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.

Monday, 26 March 2012

sleek eyeshadow palette in 'sunset'.

i can't be alone in believing that make-up can be great - especially when it's free. i won this 'sunset' eyeshadow palette by sleek simply by retweeting something on twitter (such arduous effort, right?) and figured i'd review it anyway. up until now, i have only owned one product by sleek and that is their 'rose gold' blush, which is one of my all-time favourites. i absolutely love it, and bought it way before i realised that it was ~kind of a big deal~ amongst a lot of bloggers. seeing as i've never tried any of sleek's eyeshadows at all, i was obviously very curious to see if they would be just as good.

first things first: admittedly, i don't think i'd buy this palette if i was in a shop. eyeshadow in general just terrifies me and the bright yellows and blues and reds in this look pretty intimidating at first sight. eyeliner and lipstick is what suits my features the most. however, i was really intrigued by some of the colours too, which resemble terracotta but with hints of red and pink which i haven't really seen anywhere else. i should have really gone all out (i'm looking at you, oh crazy trio of orange, yellow and blue) but i just felt massively boring today and stuck to the more sensible shades. in reality, the hint of yellow in the inner corners of my eyes is about as wild as i could get today. (brb, putting down my heroin.)

i look so tired, ugh.

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, sleek eyeshadow palette (sunset), rimmel kohl pencil, mac studio fix lash (black), ruby & millie eyeliner pencil (brown/black), mac eyebrow pencil (stud), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: sleek (rose gold).
lips: no 7 (attract).

what i like about this palette is how pleasantly surprised i am by it! although i was initially shaking/crying over the colours (which are way out of my comfort zone), they are surprisingly nice and wearable on the eyes, with great pigmentation. they're also easy to blend, and by no means chalky. additionally, each shade also has a gorgeous shimmery finish to it without looking glittery and tacky, which can sometimes be a bother with cheaper brands - and that is what impressed me the most.

so yeah, i really didn't feel as if i was wearing anything 'cheap' and preferred how the colours looked on the lid to how they appear in the palette. i'm especially a fan of the black shade, as it is matte and i've been meaning to get a shade like that for a while now.

however, there are a few points i must make. despite wearing primer on my eyes, the eyeshadow creased ever so slightly after a few hours. this usually doesn't happen with eyeshadows from other high-street brands which i love (such as rimmel and revlon), and so i was somewhat saddened by that. don't be put off by this if you're one of the lucky ones whose eyeshadow magically stays put without any primer though, because a) you are extremely lucky and b) this probably will do better on your lids than mine. i also feel that, as gorgeous as these shades truly are, they don't work for my complexion or my features in terms of wearing them all over the lid. BUT don't assume that i will be getting rid of this! instead, i think i could make these work by investing in a sealing gel and using them as liners instead which i think would look gorgeous for summer - especially with the gold and copper shades!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

jillian michaels' 'ripped in 30'.

it's baaaaaack! another fitness plan, full of optimism and hope (right before i actually review it and present a mass of broken dreams). after much ooh-ing and aah-ing, i have decided to tackle jillian michael's 'ripped in 30' next. it's all in the name really - surely i don't have to explain what it aims to do! it has 4 levels and basically follows the same format as the 30 day shred.

i severely doubt that i will ever become some kind of bulked-up goddess but i'm happy to get more toned at the very least. it is recommended that you do it 5 or 6 times a week and the great part is that, unlike the shred, you only do each level 7 or 8 times rather than 10. for that reason i think that it will feel quite quick to complete, and so i'm pretty keen on doing it.

do i look like jillian right now? NO. even if i take my glasses off, i resemble a blur. it's still a big, lardy blur. so yeah, i've got a lot of work left to do. my biggest problem is eating the right food and increasing my net calorie intake (NOT by eating an entire bag of butterkist's toffee popcorn) - so maybe i should really try harder with that this time around.

now that the sun is shining, i'm also hoping to get outdoors more. i want to swim in the sunshine! :)

Friday, 23 March 2012

17 lipstick in 'mulled wine'.

