Tuesday, 18 September 2012

jillian michaels' killer buns and thighs review & results.

this took forever to finish. my apologies. i've finished my masters, begun a new job, and have been so busy that i simply haven't had the time to do anything let alone blog! i'm extremely useless.

measurements before:                         measurements after:

waist: 26.3''                                                        waist: 26.0" (-0.3) 
hips: 37.7''                                                         hips: 37.7" 
thighs: 21.6''                                                      thighs: 21.1" (-0.5)
calves: 12.6''                                                      calves: 12.6" 
upper arms: 9.1''                                              upper arms: 9.1"
lower arms: 8.7"                                              lower arms: 8.6" (-0.1)


as you can see, my results weren't so great inch-wise. this was a real disappointment considering how hard the workouts were. in terms of difficulty, i would say that it's behind 'banish fat boost metabolism', but much harder than anything else i've tried. i lost 0.8'' in level one, 0.1'' in level two, and zilch in level three. AWKWARD. but still... this brings my overall inch loss to 9''. better than nothing i guess (*grumble*).

however, something very strange happened instead. for the first time, the number on the scale went down instead of my measurements. i started this weighing 139.7lbs (63.4 kg), and set a goal weight of roughly 133lbs (60 kg, ish) for fun. and i hit it!  i honestly don't know how. but it didn't really last, as my weight has fluctuated a LOT between 133-136 lbs since. suffice to say i'm still trying to get through this plateau. with that said, onto the review!

before the workout
i hate my legs. i really do. the worst part is that they used to be my best feature in my teens! weep. i honestly don't know why they look so chunky now, and every time i see a photograph of them i want to gag. my inner thighs are particularly dreadful, and so i was really keen to do this. i felt as if my legs were technically in shape though, and so i severely underestimated jillian's sadistic tendencies was really up for the challenge.

yeah. i said it was hard.

during the workout
this follows jillian's usual format in that it's done in circuits, with three levels. however, the workouts are longer and last between 40-50 minutes - and so if you're someone who has little free time or is constantly on the go, this probably isn't the best option. instead of also just needing handweights, you will need a mat and a chair. yes, a chair. A CHAIR. this is something that i didn't like about the workout, as not everyone has a chair they'd be willing to stomp on. i used a two-step ladder and just felt like it was a bit of hassle really.

however, what i absolutely love about this dvd is that it's a lot more fun and relaxed than jillian's other offerings. she's constantly chatting and joking around and it cracks me up. i can understand that it may be offputting for some, but i felt as if it made the (very, very, very) hard workout somewhat easier to get through. i just think she's hilarious really.

after the workout
my thighs are bigger according to the tape measure. i would punch jillian, but i can't lie - they are a lot more firm that they used to be. for the first time, i'd say that they are vaguely strong. my bum also looks better.

i really liked the challenge element to this, but considering that it didn't work for me in terms of inch loss, i don't think i'll be doing it again. i might hang on to level two though, only because it was an absolute killer.

as usual i kept a diary to log the torture. read on if you fancy it.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

ysl le teint touche éclat foundation.

truth be told, i've only been embracing foundations with dewier finishes since last year. when i was 15, my mum (probably out of pity due to my slightly oily, crap skin) let me buy my first foundation: mac's studio fix fluid. lots of coverage, photographs like a dream, slightly heavy - but extremely mattifying. i'm now in my 20s, and although my skin is now radically different, i still swear by it. i guess i wasn't willing to stray away from the matte look i was always so used to. however, what managed to really steer me off course is this new ysl le teint touche éclat foundation. i won't really go into the whole 'it took years and years to develop' stuff as frankly - i couldn't really care less. 

firstly, i am extremely impressed with the wide colour selection. i always have a really hard time getting matched to foundations as they hardly cater for my beige self but the make-up artist was really helpful and got it spot on. for the first time ever, i am super duper pleased with the shade i've been matched to. i should also point out that the bottles look a lot darker than the foundations inside them, so don't turn up and pick a shade based on the bottle.

secondly, i love the finish. it feels so light on the skin, is extremely blendable and has a nice smell (unlike other foundations which smell gross, here's looking at you mac) - meaning that applying it is very easy. i also assumed that, due to its illuminating finish, it would be incredibly sheer and that i'd have to put my concealers into overdrive... but it does a totally awesome job of covering my blemishes with one pump, meaning that a little goes a long way. however, the only thing it does not cover completely is the dark circles around my eyes .

thirdly, lasting power. i have dry skin overall, but foundation can often disappear from my t-zone throughout the day. this really does last, and that is the major difference between high street and high end brands for me. i honestly love this foundation, and at £28, i think it's an absolute steal. i honestly cannot bring myself to use my other foundations at the moment! i really do love it. oh ysl, you're so bloody fit and i love you.

face: no 7 beautiful skin day cream, sephora smoothing primer, ysl le teint touche éclat foundation (bd40), collection lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: urban decay primer potion, nars bronzer (laguna), maybelline gel liner, mac studio fix lash, mac eyebrow pencil (stud), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: nars bronzer (laguna), nars multiple (portofino), nars blush (orgasm), nars highlighter (albatross).
lips: 17 (bon bon).

