Tuesday, 16 December 2014

5000 page views!

Woop woop!  Five thousand page views! After blogging for just over a year now I didn't think anybody would want to read,  let alone follow aswell so thanks everybody for reading along. I truly love writing,  and reading everyone elses posts too. The blogging community is so warm and welcoming, especially for such a misfit like me! I feel I belong with you guys :')

I'm sorry I don't have much else interesting to say, as I'm sofa bound at the moment. Poor Reegan has a terrible cold and conjunctivitis too, so she wants lots of cuddles from her mama and just wants to sleep on me a lot. Hopefully with Christmas coming up I can whip up some nice festive posts.  Thanks for reading and love to you all!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Gothic Beauty cover girl look

So I had another burst of inspiration from Gothic Beauty Magazine. I love the glossy cover shoots that showcase amazing hair and makeup looks, and a GB covergirl is much better style to aspire to than your average Cosmo one. Boring! When I'm feeling in a bit of a rut with my makeup routine it's nice to have good ideas right in front of me, thanks to my little stash of GB mags. This time around I used issue 42 for inspiration:

Property of Gothic Beauty Magazine

For me the look is always about the eyes! I love the depth of colour here, the cateye shape gives the soft blending a dramatic edge. Not to mention the tiny silver stars that give a lovely finishing touch. Now personally I don't shave my eyebrows (although the frustration that plucking can bring does leave me very tempted sometimes), so obviously they are a nice optional extra if you do happen to shave yours, and really bring the look together. Luckily though,  I did have some silver stars lying around from a nail accesory kit, and now I've used them once I want to use them all the time because they are so pretty. So here's what I ended up with, and I'll list what I used below:

The look I did ended up a lot more red than the original, probably because I used my Love+ Sugarpill eyeshadow, which is a bloodred pressed matt shadow. I also used a light red bronze in the inner corners and Sugarpill's Bulletproof matt black on the outer corners. I lined my top lids with black liquid eyeliner and the bottoms with my black twist-up pencil, not forgetting to line the upper and lower waterlines to blend in my false lashes. The lashes I used are by Eyelure and are my absolute favourites at the moment they go nicely with a cateye look and are the perfect medium length and thickness for me. I used a rose red lipstick on my lips, my current favourite L'Oréal foundation and a touch of red/brown blusher to contour my cheeks. I only actually used the star gems underneath my eyes, as they're quite big and uncomfortable to wear on the upper lids. And as you can see from the pictures, my hair is looking rather blue. So I took another photo with the flash to show you guys how truly green it is now!  I found my ideal shade of green in Apple Green from Directions hair dye.

I originally dyed it green right before Halloween, so even people I know were asking if I had it this colour especially, and now with Christmas coming up people are still asking if it's some sort of seasonal special! Eyeroll! I suppose if you live like its Halloween everyday you could say that ;D

Saturday, 29 November 2014

November homework assignment: my furry and not so furry babies

It seems our dear Professor is just too good at setting homework assignments! As most of you will know, this year I have embarked upon the hardest and most amazing journey of my life. My daughter Reegan was born in August and at almost four months old now she is growing fast!

Before I had my human baby though, I had my fur baby Inca, our soppy brown Doberman. Inca is actually Rob's dog, she was just under a year old when I first met him,  so almost fully grown but still entirely puppyish in her behaviour.  When I moved in with them and Inca and I spent most days together we got very close and eventually she simply became 'my' dog. I never had a dog before so for me Inca is very special.  She needs alot of loving from everyone,  but the guard dog in her makes her very loyal and protective. And she is absolutely obsessed with food. She will eat literally anything (including things she shouldn't.  I once found Rob's razor chewed up and thought she had swallowed the blade and I cried my eyes out on the phone to Rob for ten whole minutes before I found the metal part and realised she wasn't going to die). Before I found out I was pregnant her behaviour had started to change, and suddenly it was like she had grown up. (Except when she tore up the sofas when we lived in the caravan. I was mad but affectionately put it down to nesting instincts once I found out we were having a baby.) My whole pregnancy she was even more needy with me and would just sit with me as if to guard me.

Guarding her mama

Sunbathing in the garden, her favourite pass time second only to eating!

She loves our baby girl, and is always wanting to sniff and lick her. I hope when Reegan is older they will be very close.

