Thursday, 20 June 2019

Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascaras

It's safe to say that Max Factor 2000 Calorie in Black has been my staple mascara for about 20 years. It just works on me.  I like the brush, I like the consistency and I like the way I can wash it off without having to use endless amounts of eye make up remover.  I also like that it's a good price, 2000 Calorie is under £10.00.

So, before my recent holiday to Spain I bought two new 2000's, one was a waterproof mascara, as I envisaged swimming gracefully like a mermaid every day and the other was a curl mascara, I thought I'd try Black/Brown just for a change of colour.


1.  Max Factor 2000 Calorie Curl Addict

Great for curling lashes, I loved the black/brown colour too, it made a change from black.  I felt like my eyelashes really stood out even though they aren't particularly long and it didn't make my lashes feel thick or heavy, I'm not a fan of thick mascaras that weigh my lashes down.  I'd definitely buy this again and it was roughly the same price as the one I usually use.

2.  Max Factor 2000 Calorie

The one, the only, the original ... I have to say that because I've been wearing it for so long and therefore really the only review I can give it is a big old 10/10.  I just can't fault it.  I've tried others but I always go back to this one.  I like that the fibres on the brush are soft and natural, I don't like those sharp plastic pointy ones, they don't suit my lashes, I feel like they are scratching my eyelids (just me though I guess).  Obviously, I will buy this again, and again, and again.  It's got to be one of Max Factor's best selling products surely?  I might Google that and see what I can find out.


3.  Max Factor 2000 Calorie Waterproof Volume

I haven't bought a waterproof mascara for years because I find them a bit of a waste of money as I just don't use them enough before they dry out.  However, like I said before I'd decided that I was going to use it a lot because I was intending to spend a lot of time in the pool on holiday.  I wish I could say I was impressed with it but I'm not.  To be fair, it is waterproof, it didn't run and I was able to swim without it pouring down my face but I wasn't keen on the plasticky bristles on the brush and it did not give them any volume at all let alone 2000 calorie's worth.

If I'm honest though, I've never been impressed with any waterproof mascara, they've pretty much all been disappointing which is why I don't use them.  I will keep this because you never know when it will come in handy but I suspect it will dry out before I need to use it again.

Very happy with the others though!


Max Factor 2000 Calorie - my collection of mascaras

*This post was originally published on 23 August 2017, updated 20 June 2019

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Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Catwalk by Tigi Oatmeal and Honey Shampoo


I bought this great Oatmeal and Honey shampoo and conditioner set from the Professional Beauty Show North (see photo, the containers are massive, 750ml each).  It was a total bargain, £20.00 for both of them and I can honestly say since using this product my hair has had a new lease of life. 

Leave In Conditioner v. Wash Out?

For a very long time now I've been a fan of leave in conditioners, my faithful Aussie leave in conditioner is something I can't live without but recently my hair seemed to be really dry and I felt it needed a deeper daily conditioning treatment.  I've shied away from them because frankly, my mornings are so chaotic that I just don't have time but I've made myself get up and in the shower a few minutes earlier so I can spend more time on my hair.

Generally, my morning routine is that I get dressed and put my make up on whilst my hair is still in a towel so it is pretty much towel dried by the time I take it off to dry it off and style with the hairdryer.  It was absolute bliss to get the comb through it first time, no tangles and no frizz thank you very much.  I just run some Label M Curl Cream or Curls Rock near the ends and quickly blow it dry.  The curl and the softness seems to last all day, and even when I get caught in the rain and goes a bit bonkers it doesn't frizz up so clearly the deep conditioning treatment my hair is getting is really helping.

The conditioner is really creamy and the pump function on the container means that I don't put too much on, mainly from midway down my hair to the ends and a brief wipe over my fringe.  Once the conditioner is on, the fragrance is sealed in for the rest of the day and I was pleased that it doesn't take long to rinse out (my main gripe with conditioners is usually that I can never be sure all the conditioner is completely gone).