ps - feeling really fat and miserable.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

instagram [july 2012].

i'm giving this a whirl... although i do not intend on doing it weekly! once a month will do. i like seeing these on other blogs as they are quick to read (see?) so i hope you will too.

clockwise: london zoo lates / me posing and not quite sure why / reppin' pat butcher with some asos earrings i bought last year / dirty waffles / matching nails and lips / dog shorts from the zara sale / delicious food / MADD mangoes.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

products for uneven skin tone.

i exfoliate. i cleanse. i tone. i moisturize. i use face masks several times a week in fact. i drink far too much water. based on effort alone, i really ought to have perfect skin and front my own clearasil campaign.

unfortunately, life isn't that easy. my biggest issue with my skin - that is, its unevenness and dullness - has always refused to improve, despite me using an array of products across all price ranges. i had begun to lose hope, so much so that i was actually considering dropping £60 on a face mask... eek... however, i've been using two new products and have noticed a huge change. my skin is still not 100% just yet, but looks the best it has done in a long while.

soap & glory 'scrub your nose in it' exfoliator - this doesn't claim to counteract redness, but does aim to reduce pore size. generally speaking, i exfoliate my skin if it feels a little oily or if i have been wearing a lot of make-up throughout the day (having used clean & clear's daily exfoliating wash for the past eight years). however, i had run out of it and before i went to buy more, my friend bought me a hamper of soap & glory products for my birthday - so i was able to give this a whirl.

the immediate difference is that this isn't as harsh on the skin. it's a lot more gentle and has a refreshing mint scent throughout which is really refreshing. what i also love about it is that a little goes a long way, and so i can see the tube lasting forever. i get very similar results from this to my previous exfoliator in the sense that my skin gets a thorough clean and is instantly brightened - but the result of this definitely lasts longer. i have definitely replaced my old exfoliator for good now!

nails - no 7 (betty blues), barry m (hologram hexagrams).

no 7 balm - i picked this up as part of a 3 for 2 offer. the idea is that you apply it underneath your moisturiser. i have quite dry skin, and this would not be moisturising enough (for me anyway) to wear on its own. however, i have been sticking with it and see less redness. it's light to wear, non-greasy, and comes in a nice bottle. i'm actually a big fan of no 7 skincare anyway, but really do like this.

if anyone is also suffering from the same skin problems as me, check these out!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

revlon lip butter in 'candy apple'.

right: what have i been up to in the past month which has warranted me temporarily ditching this blog? well. i failed another driving test (wheyyyyy), began working at my old job again, and have just been enjoying myself. i feel 15 again because i've begun seeing a lot of people from school again - some of whom i haven't seen since i was actually that age, which was a very long time ago. i've also got a new job which is absolutely incredible and has really cheered me up. hell, it's made my 2012 even. 4,300 people applied for 16 places and i really wasn't expecting it, seeing as i thought i totally sucked at the assessment day. i also have some other stuff going on but it's a bit too personal for here.

back to bizniz. my blogging pet peeve (definitely just typed "pleeve") has to be writing about a product which every other person has written about. i really don't buy into ~cult beauty blogger products~ at all as they're usually more overhyped than not - but every now and then you'll find a gem. one of the very few products which i do think is worthy of the hype are revlon's lip butters. will you die if you don't own these? probably not. but i do think they make a nice, lighter alternative to lipstick for the summer. they have a very smooth, balmy finish, and a lot of pigmentation. i find them a lot more wearable, and perfect for those who might shy away from bold lipsticks.

although i now own quite a few, my favourite has got to be 'candy apple' which is a nice alternative to red lipstick. sometimes i steer away from red lipsticks because they often don't survive dinners and drinks - and when i'm out, i don't want to constantly be checking and reapplying more red. however, this balm has the fantastic colour without all that hassle. if it fades away, it fades away. for that reason, i've been gravitating towards these lip butters much more recently. yes, they do not stay perfect through meals either, but they leave a stain which is a lot more flattering than the mess that occurs with red lipsticks!

so yeah, that is my latest pride and joy. as for the make-up i wore today, well, please excuse my 'deer in headlights' look. recently my skin has been awful, so i've trying to divert people's attention to bold lips and big brows. perhaps too big.

face: sephora smoothing primer, mac face and body (c2), collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: maybelline gel liner, mac studio fix lash, mac eyebrow pencil (stud), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: sleek (flamingo).
lips: revlon lip butter (candy apple).

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


busy month. new phone. new everything. i promise i will sort my blogging out across the next week! i have actually been working on a few fitness/weight loss posts too, but they are not ready to be published just yet. in the meantime, here are some cute otters.