following on from my recent 17 cosmetics lipstick review (where i went beserk and bought too many), i am now wearing another new lipstick of theirs but in a different finish. 'mulled wine' is part of their 'lasting fix' range and to put it bluntly: i really like it. the lipstick bullet is weird and looks brown (i picked it up this morning thinking "WHAT. IS. THIS."), but it is much more pink on the lips. it's not an outright pink so it's totally perfect for a low-key look without going down the nude lips route. it's subtle, but with colour. in that sense, it reminds me of mac's 'see sheer', which is one of my all-time favourites.

i was really impressed by the lipstick for several reasons. firstly, you get a generous amount of product despite the low cost. secondly, the pigmentation is great. one swoosh (yes, i swoosh) on the lips was enough. thirdly, it lasted well, leaving a light stain on the lips hours after application. lasting fix finishes aren't as creamy as the supreme shine finishes though, so i'd be a little cautious if your lips are prone to drying out when wearing lipstick.

face: 17 primer, mac studio fix fluid (nw30), collection lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: maybelline gel liner, lancome l'extreme mascara, ruby & millie eye pencil (brown/black), mac eyebrow pencil (stud), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: sleek (rose gold), no 7 vital illuminating highlighter powder.
lips: 17 (mulled wine).

review and results: jillian michaels' 'banish fat and boost metabolism'.

IT'S OVER! it is with great pleasure that i bring you this review.  is this because i enjoyed it? because i had lost a staggering amount of inches? because i am filled with a renewed zest for life having discovered this bundle of joy? NO. it's because it's over. finished. gone. 

measurements before:                         measurements after:

waist: 27''                                                           waist: 26.8" (-0.2) 
hips: 38.5''                                                          hips: 38" (-o.5) 
thighs: 22''                                                          thighs: 21.8" (-0.2) 
calves: 13''                                                          calves: 13" 
upper arms: 9.8''                                              upper arms: 9.5" (-0.3) 
lower arms: 9.1"                                               lower arms: 9.0" (-0.1)


before workout
i wasn't sure what to expect so i came into this with no assumptions at all. my only concern was the fact that i didn't think cardio alone could help me burn the inches i want. i had seen the dvd a few times before i began to familiarise myself and was quite happy to see 1) no push-ups, 2) no squat thrusts and 3) no moves that seemed absolutely impossible (or so i thought).

during workout
this is a real step up from anything i have ever done before, and it's hard.  i really can't lie! the dvd is 56 minutes long, but in reality i think the workout is somewhere between 40-45mins once you exclude the warm-up and cooldown. it incorporates some moves i had done in the 30 day shred but also introduces some new ones, such as kickboxing - which i actually had fun with. plyometrics feature a lot in this too. the hardest struggle? finding the energy within yourself to carry on moving for so long. there are 7 cardio circuits that are repeated twice (lasting 6 minutes) and it's just so, SO HARD. DID I MENTION IT WAS HARD?! i'm starting to think that hard doesn't even cut it. you'll be begging to die

not only that, but i struggled with the general length of the workout. i had initially wanted to do this for 14 days, but it took up so much of my time. imagine, 60 minutes exercise + 20 minutes showering + 30 minutes drying hair + 10 minutes getting dressed every, single, day. no bueno. that is two hours worth of my time. it's definitely great to do once in a while or a couple of times a week, but i just didn't have the time to do it every day for a fortnight for review purposes. so, i ended up doing it for 7 days instead. i tried eating clean but it just didn't happen, whoops.


after workout
i am not as enamoured by this as i was by the 30 day shred. firstly, i hated the music (it gets all weird and siren-y towards the end). second, i didn't really like the girls jillian had in the background. this isn't some petty bitch comment but i just didn't feel motivated by them at all, and the girl on the right often forgets what she is doing! thirdly, there isn't always a modified move for beginners. luckily,  i could remember some modifications for the moves that were familiar from the shred - which gave me a headstart over someone who would be an absolute beginner.  however, i do think BFBM is great if you're perhaps very athletic already and want something to do every now and then that will knock you out. i made quite a few people try this and frankly, they all almost died, often quitting before it had finished - let alone completing it 7 times in a short space of time. i will definitely hold onto this dvd in case i have a terrible case of pigging out and feel overly guilty about it though.

i've lost 6.1 inches since february. boom! now i need a new challenge. punch me in the face if i ever do this again.  once again, i kept a diary of how i found the week...

