It ain't necessarily so

Saturday, 26 February 2011

While I know that it's perfectly normal for bloggers to post photos of themselves on their blogs (indeed, a lot of blogs are made up solely of photos of the blogger), those of you who are regular readers may have noticed that I very rarely do this. This isn't because I'm particularly self-conscious; I just feel that there's more interesting things for me to write about than 'what I wore today'. That's not to say that I don't like seeing what other people wore (those of you who do post photos of yourselves, please don't see this as a criticism, because it's really not!) - there are loads of bloggers whose outfit posts I love reading - Gem, Fritha, Emma plus tons more, but, quite frankly, I just don't think that inundating you all with photos of me would make this blog a more interesting read.

I do think though, that outfit photos can be a big contributing factor to blogs becoming successful. I guess what it comes down to is that we're all a bit nosey - we like to see what other girls our age are wearing and where they shop etc. Plus, personal style blogs can be great inspiration; I can't tell you how many times I've seen items on other blogs and then gone out and bought them myself. I can't help but wonder if my blog would be more popular if I posted outfit photos? I'd be interested to know what other people thought about this; those of you who do write blogs, how do you feel about outfit or 'face of the day' photos? Do you do it? And when you're reading other blogs, do you like seeing lots of outfit/FOTD posts? Let's get a discussion going on this one!

The reason I've been thinking about all this is because today, shock HORROR, I am posting a photo of myself! Foundation-free-February is coming to an end, and while Dani has done quite a few posts on how it's going and what she's been doing to makeup-wise to combat the lack of foundation, I feel like I've not really embraced the challenge as much as she has. So, without further ado, here is my foundation-free face;

(still in my pyjamas)

This is the makeup I wear daily - lots of mascara and eyeliner, some concealer and highlighter under my eyes, a bit of blusher and bronzer and (I think) Rose Vaseline. I've never really had particularly problematic skin; I do get the occasional blemish and have a big patch of blocked pores around my chin that I just can't shift (grrr), but apart from that, the main reason why I'd choose to wear foundation is to even out my skin tone - as you can see from the photo, I have quite a few freckles and a bit of sun damage here and there (probably from being a naughty sunbed user when I was a teenager). To be perfectly honest, I can't say I've noticed a great deal of difference in my skin since starting the challenge; the blocked pores are still there and I've currently got a spot on my cheek, so maybe this suggests that foundation isn't actually guilty of causing skin problems? Even so, I'm sure my skin has appreciated going without a daily layer of foundation for the past few weeks. Also, I haven't missed foundation much and I've kind of gotten used to not wearing it now, so I think I'll probably just stick with my new routine and not bother with it unless I really feel I need it. All in all, a positive outcome I'd say! Do you wear foundation daily? Reckon you could go without it? Try it, I dare you!

Slightly weird photo I know, but I completely forgot to photograph this nail art so this is the only image I have. You can't really see, but some of the leopard spots are actually different coloured rhinestones! I got really inspired by Selina's fabulous nails and bought some rhinestones, bows and flowers on eBay a little while back. They were from Hong Kong, so took over two weeks to arrive, but they're here now and I'm very excited! Expect lots more crazy nail art in the future, both here and on my nail art page!

You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man

Monday, 21 February 2011

I've probably said it before, but one of the main things I love about blogging is the community aspect. While it's pretty much impossible to read every single amazing blog that exists at the moment (there must be thousands), with lots of bloggers now doing 'Follow Friday'-type posts, linking to their favourite blogs, I'm constantly discovering previously unexplored blogs. I also love clicking on new commentor's and subscriber's profiles to see if they also write a blog (which they usually do, because, like I said, there are THOUSANDS of the little buggers!) and it was this nosey endearingly inquisitive habit that led me to discover Dayner's blog, which in turn, led me to her adorable jewellery store, Mozzypop, thus giving me something to write about in this here blog post! It's the circle of blogging and it moves us all... (cue lots of elephants, giraffes and Elton John)

There's a real trend at the moment for quirky, unusual jewellery and online stores such as Etsy and Folksy make it that bit easier to seek out really unique items that nobody else will have. However, as with anything, with more and more people jumping on the handmade jewellery bandwagon, (which, to be fair, sounds like quite a fun bandwagon... what exactly IS a bandwagon?!) I find that a lot of the jewellery on sites like Folksy is starting to look a bit samey; perhaps a lot of sellers use the same suppliers for their materials, or they just realise that certain things are more likely to sell than others, whatever the reason, while there are still oodles of fabulous items on there, there's also quite a bit of rubbish.

Thankfully, Mozzypop is NOT rubbish at all, oh no; Dayner's designs are super cute and unique! I love that Dayner clearly has a bit of a sweet tooth, as some of her designs feature goodies such as donuts, ice cream and even a gingerbread man. I am completely sold, as I would go so far as to say that I don't just have a sweet tooth, I have a whole mouth full of sweet teeth, yes indeedy. A watch made of donuts? Don't mind if I do!

