Monday, 30 January 2012

This is what happens when you go shopping with a fever

As some of you will know from yesterday's post, I haven't been a bit under the weather the past week and a bit.  After using up various supplies I needed to go shopping.  I didn't really 'need' everything below, but this is what happens when you go shopping.  Actually, no, this is worse... THIS is what happens when you go shopping with a fever....

No, they don't sell Percy Pig's in Boots ;) (M&S)

Let's start with the February (yes February?!) edition of Glamour magazine.  Firstly, no Emma, you are not mad. Magazines have a habit of labelling the magazine for the month ahead of when it is published.  When Jo Elvin (editor of UK Glamour) was asked about this recently, her reply was 'we don't really know.  No-one really knows, so we don't really talk about it- it's an unwritten rule!

Anyway random un-feverish month labelling aside, I purchased Glamour, went home, got into my onesie (yes, I have a dalmatian print one- it is warm!  Deal with it!) and then suddenly thought, 'wasn't Kelly Brook in the last edition?'.  I started to flick through and read a few interesting snippets before vaguely hitting something familiar.  I then flicked through with a bit more deja-vu until I hit an article I remembered reading in depth.  Yes folks, I bought the same magazine just before Christmas! What a numpty!!

Not only did I buy the same magazine before Christmas, but it struck me that I also managed to pick and purchase a magazine from America- not realising until I looked and saw the prices were in $!! (Cosmo USA!)  I enjoyed the read though and am now keen to try more american products!!

This wasn't all.  I managed to pick up some Oral B brush heads thinking they were £10 when in fact they were £10 off (cue confused incident at the till)!  The Batiste Brown dry shampoo was on 3 for 2.  I did need some but not quite that much.  Obviously the fever took my will-power (*ahem cough*)!  Talking of which I had 2 £5 No. 7 vouchers so I was going to pick up two items with £5 off until I saw there was another 3 for 2 on.  This made my brain hurt.  2 for 3 minus £5 or two items with £10 off which would need to be bought separately otherwise they would be 3 for 2 ARGH!! Ended up picking up 2 items from the new Floral Brights collection, and some wipes..... then the assistant pointing out I could use the other £5 off to get some more wipes in a separate transaction.  This meant I became THAT person, you know, the one who queues up and then leaves the cashier with their things while the customer goes to pick up "one more thing".  This always happens when the queue grows 10 fold!!

Of course, all humiliation and confusion was worth it for new lipstick and highlighter.  No. 7 Floral Brights Limited Edition collection lipstick in Blossoming Pink (above) and highlighter (below).  Post shortly when my lips are recovered from a weeks worth of blowing my nose with dry, sore tissues!

Have you ever gone shopping while ill?  What is the biggest shopping mistake you have made?  Have you ever bought something, forgetting that you already have it?  Have you checked out the Floral Brights range?

Sunday, 29 January 2012

January Favorites / Haul / Winners

I thought I would get this up early for a change!  I have spent the last week congested, sniffing and snuffling away like a human hedgehog so this little lot has been my saviour of sorts

  • Antibacterial hand wipes (I don't want more germs thanks!)
  • Tissues (not the ones in the picture, but several rolls of loo roll.. which lead to use of..
  • Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream to sooth lips and nose skin (Link!) and then when the skin split...
  • Sudocrem (link!) £1.99 antibacterial barrier cream. Locks moisture in.
  • EchinaCold capsules to help boost my immune system (Link!) Boots currently have 3 for 2 on these!
  • Multibionta probiotic multivitamins (link!) Boost my immunity and build me up after.
  • Nurofen Meltlets (link!) Ibuprofen which, unlike many tablets, can be specifically taken without water or on an empty stomach (i.e. perfect handbag drugs for sudden relief).
  • Cough/throat sweets. Pretty much all 'throat sweets' don't do anything other than help you produce saliva which soothes a tickley cough.  These Ricola ones are sugar free with herbs in. £1 bargain! Yum!
Perhaps I'll do a post on how to survive a cold in terms of boosting immunity, skincare, how to apply makeup? What do you think?

January Favourites
Now, cold aside, these are the products which I have been reaching for when I wasn't reaching for tissues and soothing balm this month;
  • Slendertone toning system (Post!) I haven't been exercising recently due to being a snot (filled) bag so this has meant I could still keep my toning program without leaving the house!
  • Book. In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner.  Different to the film and equally as good.  If you like the film then I can recommend the book.  Thankfully not a disappointing read which sometimes happens with film/book combinations!
  • Weleda regenerating body oil in Pomegranate. Not sure about the regenerating part yet, but I received this in my Glossy box and started to use it after a shower.  My skin is really soft and this oil smells lovely when warmed during application.  More in a separate post!  
  • Optrex ActiMist eye spray (Link!) Spray on closed eyes, refreshes and soothes irritations.  Dark days/nights = computer/tv screens = fixed stares and not blinking = dry sore eyes.  This stuff instantly soothes them and makes me not rub them too much! (Rubbing = very bad!!) Suitable for glasses and contacts wearers.
  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere- still liking this but have not been wearing much makeup due to the cold.  See my initial thoughts and a comparison to Matt Lumiere HERE
  • Illamasqua Pencil in Adamant (post here) Lovely smokey grey which is a great alternative to black liner.

