Friday, 31 January 2014

Huge Haul: Laura Mercier, Korres, Bobbi Brown, Real Techniques, Jewellery, Aromatherapy Associates......

I'm not sure how it happened but I appear to have purchased a lot of makeup, body care and accessories in the last month.  I asked on twitter if people still read haul posts, or if I should skip that and just do reviews... the reply Haul Posts!  So here is a 'I'm not bragging, I just work hard and bought a few things' post.  (I did find a few good sales!)

A whole load of Laura Mercier, Real Techniques, Korres, Origins, Bobbi Brown.. and more
I didn't purchase all of this at the same time, but things kept falling into my shopping basket.  I kept adding them to the 'blog' pile and before I knew it..... I'll do this as a list, and if you want more details, just comment and I will do a more specific post. Starting at the top left in, we have;
  • Vintage print top; Dorothy Perkins (posted about it on my Fashion and Lifestyle blog 5 foot 10 (link)
  • Laura Mercier Body SouflĂ© Sampler Set
  • Laura Mercier Luxe Colour Wardrobe makeup palette
  • (Second row) Origins Best Brighteners Kit (Free when I purchased Origins Spot Remover, which I forgot to photograph, but reviewed here)
  • Bobbi Brown Date Night Palette (Reviewed here)
  • Laura Mercier Mini Lip Glaze Collection
  • Antique blue broach (will post more on this on my fashion blog)
  • Vintage-esque heart necklace and statement necklace (post here)
  • Dolly mixture notebook
  • (Third row) Butterfly notebook
  • Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
  • Korres Wild Rose Exfoliating Cleaner (purchased from a closing down sale link)
But wait, there is more....

Plus Aromatherapy Associates Revive and Renew Gel

I also repurchased Aromatherapy Associates Revive gel, and decided to try the renew gel at the same time.  I have done a review on this product but the blog has closed/moved so I think I will have to republish the review here.  The Revive gel is amazing so I hope the Renew gel lives up to the same standard.

Shiny pretty glosses and jewels.
I think I might be on a spending ban for February, after I have bought some new shoes, a handbag, oh and I need a new eyebrow pencil.  I say need....

If you want reviews or thoughts on anything, just let me know :)  Have you found some any great bargains recently?

Friday, 10 January 2014

Bioderma £3.50, Becca, Korres, Rouge Bunny Rouge for silly prices

I came across a few good sales today.  If you have always wanted to try Bioderma Crealine H20 then I found it today in a small bottle for £3.50 in the UK from a reputable seller (link).  Trying new products can be scary so sometimes smaller sizes are a safer bet. (I have posted several times on Bioderma so just type Bioderma in my blog's search bar or click here to read my review post (and see the best method to remove eye makeup)).  I love micellar waters for removing the first layer of makeup before I do a second (and deep) cleanse to remove all the makeup and dirt which has worked into my skin throughout the day.  I also find it soothing round the eye area when removing mascara.

I visited Zuneta's sale earlier today too.  They were bought out by LoveLula and all the Zuneta stock is being sold off for stupid prices on Amazon.  Items by Becca, Rouge Bunny Rouge, Edward Bess, Korres, Le Metier de Beaute, paperself, Butter London....  I may have purchased an Edward Bess blush and Korres Wild Rose Exfoliating Cleanser (for £7!)   (Link)  I have not tried Korres before so it is a first for me :)

As I'm mentioning sales, I have been visiting the SpaceNK sales where I managed to pick up a *cough* few Laura Mericier items (link).  They recently added more lines to the sale so I picked up some Aromatherapy Associates items (I love this brand).  It is worth checking there regularly for extra items and returns.  I have picked up items that I know I will use throughout the year, so it is more on an investment.

I will, of course, be posting on the sale items in due course!  In the meantime why not read about an amazing spot zapper (link),  or diet (link) or one of the other January posts on the blog :)

Have you bought anything in the sales so far?

