Hi everyone! Time for me to do my first ever book review type thing here!!
Ever since I can remember, I have liked nothing more than burying my head into a damn good book. At the age of 7 or 8 whilst my friends were all reading the books with the secret key and that boy (was his name chip?) and his dog.. I had read every single book in the classroom and had been given permission by my teacher to take books out of the library.. I quickly read my way through everything I could get my hands on, and to this day, still read at an unnaturally fast pace. I read the final harry potter book in 3 days, 'angel' and 'crystal' took me just over a day each... The book I am about to talk about, which is 420 pages long, has taken me roughly 3 days...
In some ways I enjoy it because I know its a sign of intelligence etc, in other ways it really frustrates me because I find it impossible to get lost in the book, within two or three days its over! :(
Anyway, with my second year of uni being finished, I've had time to throw myself into the book pile again, with my latest read being 'The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy' by Fiona Neill.
In short the book follows a woman called Lucy Sweeney, once a producer on Newsnight she is now a mother of three who is clumsy, forgetful, and an all-round disaster compared to her husband Tom who has OCD!
Here is the blurb from the back of the book:
'For Lucy Sweeney motherhood isn't all astanga yoga and Cath Kidston prints. Its been years since the dirty laundry pile was less than a metre high, months since Lucy remembered to have sex with her husband, and a week since she last did the school run wearing pyjamas.
Motherhood, it seems, has more pitfalls than she might have expected. Caught between perfectionist Yummy Mummy No.1 and hypercompetitive Alpha Mum, Lucy is in danger of losing the parenting plot. And worst of all she is alarmingly distracted by Sexy Domesticated Dad. It's only a matter of time before the diry laundry quite literally blows up in her face...'
I'm not going to give anything away about the book as I feel that all of you girls should buy it and enjoy it for yourself, what I will say is that this book made me laugh so hard I cried. There were points when I was so absorbed in the story that I would find myself shouting or gasping at the book as though I was watching some sort of T.V show (Deal or no deal? anyone?).
In short, this is an absolutely fantastic read... all 420 pages of it are carefully contructed and written with a sense of love and accuracy by Fiona Neill, not a word is out of place. Definately five stars for this one! *****
Go on, you know you want to! you can buy it here for pittance! It truely is brilliant :)
L-R: MAC Studio fix lash, Maybelline Pulse Perfection, L'oreal Telescopic Carbon Black, Maybelline Full'n'Soft, Rimmel Sexy Curves Intense Black
As you can see I prefer 'plastic' bristles to 'natural' bristles as I find they coat the lashes better and give a more defined effect :) My lashes without mascara are nothing to shout about, they're blonde, relatively short and difficult to get to curl and 'fan out'...
The following photos show just one coat of each mascara!
Mac Studio Fix Lash - this gives really full, defined and dark lashes, the brush is massive so its really quick to use and i've found that it doesnt flake or crumble, even when worn all day, or all night at my current bar job! I love it!
Maybelline Pulse Perfection - This can be clumpy and hard to work with and the vibrating mechanism is basically pointless because i never bother with it when i use this mascara! Again the brush is nice and big so its quick to work with but if you aren't careful when applying more than one coat you can end up with spidery, clumpy lashes. This also tends to flake after a few hours :(
L'oreal Telescopic carbon black - this gives a really defined look to every single tiny lash and i love it! The brush can be quite hard to work with though as the 'spikes' on it arent very long... if you aren't careful with this you can clump all of your lashes together in one big sticky mess! Although this doesnt tend to flake or crumble off, it does take AGES to dry!
Maybelline Full'n'Soft - this can be really hard to get hold of in the uk and i found it in my local t j hughes! i'm so glad i did because it rapidly became one of my favourite mascaras, its really flexible and 'soft' (as the name suggests) so doesnt crumble or anything like that! Also it has two really good uses, the first is as a lash primer for nights out, it coats every lash and primes them really well then i apply a more dramatic mascara over the top... the second is for a really nice fluttery daytime look, i use this on my 'no make-up' make-up days as it gives a really nice natural finish to the lashes :)
Rimmel Sexy Curves Intense black - although i have never noticed this being more black than any of my other black mascaras, i absolutely love the brush and the product, and generally everything about it! this gives my lashes a really good curl and the brush coats every single one :) after using this my lashes look thick and fluttery and its currently my 'everyday' favourite!
