Sunday, 30 January 2011

Illamasqua Victory

Another quality polish from Illamasqua. Such a shame my first experience with the brand was the ghastly "Rare". But I can't otherwise fault them.

This is 2 coats of perfection. Even copes well with my ridges.

The extra sparkle on the index finger is courtesy CND Gold Effects. Had a discount in the Illamasqua sale. Definitely worth it.

One of my top 2 golds. Misa Disco Queen is the other. Quite different.

Bit of a short post. I have one more in draft form. Unfortunately my mother (aged 83) was admitted to hospital with a brain bleed on Thursday and it's a two-hour drive so I shall probably be less than regular in my posting habits.....


Friday, 28 January 2011

FAIL - FAIL - FAIL- black pearl

Black + pearl makes black pearl, non? Well yes, but not in a good way. Maybe applying this in artificial light didn't help matters. Look at Don't look at the tips.

It ought to work. I knew it would end up blue. I didn't want a Chanel-type Black Pearl because I don't like that but I did want something other than a streaky mess. Will try again with another black. I think this is a case of operator-error.

Misa Wishing on a Star + Illamasqua Prism are the culprits polishes used.


Would you or do you wear pearls? I'm wearing a Majorica pearl at the moment. I just wear it. I don't look at it and never noticed the green tinge before. Hm. So maybe Chanel DID get it right with this pearl business. Still don't like that shade though...


Thursday, 27 January 2011

The colour purple - Lancome Brillant Bluebird

My latest lipstick!
I have loved purple since 1971 when it was THE fashion colour.

1971 magazine spread. Purple. And see those shoes? Ankle straps, block heels and platforms. Love.

OK, I have the tights and some shoes. Purple.

All I need is the lippie. The lippie at the top. It's Lancome. It's purple. It must be gorgeous. Lancome? Je l'adore depuis plusieurs d'annees! And did I mention the purple thing?

 Well.....In the tube it was a riot of colour and texture. And after using up half a tube on my lips (on and on I pressed and slathered) it ended up like............this. Thank the Lord it was an internet bargain and not full price. I could have spat!

If I'd wanted a lipgloss I'd have bought a ruddy lipgloss. What a cheek.

Good news though!
TJ Hughes have a bunch of Urban Decay stuff at £2.99 each. Today was also 20% off and I got a bostin' lipstick and eyeliner.

PS You have any bargain tips?

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Dior Hypnotic Poison

For Lena (but not exclusively Lena - YOU decide)

OK, this is what I want you to do. You must do this. Memorise what I am about to tell you, eat the.....No, not that.
Having committed to memory then go to Boots or wherever stocks Hypnotic Poison and follow the procedure as stated below.

You pay good money for perfume? You want it to impress/make a statement/insinuate itself into the senses of your beloved? That's sillage. From the French - the wake that a boat leaves behind. Sillage. Now, HP has pretty good sillage unless your chemistry is a bit weird! In other words, strong and odoriferous.

Next - the pyramid. Tell me I don't have to give you a picture of a pyramid! No, of course not.

So. You are in Boots. Spray on the perfume. Sniff. What are you getting?
For HP the apex of the pyramid has bitter almond (think maybe Bakewell tart?). Marzipan? So that's the top. Top-notes. Immediate ZING! The first impression. That's what hits you first. Now go for a wander round and wait for the other notes to develop.

Bitter almond tree blossom with optional parakeet

As the pyramid widens we get jasmine. As time goes on you may detect jasmine. Gives heart to the perfume. I'm not good at detecting middle notes even after all these years. I don't have the greatest nose. In fact your sense of smell does decline with age so Lena will definitely be more sensitive than I. But never mind the mid notes at this stage.

At the base (BASE notes) vanilla and musk. These are pervasive and last longest. So that's what you end up with. That's what lasts longest. And a good perfume should last/have good longevity. If you spray it on YOU rather than on a paper strip then sniff again after a couple of hours. Heck, use a paper strip if you want.By the time you get home the top notes have dwindled or disappeared. Depends how sensitive you are. Me - not so much.

Doesn't matter if you hate HP - these are still the constituents. So that's what you are smelling. If you hate it you may want to avoid any other perfume with bitter almond on top (there aren't many widely available). But when you know what you dislike or like on first sniff then you can work out what else to try. Use 'basenotes' as a resource or just google. Unusual top notes make for distinctive perfumes. And HP doesn't have many clones/dupes/twins.

If you hate vanilla then don't get HP even if the top notes appeal because you'll be left with vanilla after the bitter almond dies down. Perfumes tend to come in families. Floral. Oriental (spice). Woody. Green. Gourmand. I could go on....and on...