Monday, 11 June 2012

top five neutral shimmer shades.

i'm not going to post about a new product today, but instead share a few eyeshadow shades which i've really liked wearing as of late.

my go-to brand for neutral, shimmery shades has to be urban decay. for some reason, they are the only brand whose eyeshadows work perfectly for me in terms of texture and pigment. a lot of the time, other brands come up with neutral shades which just don't work with my olive complexion or fail to show up at all. luckily for me, urban decay's shade selection is amazing with a bunch of really pretty ones that don't ham up the glitter. despite sounding like a broken record (i am literally banging my head on the keyboard as we speak), their naked palette is stupidly good value and a real staple of mine. dsdfjg gdi ifg guuuuuu.

now, i'm the first to admit that my experience with rimmel eyeshadows is somewhat limited. their eyeshadow in 'spicy bronze' is something which i've blogged about before, and which i absolutely love. the texture is buttery and the shade is unlike anything else i've seen before (i certainly haven't found a dupe) - plus it's cheap. unfortunately i can't say whether that is something that extends to all of their shadows, or just this one. a must-have for darker girls, seriously.

left to right: rimmel (spicy bronze), urban decay (chopper), urban decay (smog), urban decay (toasted).

this small selection of shades has kept me going despite me opting for a no-fuss look as of late. the extra 10 minutes seconds it takes to apply these makes me feel as if i've put a slight bit of effort in, taking me from a 9 on the tramp scale to possibly a 7.

face: 17 primer, mac studio fix fluid (nw30), collection lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: urban decay primer potion, urban decay eyeshadows (chopper, twice baked), maybelline gel liner, rimmel kohl pencil, mac studio fix lash, clinique high definition mascara (lower lashes), mac eyebrow pencil (stud), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: mac (stunner).
lips: 17 (bon bon).

Sunday, 3 June 2012

this works 'perfect look skin miracle'.

[looks like i'll be saying sorry yet again for the lack of posts. i honestly don't know how some people find the time to update their blog everyday, seriously. what about your jobs? driving lessons? school? manuscripts? JOBS? suffice to say i've been up to absolutely everything in the past fortnight, none of it being particularly fun (well, not 99% at least). hello stress, you old friend.]

recently i've been on the lookout for a tinted moisturiser to use during the summer, and had made up my mind to get the one by nars. however, my shade was sold out in three stockists (really? come on), and i wasn't that crazy about the product to go on a mad goose chase for it. so, i completely dropped the idea of getting it. a few days ago i managed to find some time to watch a lisa eldridge tutorial (unf, love her) and she recommended this. so, like a loyal little sheep, i went and got it. last one on the shelf baby. yessssss. i'm that bitch y'all love to hate.

this tinted moisturiser claims to hydrate and brighten the skin, and although i like it, i don't think it's anything particularly revolutionary. this is because it reminds me of clarins' beauty flash balm, but with the slightest tint - which is quite obvious seeing as the product itself is brown and has to be rubbed on. i also quite like the packaging (a tube with a pump) - but like a doofus i didn't take a picture of it. 

things you probably should know: it doesn't have a lot of coverage, nor is it dense. for that reason, i wouldn't really bank on this if you have skin problems or very dry skin - unless you want a non-greasy moisturiser to use as a primer, like me. i usually wear this before wearing a foundation with a matte finish, as it adds a little bit of shine but not too much. with that said, i can imagine this looking gorgeous if you're one of those people with absolutely perfect skin.

perfect look skin miracle turd.

what else is new...? well, it was my birthday yesterday. i spent it with a lot of family who came over as the rain dampened (GEDDIT, DAMPENED, RAIN, LOL) my plans for a boozy picnic. still coming to grips with my own age as we speak. this involves a lot of rocking and self-reassurance that i am not old...

top - american apparel.

face: this works perfect look skin miracle, sephora smoothing primer, mac face and body (c2), collection lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: urban decay primer potion, urban decay naked palette (naked, hustle, buck), maybelline gel liner, rimmel kohl pencil, clinique high definition mascara (lower lashes), revlon 'grow luscious' mascara, ardell 120 demi false eyelashes, mac eyebrow pencil (stud), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: duwop (peach), no 7 illuminator (peach).
lips: mac (modesty).

as you can probably tell, i went for a smokey eye with some neutral shades all over the lid - and this is definitely the sort of make-up i've been wearing as of late. i've also rediscovered my duwop blush which i love to death (a+ would recommend) and have been wearing that everyday aswell. and last but not least, some moschino shoe porn. i finally had an excuse to wear these! YEAH!

i hope that everyone has a fabulous jubilee weekend!

ps - i wrote a guest post for urban butterfly on vintage lipsticks. perfect for any retro laydeez. give it a read!

