Saturday, 31 August 2013

A Few Holiday Snaps and Several Creatures ... !


Can't believe it's the end of the summer holidays (again)!  Been a bit quiet on the blog this week as I wanted to spend as much time as possible with the kids before they go back to school next week  ...

Anyway ... just thought I'd post a few pics of our family holiday in France.  This year we decided to drive again (we've flown down to the South of France for the past few years). The destination was the Dordogne so not too long a drive. We stopped off at Orleans for a couple of nights and then continued onto a charming villa in the middle of a tiny hamlet (but not too far a drive from a large supermarket - always a necessity!). Bit picture heavy in this post so apologies...!

Inside the cathedral in Orleans // On the road towards Sarlat....

Gourmet Gormans's chicken and sausage casserole with courgette couscous // Swimming with Fergal the shark and Fergella the dolphin.

Mum doing the 'blogger nail thing' with Jessica Sunset Plaza // Dad snapping everyone in sight!

BBQ Night // Me and the girl doing a 'blogger leg pose'.

Sitting around ... this is the life...!

Onto the creatures then...there were loads of them around, as you can imagine and I found myself messing about with the super zoom on my camera - meant I didn't have to get too close - a good thing! Especially spiders - I don't do spiders!

Weird but cute beetle type thing wandering over my suncream // Dragonfly having a rest!

Pollen laden grey bee - we called him 'Richard Beer' - get it? //  Hummingbird hawk moth (these were my favourites but they move so fast, whizzing around the flowers that it's really difficult to get a pic!) here's one grabbing some nectar!

And now onto a different type of creature ... one that tends to evolve when too much of  the stuff on the left is consumed whilst listening to Rapper's Delight on an evening ... oh deary me - there really is no hope is there?

Sorry about that ... I've really enjoyed this year's summer holidays and we seem to have slipped into this laid back routine over the past few weeks - as you do! Anyway ... need to get over the holiday blues and back to reality/office/school - unfortunately all good things must come to an end and I have no idea how I'm going to get the kids up for school next week!

How did you spend this year's summer holiday?

Jen x

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Calling All Mallynistas!!


I must admit to somewhat hyperventilating when I saw a preview of Todays Special Value on QVC from Mally Beauty! Anyone who's a  fellow 'Mallynista' will know where I'm coming from...I mean would you just look at it ...!

Mally 6 Piece Easy on the Eyes Collection...all you have to do is choose which eyeshadow palette you want to play with...!

In the Buff 

I  Love Color

Here are the details of the kit from the QVC website...

  • 1 x Eyeshadow Palette 
  • 1 x Volumizing Mascara 
  • 3 x Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliners 
  • 1 x Perfect Prep Under Eye Brightener 
  • 1 x sharpener
  • 1 x double ended eyeshadow brush in compact
  • 1 x instructional booklet                                                                                                            (source)

All this lovely lot is priced at £39.98 (the approximate price of the eyeshadow palette if purchased alone) plus p&p for today only. Further details can be found at QVC here.

Are you a fan of Mally Beauty? Will you be taking advantage of this special offer?

Jen x

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Wild About Beauty - Multi Purpose Tint - Review


Wild About Beauty is co founded by former Eternal member Louise Redknapp and international make-up artist Kim Jacob.  I love the concept of the range which revolves around wearable, easy to use products to create a fresh, glowing look - sounds like a busy mum's dream eh?  You can read more on their website here.

The Multi-Purpose Tint in shade 'Maggie' was part of a 'try-out' kit recently on special offer from QVC  at £19.99 - see the full kit here.  To buy alone it is priced at around £16.50/3.75g

It comes boxed in a sleek compact complete with mirror and can be used to enhance eyes, lips and cheeks. According to the Wild About Beauty website the benefits are as follows ...
"Infused with skin beneficial anti-oxidants, Vitamins A and E, this ultra light, soft and blendable formula is really easy to apply, guaranteeing a natural-looking, glowing finish."  (source)

Swatched/blended and on the cheeks (or should I say cheek!) below ...