I think the Catwalk range is amazing, I've long been a fan of Curls Rock, their curl cream.  There is a product for everyone covering all types of hair, the one I picked up is for dry hair.  The scent of Oatmeal and Honey is truly gorgeous, you do actually want to eat it (don't) and the entire bathroom smells super yummy afterwards.  

Want to buy some? Check out these links!

www.feelunique.com/catwalk

www.ebay.com - loads to choose from on ebay, take your pick!  Lots of sellers at different prices. 

www.allbeauty.com - one of my favourite sites that always seems to have a fantastic sale on.

Catwalk Oatmeal and Honey Shampoo and Conditioner




750ml bottles - lasts a while!

*This post was originally published on 17 October 2015 and updated 19 June 2019



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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Easy and Quick Body Moisturiser - Vaseline Spray & Go

*This post was originally published on 18 February 2014 and updated on 18 June 2019


I LOVE this moisturiser.  There, I've said it.  I confess that I am really lax with body moisturiser, to be honest I usually only bother in the summer when there's bits of me on show (lazy, lazy, lazy)!   I've been using this one for a while now and I'm SO impressed with it that I thought I'd share this short review with you.

Firstly, there is no lid as such, to open and close the bottle there is a click left to right mechanism, this is great for me as I am bad with lids, I never replace them and things always dry up.  Also, if you're carrying it in your gym bag or whatever there's no danger that it's going to pop open and expensively moisturise the inside of your bag and all your clothes ...

Secondly, the spray itself is very good.  It doesn't squirt too much or too little but just enough so that you can do a couple more sprays if you need it.  The smell is also lovely, the one in the picture is "Pure Oat Extract & Stratys" (what's a straty?) but I am also using the Cocoa Butter one (brown bottle) and that smells heavenly too.

The moisturiser itself sinks in straight away, it takes literally seconds so you can actually put your clothes on straight after, plus it doesn't make your hands sticky either.  I really wish Vaseline would do a gradual tanner in a spray like this, I'd definitely use it.



Vaseline Spray and Go Body Moisturiser

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Saturday, 2 February 2019

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

Winter skin sucks.  Well, mine does.  It's dry, patchy, tired, pale, dehydrated, I could go on ... but I won't.  Thing is, that I think most people struggle with their skin in the Winter so it's not like I'm alone in this but I just find it a bit depressing at an already quite depressing time of the year.  You know, getting up in the dark and then putting make up on but looking in the mirror first thinking 'blimey this needs a lot of work this morning'.  Still, I like a challenge!

Anyway, I'm working my way through some skincare saviours that I've been using for a while.  They aren't completely getting rid of the dry skin problem but they are alleviating it a bit.  One of these products is Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm.

Take your make up off!

I love taking my make up off at the end of the day.  I would never go to bed with make up on no matter how tired I am, I can't sleep if I don't feel like my skin can breathe.  While I'm usually a face wash kind of girl (with a swipe of micellar water to get the last little bits of make up off) I do use a balm a couple of times a week because I find that it really softens the skin and gets rid of the all the grime.

Moringa Cleansing Balm - what to do

I've no idea why it's called this but it smells really nice.  You don't need much, there should be a little spatula thingy in the box.  So, this is what you do.

Rub the balm into your face (massage it rather than scrub!). It should dissolve the make up, I also use it round the eye area, I'm not sure if I should but it's great for getting mascara off and I haven't had any ill effects (though best not do this if you've got sensitive eyes or whatever, obviously).

Then, leave it a couple of minutes to sink in.  It'll feel a bit greasy but that's when it does its best work!  While it's sinking in get a face cloth and dampen it in warm water.  Then place the cloth on your face and gently wipe the balm off, the make up should come with it.  I have to rinse the cloth, squeeze it out and repeat a couple of times before its completely clean and then I take a separate cloth and wipe my eyes.

Take another face cloth and dab the face dry.  No rubbing as it drags the skin.

Ta-da.  Skin is left feeling clean and soft.  Here's a YouTube video from Emma Hardie so you can see what she does.  Click here!