Monday, 21 May 2012

sleek blush in 'flamingo'.

i need to get this off my chest: i simply don't understand how i have a to-do list longer than my arm and yet find myself making zero effort to get any of it done. i have work this week, and then my birthday - but after that i think i'll lay low and get my own stuff done. no more making plans with people. i need some me time.

but anyway... a few days ago me and one of my bestest friends went to choccywoccydoodah. i rate their dip pot or whatever the hell it's called, but you can skip the slices of cake unless having a pulmonary is your thing. please see picture on the left for evidence. i honestly ate so much that i thought i was going to pass out there and then. as i'm not a massive fan of chocolate or sugary desserts in general, i think my body basically had a panic attack!

that aside, i saw that she was using the prettiest blusher ever, and as our complexions are very similar, i made up my mind to get it. it's kind of this lame running joke we have where one always copies the other and in this case, it was me. i seriously love sleek blushes. i honestly would pay £10 for them, so getting them for around the £4 mark almost feels criminal. 'flamingo' is an absurdly pink shade that also has a hint of coral in, without any shimmer. it's like summer has been packaged up!

if i saw this in the shop, i would probably be put off by how bright it is. i mean, it is seriously pink. however, it can be used for a more natural look so long as you apply it lightly and don't go beserk with it. i applied it quite sparingly myself i was going to a café before i took these pictures - but you can build this up as much as you like. it blends like a dream, so whether a light flush or super hot pink cheeks are your thing, this product really is amazing for that.

i'm sitting here typing... wondering if it has any cons... but none come to mind. it does the job, lasts for a very long time, and has more pigment than some of my mac blushes. i honestly have no cons with this product. NONE. n-o-n-e.

face: sephora base subliminatrice, mac studio fix (nw30), collection lasting perfection concealer (#2),clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: urban decay primer potion, illamasqua cream pigment (hollow), maybelline gel liner, mac studio fix lash, mac eyebrow pencil (stud), ruby & millie eyeliner pencil (brown/black), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: sleek (flamingo), illamasqua cream pigment (hollow).
lips: mac (speak louder).

my eyebrows are also getting too big for my face.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

the voice.

yesterday i went to elstree studios to watch the voice. it was really good! pretty tiring. today i iplayer-ed it out of curiosity (to see if my big head would make an appearance) and spotted myself.

i'm in the blue/turquoise shirt, on will.i.am's left. heeheehee!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

limited edition mac lipglass in 'russian red'.


mac have just released their 'fashion sets' collection. in a nutshell, it's basically a series of matching nail polishes and lipglosses to accompany some of their best-selling lipsticks. i admit that i'm not usually sucked in to their limited edition collections (i just can't keep up) or simply because i missed out on iris apfel and remain bitter but i was really into this. i absolutely love the lipstick shades that were chosen, and made up my mind to go get something. in the end, i went for the lipglass version of 'russian red'.

top - french connection.

nails - rimmel (rose libertine).

red gloss is a more modern take on the classic red lip - and i can't think of a single person who doesn't look far better without some sort of red shade on their lips! having it in a glossy finish is completely new to me though, as i haven't owned one until now. and honestly? i love it. i cannot help but strut around like i'm in some kind of power ballad... oh i don't know... LIKE THIS. (and if you don't recognise where this picture is from, then get out.)

the pigmentation is insane. these pictures probably don't do it justice because i was silly and applied some balm to my lips beforehand, out of habit. i forgot that i wouldn't be needing it, and so the lipglass had to sort of sit on top of it if that makes sense. but yeah, i'm certain that if you skip using lip balm, this would be a lot brighter and redder. it also has pretty decent lasting power, much more so than high street brands i'd say.

downsides? it is super high maintenance which can be a pain in the ass. it just found its way onto my teeth too many times. maybe my teeth are too big for my face. maybe i'm a closeted bugs bunny. self-doubt aside, i'm thinking that a layer of lipliner underneath might do a better job of holding it in place and making the application look more precise. but you know what? my love is unconditional.

face: 17 primer, tiny bit of mac studio fix fluid (nw30), mac face and body (c2), collection lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: urban decay primer potion, maybelline gel liner, nars eyeshadow (from arabian nights trio), clinique high impact mascara on lower lashes, mac studio fix lash, ruby & millie eye pencil (brown/black), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: nars (portofino), clarins beauty flash balm.
lips: mac lipglass (russian red).

gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. forget my face - just look at that colour! in all honesty, i could probably compare this product to spanx. starts off as a great idea until you do it and feel like you can't breathe and get all pissed off. and then you look back on photos and your regret sort of disappears and evolves into relief because you look far better than you would otherwise. seriously. this looks so good when photographed and reminds me of real glass or something that snow white would wear. [have yet to be photographed in spanx though, but might save it for another post.]

Monday, 7 May 2012

bourjois 3d effect max lipgloss in 'rose lyric'.

i'm writing this at 1.18am on the 7th of may. i have an exam tomorrow. am i prepared? sort of yes, sort of no. i've revised four full topics and a sort of half topic where i will only be able to answer a very specific question. so let's say 4.5 topics... and in the exam, i have to answer 3. to say that i am risking it is a huge understatement, i know. but the module was killer and my tutor was really unclear 99.999% of the time. if i asked a question, he'd get even more incoherent! however, i have faith (i am a new convert to faith after the sheer miracle that happened to me in march), will wear my lucky lipstick, and will try to believe that it will be okay. POSITIVE THINKING. my topics will come up. my topics will come up. my topics will come up.*

that aside, i was watching a documentary on disco a few nights ago (don't even ask) and was dazzled by the big hair, big eyelashes and super sparkly lips. i can't say that i've taken to flared jeans and platform shoes just yet though. however, my latest plaything is bourjois' 3D effect max lipgloss and it is great for achieving that super sparkly look - so i think that on some subconscious level, i am clearly feeling inspired by the gay rights movement and drag queen scene that disco brought along. that's right. my make-up is topical. we're all high-brow here.