Rainbow Donut charm watch bracelet with Swarovski Elements - £17

Gingerbread Man charm necklace with gumdrop buttons - £8

Ghostie ring with Swarovski Elements - £6

Ice Cream bowl and wafers silver plated ring - £5

See? Cute! What's also really cool about Mozzypop is that, because Dayner makes the little charms herself, a lot of the jewellery is customisable, so for example, you could request different colour combinations for the Gingerbread Man's buttons or the donuts. Plus, it's all really reasonably priced and delivery in the UK is free! What's not to like? As it's Pay Day on Friday, I've already prepared a fairly massive wishlist in my head (I can't help it!), but that Ghostie ring may have just jumped to the top of it - he's so flippin' cute and sparkly!

Have you visited Mozzypop yet? Has anything caught your eye?

Je voudrais s'il vous plaît - H&M

Friday, 18 February 2011

There is very rarely an occasion where I'll go into H&M and not want to buy something. Unlike Topshop, where I'll pick up something gorgeous but then feel my stomach turn as I read the price tag, H&M is home to fabulous, wearable fashion that is super affordable and, quite often, a lot cheaper than you'd expect. Take, for example, the blue dress above; super cute, could be worn in so many ways AND is only £14.99. FOURTEEN NINETY NINE! When I saw it in store a couple of weeks ago, I expected it to be around £30, and I reckon most people would be quite happy to pay that. I actually tried it on but decided to get a different dress instead (sadly couldn't justify buying both, despite the cheapness, as I'm still very much a pauper) but I do think it's lovely.

The tiny glimpses of sunshine we've had this week prompted me to start thinking about Summer, hence my slightly more colourful choices for this wish list. I realised that a large portion of my wardrobe is made up of black or dark colours, although this must be subconscious thing, as I don't necessarily prefer dark colours, I just seem to end up buying them. This will change; I want to be colourful and wear pink and look cheerful and girlie this Summer and there's not much doubt that I'll be end up with more than a few pieces that hail from H&M, so it seemed like a good idea to start picking some stuff out, even if it is only February.

What do people think of the H&M online store? I can't say I've really used it, as there's actually two H&M stores in Liverpool anyway, so I don't really need to shop online. It is quite good for a browse, although I do find the layout a bit confusing; it's not quite as straightforward as other online shops. Also, it's a bit weird, because when you click on an item, it doesn't take you to a specific product page, it just opens up a viewing window thing (I'm very good at technical-speak, aren't I?) so I can't actually link to each item like I did with my New Look wish list. I'll still list the items with prices, but if you actually want to look any of them up, you'll have to just visit and search them out yourself, sorry!

Donald Duck tee - £9.99 - also available with Garfield on it!

Chiffon tunic - £19.99 - available in powder and pink

Butterfly top - £7.99 - available in turquoise and powder pink

Tiered dress - £14.99 - available in bright blue and yellow

Lace up pumps - £7.99 - available in floral, leopard print, blue, white and black

Skirt - £14.99

Ring - £3.99 - available in black/gold and coral/silver

Are you an H&M fan (how could you not be?!) Bought anything good lately?

Happy Val Day, Sab

Monday, 14 February 2011

Yes, I'm a singleton, but my nails are supporting the cause anyway.


(and Happy Anniversary Mum and Dad! Yep, married on Valentine's Day, how gross romantic)

Hope you're all having a lovely day, whether or not you're loved up at the moment.

I saw these on Facebook today and they made me laugh so much, I thought I'd share them;

"Roses are red, violets are blue. I've got a gun, get in the van."

"Roses are red, violets are blue. I'm a schizophrenic and so am I."

The schizophrenic one makes me laugh every time I read it. Maybe I've just got a weird sense of humour...?

You're so vain

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Bleurgh, I'm still feeling ill and therefore very sorry for myself. My eyes are hurting! Why are my eyes hurting?! That can't be good, can it? Also, I've got glee rehearsal tonight and our monthly open mic on Saturday so I could really do with NOT being ill right now dammit!

Anyone got any quick-fix cold remedies? I've mainly been having lots of Lemsips (I actually really like the taste of them, is that weird?) and drinking lots of fluids etc, but seriously, if anyone's got any crazy concoctions that will cure me, please let me know. Ha, that's just reminded me, remember that episode of Keenan and Kel where they make a cold remedy that actually works but then they forget what they put in it so they can't make it again? Haha, I used to love that show...

Last week I realised that it was time for Vanity Fair's annual Hollywood Issue, which I love, because every year Annie Liebovitz shoots these incredible covers featuring some of the hottest and up-and-coming movie stars of the moment. I don't know why I find this so exciting; I'm not that bothered about "celebrities" overall, but I love films and there's something about getting all these hugely talented actors in a room together, dressing them in fabulous clothes and creating gorgeous images that I just think is really cool and exciting.

