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!