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Right, I know I have gone on about how great Get Bent mascara by Benefit is, and it IS, but it's not in the shops where I lived, and so I needed a cheaper alternative.
In fact, I was having a mascara emergency. My Get Bent had completely dried up and I was shuffling around superdrug positively baffled by all the options...do I want my lashes to be longer? Or thicker? But what about volume? And then there's the colour...
Worst of all, is thinking that you've just spent roughly £8 on something that really might not work for you, so not only are you £8 lighter, but you have to fork out for another equally untrustworthy product.
My main dilemma in the mascara emergency was that I didn't have £8 to spare that day (everyone I know had decided to have their birthday in the same week) However, while I was slithering up and down the aisle, muttering to myself, I noticed the Bourjois mini's section and wondered if they did mini mascara. They do!
The packaging is great-it's elegant yet plain and simple, and I like the way the curve of the tube makes you think of the sweep of eye lashes. (Well I do anyway) The little 'thing' to attach it to your mobile phone is great as well, as I can see that mini make-up would be twice as likely to slip out of your pocket etc. although I'm not sure why anyone would want to bother taking their mascara out with them (although I won't go on about that too much-I don't want them to stop making it in this size!)
As you can expect with Bourjois, it's good quality, with a great depth of colour, it's non-flaky, long lasting but also easy to remove...all this, AND it's surprisingly cheap! I think I paid £2.42 and it lasted me two and a half months. (Good quality = less need for layering, which also looks far better anyway if you think about it.) Although larger tubes may seem better value/they last longer etc. that's actually not necessarily the case...
...I find that after a while, the larger tubes dry out and become stale, so they don't work half as well because they aren't fresh. Bourjois mini's eradicate that problem as you don't have a tube long enough for it to get to that stage, so you'll never have to throw away what SHOULD be a perfectly good mascara again!
So, although I would buy Benefit 'Get Bent' mascara when I have the chance, I will continue to use Bourjois mini mascara to get my Bette Davis eyes on a budget.
Thanks for reading :)
I have often wondered about people that watch reality TV shows...why do people stay in to watch people they don't know sitting around talking, or doing the washing up, when they could be out doing things themselves?! I mean, if I wanted to watch people that can't sing, making arses of themselves, I'd just pop down to the karaoke, however, it's bad enough live, so I wouldn't want to watch it on TV. I just don't understand the logic.
Wife Swap, however, is in a league of it's own. (yes, yes, I know I am saying that because I am in denial about watching a reality TV show and going against all my principles!) It's just pure car crash tv though and I cannot resist the lure of the tantrums, tears and, well....t*ssers. (The latter covers most of the husbands, you see.)
It's unlike other reality programmes, because (thankfully) it's not the same few people dragged out over an entire season, but it's all condensed into one delightful hour of cringe worthy TV, so it does get to the point and keep you entertained, rather than just trotting out a handful of hopefuls every week for what feels like years (which actually makes you wonder if the production company is in breach of the mental health act).
Sometimes, I must admit, I have to wonder whether watching it is bad for me for reasons other than TV 'making your eyes square'. Like my blood pressure for example...I actually shout at the people featured...lazy husbands, mouthy 'children' who are old enough to know better (Mary springs to mind-you know, the pig faced racist from the first series with an abundance of soft toys and an absence of decorum) and also women who allow themselves to take on the role of skivvy. I simply can't help but get sucked into it, to the point where I try and not check the tv guide (well shouting at the TV definitely marks the end of my twenties in my eyes ;-P )
But when someone agrees to take part in a programme that they know the layout and point of, and then complains/refuses to cooperate, what else can you do?!
Thanks for reading :)
It has to be said that I have had pretty much every hair colour going. I have done all sorts to my hair in the name of getting the exact shade I want, whether it was using fabric dye and liquid food colouring in my punk days, (as well as all the glue I used to put in it!) or using the more natural 'Directions' dye in more recent years. However, I got fed up of all the rigmarole and decided to once and for all, try and find a decent, straighforward boxed dye.
I tried a few different makes initially-Schwarzkopf (nothing like the colour on the box) Recital (dull) Live Colour XXL (faded too quickly, so turned orange)...and then my eyes met with a box of Feria colour boost dye in Pure Scarlet Power across a crowded shop floor.