If this makes no sense I am going to do another post on perfumes with /red/ in their name. That may be more enlightening.


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Silver rings - 3

I do love rings. Mind you, I read one of these ludicrous psychology results ages ago that stated there's a strong correlation between a woman wearing a lot of rings and mental fragility! Although come to think of it....there may be something in that! I do look at women's hands and wonder about their stability. But these psychologists - what are they like!

The heart is rose quartz. The black is onyx. These are both Fair Trade silver rings from Traidcraft. You can get much cheaper rings but I am glad there are Peruvians who are a bit less poorer. After all, I'm a helluva lot richer than they are. Spread it around. These two are adjustable which I usually associate with cheapo rings made of base metals but these are very good quality. The onyx is faceted but the pic doesn't show that well.

The mother-of-pearl was an ebay buy.

My wedding ring is yellow gold, white gold and 5 diamonds. Had to find one that we both liked. Not so easy as I favour the flamboyant and the OH is much more (decidedly small c) conservative. I am definitely a silver rather than a gold. Too much of the Del-boy/Katie Price about gold jewellery in my head. *shudders*

I wear these day after day. Don't remove them ever. I keep one earring in permanently and take the others out at bedtime. I also wear a silver chain. Pearl at the moment. Plus my watch. I had a gorgeous 'silver' cuff but it irritated my skin. I'm looking for a real silver cuff a bit like the quartz ring with a hammered finish but I'm outta dosh at present.

Then there's piercings but that may be TMI!!!!!

Silver or gold?
How many earrings?
Any allergies?


Monday, 24 January 2011

Wet n Wild Sparked

I got this from Cheap Smells. I thought I was buying Starry Night. That's certainly what it said on the website and the invoice. I'm sure you can guess what that kind of polish 'should' look like. I actually got this fellow (do nail polishes have a gender?) and I'm not perturbed.

I love this kind of finish and thought at first glance it must be akin to my beloved Butter London Rosie Lee.

And there is indeed a resemblance but, even to my untutored eye, they could not in a month of dull and rainy Sundays be described as dupes.

Do you think you have a good eye for colour? Do your friends ask your advice for 'what goes with what'? Do you pick something thinking it will go well with an existing piece only to find that they clash disastrously? Or do you like clashes? Would you wear different shades of blue (for example) in coat, cardi, skirt, shirt, tights???


Sunday, 23 January 2011

Jessica Soak Up The Sun

Jessica is a great brand and I was rather hoping this would be a great polish (well, formula-wise as the colour isn't the most interesting one has ever seen) but it fell victim to the curse of the neon-pastel streakitudity.

3 coats and it was still patchy so....

I can't say I like the effect but it will simply have to do. The 2010 over the pink is slightly suggestive of a nasty fungal disease attacking my nails but you can't win 'em all...
Nubar 2010 and Illamasqua Prism btw.

Now the other hand is sporting something far more interesting but we shall leave that for another day.

I have an embarrassment of (relative) riches to show you in the coming week.
  • Perfumes. I have rather more than I had imagined and do fancy myself something of a connoisseur. *splutters*
  • YSL lipstick
  • Silver rings
  • Giraffe tights
  • My Dove giveaway from Charlie - but it's being sent from Dove HQ so I don't have an ETA
  • Nail polish by Zoya, Revlon, GOSH, BB Couture, Illamasqua, Bourjois, OPI

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Cheap Smells haul + a big shout-out to Charlie of Lady of the Lane

Cheap Smells. Not the most attractive name for someone looking for good quality products at good (aka bargain) prices. Works on a 'does-what-it-says-on-the-tin' way. Direct. To the point. But charmless.

YSL Rouge Volupte Brun Vibrant £4.95. I'll swatch it soon. But the packaging is worth that money! Feels so satisfying in the hand. The sort of thing I pop in my pocket and just fondle to give myself a thrill....Is that TMI? I really don't need to develop an expensive lipstick habit but when did need trump desire?
 The La Perla was £25.95 but it IS eau de parfum and the OH finds it irresistible. Odd because I don't much like it. Too woody and the patchouli is too strong but (as mentioned) the OH is crazy about it/me. So I need it in my arsenal.

Now the Peony is more my thing. I go for florals and gourmand fragrances so this is right up my rue. Got a polish too but I'll post that separately as it merits its own pearls of wisdom. Ahem.

I also use fragrance direct, cosmetic kingdom and probably scores of others. Any discount recommendations?