AKA THIS is what happens when you go shopping with a fever!!!
 Tune in tomorrow for the story!!

Three More Winners!

Computergirl's 12 days giveaway Days 7-9 winners are;

Day 7) Magz13
Day 8)  Emma (Seb's mum) (No not me!!)
Day 9) Sophiephiephie

Days 10, 11 and 12 will be announced in the next post as I need to keep track of everything and I don't want to drown!!  I still have several other prizes left over- I have just been of a go slow as my body does internal battle!

If your name is above please send me your address via email using the title Giveaway day (insert number). Thanks so much and well done!

What have you been loving this January?  What are your cold fighting staples?  Have you used any other these products?  Hope you are all well!

P.s. The Blogger Height Wall has been updated again at so don't forget to have a look and see who is your height!  There are lots of lovely bloggers there with amazing style which you can steal or ask them which shops stock clothes that will fit you! Don't forget to add your name, height and URL while you are there!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Detox Health: Slendertone Abs Challenge

As we get older we are all on a quest to look younger.  It's all to easy to forget that slathering on anti-ageing cream isn't the only thing we can do to help stop the sagging and wrinkling.  All to often what is on the outside is a reflection of what is on the inside.  Muscles- and no I'm not talking the edible foodie ones!
I want that tummy!!

Muscles help us move, but also hold the skin in place.  Keeping them toned and active will not only boost your general health (improved circulation, immunity, function) but also help slow everything from moving south!

I was invited to take part in the Slendertone Christmas Abs Challenge, and being a health conscious kinda girl I said yes (that and I wanted to see how it feels to be 'electrocuted' safely and, lets face it, it sounds like exercise without the work.  Perfect!).  My goals were simple: firm up the muscles to help improve general function and posture.  Unfortunately by the time my machine arrived and my life settled down it was a little too late to get 30 days use before Christmas.  Therefore I am unable to comment on the Christmas Challenge, but I thought I would still share this little machine with you and explain how it works/ how it has worked for me.

Comes complete with the first set of pads.
Slenderotne comes complete- so you simply assemble the charger, charge for three hours, stick the pads down and go!  Mine seemed to have two chargers- I'm not sure if it is supposed to!!  It comes with 100 setting levels, as well as 10 pre-programmed functions.

How it works
The battery sends tiny electrical pulses (EMS)` through the pads (which are in contact with your skin).  These pulses are the same frequency as the bodies natural bio-circuitry and cause the muscles to gently tense and release.  If it gets too strenuous at any point then you can manually lower the levels- but the program is designed to build you up gently rather than chuck you in at the deep-end... ( I am suddenly getting visions of the Big Brother tasks involving them wearing those shiny suits which electrocuted them when someone broke the rules..... It's not like that!! See Slendertone's video HERE)

Charger and egg sized controller.  Very discreet!

These sorts of machines have been used by physiotherapists to aid recovery after a patients has had an operation or suffered trauma.  The fact that the general public can now purchase them at a generally affordable price is great.  This means you can tone your muscles while getting on with our life- not everyone has the time or funds to go to a gym to tone up- this allows you to tone while watching tv/washing up- even sat at your desk if you can stand fit the belt under your top!

Usable anywhere (well mostly).
Can aid recovery after an injury / childbirth by strengthening muscles gently.
Pre-programmed although you can adjust the level to suit.
Small and light weight- easy to take on holiday!
Cheaper in the long run when compared to gym membership if used purely for toning.
Replacement pads cost as much as a few bars of chocolate- a fair trade off!
Can also be used round your thigh or arm!

Pads need regular routine replacement as they loose contact with your skin over time.
Does not replace all aspects of exercise- cardio vascular is still needed.
Can be an initially expensive at the beginning.
Can't really share a belt with someone as the pads have to be set for your body. 
Pads can be cold on the skin at first which is a downside in winter!! 
Does not make you give up chocolate and other naughty foods!
Other people will try and steal it off you!

My verdict
Well, it doesn't really feel like electrocution- I actually found it felt really nice and relaxing in some ways.  To me, it felt more like a very tiny buzz vibration that gradually pushed into the body and then relaxed.  It was not painful and my limit has upped with usage.  I am currently over half way through the 100 levels and hope to keep stretching my limits.  I was researching these before I was offered one, so this came at the right time!  I have noticed my abdominal muscles are more toned, defined and a bit stronger, and this has in turn affected my posture and confidence.  I do exercise regularly and Slendertone really compliments my routine.  I also liked using this in the comfort of my own home, rather than having to go to a gym during the long, dark winter nights.

Slendertone makes belts for men and women (you just place the pads where is best for you).  They also make other toning gadgets.  Prices start from £49.99 and you can view the full range Here).  I think the range is currently on offer at some places so worth looking around.  Look fantastic have the belt for £99 including free delivery!  The face Slendertone looks very interesting- if a little space aged!

Do you have one of these machines?  Would you consider getting a slendertone?  How do you stay toned and healthy?  Are you bothered about toning muscles?

