Thursday 24 May 2018

Nails Of The Day - Models Own - Slate Green - Reshot And Rewritten

I've got another re shot and rewritten nails of the day post for you and this time it's a polish from Models Own, NP026 Slate Green.

Models Own has changed a lot as a brand since I originally talked about this polish way back in 2010. They've disappeared from both Boots and Superdrug, and instead they now seem to concentrate on retailing via their own website and their own bottle shops. They also don't seem to have as many polishes as they used to in their collection, and unfortunately this seems to be one of the polishes that didn't make the cut

Whilst I don't think that this colour is that unusual, it's certainly different from any of the other teal and turquoise shades that I own. It's definitely a fresh and pretty turquoise green, but it doesn't have the brightness and vibrancy that some similar looking shades have. In fact I would even go as far as to say that it has an almost faded, slightly washed out appearance.

In theory cream polishes should be the easiest to apply but you need to make sure that you have the perfect base for the best finish, so apply carefully and use a good base coat. The first coat of polish was pretty streaky but the formulation was nice and smooth, and despite the slightly bulky cap, it was pretty easy to paint and apply and two coats was enough on most nails for a shiny, full coverage finish.

The wear time on this polish was decent, I'm notoriously hard on my polish and without a top coat, I managed 3 days without a chip, which is pretty impressive when you consider that I've been doing a lot more housework than normal and that during a couple of those days my hands were doused in hospital grade hand sanitiser!

I think that this is a lovely spring like shade that would look good on all finger nail lengths and shapes. As I say it does appear to have been discontinued but you still might be able to find something similar. The closest match that I've seen is Leighton Denny's Morning Dew but that seems to be just a touch brighter than Slate Green. If you can recommend a similar shade though then please leave me a comment and let me know x

Thursday 17 May 2018

Trimming My Stash And Life Lately - April 2018 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews

Well. well, well the last few weeks have been fun in my world haven't they! Thankfully it eventually appears as though we're starting to turn the corner. On Tuesday I celebrated my 40th birthday, obviously given the events of the last few weeks, the celebrations were majorly scaled back but I had a fabulous day, and I was well and truly spoilt as per usual by my amazing family and some very special friends x I got some lovely pressies some of which I'll be sharing with you on Instagram but the biggest and best pressie of all was having my mam home. She was discharged on Tuesday afternoon and whilst she has an outpatient appointment next week, hopefully she's well on the way to a full recovery.

This year seems to have been very stop, start when it comes to blogging but hopefully with things returning back to normal at home, and a change in my own mindset and outlook I'm hopefully going to able to get some of those posts and videos up that I've been planning and promising for what feels like an eternity. First though I'm going to take a very late look back at April's beauty empties.

Primark PS Cuticle Oil - 10ml
Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Conditioner - 20ml
Lavera Fine Loose Mineral Powder - Transparent - 8g
Dawin Miller Joy White Jasmine And Cranberry Body Wash - 120ml
AVON Advance Techniques Anti Hair Fall Conditioner - 250ml

Total - 5 Items 

Well despite all of the trials and tribulations that April had to offer I still managed to finish 5 beauty products. Although I didn't manage to finish any facial skincare items this time round, I did manage to finish a make up item, so I'm classing April as a trimming my stash win!

1. Primark PS Cuticle Oil - 10ml

I've talked about this product a few times now, and to be honest I can't praise it enough. I've used a lot of cuticle oils over the years, and this is without a doubt one of the best that I've used and it's also the cheapest. Crammed full of avocado oil, this oil is easy to apply, and it absorbs super quickly, and at just £1 a bottle you can afford to slather it on. This is now one of my beauty must haves and it's something that I'm going to continue to stock up on and use regularly.

2. Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Conditioner - 20ml*

This travel sized product came in a set that I was sent to review way back in 2015 (You can read my review here). I've no idea why I didn't finish this sooner but here we are. I'm a big fan of the Philip Kingsley brand and this was another nice product. It was a nice lightweight conditioner that was ideal of fine hair, or if you wash your hair on a daily basis. If your hair is very dry this might not be enough for you, but you could team it up with Philip Kingsley's famous Elasticizer if your needs a bit of extra boost.

