Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Daniel Sandler Long Lasting Waterproof Eyeliner - Review


The Daniel Sandler Long Lasting Waterproof Eyeliner in Grey Velvet is one of the products I received in the goody bag from his make-up masterclass back in April - if you missed the post it's here!

The range of waterproof eyeliners are said to be smooth and easy to apply and provide rich, super long-wearing colour.  They retail at around £9.25.  You can check out the full benefits and range of colours by visiting Daniel's website here.

A picture of Daniel Sandler Long Lasting Waterproof Eyeliner
A picture of Daniel Sandler Long Lasting Waterproof Eyeliner
A picture of Daniel Sandler Long Lasting Waterproof Eyeliner

Swatched above - the eyeliner comes in a twist up tube so no need for messing about with sharpeners. I usually find this type of liner is better for creating a thicker, rather than super-fine line along the lash as once you've used the initial pointed tip it obviously becomes more blunt on the end, but that's fine - I like a thicker line!  It's easy to apply,  has a fairly firm waxy texture but is soft enough to not drag or pull on the lid and can be smudged up directly after application for a smokier look.  It's great for a quick swipe over just the top lashline or both top and bottom for a more built up look.  I haven't worn eyeliner top and bottom for a while but I can get away with this colour as it's a soft and smokey slate grey which adds definition without being too harsh.  I've not used it in the waterline as that's not really 'my thing' so can't vouch for the waterproof properties I'm afraid.   It does last all day on the top with no running or flaking but fades away a little on the bottom and is easily removed with a decent remover.

Lightly swiped across the top ...

Top and bottom ...

The liner is more expensive to buy alone than others I've used but all in all a decent product and loving the colour.  I am a total 'grey' junkie after all ... apart from grey skies, not so hot on those!

Have you tried the Daniel Sandler Waterproof Eyeliner? What's your favourite liner of the moment?

Jen x

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Happy Birthday/Happy Mondays!


I wasn't able to post yesterday as we had quite a busy day...Mr G's birthday is coming up so he had the day off work and as my daughter had an inset day we decided to take him with us shopping and for a coffee.   Last year we ended up in Ikea on his actual birthday so this was an improvement in his eyes!  I went to Boots and Superdrug and came out with some shaving gel for the hubby and an eyeliner sharpener  - must be ill!

Actually once we did get home I seemed to develop rather a bad headache - the sort that travels all the way down one side of your face and into your neck? Well - one of those...had to take some tabs and go for a lie-down...not ideal as we had arranged to go out for curry with friends! Thankfully I was able to make the night out (I was desperate to wear my leopard high heels for some reason) which incurred the usual frenzy of getting ready in a whirl and leaving the taxi waiting whilst I faffed around last minute.  Any plans for FOTD and OOTD had to be shelved - how do people fit all this in - tell me please?

Anyway we had a lovely meal at a fairly new authentic and traditional South Indian restaurant, the food was fantastic - not at all your usual commercial type - more like the best dishes from an Indian family's kitchen! A couple of hazy pics I took with my phone - onion bhajis the way my mum makes them (she's not made them for ages!) light, crisp batter covering succulent onion slices (complete with the largest glass of wine I've had in a while!)...

... a pic of my chosen dish which was Nilgiri Chicken - absolutely marvellous, chicken in a most aromatic green curry sauce with spinach, mint and coriander (I think!) - sorry I was so eager to tuck in I forgot to photograph the actual dish but we'll be going back so I'll sort it out next time...!

Anyway...this one's for the of his favourites which he tells me he danced to in his youth - on various table tops whilst on holiday with the lads on the Greek Island of Ios...!

Happy Mondays - Step On ...

Happy Birthday to Mr G!

Jen x

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Barratts Boots and the King Charles Cavalier ...


I was recently asked if I would like to sample an item of footwear from Barratts.  Of course the answer was 'yes please'.   Being of a somewhat indecisive nature (stop laughing family/friends!) it took me a while to choose a pair of shoes/boots from the Barratts website as there was so much choice.  Finally I decided on these suede 'western style' boots in black...they go by the name of 'Hensall' down on the ranch don't you know!

A picture of Barratts Black Suede Western Style Boots

A picture of Barratts Black Suede Western Style Boots

I must admit I don't often 'do heels' in the day but these have proved to be really comfortable for everyday wear, school run, shopping and general errand running etc (what else do us mums do when we're not at work - apart from the endless domestic duties and a spot of blogging here and there? ;)   The heel height is classed as 'medium' and is approximately 7cm - they're 'high' enough to dress up the old skinny jeans - I seem to live in skinny jeans.

A picture of Barratts Black Suede Western Style Boots

A picture of Barratts Black Suede Western Style Boots

For the office they fit really neatly under my ever present black trousers and the heel height is, again, just right to smarten em up a little. I'll not bore you with a pic of me in my glam work trews, we don't have to look uber smart for the office - ie we don't have to wear suits etc (well not in my position anyway) - but at least my feet will look smart!

