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Hello… A Quick Season’s Greetings!

Hi everyone!
Just logged on today to realised I’ve just reached 1300 followers. I’m massively flattered that even one person would take time out of their day to read my ramblings, and I truly value that. So first of all, a huge thank you to everyone.

Second of all, I hope you all had a lovely time at Christmas, and I hope you are all enjoying the family time, and have eaten enough cheese, mince pies, turkey, stuffing, chocolate and other festive fodder to sink a ship. Dieting and healthy eating has a time and a place. This is not it.

New Year is on the way, and I have lots of new posts to come.

I’m taking a bit of a mini-break at the minute from blogging for various reasons, mainly because I feel like I need to. But I’m definitely not giving up – I have shedloads of products waiting for me to review them, and as soon as I get my blogging mojo back I’ll be back to posting regularly again… However for a few days, I’m just going to enjoy the time I get off work, the festive telly and spending a bit of time with the people I love, whilst studiously avoiding my email inbox! I sincerely hope you will all still be here and interested in what I’ve got to say when I’m over this little fug!

Lots of love xxx
 (Picture sourced at weheartit.com)


A Quick Friday FOTD

I haven’t done one of these posts for ages… this is a super quick look inspired by THIS video from the lovely Tanya Burr, or Pixi2woo as she is known better on YouTube…

I’m loving really simple eye makeup looks at the moment – maybe it’s something to do with having a fringe, but at the moment I feel like anything too complex just looks too much. I also think having such big eyes also contribures to it looking too much for a day-to-day thing… It’s also a lot easier and quicker!

On the eyes I simply used Amber Lights from MAC, blended it out and added black liner, and a lot of mascara. I also used a little MAC brule to blend out the top edge, and add a natural highlight.

Being a warmish brown colour, Amber Lights is very complimentary to blue eyes… I do think the eyeliner is necessary to give some definition, although you could use a brown shade for a softer look – The Prestige intense liners include a dark brown which is great for this type of look.

Easy peasy!

On the skin I used a new foundation I picked up from Max Factor – the Xperience foundation (I use the shade Raw Silk, which is the second lightest). I’ve only used this a couple of times, so I’m still forming an opinion on it really…

So far, I like the way it applies – it feels like a tinted moisturiser but with coverage. I’d say it gives low to medium coverage. You do need a concealer with it. Once set with powder it lasts pretty well on the skin. I’d say so far I’m liking this as a daytime foundation, but for night-time, I’d want something with more coverage…

For contour I used Illamasqua powder blush in Risk (which appears to have been discontinued), and on the cheeks, this recent purchase from Accessorize Makeup;

This is the shade “Bombshell”, and is one of their merged baked blushers, which are great value at £5. They are very pigmented, and although a little powdery feeling on swatching, they apply, blend and last well on the cheeks. The more I try from this line the more I like!

Bombshell is one of those shades which “could be a bronzer or could be a blusher”, but its basically great for days when you don’t want to agonize (and I use that word with no irony) over your blush shade…

Have you tried much from the Accessorize range? Any recommendations?

Oh, and on lips I have Hollywood Gold from Estee Lauder’s Michael Kors collection…

Go Nails…

A couple of people have commented recently on twitter
 that my nails always look great in NOTD posts. I have to confess, they really don’t deserve the praise! I can never get my nails to grow very quickly, and when they do grow, they snap and break along the sides. I also suffer with dry and at times ragged cuticles.

My “secret” in pictures is to rub in a dot of cuticle oil prior to snapping a nail varnish on my nails, because that masks the disgraceful state of my cuticles… I’m also quite lucky because my nail bed is quite long, so even when my nails are cut down, they still look quite long.

So here are my nails in all their real “glory”…

I was, however recently sent a product to try and review called “Go Nails”, which claims it can solve all my issues – It promises longer stronger nails in ten days and softer cuticles.

Go Nails comes in a 15ml/0.5fl. oz. airless pump…

The cream itself is just a simple white lotion, which containss the following ingredients;

 I’m liking the fact that there isn’t anything too toxic sounding in there!

The cream has a nice very light lemonish scent, which does fade quickly, so no lingering pong after use… It seems to absob quickly and easily into both the nail and the cuticle, so my first impressions are quite  good.

This is not a cheap product though – and currently I believe that this is only available in the USA, although the manufacturers have reassured me that they regularly ship to the UK, so this is available if you want to try it… The cream retails at $24.99 per tibe, although they have multibuy options which are cheaper – see the website HERE.

Check back in a couple of weeks to see if this lives up to its promises!

Have you tried this product? Did it work for you?

Lierac Concentré Mesolift – Skin Pepping Perfection!