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

nowruz 2012: a vague attempt at a pin-up look.


yesterday marked the beginning of the spring equinox - meaning that it was new year for many people including iranians, kurds, afghans and others. myself included! despite how positive i felt on new year's eve (that is, 31st december 2011), 2012 has proven to be massively shitty for a variety of reasons - with the only good thing being that i embraced frequent exercise. but i'm happy to have a second chance, and hope that 1391 brings good things. :)

this is our sofreh hafsin, which was arranged by my mother. she does it differently each year. there are seven items which are in each sofreh hafsin and begin with 's', supposedly bringing good luck and stuff. nevertheless, regardless of whether you celebrate it or not, i wish everyone a very good year.

make-up wise (i have to keep on topic, haven't i?) i went for a classic, retro, pin-up ish look. my skin is still not great, so i stuck to heavy coverage. although it doesn't show in the picture, i used illuminating products on my cheekbones so that my face wouldn't look too matte and one-dimensional - in particular, i'm actually really loving nars' highlighter in 'albatross' at the moment. it has hints of cream and gold in it which really suits my skin tone; it's a really buttery product and i totally think it's worth the high price.

face: sephora base lissante, mac studio fix fluid (nw30), collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), paula dorf magic stick (#2), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: urban decay primer potion, revlon 12-hour colorstay eyeshadow palette (in the buff), maybelline gel liner, rimmel exaggerate liquid liner, revlon 'grow luscious' mascara, lancome l'extreme mascara, eylure girls aloud false eyelashes (nicola), mac eyebrow pencil (stud), ruby & millie eyeliner pencil (brown/black), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: nars bronzer (laguna), nars blush (orgasm), no 7 illuminator (peach), nars highlighter (albatross).
lips: mac (ruby woo), mac lip liner (cherry).

LOADS of products, i know! but that's how i roll. what can i say, i like using a little bit of everything to get what i want. i also wore these heels from reiss which i've had for a while but hadn't worn before. they're very high, and considering that my foot is injured, NO ONE must find out about this. especially not my doctor.

it's a bit of a funny post and i'm sure i've bored you, but that's what i've been up to recently!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

17 lipstick in 'deep secret'.

i was in boots recently. why? because i needed wax strips. did i get them? no. i've been in boots a handful of times recently and keep forgetting each time - so i'm suspecting an early case of alzheimers. i mean, that's clearly the obvious answer to all of this. anyway. i was just having a look at the make-up and saw a gorgeous shot for 17 cosmetics where the model had a beautiful sort of brown-pink shade on her lips. i asked vanesa what she had used, and once she told me, i was in boots yet again. rather than buy the one lipstick like a normal human being (which i will review soon), i sort of went a bit mad and bought 3. alzheimers breakdown? yeah, that.

i also got my hair cut in a bid to distract myself from a hospital visit...

one of the shades i went for is called 'deep secret'. i was still on the hunt for the perfect plum shade - seeing as the weather is way too cold and i am way too ~emo~ to embrace anything that is colourful - and at just over £4 each, i figured that it wouldn't be too dear if i tried it out and didn't like it. i appreciate that the bullet itself does look rather full-on and scary, but don't be fooled! it's honestly very wearable.

i admittedly don't have much experience with 17's lipsticks bar a few dodgy shades i bought when i was 15 or 16 - the only products i use constantly are their nail polishers and primers. to my delight, the lipstick had really decent pigmentation and felt nice on the lips. it's creamy for sure, but a different kind of creamy to say, mac cremesheen lipsticks (this just sounds like i'm typing gibberish doesn't it...). it feels light, is moisturising, and it just feels like a really fresh product rather than an oversized crayon - which is something that is unfortunately prevalent among cheaper lipsticks. how do i know this? well, i put the shade through its paces and wore it to my friend's birthday meal. i had a dinner few snacks beforehand and the lipstick had stayed put. however, it didn't last once i devoured an entire pizza by myself, leaving a nice stain instead. maybe i'd be irritated if i paid over £20 for the lipstick, but for £4? it did a bloody good job.