Reegan is almost four months old now, and I can't believe how quickly the time has passed and how she has grown into this amazing little person. She has started rolling over onto her sides and really wants to move and do other things. She loves being sang to and likes to clap her hands and be bounced up and down. I remember the first time she laughed I was so surprised I cried with happiness. She really is my favourite little person and being her mama is the best job in the world. I can't wait for her to be bigger and doing more things for herself,  but at the same time I have to treasure every moment because she grows so fast!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Mummy makeup and "keeping it goth"

In my last post about makeup, I spoke about how life changes affect makeup habits and expressed hopes that as I settled down into motherhood I could adapt and find more time for myself, and wear as much makeup as I used to. I always make sure my nails are freshly painted once a week, and wear makeup as often as I can. It really does make a difference in feeling good about yourself, and I even managed to get a babysitter whilst my mum did my hair for me last week!

Behold! green hair  and makeup to match!
 I finally got the chance to bleach my roots! About time really, as it has been about a year now and I had at least four inches of regrowth. I've also been wanting to go green for such a long time now, and although at the moment it's rather patchy and yellow in places, its a work in progress and will probably take a little while of colour build up to get it where I want it to be. It was a perfect excuse to experiment with my green eyeshadow too. I'm lucky  because Reegan was taking a really long nap at the time. But when she isn't taking long naps I need something quick and easy because I can't spend too long blending and fussing with colours.

Like I have said before, a little bit of lipstick can really help when you are pressed for time and still want to look nice (and gothy...). But often I end up smudging it, or the wind blows and my hair gets stuck to my lips, not to mention having to reapply throughout the day. I recently discovered matt lipsticks though, and they are just what i needed. Specifically, MUA's velvet lip laquer (the affordable choice, in red and in purple) and Lime Crime's Velvetine in Black velvet (a little pricier, but worth it for THE blackest matt lipstick... simply superior in my opinion and a little more modern than the shiny black lipped goth stereotype. Plus its great to support indie brands that are cruelty free). They paint on like a lip gloss and dry completely touch proof,  the wear time is impressive and so very practical for the busy lady.

The Velvitines smell like cupcakes... mmmmmm!

Swatches of the MUA velvet laquers, it took about 24 hours of hand washes for them to fully come off.

Personally, I have a preference for false eyelashes, and having had a lot of practice applying them I can do it pretty quickly these days. But when a friend reccomended lash fibres to me I had to jump on the trend-wagon and get some for myself. The idea is a set including a "runny" formula mascara and a bottle of lash fibres, which I can only describe as a bottle of tiny hairs. You curl your own lashes and then then coat them fully with the mascara. Before it dries you tilt your head forwards and brush on the fibres before applying more mascara, and repeat as many times as you wish. The idea is great, but not all that time saving for me, and you have to be very careful not to get the fibres everywhere, if they get in your eyes or nose they itch like mad! Not to mention when stuck to the skin they make you look strangely hairy... However I do find this method useful on less fussy days when I wear only eyeshadow and mascara, like here (just bronze eyeshadow on the upper lid and lashline, finished with mascara):

I also recently tried out Barry M's black pencil eyeliner, both on the waterline and lash line it works well, and I even used it to colour the lids completely before patting black eyeshadow on top to set. Another quick one that works well with a huge pair of falsies and looks like you really made an effort.

Coloured-in eyes with MUA's lip laquer 

As long as I've taken a minute or two to exfoliate my face and apply at least two layers of moisturiser,  I find I can easily manage foundation now too. I'll be saving the rest of my BB cream for the summer or days when my skin is dry and I still want to wear makeup. I bought L'Oreal's Infallible 24H foundation about six months ago on a whim and actually have found that its perfect for me. I don't have to wear a primer with it (more layers equals more dryness for me...) and it is literally THE palest highstreet foundation EVER. Even paler than Rimmel London makes. The coverage is nicely full and it really really lasts. It's a shame it isn't a cruelty free brand because its so hard to find something that ticks every box.

Anybody have any speedy makeup tips or products they love when pressed for time?

