Sunday, 27 April 2014

I fell off the wagon. Give me a kick up my huge backside! Please!

Hi Folks,
Today's post is a lot more personal than my usual ones. 
You may have read some of my earlier posts regarding The Harcombe Diet. If not, and you are interested, you can read a bit about the diet here and read about my weight loss here. I was doing so well with this way of eating and had never felt better so what went wrong?

Well, I shall be totally honest here, I suffer from depression. On a day to day basis I think I manage it pretty well but every now again the big, dark cloud descends. This happened to me about 5 weeks ago. The problem is, when this dark cloud engulfs me, I hit my self destruct button. 
It started with 1 bar of chocolate... 
The demon in my head thinks "what's the point in trying to lose weight? You'll still be the same useless you, just a slimmer version, so you may as well give up." 
So give up I did - for 5 weeks. 

Please don't misunderstand me, I haven't been in that dark place continually for the last 5 weeks but I have been falling in and climbing out of it. I tried each day to get back on the diet but each day the pull of chocolate, bread, crisps, etc seemed to overtake me.
I had awakened the sugar monster and it needed feeding! And feed it I did! Mainly chocolate or biscuits but also crisps and bread. I had missed bread and pasta lots but the odd thing was, when I ate them again I was really disappointed. They seemed to lack flavour, same for potatoes. Perhaps my palette had changed after all. Sadly I still love and enjoy chocolate so it hasn't changed completely. 

Anyway, I haven't dared weigh myself for weeks but this morning I woke up and thought "enough is enough" I need to get back on the wagon. I gingerly stepped on the scales and my "blip" has resulted in me gaining 4.2lbs. To be honest, I think I got off lightly considering my terrible diet recently. 4.2lbs in 5 weeks (which encompassed Mother's Day, my birthday and Easter) isn't THAT bad is it? 

However, the weight gain isn't the only thing that has changed.
All my pre-diet problems are back:
Scalp Psoriasis
Wind (sorry!)
Just generally feeling "bleugh".

I cannot believe it has taken me 5 weeks to wake up. But I am there now and, although that dark cloud is still hovering, today I am getting back on plan.
The reason for this self indulgent post (apologies) is because I want to hold myself accountable. If I put it "out there" on the internet then hopefully it will help me stay on track.
I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired!

Today I am writing this whilst sipping my cup of decaffeinated green tea and soon I shall be having bacon and tomato for breakfast. I know the first 5 days are the toughest so wish me luck.
I plan to report back regularly, again holding myself accountable.
If you managed to read this far, well done and thank you. I CAN do this, I WILL do this, I NEED to do this!
Again apologies for this self-indulgent post, it is my way of giving myself a huge kick up the backside, feel free to give me a gentle kick too!
Have a good day and I hope I do too.
Take care,
CJ xx

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Recent Purchases: Superdrug haul

I bought a few things from Superdrug last week and they were delivered today.
First up are 2 Rimmel Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves, 1 in black and the other in extreme black. Now I have no idea on the difference between the two, does anyone else? I really didn't need any new mascaras because I already have a few unopened BUT Superdrug had a 2 hour flash sale on these items to celebrate Rimmels 180 year anniversary and instead of the usual £6.99 price tag, I managed to buy them for £1.80 each. Bargain! Have you tried this mascara? Is it good? I think it may be a while before I try these out because I already have 2 other brands on the go.

I recently reviewed the MUA Intense Kisses lip glosses. (see my review here). For £2 each I was pretty impressed so I popped a couple of other colours in my basket. I chose shades Stolen Kisses and Quick Kiss. I will do swatches of these glosses in a future post.

Finally, in order to qualify for free postage, I had to bump up the order cost to over £10 so I popped Radox Bath Salts and VO5 Pump It Up dry shampoo in my basket. I have not used bath salts since I was a little girl so fancied trying a "blast from the past" and at just £1.05 it's not a big deal if I hate them. I've never used the VO5 dry shampoo so I'm looking forward to trying that too.

Did you manage to buy one of these bargain mascaras? I hope so.
I don't know if Rimmel are planning on doing any more Flash Sales for their 180th anniversary, but it will be great if they do.
Thanks for reading.
Enjoy the rest of your day.
Take care,
CJ xx

Sunday, 20 April 2014

You Beauty Discovery Box - April 2014

Apologies for going AWOL last week but it was the school holidays here in the UK and I was also a little under the weather so I guess life just got in the way...

