Find the fun

My make up storage needed a shake up. My boudoir had slowly become a dumping ground and I stopped bothering to put make up away when I finished it in the morning. So on Saturday, Ed and I headed to Southampton for an impromptu Ikea visit to pick up my new storage system....the Helmer! I'd read about this on Charlotte's blog, and after watching Lily's video I was sold.  And the best part was, it only cost £25 + another £10 for the tray inserts.  So how do I store everything?
Top drawer is foundations.  Right at the back are those I never use, in the middle are my current bottles, primer and tinted moisturisers and then at the front are my concealers.
Next is eyeshadows. Again, at the back are those I don't use, then in the middle are various drugstore brands and my MAC crushed metal pigments.  In the front two compartments are primers and paintpots, and then my MAC shades.
Underneath is a fairly empty drawer of make up, eyeliners and my HD brows palette. Mascara isn't really my thing, so any suggestions for holy grail products would be gratefully received.
Blush, however, is my thing.  In this drawer there's a mish mash of brands, then Topshop and Sleek in the front right and MAC next to it.  Tucked in with the Topshop blushers is my Cream Colour Base and in the middle on the left is bronzers and highlighters.
And here is my guilty pleasure!  I've got enough MACs to make the front left section stand upside down so I can read the labels easily, but I'll have to invest in some more to do the same with the right!  Behind that are various brands, and on the left are glosses, pencils and liners.  At the back are my spare MACs (yes, I did buy a back up Viva Glam Gaga...)
Finally, at the bottom is eyeshadow palettes.  I don't have too many of these, just my Naked palettes, MAC, Sleek, MUA Heaven & Earth and Fashionista.  On reflection, I'll turn this tray around so that the Naked palettes are at the front.
What about brushes, I hear you say. These are stored in my dressing table in those handy empty Glossyboxes. Face brushes in one, eye brushes in the other.
And finally, next to my Helmer is a cake stand filled with nail varnishes.  This is so much tidier than the drawer they were all thrown in before and so pretty to look at!

So in the words of Mary Poppins, I've found the fun (in organising) and snap!  The job's a game!  How do you store your make up?  I love having a nosey, so link me to any posts you might have done!  And if you haven't seen enough photos, have a look at this....so cute!


Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Daily Facial Lotion

I know, I know...I frequently post a new moisturiser and herald it as my new favourite but this one really is.  I picked this up in Superdrug because I love Palmer's products and well, just got sucked into the idea of a new range.

I have dry skin, ranging to extremely dry (and slight eczema) across my forehead.  I already use the solid cocoa butter with an eco tools pad every day on this area, and know that the Palmer's formula doesn't aggrevate my eczema so I figured I'd give this a go and see how it worked out on the rest of my skin.

Not gonna lie, I did get buyer's remorse when I got home and read the product in a bit more depth.  I was sold by the fact that it's for sensitive skin, but when I spotted that it's lightweight my heart sunk.  My parched skin needs some industrial-strength moisturiser!  I'm not sure if my understanding of "lightweight" is wrong, but I wouldn't say this product is that.  Or maybe I've severely over-estimated the dryness of my skin?  Anyway, this does feel quite light and slightly gel-like on application (perhaps this is the lightweight part?) but the moisture it provides is amazing.  My skin feels hydrated and smooth, and this feeling lasts for a good while after I've done my make up.

This moisturiser also claims to calm stressed skin and reduce redness.  I do suffer from the usual redness around my nose, but wouldn't say I've spotted a dramatic difference in this.  I'm not sure I'd classify my skin as "stressed out", so couldn't comment on the effects it would have.

Has anybody else tried this?


Lost boy

- Jeans: Primark - Jumper: Vero Moda - Shoes: Zara - Scarf: H&M -
Thank you to everyone who sent me well wishes over the last few days.  Liz, in particular, you've been amazing.  All of your kind words and shared memories have really gone some way to help me.