Saturday, 1 November 2014

October homework assignment: Halloween at home

It seems that the lovely Professor has chosen another theme that suits me just perfectly. Being as I just had a baby ten weeks ago, I haven't been on many nights out lately, so I can tell you all about my homely celebrations. I was eating a toffee apple the other day, and because it's something I only do once a year at this very time, it got me thinking about other seasonal habits I have that I always associate with Halloween, my favourite holiday. I'm not going out this year because my other half is a bouncer and therefore working,  plus I have no babysitter, if I can't spend the night woth Rob then I didn't really see the point in doing anything at all. I also can't decorate because we still live with his parents and there is no space for anything. Ever. So heres my little "Halloween checklist" of things I wanted to do in the week leading up to Halloween.

  • Eat a toffee apple. Something I always remember doing as a child, as soon as they came on sale in the shops I would be begging my mum to let me have one and scoff it down in the car on the way home. 
  • Carve a pumpkin.
Not all that original but this mama doesn't do sculpture for a reason.

  • Watch as many halloween films as I can in one week. Well, my favourites at least.
  • Bake something Halloweeny.
Chocolate and orange cupcakes. It's also my other half's birthday today so they're sort of for him.

  • Try an orange eyeshadow. I had a bright orange eyeshadow sitting unused in my Sleek Matt palette and decided now was the perfect time to experiment. In all honesty, I don't actually like orange that much and feel as though it's a bit of a difficult colour to pull off, so I took to Pintrest for some inspiration and this is what I came up with:

  • Go halloween shopping. I managed to score some cool leggings in Primark, but was disappointed that all they had in this year was leggings and t-shirts because I got a really cute ghostie jumper last year.

  • Put Reegan in her Halloween outfit. I shall replace my urge to decorate the home by decorating my child. Ha!

This is only one of her spooky oufits because she has a couple. The bib says: "my first spooky halloween"

Hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween this year! I felt very productive indeed!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

A celebration of all things Gothic

Here in the UK, the BBC are broadcasting a series of programmes of all things gothic season,  and the first programme The Art of Gothic: Britain's Midnight Hour was broadcast this past Thursday, the first of a three part series. It was an exploration of all art, literature and architecture of the gothic style, particularly how the Victorians were inspired by the medievil architecture that was once so out of fashion, and brought on the gothic revival style. I found this first episode immensely enjoyable,  and can't wait for next week, as well as what the rest of the season has in store.

Click here for the link to the BBC's page which includes listings of when all the programmes will be broadcast. I highly recommend checking it out if you can,  although I'm not sure about the availability for those of you outside the UK. There's plenty to look forward to, including more architecture,  a closer look at Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (eeeeeeee :D) and Goth at the BBC:
 BBC Four airs a compilation of performances from the BBC to explore the ‘Goth’ style of British rock and pop in the 80s. This was a period of music in which dry ice, doomy lyrics and dyed black hair tortured skywards were only some of the constituent parts of this very British ‘tribe’ that flourished alongside Stock, Aitken and Waterman. BBC Four delves into the archives uncovering classic performances from Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and many more.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Caving adventures!

So the past couple of weeks my other half Rob has been working alot, meaning me and the little one haven't seen a lot of him. To make up for it, he decided we should take a family trip (also with our friends) to Cheddar Gorge. Cheddar is the birthplace of cheddar cheese, where it obviously gets it's name from. Traditionally the cheese is made from local West country cow's milk and aged in the caves in and around cheddar to give it that distinctive flavour. This apparently also means that only cheddar cheese made the is allowed to use the name, along the lines of the French champagne scenario.

One of the cheese vaults in Wookey hole caves, not actually in Cheddar but we visited here the same day. It's pretty smelly in there!

Cheddar is lovely because its little centre is basically one street full of shops and pubs and tea rooms, with a picturesque stream running through it. It also has a little cheese museum where you can watch the cheese being made, as well as eat samples and buy the produce at the end. We had a little walk up and down the shops, bought some fudge and had an amazing roast dinner in one of the pubs. It was all homemade and really tasty, and the Yorkshire puddings were HUGE. After that someone in the group suggested we go to Wookey hole,  so we drove the short ten minute journey and spent the rest of the afternoon there. Being West Country natives we had all visited many times (altough a couple of us hadn't been since primary school age!) But it's a lot of fun revisiting some where as an adult that holds so many childhood memories.