super thick eyeliner, big lashes and rosy cheeks.

face: 17 primer, illamasqua skin base (10), collection lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: maybelline gel liner, eyelure naturalites false eyelashes (volume plus), lancome hypnose l'extreme mascara, rimmel kohl liner, illamasqua thin pencil (eerie).
cheeks: mac (ladyblush), no 7 skin illuminator (peach).
lips: bourjois lipgloss (rose lyric).

apologies for the blurry picture - i took it while the sun was setting (blogging cardinal sin, yes i know). but back to the product. i'll get the negative out of the way first. firstly, this product is a little pricey for what it does at £6.99. yes that's cheaper than most, but for a few pounds extra you can get a gloss from no 7 that feels nicer (and where you don't feel the glitter as much). secondly, it could last a little longer. then again, i'm no lipgloss expert so maybe that's just standard.

i hate you sun, why must you set. i mean really. give me a little something here.

however, what i do love is the colour and pigmentation. it looks just like i've applied a lipstick underneath and the colour is perfect for summer when you don't want heavy products on your face. it's also not gloopy or sticky, and is super duper glittery. if that's not your thing, then steer clear! would i recommend it? i guess i would, largely due to its lightness and bold colour. however, it's probably best to wait until bourjois runs a 3 for 2 offer or something - then you can buy their blushers and foundations which i love with a fiery passion, and have this as a treat on the side.

so yeah - think positive thoughts for me people and PRAY! and apologies again for the terrible photo. i have a fabulous product (which i can't wait to review) for next time to make up for it.

* if they do not then i will fail and have a panic attack and vomit and shit everywhere. or do something equally as degrading and tragic. i will then get killed by my parents. no biggie.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

next challenge: killer buns and thighs and six-week six pack.

so far, i've lost 8.2" but as far as i know, no weight. i don't really weigh myself so i don't know how up and down i've been. all i know is that i've lost 2lbs recently - which is obviously better than nothing, but not a whopping amount by any means. it could just be water weight even. but now that summer is round the corner, i need to up my game! my problem areas really are my tummy (which is massive and gross and totally unbecoming) and my inner thighs. so, i will be doing my usual exercise gig and also completing jillian michaels' "killer buns and thighs" to review for you guys. not only that, but i'll be alternating it with her other dvd, called "six week six pack". i'm loving the cheesy names.

to act as some sort of motivation, i also bought myself some short shorts. well, actually they aren't my only pair, and technically they fit. BUT, i would only wear them with tights. i'm nowhere near bare-legged territory with these bad boys just yet. they're trashy and tacky and i love them.

i'll stick with those dvds for over a month, and see what progress i make with my legs. i'm really hoping i can drop some pounds and get some stubborn fat off me! i'm nowhere near ready for summer! come back in 5-6 weeks to see how i've done.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

grey smokey eyes.

man, i'm still sick as a dog. that and the fact that my exam is next week doesn't really make for a happy jasmine. see how pained i look? how frizzy my hair is? i haven't been leaving the house, i've put on 2lbs, and i'm just generally pissed off. nevertheless, i put my happy face on and went to the cinema to see avengers assemble yesterday with my brother. it was really good.

the make-up i wore wasn't really my usual. the truth of the matter is, i suck at eye make-up. i'm not even going to pretend otherwise. the only thing i'm a master of is eyeliner, but that's only because i've been wearing it since 2005. smokey eyes? nooooo thank you. but, i fancied a change... and seeing as i'm nowhere near good enough to do some kind of all-black smokey eye, i thought i'd ease into it with grey and black.

the colours i used were 'creep' and 'gunmental' from urban decay's original naked palette - two shades which really don't get the love they deserve. i really can't explain how much i love gunmetal... it's one of those shades where, even though i don't wear it every day, i would still want to have if it was sold separately. it's just this really awesome blue-grey and completely unlike anything else in the palette.

but yeah, i didn't make a massive mess out of it for once. i think my biggest problem is my eye-shape. i don't really have hooded eyes (i think?), but my socket line is elusive so i essentially have to draw one on by working backwards. i used a small brush to draw the outline of my eye make-up (i.e. where my pretend socket line will go) with creep, then blended it out using urban decay's crease brush. i then applied gunmetal onto the lid using a normal eyeshadow brush (i think the one i used was by no 7), not going past the crease line i had drawn on. then, i blended everything using a mac 217 and added bits of grey and black where it was needed.

 see where that awkward crease line is? what even is that. seriously.

face: 17 primer, mac studio fix fluid on nose (nw30), bourjois healthy mix foundation (52), collection lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: urban decay primer potion, urban decay eyeshadows (creep, gunmetal), maybelline gel liner, rimmel kohl pencil, benefit 'they're real!' mascara, mac eyebrow pencil (stud), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: bourjois (rose ambré), no 7 vital enlightening highlighter powder.
lips: 17 (bon bon) used as a stain, vaseline.