This year's cover wasn't shot by Liebovitz, but by Norman Jean Roy - not really sure why, but there you go. It features Anne Hathaway, Ryan Reynolds, James Franco and Jake Gyllenhaal on the main cover and then the inside panels (they always have a folded part with the rest of the photo) feature Mila Kunis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Andrew Garfield and lots of other shiny, beautiful types. The Hollywood Issue has been running since 1995 and it's really interesting looking back through them, as the general idea is that the photos feature actors who Vanity Fair have selected as the "next big thing". For the most part, they get it very, very right, but every now and then, you spot someone in a photo and think "who the HELL is that?!" I thought I'd select some of my favourite covers from the last fifteen years and share them with you;

2011 - from left to right - Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, James Franco, Jennifer Lawrence, Anthony Mackie, Olivia Wilde, Jesse Eisenberg, Mila Kunis, Robert DuVall (randomly), Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Andrew Garfield, Rashida Jones, Garrett Hedlund, Noomi Rapace

1995 - (how awesome is this?!) Jennifer Jason Leigh, Uma Thurman, Nicole Kidman, Patricia Arquette, Linda Fiorentino (WHO?!), Gwyneth Paltrow, SJP, Julianne Moore, Angela Bassett, Sandra Bullock

1996 - Tim Roth, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Benicio Del Torro, Michael Rapaport, Stephen Dorff, Johnathon Schaech, David Arquette, Will Smith, Skeet Ulrich

1997 - Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslett, Claire Danes, Renee Zellweger, Alison Elliott, Jada Pinkett, Minnie Driver, Jennifer Lopez, Charlize Theron, Fairuza Balk

1999 - (this is one of my faves - they're so 90s and angsty-looking!) Adrien Brody, Thandie Newton, Monica Potter, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Stiles, Leelee Sobieski, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Polley, Norman Reedus, Anna Friel, Omar Epps, Kate Hudson, Vinessa Shaw, Barry Pepper

2002 - Kirsten Dunst, Kate Beckinsale, Jennifer Connelly, Rachel Weisz, Brittany Murphy, Selma Blair, Rosario Dawson, Christina Applegate, Naomi Watts

2003 - (hardly 'up and coming' stars at that time, but still a very cool cover!) Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson, Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Samuel L Jackson, Don Cheadle, Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Ewan McGregor, Matt Damon

2008 - Emily Blunt, Amy Adams, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Alice Braga, Ellen Page, Zoe Saldana, Elizabeth Banks, Ginnifer Goodwin, America Ferrera

2010 - Abbie Cornish, Kristen Stewart, Carey Mulligan, Amanda Seyfried, Rebecca Hall, Mia Wasikowska, Emma Stone (SEE, red hair suits her so much better than blonde!), Evan Rachel Wood, Anna Kendrick

Which is your favourite? To see a slideshow of all the covers up to 2008 (2009 didn't do a Hollywood cover and 2010 and 2011 aren't in the slideshow), visit the Vanity Fair site.

All images from Vanity Fair.

Bit o' this, bit o' that...

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

There I was, all smug because everyone around me was getting ill, going on about how my daily Effervescent Vitamin C Tablets have made me completely invincible, when suddenly I started feeling a bit grotty...
I'm not even THAT ill; just a bit snuffly/sore throat-y but I HATE it. Whoever the sneezey bastard was who gave me this cold, know this, you're on my list you germ spreading little monster!

Anyway, that's enough of that. This is just a quick update really as I slipped off the radar last week. The mean reason behind that was this;

Remember how I said I'm in a glee club? Well the glee club is a part of What We Did Next; a Liverpool-based theatre company, and last week I was helping backstage during their production of Spring Awakening. What a fantastic show! It was so much fun to be doing something theatre-y again and to get to listen to lovely live musical theatre songs! If you've not heard of it, search for Spring Awakening on youtube, it's amazing. Lea Michele starred in it on Broadway!

In other news, Operation Foundation-Free February is going ok-ish. I'm not finding it quite as difficult as I expected to, although I am spending a lot more time on my concealer than I usually do. I did kind of cheat on Saturday night as I went out to celebrate the last night of SA and decided to put fake tan on my face. Does that make me a cheat? It was only a bit... mixed with moisturiser... I won't do it again... probably... :P

Two weeks ago I bought series 3 of The Mighty Boosh on DVD and I've been watching it a little bit obsessively ever since because it's mad and brilliant. I've watched all the episodes (there's only six in the series) plus all the special features and possibly one of my favourite things on the DVD is this music video for the Blue Song by Mint Royale;

Oh Noel, how I love thee, you are so attractive in an odd way. I was talking to my friend about people we fancy and by the end of the conversation, her general opinion of me was that I have seriously STRANGE taste in guys. I'd agree with this to an extent; I have been guilty of some weird crushes in the past, but come on, I'm not the only one out there who fancies Noel Fielding am I? AM I?!

Products of the Month - January

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Wahey, joy of joys, it's monthly vlog time again!

Products featured;
Blistex MedPlus

After reading this post yesterday by the lovely Dani, I decided to join her in her foundation-free-February challenge - eek! My skin's been really rubbish lately and I think that slicking on a layer of foundation every day probably isn't helping, so for the next month I'm going to try and go without. I'm not wearing any in the video above and you can't really tell, but I'm certain that when I'm getting up for work tomorrow morning and my skin looks all dull and tired, it's going to be a struggle not to reach for the Revlon PhotoReady. I won't be giving up my bronzer though, oh no, I'm not brave enough to make THAT much of a sacrifice yet!
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