My absolute favourite of these five is the mac studio fix lash, but it smells really strong! Also i tend not to use it everyday as it is quite expensive so i use the rimmel one on other days :) My least favourite is the telescopic carbon black, although i love the really defined look to my lashes, the brush can be difficult to use!
Each of these mascaras can be built up with extra coats to create more dramatic looks (normally i used two coats) but i decided to just use one for these pictures so you could see the immediate differences in application :)
Hope you enjoyed this post and it was helpful for you!
Welcome to a brand new series here at Reaching For the Stars!! I'm super duper excited about this one! Its the summer series and its going to cover everything from skin, to nails, to freshening up and what you should carry with you throughout the day!
The first installment is cream blushers, these are my new obsession and i'm going to buy some 'drugstore' ones soon i think because i've only got more high end ones at the moment :)
Summer skin is all about a fresh, glowing, slightly dewy look that is quick and easy to apply and won't 'sweat off' throughout the day. The three cream blushers i am going to talk about have all been tried and tested by me on the really hot days we have had in the uk lately and i'm pleased to announce they all lasted on my skin all day!!
Without further ado, meet my new best friends!
L-R: NARS 'penny lane', MAC 'so sweet so easy' and Ilamasqua 'lies'
As you can see here, 'so sweet so easy' is much brighter and pinker than 'penny lane' and lies is extremely frosty (verging on glittery to be honest) and also a lot 'thinner'. For some reason my swatch photo makes 'penny lane' look quite nude and orange based... it is a warm colour and does have a slightly rusty tone to it but it certainly isn't orange!
I use 'penny lane' almost every day and 'so sweet so easy' when i want something a bit brighter :) 'lies' can be used on its own for a really natural glowy look, or layered over any other blusher, or as a highlighter so its really versatile!
Personally i think everyone should have at least one cream blush in their collection, not only are they amazing for fresh summery looks, they can also be used as a 'base' for other blushers to make them last longer! you just need to make sure you apply both the cream and powder blushes lightly to stop you looking like a clown ;)
What do you think of the idea of a Summer Series? will you be tuning in for the next installment?
ps - cheeky little tip, you can see upcoming posts for this series on the right hand side of my blog :)
Being a newbie to 'proper' fake tan (I always use the gradual ones) I was super excited when Xen Tan sent me a bottle of their 'deep bronze luxe' lotion a few weeks ago, along with a Xen Tan tanning mitt.
Up until tonight I had been extremely nervous, and i'll admit it... a bit scared of using it. But I did, and i am absolutely shocked and appalled and generally absolutely disgusted...
Let me explain: After showering etc tonight, I donned the little brown mitt, took a deep breath, and squeezed a small blob of the lotion onto it... I started applying it in circular motions to my leg and err.... WHAT THE...?!?!?! The mitt started shedding clumps of brown fluff, all over my leg. I immediately freaked out, took the mitt off, and attempted to blend the lotion and remove the fluff with my hands. Lets just say it wasn't happening! With tears in my eyes (not really, i may have exaggerated there, but i was completely gutted!!) I ran to the bathroom and started scrubbing my leg with soap and an exfoliating glove...
Don't get me wrong, i may try the lotion again tomorrow with just my hands, but im extremely sceptical... For a 'high end' tanning brand whose lotions retail at around £25, I would have expected them to make a mitt as good as the lotion, seeing as they 'highly recommend' that you purchase and use the mitt alongside the lotion.
I'm really shocked about this to be honest, I was expecting a high quality, easy to use mitt.. and an even higher quality tan.. Tonight I got neither :(
Has anyone else had these problems? How do you apply your Xen Tan?
The product: "Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum instantly ‘lifts’ dull and tired skin. This product contains Myoxinol®, a complex of oligopeptides obtained from the seeds of hibiscus esculentus. Myoxinol® is proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and is a patented natural anti-ageing active". You can find it here.