Friday, 27 April 2012

ripped in 30 review & results.


four weeks later, and i am finally done! boy, this was hard. so, so hard. am i schwarzenegger's doppleganger now? not particularly. am i ever-so-slightly stronger? yessir.

unfortunately my plans to blog a lot didn't materalise over the past week.  i've been revising for exams, haven't left the house all week, AND have somehow managed to get a throat infection with a cold to boot. suffice to say, glamming up and playing around with make-up really hasn't been on my agenda as of late.

it is for those reasons that i just do not want to share my sick face with the world right now. instead, you can see me when i was very little instead. all i can offer right now is that yes, my thighs and arms have slimmed down since. go me!

but back to the results. what you probably need to know is that i only did this dvd and some walking for the first two weeks. however, during the third and fourth week,  i was doing this dvd, walking, yoga and some bouts at the gym - so any results i did have were not the result of doing this dvd on its own. 

measurements before                        measurements after
waist: 26.8''                                                     waist: 26.3" (-0.5) 
hips: 38''                                                           hips: 37.7" (-0.3) 
thighs: 21.8''                                                   thighs: 21.6" (-0.2)  
calves: 13''                                                       calves: 12.6" (-0.4) 
upper arms: 9.5''                                           upper arms: 9.1" (-0.3)
lower arms: 9.0"                                           lower arms: 8.7" (-0.3)


for those who are interested, i lost 0.3" in level one, 0.4" in level two, 0.5" in level three, and 0.8" in level four. but despite losing a small amount, there are results when i compare photos side-by-side. my entire middle section looks more compact, and i feel as if my calves and upper arms look somewhat slimmer. my stomach and thighs looks smaller from the side.

for the first time ever, i also made an effort to lose actual weight. i wanted get a lower number on the scales for greater muscle definition. however, i only decided to start this mini mission 3 weeks into this and so it's still ongoing. i initially weighed in at 139.5lbs (63.3kg), and currently weigh 137.5lbs (62.4kg) - meaning that i've lost 2lbs in my first week.

before the workout
i realised that 30-day programmes (where things change after a while) are what i like best, and that short but intense workouts are what suits my personal routine. so, i did this purely because it's the only other jillian michaels dvd that closely resembles the format of the 30 day shred. did i expect to get super ripped? not particularly. i just wanted to lose more inches and get more toned. i also was keen to see what moves would be in this workout as doing things with weights (that makes me sound as if i am about to join the circus) was one of the things i-sort-of-hated-but-secretly-enjoyed in previous dvds.

during the workout
the format remains the same: 3 minutes on strength, 2 minutes on cardio, and 1 minute on abs. however, there are a few differences. firstly, rather than doing two moves in the strength circuits as in 30 day shred, you now do three. i prefer this as doing the same thing for longer obviously hurts more and results in less variety. secondly, the workout is a tad longer due to the extended warm-up and cool-down sections - making the workout last between 25-30 minutes. thirdly, it is recommended that you do each level for 5-6 days with one day of rest (i did 7).

after the workout
this was very hard in parts and my feelings towards it were very up and down. i liked the beginning and the end, but not so much inbetween. if you are debating whether to do this or the shred, i'd recommend doing the shred first. steer clear if you also have any lingering knee/leg injuries.

as stated, my inch loss wasn't that high. but, i blame that on me fooling around and eating more rubbish than usual. i can't and won't use it to dismiss the dvd at all. why? well not only is it the first dvd to make me lose something EVERYWHERE, but it is also the first ever thing (out of all the exercises/dvds/exhausting things i have ever done) that has slimmed down my calves. to put this in context for you, i will explain. i always walk. this has actually been the case for years and years. the result is that i can't pinch my calves at all, which had always remained at 13". and now they've gone down by 0.4"! almost half an inch! trust me when i say that that is momentous you could also perhaps take it as evidence that this dvd is no joke.

what next?
my results from this bring my total inch loss to 8.2". not too shabby, non? as it stands, i'm not sure as to what i'll do next. very tempted to work on my tummy and inner thighs. i also kept a diary as always, so read on if you're interested...