Well, after what seemed a VERY long wait this month, my You Beauty Discovery box finally arrived yesterday. This months theme was "Organic and Natural".
The 2 options I chose were: a 30ml Brightening Clayspray and a tin of Steamcream.
I am looking forward to trying the Clayspray and shall report back when I have had chance to give it a good testing. The Clayspray retails for £15 and the Steamcream for around £12.95 but you can get some designs cheaper. Don't you just love the different tin designs?
The box also came with a sample sachet of The Organics Pharmacy Antioxidant Face Cream and a Fruity 9 Bar. I think I shall eat my 9 Bar today whilst they are all scoffing their Easter Eggs! 

For those who haven't heard of the You Beauty Discovery Box, it is a subscription box and costs just £6.95 per month and that includes postage! You get to choose 2 items for your box at the beginning of the month, but popular items do go quickly so don't hang around if there is something you really want! As you can see the items I chose this month way exceeded the £6.95 subscription cost so, to me, it is a "no brainer". 

If you are interested in learning about the You Beauty Discovery Box, you can find the details here. If you already subscribe, what did you choose this month?

I bought the box with my own money and all links on this blog post are affiliate free - I do NOT get rewarded if you click on any of them.
Thank you for reading and I would love to hear from you.
Enjoy the rest of your day and, if you celebrate, Happy Easter!
Take care,
CJ xx

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Trial & Review: Leighton Denny Best Defence Cream 30 Day Trial Results

I am not a lover of hand creams because I hate the greasy feeling on my hands. However, I have managed to accumulate a fair few in my stash so I thought it was about time I used them, after all we are told that one of the first places to show a woman's age is on her hands. Eek! Rather than chop and change like I usually do with products, I decided to stick with just one and test it for 30 days to see if it made any difference. The product I chose for my first 30 day trial was Leighton Denny Best Defence Hand & Nail Cream. I got this in a little kit when I bought his fabulous glass nail file so it is just a small 30ml size but perfect for a 30 day trial.

Leighton states that "This advanced, multi-action treatment cream locks in moisture, protects, nourishes and softens your hands and nails. Leighton Denny Best Defence Hand Nail Cream gives 24-hour care keeping your skin silky soft and smooth."

Now please be warned, I have really ugly hands so brace yourself for the next few photos! I'm not kidding, they truly are awful and it is probably why I tend to neglect them.
Here are some before and after photographs.

Before Leighton Denny hand cream

After 30 days of using Leighton Denny hand cream

Before using Leighton Denny hand cream

After 30 days use.

It is so hard to do before and after pictures because, even though I took the photos in exactly the same place, obviously the lighting conditions aren't going to be the same after 30 days. Anyway, I tried my best to recreate the same conditions.
So what do you think of the results? Can you see any visible difference? No, me neither. Do my hands feel any softer? No, not that I've noticed. Would I repurchase? No. The positive was that it isn't at all greasy but if after 30 days it has made no difference to the texture or appearance of my hands then there seems little point in using it. I have now finished this little tube so I shall be trialling another hand cream from my stash and hopefully I will have some results to post about.
If you are still interested in purchasing this hand cream, you can buy 50ml for £9 and it is readily available online in the usual places.
Do you have a "Holy Grail" hand cream that you could recommend?
Thanks for reading.
Enjoy the rest of your day.
Take care,
CJ xx

*purchased with my own money.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Review & Swatches: L'Oreal L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick

The past few days I have been using L'Oreal L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick which I purchased several weeks ago from Boots for £8.99.
I chose shade 500 Molto Mauve. 

Don't let the name deceive you, to me it isn't mauve at all, more of a "my lips but better" colour. Here it is swatched:

Instead of the usual doe foot applicator, this liquid lipstick applicator is tear dropped shaped.

It's not too sticky and it smells lovely. I'm not very good at describing scents, but to me it smells "tropical", sort of like a tropical fruit drink. Told you I was rubbish at scent descriptions! It applies easily and smoothly and isn't at all gloopy. 
The "blurb" from L'Oreal describes it as a cross between a lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm. They say it has the colour intensity of a lipstick, the shine of a lip gloss and the softness of a balm.
Here it is applied:

And 4 hours, 1 lunch, 1 hot drink and 1 cold drink later...
Not a great deal left, but L'Oreal make no claims about its longevity.