A picture from our cave tour, we were lucky enough to catch the cave divers emerging from a dive! Fascinating! The only thing was that obviously we couldn't take the pram inside so Rob had to carry the baby around the caves, I was glad I had decided to put Reegan in her snow suit. The caves serve as a fairly large family attraction and so after your cave tour there are tons of other things to see and do. They have an old paper making mill, a museum with all the old bones and artifacts found in the area, and (my favourite) the mirror maze and Victorian penny arcade. They have a huge selection of old machines that you can play on, as well as the types that read your palms, tell your fortunes, or play funny little stories out with puppets.  I had my palms read by the machine and also my fortune told by a scary gypsy puppet lady inside another machine. Luckily both readings came out very positive for me! Such fun!

The museum skulls, paper mill, and lastly a really cool jar I bought myself from the gift shop. This will go in my kitchen when I eventually have one. The housing situation is a bit of a pickle at the moment,  we are still living with Rob's parents until the council help us out, which needs to be soon because Reegan is fast outgrowing her crib. Once she's out of that there's nowhere for her cot to go, so nowhere for her to sleep!

All in all we had a pretty awesome day out, but after the whole pram/baby carrying conundrum I ordered us a baby carrier so that for future trips we can simply pop her in and not have to worry about the logistics of anything else. Plus when we can use it when we walk the dog so my treasured SilverCross won't get all muddy!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Style icon: Helena Bonham Carter

There's something about this woman I find very inspiring, she is not only talented and beautiful but her style is dark and delicate, with a dash of hippy thrown in here and there. She definitely gets the goth points for being married to the legendary Tim Burton, and although she seems type-cast into that creepy leading lady typical of Burton's work, she is a great actress in her own right and does well across many genres.

Not only does she get to wear the most wonderfully outlandish and whimsical costumes on screen, her red carpet gowns and casual fashion choices are also enviable.

This dress is unlike any other red carpet contender I've seen, and who doesn't love boots and skirts with a frock coat?

And may I also mention, she has bloody fabulous hair. I have serious hair envy of this woman. It's always very messy looking, but somehow effortlessly-on-purpose.

She rocks the curls in a way I never realised possible until quite recently, as a curly-mop myself I typically always cursed my messy ringlets and spent alot of time in my early teens obsessively straightening it. I even bought a chemical kit for straightening hair at the cost of risking serious hair damage, but it was just never enough.  I look back now and laugh because at the time I felt it was never quite perfect, when in retrospect my hair looked pretty tidy back then, when I actually spent the time and effort to do it properly.  Even before I had a baby I would still rather have extra time in bed than wash, blowdry and straighten it every moring like I used to when I was still at school.

So my envy of Helena's messy 'do actually helped me to embrace my natural hair, and inspired me to style it in a way better suited to my tastes. Not to mention the amount of peroxide abuse my hair has suffered over the years, the fact that I now straighten it less than once a week (and I don't even remeber the last time my hair dryer saw the light of day.  Probably when Rob realised it was great for styling his beard post-shower.) Now I can just let it be as curly as it wants to be, and when it's less manageable pin it up into something like this:

So I can just throw it up at the back of my head and pin it into place, and nestl accessories a-plenty in there. I this photo I'm wearing my skeleton hand hair clips, if you can see them. It's actually almost the same as the hairstyle in my previous post about Janis Ian from the film Mean Girls, except its alot less effort because rather than straightening my hair and using serum to make the ends silky and back combing the roots for volume, I just throw it up as is. I tried to find a tutorial to put a link for you guys, but to be honest there aren't many out there. As long as it's messy, just push it up at the back and put bobby pins in there until it stays. I use anything up to 20 of them sometimes.

As you can see from this older picture from the Janis Ian style post, I am embracing a slightly more natural look than i used to, lazy me!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Black and white theme post: matching outfits

I knew straight away what I was going to feature for this month's theme from Sophistique Noir.

At the time of the announcement I had just been shopping for baby clothes for my daughter, and had gotten her an adorable black and white panda outfit from H&M. It consists of stripy black and white leggings, a white longsleeve vest with a panda on it, and a little stripy hat with ears. And then, the first time I put her in it I realised I was wearing my black and white striped blouse, making for an accidental mummy-daughter outfit coordinate.

One with the hat...

And one without. She's much happier without the hat. Reegan doesn't like hats.