3. Lavera Fine Loose Mineral Powder - Transparent - 8g*

At last a make up item! and this one was another press sample, and this time one from natural beauty store My Pure. Having quite an oil prone skin I love face powder, and I'm a particular fan of loose powder and if you are as well, this one was a good one. Yes, like all loose powders it was a touch messy, and you did get a bit of fallout, but it wasn't too chalky, and it really did take down the shine especially on my t-zone. If you're looking for a cruelty free, loose powder from a natural and eco friendly brand then this could be a one to try. You can read a full review here

4.  Dawin Miller Joy White Jasmine And Cranberry Body Wash - 120ml

While sorting through my beauty stash a few months ago now I discovered a Christmas gift set from a toiletry brand that I hadn't heard of, Dawin Miller. Joy definitely isn't a festive type fragrance in the traditional sense and it's something that you could easily use all year around, it's definitely more of a floral, than a fruity scent, and the heady scent of the jasmine really did dominate with just a hint of the tart berries. I love the scent of jasmine and white flowers so I really enjoyed using this lovely foaming shower gel. I can't find any trace of this brand or any information about it so I don't honestly think that it's something that I'm going to be able to repurchase it but I do have a hand and body lotion, and some body cream to use up, so I can go on enjoying the scent for a little bit longer.

5. AVON Advance Techniques Anti Hair Fall Conditioner - 250ml

Argh ! I have no idea what happened the picture here but I can assure you that I definitely did finish this bottle of conditioner. This is without a doubt one of the nicest hair conditioners that I have used in a long, long time. With a very similar scent to the accompanying shampoo that I talked about in March's trimming my stash post (read my thoughts here), this creamy condition probably has a touch more of the peppermint scent to it, which gives a cooling and refreshing hit. Also containing bamboo, keratin and arginine, this stuff leaves my hair feeling silky, smooth and very hydrated and shiny. Like with the shampoo I'm not sure it made too much different to my hair loss but since I've started using both the shampoo and the conditioner from this range I've noticed a definite improvement in the condition and the appearance of my hair. I've already repurchased this product and it something that I'm going to keep buying

So they were my very late April empties, if you have any questions on any of the products that I've mentioned than please don't hesitate to leave me a comment below, or contact me via email or twitter, Thanks for reading and thanks again for keeping me sane over the last few weeks xx

*Press Samples

Friday 11 May 2018

Intu Metrocentre Fashion Live Spring / Summer 2018 VIP Preview*

I guess it goes without saying that I'm not really feeling myself at the moment, with my mum still in hospital I've been feeling more than a little bit down. There is a temptation when you feel like that to pull the duvet over your head and hide away and believe me I've done that but on Wednesday night I put a frock on, did my make up and received just the boost that I needed with the help of popcorn, Prosecco, and puppers. What am I talking about? Well the Intu Metrocentre Fashion Live Spring Summer 2018 Blogger Preview Event of course!

The team at Intu Metrocentre certainly know how to put on an event and treat their local bloggers and this one was no different, In a pastel, floral garden setting we we're treat to drinks, and canapes, and popcorn courtesy of the Odeon cinema, as well as make up advice from the team at Kat Von D in Debenhams, and a deliciously fragrant and relaxing hand and arm massages from the girls from Molton Brown in House Of Fraser (I had my massage with the new ish Coastal Cypress And Sea Fennel, which is a beautiful fresh and aquatic, unisex scent, which is perfect for summer).

As nice as all of these extras were though the real purpose of the event was to give us a sneaky peek of what you can expect to see if you head down to the centre this weekend. Yes, they are back, Intu Metrocentre's famous catwalk shows are returning from the 10th - 13th May to showcase some of the key fashion looks and pieces from a myriad of the centres stores, for spring / summer 2018.

Situated in the usual place in Town Square, outside of House Of Fraser there are 4 runway shows on Saturday and 3 on Sunday, giving you ample opportunity to get plenty of spring and summer fashion inspiration. Even if you can't make it onto FROW yourself though don't worry, if you're in the centre in the next day or so, make sure you pick up one of the Fashion Live leaflets from any of the information points, to get some fabulous discounts across the centre from stores including Simply Be, Cath Kidston, Ann Summer, House Of Fraser and more.

