Saturday, 24 January 2015

What To Expect When You're Expecting...To Turn 30

When I turned 30 which was about a year and a half ago, it was not a fun time. About two or three months before it the panic started, those of you who have been regular readers of my blog may remember the posts, skincare was being ramped up and everything was being scrutinised. I have a secret to tell you, I barely had any skincare routine before this, in fact I don't think I took off my eye make up until I was at least twenty-seven. How that changed a few months before my thirtieth. Now on the other side I'm here to tell you what to expect, when you're turn thirty.

 1. You will suddenly scrutinise your face more than you ever thought possible
You will. I'm sorry to tell you but it's actually pretty normal. We live in a culture that prides youth and beauty over everything, so as you get ready to hit another decade it's not that surprising that you are going to start panicking. I spent at least 6-8 months about an inch from my mirror scrutinising in natural day light, bemoaning the way things had changed.
Here's the thing, I have never scrutinised my face with that kind of focus, who things I thought had changed actually hadn't I was just unbelievably hyper aware. When you're that aware it gets a bit negative and over focused.

2. You will buy everything in sight that you think will fix your 'problem' or slow things down
Have a good look at these pictures, pretty much all of this skincare was bought in the couple of months before I turned 30, that's a lot of skincare. I was double cleansing, toning, hydrating, serums, creams, eye creams, peels, masks, acids, oh you name it I did it. I went from doing practically nothing to going WAY over the top. Caroline Hirons' page was bookmarked and I emailed her more than once in total despair at the state of my eyes, which I was OBSESSED with. What was the problem with my eyes? Oh I thought I had ridges which it turns out I've always had, I just wasn't so flipping obsessed with them then. It's actually my cheeks which does it, at the time though I was inconsolable about them. Point being, it's not bad to renew your skincare, but going over the top trying to fix a perceived problem is just not going to help. It's the panic talking I think.

3. You will either be hiding from or stuck in the mirror
You'll go through stages of scrutinising, but you'll also go through stages of avoiding completely so you don't bum yourself out. There's really no need, it won't help right now if I tell you that you'll get over it, but you will, honest.

4. You will feel the need to check people's age
You'll google, you'll want to know what age an actress was in a film, if they're younger than you are now, you will be annoyed. Jane Fonda was 31 in Barberella and she was incredible, look at Jennifer Lopez. Age means very little, you just have to get your head around the fact that you aren't in your twenties any more.

5. You will realise that everything will be ok
It took me a while, but I've actually discovered that 31 is a considerably better age than 30. I've chilled out about it so much more. For a start most of those products I bought, I never actually finished, a lot of them are still in my bathroom. I scaled back my skincare to what worked for my skin, and although I buy skincare I buy a heck of a lot less. You will relax into it, and I've found that I feel younger at 31 than I did in my mid twenties, I just feel a heck of a lot less inclined to do stuff I don't want to. 

Things That Are Great About Turning 30

1. You stop doing things you don't want to do, really. 
There's a point where you just don't have the same tolerance for idiocy you used to have. Embrace this, it is good.
2. You stop caring about what people think
Life is too short, and what someone else thinks about you is none of your business. 
3.You can't be bothered with other people's drama
Oh did someone throw you shade on Twitter, really? Get a grip, turn your phone off ignore them. Even the people around you, you don't feel the need to get involved in their dramas, not your circus not your monkeys, you offer advice and that's it.
4. You feel more confident in who you are
Very true, embrace it.  You take less nonsense off people because you're not in your twenties any more trying to work out who you are. Like Her Holiness Beyonce says 'I'm a grown woman I can do whatever I want' this more than ever will hit you in your 30s, You will take much less crap and it is a good thing. 
5. You wake up and realise no one actually sees you in the same scrutiny you see yourself
You are all you have ultimately and how you choose to live your life is up to you. Turning 30 is really not that big a deal, and it can something you greet with positivity.

Each new decade brings something fresh into your life, be open and enjoy it.