Disclaimer: I was sent this to trial and, as normal, this post is my own, honest opinion.  I am under no obligation to share any samples with you and only choose to share the things I feel are worthy of sharing.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Jesus' face is in my moisturiser

Can you see it?  Not a phrase I ever thought I would type!  In yesterday's post I reviewed Origins Perfect World Moisturiser after using it for 30 days.   It was BeautyGeekUK who left a comment pointing out the face.  Can you see it?
Look at the top right!

A couple of people have said it looks like Jesus- in which case ''Jesus is in the Perfect World (moisturiser).  However a couple of others have said the face looks a little John Lennon-esque.  What do you think?

I always giggle when these sorts of stories crop up in the media, maybe I should sell it for $28'000 like the person who found The Virgin Mary in her grilled cheese sandwich.

Imagine my surprise when I went to use my Lush Each Peach and Two's a Pair massage bar pre-bath this morning and found....another face.  (I don't normally have morning baths but I am congested and off work).  Yes, I know this is meant to have a face on it!

This (to healthy uncongested people) smells lovely and glides onto the skin.

I'm poorly, humour me!  Who does the face look like?  What is the weirdest item you have heard Jesus/Mary's face appearing on?  Have you ever found a face?  If you could find a famous face, who's would you like to find?  Would you sell it or keep it?!

If you can't answer the above then leave me something to brighten my day!  Normal posting will now resume!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

30 Day Skin Challenge: Origins Perfect World

When I started my blog I set myself a challenge: To use a product for 30 days and then share my verdict.  (If you know about this then feel free to skip to the product blurb below).  Why 30 days? Simply put, your skin needs chance to adapt to the product throughout 30 days (which is a normal hormonal cycle).  Generally speaking girls (and guys) skin will become a little more oily around certain times of the cycle.  Then there are the hormonal spots, oh how we love them!  It's important to see how a product performs throughout various skin days.

Some people might use a product once or twice and experience a 'breakout' but it is important to continue using the product for a while, as this mini-eruption might be the result of your skin being purged of impurities.  Basically the breakout could be the product doing it's job.   (If this is the case then the breakout should die down pretty quickly, but try to ride it out and DONT PICK!!)

Add to this the fact that the skin is constantly renewing itself.  A full skin renewal takes a different amount of days according to your age and health.  To see how a product REALLY performs you need to see how the skin is when it is made of cells which have only been subjected to the new product.

I have been a bit lax in explaining this and promoting the challenge recently but I am back on the case!  If you want to read more of my skincare posts then click on the 'Spot and Skincare Resources' button at the top of this page!

For the last 30 days I have been trying Origins Perfect World Moisturiser.

Antioxidant moisturiser containing White Tea

Verdict: This product smells nice, but it is a bit too thick for my skin.  I found it didn't sink in very well, and actually made my skin a bit oily.  Worst still it affected anything I put over it, so my foundation ended up looking patchy and disappeared into the oil completely on some days :( I experience a few spots but I think this was a combination of things and the moisturiser just magnified it rather than actually causing them in the first place.

I wont be using this again for day time if I can help it, but might use it in the evening if I am in need of a bit of a moisture boost pre bedtime- but only because I don't like to waste things.

If you have oily combination or oily skin like me then I don't recommend this product.  If you have dry or older skin then you will probably be ok with it.  Thankfully I did not purchase this product; it was a generous sample from the counter when I purchased something else.  To be fair to Origins, the assistant did say she thought it would be too heavy for my skin, but that it was worth trying as it was free.

This hasn't put me off Origins.  I quite like the brand as it does not test on animals and is free from a lot of nasty products (parabes, mineral oils etc)  I just know that this product is not for me right now.  The full sized tub retails for £32  and you can view it online at Debenhams.

On to the next phase of the 30 Day Skin Challenge!

And in other news: 
I have updated my fashion blog and need your help!  Have you ever wondered how tall other bloggers are?  If something they are wearing will fit you? Want to steal someone's style or chat about which brands cater for you?  Well I now have a Blogger Height Wall on 5 foot 10!  See who else is your height!  If you want to be added then just leave your name, URL and height on THIS POST!  The more people there are on there, the better it will work, so please spread the word.

The bad news is I have a nasty cold. Currently working my way through a box of tissues, echinacea, multivitamins, orange juice, honey and lemon, nurofen... if you have any bits of advice then please feel free to leave them- or just leave sympathy!

Have you tried this product or brand?  How long do you try your products for before ditching them?  Have you succumbed to your first cold of 2012 yet?

Monday, 16 January 2012

Fairy Hobmother is here to grant wishes!

The Fairy Hobmother heard I was in need of a boost and decided to pay me a visit and cheer me up by granting a couple of wishes!  Firstly she heard that I was in need of some books (as I blogged about needing book recommendations), and she also knows that I am reorganising / detoxing my life and need a few stationery bits and bobs including an agenda!  She lived up to her name and granted me a little wish.  January can be a bit of a sluggish month so this has really boosted me.

Currently half way through 'In Her Shoes'.  Liked the film and now reading the book :)

The Fairy Hobmother is a domestic goddess, sprinkling showers of helping wishes wherever she goes.  She brings wondrous machines from her homeland such as kettles, dishwashers (magic machines!) or the best washing machine (which is very useful on a bright sunny drying day like today)!  She also grants smaller wishes which are just as magical!

