heavy and weighed down but this was never the case.  Since it's run out I've started thinking 'ooh I must buy some more hair oil', so I must have liked it!

Burt's Bees Fragrance Free Body Lotion

I bought this when my eczema flared up because I know I can use it on the flared up skin without irritation.  It's a really nice scent free body lotion that wont irritate your skin but will keep it moisturised.  It's definitely something I would buy again and again when my skin becomes irritated.

Organic Surge Soothing Sweet Blossom Cream

This had a really nice subtle but sweet scent, it reminded me a little of orange sherbet.  It was soothing on my skin and didn't irritate it.  I used this up really quickly because I really liked it.  It isn't too thick so it doesn't sit on the skin but sinks in nicely.

I don't really go through products very quickly so I'm surprised to have finished these four around the same time.

Till next time :)


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Life lately: Shopping and bright pink lipstick


It's been sunny here for the last two days.  Seems rather crazy after so many overcast winter days.  The snow is even melting!  I'm so happy, maybe I will be able to wear my new over the knee boots soon without worrying about slipping on ice.  I have a few random photos that I've taken recently that I thought would fit in to a nice life lately post.
Please excuse the mess in the background!  I've been really loving my oversized Mango jumper I bought in the sale a couple of weeks ago.  I've worn it with my new jeans as well as with my skirts.  It's lovely and snuggly and goes with lots of outfits.
I've been wearing my new jeans that I also bought in the Mango sale so much that I had to buy new socks to wear because I was running out before I'd washed all my others!  Normally I alternate wearing jeans and tights with skirts or a dress.  I looked for some in the sales too (of course, who wants to pay full price for socks?!)  After searching through some weird designs, and lots of Christmas themed ones, I found these cute stripy ones in nice shades of pink and grey.

I wrote about this Tophshop Lip Paint in my January favourites but I haven't posted a photo of me wearing it yet on here.  Because it's so bright I don't get wear it as often as I'd like but last weekend I just decided to go for it even though we were only popping out for coffee during the day.
Still in to the candle phase!  This one is an Air Wick one.  I don't usually buy these but saw them on sale when we went to the local hardware store to look for for boring stuff for the flat.  I think this one is called Orange with Winter Spice.  It's got a strong scent which I like as I want my scented candles to make the room smell nice even when they're not lit.  It also comes in quite a nice frosted glass which looks a lot more sophisticated than the Air Wick packaging suggests.  I'd definitely buy more of these in the future.

I also bought some pretty paper to try to make a friends birthday card with.  

So those were some snap shots from my last week! 
Till next time :)


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Finding an anti-perspirant for sensitive skin

Anti Perspirant for Sensitive skin

Hi there!
How is your week going?  I had training this morning and I'm back for rehearsals in to the evening today so I'm using this break in my work day to write up this blog post about my struggles with anti-perspirant..
As a dancer one thing that is pretty important when it comes to personal hygiene is using anti-perspirant deoderant.  When you're exercising in close proximity with other people all day long you really don't have a choice but to wear it.  As someone with sensitive skin it can be really difficult to find a good anti perspirant that works but doesn't irritate.  Unfortunately when my eczema flares up the skin under my armpits can be affected and that's so uncomfortable when you're working out because you still need to put something on under there or you'll be stinky and gross your fellow dance colleagues out.
I kept having flare ups now and then and eventually I realised that I was having a reaction whenever I wasn't using my Garnier Mineral Sensitive Anti-perspirant.  In the past I would always look for anti perspirants that said they were calming or soothing but suddenly these weren't working for me.  I stopped using anything other than the Garnier Sensitive one which I realised even has hypoallergenic written on packaging!  Perfect.  About a month ago my one at home ran out (I keep one at home and one at work) so I went out to the shops to pick it up and it was no where to be found!  I thought maybe they had just run out of stock but recently my one at work ran out too and they are still AWOL.  Arghhh!  I can't believe it, Garnier what are you playing at?!  So now I'm on the hunt for an equally sensitive one that does the job well which potentially means trial and error of buying different ones and hoping they a) work and b) don't irritate my skin.
The first one I picked up was the Nivea Pure & Sensitive Anti-perspirant roll on for Sensitive skin.  So far I've had no problems.  I'm not convinced it's a strong as the Garnier one was but there's been no under-arm irritation so far which I'm pleased about.  I've only been using it about a week or two but so far I'm just pleased I've found one that doesn't give me a rash!  The formula is creamy and not strongly scented.  So far so good.  I'll let you know how I get on with it but if you've any suggestions for good anti-perspirants for sensitive skin in the mean time do let me know!

Till next time :)


Sunday, February 8, 2015

A new little black dress from ASOS

Hello there!