Gus has gone and I'm really not coping well.  It's been a far while since I've had to deal with death and it's really knocked me for six.  I just don't feel like me at the moment and I'm so emotional.  I feel silly for being so upset, but truly he was part of the family and even though I'd moved out, it's just not the same realising that he's no longer in the world.  I went with him to the vets and stayed through the injection; I'm so glad I did.  He was always such a dependant cat and I honestly don't think I could have lived with the guilt of leaving him alone at that time.

So today was a better day; I think it'll be a long while before I have a good day, but I know that eventually it'll get easier.  I've ordereda canvas print of him to hang next to the one of my other cat and I plan to add another little star to my foot tattoo in his memory.

Thanks again for sticking with me and offering your support.  It'll take a while, but I'll be back to me soon.


What I bought in Primark: 21/4/2012

~ Shopping in Primark can be frantic for even the most seasoned of shoppers. I'll be bringing these posts to you as a friendly guide, showing you what's in stores and when, to help you next time you shop ~
Snake print ballet shoes - £5
Primark is the place to go for cheap ballet pumps.  The majority of them are soft enough that they don't rub my feet, and they're always really reasonable (ahem, cheaply) priced.  It's no secret that I love a bit of animal print, and these snake print shoes are uber similar to a pair of Steve Madden ones that I spotted in TK Maxx with a much higher price tag.
Sandals - £6 
I know I've probably commmitted some cardinal sin of blogging here by showing my feet, and I do apologise if the purple-ish hue I've spotted offends your eyes.  In my defence, I'd just got out of the shower and circulation in my feet is a full-time issue with me....  Anyway, I tend to avoid Primark sandal/flip flop offerings because I'm seriously fussy in that department.  That said, I'm a sucker for pastel colours at the moment and coupled with the gold detailing I was sold.  They're not the sofest sandals for my delicate feet, and it remains to be seen how I'll cope with the annoying plastic bit between my toes but for the sole purpose of jazzing up an outfit I think they'll do just fine.
Besides the above, I also picked up some pjs the other day but it feels wrong posing in nightwear.  Although I did take an instagram pic the other day which you can see here.  I also got Ed a few bits for his birthday which I won't mention because although he doesn't read my blog, you never know if he might happen to snoop!

What have you bought from Primark recently?


MAC Tres Cheek collection: Full of Joy

When I received the email about MAC's latest (of many) new collection, I was excited by the purpleish hue on the model's cheeks.  Then I Temptalia-d for swatches and all excitement left.  The blushers all look similar in tone and there wasn't the lavender shade that I've been looking for.

Then I went instore and cracked.  I was instantly drawn to Full of Joy and, once swatched, I had to have it.  It's like a more pigmented version of Azalea Blossom and really does leave a gorgeous pinky-lilac sheen to the cheeks.  It's decently pigmented, and you don't need much to build up a good colour.  That said, it was too tricky to photograph, hence no shots of it applied.  This blush is a must for anyone who likes purple-tinged blushers reminiscent of Benefit's Hervana, and despite it's Frost classification is devout of any shimmer.


To have succeeded

It's a different sort of post tonight.  I did actually have the standard outfit pics to use, but it felt wrong mixing something so frivolous in with these thoughts. 

I'm having to deal with the inevitability of getting our family cat put down.  Which sucks.  He's about 10, so not that old, but very probably the most unlucky cat in the world.  He's got kidney failure, one side of his mouth has had the teeth removed, he's broken his legs three times and last time had to have both his front and back leg wired and to top it all off he's now got arthritis.  Which has caused the last leg operation he had to fail, and he's now got a wire poking out of his back leg.  Thinking about it makes me want to cry, and the fact that the vets won't put it right unless Mum pays an extortionate amount (on top of the already extortionate amount) makes me so cross.  Plus he can't really go under anaesthetic again because of his kidneys.  Oh, and those kidneys mean he can't have any tablets for his arthritis either.  So to replace the drip that he's had to be put on every night for the last 3 weeks, he's now on morphine and will have to be for the rest of his life.  It's just a horrible situation where he's never going to get better and he's got no real quality of life, but he's not visibily ill enough for me to just accept that it's time to let go.  But I know it's coming soon.

In the words of King Triton (more or less), then I guess there's just one problem left.  How much I'm going to miss him.