If you are in need of some fairy magic then I suggest cross your fingers and make make a wish (or 3!) in the comments below!  Visit her homeland and then leave a link below to the gadget magic you are in need of! OR If you have a none gadgety wish (like my books!) then why not pop that below too? You can but ask!  You don't have to be a blog follower, but it's nice if you are :)

Thank you Fairy Hobmother for my gifts :)

P.s. Don't forget to check my recent posts to see if you won any of the first 6 prizes in my Christmas Giveaways!

Disclaimer: I received a gift and blogged my own unbiased words.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Vs Mat Lumiere: Initial thoughts

Chanel advert- classy and flawless.
Well I managed to get my mits on some of Chanel's latest foundation.  I blogged little while ago that my beloved Mat Lumiere was being discontinued for a new foundation (also links to my comparison of Mat and Pro Lumiere).  I wanted to try Perfection Lumiere because if it was not suitable then I would need to get a back up of Mat Lumiere- or start a dreaded hunt for a new foundation before my current bottle runs out.

Chanel brochure- packaging on right.
Perfection Lumiere is replacing Pro Lumiere (Pro L) and Mat Lumiere (ML).  That is a bold move for Chanel.  I found Pro Lumiere too illuminating (and not oily skin suitable :( - plus colour matching was rubbish).  Mat Lumiere is/was much more suitable on my oily combo skin, and the colour match was better but could look a bit dark on my paley pale skin.  It could also make me look a little grey in some lights (especially if I had a spot bruise/scar under my foundation :(.  However it was the best problem skin foundation I had tried to date.
After 8 hours.
Please excuse my brows in the picture above- they are in the horrible 'between threading sessions' stage!  Here is the foundation after 8 hours.  I am a little 'glowy' round the nose- which shares the honour of being one of my most oily patches, along with my chin.  Interestingly my chin is not looking too oily.  The camera flash might exaggerate the 'luminosity' slightly but a little powder will sort any excess oil.  Very impressed with the cheeks. (Daniel Sandler blush, Givenchy lips (both in my top 11 of 2011 post), Illamasqua eyes)

I have only used Perfection Lumiere (PL) for a couple of days.  The lovely MUA matched me and then gave me enough samples for a few days.  Here are my thoughts....

Close up of foundation on my skin.

  • Light formulations- sits lightly on the skin- doesn't feel like I have foundation on.
  • Slightly more liquidy than ML so it doesn't thicken so much when in contact with air.  The ML pump clogs so easily, but the formulation is thicker.  Chanel claims this one won't clog as much and from what I have seen so far, it hasn't clogged up at all.  Hopefully this will make application less of a game of dispense roulette!
  • Formulated for long wear.  ML seemed to last very well but was not specifically formulated or marketed as long wear.  PL *IS* specifically formulated and marketed for long wear so I hope it lasts longer than ML.  So far it has held up for at least 8 hours with no retouching.
  • Seems to work on oil combination skin!  It is a sort of powdery liquid so the finish is a little powdery.  This seems to absorb excess oil- although I haven't had a chance to use this on my really oily days yet.  I hope that use of a setting powder would be sufficient.
  • LOTS of shades!  If you want to see the full extent then I found THIS AMAZING SWATCH POST.  Chanel have tried to cater for skin with a red undertone, yellow undertone, peachy middle toned skin (which you don't want to emphasise the redness -this is me!) and darker toned skin.  This is a big improvement.  More on shades later.
  • Provide a build able coverage.  Want more coverage? Wait a minute for it to dry then apply more.
Shade swatches on my arm- more on this at the end of the post.

    • Price.  This is £36 for 30ml which is an increase on the prices of Mat Lumiere and Pro Lumiere (I think these were around £33).  I wish the price was more affordable. 
    • ML has a higher inbuilt SPF of 15.  PL only has SPF 10.  Something to keep an eye on if your daily sun exposure is likely to leave you needing higher protection.
    • Bottle is glass which, although looks aesthetically pleasing, is a bit heavy.  Part of me wishes they had gone with the vita-lumiere plastic packaging so it was lighter to carry around.  That said I guess it is not designed to be reapplied, so hopefully I wont have to carry it around with me.  Plus plastic bottles infuse dioxins into the product over time- which can cause cancer.  Hm I think Glass is ok actually!! PRO POINT!!
    • The product sets quite quickly so you need to work quickly.  Also if your skin is dry it will streak a little and absorb it quite quickly.  Make sure you hydrate/moisturise your skin before you apply.  Also don't dot all over your face before blending.  Target the product in one area and blend then move on.
    • The colour turns darker as it dries.  Sometimes a whole shade darker.  This means that you really need to try before you purchase, or you could end up with a colour you didn't bargain for!  The don't directly match previous ML and PL shades.
    • It does illuminate a little, so if you have uneven, bumpy skin or large pores then this might illuminate and draw attention to these areas.  Hopefully a good skincare/diet/cleansing regime and primer will help.  Not as illuminating as Pro L.  Also thankfully PL seems to photograph ok so far, so dreaded white sheen!!
    Although I love Mat Lumiere, sometimes it could look a bit thick, crackly and grey on my skin.  So far Perfection Lumiere matches my skin colour a little better, lasts well and doesn't make my skin feel clogged or dry.  It can still be thick, but I haven't noticed it as much as ML.  I have noticed PL on my skin a bit in certain lights, but as I am use to wearing foundations with more coverage this doesn't bother me too much.  If you are more used to less coverage (vita-lumiere aqua etc) then you might find this is a bit out of your comfort zone.
    Clockwise from top left. Perf L Beige 20, Mat Lumiere Clair 20, Perf L Beige Rose 22, Perf L Beige Rose 12
    Photo above taken as soon after applying.