I wasn't particularly interested in the packaging-if I remember correctly it just featured some androgynous people poncing around in sunglasses, and the bottle and other bits were fairly standard issue, however it was the colour example on the lid of the box that sucked me in.
The process I used to go through in order to get my hair pillarbox red was time consuming, bathroom destroying and also made it look like I had a severe case of rosacea for a few days after I'd done the deed. I was tired of all the faffing around, and it's hard finding clothes that go with such red hair (I don't know how Jane Goldman does it!)
So, as you can imagine, I was pleased to find a straightforward red hair dye that still had an unnatural look to it...IF it did exactly what it said on the box!
It was quick and easy to mix up and apply-although I wonder if I think this because I am used to worse?! There was just the right amount for my hair (my hair is now about an inch below my shoulders, however it's very curly and thick) I didn't see the point in doing a strand test, considering my hairs past, but you may want to consider it, to make sure you like the vibrancy of the colour, if nothing else.
I left it on for half an hour, and wrapped my head in cling film (as opposed to the 2hours of bleaching and colouring it used to take-bliss!) and it rinsed out easily, without staining my bath, tiles, floor etc. (although the grouting has the vaguest hint of a shell pink colour to it now, but it's an improvement on the dull white, so it's scored yet another point) and more importantly, after I'd dried my hair, I looked in the mirror and HAD NORMAL SKIN!
It also smelled really nice and fruity and left my hair really shiny (which is actually difficult to achieve with curly hair) and sillky, frizz free and nourished looking. (Which takes some doing as I have just taken my dread/braids out after quite some time) and the colour saving shampoo lasted a while after too.
I use this all the time now, as if you want a no-fuss red hair dye, this is where it's at. Also, it doesn't fade for a loooooong time, by which time, you'd need to have dyed it again to cover up the root regrowth anyway. (I personally am not fussed about just doing my roots-the dye leaves my hair in such good condition afterwards, that I welcome dyeing the lot in one go.)
Get it while it's hot.
Thanks for reading :)
Durex Play Tingle Lubricant (or Tingly F@*k juice as it is also known) is one of the best inventions ever, bar none.
The packaging looks fresh and modern-it doesn't have that tacky 80's look that a lot of similar products went for until they followed Durex's lead. It can be tricky to initially get into the bottle sometimes, but usually, it's fine, and once you have managed to break the seal (ooh-er!) the lubricant is dispensed via a pump action head, which is perfect for those hurried, spontaneous moments (I mean, do you REALLY want to be fiddling around getting lids on and off various bottles etc. when there are far more pressing things to attend to?!)
The lube itself is clear and thankfully doesn't stain and tastes vaguely like mouthwash, which is a pleasant change-the fruity types of lube tend to be a bit too synthetic, sickly and plasticky tasting for my liking.
It can take a little while to warm up, so to speak-there have been times I've thought it 'wasn't working' only for it to take me by surprise a few minutes later. It's a good consistency, and doesn't leave a slimy residue on the skin afterwards either, which is a bonus. As for the tingling-it's best to avoid rushing in and ladling tons of it on. Try just a little at a time at first, to allow you to work out your sensitivity, as it is possible to over load and find it a little too tingly for comfort (although thats not necessarily a bad thing!)
I would definitely buy it again. I have tried other makes, but would recommend sticking to this brand as the cheaper ones are not nearly so kind to your bits and far more likely to give you a nasty reaction, whereas Durex Tingle, is effective and gentle (I think this is to do with cheaper brands containing menthol, eucalyptus and suchlike to give it a kick, whereas Durex doesn't)
Thanks for reading :)
Being a busy gal about town, I like to get dressed, do my hair and do my make-up, just ONCE a day-I can't be doing with reapplying my make-up, and I also don't have time for lipstick that smudges right off, so I've always taken a keen interest in any stay on lipstick products.
I've tried the earlier ones (too drying, rank colours or just too expensive to spend in one go on one lipstick) but Maybelline Superstay is the best.
I saw it on offer for about a fiver in Superdrug, once upon a time so thought I'd give it a go, and I was impressed-there is a fantastic range of colours that appeal from the wall flower to the Stepford wife to the femme fatale alike.