In the pan the colour is quite a fleshy tone - once applied, it takes on more of 'girly' rosy hue.  I've worn it over a BB cream for a dewy, almost translucent flush with no shimmer. Unfortunately it doesn't tend to last too long once on - no point applying too much in one go as I don't want to look like Aunt Sally.  I have, however, tried dabbing it over foundation and/or bronzer.  The colour sticks around for much longer used in this way (a good few hours in fact) so a much better result. You don't actually need an awful lot of product - it's easy enough to apply and blends in well (whichever way I use it) and hasn't caused me any spots or breakouts.  On the lips - it's not too light, not too dark with a naturally pretty pink tone. It can be built up for a stronger pout but again, doesn't last too long (on my lips anyway - maybe I just eat and drink too often!).

If you don't mind re-applying now and then and want a juicy wash of pretty colour to enhance/mingle with your natural flush (I took the Multi-Purpose Tint on holiday this year and it was perfect) then this is a lovely option for Summertime!

Have you tried out any products from Wild About Beauty?

Jen  x

Friday, 23 August 2013

My Boy's Birthday!


This week it was my boy's birthday - it's ridiculous how fast he's growing up - I don't feel mature enough myself to be a parent to a  teenager! Mum did him proud with one of her wonderful cake creations...!

I started with slight twinges that morning (two weeks before my due date) - all those years ago. My husband dropped me off - complete with my pre-packed maternity bag, at Mum and Dads while he went into work. Gradually throughout the day the pains intensified and by early evening I was sat on the settee with my two brothers jotting down the times between contractions (whilst playing on their latest games console next to me!).  Had to ring the hubby to tell him to cancel his footie match after work as the baby was definitely coming.  I asked for an epidural at the hospital but the midwives said it was too late - I was apparently too far on - so that was that - only gas and air!  He was born just after 11 that evening after a short(ish) sharp labour!  A few things that stick out in my mind ... being ferried off in a wheelchair to bed with this tiny bundle in my arms thinking - er..I have a baby! And the next morning waking up with his little face right next to mine - (they'd put him in bed next to me in the middle of the night to keep him warm!) his eyes were open and it was as if he was thinking - right mum - let's get on with it!  Also remember having a bit of a cry that day (pumped full to the brim of hormones) after the extremely stern midwife told me off for not knowing why the baby was still crying after I'd fed, changed and winded him ...!

This was the tune at Number 1 at the time...

Spiller - Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)  

It's a good one alright - not that I got to dance to it for quite a long time after he was born... ;) !

Jen x

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

NOTD - Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Grapefruit


This is the Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Grapefruit that my daughter chose for herself a few months ago. I decided to take it on holiday with us this year ...

With the Barry M Gellies people seem to either love em or hate em. I'm getting to quite like em!  Granted they can be pretty glupey to apply at times but if you can get the knack (and I'm gradually getting there) then it's worth the effort I reckon.  Freed of my usual pesky domestic duties the polish (plus topcoat) was going on for three days before wearing on the ends, which I was pretty impressed with.  I did take a couple of other polishes on holiday but loved this colour so much I ended up just using this one all week!  'Grapefruit' has that vinyl effect high shine associated with the Gellies - a super-vibrant, almost fluorescent pink with coral vibes - a perfect poolside bright!

Do you get on with the Barry M Gelly? Which is your favourite?

Jen x

Monday, 19 August 2013

Holiday Skincare ...!


As I may have mentioned we're 'Eurotunneling' into France this year so I can pack more goodies than usual - hurray for big car boots!  However ... when I'm on holiday I just want to faff about as little as possible so the simpler the routine the better...! Quite a few of this lot are magazine freebies or sample sizes from past beauty boxes which I need to use up...

1  Gatineau Floracil Eye Make-Up Remover - part of a recent QVC kit. Removes even the most stubborn of eye make-up so thought it would come in useful as I'm always mascara'd up - even on holiday!