    Colour References:
    I wear Clair 20 in Mat Lumiere and have been matched at Beige Rose 22 (Beige Rose is slightly lighter 12.  Clair 20 matched Perf L Beige 20 when B20 is in liquid form.  Obviously B20 dries a bit darker.  In Pro-Lumiere I was Limpide 10, but this was too dark for me.

    Photo of swatches as above, but after letting them dry for a minute.  Mat Lumiere is not fully dry towards the centre.
    Perfection Lumiere is avaiable online from a few places including House of Fraser, Harrods and Debenhams (when they get more stock).

    So there are my initial thoughts.  Although I have tested it over several days but I have had to have the colour ordered in.  This means I cant fully review the clogging bottle issue although the bottles looked ok when I saw them.  I will be posting my further thoughts on this product after a proper testing of over a month!

    Do you have this product.  What do you think of Chanel's foundations? Can you recommend any oily combination skin foundations?  Is this post useful?

    P.s. I have announced 6 winners so far of my Christmas Giveaways and none of them have got in touch.  Please have a look through the last 2 posts to see if it's you!!

    Friday, 13 January 2012

    Toxin Free for Energy! Life Detox! (Plus More Winners!)

    I tend to make resolutions in September.  Lighter days = more success!  In January I do make a few positive reflections.  Rather than "I'm going to give X, Y and Z up" I say "I'm going to (try and) do more of A,B and C".  If you think of giving things up, then you always end up feeling like you are missing something.  Putting a positive spin on things can really help.

    Yummy in my tummy. Detox isn't all about food though.....

    I did quite a large series of posts last year on lightening up my life through body, mind, foods and outlook- in fact I ended up winning an award for them :).  I set myself challenges for diet, exercise, de-cluttering and mind (if you want to read the last post with links to the goals I set myself then Click here).  In recent times these have perhaps fallen by the wayside a little (Christmas excess... well pre Christmas, then Christmas, then the bit in between Christmas and New Year which everyone thinks won't count, then New Year, then the rest after New Year...  then 'Christmas doesn't finish until 12th Night', then ......well I could go on and on, but the excess has to finish at some point before I end up on a Channel 5 documentary called "Britain's 99 Stone Horror Blogger" about a women trapped in a house of junk where she can't find her bed under all the rubbish, and is too fat to get out of bed, let alone have good cleansing facial beauty routine!!).

    Starting (or restarting) a habit can be the hardest thing but hopefully if you have been feeling as sluggish as me, then these tips will be some for you to steal.  Remember, what is inside of your body and mind (stress, diet, deficiency, disorganisation, lack of sleep etc) will show on the surface.  The clues are there!

    I need more energy, routine, organisation and detoxifying inside!

    Detoxify: Your Food!
    Water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is simple to make.  A great way to wake up and detoxify your kidneys in the morning.  This will help your skin and energy levels as the body will work better without toxins.  Don't sip it over hours through as the acid will affect your teeth- drink over 20 minutes and you should be fine.  No cheating with pre-squeezed shop juice in a bottle!!  It lacks fresh vitamins, plus juicing your own lemons will work out your arms!
    Classic detox juice!

    Add a tea spoon of flax-seeds to help cleanse your stomach.  (Why? Google it ;) ) Also keep your water intake up (around 1.5 litres a day) but did you know the body absorbs water better when it is in hydrating foods such as melon, cucumber etc?  Eating a diet rich in fresh juicy fruit and veg will keep your body hydrated.  A hydrated body is able to flush out toxins (literally!!) more efficiently, and put liquid towards blood production (which helps transport energy boosting nutrients and oxygen around the body.)  I have been trying to get back to 3 energy sustaining healthy meals a day, and less Christmas junk food snacking!
    Healthy skin diet- no not the book- don't eat the book. Read it!

    If you want more diet/body/skin help then I can recommend the Healthy Skin Diet (See my mini review here)

    Detoxify: Your Clutter!
    Stackers from London Clock at House of Fraser
    I picked these duck egg blue stackers boxes up in the House of Fraser sale for around £6-9 each.   They have 25 compartments for earrings and neatly stack on top of each other.

    Um... An empty box....
     I also purchased a larger one for bracelets.  These will protect my jewelry, but also leave it organised in a way which takes up little space, but allows me to quickly view and select pieces.  There are some of these left (click here) but you'll have to be quick- several designs sold out online as I was selecting these.
    Box now happily fulfilling it's purpose in life.

    I have also sorted through all my drawers, reorganised my wardrobe (item type, then colour!!) donated old or unloved items to recycle or charity.  This is a very therapeutic task!  There are a few items which were slightly too good to donate so I might put them up for grabs on here?