Funnily enough, my black and white blouse is also from H&M, which I usually wear over a plain black vest and leggings, also from H&M. Two whole oufits from the same shop! Still undecided on whether matching outfits are cute or weird though....

Not the best photo, but it was near bedtime and baba was feeling grumpy!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

It's that spider-y time of year again...

Autumn. It's finally starting to cool down here in the UK after a most horrendously hot summer. Yuck! Yesterday was unseasonably warm and muggy, and the heat held out until late last night when we had the most amazing thunderstorm.  The pressure in the air instantly dissipated and the temperature dropped, it was quite lovely. But still most nights we have to keep the bedroom window wide open because our bedroom is the warmest room in the house, thus leaving us vulnerable to bugs. I'm not overly keen on most bugs, particularly the crane flies that seem to have bombarded us in the past week, but my worst fear is the spiders. I have been thinking of writing about this for a little while now, and have finally built up the courage to do it (just thinking about spiders makes me feel icky, and seeing photos make me panic) in the hopes that discussing them at length will help me get over the fear a little bit. I've wanted to try and do something about my phobia for years, but really would just rather not think about it at all. This is the most in depth look I have ever taken at spiders and their kind, even reading about them creeps me out.

I had a couple of traumatic incidents with them as a child, and have been afraid of them most of my life as a result. Just lately it seems as though everyone is spider obsessed again, as apparently the hot weather we experienced during the summer has produced some unusually large house spiders. Shudder.  I've been growing increasingly paranoid about my chances of encountering a spider lately, as usually when I haven't had an 'incident' for a while I know I must be due to see one soon. And this time of year is the most likely time to encounter one because they are all making their way into our homes for the winter.

It's a funny thing really,  to find them so scary.  They make for wonderful imagery and are pretty goth if you ask me! Ha. Plus, the are actually very cool when you think about it. They way they can spin a web and use it to their own advantage to take care of all those other nasty bugs we don't want around the house is quite useful. Almost all spiders are venomous,  because they are all predators that use venom to subdue their prey. This is because they cannot digest solid food, so they must use a digestive enzyme to turn their victims into a digestible liquid form.

However  big and scary house spiders can appear, the ones you usually see scuttling across the carpet or climbing out of the plughole in the bath are more likely to be the males, who are smaller than the females. The females are usually in their web or nest waiting for a male spider to come along, although its quite likely that she will eat him before he has a chance to identify himself. Which is why they must use courtship rituals from a safe distance,  for example the jumping spider will perform an elaborate dance to attract the attention of the female.

I was going to try and include some pictures in this post, but I just couldn't bear to even look at them! Just doing this teeny bit of research was pushing my limits, and it took me a little while to write because I could only write in by the light of day... pathetic I know! But maybe now I'm a teeny bit closer to feeling ok about spiders in general.  I don't mind them living with me, I'd just rather not know they were there.

Friday, 12 September 2014

What I read this summer

Summertime is that holiday time of year, we spend more time on leisurely activities at this time of year than any other. The hot weather makes for lazy days hiding from the sun if you are so inclined to cold weather as I am, and reading in the cool shade is the perfect escape. I received rather alot of books for Christmas last year, so I have been taking full advantage of all the new reading material at my disposal. So I thought I would share just a couple of titles that I have taken pleasure in reading the past couple of months.

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

I ended up reading this historical novel because I'd seen the tv show last year, the box set of which I also received for Christmas and I would highly recommend it. I had already read one other novel from the series; The Red Queen, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The story follows I think four women central to the cousins war in 16th century England,  each book with the same basic plot line from a different point of view. The strength of these women is inspiring at such a tumultuous time in history when women had very little rights and what appears to be no control over their own fate. I say appears because with their fighting spirit they managed to cling to every scrap of power and dignity they could and who knows how different things would have been had they not tried to take things into their own hands. I loved this book because historic fiction and/or romance is a genre I really enjoy, the storytelling is beautiful and meticulously researched yet embellished with many fantastical extra details.