Lilac playsuit

- Playsuit: Primark - Blazer: Republic - Shoes: eBay - Rings: Tiffany & Links of London - Bracelets: Tiffany, Links of London & River Island -
Word of warning to anyone thinking of seeking out this playsuit; it is extremely small.  Not size-wise necessarily, but in the length.  Although my 'feminine charms' do fill out a fair portion of any top, the fact that I have a ridiculously tiny torso (my ribs have been known to bang against my hip bone when driving) tends to balance that out.  Not with this playsuit though.  It's tricky to bend over to pick anything up in for fear of severely wedgie-ing myself and at times during the night I look down only to realise it looked a lot like I was wearing just knickers.  Geordie Shore's Charlotte has nothing on me.  That said, the colour is so eye-catching, the design simple yet stunning and the quality is top-knotch.  All for £15, Primark have got it spot on here.

So last night I went out to celebrate a friend's 25th (God we're getting old).  My partying days are long over, but that said I was pleasantly surprised.  Perhaps it was just the place we ended up in, but it was nice to be out and see a real mix of people rather than binge drinkers falling about all over the place.  See?  Told you I was getting old.

In diet news...well, I failed.  I lost 0.8lbs which I'm aware is not good.  I'm a little bit stumped as to why my weight's fluctuating so much at the moment though; I've downloaded the My Fitness Pal app and rarely go over 1200 calories.  If anyone could shed some light I'd be very grateful!  And seeing as I already treated myself to some shoes for my week one reward, I've decided to put them aside and not actually wear them until I've lost 2lbs.  How's that for willpower!

Hope you've all had a lovely weekend....what did you get up to?


Things I (don't really) Need #1

I first saw these jeans while randomly trawling through eBay, and when I saw it was Nicole Richie wearing them I was sold.  I buy into anything Nicole does/has/says and these are no exception.  £34.99 does seem a little expensive for Miss Guided jeans so I'm bearing them in mind.  Plus I'm not sure if work is ready for them yet.

Unfortunately I'm yet to own that Moschino belt so for the meantime any alternative will do.  I can't remember where the "LOVE" variety was from (if anyone does know please tell me below!) but I think this oui/non ne is still cute!  Not sure if the letters are just a bit too small though...

I. Love. These. Shoes.  They were actually my first reward for Operation Slimdown, but I caved in and bought Converse instead.  Not sure why, my logic was that I really really wanted these for a night out on Saturday, but seeing as they wouldn't arrive in time and they aren't actually that practical, I went for these instead.  They will remain firmly on my wishlist though, and if they're still around in time for my birthday they will definitely be being asked for!

I seem to be last in line for this.  I was completely naive to the impact of pores, but after having seen many a scary close-up of fellow bloggers faces I've decided that I too do have unsightly pores which must be blurred out pronto.

I saw this clutch in Westfield and thought it was fabulous.  I was distracted by a scarf which I purchased instead, and my friends convinced me that actually a clutch as a day-to-day bag isn't the most practical of things and I would probably end up regretting it.  True, but that doesn't stop me wondering what might have been.

Finally, I swatched Ooh La La in store and thought it seemed in a similar vein to my absolute favourite, Cut A Caper.  I've yet to invest in any Toppers lipstick, would you say it's worth a go?


Leopard print shoes

- Top: Topshop - Jeans: River Island - Shoes: Primark - Bag: Michael Kors -
I'm really gutted that my Easter holidays are coming to an end - I need more time off!  I like to think I've spent it wisely though; going to an Aussie event, shopping on Oxford Street (twice), visiting Covent Garden, hitting Westfield, catching up with friends and then tomorrow I'm off to the hairdressers.  Time well spent I'd say!