    Being organised makes for a better night's sleep.  It saves time, plus it helps keep your living space clean.  Clutter breeds dust which harbours germs and dust mites.  De-cluttering little and often is a good way to stay on top of things- however twice a year it is great to have a big clean and clearout!  If I am struggling to get motivated, I stick on a good upbeat tune tune ) and challenge myself to put 10 things away before I can do anything else- or tidy until the good tune has finished.  Dancing is optional although might help pick up your energy levels- or get a few weird looks through the window.

    Recent 'Tidy Detoxify Tunes' include;

    And the best song to inject a bit of sunshine into gloomy dark days

    Help keep germs and dust at bay by sleeping with your bedroom window open an inch.  I closed mine with the cold weather and storms, but I hope to keep my window open from now on!  This is also supposed to boost your immune system so if you are someone who is always catching colds, or waking up with a blocked nose, then this could be for you!

    Detoxify: Your fitness!
    I try to stay active but have let my cardio slip a bit recently.  A good walk is brilliant at blowing out the cobwebs, boosting circulation and improving your skin.  Back to two sessions a week for me! One thing which I have been getting to grips with is the Slendertone muscle toner belt.  It helps tone your muscles during day to day life.  Since Christmas and New Year have been so busy, it has been interesting to try and kill two birds with one stone as I have not had time to do my normal toning routine.  I like the idea of toning as I type, wash-up, watch tv... Does anyone else have one of these?  I might do a separate post on this?
    Helo nice flat, toned muscles!

    I have also been finding that doing yoga breathing in the mornings is really helping me to get my energy levels up.  The mornings are so dark that I find it hard to get going.  I can't wait for spring when I start feeling a bit more human!

    Detoxify: Your Sleep!
    Getting 8 hours of decent sleep makes such a difference inside and out.  After a period of late nights, late night tv and lie-ins, the best reset button is getting up at the same time every day- preferably just after 8 hours sleep.  Eat a good, sustaining breakfast, lunch and dinner and make sure you have had a little exercise in the day.  Also make sure you have at least 30 minutes of relaxation (sans tv/computer/phone) before your head hits the pillow.  A good book or bath should do the trick (my recent posts show that I am back to reading books!).  Free your sleeping space of stressful clutter, and free your mind of stressful sleep-disturbing thoughts (it can be helpful to write these down in an agenda/to do list).

    As for my alarm clock... I will be using the Sleep Cycle App more this year.  It monitors your sleeping patterns and wakes you up at a time in your sleep cycle where you are likely to feel less groggy.  I give it a 30 minute window and have found it to wake me up gently and efficiently.  Just pop your iPhone on flight mode (so a rogue text or call doesn't disturb your sleep!), turn the sound on, set the alarm and pop the phone face down in your bed.  I do set a back up alarm for five minutes after the 'wake up window' just in case :)  However, at 69p it's one of the best Apps I own.  Plus the alarm noises are very nice :)  If you don't wake up instantly, don't worry.  Sleep cycle will wait a few minutes then repeat the music, a little louder :)

    How do you detoxify?  Do you have any tips?  How do you store things?  Would you like more of these posts?  Can you recommend any fitness apps?  What are you motivational music tracks??

    P.S. The next three winners of Days 4-6 of my 12 days giveaway are 4) Ria 5) RosieHannahh 6) Victoria.  Please send me an email with the title Giveaway and the number.  Incidentally not one of the winners who was announced in the last post has sent me an email.  Perhaps if you know them you could tell them to get in touch?

    P.P.S. Outfit of the day post on today- or you can look at my hair :) Have been using the new Aussie shampoo :)
    Disclaimer: All products mentioned were purchased by me, apart from the slendertone which was sent for review.  As always this has no bearing on my posts.

    Sunday, 8 January 2012

    Top 11 of 2011 / Books / Winners!

    I was tagged by the lovely Liparazzi (Click here to see her post) to post my top 11 products of 2011.  I love Laura's blog.  She started blogging a little while before me, and found me fairly early on.  Her blog is one I regularly check and she has gorgeous taste and style- pop by and say hi!

    Choosing just 11 products is quite a mission, so I resulted in writing down products I reached for several times in a week- then when I reached 11 I cut off the list.  There are millions I discovered last year, but it's 11 products, not 35!

    TOP 11 of 2011!!! In no order.....

     1) Clarisonic: this has really helped deep clean my skin, loosening and preventing deep set dirt.  I use it most nights with a nice cleanser. (Review Here)

    2) Origins Check and Balances Cleanser: Frothy face wash- not foaming (foam just goes down the drain).  Doesnt leave my skin too dry, generally use with my Clarisonic.  (Review Here)
    (For a budget option, and a close runner up, Neutrogena 2 in 1 visibly clear face wash/mask.  Slight chalkier than Origins one, but does a good job for the £). (Review Here)

    3) Bioderma Crealine H2O: An amazing, gentle, oil free cleansing water (makeup remover).  No oil means less irritation, plus it doesn't leave a residue on my skin- or dry it out too much after use.  I hate it when remover leaves your skin 'tight' after use!  Also no panda eyes in the morning with this (if used properly!).  (Review Here)
    4) Alpha H Liquid Gold Intensive Night Repair Serum: Amazing. Just. Amazing.  My before and after photos speak for themselves.  (Review Here)