Price and where to buy

Now, there's no doubt that this is a glorious product, high end and very useable, does what it says on the tin etc.  However, the price is high, I would say really, for most people because it's £47.00 for 100ml which is quite a small pot and about £67.00 for 200ml.  So it's not something you can bung in your basket without a thought, you know?  But then, I think there are these really nice treat products that you can save up for, or request for birthday presents or ask for a gift voucher so you can put it towards it.  So I think overall, whilst pricey I do think its worth it but it's on the list of things I ask for and save for rather than an everyday staple.

You can get it online but also in Marks and Spencer beauty department.

I'd love to know if anyone else has tried this and what they thought.





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Thursday, 31 January 2019

Let's review ... January

Bye January, see ya!

God, I hate January.  I'm sorry but I do.  It's dark and cold and feels literally endless.  There's even the cheek that there's 31 days in it not 30 and we all know that makes ALL the difference, right? (Perhaps that's just me???).  Also, the snow.  I don't like snow.  Pretty but treacherous, that's how I feel about snow.

Anyway, I for one am glad that tomorrow is February but I thought I'd just do a little review of what's been going on in January, in a few bullet points just to pull it all together and make it feel like it wasn't just one long round of getting up in the cold and dark.

Things I've enjoyed ...

  • The taste of Chunky Chocolate Slim Fast shake with extra protein.
  • All the family birthdays we've had (3) in January.
  • Going on two dates with my husband and having an actual conversation and one of them did not involve the kids!
  • Getting back into exercise, walking more and keeping an eye on my fit bit.
  • Using my slow cooker.   I've had it ages and only just started to use it.  Wish I'd done it before - so easy and the kids love it!

Things I haven't enjoyed ...

  • The snow/rain/wind
  • Getting up in the dark
  • Saying "blow your nose" and "use a tissue" and "wash your hands I don't want your germs" to my kids for the entire month.  There has not been a single day where we have all been fully well.
  • Mopping the kitchen floor every five minutes because the dog is always out barking at rabbits and then comes back in and makes a lovely little paw print trail on my kitchen tiles!

Things I'm proud of ...

  • Writing my essay on child attachment for my OU course and submitting it before the deadline.
  • Ignoring the cupboard full of Christmas chocolate.
  • Seeing a really nice pair of sandals in Marks & Spencer and not buying them because I DON'T NEED THEM IN JANUARY!!!
  • My eldest son's first podcast.
  • Writing more than four blog posts in 31 days.  Given that I only wrote four in 365 days last year ... oops.

Things I bought ...

  • Several lip balms (including Nivea, Carmex and Burt's Bees - reviews to follow).
  • A nice green jumper from Long Tall Sally.
  • A pair of brown boots exactly the same as my black ones (to ring the changes a bit!)
  • Tax for the car.
  • Insurance for the car.
  • A replacement dishwasher for the one that went kaput before Christmas.

As I type, the temperature has dropped to minus 1, hopefully by the February review it will at least be attempting to warm up a bit!


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Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Burt's Bees Lip Shine - Fig

I can take or leave traditional lip balms usually.  You know those ones that are like a chapstick?  Regardless of brand I tend to find them sticky and heavy and I rarely ever finish them.  I think maybe the only ones recently that I've liked a lot are the Maybelline Baby Lips ones from a couple of years ago.

I have to say I've had something of a spree on lip balms recently having invested in one from Nivea and a Carmex tinted one so no doubt these will be popping up on the blog some time soon.  You can never have too many lip balms in my opinion, considering how easy they are to get lost - coat pockets, bottom of handbags, little change tray in the car ... you know what I mean.  That's why more than one on the go at any time is essential for me!

But ...

... this is a review on Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Shine.  I have to admit that I do like this one a lot.  The colour is 'Pomegranate' which is a reddish colour.  It sort of tints the lips and gives a shine but also seems to give quite a lot of colour at the same time which I found impressive and a good choice if you want a balm that makes it look like you're wearing a lipstick.

I've been testing it for a few days because you can never really tell first off if it's going to be good not.  It does last quite a long time but obviously as it's a lip balm it's easy to reapply without a mirror on the go so it wouldn't matter if it didn't have staying power really.  It didn't seem to smudge all over cups etc, like usual lipsticks do and it also didn't bleed into the little lines round my mouth (result!).  It also leaves my lips super soft which is really essential this week with the weather suddenly getting very cold, the extremes of temperature between outdoors and indoors is huge and that's when my skin starts to have a crisis and dry out.