I've been to the cinema quite a few times recently too, which is surprising for me.  I've got serious issues with being in the cinema when there are lots of people there (I made Ed book us tickets for The Hunger Games at like 11pm on its opening night) but both times atm the cinema's been packed but I've coped ok!  Last night we went for a preview showing of Cabin In The Woods.  My scary teen film days are long behind me, but this was actually really good!  There was a big Hunger Games-style twist which made it a break from your average slasher flick, and the fact that Joss Whedon wrote and produced it made me love it more, as there was a definite Buffy-esque theme running throughout.  Today I went with Mum and my younger sister to see Mirror Mirror.  Another good film; I love Lily Collins, Julia Roberts was fabulous and the Prince who annoys me on all the promotional work was surprisingly likeable.  I wouldn't say it's a must-see though, especially not in the middle of the day when the room is filled with children who can't be quiet!

Are either of these films up your street?


Garnier Youthful Radiance Creams

The Garnier Youthful Radiance creams are right up there in my list of favourite moisturisers.  At the moment I'm using a different range, but for a long time I used to use this pair day and night.  They're also readily available and can be bought in Boots or Superdrug, or alternatively picked up when doing the weekly shop in Tescos.  Simple as peas.

The cream itself is thick and well, creamy.  It glides on the skin with light slightly citrus scent (Ed's just informed me that this is standard Garnier scent and even their hair wax smells the same...so anyone with a Garnier product should know what I mean).  I really like the scent and find it gives me a little wake up call in the mornings.  The night cream is denser than the day cream and is green instead of white.

I don't know how to describe how moisturising this actually is, all I can say is that I suffer with dry skin and on the whole this does its job well.  I do have some areas where I suffer from eczema which this doesn't provide enough moisture to, but for anyone with a normal-dry skin type I think this would work well.

But now onto my mini rant....
This cream ranges from £9.19 to £6.63 (although they're quite often on offer and I'm sure I paid even less) for the day cream and is a similar price for the night version.  In the picture above, on the left is the day cream in the old packaging and on the right is the new packaging for the night cream.

Now, I do love nice packaging but wouldn't pay extra for it to be fancy.  My bugbear is that the new packaging is horrible.  Gone is the sturdy, classy hard plastic/glass jar for a cheap, garish lightweight plastic alternative.  It's so light that I actually thought the product was missing from the box when I picked it up instore, then when I realised that there was in fact a jar inside, I questioned whether it was an empty, dummy product.  No, it's just that light.  Like I said, I wouldn't necessarily pay more for a glass jar but I'm not happy paying the same for a crappy plastic container!  At £9 I think this is on the pricey side of drugstore moisturisers, and I'm sure there's a good reason for the cutting down on packaging, but I think the price should be revised to reflect this!

I do apologise for what a rant this post has become, but who else is with me?!


Think outside the box

- Dress: Primark - Jumper: H&M - Bag: Michael Kors -
Did you all have a good Easter?  I had a no make-up day; a result of being here, there and everywhere all week, the fact that pretty much everywhere was closed yesterday left me no choice but to slob out on the sofa!  I've made up for it today though by putting on a pretty dress in preparation for a family dinner at Mum's tonight.

This is the dress I bought from Primark, but it's just way too low cut for me to wear as a dress.  I have quite very narrow shoulders, which means they just won't hold the straps up so I had to throw a jumper over the top to protect my modesty!  I've also been trialling doing my hair differently lately; the first time I tried this was for the Aussie event...gave me a good chance to use my Aussie products!  They work really well, and now my hair's a little longer I really like the beachy effect.  I'm going for a trim on Friday though, and I'm taking the plunge and going for a pastel dip dye.  Anything to look a bit more India Rose and I'm sold!  But seriously, how awesome does this look?

How have you all spent your last day of freedom?


Operation Slimdown

 Image taken from weheartit
Before I get accused of promoting skinniness or anything like that, let me start by saying that I have never, nor am I likely to ever, have a stomach like this.  But it's a nice bit of motivation hey?

Soooo you may or may not know that I used to weigh a lot more than I do now.  When I made the decision to kick myself into shape and slim down I was 13st6lbs.  Losing over 5st is probably one of my biggest achievements, but recently I've felt like my bad eating habits are slowly making a reappearance.

This has got to stop!