2  Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash - a magazine freebie from yonks ago - got a real zesty and refreshing smell so good to use in the mornings.

3  DHC  Deep Cleansing Oil - I have a couple of these sample sizes from past beauty boxes. I reckon an oil cleanser will be pretty soothing and effective at getting shut of all the grime after a day in the sun.

4  Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic - decanted into this travel size from my larger version.

5  Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum - I wouldn't normally take a full size glass bottle but I know this will deliver on the hydration front am/pm. Full review here.

6  Neals Yard Rehydrating Rose Daily Moisture - from one of my very first Beauty Boxes last year and still not got stuck into it! I have used this a few times recently and it's light and hydrating and also doesn't upset any eczema which may crop up - so perfect for holiday.

7  Gatineau Defi-Lift Revolumising Lip Care - still a nightly favourite for lip plumping so it's in the bag! Full review here.

8  Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream - just taking the one for morning and evening use. This is another from a beauty box that need using - meant to be soothing, brightening and lifting.

So those are my holiday skincare picks this year.  Have you used any of the above products at home or abroad? Which are your favourites?

Jen x

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Dr Jart V7 Turnover Booster - Review


The Dr Jart V7 Turnover Booster was a bit of an impulse buy a few months ago whilst browsing round Boots (as you do!).  My skin had been feeling grey and dull with random patches of eczema cropping up.  I hadn't really heard or read anything about this particular product but was attracted to the whole 'turnover' aspect - plus it had a third off at the time so I threw caution to the wind ...!

On the Boots website the product is described as 'a regenerative blend of 7 essential vitamins' as follows:-
Key ingredients
  • Vita 3 Complex – Helps to reduce the appearance of pigmentation caused by acne, sun damage and delivers high levels of anti-oxidants
  • Vitamin B3 Niacinamide - Improves skins resilience, improves cell renewal
  • Vitamin B5 Panthenol - Aids wrinkle prevention
  • Vitamin C Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate – Helps to protects the skin from UV damage, helps maintain skin resilience with anti-oxidizing agents
  • Vitamin E Tocopheryl Acetate - Anti-oxidant agents help prevent skin ageing and improves elasticity of dry skin (source

I waited until my eczema had more or less cleared up and then started to apply one pump (which is all I need so the bottle should last for a while) every night after toner and before moisturiser continuing with my hydrating Vichy serum just in the mornings.  It starts off as an extremely light, clear gel which turns to liquid as you apply to skin.  I've struggled with thinking of how to describe this so here goes...! It reminds me of the sensation of applying ultra-light aloe vera to your skin - water retentive and hydrating.  It doesn't take long to sink in but has a very slight, almost viscous sensation as it does so but not in an unpleasant way. I've never stroked a little green frog when it's just got out of a pond but this is what I'd expect it to feel like - juicy and plump (it's a plump frog!).

I did hesitate over using the Dr Jart Turnover Booster at first as I didn't know what to expect or whether it would upset my eczema and set me back to square one. Whilst I don't profess be any kind of expert on the science behind the product I think as far as my own skin is concerned it's living up to the 'turnover' and 'booster' part of the deal.  After having used it for a couple of months now my skin feels in much better condition - it seems to keep things ticking over nicely and help with hydration and plumping. My overall skin-tone has improved and I'm not using as much make-up to cover up stuff, which, at the end of the day is what we all want - especially in summer?

The Dr Jart V7 Turnover Booster retails at around £32/50ml but there is a third off at the moment at Boots as you can see here.  I've been looking at some of the other products from the range - must control myself for now!

Have you tried out the Dr Jart V7 Turnover Booster by any chance? What's your favourite Dr Jart product?

Jen x

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Holiday Barnet...!