I am fully aware that this is predominantly an anti-ageing product, and you're probably thinking 'hang on, shes only 20!!' but recently i've started to notice a few fine lines in between my eyebrows, so I decided to try this out :) I've been using it for a couple of weeks now.
Kosmea claim that this serum will 'freeze fine lines and wrinkles giving skin instant youthfullness and vitality'. I disagree. This did not freeze the fine lines between my eyebrows :(
The packaging is simple and effective, clean fresh colours and silver accents make it look really nice :) The lid also clicks on really firmly which is super important to me because i always lose lids. I've been using 1.5-2 pumps of the serum in the morning and putting it all over my face.
Immediately after application my skin feels fresh, supple and moisturised. The 'fresh' feeling is probably because of this serums slightly overpowering scent. I can't put my finger on the smell, its sort of citrus-meets-grandma-meets-bathroomcleaner.......? In the morning my skin can somtimes feel dry and tight and this serum definately helped with that! My skin has been feeling really soft and smooth all the time since i have been using this so i think its moisturising properties are really long lasting :)
Upon realising this was a 'serum' i freaked out. Normally for me facial serums are oily, leave a residue, clog my pores and cause break out (ahem - body shop facial serumns) but this serum has a creamy texture and is a pale greeney-yellow colout (which i'll admit, is a bit weird)
I am pleased to report this serum sinks into my skin within seconds and certainly does not leave an oily residue, or any residue at all for that matter!!
The Price: I was sent the 20ml bottle of this serum which retails at £25 - its pricey but worth it if you want smooth, soft, moisturised and revitalised skin.
Although this didn't appear to do anything to get rid of the fine lines between my eyebrows (which, right at the end of this post, i have just realised are called forwn lines. what an idiot!!) it did make my skin look and feel fantastic, make-up application was better, faster and easier than normal and my skin looked radiant throughout the day! A few friends even commented asking if i had had a facial! winner!!
Final verdict: Although this is expensive and (in my opinion) smells a bit weird, i really really like it and i would definately purchase it in the future. Whats also important to mention, and another 'pro' is that its a natural product, which makes me feel better when i use it!!
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, you'll know that 50 bloggers were selected by MyPure to review some products over the course of the next 6 months. I was one of the 50 'chosen' a thus you'll see regular blogs featuring products from MyPure. However, the fact the products were sent to me free makes absolutely no difference to my opinions and all of the reviews will be 110% honest.
Just a super speedy one because a lot of you have asked for swatches of these particular polishes!! I'm currently in the process of ending my job and starting a new one and its all getting quite stressful! Going to be writing lots of blogs from now on though! I love summer break!
L-R: 307 Lemon Ice Cream, 310 Mushroom and 296 Coral
I've been having quite a few issues with Lemon Ice Cream and the photo below shows two REALLY thick coats which took ages to dry :( im gutted because its such a pretty colour!!
Just a little work OOTD for you all!! As you allllll know, I work in a bar. In this current weather, bar work is even more horrendous than it is on a normal day!! With over 100 people packed into what is a relatively small bar, and 5 or 6 people behind the bar, its been getting pretty hot!!
I'm meant to wear black to work but gave up on it this week.. it is simply too hot. When I was getting ready for work on Friday night I found a cardigan in my wardrobe that I bought 4 years ago. Yup. 4! Its still in absolutely perfect condition though and was brilliant for work as its sorted of knitted into a mesh type material? I'm not too sure how to explain it so heres a couple of photos!
As it was it didn't keep me particularly cool but what it did do was cover up the tops of my arms (which I hate!!)
The reason for the RocketDog boots? My feet get COVERED in beer, cider, vodka, coke, lemonade, water, everything.... Wearing flats or sandals behind a bar just isn't sensible!! These are also waterproof which is a massive plus, even if my feet do get ridiculously hot!!
do you work in a ridiculously hot environment at the moment? what have you been wearing to work? xo
This film was dubbed to be absolutely huge, a cast of big actors, a big budget and a big name... I watched it with a big group of friends on DVD a few nights ago and couldn't resist sharing my views on here...