Rapture by Lauren Kate

This book is the final in a series of five books about a teenage romance between Daniel,  a fallen angel, and Lucinda, your average troubled teenage girl. It is a very romantic story of true love spanning the entire history of mankind as Lucinda is reincarnated every 17 years due to an ancient curse. I started reading the series when I was quite young and back then it was just my cup of tea, and I greatly enjoyed them. When I found this book on sale it had been a few years since I had last read any of them and decided to revisit. Despite the rather juvenile style of the story I was surprised at how much I enjoyed them still. I think what held my attention was the religious elements of fallen angels, demons, god and the devil. I am not religious myself but found it all very interesting nevertheless.  If you can look past some slightly cringy characters and teenage romance clichés,  I would say this is a good read.

Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu

I discovered this book when I read an interesting article online about vampires in gothic literature,  it's only a short story but I devoured it quickly with great enthusiasm.  The book actually predates my beloved Bram Stoker's Dracula by twenty six years, and although it has been adapted for cinema many times I had actually never heard of it before. Carmilla tells the story of a young woman and her mysterious house guest Carmilla, who just happens to be a vampire. This book is bursting with sexual tension and has a rather creepy atmosphere to it, something I have never found so easily in a book written at this time. I think I will have to track down some film versions and watch them all, this little slice of a story is awesome.

So what did you guys read this summer? What is your favourite genre to read and do you have any recommendations?  I'm always hungry for more to read!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Monthly theme post: makeup

Being such a makeup junkie, this month's makeup theme post should have been all to easy for me, and I had a lot of ideas swimming about in my head when I was thinking about what to write. Alas, time got away from me these past couple of weeks, and having a baby has meant I have barely had any time to even apply makeup let alone blog about it!

So these days when I actually have a minute to put on makeup, I have to try and be as quick and efficient as possible. The way having a baby has changed my skincare and makeup rourine made me think about how else it has changed over the years, and how age, lifestyle and fashion tastes evolve over time and affect the way we present ourselves. It's hard to pinpoint just when my interest in makeup and other "girly" things first started, but I remember having "toy" lipsticks in ridiculous pinks and purples to put on, and kid-friendly nail varnishes that peel off when you wash your hands as a child.

But I think when I truly discovered the power of makeup was my 12th birthday when I had first started to gravitate towards darker music, clothing and fiction. My auntie went out and bought me a number of actual 'grownup' products, and taught me how to use them properly as a sort of starter kit. It was all pretty decent stuff,  and I managed to create some good (and some not so good...) looks with a post-box-red lipstick and a dark rasin lipstick,  a deep grey glitter shadow, a plum purple shadow and some killer liquid eyeliner.  But that was just for weekends.  I started using pencil liner on the bottom only for my every day look, I layered it very thickly and it definitely did NOT flatter.

I wish I had pictures to share my shame but my laptop is having technical difficulties at the moment. It wasn't until I was about 14 that a friend who had learned how to paint a decent flick and cat eye from her sister shared her secrets with me, and the discovery that cotton buds could correct any mistake is the most valuable I think I have ever made. To this day a thick upper line of eyeliner with a big flick and pencil liner along the bottom is still my signature look when I'm feeling lazy. I used to wear this makeup to school every day because it was just heavy enough for my tastes yet tiptoed the dress code boundaries. I have also branched out since then, with the discovery of false eyelashes (which have saved me HOURS of time obsessing over perfect mascara) and a return to eyeshadows.

When I was 18 I finally decided to give foundation a try and haven't looked back. It does wonders for my confidence about my freckles, and even when I'm pressed for time a smattering of foundation makes me look put together even if I don't feel like it. During pregnancy however my dry skin has been ten times worse than its ever been, so I've moved onto BB creams which still have a nice amount of coverage and are quite moisturising.  I use the BB cream as a starting point, and anything else I have time for now is a bonus!

Before I went on maternity leave and I was still working evenings in the pub I used to wear tons of eye makeup, I experimented frequently because working evenings meant I had ample time during the day.

Hopefully as things with baby Reegan settle down a bit and I become used to motherhood and all it's challenges I can get closer to my old makeup routine and become more adventurous again.

How has your makeup style evolved over time? Do you have a signature look for everyday?