Much Love

Friday, 23 January 2015

Weekend Vintage Bakes: Cinnamon Shortbread

If you guys are anything like me, you like a little bit of baking but often aren't keen on very long, arduous, tricky recipes. I like to whack it all in, mix it up and have something that looks good and tastes lovely at the end, not too much to ask right?

I made these little beauts last week and I wanted to pop them up on the blog because they're really effective, terribly easy, and undeniably tasty, seriously if you have any left by the end of the weekend, I'll be very surprised.

This is just a very simple shortbread recipe from Paul Hollywood that makes really buttery shortbread and I add some cinnamon, the fabulous little thing is that I get to show off my sale bargain in my 'with love' cookie cutter from Lisa Angel which cost me all of £2. So here we go.

You Will Need 

225g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
110g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
110g cornflour
2 tablespoons cinnamon 
Pinch of salt


1. Lightly butter 2 trays, or line with baking parchment.
2. Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and cream together, using an electric hand-held whisk or wooden spoon, until light and fluffy. Sift the flour and cornflour into the bowl, add the salt and cinnamon and mix together until smoothly combined. Tip the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to a soft dough.
3. Roll out the dough between 2 pieces of baking parchment to a thickness of 1cm. Prick the dough all over with a fork and cut into triangles or whatever shapes you like, using a knife or a biscuit cutter. Re-roll the scraps once to cut more (if you re-roll too many times the dough may start to get greasy). Put the shortbreads on the prepared baking trays and chill for at least 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 170°.
5. Bake the shortbreads for about 20 minutes, until just turning golden brown at the edges. Leave on the baking trays for a few minutes to firm up slightly, then lift the shortbreads onto a wire rack. Dust with sugar and leave to cool. They will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Then you just grab your shortbread, sit down with a lovely big cup of tea and enjoy. 

Much Love 

Friday, 16 January 2015

Bye Bye Lash Curlers: Benefit Launch Roller Lash

There are a lot of things you expect to be in lorries, cargo, boxes, random packing of the things I don't expect is a 1950's style beauty salon, but that's exactly what we got. A gloriously designed haven on the back of an enormous big-rig which will be touring the UK and Ireland to promote Benefit's new product ROLLER LASH.

 Face of the day was very natural with a lot of liner, and of course the Bardot hair! I had to take a quick picture mainly because the whole decor of the place was so on point and so vintage that I actually wanted to take it all home with me. The atomic decor, the hair drier lights-perfection.

 The girls all came in and got settled, Claire from French for Cupcake had her fabulous cape put on by the wonderfully suave Jordan, and Ruth from Willow Lane is of course modelling hers beautifully.

The girls are all in situ and getting ready to find out what is in store!

And here it is, Roller Lash!

So what is it? 
Roller lash is brand new launch from Benefit, its design is based on creating the best curl from the newly designed mascara wand.  A wand based on the principles of retro salon rollers, to grip and curl the hair or in this case the lashes. 

The wand has a selection of strategically placed hooks which grab the lash and grip it, pulling it up like scissors do to Christmas ribbon. There's a special set of smaller bristles at the bottom designed for the bottom lashes, smaller to grab the lower lashes and get all the hairs.

The mascara is very pretty, sorry but it is. I can attest to how hard it is to get that really good shade of vintage coral pink, mainly because I've been trying to decorate the house with it and it is nigh on impossible to get it just right. The rose pinks are more French shabby chic and I'm after an atomic powder coral pink...if you find one let me know.

I digress.

The cut out diamond packaging and sheer vintage salon gorgeousness of it is rather lush. The little ribbed lip at the lid actually takes off the excess mascara so you aren't using too much, the nice thing is, that is helps you avoid that super clumpy finish.

So what is it like on?

I popped a coat on my lashes, used the hook side to wiggle it through and get the lashes grabbed and curled. You guys know that I normally get my lashes LVL'd to get them to curl because they're so straight but I haven't had that done since October, so I'm very overdue. It meant though that my lashes were nice and straight to try out Roller Lash though. You can see the results below.