And thanks to Charlie of
I won a Dove prize in her giveaway so expect more pix of my hair soon! I just know you can hardly contain yourselves. Such is the excitement generated. ;o) I had better purple it a bit before I test the products! I like Dove body cream a LOT so have high hopes of the hair stuff.


Friday, 21 January 2011

Zoya Zaufda

Zoya is buckets of money in the UK. BIG buckets. Biggest buckets you ever did see.

That's why I don't have any. Until I got 3 for about £7.50 on ebay including P&P.
Zaufda  is the one I expected to like least. Orange. Just shows the power of expectation and anticipation. Aim LOW. Contrary to what the government and these 'life-coaches' would have you believe. Slightly tongue-in-cheek? Not even sure myself.

2 coats. You have to keep your eyes peeled on ebay. Persistence pays. This is a great colour. Duochrome-ish too. Seems to darken in some lights. Great brand but I'm not paying £10 so I don't expect my little trio to expand within the near future.

Anyone else up for the giveaway? There was a brief flurry and then nothing. That's fine by me. I'm not touting for readers. Just reminding any regulars out there. See RH menu.


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Wet n Wild Eggplant Frost

I know. I know. We can all be blase about purple shimmer with pronounced blue flash. Yawn. Been there, done that.......
But for £1.95?????? Not so much.And this is magnificent.

Hot, shiny, metallic paint in a bottle.
Unfortunately I only just noticed the PRC in the picture when I uploaded the pic. What a shame. I assumed this was a US brand and made in the US. For that price I should have guessed...

Eggplant? Or rather - aubergine. Bear with me.

US sidewalk UK pavement - sidewalk makes a lot of sense, descriptive, accurate. Yep, good word.
US elevator UK lift - lift wins, fewer syllables, a prosaic piece of kit, doesn't need 4 syllables
US eggplant UK aubergine - we imported our word from the French as we didn't really even acknowledge such a thing until...1974 (I'm guessing)

But eggplant? Egg? Some hens you have there! Except when I googled the dear ol' aubergine.

Yes, there are white varieties.
So I'm letting the US retain eggplant as a valid word. I'll wager you're relieved. Won't have to rewrite all those recipes.

China is by far the largest producer
A popular Provencal recipe is called caviar d'aubergine
Aubergines feature as indestructible enemies in a video game called 'Adventure Island'

What's your favourite vegetable or favourite vegetable story or favourite vegetable fact?


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Trasparenze Dora - the shade is Fumo (smoke)

Another of my enthusiasms is for tights. And over the knee socks. For whom we apparently have Katy Perry to thank. I don't know who Katy Perry is but I'd like to point out that we had these socks in the 60s. Think Twiggy. So Katy Perry can put that in her pipe and smoke it!

Yes, the socks are boring to look at but they are SO soft. A lot of wool in these socks. Also these shoes are a bit big so they fit better with some padding!

This is how I would wish to look if I could choose my legs. I would certainly ask to keep those shoes if I were the model.

These are from Good service. You see I can't just pop into Primark even though my colleague tells me they do great tights/hosiery because of my policy of not buying 'made in China'.

The tights were on sale in John Lewis. Emilio Cavallini. Raspberry and teal tights were discounted in abundance. A popular distaste for gaudy tights results in bargains for me. Excellent.

Anyway Italian hosiery is amongst the best. I had better save for a haul when I go to Rome next month!

OK, Twiggy pix. Couldn't find the right socks but just revives memories...

  I was cray for lime and apple green in the 60s!

Funky tights?
Yay or nay?

Over the knee socks?


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Nubar Prize

This is meant to be holo. Not on my nails it isn't. But I love it regardless.

3 coats, I think. It isn't as red as I had expected either. But this went on beautifully. I do love Nubar. Even after the contretemps with Petunia Sparkle!

I don't have product loyalty to anything really. I have a million perfumes. I buy supermarket own-brand. I like experimenting. I am unerringly faithful to my OH and that's about it.

What about you? Is it Heinz for beans? Nivea for the face? M&S for knickers? What are your 'until hell freezes over' items?

Freaky friends...completely random. This really ought to be a caption competition.Please have a go because anyone can improve on my lame effort.

Fat cat: Just leave me alone! I told you before. You know I don't go out with birds that are taller than me!


Monday, 17 January 2011

Scwarzkopf Mystic Violet permanent hair dye

It didn't manage to defeat the Cosmic Blue (which was black, let's be honest). It did cover the grey at the temples but I'll have to grow out the black before attempting a re-dye. It needs shearing anyway. Then I can try Cyber Purple.