Friday, 20 April 2012

no 7 lipstick in 'gay geranium'.

eek, april showers is here with a vengeance! thunder, lightening, rain, hailstones... you name it. it seems that the skies are permanently dark now. oddly enough, this is by no means reflected in my make-up as i've been opting for bright shades that are better suited for summer. now, anyone who knows me would probably agree that i give all shades of lipstick a go. i'm not really intimidated by colours. however, there is one shade that i only wear on a brave day - and that shade is 'gay geranium' by no 7.

my pictures really don't capture just how bright this shade is. it is by far my most brightest and vivid shade amongst my 40+ lipsticks. hell, it even attracted abuse by a passer-by! hahaha. it's a creamy, borderline-neon orange, and was purchased by accident when i thought i had picked another shade and instead came home with this.

 dress - hussein chalayan, necklace - harrods.

face: sephora base subliminatrice, mac studio fix fluid (nw30), collection lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: max factor false lash effect mascara, mac eyebrow pencil (stud).
cheeks: mac (ladyblush), no 7 vital enlightening highlighting powder.
lips: no 7 (gay geranium).

despite picking this up by accident, i was already aware of the shade anyway. it's actually been around for years and years and was retained from no 7's archives, although i can't remember exactly how old it is off the top of my head. the packaging is equally as classic, and is totally gimmick-free. like all oranges and corals, i felt that it looked best with dewy, highlighted skin - and so i went for that.

the lipstick itself has a semi-matte finish and has a near-perfect formulation. it doesn't go on my teeth, lasts long, and the pigmentation is crazy! i'd really recommend it for those who are super brave with their make-up and love wearing lips that pop with colour.

in other news: two weeks until exams. HELP?

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

review: real techniques stippling brush by samantha chapman.

i'm soooooorry. i know, i know. you're probably gagging and clawing away at your own face, having seeing yet ANOTHER review about the real techniques brushes that were designed by samantha chapman (who is one half of pixiwoo). i guess the hype stems from the fact that they use this brush a lot in their tutorials (so i've heard). i admittedly haven't watched any pixiwoo tutorials in a long while simply because i haven't had the time, but seeing as i didn't own a stippling brush up until now, i was curious about it.

this brush is designed for buffing in foundation, but i just don't see myself using it that way. it's probably just me with my massive head (because i'm so brainy, obviously) but the brush just seems too small for that - so i'll be sticking with my beloved kabuki brush. instead, i find more use in this brush for cream products or things which may not work as well as 'regular' brushes such as illamasqua skin base, topshop cream blushes, liquid highlighters... things like that.

there is one product in particular which this has been a godsend for. unlike the above products (where i could just use my fingers), i sometimes struggle to use nars' multiples on my cheeks. if i use my fingers it could look uneven, and using normal blusher brushes just doesn't pick up enough product. so, the stippling brush is absolutely super for that! it's small enough to control how you are applying the cream product on your face, but wide/dense enough to get a decent amount of product on. i only found this out today though.

face: no 7 'beautiful skin' day cream, 17 primer, bourjois healthy mix foundation (52), collection lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: urban decay primer potion, benefit creaseless cream eyeshadow (get figgy), rimmel kohl pencil, maybelline gel liner, revlon 'grow luscious' mascara, mac eyebrow pencil (stud), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: topshop (neon rose), benefit gilded highlighter (tangerine gold).
lips: revlon 'just bitten' lipstain (passion).

what i also really liked is how it feels. it's not as soft as brushes by the body shop or urban decay, but softer than mac. i also love how it buffs blusher into the skin and gives it a really soft-looking, more polished effect. would i recommend this to absolutely everyone? no. i only think it's a must-have if you're a blusher fiend like me and have a lot of cream blushes, or have less of a football head than i do and could use a small brush to buff in your foundation.

cons? oddly enough, i don't think i really have any. like i keep saying, i think it'd be pretty cool if they brought out a bigger version of this that would buff liquid foundation quickly. all in all, i'm just pleased that samantha chapman has obviously made people think about buffing in products into their skin. it really does make the world of difference (~i did it before it was mainstream guise~) in terms of finish and how polished your make-up looks.

in other news: i submitted my 21,000 words! but as time passes, more doubt creeps into my mind. i'm starting to think that all of those words were terrible. that aside, i also get to enjoy an extra £112 per month all to myself as i'm no longer having to commute. recently i used some of that and treated myself to this crystal-encrusted bracelet (which won't surprise those who have read my previous jewellery post). it reminds me of cleopatra, medusa, basically ALL of the historical/mythological bad bitches out there. what do you think?

bracelet - kenneth jay lane.

Monday, 9 April 2012

17 lipstick in 'bon bon'.

SPECIAL DELIVERY. by way of apology, i present a lipstick review AND some nails AND my make-up of the day AND an outfit. let's kiss and make-up.

isn't this adorable? it is on monki's delivery bags. much better than the soul-destroying, fear-inducing grey ones from asos so i like to think...

as i said in my last blog post, i don't really go anywhere anymore. for that reason, any make-up i have been wearing has been low-key, using cheaper products. basically opting for an all-round beautifying look that basically makes me presentable to the world. my latest plaything is 17 cosmetic's sheen supreme lipstick in 'bon bon'. i've raved about how much i like the formulation before, but in a nutshell, the finish is creamy, hydrating and has decent lasting power.