2 coats of curling Roller Lash, really did fan out my lashes. No doubt about it the wand definitely curls the lashes. I don't tend to buy curling mascaras any more but they never work, this one though definitely works.

My lashes got a nice curl, the one thing I found about the formula on my lashes is it does seem to smudge onto my lids, I think it's perhaps my lashes as I have the same issue with They're Real, so it's probably the creamy formula, but most people don't seem to have that problem. 

Roller Lash hits the counters on 28th February

So there you go folks, if you want curled lashes, this will definitely do it for you!
Thank you Benefit for a gorgeous event and you know if you're ever done with your salon and want to park it in my garden...feel free!

Much Love

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Easy Peasy Bardot Sexy: Brigitte Bardot Ten Minute Tutorial

Hello my lovelies, Happy New Year! What did you all do for the chiming of the bells? I'm a bit of a reluctant reveller for NYE, I always feel like I can never really be bothered fighting the hoards of people to try and get a drink. This year though we decided to go for an early dinner at a really gorgeous family run Chinese Restaurant. The food is always astounding and it is tiny, so it's lovely and intimate. So we brought a couple of bottles with us and enjoyed a lovely meal together totally relaxed.

We popped into the local bar and restaurant for a quick drink before we headed home so we could legitimately say we had been out for drinks as well as dinner. Then home we came in time for the bells so we had a glass of bubbly ready in our onesies! Perfection!

As usual I was running late, I seem to be incapable these days of realising how long things will take and scale down accordingly. So when it came to it I actually had about half an hour to get ready. My hair had just been washed so I looked like I'd jammed my fingers into an electric socket, hello curl explosion. 

I'd been wanting to try a Brigitte Bardot look for ages because she is amazing and just looks so unbelievably sexy, she is the BOMBSHELL. 

So today I wanted to bring you my very quick steps to how to create a Bardot look in about ten minutes. This isn't going to be an elaborate one, but there's loads of really great elaborate tutorials out there with enormous rollers and strategic spraying. This is going to be, you have ten minutes to make yourself look like a fabulous iconic sexpot, here's how.

We're hitting the hair first, 5 minutes, let's go!

1. Grab some salt spray and be liberal with it, I also grabbed some dry shampoo and spritzed it all over my hair working it through with my fingers to dirty the strands up a bit.

2. Section off the top piece of your voluminous mini beehive. Quickly back-comb the underside of your lifted section, you want to get some volume in but keep the top smooth. When done pull your sides, and the top of your hair back over your back-combed section and secure with bobbypins. Feel free to tease the top up a little higher with a comb if you are unhappy with the height.

3. Grab your tongs or your straighteners, whichever you have to hand, you want a wave rather than a curl so it's fine to not pin them and let them fall. Take big pieces and quickly run a curl through the pieces which you haven't secured up. It should look messy and as if you've just jumped out of bed, which suits our time frame. 

4. If you want to spray then give the hair a blast of hairspray, I didn't bother just because I wanted the curls to fall out.

Hair DONE.

For the make up we're keeping it simple, 5 minutes and off we go!
  1. Get your skin prep on, any serums or illuminators, pop them on quickly.
  2. Grabbing your foundation take it over the whole face, buff it in, you're aiming for a matt look.
  3. Take your bronzer over the face and cheeks, matt is best, we want to avoid a shimmery look, then follow with a peachy pink on the blush.
  4. Fill in your brows.
  5. Take a peachy eyeshadow onto the lids and blend through. I then took a dark brown onto the lash line and blended above and below to create a softer line.
  6. Follow with a liquid line, we're aiming for little cat eye flick. So take it over to the edge of your lash line and give it a cheeky wing. Then follow with lashings of mascara!
  7. Grab yourself a lipliner, Bardot opted for a more peachy tone which you could see lining her lips which was pretty fashionable then but a bit less so now. So use a nude liner and highlight your lips, you want a bit of a super pout so I used my Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme gloss to plump them up. You can do the same thing if you give yours a vigorous exfoliate with a toothbrush or use a plumping serum of your own.
  8. If you need a bit of extra mattification then do throw a little powder on but guess what, you should be done!