The lipstick is creamy to apply, and slightly sticky for a few seconds until it dries, but once it does, it's there all day. (however, I like to apply a THIN layer of shade 416 to be more subtle when I'm doing the natural look-the thinner layer does need to be reapplied after a few hours, but looks gorgeous and very...er...natural!)
A gripe I have had with these kind of lipsticks in the past is that I like to forget about the top coat-I'm much more a matte gal, and apart from anything else, I hate getting my hair stuck in a load of gunky gloss on a windy day-and usually it becomes flaky and cracked looking-not good. But with Maybelline superstay, it's much more flexible and looks great with or without the top coat.
Another good thing is that the packaging has improved-rather than having to add two more tubes to your make-up bag, they combined the lippy and the gloss into one double ended tube-it also makes it less likely that you will go out with one and not the other. (Although, it's difficult to get the last few applications out-at least with lipfinity you could click the end of the bottle in and out and get another week or two's worth!)
The aren't bad for the current price (about £7.99 in the shops) which is good value for money when you think about how long it lasts (using mine matte, one can last me for over 6months with daily usage) but it still seems a bit much for a lipstick. (I lost my make-up bag a few months ago and replacing everything all at the same time made me keel over when I realised how much it all adds up to and I don't like to think that I could go to Paris for a weekend for the cost of a few items out of my make-up bag.)
Thanks for reading :)
I always use Venus razors and am the first to buy a new product of theirs (I have very pale and sensitive skin, so can only use the best!)
I really liked the idea of having built in shave gel as it's a great time and space saver and makes you feel as though you are getting a bit more for your money-while Venus razors are good quality I can't help but wince at the price every time I have to buy a fresh set of blades. (Although you don't get as many replacement heads in a gel pack as opposed to the usual variety)
The shave gel itself was a nice colour and smells delicious and the consistency was good-and afterwards my legs felt so moisturised. However, they didn't feel very smooth for the first few goes!
This is because the block of gel that's situated above and below the blades, was too bulky to allow the razor to get into close enough contact until it had eroded away after a few goes.
The handle is the same kind of design as usual, yet in a purple this time (which goes better with my bathroom decor-yes, I am anal about such things!)
Other than that, once the gel block has worn down enough it's the same as the others really.
Thanks for reading :)
According to Bridget Jones, chick lit and girly mags, the frozen lasagne has come to be seen as the symbol of the sad and terminally single. Nothing more than a load of dubious, cat sick looking gunk, sandwiched between some bits of soggy cardboard.
However, those at Trattoria Verdi (and ultimately, Tesco) have blown shown that this is no longer the case. I don't usually buy microwave ready meals, due to their usual tastelessness, suspicious looking ingredients and puzzling textures. (Although I do buy them if I am anticipating being too ill to cook-well, since illness kills your taste buds, I always think the flavour-or lack of-doesn't matter in that case!) So I was surprised to find myself looking at one (partly to do with being drawn in by the nice coloured packaging) and thinking that it looked a bit of alright.
As you may or may not know, although I'm not a vegetarian, I don't like meat that cannot be defined-the thought of eating a meat lasagne and potentially chomping my way through eyes, lips and bumholes all minced together doesn't particularly get my mouth watering, but the idea of a plain vegetable lasagne definitely did.
Apart from the bright and environmentally friendly packaging, it is a mere 95 pence! So I decided to throw caution to the wind and buy two.
I forgot that I'd bought any for a while, but when I did, I just chucked it in the microwave and when it was done, I was pleased to find that unlike my experiences with other ready meals, I wasn't trying to peel scalding hot cellophane that was relentlessly sticking to my skin away, or forced to drop molten plastic containers (that had inevitably broke in transit causing lava-like sauces to ooze out and strip my skin to the bone) It looked good. It SMELLED good.
Basically, it's your usual lasagne thang-layers of pasta (not the stodgy variety) interspersed with a gorgeous rich (but not too rich!) tomato-y sauce, the aubergine, courgette and red pepper were nice and chunky and put in more than a small guest appearance. Then, of course, comes the cheese and white sauce layer, which is melt in the mouth and has a few more larger still chunks of veg on top and a sprinkling of herbs.