as for my make-up, i am going to hold my hands up and admit that i caked. it. ON. the stress in my life caused by endless bad news has caused my skin to have a complete breakdown. anything you see is literally drawn on (well, by my standards anyway), as i have really spotty skin at the moment and the beautician completely butchered my brows. i went for a high-arched brow with cat flicks on the eyes, to keep it classic. as for the eyeshadow, i went for a pinky grey finish all over the lid with subtle contouring - half to complement the lipstick, and half to hide the dark circles around my eyes. it doesn't show here, but i also pressed some of urban decay's 'cherry' onto my eyelids for a little bit of shimmer.

before i styled my hair. look at it - a total frizzball. that's how close i am with you guys. :'(

face: sephora base lissante, mac studio fix fluid (nw30), collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: urban decay primer potion, urban decay eyeshadows (virgin, naked, cherry), revlon colourstay 12 hour eyeshadow palette (in the buff, second colour), rimmel exaggerate liquid liner, maybelline gel liner, tiniest bit of nars eyeshadow palette (arabian nights), ruby and millie eyeliner (brown/black), mac brow pencil (stud), the body shop brow & lash gel, benefit 'they're real!' mascara.
cheeks: mac blush (well dressed), no 7 vital illuminating highlighter powder.
lips: 17 (deep secret).

here is also a swatch of it - but don't be fooled by how sheer it looks. usually i apply a balm before applying any lipstick ('whipstick' by lush) hence why it came out looking like that. obviously when i reapplied the lipstick it was more intense, but this just proves how wearable it can be and how you can tone it down if you want to. it's also photographed as pink, but it really is more purple in person.

ps - i'm still attempting that bloody 'banish fat, boost metabolism' challenge. it is bloody hard and then some. i hate you blog, because you make me feel guilty whenever i want to quit which, as it stands, is at least 3 times during each workout. i'm sort of lagging with it though due to a foot injury.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

jillian michaels: banish fat and boost metabolism.

yes, another blog post on jillian. following on my success with the 30 day shred, i am destroying myself building upon that and feeding off my love for jillian michaels! i know i'm so late - and in my defence, i'm not american - but i really do like her. she has an excellent body and i often spend most of my time swooning over her hair/eyebrows/eyes/entire self.

she's so dreamy...

truthfully speaking, i would much rather do another 30 day programme, or something with a prescribed time on it. however, you may have noticed that i am a girl. girls have periods. i don't want to be starting something like that and then stopping in the middle, because then i lose momentum and it gets really hard all over again as the levels only get harder and harder. so, i've decided to try out banish fat and boost metabolism next. it doesn't tell you how many days to do it for, which makes me feel like i can be more flexible with it.

as it stands, the plan is to do it for two weeks (14 days). rather than bulk up even more, i want to continue losing inches and basically lose more fat - so i think i stand in good stead with this. however, it's a purely aerobic workout that is all cardio, with zero weights - so i am a little nervous that not incorporating weights may reverse the progress i have made. but i will take that risk and see how i get on. the MOMENT i spot any inch gain, i'm out! after the 14 days are up, i'll see what results (if any) happen and decide where to go from there. come back in two and a half weeks to see how i did.

ps - i've had some bad news and my uni is accusing me of something which i haven't done. obviously i am extremely stressed so blogging will take a back seat until it is resolved. sorry.

Friday, 9 March 2012

30 day shred review & results.


you can't say i don't spoil you. who else would spend over a month writing a blog post for you? das rite. ME. and what a blog post it is. i have finally completed the 30 day shred, and it feels oh so good to finally publish this review - along with the results, obviously. needless to say i am extremely pleased with how i've done. i've tried to cover every single little detail and hopefully those who are on the fence will be encouraged to complete it.

with the exception of my waist, i took measurements at the thickest point. i have a sort of mangled apple body shape, where any weight i gain goes straight to my tummy. this means that i have narrower hips than most, and that any weight gained on my thighs goes on my inner thighs rather than my outer thighs. (i know right. talk about awkward.) i also am a giant wuss and opted out of posting pictures - to see the results properly, i'd need to be in my knickers and as before/after pictures are widely circulated, i don't want any photos of me wearing very little lurking around the internet. sorry! however, i can see a difference. no i'm not exactly unrecognisable, but my waist does look smaller as do my arms. my general mid section still is by no means perfect, but looks more toned. there isn't a crazy difference from the side though, except that my tum is slightly flatter.

