I was lucky enough to get my hands on a set of mini polishes from the China Glaze Vintage Vixen collection, thanks to a friend who shares my love of all things nail-related. The set arrived this morning, and the shades all look beautiful. The one that stood out to me the most as a "must try NOW" shade was Riveter Rouge, so I have just applied it now. This is the first time I've tried a China Glaze polish and I must say I am very impressed; easy application, beautiful colour and perfect in two coats. Here are a couple of pictures;
Just how gorgeous is that?
I need to get more China Glaze polishes! Zombie Zest is top of my list, such a gorgeous and unique shade.
For as long as I can remember, I have suffered with large, open pores on my cheeks. I've tried numerous products to either fix or disguise them, but had little success. So when I tried Benefit's offering, The POREfessional, in Boots last week, I wasn't expecting much... How wrong could I be? This product is WONDERFUL, I really can't praise it enough. It comes in a 22ml tube which doesn't sound like a lot, but you don't have to use very much at all. It's a thick, pinkish brown coloured liquid that easily blends into the skin without leaving a trace of colour. It feels very soft on the skin (similar in feel to Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, actually) and smells lovely. You pat it onto the skin, and the effects are instant; pores look visibly smaller, and appear to have disappeared in some cases (although I know they have cleverly been hidden)! I have worn it alone and under make-up, and I have been pore-free for the whole day. Another plus point is that it didn't affect the way that my make up applied - some products can make it difficult to apply foundation due to drying out the skin, but nothing like that happens with this product at all. The leaflet inside the box says that you can top up through the day if necessary, by patting the product over the top of your make up, much like you would do with a blotting sheet.
The tube costs £23.50 and can be bought from www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk
Recently, I've been toying with the idea of taking a photography course. However, the courses I like the sound of cost £130 at my local college, and I don't want to pay that and end up not enjoying it. Instead, I bought a Holga 135 35mm camera on eBay last week, as I've always really liked the shots I've seen from Holga cameras. I took it on two trips at the weekend, and here are some of the photos I took;
I love them, especially the fourth photo. I achieved that effect by taking five photos of my husband without winding the film on, so a multiple exposure. I tried a few multiple exposures and some didn't come out, I think this was because it was a very bright day and I over-exposed the film. Still, I think a large part of getting better at photography involves trial and error, so I am not too bothered about the missing shots. I have already put another film in the camera and I plan to take it everywhere with me from now on...
I love cooking, but hate following recipes to a tee as I feel it destroys my creativity a bit! I often find a recipe online (or in one of the few recipe books I have) and tweak it a little, kind of give it a Laura-twist if you like. On Friday, I needed stodge after a long day at work, so decided to make a sausage and baked bean casserole. I browned some Cumberland sausages and onions in a wok, before adding a tin of chopped plum tomatoes, some passata, a tin of Branston baked beans (my favourite), some tomato puree, some herbs (mixed herbs, and some oregano), some spices (paprika and cumin), some hot chilli powder, some salt and some pepper. No exact quantities as I didn't measure anything, I tend to cook "to taste". I let it simmer for a while, before putting it all in my lovely orange Le Creuset casserole dish and cooking it for two hours at 150 degrees Celsius. I served it with red wine and crusty bread, and it was absolutely delicious. I took this photo using my iPhone Hipstamatic app;
On Sunday, I decided to make beef stew. I browned some stewing steak and softened some onions and leeks in butter. I put them in my Le Creuset with about two tablespoons of cornflour. I then added three Oxo cubes (cheating, I know!) and about a pint of boiling water. Finally, I added some red wine, herbs (a bay leaf and some parsley) and seasoned with sea salt and lots of freshly-ground black pepper. This went in the oven for two hours at 150 degrees Celsius. With half an hour to go, I decided to make dumplings. I mixed 2oz of butter with 4oz of self-raising flour, and added milk to combine, before finishing them off with some mixed herbs and some seasoning. I put them in the stew and returned it to the oven for the final half an hour. It was very tasty. Again, photo taken with the Hipstamatic app;
I promise this will be the last post of the day, I seem to have gone mad!
Just popped into town as I was bored. Bad idea! I've come home with three new nail polishes and a new skincare regime as the one I've been using has stopped working for me. My skin is fine with skincare regimes for about three months, then it starts to react to the products and I have to start all over again. This time, I've gone for three products from the Boots Botanics range as they were on 3 for 2, and I got 100 extra points too. There was lots of choice, but I plumped for;
Skin Brightening Cleanser, which is for all skin types and promises to gently cleanse and renew my skin. It contains sweet maple, bilberry and sweet cane and smells delicious. It was £3.99
Rosewater Toner, which is again for all skin types and promises to gently cleanse and refresh. It contains rosewater, amongst other things. You probably could have guessed that from the name... This was also £3.99.