And yes ... as you can see I have a dog in my camera lens here!  'Someone' was waiting to go out whilst I was trying to take my pics ...

...after a while he calmed down and sat waiting (fairly) patiently ...

... and after a while longer just gave up, laid down in disgust and had a snooze ... (that is if you can actually see him as our King Charles Cavalier matches our floor very well)!

Cavaliers aside - there seems to be something for everyone on the Barratts website - age, style and price wise, from proper skyscrapers to biker boots - you can see for yourself  here.   My 'Hensall' boots are available in either black or brown priced at £45 which I think is really good value.  I have bought from Barratts before  - still have a pair of shoes which I bought when I was pregnant over 10 years ago now - they have taken me through all weathers and are still going strong!

So what's your preference - heels or flats? Have you bought any boots or shoes from Barratts?

Jen x

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Balance Me Beauty Box!


You may or may not have heard about the Balance Me Beauty Box from You Beauty which is knocking around at the moment!  I became a bit disillusioned with my previous beauty box subscriptions after a while and ended up cancelling them. This, however, is a totally different kettle of fish - a limited edition box containing over £100 worth of Balance Me products for just £19.95 including postage.

The products include...

Rose Otto Body Wash 100ml
Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm 40ml
Moisture Rich Face Cream 20ml
Wonder Eye Cream 10ml
Super Moisturising Hand Cream 50ml
Facial Expression Filler 15ml
Radiance Face Oil 10ml

As well as all of the above there is a £10 voucher to redeem against a full size Balance Me product.  This will definitely be put to good use!  I've been loving the Balance Me products I'm currently using - am still finishing off my Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash - full review here - and also the Wonder Eye Cream which I took on holiday so am delighted to be able to try some of the other products at such a reasonable price!

I was a bit late to purchase my box so not sure how much longer it will be available for but feel free to check out full details on the You Beauty website here.

Are you a Balance Me fan? Have you treated yourself to this beauty box?

Jen x

Friday, 18 October 2013

Chaka Khan - I Feel For You...!


Last week's string of 80s hits on the XFactor took myself and a few others on a trip down memory lane - according to my twitter feed at the time!  Sooo many good tunes flying about then ... contrary to what some may think!

Anyway ... there I was making a cup of tea at work (as you do) chatting about XFactor to one of my young colleagues (he's in his 20s so that's young to me!) and we discovered he hadn't heard of Chaka Khan - didn't have a clue.  Not even a couple of the opening lines...'Baby baby when I look at you - I get a warm feelin' inside...!' sung by yours truly (as loud as is practically possible in the office kitchen) jogged any sort of recognition (and no it was not my singing!).   I was, at first, gob-smacked but then we discussed the fact that it's not that he's a young 'un, he's heavily into the blues and guitar scene (being a musician himself!) and our Chaka has obviously not been on his radar!  This tune has been one of my favourites ever since it's release in 1984.  Even got the old 12" on vinyl ...

So here you go Chris ... this one's for you ...

Well that's taken me back in time.  What are your favourite 80s tunes?  Wonder what the XFactor will have in store for us this weekend and whether I'll end up singing in the office kitchen again as a result?  

Have a good one!

Jen x

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

NOTD - MUA Moody Mink!


I picked this up MUA polish in Moody Mink a couple of weeks ago from Superdrug ... my daughter chose the colour - so well done my girl!

A picture of MUA Nail Polish in Moody Mink

A picture of MUA Nail Polish in Moody Mink

A dusky, muted, mauvey colour which fits in really well as an Autumn polish. My daughter wanted to use it but when she saw it on my nails declared that it was a bit 'grey' - in other words she thinks it's a bit too 'grown up' for her - fine by me, I can keep it all to myself!  I applied my Sally Hansen topcoat here - so that's giving it some extra shine - just so you know!

This is the first MUA polish I've bought since the bottle has been re-designed with the 'new and improved' brush and all.  In the past I have found the brush quite difficult to handle within the old chunky square lid. As a complete contrast, this was pleasantly easy to apply - so they've obviously sorted it!  MUA polishes don't seem to last that long on me and yes the bottle is tiny but it's only £1 for Pete's sake! (Who is Pete anyway?).  So - next time I'm in Superdrug I may well pick a few more shades up. Why not?

Have you tried the new MUA polishes recently? What did you think?

Jen x

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Soap & Glory Super-Colour FabuLipstick - Naked Beige


A few weeks ago I decided I needed wanted another nude lipstick. I ended up with two (what can I say - there was an offer on at Boots!) and this is one of them - the Soap & Glory Super-Colour FabuLipstick in Naked Beige - mouthful or what!