It's a winner on all counts in my eyes-the veg remains juicy, the pasta doesn't seem to crisp and the cheese is the right side of cheesy and filling too. In fact, I have bought several since and after waxing lyrical to my boyfriend about them all weekend, I'm about to go home and make some with a nice salad so he can see what the fuss is about...I know I'm pleased to have found them, but I think he may miss my home cooking after a while ;)
Thanks for reading :)
I'm not actually a fully fledged vegetarian-I just don't particularly like things like lamb etc. and although I love the taste of sausages, I don't trust in them enough to think that they don't have eyes, lips and bumholes in them. The thought of that turns my stomach!
So anyway, I compromise by getting vegetarian sausages and burgers. The trouble with vegetarian 'meat' is that it can be pretty expensive, however I saw these reduced to £1 per box one day so made sure to buy loads because I knew they'd be good quality (I suppose the quality is reflected in the price, but it still seems expensive for what the ingredients actually are to me)
I used to love their Quorn and broccoli pies-Linda McCartney products DO seem to be more flavoursome than most vegetarian alternative meals, and add a lot more variety-it does get boring pretty quickly just eating vegetables all the time.
Sure enough the sausages were gorgeous. They were a decent size, and really juicy and...well, sausagey :) they're also suitable for vegans.
Each sausage contains 101 calories, 11.3g protein, 4.1g carbohydrate of which 1.3g is sugar, 4.4g fat of which 1.8g is saturated fat, 0.8g fibre and 0.9g of salt. they are really filling and are quick to cook and I think even carnivores would approve of these.
After trying these, I have decided that when the prices of these go back up, I won't be deterred-in fact, I'll be having more barbeques than ever this summer, now that I've found something worth slinging on it!
The Linda McCartney products are manufactured in Luton, Bedfordshire.
Thanks for reading :)
I can never resist a truly glam nail varnish and Barry M nail varnishes certainly deliver on that front.
The choice of colours is fantastic-there are over 50 shades to choose from (why choose when you can eventually get one of each?!) and they come in a variety of finishes-metallic, pearl, matt and irridescent. There's something for every taste and every mood-you can girly, sugary shades such as Mulberry Pink, Baby Blue, and Mint Green, but if you don't want to go for the sugared almond look, how about a vampy black, raspberry, burgundy, or red glitter for those more vampy days? (I recommend the red black and even the navy-they are very rich colours which look fantastic on fairly short nails-dramatic colours on talons looks a bit too Cruella De Ville.) and better still-the dark colours don't leave your nails yellow afterwards, which is a blessed relief.
There are some nice stormy blues, incredibly mermaidy greens, and for those on an electro vibe, some stunning new neon shades, although I'm dubious in general of any yellow shades. All that aside, they also have the more understated classic fench manicure tones.
The nail polish dries quickly and resists chips really well, so is pretty long lasting. Apart from anything else, a row of Barry M nail polishes in complementary colours on your bathroom shelf looks really pretty so is a good addition to your beauty routine.
Thanks for reading :)
My boyfriend bought this mascara for me for Christmas...purely because of the name, but I was delighted to find that it really works.
I used to tend to just wear false eyelashes, because I had no luck finding a decent mascara-they may work the first time they were applied, but the effects weren't consistent with each application for very long at all. As a result, I'd rather stick on the falsies than spend ridiculous money on a different so-called 'wonder' mascara every few weeks that usually turned out to be an expensive mistake.
When I found 'Get Bent' in the bottom of my stocking, after my sniggers had subsided, I gave it a go. I found the angled brush much easier to use than other brands-it really reduced accidental pokes that would usually result in black smears or running panda eyes.
I was overjoyed to see that for the first time in years, I had proper eye lashes! They were thicker, longer, darker, and curled up more, which was great because when it comes to buying mascara,I find that I have to choose Thicker OR longer and so on-this one does it all, which is fantastic, as at one point, (before the falsies) I was even using a few different brands at once to get the look I was trying for!
I'm aware that mascaras, like perfume,work very differently from person to person, but it's worth bearing in mind that I previously had no luck with any brand, but this one was dramatic, and I even thought that my eyelashes look longer in general without mascara since I've begun using it.
I still have the same tube that I started on Christmas day,and even though it's nearing the end now, it's STILL as good as it was when it was freshly opened. And the funky packaging is an added bonus and means it doesn't get lost in the depth of your make-up bag.