As per usual the shows will showcase a wide range of both ladies and gentleman's clothing accessories for all sizes, shapes, and styles. We had a sneak peek of just some of the shows and the brands that you can see over the next few days.

I'm not going to lie, with all the stress and what not I didn't have the energy to lug my SLR round so I ended up shooting the show on my trusty iPhone, well it didn't prove quite so trusty this time round, and a lot of pics either didn't come out so well, or quite frankly didn't come out at all, so this post doesn't have as many pictures as I would have like and I'm not 100% happy with the ones that I have included, never mind bigger disasters at sea, I guess.

The event was hosted by the lovely Anna Foster from BBC Radio Newcastle, who was wearing the Lipsy Amelia Print Floral Wrap Dress, which retails at £58. Lipsy's presentation was all about occasion pieces, with pretty dresses in brights, block colours and floral prints as well as more casual, but still smart and feminine tops, and separates.

Another brand that is synonymous with occasion is Coast, if you're looking for an outfit for a wedding, a christening, or even for the races, that Coast should be one of your first ports of call, especially since they now do a plus size range ;) Their presentation offered a beautiful range of dresses and jumpsuits, in bright, summery colours, and even neons teamed up with some fabulous hats and fascinators. 

If accessories are your thing then there is one shop that is should definitely be on your radar and that is Accessorize. What can I say about Accessorize other than summer in a shop! Everything about their presentation made me think of holidays, tropical beaches, and items that would take you straight from beach to bar, from strappy sandals, to brights, neons and beautiful embellishments, if your heading to the sun, anytime soon Accessorize should be your first port of call when it comes to holiday shopping. As perfect as they are for the little things that finish an outfit though, you can now get the top to toe look in one store, as this outfit proves with this cute neon embroidered cropped kaftan, and these cute embellished shorts. 

As much as I'm loving the tropical vibes here, for me at least beach holidays are a distant dream at the moment, so spring, summer fashion to me means less of the beach vibe and more of the I want to look cool as hell no matter the weather vibe, and thankfully a lot of the showcased brands fitted the bill perfectly, with River Island showcasing some great on trend pieces that were perfect for the unpredictable British weather including everything from cute playsuits to the most fabulous pair of mustard / rust yellow paper bag waist trousers!

Mustard was also evident on the models walking for New Look, with a fabulous ensemble of I think trousers, a top, and a coordinating kimono style jacket in a mustard and red floral pattern. I can't find this outfit online but it's definitely worth looking out for and I'm gutted that I didn't get a good enough picture so that I could share it with you. Florals are always big for spring and summer, and they were evident in quite a few of the presentations including this one, New Look also showcased a lot of bright block colours, including a fabulous red trouser and black, graphic, slogan t-shirt combo.

If you're one of those trendy, super cool people, that most of aspire to be like, then Top Shop's collection was probably right up your street, with some really fun furry bags, and sequined bum bags, and joggers teamed with a graphic tees, and high heels. 

I'm not sure I could carry that look off but something I could definitely get on board with was this beautiful diagonal striped midi dress, which retails at £49, teamed up with an embellished denim jacket. I love stripes and since I've just picked up a new denim jacket this look was right up my street.

I do love a stripe and another Arcadia groups presentation was probably my favourite of the evening. Yes, maybe I'm biased because Evans is a plus size brand (the majority of their items do start at a size 14 though so don't discount it as just being a plus size brand though!) but their models rocked every single look. Although it's all looking slightly navy here, the theme was monochrome, not a typical spring summer look but it works, and I particularly loved this look, with these eye catching black and white striped wide leg pants, that are a steal at just £35. I'm not sure I could pull this look off personally but I'm seriously debating giving it a go.

Having so many exciting brands under one roof, House Of Fraser's shows are always worth waiting for and this one was no exception, as they showcased both smart and casual men's and ladies fashion, but for me the stand out piece was this beautiful jacquard wrap dress from BIBA

I know I'm all about female fashion but these shows really are for everyone, and as well as House Of Fraser, DW Sports and River Island, also showcased some of they key spring and summer 2018 looks for both men and women, and the boys also had a chance to go it alone, with a summery presentation from Burton Menswear featuring pastel pinks, and that summer staple the Hawaiian style shirt.