First Signs of Aging Face Defence Moisture Cream, which is for slightly more mature skin. I am 27 am beginning to see changes in my skin, so thought this would be perfect. It contains horse chestnut, which apparently protects skin. This was £5.99.
I'll review these after a couple of weeks.
The three nail polishes I got are;
GOSH Holographic, £4.99.
No 17 Fast Finish in Smokey Marble, £4.49.
Me Me Me in Proud, £1.49 as I had a half price voucher.
I also sampled Benefit's Pore-fessional, which claims to minimise the appearance of pores. I have horrible large pores across my cheeks and have spent YEARS searching for a product to reduce the size, or at least give the effect of smaller pores. My initial impression was very good actually, my pores were visibly smaller immediately after application. It's been on an hour now and I still feel as though my pores are smaller, plus my skin feels very smooth. In a few minutes, I am going to put some make up on over the top to see if it makes application harder as some products I've tried seem to dry the skin up so much that it makes it very hard to apply foundation etc, thus negating any positive effects. So far so good, though. This product may go on my Birmingham half-term shopping list... It's £23.50, by the way.
I love getting free nail polishes with magazines, especially when I haven't tried the brand before as it gives me chance to try out something new without having to worry about wasting money on something that doesn't work for me. Only trouble with this particular polish is that I had to buy Cosmopolitan magazine to get it. What a load of utter tripe, full of rubbish about getting your man to love you and finding out what men really think. I think my OH wondered what was up with me because of the many audible scoffs coming from the bathroom when I read this in my Saturday night bath. Anyway, back to the polish. I'd never heard of this brand before, but I really liked the colour in the bottle and wasn't disappointed with it on my nails. It's a black base packed with bronze glitter and it is absolutely gorgeous. One coat was enough for great coverage, but I can't comment on staying power as it's only been on for 12 hours. No chips yet, though.
I wore this last week. Took two coats to get a decent colour, and it needed a topcoat as it had a strange finish (not quite a gloss, not quite matte) but it was worth the effort. It's a gorgeous pinky purple shade and I had so many compliments. It lasted three days without chipping, which is great for me; as a teacher I have a pretty hands-on job so any polish that lasts longer than two days is a winner with me.
Here's a picture, taken after three days so please excuse chipped ends;
Highly recommended! And such a bargain at £2.50 in the ASOS sale.
I had an interview last week (didn't get the job, boohoo) and had to choose a work-appropriate colour for it. I knew this would be tricky, but after looking through my collection I found a Nails Inc polish I got free with a magazine a couple of years ago. I'm not a huge fan of Nails Inc as I find the polishes to be streaky and tricky to apply, but thought I'd give it a go as the last polish I bought (well, got free) from them was actually pretty good. This one went on very easily, and took three coats to get a decent colour. It's a very natural blush colour, and really suited my skintone. It lasted about 12 hours before chipping, so I wouldn't buy it at full price.
So I mentioned in my last post (or last but one, can't remember) that I bought a few nail polishes in the ASOS sale recently, and Eyeko Rain was one of them. I wore this last week. Lovely colour, but application was tricky and staying power was poor. It only lasted two days. Here's a (bad) picture;
I don't know if I'll buy any more Eyeko polishes to be honest, although they do have some unique colours and are very cheap. Hmmm.
I used Essie Mink Muffs on my nails today and I really like it. As usual with Essie polishes, the first coat was pretty poor but after a second coat my nails looked fabulously opaque. Here's a picture, apologies for the make-up free me in the background;
Gosh, it's been AGES since I posted. Not sure why really! So, here's a little look at some of the things I've bought since I last blogged...I will point out here that I am not completely superficial, although I am fully aware this blog makes it look as if I am *blushface* Anyway, I took full advantage of the ASOS sale at the weekend and treated myself to five new nails polishes, costing me the grand total of £7.50 (including P&P). They arrived this morning, and I love them all. Here's a rubbish photo (left to right; Essie Bermuda Shorts (£2), Essie Mink Muffs (£2), Eyeko Rain (£1.25), Eyeko Nude (£1.25), Ciate Asos Paint Alexa (£1));
I also went shopping today. I had a dress to return to H&M (too big, didn't try it on) and they didn't have one in my size in stock, so I replaced it with a lovely beige and black striped jumper dress, a cream and black striped dress and a set of the cutest stud earrings I've seen in ages (squirrels, deer and other woodland animals). It came to the grand total of £28.97, and as the dress originally cost me £29.99, I ended up making a profit... I then went into Lush and treated myself to a Cinders ballistic, a Satsumo Santa ballistic, a Gingerbread House bubble bar slice and a So White ballistic. I always really like the Lush Christmas items, and could easily have spent much more this morning! The lovely SA also gave me samples of Ultralight moisturiser and Fair Trade foot lotion, which I am looking forward to trying. Saw a gorgeous jumper dress in Topshop that has definitely gone on the birthday list;