Love the quirky, true to form Soap & Glory packaging ... with a nice shiny chunky tube ...!

A picture of Soap & Glory Super-Colour Fabulipstick

Some good things going on in there ...

A picture of Soap & Glory Super-Colour Fabulipstick

Cute S&G hallmark stamp in the bullet ...

A picture of Soap & Glory Super-Colour Fabulipstick

Swatched ...

A picture of Soap & Glory Super-Colour Fabulipstick

Described as a 'satin finish' it goes on smoothly without the need for lip balm underneath and does feel quite moisturising.   I sometimes struggle with 'the nudes' but, colour wise, this has turned out to be one of the most wearable lippies for 'everyday' that I own as it's not too light, dark, pink or brown - my perfect nude?  As far as longevity is concerned, if I apply, blot and reapply etc then it lasts a good couple of hours, as long as I don't eat anything  -  which practically never happens! Will have to see how long it lasts with a lip primer - any recs for a decent one?  It does just fade away evenly but because this colour seems so close to my natural lip colour maybe the only thing to do is to buy another stronger/brighter shade (they all look lovely to be honest!) just to check up on the pigmentation? ;)

Here we go with the dreaded mugshot  ...

Don't even ask about that facial expression.  Smiling didn't work that day and I can't pout to save my life so I'm afraid it's the 'spaced-out' look or nowt! Seem to have a plethora of open pores showing up too but hey-ho it was warm!

Anyway - back to the lippie - I am liking my Naked Beige for a natural look and have been wearing it constantly for the last few weeks. It's not a 'lip popper' but 'your lips but better' and is definitely one that I can just stick on quickly whilst running out the door (and since I'm usually late for everything this is a regular occurrence)!

Soap & Glory products are on 3 for 2 offer at Boots at the moment so may be a good time for me to try out another couple of colours?  Have you tried out the Super-Colour FabuLipstick - which one did you go for?

Jen x

Friday, 11 October 2013

George Benson - This Masquerade


You know some weeks you get to Friday and you just want to flop in a heap in front of the TV? Well this is one of those weeks! Can't even decide whether to cook or let the hubby fetch fish and chips.  Although he  has just informed me that England are on the box for 'some' World Cup qualifier? He can watch that on his own!  The thought of having to get dressed up and go outside tonight does not appeal at all - I just want to hibernate - must be a mixture of bad weather and old age!  There won't be any 90's rave sounds coming from our kitchen tonight - nope! Tonight it's got to be mellow ...

George Benson - This Masquerade...

I really do love this track and actually got to sing it during a couple of gigs many moons ago - before we were married even. Seem to remember my husband (fiance then!) having rather a heated argument with Pete the pianist on one of those occasions - can't even remember why exactly but I think another singer was allowed to muscle in on my space out of the blue (and use my mic. into the bargain) which displeased the hubby immensely and since he'd had a few drinks he decided to give Pete a piece of his mind. I, in turn, gave the hubby/fiance a piece of my own mind and told him I could fight my own battles etc etc - quite an over-reactive night all round!  Still love the song though!

What will you be listening to tonight to chill?

Jen x

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

September Empties ...


A bit late but here are the products I finished in September...

Gatineau Floracil Eye Make-Up Remover - I've not used a specific remover for eye make-up for a while but this little bottle was on offer from QVC together with a huge bottle of the same and a Gatineau cleanser which made the kit very affordable. Floracil is a very effective alcohol free eye make-up remover which can also be used as an eye treatment. I have the big size to open now - good job as I think I'm getting hooked!

Nivea Stress Protect Stick Anti-Perspirant - used this all through  the summer, also on holiday and have already re-purchased. It's one of the best I've used for the fresh and dry factor - wish it relieved my stress as well but that would be asking too much!

Tesco Nail Polish Remover Pads - cheap, cheerful and convenient. Removes polish absolutely fine - definitely repurchase.

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion - if you read my previous post you'll know this is a favourite of mine and I've already gone and gotten another two larger sizes!

Rituals Cherry Blossom and Rice Milk Whipped Body Cream - from a previous beauty box. Lovely product, smell and texture etc. Just a bit pricey (£5/70ml) for everyday use though so won't be getting another just yet but I've really enjoyed using it!

Dove Summer Glow Moisturiser - this is my old bottle which I emptied a couple of weeks ago.  One of my favourite gradual tanners for the summer, works great for me, no orange or strong smell.  I've recently re-purchased as it was on offer.

Blistex Lip Brilliance - great for slicking on for work/school run/gym- whatever. Moisturises with a hint of rosy colour. Will repurchase.

Batiste Original Dry Shampoo - a mini travel size which I took on holiday and recently finished off. Batiste always works well for me. Don't need to repurchase just yet as I have another couple of dry shampoos to use up!

That's last month's lot then. What did you use up in September?