I've also got Burt's Bees 'Red Dahlia' tinted lip balm which I'll photograph and do a quick separate post on, it's more of a pale red rather than brown/red like this one.  I've just checked, they don't seem to have an SPF in them but these would look great in the summer too I think, with a few freckles/tan and a bit of bronzer, definitely a product that can be used all year round.






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Monday, 21 January 2019

Blue Monday, Yellow Daffodils ...

So today is Blue Monday, that is, the day in the month where we are all feeling yuck and poor, we want to ditch all our New Years resolutions and eat, drink, smoke and wave bye-bye to our new gym subscriptions because it's all Just Too Hard in January!  Hats off to anyone doing Dry January, keep going only 10 more days!

Sound familiar?

Anyway I quite often feel like this I don't need a specific day in the month to feel blue.  And it's not necessarily hormonal either, some days are just really hard and I feel bleurrgh.  I actually feel ok today, I mean it's Monday, it's cold and it's dark but that's just January isn't it?  I've been thinking all day of things that I've got to look forward to and I thought I'd share them incase they inspire you too.

1.  Daffodils

Here is a picture of my daffodils, I bought them in M&S last week and they only took a day to come out, such is the power of my central heating.  I love yellow and I love flowers and they make me feel happy so I've spent all week looking at them and thinking how lovely it will be when the flowers come out.  That does sound a bit soft but when you're down these little things make all the difference don't they?




2.  Buddy

My beautiful dog.  He's always good for a cuddle even though he drives me crazy with his mucky paws and whinging to go out all the time to bark at the pigeons/rabbits in the garden.  If you've got a pet, give them a hug or a stroke, it works wonders for the blues and I love mine to bits.


Buddy


3.  British Summer Time

British Summer Time is basically noted in my diary as "Clocks" meaning the clocks go whichever way they need to move in order to give me an extra hour and enable me to get up in the morning in the light and make my evenings lighter and therefore my mood will also be lighter as will the bathroom scales as I am always heavier in Winter.  I love the "Clocks", thank you very much.  Only 68 days to go.


4.  Sales

By sales I mean the sales are over (or almost) which means that very soon the shops will be full of sandals and summer wear.  Obviously it will be completely useless to us because we're still going to be freezing our butts off for another couple of months (ha, we WISH it was only a couple  ☁ ☂) but even so, it makes us think of summer and holidays and sun cream and that's a really nice happy thought. So, yay to the strappy dresses and flip flops even if we can't wear them yet.  Obviously if you get hay fever for months as half my family do the Spring and Summer are a double edged sword but at least it's not dark!


5.  My OU Course

I'm currently on my first module of an Open University degree.  I started in October for two reasons, firstly to challenge myself as it's been a long time since I studied at that level and I wasn't sure I could do it, and secondly to learn something completely different.  So I'm doing Psychology.  It's really interesting but it's not easy as you'd expect.  So while I do wake up at 3am sweating slightly at the thought of juggling my academic reading and essays with the kids and everything else I'm still pleased that I'm doing it and looking forward to achieving something.   Also it's part-time so I will be finished in May, the next module starts in October.

Finally ...

6.  The Spice Girls

Yes, as you know they are reuniting, almost - Posh Beckham has decided to stick to her new clothes designer career which is fine.  But I'm super excited because my sister and I are going to see them in Manchester doing their first gig for a long time.  I can't wait!  Zig a Zig ah!  I'm so interested to see how they've changed.  I'm literally the same age as them so I can't help wondering what they will look like and how they'll sound.

That's it for Blue Monday, don't worry it's Tuesday tomorrow!
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Friday, 18 January 2019

Tired face pick me ups from Too Faced and Soap & Glory

This week I've been really tired.  Actually I'm tired all the time, January saps me of all my energy, I can't sleep properly, my skin is pale and I've got a recurring sinus infection too which means I've got a tissue stuffed up my nose most of the time.  How lovely!