Don't worry if it's not exactly right it's all about the hair and the dark eyes. You can pull it off in next to no time. Whether you're doing it in the bathroom at work or even throwing together a night out look at home on a timescale, keep it loose and smudgy and you will be fine.

So guys that was my look, now tell me all about yours!

Much Love

Thursday, 25 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas Must Haves: Day 12 A Very Merry Christmas

The most important must have for this Christmas is of course a very merry one. I wish you all love, laughter, kindness and companionship this Christmas and of course a mince pie or two. 
Whatever you're doing I hope it is peaceful for you. 

Much Love and Merry Christmas

Monday, 22 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas Must Haves: Day 11 Terry Bradley's Iconic Images

As a Belfast girl, the work of Terry Bradley holds a place in my heart but also on my wall. Terry's work is strong and powerful, creating images of dockworkers and stunning tattooed women, boxers and labourers, he presents an irresistible appeal, brawny sensuality.

Terry has a pop up gallery now available in Belfast where you can go and check out his work, he also has online stores where fans like me can buy prints, art, clothing and merchandise.

For those of you looking for the present that really packs a punch, why not buy a Bradley print for your home!

Much Love

Saturday, 20 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas Must Haves: Day 10 All Things Christmas Pug

I know this probably doesn't require a whole heck of a lot of explanation, but we are very keen on pug things in our house. So much so Christmas also has a pug theme in places.

Our Christmas tree is bedecked with pug ornaments, and a few fabulous atomic vintage style ones, (can we talk about that space Santa!) I hope at some point to add the pug fairy lights from Pugs Might Fly, but perhaps next year!

Molly of course was feeling very festive. When she went to her local grooming parlour she came out with her little holly bandanna, just to get her in the mood for Christmas. It's also a really easy way to give your pets a little bit of festivity without annoying them with costumes.

 Of course you can't do Christmas without the occasional Christmas jumper, I know I've decried them a lot but you need at least one. Mine is emblazoned with a pug and was a gift from my husband last year. It's by Blonde and Blonde at Bank fashion but I know there's an absolute plethora of them on the High Street in various shapes and forms.

So that's my pugly Christmas

Much Love

Thursday, 18 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas Must Haves: Day 9 Lash Fibres

I've been using lash fibres for a while now, I recently saw a lot of bloggers talking about the Younique 3D lash and I decided to buy it on a whim thinking 'well what's the worst that can happen?'

It comes in this rather cute little case, pretty much like a glasses case with elastics to hold the tubes in place. You get a mascara of sorts which is designed to hold the lash fibres to your lashes, and you get the smaller tube which is the fibres themselves. 

I have to say I'm pretty impressed. If you like the false lash look then this is a good add to your repertoire, only with your own lashes. It thickens and lengthens and provides impact more than anything.

2 coats of lash fibres, vs 1 coat of my usual mascara.

How to get the best results:
1. For your base coat of mascara, pick one that has a small brush that's going to get to the roots and the corners.
2. Start with one THIN coat of your mascara.
3.Instantly put the fibres on your wet lashes, wiggle them through to get adhesion. Move on to lower lashes and other eye doing the same.
4. Cover LIGHTLY with the mascara tube, don't worry if some fibres come off, just be gentle and focus on the outer lashes.
5. Repeat the process until you get the length you want. I will say though that if you're heavy handed you'll end up with the fibres and mascara combo turning to clumps, which isn't hot. If you find this happening, grab a lash comb and comb it out.
6. You can finish with your small headed definition mascara to get in and also pull the fibres through.

It's better to build up to an intense look, and yes it does take an extra ten minutes, so many of you probably won't do this every day. For a night out, I would maybe add another layer of fibres to the picture above and a little more mascara to get that fake lash look. It actually is a nice alternative to the strip lashes which can be a bit of a pain if you're like me, spending the night worrying they're coming off.