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Monthly homework assignment: inspiring songs

Ok so I was really excited for this month's homework assignment. I started writing this last week when i was stuck in the hospital before Reegan was born, but didn't get the chance to finish! Music has always been important to me, I listen to it almost constantly,  whether at home really loud whilst cooking or cleaning, dancing in the mirror whilst putting on makeup, or just through headphones when out and about. I knew instantly what I was going to write about, because music is such a big part of my life and is all about emotional response for me. When a piece of music can really make me feel something,  that's when I fall in love with it. It's also why I don't ever stick to one genre of music, because as long as the music makes me feel something,  I'll keep listening. Whether it helps when I'm angry, or hurting, or if it makes me excited or happy, or (the best one) just completely relaxes me. When there is nothing else but me and the music, and it is beautiful.

So although the post was meant to be based around my most inspirational song, I have to talk about the whole album because it has gotten me through some really dark days, and I have never heard anything else so beautiful and romantic in my life. Type O Negative are my all time favourite band, they truly make me feel something special with this masterpiece. They may be a little before my time but I could just listen over and over. This album works for me in a lot of ways,  it's great for long walks with headphones in, or relaxing with a book either in bed or in the bath, and always with lots of candles. All in all I can't recommend this enough, if you like the dark and romantic,  with a hint of metal gloom thrown in.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Birth announcement: my bat bundle is here!

So after a short hospital stay and an induction due to medical reasons, my little baby bat finally made HER arrival into the world on Friday the 15th of August at 3.25am. That's right, we have a girl!  I don't really have the time to write a whole lot else just yet, she's keeping me pretty busy just at the moment but there will be further updates, and I am going to write a post about my birth story on my other blog, so if thats something you guys would be interested in then let me know and I will post here too.

Baby Reegan 8lb3oz

Monday, 4 August 2014

John Frieda 3 day straight: review

I'll just start off by saying this is a non sponsored post. I just have really curly hair naturally and when I do want to wear it straight I have a hard time getting it to stay that way. I can style it straight,  and in a couple of hours the kinks and curls begin to show again. The John Frieda 3 day straight is a spray that claims to 'work with your straighteners to give you smooth, perfectly striaght hair' and 'transform curly frizzy hair' for up to three days. I had heard of this product before now, I just never thought it would actually work on me. My hormones have made my hair even more difficult these days. So I put it to the test.

The instructions tell you the spray must be applied to damp or wet hair, NOT dry hair. But the first time I used it I accidentally left my hair too long after washing and it dried. So I just sprayed it on my dry hair and blow dried it a bit (blow drying is the next step after application,  but I normally let my hair dry naturally). I thought there was no harm in trying various methods,  but this way didn't make much difference to how my hair normally behaves, and my hair got greasy very quickly.

On my second attempt,  I applied to my wet hair (the instructions say 10-15 sprays which I think is a ridiculous amount, plus I was wary of the greasy result again) just enough to coat it, maybe 5 sprays, and brushed it through and let it dry naturally as I usually do.

So above is how my hair usually looks before styling, huge and frizzy. My curls did loosen a bit when I brushed it, alot of the time it's more ringlet-y.

I forgot to take a picture immediately after styling, but this is what my hair looked like on day 2 after sleeping on it, and only brushing it through.  I was very impressed!

And here we have day 3. I wore it up but it was still pretty much straight. Nowhere near as wavy as it would be normally at this point.  Overall I am pretty pleased with the results.  It made my hair feel much more sleek and in control than it normally is, I didn't even have to put any oils on it to tame the frizz, not to mentiom my hair ACTUALLY stayed straight.  The only downside is that it feels lank and greasy alot more quickly than it normally would, so you would have to wash it on the 3 day mark. I do try to be good to my hair (because I colour it so much), so I never blow dry it and only heat style it or back comb it once per hair wash, and this spray really helps with sticking to that. Yay!

Anyone else tried this product? Did it work for you?

Friday, 1 August 2014

MUA mini-haul and makeup reviews

So after hearing some great things about this high street makeup brand from other bloggers, I finally got around to making an order and really treated myself! The best things about this brand are the cruelty free label, and the teeny tiny price tags. I don't think they have one single product over £10. Correct me if I'm wrong. So I went into my local Superdrug store, and unfortunately they weren't very well stocked. So I went online and ended up finding exactly what I was looking for, and more!

I bought four items and the delivery was ridiculously quick, I think it was less then 48 hours (bearing in mind this is a UK based brand and I live in the UK) It came in a small cardboard box covered in 'fragile' stickers, and every item was cushioned in bubble wrap. For such low price items they really don't skimp on the packaging! Everything arrived in perfect condition. So, to the products!