Now I have read a lot of great reviews about this liquid lipstick so what are my own personal thoughts about it? It's okay. Yes, just okay. To me it isn't anything special. It is very soft on the lips so yes to the softness of a balm. Colour intensity of a lipstick? Again it is okay but doesn't blow me away. High shine of a gloss? Again it is okay but I wouldn't class it as high shine. It is nice enough but would I repurchase in a other colour? I'm afraid not. I seem to be going against the grain of all the other beauty bloggers who have reviewed this and seem to love it but I have to give my honest opinion. Yes I will continue to wear it and I do like the colour and softness of it but given the choice of buying one of these or 4 MUA lip glosses, I know where my money is going... And before you all shout "but they are glosses, they don't have the balm included!", yes I am aware of that, but a quick slick of one of my many lip balms first and then the gloss and I'm good to go.
Perhaps my thoughts would be different had I chosen a more vibrant colour, I really don't know.
Have you tried this liquid lipstick? Did you love it? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Thank you for reading.
Enjoy the rest of your day.
Take care,
CJ xx

* purchased with my own money.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Review & Swatches: MUA Luxe Pretty Edgy Eye Shadow Palette & MUA Intense Kisses Lip Gloss

I've finally had chance to try the new items I bought from Superdrug the other week.
First up is the MUA Luxe Pretty Edgy Eye Palette which was £8. Now I have several eye shadow palettes from the MUA Professional range, but this was my first purchase from their Luxe range.

The first noticeable difference is the packaging. The case is much sturdier than the other MUA palettes. This palette is made in shiny black plastic with gold plastic stud detailing in the top. Also, unlike their previous palettes, this comes with a substantial mirror in the lid. It definitely appears more robust than their Professional range. I do like it.
Now onto the eye shadows.

The Pretty Edgy Palette contains 6 shimmer shades and 4 matte shades. I would say they are cool neutrals with some having a pinky/violet edge. The colours are certainly ideal for me.

Swatches of the top row of shimmers, L to R: Antique, Bow, Toile, Ruffle, Flounce, Lace.

Swatches of the bottom row of mattes, L to R: Sinful, Gothic, Wrath, Envy.

I think they are pretty true to colour. I found applying them easy and they are definitely buildable and easy to blend. I found there was a little fall out but it was minimal.
Here they are applied: ( apologies for my unkempt brows, I'm currently doing a 60 day Revitabrow trial so trying not to pluck them!)

I purposely did not use an eye primer before application because I wanted to see how these shadows held up in their own right. The picture below was taken after 10 hours wear.

I don't know what you think, but I am pretty impressed at their staying power. I think this is a great palette for £8. Personally I think the colours, for me, are more suited for evening rather than daytime. I am not sure that the eye shadows are any better than their Professional range, but then I think they are great too! (Hate the MUA single shadows, though). In my opinion, I think you are paying extra for the packaging. 

With my Superdrug order I also ordered a MUA Professional Intense Kisses Lip Gloss in the shade "Lips Are Sealed" which cost £2. It has the usual doe foot applicator.
Here it is swatched:

And applied to my lips:

It is a brighter pink than I usually wear, but I do like it. It was easy to apply and didn't feel too sticky. I decided to test the longevity of the gloss so here it is 4 hours later, after a hot drink, a meal and a cold drink.

Yes, it has faded considerably, and there is a little bleeding on my top lip, but I think for a £2 lip gloss this is pretty good. Also, MUA do not make any claims that this is a long lasting gloss. I always know if I like a gloss when I am happy to purchase in another shade. I would most certainly buy other shades of this Intense Kisses gloss. At £2 I really don't think you can go wrong.

Have you tried any of the new MUA Luxe range? What did you think of it?
Would love to read you comments.
Anyway, that's all for now. Thanks for reading.
Enjoy the rest of your day.
Take care,
CJ xx

*both items purchased with my own money.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Tarte Haul! Purchases from QVC UK

They've arrived!
At last the products I ordered from the Tarte launch on QVC have arrived!
I've not had time to try them yet, but here is a sneaky peak in all their glory.
I ordered a blush, concealer, eye shadow palette and a set of 15 lip glosses!
It was my birthday earlier this week and my dear dad gave me some money so I used that to treat myself to some Tarte make up. The flowers in the pic were also from him.

First impressions are favourable but I will definitely be reporting back once I've had time to give them all a good try.

Have you tried Tarte? What are your favourites? I was tempted to go for the lipsticks too but most bloggers said they would be £20 but QVC aired them at £29.50 so it put me off. Have you tried the lipsticks?

I tend to waffle a tad in my blog posts, so today I have kept it short and sweet!
Thanks for reading.
Enjoy the rest of your day.
Take care,
CJ xx