    5) Aromatherapy Associates Revive Gel:  Nourishes and tones skin, smells heavenly.  Helps fight cellulite, and wonderful after a bath.  I always get asked what I am wearing when I use this- and my mother has tried to steal it off me more than once!  Full Review coming soon but available.  Currently has £5 off at

    6) Aussie Mega instant conditioner: A very lightweight affordable creamy conditioner that really helps make my long (dry) ends manageable.  Also helps that it glides through hair very easily without having to be worked in too much (knotted hair nightmare)!  A close runner up is the Joico K-Pak reconstructor which I tend to reach for 1ce a week to do a longer treatment.  It's a thicker substance so I sometimes comb it through.  Joice is only available in selected salons/stockist (like amazon) but Aussie is available from Boots.

    7) Guerlain Kiss Kiss Strauss Rouge Broderie Lipstick:  I have been wearing this vanillary, moisturising lipstick lots throughout December.  It is just a fun colour.  It isn't  as bright as it looks in this picture but I have a few more pictures HERE

    Two close runners up were the Clinique Chubby Sticks, a sort of tinted balm- Graped up pictured (Review Here) and Max Factor Colour Elixir lipsticks (Review Here)

    8) Aveda Nourishmint Lipglaze:  A not-too-sticky (i.e. Long Hair Friendly!!) berry stain which has a slight minty taste.  Best of all Aveda is an ethical, eco-friendly company.  (Read more/ Review Here)

    9) Chanel: A bit of a cheat but I have loved their Illusions d'ombre shadows this last year (post plus links to more posts on my blog with them), plus Bronze universal (a brilliant build-able cream bronze which is perfect for pale skinned people like me!) and of of my beloved Mat Lumiere foundation (New post and links to review/comparisons Here, not that it matters too much because it is discontinued :( )

    10) Daniel Sandler Paach Puff blush:  Sadly discontinued but I did review it HERE.   I thought I should include a current product so I chose his Water-colour blush in spicey.  these blushes are long lasting, and value for money as a little goes a long way!  Read about my visit to at Daniel Sandler's makeup counter and this blush HERE.

    11) Avon Supershock Mascara: Slightly bashed from my handbag, but you can tell it is well used.  It is often on offer, and is very good value.  I thought I had done a review of this but I can't find it on this blog, so I must rectify this shortly.  It is on the avon website.

    Bonus product: This would be a picture of my Witch Skincare anti-blemish setting powder (Review HERE), but I have used mine up and it is never in store to repurchase!! That must be a good sign!  It it's place I have put the primer from this range.  If you are having an oily skin day then this is a great little primer.  I found it kept my makeup in place all day, which is no mean feat when I'm having oily days.  Also it helps fight spot causing bacteria rather than just add to the problem (that is assuming the spots are bacterial and not hormone/diet/other related).  Review Here.

    Quite a lot has happened on the blog over the year but if you want cute then it has to be this beaver video clip. 

    2011 had a really tought start but has been an interesting year.  I have managed to travel a bit more, attend some fantastic launches.  I hope that 2012 will prove to be an exciting year for all of us!

    I TAG....
    I think a lot of people will have done this sort of post, however in the spirit of 'tagging' I tag Liz, Laura, Aleksis, Holly, Lauren Loves, Lauren to herself.  Don't worry if you have done something like this already in the time it has taken me to post this!
    I also tag all of YOU! Don't forget to post a link below so I know to see what products you discovered and loved last year!

    Other news:

    I *may* have sales hauled. (Expect a post shortly!!)

    First three winners of my 12 days giveaway:
    Stefanie Gladden
    Hannah (Which way to wonderland)

    I will announce more winners in the next post, just so I can keep on top of it.  I still have some prizes left over so I will be giving these away weekly :)  If your name is there please send me an email with the title 12 days giveaway.  Well done!

    I just finished reading Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde.  It was quite sweet, a light read but also something to get my teeth into.  A tale of a nice independent twenty something who buys a cottage to renovate- of course there also turns out to be a flashy, rich but clinical city boy type and a shouty at first (but all in a misunderstood, hunky, caring way) guy who gets into the mix...- oh and a greyhound rescue dog or two.  All quite sweet, motivating and uplifting- pure escapism!  A nice read if you want something light, friendly, but with a little drama!  I bought this from a charity bookshop last summer (hence the extortionate £1.50 price ticket!!) to read on the plane........ and promptly forgot to take it with me.  Christmas provided a little time to remove this from the shelf and start reading.   It will now go back the the charity and hopefully find a new home.

    What have you been reading?  Any recommendations?

    Don't forget the tag!! 

    How is your 2012 shaping up so far? 

    Sunday, 1 January 2012

    Mega Christmas News Post!

    Christmas has been a blur and so I am a little out of sync with my posts.  I have lumped lots of things into this post to make up for it!  I thought I would start by sharing some of the things I was given for Christmas.  This is not everything but some of the things were not relevant to share (or share on this blog).  I am very grateful for any gifts received, but do not want to endorse saying gifts are essential for a great Christmas.  For many people Christmas is a tough time with no present or family to see.  I never forget that.