Concentré Mesolift is apparently formulated to deal with what Lierac describe as “Skin Fatigue” – dullness in skintone, and reduced cell turnover caused by decreased levels of certain minerals/vitamins/trace elements which can be made more pronounced by hormones.

Concentré Mesolift is a serum which contains 5% vitamins, 5% minerals and 5% Hyaluronic Acid. HA is currently in favour as a miracle anti aging ingredient, which has a molecule size which is actually able to be absorbed into the skin (unlike many “miracle ingredients”). Once in the skin, it acts as a water retainer, holding upto 1000 times its own weight in water apparently.

I like the packaging of this – the dropper is hygienic to use and the neck of the bottle is in turn wide enough to use without getting gunky.

The serum itself is less watery than some I have tried previously, and has an runny gel like texture.

I noticed a difference in how my skin felt withing a few days of using this, it felt much smoother. Its also fairly moisturising to the skin – on a couple of occasions I have forrgotten to moisturise after applying and only realised a few hours later due to the effects of the central heating at work. 

I also noticed a difference to how my skin looked after about a week or so – it looked brighter and more radiant, and generally a lot less tired looking. It also seems less prone to redness and blotchy areas due to changes in the weather etc. (For reference my skin is dry-combination)

I also like the fact that Lierac harvest their ingredients from natural/plant based sources wherever possible, yet still manages to give of enough of a “scientific results” vibe to be convincing.

A definite hit for me, and a product I would definitely repurchase. I’d expect this to last around three months per 50ml bottle.

Lierac is available online from Amazon, and LookFantastic.com, although at prices between £30-£40 you may want to shop around or try to buy direct from France!

Disclaimer – this was provided by a PR for review purposes. As always reviews are honest and based on my own experiences with the product. I would always advise that you read as many reviews as possible prior to making a purchase.

Santa’s on His Way!!

I’m one of those people who doesn’t really “feel” Christmas until the decorations are up, the shopping is done, and I can relax and enjoy the family aspects of the day.

Yesterday though, me and The Mister went and bought our tree (sadly not real – we decided not to risk with the two cats around… We spent the afternoon glitzing up the house. I have to say this is the first time we’ve really done Christmas decorations – last year we lived in a teeny weeny flat – we literally had NO room! 

 We picked up the garland and the red tree ornament from Next, and the three cute tealight holders were from cheap and cheerful Home and Bargain. I just thought they were really cute. We also picked up this wire angel from Home and Bargain – I just thought that it was a bit different and it seemed to go really nicely with the purple baubles we picked…

We decided it was best not to go too mad because we totally expected the cats to have pulled the tree down in five minutes flat, but they were very good, and apart from an initial sniff they have left it well alone!

Christmas is also the time for heartwarming songs too… This is one of my favourite recent ones!

I still have a lot to do before Christmas though – like buy half of my presents for example! But I am definitely more in the mood now!

How are your Christmas preparations going?

A Big Fat Issue.

I’ve made no secret of the struggles I’ve had with my weight – I’m your classic yo-yo dieter, and have been since I was about 20.

Before that time, I was pretty lucky really – I could within reason eat what I wanted, because I’d stop when I was full. Sure I had a thing for chocolate and I’d always be the one who’d have a pudding rather than a starter, but I was never really an emotional eater. 

That all changed when I went to uni and I wasn’t happy there. Eating became a source of comfort and pleasure. Then I realised I wasn’t comfortable in my clothes, I was having to buy bigger sizes. So I joined a slimming club, and a gym, lost the weight, got my confidence back and felt great. 

The problem is that this pattern has been repeated ever since. Sad times, and even sometimes periods where I feel really content, meant me seeking solace in food. Of course, munching through a box of chocs never solved anything, just distracted me from whatever was wrong at the time. 

A couple of years ago, I found myself at the start of this cycle once again, but this time I weighed more than ever. There were times when my behaviour around food made me feel so ashamed of myself, and that’s not a place I ever want to be again. My body image started to get really skewed at this time – sometimes I’d think I looked massively fat, but would look fine in photo’s, at other times I’d think I looked fine, but would catch an image of myself in the mirror and wondered who that huge person staring back at me was!