Highly recommend the lash fibres, but remember thin coats!

Much Love

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The 12 Days of Christmas Must Haves: Day 8 The Comic Book

You read correctly folks. Comic books, long the preserve of teenage boys have moved on, a lot since that stereotype was created. Now there's a huge array of styles, writers, genres, artists, subject matters. From indie art-house to big DC and Marvel Superhero comics, there's a whole lot of choice.

It's not always easy though to take the first step into a foreign land like this though, and I understand. We don't want to appear like the pastiche girl from many geek shows, so here's where to start.

I have a husband who loves Batman, so I've never been completely devoid of comic book heroes, we watch the Marvel movies so I know my Thor from my Iron Man. The point was though, I wasn't that interested in reading about these superheroes I wanted something a little different, cooler, smaller than the large franchises. So I went into my local comic book stores and I wandered around the new releases. I figured if I didn't know what I wanted maybe something interesting was beginning or would catch my eye. And it did.

I picked up the new series Bitch Planet, which is all about an all female penal colony in space, written in a Grindhouse aesthetic, also containing a fabulous feminist essay at the back and stunning art, I also picked up ODY-C, a retelling of Homer's Odyssey in space, with all female characters. A combination of science fiction and ancient Greek legend, with a healthy dose of fabulous space captains.

My final pick was purely aesthetic, I loved this cover and I'd never read any Catwoman, I picked it up to see if I could make it work. It was interesting but too far into the series for me to really connect with it. My thinking was, cast my net far and wide, see what I dig and see what I don't. It's really paid off as I have a massive list of things I now want to subscribe to.

So why should you start checking out comics?

1. They're hugely imaginative
2.The art is different, there's so many styles to choose from.
3. A glimpse into a world of storytelling.
4. The whole package, of art, story and concept in one.
5. A quick read, so you never have to complain you don't have time
6. Aesthetically pleasing.
7. The option of short or long series.

So I encourage you all to venture out into the local comic book store and start trying out the range of comics you like!

Much Love

Sunday, 14 December 2014

12 Days Of Christmas Must Haves: Day 7 The Winter Coat

Ah the winter coat. I'm still dithering around it. I've not committed to a winter coat yet this year, I know welcome to my shopping list. I've narrowed it down to two which for me is a big deal I normally mull over it for months and then it's summer and there's no point any more. So my picks for the winter coats are one of these two beauts.

Ah the Collectif Pearl Coat, I've actually been dribbling over this online for ages but every time I cave and go to buy it it's out of stock. So I'm not sure if it's a sign or just a seriously popular coat.

Second up is the purple furry duffle from Marks and Spencers, I tried this on in store and took some pictures to try and work out if it was a good'un. I think so. These are my favourites anyway.
Tell me your favourite and also have you picked your winter coat yet?

Much Love and Furriness

Thursday, 11 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas Must Haves: Day 6 Molly's Pick

One of the fun things about the 12 Days of Christmas Must Haves is that I don't just get to pick my favourites, I get to pick the favourites for the whole house. This one is Molly's.
Pure dehydrated dog food, it's totally dehydrated good edible food, that if you wanted you could eat. Molly's favourite is the chicken dinner, it has carrots, potato, chicken and green beans in it. You rehydrate it with some warm water then you have 10-15 really painful minutes to wait.

I say painful because Molly totally loses her mind, and cries inconsolably whilst simultaneously paw punching the cupboard her bowl is above. It has resulted in a broken cupboard but also me and himself trying to be really sneaky when we make it, waiting till her back is turned and trying to distract her with teddies. The mournful cries would make you think we were being mean to her but no, just trying to feed her.

 Best thing about it, is a little box goes a long way. One scoop is added to one scoop of water and that's dinner. So in our house this goes down very well, it also helps with your pup's digestion so in all it's very good and very lovely but I warn you it may make your barky babe go a bit mad.

Thats all from me guys, gals and pups!


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