My Urban Decay eye primer potion recently ran out, and I can't really justify spending that much one a new one right now. So when I read some good reviews about the MUA eye primer at £1.50 I decided I must purchase! The packaging is a tube like a lipgloss, with a doe foot applicator. I just use the applicator to blob a small amount onto each eye and rub it in with my fingers, all the way up to the brow bone and underneath my eye if there is any excess.

Whilst this isn't a terrible product, I can't say it does a fantastic job at preventing my eyeshadow from creasing and fading. It has been very hot lately, meaning most of my makeup has a lesser wear time due to sweating, so I will persevere when the weather cools to see if I can get better results that way. MUA does make another eye primer, so I am also going to try that one before switching back to an expensive brand.

I've been looking for a better way to set my foundation for a while now, I used to use powder but it just doesn't work on my dry skin. I do like the matte look but it accentuates my dry patches and doesn't look good on me. I first heard about makeup setting sprays a little while ago, but was sceptical as to their effectiveness. I thought spraying a liquid product onto my face after all the hard work of putting the makeup on would ruin my efforts and make it run. So when I found MUA's setting spray for only £4 I thought I'd give it a try. To my pleasant surprise it works quite well. It's like applying another layer of moisturiser after the foundation; helping to disguise my dry patches rather than accentuate them, and it did seem to reduce makeup transfer from my face onto whatever I touch.

Simple white packaging with atomiser spray top

I generally apply this once I have applied all of my makeup EXCEPT mascara or false lashes. This is because I don't use waterproof mascara or water proof glue. I spray at arms length towards my face with eyes closed, and wait a few seconds (up to a minute) for it  to dry before continuing with my lashes, mascars and lips. Having only had the product for a week I feel I can still say it works for me and does what it says on the tin. I think it would be more suited to those with dry skin rather than oily skin. Definitely worth the money, and great to try before buying a more expensive brand such as MAC.

After checking out the eyeliners by MUA, I decided to buy their 3 in 1 contour pen in black, its a twist up style eye pencil with a wide rectangular nib designed to create three different looks.

I had really high hopes for this eyeliner, as I mentioned in a previous post that I'm looking for a new cruelty free pencil liner that performs as well as the one I'm currently using which is not cruelty free. (If anyone has recommendations let me know! Preferably relatively cheap as I use alot of eyeliner!) It even has the twist top format that I prefer, as I hate having to sharpen things and always end up giving my self eye splinters. Sounds stupid I know. So I will show you a picture of how I like to wear my eyeliner, and you can see why I need a long lasting liner that won't smudge.

I wear pencil liner only on the bottom, but quite thickly, I pretty much just colour in my entire lash line. At first it was really hard to get the hang of applying such a strangely shaped pencil, but I actually really liked it once I worked out the best way to do it. Unfortunately,  this eyeliner ran and smudged like crazy. Literally within minutes.  I don't know if I have ever used and eyeliner that smudged THIS badly. I had to keep wiping underneath my eyes to stop it going everywhere,  and after just a few hours it was barely even on my eyes anymore. It looked awful. I can't imagine how messy this would be if you wore it on the eyelids like the packaging suggests.  I definitely won't repurchase this one. Or even use it ever again I don't think.

Lastly, I bought one of their £1 matte lipsticks. At only £1 I just couldn't resist.  I was going to buy a few, as well as a Velvet Lip Laquer, a matte lip colour that applies like a gloss. Again, alot of the colours I liked the look of were out of stock. I was disappointed,  but hope to still purchase in the future.  So I settled with a pale purple shade called Lilac Belle.

The packaging is clean, white and simple, and has been hanging around in my handbag makeup bag since I bought it and I haven't had any problems with the lid falling off or anything like that. It's actually a lot pinker than I expected it to be, from the website photo and the shade name, as you can see below.

It's also not very matte looking, although you do have to make sure your lips are smooth and moisturised before application because it tends to show dry patches and chapped lips like most matte lipsticks tend to do. All in all, although not quite what I was expecting,  its a nice simple colour to pull off, with a wear time of about two or three hours. For only £1 you can't really complain, I quite like it and will be purchasing other shades.  

So a half successful first experience with this budget brand. I look forward to trying more of their products soon!