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Project Clear Skin: Origins Super Spot Remover

My mission for many years has been to get clear, healthy looking skin.  Waving spots 'goodbye' is part of that mission.  This tiny bottle packs a punch.  The clear gel goes a long way.  I think I have had my bottle for around 6 months and it is still 3/4 full.  The gel dries clear so you can pop it on and forget about it- unlike some other spot treatments I have used when you end up looking like you have a strange ailment when you apply weird coloured creams in dots on your face.  With most other treatments I have ended up having to forgo them in the daytime.

Origins Super Spot Remover 10ml bottle
If I have been going out then I let the Origins gel dry and apply a light layer of creamy concealer over the top, safe in the knowledge that this gel will be working fast to reduce pimple redness and size.

It has a faint smell of antiseptic or alcohol, which I don't mind as these types of ingredients normally mean that the product will kill spot causing bacteria and dry (shrink) any pimples.

The gel is light and dries fairly quickly.
On one or two occasions, I popped this bottle in my handbag to reapply throughout the day.  It has never made spots magically vanish in a day- however it has helped reduce inflammation.  I had this product recommended to me by so many MUAs and bloggers that I knew I had to give it a go.  It's easy to see why it is amongst the bestsellers at Origins.

Made using wind power and hydro power.

On the whole, I like the brand and have mentioned it a few times on the blog.  I have tried several products in the range (and have a few that I regularly repurchase).  They try to be environmentally conscious and use natural ingredients.

Origins Super Spot Remover cost £14.  I picked mine up from House of Fraser as there was a deal on.  I think they had a deal at John Lewis the other week so it is worth keeping an eye on the range.

Have you tried Origins Super Spot Remover?  What spot treatments do you use?  Any Origins recommendations?

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Chews-day: 5:2 diet- its not for girls.

This is the first in a series of posts on diets and food!  5:2, intermittent fasting, IF, The Fast Diet- it has many names but they all stand for the same regime.  For 2 days each week you reduce your calorie intake drastically, while maintaining a 'normal' diet for the other 5.  These 2 days must not be back to back.  To put it into perspective, men are normally advised to eat 2400 calories while women, being generally smaller, are advised to take around 2000 calories.  On the 2 fast days men are advised to take 600 while women are told to eat 500.  This could equate to 2 very small meals i.e. a couple of eggs for breakfast and a small piece of fish with a few vegetables for lunch or dinner.  It is NOT recommended for under 18s, pregnant or breastfeeding ladies, those trying to become pregnant, type 1 diabetics, anyone already underweight.  You should always consult your doctor before making radical lifestyle changes.
Photo taken from the diet website link

I saw, yet another, article on 5:2 in a magazine today.  This magazine was aimed at young women.  This saddened me as I don't think 5:2 is something women should enter in to without doing research.  Certainly not young, young women.

The point of this diet is that, in the western world, we are able to get food (and unhealthy refined foods) at any point.  Our bodies normally regenerate when hungry, but this function has been slightly tampered with in modern world.  Therefore 'controlled starving' yourself kick starts the brain into survival mode.  It's a diet that reprogrammed the body- starting with the brain.  It is supposed to have benefits for blood pressure, fighting Alzheimer's, reducing fats stored in the body and much more
One recipe off my blog a while back... woops!

It has become popular mainly duet to several instagram/twitter pictures of fat men who have 6-packs after taking part in the diet.  Most seem to say they *just* did 5:2.  Sound good? Hold your horses... there are a few things you might want to think about.  Especially if you are a girl....

  • There have only been a few legitimate clinical tests.  More importantly these tests have only used a few people- mostly MEN.  They are attempting to source more results through wider test cases. 

  • While there are some very promising results from initial test subjects, there are been no long term studies into the effects of 5:2.  How does it affect your health long term?  Do you need to keep this diet up for life?
  • Worryingly initial indications seem to be towards the improvement of men's health, with little attention paid to women.  
  • With a little digging I found that women could have quite serious side affects from the 5:2 diet- including loss of fertility, hair loss, thinning of nails, dullness of skin, terrible mood swings, insomnia and disturbed sleep patterns...
  • (Incidentally disturbed sleep and insomnia carry their own risks but that is a different post!)
  • Those that claim to have reduced clothing size and cultivate a 6-pack without doing ANY exercise (and just 5:2) are probably lying and have had to Photoshop their Pinocchio noses back to normal size on the photographs.  Diet and exercise work together.  There is no quick (and lazy) fix. 