'bon bon' is a natural-looking, slightly toffee-ish, slightly caramel sort of shade. it's a shade that can definitely be used in a nude look or glammed up for the evening - and therefore pretty versatile. when i can't decide what lipstick to wear, i have a set of 'to go' safe options (which suit everything) and i can see this becoming one of them. if you are like me and hate super nude shades, having unfortunately found yourself in the position where you need something sensible but with warmth (e.g. for srs occasions), then this is a great choice.

face: 17 primer, no 7 essentially natural foundation (light beige), collection lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: maybelline gel liner, mac eyebrow pencil (stud), no 7 lash adapt mascara, the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: illamasqua (lover), no 7 vital enlightening highlighter.
lips: 17 (bon bon).

and finally, what i've been slumming around in as of late. I DON'T GO ANYWHERE YOU GUYS, SERIOUSLY. zero glamour. the dress is a very big size small - and if i were sensible, i would exchange it... but i am too lazy.  i am also fully aware that these are crap photos and that a bathroom shot (like my bin?) does not compare to photos where people are jumping mid-air in a field/stepping out of a taxi/looking pensive while standing in the road - but i do try. i don't even own a tripod (my camera is in fact on a tin, balanced on a box). i mean really, this is not my thing.

 dress - monki, shoes - topshop.

nails - gosh (wild lilac), ring - river island.

i hope everyone had a delicious easter!

review: soap & glory 'the fab pore' face mask.

first and foremost: sorry yet again for lagging on the blogging front! i feel terribly guilty about it, but i have a valid reason. those of you who follow this blog regularly (or my twitter) will probably know about the dreaded 21,000 words i had due in for april. now i have a week left, and 5,000 words to go. because of this, i haven't really left the house... and when i don't leave the house, i don't wear make-up... and when i don't wear make-up, i can't blog. SEE!

anyway. even though i've owned this for a while now, i'm really loving this face-mask at the moment.

i know that every face mask under the sun claims to be 'intensive', but this really is it. i use it when my skin is spotty or oily, and recommend it for those skin types only as i find that it dries up my face. it leaves my skin smooth and matte, forming a better base for make-up. in a really odd way, it reminds me of how your hands feel after you put plaster of paris on them. some may like it, some may hate it. nevertheless, that matte feeling is quite long-lasting, as my skin doesn't become oily again for the rest of the day. as i only use it for that reason, i can't really comment on whether or not it really minimises pores in the long-term.

it's nothing revolutionary in terms of application. although it's called a 'peel', it really isn't. you just get some product, rub it into your face (until the green beads dissolve), leave for 5 minutes and voila! wash off. it is also a tad pricey at £8, but believe me when i say that the tub (although small) does last a long time. i think this is definitely going to become a summer staple of mine.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

summer skin.

let's face it: people either love or hate this time of year. the sun begins to shine, the sound of ice-cream vans fills my entire neighbourhood and everyone just seems a lot more happier. tourists remain reasonably sensible wearing normal clothes and light jackets, whereas londoners tend to go beserk at the very thought of a singular ray of heat. vests, shorts, sandals, hats, sunglasses - you name it. i admit that i too have got a little excited as of late. i went to the v&a last night and whilst everyone else looked chic and appropriate, i had looked like i had fallen straight of a cuban cabaret. thank god unfortunately i do not have photos of that, which is maybe for the best.

as i insist on getting my legs out in public, these two products are being used on a daily basis at the moment.

the body shop papaya body butter - this product is my everything. my favourite thing in the whole wide world. i mean, lord only knows how many times i've tried to eat it. it smells divine, hydrates the skin and leaves it feeling silky smooth without being greasy or slippery. i often buy different fruits but mango and strawberry remain my firm favourites and so if you fancy trying it out, those two are the ones i recommend. if the thought of shelling out £12.50 for a regular-sized tub seems too steep, i'd recommend stocking up during the sales. often they reduce the prices of regular-sized body butter to £5 a tub, which frankly, makes it a steal.

palmers cocoa butter scar serum - this is actually a rubbish product. i just thought i would just throw that out there. it's like the body butter's horrible sister. it doesn't remove scars, feels really sticky, and has an odd texture that is somewhere between greasy and rubbery. my legs are absolutely covered in scars and so i am using this every day anyway, just to finish it up and bin it. i don't even know what drove me to buy this product anyway as scars often heal and disappear on their own accord (i should know as i am the queen of burnt skin). perhaps i just wanted a quick fix.

here is also a quick list of the make-up i wore today. i wore my all-time favourite lipstick, 'classic rose' by no 7. i think it is perfection both in terms of texture and shade, and often recommend it to others. i've actually been rewatching all of mad men (who hasn't?) and the girls often wear a shade similar to it in the early series.

earrings - topshop, dress - mango (from years ago!).

face: no 7 'beautiful skin' day cream, 17 primer, mac studio fix fluid (nw30), bourjois healthy mix foundation (52), collection lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: maybelline gel liner, mac studio fix lash (black), mac eyebrow pencil (stud).
cheeks: duwop (peach), no 7 vital illuminating highlighter.
lips: no 7 (classic rose).

in other news: i returned home late last night to find a 'further steps notice' from a north london court (note - i do not live in north london) saying i owe a £65 fine. it does not state why though, and so i'm utterly baffled and apparently have two days to pay it off. stop it 2012. STOP IT NOW.
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