It wasn't all about that casual summer style though, men have special occasions too, and if you or your OH has a function to attend this summer then Moss Bros is the place to go, for everything from the traditional two and three piece suit to something with a bit more of a fashion vibe.

There really is nothing nicer than a guy in a suit, well apart from a man in a suit with a dog that is!

Clad in their swanky Moss Boss attire and perhaps a touch overdressed for a dog walk, 2 of the lovely male models helped 3 new, and all be it hairy models to shine, Winston and Churchill which you can see above and the lovely Sam who you can see below.

Yes, us North East blogger do love our fashion, our beauty, our bubbly and our canapes but the majority of us all so have a soft spot for furry things with 4 legs! All 3 of these lovely dogs are current residents at the Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter, who are responsible for rescuing and re homing 1000's of animals every year in the North East of England.

If you're popping into the centre to do a bit of shopping or if your coming to specifically to see the shows, then pop down to Town Square and you can come and find out a little bit more about the work that they do, or you can find out more about how you can help and of course how you can adopt your own furry friend via their website, and of course if you do come down to watch the shows then you can watch these lovely, friendly doggies perfect, their runway walk over the course of the weekend.

Thanks to these puppies at least in part, I had a fab night that really lifted my spirits no end, I want to thank all of the Intu team, and of course all of the retailers for hosting and of course for the super generous goodies bags. So if you don't have any plans for the next few days and you want a bit of summer style inspiration or if you just want to meet some lovely fur babies than head down to Intu Metrocentre this weekend for your own fur and fashion fix x

*Press / Blogger Event 

Sunday 6 May 2018

Miss Beauty Nail Colour - 374 Tiffany - Nails Of The Day

Nail polishes come in at all different price points now, but does paying more really mean that you get a better product? In my experience, no, not always, OK I've never shelled out £38 on a Christian Louboutin polish but I am partial to salon brand nail polishes, and I have bought the occasional polish from a higher end make up brand, but I have to say though that sometimes, I've been way happier with a cheaper polish from a budget friendly brand. You pays your money you takes your choice I guess, but for me you certainly don't have to spend a fortune on a nail polish to get a good one.

Case in a point, a recent (okay, not so recent!) purchase from Poundworld's own cosmetic brand, Miss Beauty, the Miss Beauty Nail Colour in 374 Tiffany.

As the name would suggest Tiffany is one of those pale, mint green, almost turquoise shades. I'm slightly obsessed with shades like this, especially at this time of year when they look so fresh, and spring like on the nails, whatever the length.

The bottle itself has a slightly contoured cap which makes it nice and easy to hold. The brush isn't the thickest but the quality seems decent with no splaying and no loose hairs, and it was pretty easy to paint with.

The cream formulation looked pretty streaky after coat number one, but it dried really quickly and two coats was enough for full coverage on the majority of my nails. The finish was really smooth and glossy and for the price, and my polish hating nails the wear time was pretty decent. I managed 3 days plus without a chip.

The colour certainly isn't that original but if you're a fan of this type of colour, then there are definitely worse polishes on the market than Tiffany. The Miss Beauty stand in my local Poundworld is always a mess and half empty but if you can get your hands on this shade, in my opinion it's £1 well spent.

Wednesday 2 May 2018

Life Lately - You Are Stronger Than You Think

2018 YOU SUCK! and that dear readers is an understatement - I went AWOL and yet again I have not but several good reasons!

Over the last 10 days are so things have got progressively shitter in LouLouLand, it all started off a week past Monday when my MacBook wouldn't start up, basically exactly the same problem that caused me to take into get repaired way back in January, even though they won't admit it officially High Sierra is very glitchy on certain MacBook Pro Models! Thankfully the staff at my local Genius bar managed to get going again with only minimal data loss. Lesson to self - back up, back up and keep backing your data ! I went and bought an external hard drive and ever since then if I've changed anything, I've a backup just in case, I paid less than £70 but it's not so much about the money as the peace of mind.