I also do the classic female thing of comparing myself (usually unfavourably) to any other woman in the vicinity!
I’ve done a lot to try and be more accepting of myself since then though, and although it’s a work in progress, it’s progress nontheless! Me and The Mister decided we needed to also take some decisive action and tackle losing weight together – so once again we are at a slimming club. I have to say its SO much easier having someone to cheer you along!
It’s not all plain sailing though – life is still happening, and with that comes all the stresses I used to succumb to. At the moment I am struggling. And I’m not losing much weight. But I’m trying not to let myself sink into the chasm of eating for England again. I’m trying to see the fact that although I’m not losing, I’m not gaining either, as a positive thing.
But needless to say, I’m getting a bit frustrated with my slow progress now. So rather than beat myself up, I thought I’d try to inspire myself instead. There are so many benefits ahead for me when I get to my goal weight!
This is really the big one. Me and The Mister want to become someone’s Mum and Dad at some point down the line.
Not only do I want to be fit and healthy to have a safer happier time during pregnancy and beyond, but also, and perhaps more importantly, neither me or The Mister want to pass on our food issues, which means we need to deal with them now!
In previous slimmer periods, I was a regular runner, and would run on the treadmill and outdoors most nights. I loved it – it made me feel great, meant I could enjoy the occasional treat, I slept better, had glowing skin and it was a general all round win. 
picture sourced HERE

At the gym, I’ve made a few attempts to start running on the treadmill again, but my only reward so far has been sore knees, which is never good. So I’m going to concentrate on strengthening my legs until that stops. But I’ll get there!
At the moment, clothes shopping is a traumatic event which has seriously been known to reduce me to tears. Instead of choosing the clothes I like, I have to choose the clothes that fit. Which means my sense of personal style has fallen by the wayside somewhat.
I can’t wait til shopping for clothes is a fun thing again, when I can shop in more fashionable places, and get a bit of individuality back in my wardrobe!
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind!
There’s no doubt that getting things under control now will mean less risks in terms of both mental and physical health both now and in the future!
A Sense of Balance!
I’ve realised that just like happiness can’t be found at the bottom of a sack of maltesers, neither can it be found in a size 8 dress. I’m not built that way, and I like my curves. I just want the layer of unhealthy fat to be gone from over them! And that approach never did Kim K any harm!
Picture Sourced HERE.

And speaking of balance, I also want to achieve a healthier relationship with food eventually – I don’t want to see food as the enemy any more! I just want to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet, and not eat to escape emotion.
I’m sure I’m not the only one out there to have experienced issues around weight etc… What inspires you to keep going?
How do you stay happy once you get to the weight you want to be?
Unless otherwise stated all pictures in this post were sourced at www.weheartit.com

Winter Skin Saver – Vichy Aqualia Thermal Mineral Balm.

I’ve raved before about the wonders of products containing spa minerals (see THIS post), and recently came across another gem product from Vichy.

Like a lot of people with dry-combo skin, winter really saps the life out of my complexion. What with constant changes in temperature going in and out of the cold, and the effects of central heating, and even having the heater blasting away in the car on an almost constant basis, my skin is left looking dry, dehydrated, dull and blotchy. Its a great look.

I recently got totally fed up of this state of affairs, and saught relief from the skincare aisle in my local Boots. If I’m ever looking for a problem to a skin solution, I usually head straight for the Vichy/Avene/La Roche-Posay area, and this was no exception.

The Vichy Aqualia range is designed to deal with issues of dry and dehydrated skin, and I noticed this lurking on the shelves, a product I haven’t noticed before…

This immediately attracted me firstly because it’s a balm, which sounds comforting and soothing in itself, and secondly because it describes itself as giving “Rehydrating Repairing Care – “Bandage” effect”, which sounded fancy but also sounded soothing and just what my desert-face needed.

In addition  – I love the fact that this comes in a pump. You get 50mls for £16.50 from Boots, however I’m not sure if a shop around on the internet would yield a lower price.

The balm contains 50mg of spa minerals – a full breakdown of these minerals can be found on the Vichy Website, I’m not going to attempt to interpret! The important thing is that this is a high concentration of the same minerals in the water sprays.

Its also free of all the other nasties you’d expect!

The balm itself looks like this;

 It has a rich but not super thick consistency, and feels a  little bit oily to the touch initially.

When spread across the skin it looks like this;

This is definitely not the kind of cream you apply and expect to sink in quickly – in fact I’d describe this as more of a mask or treatment type of cream. It sits on the skin and sinks in slowly… How long you let it sit on the skin is up to you, but my skin slowly absorbed the lot in a few hours.

After about ten minutes or so the inital “white” look to the cream had disappeared, although it still felt like there wasa sheen of product over my skin – this actually took a couple of hours to absorb fully.

You can though, tissue it off after a while if this sounds like too long. Personally I have been slathering this on before bed, and waking up with much more comfortable feeling and brighter looking skin.

Onee word of caution though – I have noticed that blemishes lurking under the skin seem more prone to revealing themselves quickly, so I wouldn’t recommend this for the night before a big event. It also goes without saying that those with oilier skin types probably wouldn’t want to touch this with a bargepole!

For me though, this has restored calm and hydration to my desert face!
I can see this being of use in the warmer months as well for sun parched skin, or even, god-forbid, sun burned skin.