Directed by Guy Ritchie, this is the film summary:
"Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England. "
After watching the trailer I was actually quite excited about this film... So we all snuggled down on a big sofa, and switched it on...
The story is fantastic, the acting is brilliant and the plot definately engages the viewer.. The CGI however, is crap.
Utterly rubbish. You'd think what with all of the recent technical advances (and the release of Avatar) - other films would step it up a notch and pull their fingers out to make movies that were visually astonishing. The CGI at some points in this film genuinly looked like some sort of computer game, it was really confusing and odd!
Has anyone else watched this at home and found it really visually weird? or is it just me?
'Shine shampoo with argan oil from morocco , lovea bio shine shampoo brings health and vitality to dull lifeless hair'
I've been using this for a fair few days now so thought i'd let you all know my thoughts...
Initial Thoughts VERY runny, smells really fresh and 'zingy', can't quite put my finger on the smell but theres a strong hint of orange, don't like the packaging, quite garish - most of the writing is not in english...
When i first used this i just put the 'normal' amount of shampoo i would need into my hands, i started working it into my wet hair and...errrrrr.... no lather? On top of this it made my hair really, really knotty and a lot of it fell out... not a great start.
However Verity and Stew say my hair definately looks brighter and blonder, and i notice that it is really shiney...
Upon further usage Once i had worked out how much to use (for the record, i needed 3x the normal amount - and my hair is short... you'd go through this stuff like crazy if you had long hair!!) i managed to get this to lather up quite well, the scent is really nice and refreshing in the morning BUT it still makes my hair really knotty and still makes loads of my hair fall out. Although after i have conditioned and blow dried it my hair is very soft and very shiney...
I'm wondering if this is just a problem with my hair type though, the shine shampoo bar from lush had the same knotty-fall-out effect on my hair... maybe its because my hair is bleached? i'm not sure..
Overall Although this smells great, it is difficult to lather up and really doesn't work with my hair type.. However it does make my hair really shiney so i think that oily hair would benefit a lot more from it...
The Lovea Shampoo can be bought from Here from MyPure and retails at £4.99, not a bad price really considering it is an organic range :)
Disclaimer: this shampoo was sent to me for review purposes from MyPure.co.uk however this has not affected my (somewhat negative) opinion of the product as you can see, i received no monetary benefits for this post :)
Hello puddings! How is everyone? good? lovely! Appologies for my recent absence, i've had a crazy couple of days! I'm going to do another fantastic 5 post today, this time its lipglosses! Unfortunately i'm not very well so i've only done hand swatches but i'm going to write about the glosses in a bit of detail to give you a better idea! Lets get glossing!!
L-R: MAC Cremesheen Glass in Fashion Scoop, Barry M Lipgloss in No4, MAC Lipglass in Underage, Gosh Light'n'Shine Lip glaze in No4, Borjouis Effet 3D in No3 Rose Idyllic.
this shot was ridiculously hard to get! I had to use a little bit of white tack to get the borjouis one to stay like that! haha :) As you can see, i like both doe foot and brush applicators, granted i do prefer brushes slightly but it takes longer to apply a gloss with a brush! Out of these five i'd say the best applicator is the gosh one because its quite large, and the worst one is the Barry M one as it often picks up far too much product and i have to wipe it all off on the neck, hence its messy!!
Top-Bottom: MAC Cremesheen Glass in Fashion Scoop, Barry M Lipgloss in No4, MAC Lipglass in Underage, Gosh Light'n'Shine Lip glaze in No4, Borjouis Effet 3D in No3 Rose Idyllic
the Cremesheen Glass is pale pink colour with very very little shimmer in it, it applies smoothly and doesn't feel at all sticky on the lips, i love it either on its own or over the top of a pink or nude lipstick, it feels really moisturising on the lips :)
the Barry M gloss is a more white based pink and it has quite a lot of chunky silver glitter in it, because of this i apply it really sparingly over a lipbalm, it gives my lips a gorgeous pink colour and isn't sticky or gloopy :)
MAC underage looks more of an orange based pink in these pictures, it comes out nude and quite milky on the lips and i find it really sticky, the applicator also doesnt pick up much product so it takes a few 'dips' to cover my lips well!