What I would really like to do is get on a plane and fly to much sunnier climes for a couple of weeks, just to get a bit of vitamin D and grow some freckles.  Unfortunately this is not going to happen anytime soon so in the meantime I have been trying a few things out to make my tired face look a bit more awake in the mornings and to cover up the purply rings under my eyes.  I don't usually suffer with dark eyes, I think the sinus infection is to blame for that!

Obviously, I've been using my trusty Clinique 72 hour moisture surge moisturiser (which is so good it deserves a post all by itself, I will do this) but I've also been using two other products, the Too Faced Hangover primer and a Soap and Glory concealer round my eyes.

I'm the queen of primers, I have many and I use them all.  I wouldn't go without one as they really do work for me in terms of making my skin look and feel better and it makes my foundation stay on better as well.

Too Faced Hangover Primer

Well this is just lovely.  It smells like coconut (because it's partly made out of coconut water) so that's brill as I love the smell.  It's also quite a thin consistency so it sinks into the skin very quickly and gives a sort of cooling feeling.  It's got probiotics for the skin in it as well, I think this is what the "perking up" ingredients may be because once I've put it on my face definitely looks a lot better.  I got this from Debenhams beauty department but you can also get it online.  If you click the link it'll take you straight through to the product.  There is also a Hangover spray but I haven't tried that yet.




So that's the face sorted, next it's onto the eyes.

Soap & Glory Trick and Treatment Under Eye Dark Circle Concealer

I've always been very happy with anything I've bought from Soap & Glory, it's not just the cute packaging I like, it's the products.  I've never had anything I've been disappointed with and I think it's really reasonably priced as well.  This product is an under eye concealer dedicated to banishing those dark circles (purple in my case).

I like it because it's sheer and not too heavy.  Sometimes those under eye concealers can look cakey, settle in lines and basically make it all look worse!  This product has got little gold pigments in it which not only seem to cover up the darkness but also reflects light which gives everything a much brighter appearance.  I got it from Boots, you can see it online (click here).  It was £9 which I thought was reasonable for a drugstore and highly affordable with Boots reward points if you've got
any.  I don't know if they do more than one colour but the colour I got was called Bright On.

Photo below of me and my littlest boy on Monday morning, broad daylight having done make up under artificial light (I told you I hate January).  I am wearing both products, believe me the purple circles were worse before (no filter!).









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Monday, 7 January 2019

New Year, New Me ... my easy resolutions for 2019

New year, new me!  Isn't that what I am supposed to say?  Well, actually I am quite pleased that it's a new year as I think I sort of just dragged myself through the last few months of 2018 and I do like a nice fresh start.

I used to really dislike new year.  I thought all the hype was ridiculous, that it was just another day (which it is of course), and that resolutions were stupid because they were all unattainable, usually diet or exercise related and everyone is fed up by February and goes back to being exactly how they were in December the year before.

As I've got older however, I can see the benefits of having a marker in the sand which signifies a fresh start.  Not complete change but drawing a line and moving on in a positive way, if that's what you need.  I think most people do reflect at the end of a year which is a good thing, if you're stuck in a negative rut it's a good time to get out of it isn't it?

I still don't really do resolutions though.  I sort of do "I'm intending to's" so I'm sharing my list of intentions for 2019 ...

  • I will work really hard on my OU course and get the best mark I can.
  • I will not worry that my work isn't good enough!
  • I will make more effort to feed my kids enough fruit and veg.  And myself.
  • I will listen to more music and less talking radio stations (less depressing!)
  • I will quit the gym as I don't go and I will get my exercise DVD's out and do those.
  • I will find somewhere of use for all the spare single socks in my house (someone must want them, surely?)
  • I will put the lids back on my on my concealers so they don't dry out and go gloopy.
  • I will try not to drive round in a messy car anymore, for god's sake Maria get it valeted!

I think those are attainable, right?  I will also try to write more than one post every five months 😉

Random photo of one of my favourite concealers Clinique Beyond Perfection




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