Phew I'm so glad my busy couple of weeks is over.  It ended with a performance on Saturday night and now I can catch up with myself and my life again.  It's nice to be busy but I am relishing the chance to have some quiet time for myself.  Outside the snow has been falling quite heavily but the temperatures haven't been quite as harsh as they can be some winters (-20 C).
At some point last month I ordered myself a new dress from ASOS.  It was quite heavily discounted in the sale which was what made me decide to go for it.  I don't really have many little black dresses in my wardrobe.  In the past I've always been drawn to colour and felt that black was kind of...dull.  With my recent mission to change up my style a bit I felt that as I was lacking in the black dress department, this one would start off my new collection nicely.

ASOS embellished dress
The beading on it is just gorgeous and it seems to be really well made.  I recently bought a full length Miss Selfridge beaded dress in the sale and, beautiful as it was, it didn't take long for all the beads to start falling off.  This dress seems quite a bit sturdier and well made.  Certainly worth the 33 quid I paid for it.  On the model the dress looked a bit short, covering up just as much as you could get away with.  On me however it's quite a bit longer than that.  The shortness was the only thing that I was a bit worried about so I'm pleased with the length, I think it gives it a bit more sophistication than it would have had otherwise.

I can't wait to wear this on a night out.  I think I have some events coming up at the theatre next month this can make an appearance at!  I went on the ASOS website to see if they still had this dress but it's sold out unless you get in the ASOS 'Tall' line.  They still had some really pretty other LBD's in the sale though, I had to make myself click away from the website quickly before I bought anything else!
I definitely need to sort out my wardrobe soon to make way for my nice new purchases.  Have you been updating your style in the sales?

Till next time

Twirlybirdie :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Life lately, film photography and lace


I haven't posted a life lately post in a while so I thought I'd give one a go.  Because work has been quite busy there hasn't been as much time to focus on things at home.  I've been missing baking but lacked the time and resources so I think I might try and get back doing that with some valentines inspired treats.  Here are a few photos from my life lately.....
My fiancé had a bit of a tidy in the living room.  He put together a small selection of my notebooks and stationary on the windowsill near my desk.
Even though the days are getting lighter I still can't survive most evenings without a scented candle (or three).  These mango scented ones were on sale and I really like the scent!
 This was taken a while ago when the snow first settled.  It still looks pretty much the same out there though!  The snow is much easier to put up with when the sun shines on it!
A friend at work took some pictures with a retro film camera.  He gave me a few that he took of me.  This went in my journal, it's me and my ballet partner in the Nutcracker.
Working on adding the lace appliqués to my veil.  It's still a work in progress but I think we're getting there!
I went out to the shops this weekend to pick up some household necessities (like a plunger, woo!) and somehow managed to come back with these!  They were all on sale though.  More things to try out and review!

There is still snow on the ground but I can sense spring in the air!  That's what I'm telling myself anyway.  Yes work is busy and a little stressful but it is definitely making the days of winter pass by quicker.

Till next time :)


Sunday, February 1, 2015

January Goals and Journaling


Happy February!

I hope you had a lovely Sunday.  I spent it catching up on some much needed rest.  At the beginning of this month I bought a book I wanted to use as a journal/ diary which I could record my general goals and aspirations for the year in.  This was also a really good excuse to get using all the washi tape I've been collecting up.  I've been trying to divide the book up in a way that's going to be really useful and appealing so that I will use it.  So far I decided to draw up a calender on a full page before each month and give myself a page each month for blog ideas.  I wrote down my goals for 2015 but also decided to try to do some more focused monthly goals which I could also write in at the beginning of each month.  Originally I wanted to buy a nice already laid out diary but I like how the blank pages of this book give me the opportunity to create a diary/journal however I want to
As well as the washi tape I also have these really cute Emma Bridgewater sticky notes to use which I got as a Christmas present.

So how did I do on my goals for January?

  • drink green tea -  I drank a lot of green tea this month!  I drank it at work pretty much everyday in place of my daily coffee I used to drink before I realised I was having a reaction to caffeine!
  • drink lots of water - I started off really well with this one but perhaps could do better on it over the past week or so.  It definitely makes me feel better and makes my skin look better too
  • go to the gym for stamina - I managed to fit this in quite a few times when my work schedule was less busy.  I hope to keep working on this in to February.  I was generally going for 20-30 minutes on the cross-trainer on days when my rehearsals were not too full on.
  • finish Cloud Atlas - so I'm finally reading again!  I haven't finished it but I'm about half way through which is amazing seeing as I've had this book for about five years.
  • wake up slightly earlier - errr failed, unless you count days where I wake up and can't fall back to sleep at 5am!

In all I'm quite pleased with how these goals went and I definitely want to try and set some more for February.  I'm feeling like these will be sorting/ organising focused ones and I've got my fingers crossed it will lead to more change.

Have you started keeping a journal in 2015?

Till next time :)