The gosh gloss is pink and has blue reflects in it, i LOVE this gloss on its own and the blue reflects in it make it really different and dimensional! the lights on the lid are also really handy for when im in a club/at work/out somewhere!
The borjouis gloss is more 'grown up' and has a frostier finish to it so i tend to wear it less than the other 4, none the less i love it and applied lightly it gives a really 3D look to the lips (which is a good thing considering thats what it is supposed to do!!) i've gone through about 4 tubes of this since discovering it a while back and it still remains a firm favourite!
Have you ever tried any of these? What were your thoughts?
Also, whats your favourite gloss? Am I missing out on any gems?
Couldn't resist doing this cute little quiz I spotted on a Blog (I forgot which one though! If you have recently done this let me know!) and pasted into a word document!
Just found it and its the perfect way to fill a gap in my day :)
Hi, My Name is: Cat! Although mummy and daddy prefer 'Catherine' >_<
Never in my life have I been: to America!
The one person who can drive me nuts is: Stew! haaha :)
High school: was alright, I did quite well!
When I’m nervous: I cry or giggle, or sometimes a combination of both :/
The last song I listened to was: Bad Boy by Skepta!
If I were to get married right now my maid of honour would be: Verity! She'd have to do my photos as well though... hmm..
My hair is: crap. it never grows. it annoys me.
When I was 5: it was 1995 and i probably had flashing trainers and a shell suit on because my mum enjoyed making me look an idiot from day one!!
Last Christmas: was lovely :)
I should be..: doing nothing!! i've finished my second year of uni! :O lazy time!
The happiest recent event was: when Stew got home from being away at the weekend, we'd been having a rough time and it was nice to sort of start again because he had been away and we had had time to clear our heads
By this time next year: I will have finished university. just typing that terrifies me to the core :(
I like you when: you are kind, dont take yourself too seriously, and you are honest
The world could do without: the labour government and war
Most recent thing I’ve bought myself: a tuna mayo baguette from uni after my exam, how boring is that!!
Most recent thing someone else bought me: stew bought me a bag of haribo last night, nomnom!
My middle name is: Annabella :( i hate it.
The animals I would like to see flying besides birds are: i think pigs would be an obvious answer to this question so i'm going to say elephants. hah! that surprised you didnt it!
In the morning I: am the grumpiest person in the world...
Last night I was: revising, a bit... and watching tv
Tomorrow I am: getting my eyebrows done so i don't end up looking like this
Amazingly this is just one coat (excuse the shoddy application)!! I love this colour, it lasts ages and looks really 'classic' especially with an all-black outfit! ♥
I'm normally absolutely pants at photography but the combination of some decent sunlight (YAY! its hot in Derby!!) and Stews Nikon D3000 fared me well today, as this shows the true colour of the polish :)
I may have accidentally let Lemon Ice Cream and Mushroom sneak their way into my collection the other day so if anyone is interested in swatches of those let me know :)
Grilled chicken breasts sliced and laid onto a bed of spicy cous cous, with roasted peppers and red onion and a portobello mushroom pizza seen here on Daisy's blog :) It looks a bit gross in the picture but it was so so so so so so sooooooo yummy!!
I just did my nails with a couple of new colours I got today and I'm completely and utterly besotted with them!
haaahahaha i look so funny peeping out in the background!!!!
I have the Nails Inc Diet Coke polish in 'london' on all of my nails except my index finger, then Barry M 'mushroom' on my index finger with OPI 'mad as a hatter' over the top of it :)
Also, heres a few snaps (taken on my webcam, sorry!!) of the make-up I wore to work last night :)
I just have NARS sheer glow on with an ELF blusher (from the blush and bronze duo) with mac msf in porcelain pink over the top. On my eyes im wearing smoke and diamonds all over my lid and under my lash line with stately black (hello kitty) through the crease and on the outer corner, liner wise, i just used the black sleek kajal and im wearing mac studio fix lash mascara! Finally, on my lips i just have Mac's creme cup lipstick :)
Bonus shot showing how ridiculously long my fringe is getting!!!!