Upon reading further into this diet, it appears that, if you are female then this type of diet could make your body shutdown and conserve resources.  This is what happens to those with eating disorders as their bodies.  As food and nutrients are withheld, the body stops non-vital functions (periods, making nice glossy hair, making strong nails etc) in order to maintain essential functions for as long as possible.  Men's bodies are programmed to fight and put up with periods of low food as they 'go out hunting and gathering'.  Lets face it, most men go bald anyway and they don't carry babies so they don't have as much to loose!  Women's bodies do a lot, and the outside reflects what is going on internally.  Some sports coaches love this diet for their athletes and I can see how it could hold many benefits depending on your goals.
Marzipan fruit is healthy, right...? It is fruit after all ;)

I'm not saying this diet definitely doesn't work.  I'm not saying it does work.  I'm saying that if you are a woman and hoping to have kids one day, then it's worthwhile doing some research.  If you are beyond kids then this probably wont matter as much but it is still worth researching.  In all cases, it is worth talking to your doctor and monitoring your health very closely.  Please don't take magazine health at face value and find yourself with health issues later on.

I wont be taking part in the 5:2 diet.  I might be sticking my neck out here, but I don't think it is something I will ever do.  (I'm not afraid to eat my words!) Personally I'd rather eat healthily and in a controlled way, than drastically yo-yo between eating lots for 5 days and eating minuscule amounts on 2 days.  I've always been told to 'eat breakfast like a king, lunch like Prince and evening meal like a pauper' i.e. a large breakfast, medium lunch and small evening meal.

For more information, please visit the NHS (link), the 5:2 website (link) or just visit plain old Google and ask it about female 5:2 experience and test cases.

Are you doing 5:2?  Do you know anyone who is talking part?  Do you eat large meals or small ones?  Are diets and good or bad idea.  I'd love to know your thoughts :)

Monday, 6 January 2014

Motivational Monday: Summer

This year I wanted to approach a few new themes on the blog.  One being Motivational Monday.  Ideally I'd like to do every Monday, but at this stage I am going to say that the first Monday in each month I will dedicate this blog to motivation and inspiration in some way.  If I am able I will do some more Mondays along the way.  The first Motivational Monday is dedicated to....  Summer.

It's been really rainy, dark, grey, miserable weather recently and my mind is focused on longer, lighter days.  Thank goodness we are over the shortest day in the UK.  I hate getting up in the dark.  I'm longing for blue skies, sunshine, warm breezes, wild flowers, butterflies, holidays in hotter places....

Blue Skies and Beaches
Italian coast
Mediterranean holidays
Bluebells in the English countryside.

Bright yellow daffodils

What motivates you on grey, dark, miserable winter days?

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Sunday Service: Mean Girls and Giveaways!

A round up of recent events, discoveries and random other things.

Well we are into week 1 of 2014.  13 weeks till British summertime begins.  My hands are so cold as I sit at the computer that I am considering wearing gloves.  Seriously!  I can't wait for warmer weather.  I think somewhere inside me is a Mediterranean person who somehow got sent to the wrong country when lives were being handed out!

I have to say that I am liking writing 2014.  I don't have anything against 2013, but the number somehow always looked untidy when I wrote it.

So Fetch!
I've just finished watching Mean Girls (for the billionth time).  I really like this film as it has an edge to it.  It's not your typical chick flick in many ways though I think most people can identify with feeling that everyone is in a 'group' at school and most other groups seem perfect...... only they aren't.  We tend to see them as perfect but actually we are all the same.  Beautifully flawed!

Lindsay Lohan looked so pretty and fresh faced in the film (especially at the beginning pre-plastic makeover).  I still can't quite believe that she is the same girl below....

Lindsay Lohan...