Taking inspiration from Karris' post about how she's rewarding herself with little treats each time she hits a target weight, I've decided to do the same.  I've been moaning to Ed for months about how I feel sluggish, but enough's enough and it's time I did something about it.  So here are my targets:
So there we have it.  Hopefully time constraints will serve to motivate me more.  Next week I'm going to the gym when Ed goes during the day and then next month my sister wants to join it with me properly.  I'm looking forward to a fresh start, losing some weight and toning my body.

Is anybody else trying to get in shape before Summer?


More Aussie Fun

 So you've seen what I wore, now onto the good stuff!  You'll have to excuse the quality of most of these photos; I remembered to buy batteries on the way to the train station but in my rush I forgot to put my memory card in the camera!  I had to take all of my pictures using my phone, but the (much) better quality ones you can see are from the Aussie photostream here.

I won't go into a description of all the photos above; I'll just say the cupcakes were yummy, the clothes were fantastic and the company was perfect.  I got to meet the oh-so-stylish Lydia, and spent my time with the lovely Lily, Maria, Stephie, Dani and Hannah.  There were also some familiar faces sat opposite me on the front row - most notably Aisling and Blue October.  I'm always nervous about introducing myself to people I recognise, as I feel I know them so well through reading their blogs but I'm aware that nobody sees my face so they don't know who I am!  I have to say, that makes things so much harder at events because it's all down to me to introduce myself because no one recognises me and most of the time I'm too shy to do it!  As a result I didn't manage to speak to everyone I spotted....next time maybe!

Those Aussies sure know how to throw a party and as always, we were well looked after!  Did any of my readers go?  There's a sneaky picture of me deep in conversation up there, so if you spotted me but didn't say hello now's your chance!


Superdrug Dry Shampoo

Despite the Kim Kardashian lookalike on the can, I do quite like the theory and packaging of this range.  Names like "Head In The Clouds", "Away With The Fairies" or "Chocolate Brownie" above filled my head with nice, carefree summery thoughts.

I'm a Batiste girl at heart, but regular stocking up can get expensive (a friend made the radical suggestion that I just make the effort to wash my hair...I nearly choked) so when I saw this on offer for 99p I figured I'd give it a whirl.

I wish I hadn't, because it was so bad that I spent a week dry shampoo-less and had to go out the next weekend to buy my beloved Batiste which I should have done all along.  It left my hair feeling powdery and doesn't smell nice, so I handed it over to Ed in a bid to get him to leave my good stuff alone.  He's come to the same conclusion as me, and his input to this post is "it doesn't really feel like dry shampoo, leaves s**t all over my hands and when you wash your hair loads of orange stuff comes out of it".

This dry shampoo really isn't for me, and I wish I'd followed my initial plan to not buy this because I'd read many a rubbish review.  That said, there are also quite a few glowing ones too.  Which side of the fence do you sit on?


The Hunt

- Skirt: Primark - Vest: Primark - Scarf: Topshop -
Firstly, hello new faces!  I've had an influx of followers lately, and while it is true that followers aren't the be all and end all, I'd be lying if I didn't say that seeing new people choose to read my ramblings doesn't give me a little boost and an extra sense of pride in my blog and achievements.  So thank you for choosing to follow me, and thanks to those who already do who have stuck around for the ride!

I wore this on a day trip to London today with Mumma Toast.  The original plan was to head for the V&A but the shopping addict within got too much and we went to Oxford Street instead.  We had a really nice time actually, wandering up towards Marble Arch.  I controlled myself as well and didn't spend too much!  Mum treated me to the most gorgeous playsuit from Primark so the money I would have spent on that went towards this notepad from Selfridges.  I've never been to Selfridges before and I much preferred it to the OTT style of Harrods.  I also bought a little quote card and frame...all because I was desperate to own a yellow bag!  I'm such a geek for stationary and there are so many of these that I wish I owned, I always bought Mum this one for her new office - such a good daughter!  We stopped off at Covent Garden after to look at all the eggs, which I'm so glad we did.  They're all stunning and in amongst everyone is a really lovely way to display them all.  If you have a chance, you should definitely go and see them!

Hope you've all had a lovely week.  How will you be spending tomorrow if you're not at work?