I've was just getting into the groove, downloading things from my Cloud and installing a few programmes and apps, then bang, one of the worst things that could probably happen did!

On the early hours of Thursday morning my amazing was taken ill, I called an ambulance and she was immediately blue lighted into our local accident and emergency unit. I'm not going to go into too much detail but she spent around 4 hours having all different types of scans and tests before she was finally admitted to award. She's feeling a little bit brighter now but as yet we don't really know when she'll be coming home.

The NHS gets a lot of criticism, and the majority of it in my eyes is very unfair, so I just want to put this out there - Every person who both myself and my mum have came into contact with since last Thursday from the initial emergency handlers, to the paramedics, to the doctors, specialists, nurse, porters, and health care assistants has been amazing and both kind, and compassionate. The NHS isn't perfect for a lot of reasons but it's something that we in the UK should be immensely proud of and we all should be fighting to maintain the whole concept of "free" health to anyone that needs it. I don't think that some people realise just how important it is until they or some they love needs medical help.

So things have been pretty stressful, I've had so much to do, and I haven't been sleeping that well, and then low and behold something else went wrong! My heating broke! which meant no hot water and no heating. I don't usually feel the cold but maybe with being slightly in shock I was absolutely freezing! Thankfully we have an electric radiator upstairs, and an electric shower so I managed to just about keep warm, but I knew I'd have to do something so I ended up having to call out the heating engineer via my mams home service plan and by Sunday afternoon heat was restored.

I now it probably sounds like a little, and maybe silly thing to some but sorting out the heating was a really big deal for me. Maybe it's because of my illness I don't really deal with that sort of stuff that's my mam's domain and always has been even when my dad was alive. It's made me realise though that sooner rather than later I need to stop relying on people quite so much, and I need to start adulting properly. 

I'm an emotional person, and I wear my heart on my sleeve, I lack self belief, and self confidence and I've spent a lot of time think that I'm useless in every sense of the world but in the last 7 days especially I'm starting to think that maybe that isn't quite the case. Sometimes you need things to really test you before you realise just how strong you actually are.

My mam has always said that I'm stronger than I give myself credit for and at long last maybe I think she's on to something. It seems as though I've faced challenges and obstacles from day 1 with some health issues at birth, my facial nerve paralysis, bereavement, family illness and of course with my own current health problems, but lets be honest who hasn't had to overcome some sort of obstacles in their lives. As the saying goes what doesn't kill us makes us stronger and personally I'm coming through every test and challenge, no matter how big or small, a stronger and more resilient person.

Things are shitty and we all wobble occasionally or a lot, but we all know that Weebles wobble but they don't fall down, and after a crappy 10 days or so I'm still standing and although I've cried until I was sick, and really wobbled on occasions I'm pretty proud of myself with how I've dealt with everything that's happened. I was kicked hard but I stayed sensible and level when I needed to.

One of my biggest fears is being alone, and being an only child and a single lady heading into middle age being alone at some point could be a reality for me but lets be honest the majority of us are never completely alone. Okay, I might not have the type of relationship that you'd have with a partner, or that I currently have with my mum in the future, but from what I've found there are always people out there who have your back no matter what.

The love and support I've had from some of my closest friend, some of my online friends and from some of my family members over the last week has made all the difference in the world. Fine I'll always want a cuddle close relationship, but sometimes a simple text or a phone call can make everything just that little bit better in an instant.There will always be people who don't come through for you and whilst that hurts for a little while, from now on I'm more concerned with the people that care about me.

I can't say what the next few weeks, months or years hold for me but as I head towards a big birthday in a couple of weeks, I'm going to try and deal with whatever comes my way with a different mindset. Yes, I might be hurting, I might feel pain, I might laugh and I might cry but I KNOW that I'm a strong person underneath and I'll deal with whatever happens, when it happens, in the best way that I can.

I want to thank you for all the messages that I've had on my other social media channels, I really do appreciate all of your good wishes and I'm sure that my mam will as well x I was going to take a blogging break till all of this goes away but I've decided not to, I need something to take my mind of things so I'll still be posting as and when, and hopefully I should get at least one post by the weekend x Thanks again x