measurements before:                         measurements after:

waist: 29''                                                           waist: 27" (-2)
hips: 38.5''                                                         hips: 38.5 (-0)
thighs: 23.5''                                                     thighs: 22" (-1.5)
calves: 13''                                                         calves: 13" (-0)
upper arms: 10.7''                                         upper arms: 9.8" (-0.9)
lower arms: 9.5''                                              lower arms: 9.1" (-0.4)


amazing, right? i feel so completely proud of myself, and feel a new sense of positivity towards fitness as a whole. i really don't want to stop at this point - rather, i want to continue challenging myself and push myself so that i  get into the best shape i've ever been since 2008 in my life. i wish i could meet jillian and thank her, because she really did deliver - and luckily for me, she has so many dvds out so i am spoilt for choice.

for those who are interested, the biggest changes occurred during level one which is somewhat ironic given that it is supposed to be the easiest. i think my body got a real shock to the system, and decided to tell me by losing 2.8". during level two, which i found the hardest by far, i lost 1.1". and throughout level 3, i lost 0.9". however, i have gained weight (3kg) which i suspect is water weight. i don't care though, because inches coming off was what i always wanted.


before the shred
little bit of background info here. i admit that i was a little cocky before starting this. i usually do 45-60 minutes of zumba several times a week, and walk quite often. i thought that it would stand me in good stead, and i guess it did when i read other diaries which describe sheer pain (my favourite was one where the blogger couldn't sit down on the toilet). additionally, the only part of me that is toned has always been my calves, ever since i could remember. i can't pinch them at all. this, in my warped little brain, made me assume that i would ace any leg exercise she threw at me. i guess my sense of realism only kicked in with the acknowledgement that even though the shred is designed to be complete in 30 days, i wasn't ever going to push myself if i were to feel any proper pain or injury. i wasn't ever going to cause myself any damage just for the sake of saying i didn't take a single day off.

in terms of equipment, you will need a mat (that is, if you are exercising on a hard surface), proper shoes (i can't stress how important this is), and handweights. my weights are so small, and frankly, i can't be bothered to get heavier ones. i have 3 sizes which i got from argos - i think they cost around £15. the pink weights are 0.5kg (1.1 lbs) each, the blue are 1kg (2.2 lbs) each, and the green are 1.5kg (3.3 lbs) each. i admit that, at times, i wished i had heavier ones - not because using these weights were easy (NO) but because i would've been able to push myself further on my good days.

during the shred
for optimal results, you'd obviously have to have a good diet aswell. as with a lot of her dvds, jillian includes a meal plan. unfortunately, i didn't do this - so it will remain a "what if?" as to how many more inches i would have lost if i did. in true jasmine form, i didn't cut a single thing or restrict my eating in any way. in the 30 days there were mcdonald's, kebabs, pizza, pasta, and bread. truly carb central. the only thing i did not consciously have was alcohol except on one occasion - but this was more due to me adjusting my priorities, and putting studies before any nights out. other friends which accompanied me on the programme were: harry ramsden, colonel saunders, wagamamas, and ping pong dim sum. however, i'd also supplement the workout with long walks and other exercises when i felt like it... so maybe that's how i got away with it.

i also found that there is a really supportive e-community on twitter & tumblr with lots of people using those platforms to update how they're finding it. i'd get all sorts of tweets congratulating me, giving me advice, or sharing experiences - and that too was really nice.

after the shred
what next? well, i'm fitter, stronger, ever-so-slightly leaner and really positive about having this new thing (that is, serious fitness) in my life. i now have something that counterbalances all the crap i eat, and minimises the damage i do to my body all the time. here's to that next stage of getting a killer body! thanks to all the people (especially on twitter) who gave me kind words of support. i do really encourage anyone to do this, and trust me, you won't look back. as for blogging about these things, well, i'm hoping to make a series out of this and do detailed reviews/results for each of her dvds. :)

the diary: i kept a diary of how i was finding the workouts every day. interested? read on...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

smokey eyes using urban decay 24/7 eye pencils.