    Just before Christmas I volunteered to help at an event for old people who are on their own at Christmas.  I gave up my day, missed some tv and socialising time and made about 200 cups of tea in a tiny, boiling hot kitchen.  At the end of the afternoon I was told that an old gentleman had turned up.  Nothing out of the ordinary you say, yet this guy lived on his own and rarely left the house.  No-one really new him, yet he had come along on his own, drunk (my) tea and eaten cake and left with a doggy bag of food, a smile and lots of new friends.  That is what Christmas is about.

    As stated in my last post, I did a chunk of my gift shopping in charity shops.  Obviously gifts are appropriate and not rubbish (normally books, DVDs and gift range items).  It's something my family has always done in order to support those who are in need of a helping hand- it's the gift that gives twice.  Also it helps pennies stretch a little bit further- maybe leaving some extra for that special new shop bought gift.  I know that not everyone will share that sentiment, but that's just me :)

    So here are a few of the gifts I received from friends and family.

    Of course this is a gift so I'm not going to look up prices but if you want to read up on this mirror then check out

    No 7 makeup mirror (with a magnifying side and a light!)... so I can see my spots and magnify them :) (Only joking).  Something I have wanted for a while but not splurged out.  I think this will be going on a large chest of drawers, as I am having a shuffle of furniture.

    Burt's Bees set.  I have tried one Burt's Bee's product before so this is a new venture (click here to see the post on the other product).  This range is organic and cruelty free :) Have you used any of these products?

    L'occitane eau de toilette Verbena.  Smells like Lemon sweets.  Another organic and environmentally conscious brand.

    Bottom Left Brule, Right Brun, Top All That Glitters

    Mac shadows in Brule, Brun and All that Glitters.  ATG has always been out of stock when I have tried to buy it.  I will depot these (see my tutorial here) and put them into my palettes and do a few comparison posts if you'd like?

    Lush Ballistic Fizz Banger!  Smells like toffee apple.  I think I have OD'd on sugar as I can't face using it at the moment.  That and the fact I have quite a bit of birthday, gift and sale Lush still to use....(If you hate lush, please avert your eyes from the following photo)

    Urban Decay Primer potion in the new packaging- well I know it's not 'new' having been released several months ago, but it's new to me.  I still have some in the old packaging (which gets 9 out of 10 for cute genie bottle design but 3 out of 10 for practically).  I'll see how I get on with this!  It's the best eye primer I have used to date (perfect if you have oily lids like me).


    Taken with my phone, so its a bit dull without the flash.  Think a bit brighter!  I have been wearing my Guerlain Kiss Kiss Strauss lipstick in 321 Rouge Broderie a LOT this festive period.  It seems to be the perfect bright-without-being-too-bright, but with a slight pinky sparkle.  Heavy gold luxurious packaging plus a delicate vanilla (?) scent.  Perfect day or evening lipstick.  (I hope that it's permanent as I see myself repurchasing it. Anyone know?)

    Guerlain Gold Packaging.

    Rouge Broderie
    I teamed this with my Chanel Mat Lumiere foundation (shade 20 applied with a kabuki), Mac Studio Sculpt Concealer (thick coverage to go over a few spots- thanks festive foods!!- Shade NW20), Elf blush in Mellow Mauve (or Meilow Mauve as mine says- I think this was a manufacturer error!).  Then I applied Chanel Epatant illusion d'ombre eyeshadow (post) (these easy to apply shadows have seen me through Christmas and New Year) and a tiny dose of Urban Decay Zero black eye pencil.

    The colour can be built up on application.

    My earrings are from Accessorize (Gold leaf skeleton earrings featured HERE). Sadly last season.  I've found some similar ones on Etsy HERE.
    Necklaces: Lorraine Chain in Rose Gold (Let me know if you want links), Kit Heath Necklace plus personal charms.

    Zara Royal blue dress and a blue cardigan with rose gold hearts (clothes show purchase).  Will probably appear on my fashion blog shortly :)

    Of course I did hit the sales after Christmas day- but only from the comfort of my computer screen!  I do have a few things to share with you, but I'll probably go into more detail on my fashion blog 5 foot 10 as not everyone is going to want to see lots of pictures here :)  I did pick up so functional and cute jewelry storage.


    Thanks so all of you who have entered the Computergirl's 12 days of Christmas Giveaways (I am well aware that the proper 12 days are from Christmas until Epiphany on January 6th :) So seeing as it is still Christmas I will keep the giveaways open for a little longer ;) I still have LOTS of prizes left so I think I am going to do one giveaway a week for the next 12 weeks.  Is that a good idea???

    Other posts coming very soon: My Top 11 products of 2011!  Sales shopping posts! NYE makeup!

    I hope you have had a lovely Christmas and New Year, however you choose to celebrate.  I tend to make my resolutions in September as there is more chance of setting up habits in the warmer, sunnier days.  I will be making a few plans of things I was to do, places I want to go, people I want to see in 2012.

    Thank you to all of you for supporting my blog this year!  Here is to 2012 (the year Computergirl's Musings turns 3 and the UK goes Olympics mad)!

    How was your Christmas 2011?  Have you made any resolutions?  Did you receive any special presents?  What was the best present you gave?

    Other posts you might like.....

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