The styling is courtesy of cheap hair gel. I use so much to wrestle it into submission that I buy supermarket rock-bottom. 35p a tub is plenty good enough for moi. Putty and wax I simply cannot work with. Have neither the time nor the inclination to make them malleable. I can't get the angle to echo the way I see it in the mirror but I was happy with it this morning. Looks better in my head. Much better.

This is perfectly achievable on me when I'm blonde. Apart from the cheekbones and perfect skin and that stuff. Just talking hair obviously.

No need to list the cosmetics applied as there clearly are none! Ha! I notice my camisole is fraying but the straps will have to sever themselves spontaneously before I chuck it out.

We all colour our hair, don't we? When I retire I shall go turquoise or pink or some such...You?

Bonus CBA.

Poor baby bats. Victims of the Queensland floods.


Sunday, 16 January 2011

Nubar Petunia Sparkle + Accessorize Pin-Up

First the pic.

Now. Does the accent nail colour closely resemble the remaining nails? No.

You can see why I thought they might be similar? Yes?

Accessorize PU
2 coats - opaque as the depths of Hades
Dark base with very fine added glitter
Easy to apply

Nubar PS
3, 4 coats and still not right
Streaky application - you seek it here, you seek it there, it's gone bloomin' everywhere and then it's nowhere
One of the messiest, least satisfying polishes I have used in a long while
Quite matte, quite uneven finish, needs plenty topcoat

However the OH noticed (!) and likes (!!) the Petunia. And it is undoubtedly a shamelessly fun colour. And would be an outright 10/10 were it not for its beastly application.

I also love petunias. Especially the dark purple ones which are the only ones to smell good.

Favourite flower fragrance? I've just ordered some cheapo Yardley Peony as I love peonies too.

Flower fragrance? I can think of dozens.


Saturday, 15 January 2011

Jessica Skin Deep

Less than a fiver. I have seen this on no other blog. That is criminal. You may say it's boring (Vix certainly will) but it's breathtakingly beautiful. To me.

There is the best and finest gold shimmer in this that I have ever seen. 3 coats.

This beats my previous favourite nude (Eyeko) into a cocked hat.

Pretty bottle contents. Cast your peepers over this!

I know it does me no favours i.e. doesn't suit me.  I care naught for that. 

More cutesie-cutesie.

Apparently they are at least as afraid of the sheep as vice versa. This may change...


Friday, 14 January 2011

Illamasqua Poison

From the sale. Going vampy/dark these days.

Plus a bit of lipgloss in the centre. Looked at my other lip-pix and was shocked by how meagre my lips now appear. Plus the odd angles I seem to have achieved in error. So went a little beyond the lipline with this.

The flash has thoroughly washed this out. It's dark and matte. I don't think I'm going to develop a major lipstick addiction akin to my passion for polish. Even lip products I really like don't absorb my interest the way polish does. My account seems to haemorrhage money as it is!

So here's the pic from the Illamasqua website. Cool, huh?

CBA now.

I know not what it may mean to you. Perhaps it's an acronym for Chartered Business Accountant. But I care not for such things. I should as I do have an accountant but his qualifications are his own affair. As long as I don't get into trouble with the taxman (could be a woman, I don't doubt it) I am a happy bunny. Cute Baby Animal.

Newborn at Paignton Zoo. The keepers hoped the mother was pregnant but weren't sure. Arrived at work to find this! Great way to start your working day.


Thursday, 13 January 2011

Schwarzkpof LIVE XXL Cosmic Blue + others + cute baby animal alert

OK. This is the starting point - Cosmic Blue. I was blonde all summer.

Too much serum has flattened it today. Damn. I model myself usually on Struwwelpeter.

But today I've just gone flat. You can see what I'm aiming at though...

ANYWAY stay with me. What next? Violet or Purple?

Last time was Violet and I like the blueishness of that but these are on offer at Morrisons so I bought a stash. I swear by this range if you relish strong colour. It is conditioning too as far as I'm concerned. Go get whilst on offer.

That style with that colour kinda thing.

Cute baby animal. That's why you're here. I always get more hits/comments when I do dogs. Fair enough!

Baby gorilla in the rain!!!!!! Now that IS a bad hair day. But utterly delightful.

More cute babies tomorrow. Oh, am I the only woman in the world who doesn't find human babies cute? I had two of my own but babies do nothing for me. When my girls could talk - that's when I 'got' them.

Please be honest...
A Babies? Adorable. A dor a ble.
B As long as they're your own...
C Don't know what the fuss is about!
D Aliens.Weird.
E Does anyone know a good nanny? I'll take over when they're house-trained.