hi friends. i am happy to report that i am slowly figuring out how to do a smokey eye without butchering it up completely. gone are the uneven eyes and looking like taylor momsen! for a ~blogger~ i really am clueless and have the make-up proficiency of a chimp, so please do cheer for me in light of this breakthrough. i suppose i can attribute this new-found success to the fact that, after a long, long journey,  i'm starting to vaguely come to terms with the fact that the crease brush from urban decay is better suited to my eye shape rather than a mac 217. and for the record, i love urban decay brushes as they are soft, never shed, and are cruelty-free. a dream combination.

jumper - vivienne westwood.

face: no 7 beautiful skin day cream, sephora base subliminatrice, illamasqua skin base foundation (10).
eyes: urban decay primer potion, nars eyeshadow palette (arabian nights), urban decay 24/7 eye pencils (covet and lucky), maybelline gel liner, max factor false lash effect mascara, collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (#2), mac eyebrow pencil (stud), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: illamasqua cream pigment (hollow), mac blush (ladyblush), no 7 illuminator (peach).
lips: revlon (mauve it over).

i used a lot of cream products on my skin to make it look more natural & dewy. to me, heavy-handed powder products and matte skin just look too harsh against the eyes. unfortunately, i wanted to go for a green liner rather than a bronze (i love the combination of green and black), but this is through no fault of my own. now, before i embark on a massive bitchfest of a review, i just want to restate that i love urban decay. i am a serious fangirl and love everything they bring out. if i remember correctly, it started when i 16 and happily discovered that there was a product out there which would stop my eyeshadow from slipping off. hell, i even remember the days where i'd derive happiness from buying so much of their stuff in heathrow terminal 5 - back when they weren't so widely stocked! so yeah, this love goes way back.

however, one thing pisses me off. and it pisses me off a lot. in fact, i think we need to sit down and talk about it. my source of anguish is this: their 24/7 eye pencils. fantastic pigmentation? incredible colour range? creamy to apply? easy to blend? you're probably sitting there thinking "gurl, what's your problem" - and what my problem essentially is, is that there is this fantastic product encased in terrible packaging. i feel like a monkey seeing a banana except the banana is surrounded by lasers and i just can't claw away at it. with the pencils, it is essentially the same thing. their packaging is so tough and impractical that i simply cannot use the product. i can't sharpen the pencils without cracking them and causing a mess. today, it was in fact my sharpener which broke this time instead of the pencil - one which lasted me for years

see what i mean?

it really does hurt me to say this, because i love the pencils. it's not like it's rubbish both inside and out. it's in fact the best eye pencil i've ever used and now i can't use it anymore because of this. :( why must do you do this urban decay? WHHHHHHYYYYYYYYY? so if anyone has any recommendations for industrial-strength sharpeners, please do let me know.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

nail art tutorial: summer brights.

i am well and truly british. i may have brown hair and brown eyes, and my fluency in other languages may be semi-convincing - but let me tell you that my game is totally up once a single ray of sunshine peeks out from behind the clouds. that's right. in true brit form, the moment i detect even a hint of sunshine, out goes the winter wardrobe, out comes the colourful accessories, and new hobbies begin to include reading in the "sun" (that is, anything above 15 degrees).

because of the sort-of mild weather, i've really been enjoying bright and playful nails in pastel colours. shades that remind of me liquorice allsorts, even though i actually hate them. this is one sort of style i've been wearing recently - and it's very easy to do, so read on to find out how.

l-r: model's own nail polish (3-in-1), boots expert nail and cuticle oil, barry m nail polish (lemon), dotter, model's own nail file, rimmel nail polish (rose libertine) and 17 nail polish (nightshade).

as my nails are not in tip-top condition, i began by rubbing nail oil onto them and pushed my cuticles back. i then applied the model's own nail polish as a base coat to prevent staining. then, i added the yellow polish all over. so far, so easy. this is then followed by pink triangles/ovals (triovals?) which is probably the hardest part as you have to have a steady hand as well as a good brush - and as you can probably tell by how uneven they are, i had neither! then, finish by adding a black tip across the top, followed by a base coat. the polka dots were achieved by using the wider end of the dotter, and makes it that much more interesting. alternatively, you could also go further and use the narrow end of a dotter to add another colour in the middle of the dots if you so wish.

here's to more summery looking nails!
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