Jen x

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion - Review


The Aveeno range has been on offer (25% off) at Sainsbury's over the last week or so. I took the opportunity to stock up on one of my favourites - the Aveeno Skin Relief Shea Butter Moisturising Lotion.  My current 200ml tube has finished so I went for the 300ml pump bottle (and then went back a few days later and bought another to put away for a rainy day - I don't like to run out of this product!).

A picture of Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion

I don't use this as a body lotion unless I'm having one of my extra itchy, irritated skin episodes - it's kept in the kitchen/dining room and used as a hand cream.  It performs just as well, if not better, than many 'proper handcreams' I've used.  Although it's described as a lotion it has a creamy texture and is not at all thin or runny but still easily absorbed  - as you may be able to see from the above blob (every time I hear the word 'blob' I just think of Blackadder!) and speaking of 'blobs' that one up there is all I need for my hands in one go!

At times when my eczema has been playing up or when my hands are very dry and cracked from over-washing or stress this is one of the products which I know I can count on to soothe and rehydrate with no greasy residue. It's like locking in a protective layer of moisture on your hands - something I always crave - especially during the winter months.  There is no fragrance or fancy packaging but if you want a paraben free product that is extremely gentle and highly effective then this is a good place to start I reckon.  You can read about the naturally active ingredients included in Aveeno products on their own website here.

I have used and repurchased both the Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion and also the Daily Moisturising Lotion, which is a little lighter, for a while now. The Daily Moisturising Lotion was included in my Rescue Products post which you can see here. Both work well for me in place of the Aveeno 'official' hand cream (which I always seemed to get through in no time at all) and are very cost effective (especially when on offer) as they last for ages.  This 300ml pump of Skin Relief Lotion at £3.56 after discount was cheaper than the 200ml tube - not sure why but who's complaining?

Have you used any products from Aveeno? Which is your favourite?

Jen x

Friday, 4 October 2013

A Small Haul...!


I actually feel half asleep today, haven't slept very well this week and the weather's been dismal - what a contrast to last week's sunshine!  On Tuesday I had both kids off school - with the teachers' strike and all.  Myself and my daughter did a little bit of shopping - think everyone had the same idea as our local shopping centre was heaving ...!

Trying to be budget friendly, we mainly stuck to Primark and Superdrug (apart from popping into Boots to restock on my Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic) and I picked up a few bits - literally a few!  Compared to some of the lovely big haul posts I've read recently this can barely be classed as a haul - more like a haulette maybe?

Cable jumper and print scarf from Primark.

MUA - 'Ever After' Matte Palette, Blush Perfection - Cream Blusher in Scrummy and Nail Polish in Moody Mink!  The palette was £4, blusher £2 and nail polish £1 - you can't go wrong!

I literally picked up Superdrug's own brunette dry shampoo as we were headed to the till - think it was reduced to £1.32 or something silly. Now that my highlights are seriously grown out I have to dry shampoo every other day so am getting through rather a lot of the stuff at the moment. I've already used this a couple of times and first impressions are ok - especially for the money!

I also bought some Cadbury's Fruit and Nut bars from Sainbury's (on offer of course!) on the way home as we had to pop in for bread and milk. Not had a bar of fruit and nut for ages - this has now been rectified!

Although I'm not on a shopping ban as such, I am trying to get into this 'shopping the stash' thing - hence the excuse of a haul!

Pilates and gym tomorrow - need to stretch it out and pump it up! Have a good weekend!

Jen x

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash - Review


The Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash was (yet another!) magazine freebie a while ago.  I took it on holiday to use in the mornings and have been using it since then.  It is paraben and sulphate free as well as carrying the full 'Balance Me Promise' which you can read here.

It contains grapefruit, petitgrain and frankincense essential oils to soothe and balance, spruce knot extract to help with congestion and moringa and rice bran oils for brightening and polishing - seems quite an impressive line-up to my untrained eye! I understand that it is suitable for make-up removal but have only used it as a morning face wash.

It has quite a creamy/gel-like consistency straight out of the tube.  I only use a small blob as a little seems to go a long way - mix with a little water and smooth over my face and neck (it is non-foaming) and rinse or wipe off with a damp muslin cloth.  A few eczema patches seem to have returned to my face this week (must be stress) but this wash doesn't sting or feel uncomfortable and cleanses gently without stripping or drying, leaving skin soft and smooth.  The aroma which hits me the most is the grapefruit and frankincense - very citrussy and zingy which is a great wake-up call in the morning!

I intend on re-purchasing at some stage as I'm really liking the gentle but effective formulation - this is probably my favourite Balance Me product so far.  The 50ml tube is still going after 2 months worth of morning washes so the full 125ml size at £16.00 should last a good while.

Have you tried the Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash? What's your favourite product from the Balance Me range?

Jen x

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