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.
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