Thanks for reading :)
When you can't decide what to eat, and you can't be bothered to cook, you can always fall back on a good old sandwich...and sling EVERYTHING in it, rather than be choosy ;)
But seriously, you can have them hot or cold, on millions of different kinds of bread, and with a multitude of fillings, healthy or otherwise and you can't go wrong.
Some favourite recipes go from the more simple cheese and marmite on normal sliced white, the plain lettuce baguette (use one of the part-baked variety, ROUND lettuce rather than tougher iceberg and a bit of salt to taste, substituting butter for mayo depending on what tickles your fancy at the time) the rank cheese and mint sauce sandwich on sliced white loaf, or the more exciting cheese, beetroot, and carvery turkey with mayo in a tiger bread roll (using sliced bread for this one causes it to fall to bits, a tiger rolls crust holds it together) which is truly sublime, especially if you use applewood smoked cheese.
I couldn't go as far as trying a Mars Bar toastie,as I'm more of a savoury gal, but a breakfast toastie (bacon, sausage and cheese toastie-maybe with a few beans) is great for breakfast on the run and the sausage,turkey and stuffing sandwiches our local shop has started making are to die for.
On the whole, the humble sandwich is mans true best friend-the chance to be creative AND get a full tum in one. Although I wouldn't recommend a meatball sub. Yuk.
Thanks for reading :)
I was rather dubious about this film initially-for some reason I was expecting some over-rated, taking-itself-too-seriously Titanic-esque film, and when I eventually saw it, I was pleasantly surprised.
The film manages to combine humour, stunning visuals, dark glamour and a surprisingly varied soundtrack with some great and unexpected collaborators (Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne, Beck to name but a few) within a tragic love story.
Nicole Kidman was refreshing as Satine, the doomed heroine-I was especially amused by her less serious than usual and rather manic scene inside 'the elephant'. John Leguizamo was excellent as Toulouse Lautrec while Caroline O'Connor portrayed a bitter, jaded, 'lady of the night' worryingly well.
Part of the appeal was the wonderful set design-the movie was filmed entirely indoors and I think that added to the surrealness, by making it seem as though the characters were living actually inside a Toulouse Lautrec painting.
The use of cover songs was interesting-Jim Broadbent singing a rather operatic version of 'Like a Virgin' is definitely worth a look, the only song written for the film was 'Come What May' but it holds it's own among all the other well known songs such as, Children of The Revolution, Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend, Nature Boy and even Smells Like Teen Spirit gets a look in. (In fact, the soundtrack is great to listen to when getting ready for a night out)
The film is fast paced and satisfying to almost all the senses and is great for a girly night in, and the array of corsets and stockinged legs mean that your boyfriend won't complain about watching another 'chick flick' either. Well worth seeing, even if you don't like musicals.
Thanks for reading :)
I've spent a long time trying to find my 'signature scent' and although I've found several nice perfumes, none grabbed me quite like this one.
I've found many fruity or floral fragrances were too 'young' for me and many woody/musky fragrances too overbearing and too 'old' for me, but this is perfect.
'Lovely' contains patchouli, orchid, cedar, white amber, musk, mandarin, bergamot, rosewood, lavender and apple martini which sounds like a pretty heady and intense blend, however the fruity and floral notes are anything but sickly, and the wood and musk notes aren't overpowering. It actually blends so well that it's hard (for me anyway) to pick specific scents out and the fragrance, as a whole, has a very fresh, clean scent without being heavy at all.
I'm in my late twenties, but I got 'Lovely' when it was first launched a few years ago and it's all I use these days and I will continue to use it, as I think it's a sophisticated perfume that suits any age (above teens) as it is timeless enough to progress with you, due to the fresh, sultry, feminine and elegant layers, and best of all a little goes a long way.
As for the packaging, that alone is a delight to have gracing your dressing table-the bottles soft curves and blushing pink glass scream feminity and I love the ribbon detailing around the neck. Even the box is pretty, with a delicate honeycomb silvery detail,over a soft pink background. Not forgetting the various presentation boxes I have got with it over the years. (I hint heavily about getting 'Lovely' for every Christmas and birthday) They've all been original and daintily pretty whilst maintaining an air of elegance and sophisticated charm.
I'd say this is one fragrance that every woman should own, as a spritz of this will make you feel just as glamorous as a pair of Manolo Blahniks would-and at a fraction of the cost.
Thanks for reading :)