This week on the blog
I welcomed in the new year by declaring my non new years resolutions, I also gave you a little peak of some of my Christmas presents, as well as showing you a a naughty pre-Christmas Bobbi Brown purchase.  We also chatted about Mac bestsellers of 2013 (I think I guessed 3 or 4 items on the list so I hope you did better than me!)

I have been having a clear out over Christmas and I have a few things that need were set aside for a giveaway.  In previous years I have run giveaways over Christmas, but things were so manic that I called it quits and thought I would host them this year.  Please stay tuned as this bag is full of prizes!  The first one should be up this week.

Big bag full of prizes!
What have you been up to this week?  Have you done a presents post? (Please link me in the comments!)  Are you a 'Mean Girls' fan?

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Haul: Bobbi Brown Date Night Palette

Bobbi Brown Date Night Palette
After loosing another lipstick into the abyss of my handbag I hit on the idea that a small makeup palette would solve all my problems (well, if one is to procrastinate, then shopping and makeup are a good combination).  I wanted a small palette that I could easily locate in my bag.  I do try carrying my daily essentials with me, however I'm hopeless and end up carting about too many items.  The Bobbi Brown Everyday Pretty Palette from the 2013 Holiday Collection seemed like the answer, alas it was out of stock everywhere.  I had to settle on the Date Night Palette, which I located at Actually there is a good tip there- lots of the counters and department stores online tend to sell out of items first due to promotion points and accessibility.  However it is well worth looking at the actual brand site as they might have LE items in stock.

I wanted a simple, classic look rather than a large palette with items I wont use.  This is about the size of a credit card (but obviously a bit thicker).  The idea is that you can get a day look out of the palette, but transform to an evening look too.  I can safely say I will use everything, although I would have preferred a lip or eye pencil rather than the gloss.  The darker eyeshadow (Caviar) is quite pigmented where as you can blend and build the highlight (Ivory) and shimmer (Storm Cloud) shade.

Inside: Two lipsticks, a gloss and 3 shadows.

Six items swatched
L- R
Diamond pink gloss
Sandwash pink Lipstick (link)
Berry Punch Lipstick (A gorgeous pink fuchsia colour)
Eyeshadow in Caviar (dark brown) (link)
Eyeshadow in Storm Cloud (grey purple with shimmer)
Eyeshadow in Ivory (off white highlight) (Link)

Link to palette on BB site
 I have linked the item where I can, but I think some of the products were LE for this palette.
Free sample ahoy: Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream.  It's quite thick...
Bobbi Brown gave me a free sample with my purchase.  I chose the extra repair eye cream, but if I had spent a little more I could have had 2 samples, including a brush... As it was pre-Christmas I was a good girl and just picked up one item.  I haven't tried the eye cream enough times to give you my thoughts, but it is thick and doesn't have a weird smell. 

I think this palette was £24 which seemed like a reasonable price for 6 items (especially when the full sized versions seem to cost around £15-20 each).  If you want these palettes, do check the counters for returns or try good old ebay link.  (At the time of writing there is one up there for £12 though it is worth checking for the everyday palette and the date night palette.  (If you want to chance it then QVC have a waiting list for this item, and they also listed it wrongly (link and link)!

Have you tried any of these items?  What do you think of Bobbi Brown's makeup range?  Handbag palettes- Yes or No?

Friday, 3 January 2014

MAC Bestsellers 2013

Mac released a list of their bestselling products from 2013.  I tried to tot up a few 'must-haves' in my mind before reading the list and managed to guess a few.  Some were a surprise.  I have put the list in after the picture, just in case you want to play along and have a guess before you read the list.  (I know this will be really tough, but no peaking at the list before you make your guesses!)

I know you are itching to find out what the products are.  (Humour me).  Here are the top 11 best selling products.  I was a bit surprised RiRi Woo wasn't in there (after the mass hysteria that made it sell out in seconds....)

Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick
Painterly Paint Pot
Blacktrack Fluidline
Haute & Naughty Lash
Refined Golden Bronzing Powder
Viva Glam I Lipstick
Graphblack Technakohl Liner
Russian Red Lipstick

I haven't tried all the items on the list, but I have a few of them in my collection.  Russian Red lipstick is one I'm not brave enough for, and I don't have Viva Glam I (but I do have Viva Glam IV and VI and I do like the range).  Fix + and Blacktrack are staples for me and ones I've repurchased.  I think there are few other Mac items I'd add to my staples list, but I think that is a different post.  I'm not sure about the 217 blending brush.  I know everyone raves about it, but I know you can buy similar brushes for a fraction of the price, so I haven't invested in many MAC brushes.

Have you purchased any of MAC's bestselling items from their 2013 list?  Cant you recommend (or dispute) any of the items on their list?  Would you like more MAC posts, or are we all over lusting MAC makeup?

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Christmas 2013: A tiny peak at presents

After a lot of hard work this year, I was more than ready for a break.  I don't have a lot to report about Christmas 2013 (though instagram (@computergirl200) followers will have seen a few Christmas snaps already).  I got to my break and indulged in lots of sleeping, eating and watching tv.  I saw a few friends and family, but mostly hibernated like a mouse in a nest.  I am more than OK with that!!  We did a jigsaw, ate lots of turkey, watched David Walliams' 'Gangsta Granny' (very funny and perfect Christmas watching), Dr. Who (welcome to the new doctor!), Hairspray (for the first time), Singing in the Rain (love old Hollywood glamour) and a whole bunch of other things that evoked a nice warm feeling inside.
I am Malia Book, cute stationery supplies, panda bear socks, bed socks and bath bombs.
I was given a few lovely gifts.  I'm always aware that many people have nothing and this year the British weather left many people without heating, electricity or (in some of the worse cases) a flooded home.  In the run up to Christmas I always try to do a portion of my shopping in charity shops- be it second hand books or brand new gifts that the shops market.  They are the gifts that give twice.  So here is the disclaimer: I am not bragging, these are just a few things that I have chosen to share because my blog is about sharing.  I am very grateful for every gift and appreciate them.
David Tennant as Hamlet.
 A few year back, I had to study Hamlet, so I will be interested to see this adaptation.  It has David Tennant in it... so if I get board of Shakespeare I can just watch Mr. Tennant......
Marzipan Fruits.  Almost too pretty to eat.  Almost....
I do love marzipan fruits.  There is a bit of a running joke in the family regarding marzipan fruits due to someone eating all of mine up one year....  This year these are all mine... mine I tell you!  I kid myself that these are healthy due to being made of two healthy and natural products: honey and almonds.  This means I can eat as many as I like... right?

There were a few makeup items and sales purchases... but I'll leave those for separate reviews...

Have you done a 'what I got for Christmas' post?  I love reading them so link me below :)  Has anyone seen the Hamlet DVD or read Malia's book?  What are your sweets of choice at Christmas

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

My Non New Years Resolution

Firstly 'Happy New Year' (and 'Happy Christmas' while we are at it!)  Im not sure where it all went, but I hope you had a lovely break.  If you have been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I don't make January resolutions.  Why?  I can't think of a worse time to try and start some thing new.  It's dark, cold, horrible weather and I feel sluggish, sleepy and totally unmotivated!  Instead I tend to make my resolutions in the spring/summer (or September with the start of a new academic year).  I find the longer days and lighter weather really help to spur me on and, by the time the winter is if full force, my habits are firmly set and harder to break.
Looking forward to light, sunny, spring days.....
 That said, I do need to shake up my skincare routine and diet.  It has been neglected recently and the effects are showing through!  I look bloated, permanently tired (with huge bags under my eyes), and my skin is flaky.  Now we are over Christmas Day and New Years Eve, I promised myself that I would stop stuffing myself with loads of rubbish, drink more water and get back on the healthy healthier path.  Everything in moderation, as they say.  So those are my current non-resolutions.
Butterflies mean change although we don't see them until spring!

Do you make new years resolutions?  How do you motivate yourself to stick to them?  What are your resolutions this year?

Coming up on the blog in 2014: Christmas breakdown, Sales shopping, My makeup collection and much more.

Other posts you might like.....

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