It's that time again ... having to decide what bits and bobs to take on holiday so first up is haircare. We're driving through to France this year so I don't have to stick to stringent baggage allowances etc ... the world's my hair product oyster! (Er don't tell the hubby - he wants me to pack as if we were flying - yeah right!!). I am trying to control myself but my hair is so wayward on holiday that I feel I have to take a little bit of everything. So...this is what I've narrowed it down to...

Percy & Reed Colour & Shine Shampoo - remember the old Glamour offer back in March - well I managed to save these two for holiday - a great size to take away - you can see my full review here.

Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment - this little pot of the original (rather than clear) hair treatment had fallen to the back of a cupboard and been forgotten about (bad isn't it!). I love pre-shampoo treatments - especially on holiday - ideal to slap on late afternoon and let sink in until you shower in the evening.

Ojon wide tooth comb - came in a kit years ago.   Philip Kingsley vented hairbrush - I may throw caution to the wind and let my hair dry naturally (perspiring at the thought!) but if I do decide on a makeshift holiday blow-dry then this will come in useful - it's a good brush for getting hair a bit smoother.

Redken Smooth Lock Shampoo and Conditioner - from a beauty box - may as well use it up.   Bumble and Bumble Gentle Shampoo and Super Rich Conditioner - given to me to try by the kindly assistant at the Bumble and Bumble counter!

Batiste Original Dry Shampoo - found this at the bottom of my haircare stash so it's coming away - can't do without a blast of the stuff now and again and I do find Batiste works well for me - especially if we get up early to travel and no time to faff about washing my hair!

Percy & Reed Volumising No Oil Oil (for fine hair) - another March Glamour freebie - a real dinky size for travel to help smooth ends.

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray - my tiny sample of joyfulness! Er... yes this is my current go to product - full review here. I'll use to help with styling as also as a finishing spray.

Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence - yes I caved in and bought this when it was on offer during QVC's latest beauty day - consisted of a full and a travel size. Will be really interested to see if this helps with my usual sun-frazzled lock situation!

And which one of these to take ...

They're both old favourites - the Ojon Damage Reverse Serum is obviously smaller and is super-concentrated but the L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil has a UV Filter and my daughter will use it too.

How many hair products do you take away? Are you a complete junkie like me or able to throw caution to the wind and let it all hang loose with just a couple of products?

Jen x

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Skincare Routine - PM

Guess this should read 'Bonsoir' rather than 'Bonjour'?

I recently wrote about my current morning routine ... here's the evening lot...!

Emma Hardie Moringa Balm - needs no into - I reviewed it way back when (actually just here).  I only use it in the evening for a darn good cleanse.  It effectively removes makeup, eye make-up and daily grime etc but I do perform a bit of an extra/double cleanse if I've had heavier slap on - say for work or an evening out - just to be sure!  I've repurchased a couple of times and am slightly panic stricken that I've started on my last pot! Although I love this product there are a couple of other cleansers  waiting in the wings so will probably wait to re-purchase with (hopefully) a QVC TSV.

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic - again an old favourite.  I do intend introducing an exfoliating toner into the equation shortly but this is one I know I can rely on for it's soothing and re-hydrating properties.

Gatineau Melatogenine Advanced Anti-Ageing Eye Concentrate - been using this for over a year now around the eye contour every night. It's extremely concentrated so has lasted forever! The Gatineau Melatogenine range is aimed at the over 30's (yes- well that definitely includes me then!) and is all about tackling fine lines, wrinkles/expression lines etc. I am lucky I guess in that I don't have a huge amount of deep wrinkles so far but they'll all be lurking around just waiting to make an appearance. The cream has a refined/luxurious but not heavy texture, feels like 'whipped silk' and I do think it's helped on the wrinkle prevention front but how do you know for sure until you stop using something - I'll be finding out shortly.  To buy alone this would have cost over £40 but it was part of a QVC kit so was excellent VFM!

Dr Jart V7 Turnover Booster - I picked this serum up quite by chance from Boots a while ago and have been using it every night for well over a month now. There's a full review coming up so I'll not waffle on at this point but suffice to say that I'm impressed!

Emma Hardie AM/PM Moisturiser - another product  from a QVC kit.  It works fine in conjunction with a serum (not hydrating enough for me on it's own) and seems to be lasting forever! Has the signature Emma Hardie scent which I love. I'd be happy to use again but would only buy as part of a kit as it's expensive.

So that's my current nightly regime.  Have you used any of these products? If you've done a similar post leave me your link - love to have a gander!

Jen x

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray - Review


You'll have probably heard about the current freebie with the September issue of Elle - the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray.  I was actually given a 30ml sample size of the same spray a couple of months ago by the kindly assistant on the Bumble and Bumble counter at Boots (must have been an 'extra-flat' day!). She told me to take it away and see what I thought. I put it away and meant to use it but kept putting it off for some reason - having a plethora of other products to use up (seriously - the amount of hair products I have is verging on the ridiculous!).  Dug it out last week to finally have a go - resulting in me dashing out to get the latest copy of Elle with the 50ml freebie!

According to Bumble and Bumble the spray..."Helps fine hair achieve styling lift-off, but also works wonders on any hair type - thick, thin, or otherwise." (source)

It can be used as a styling aid and/or as a finishing product and is apparently suitable for any hair type. Obviously I'm only coming at this from an extremely 'fine haired' point of view!  What I'm constantly after - as well as a bit of root lift - is the look of thicker hair through the mid-lengths and ends.  So ... I've been spraying it on the root area and also onto my hands to spread through the rest of my hair before blow drying. I've also spritzed a little of the spray on afterwards as a finishing product.  It's left my thinning hair bouncy and with more guts than I've seen in a while.  (I added some hair oil to the ends for a bit more condition)  I can tell that I have product in my hair but not excessively so - it's more of a textured feel - you can still run your fingers through it if you so wish as it's not sticky, greasy or crispy with volume that has lasted all day and even into the next (wonders will never cease!).  The scent was bugging me at first as I couldn't quite place it - smells of cinnamon or cloves - sweet and spicy.

You're probably wondering what all the fuss is about but believe me this is the fullest my hair has looked in a while.  Apologies for the split ends but I'm due a trim!  I must say that getting a suitable angle to photograph my barnet was not easy without a tripod ...however, trying to get my husband to take the pic correctly was even more of a chore so I gave up and did it myself ...

Basically I am impressed with this product - both as a styling and finishing product. A true multi-tasker and something that I'll definitely be taking on holiday this year.  The full size is expensive at £21.50/250ml but to honest, I'm prepared to pay the price if it does what it says on the can - which it does. Just to put a spanner in the works - several other products on the Bumble and Bumble website have also now got my attention - help me someone please!

Have you picked up your sample of the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray yet?  Please tell me I'm not the only one with a plethora of hair products - just so I don't feel weird!

Jen x

Friday, 2 August 2013

Happy Birthday Dad!


So ... you would think that with the kids off school things would slow down ... erm ... not always the case! Been to the dentist today for a filling (broke a bit of it off last week - felt downright weird!) and all the usual bits and bobs to get on with as well as stopping the kids from constantly bickering...!  Anyway ... it was my dad's birthday this week - we had a mighty-fine fish'n'chip supper followed by birthday cake...

Glenn Miller & His Orchestra - I've Got A Gal In Kalamazoo!

Recorded back in 1942 - this clip is from the film Orchestra Wives. My dad has played his tenor sax to this many a time during his 'big band' days (he says it was a really complicated arrangement). Mum will no doubt be wanting to have a jive when she hears this!

I absolutely love the way this track swings - have had big band music drummed into me (in a good way) from an early age! I always wanted to sing harmony with a big band - I know all the words to Kalamazoo back to front!

So...Happy Birthday (again) Dad ...this one's for you ...!

My mum left the cake making efforts to me on this occasion - hence the excuse of a chocolate cake (on a not quite big enough plate!) - I'd like to think of it as rustic!

Jen x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...