Saturday 31 December 2022

Collaborative / Partnered Post - Easy Ways To Up Your Fashion And Style Game In 2023*

When it comes to clothes, and creating an outfit, for me it's always been more about creating my own personal look or style, rather than wearing what's on trend or what a fashion editor says I should be wearing. For me  looking stylish is about more than just wearing the latest fashion trends. It's also about looking put-together and polished, no matter what you're wearing. So as we head into a new year I'm going to share a few quick tips to help you up your fashion and style game in 2023, including a few ways to step out of your comfort zone and to create your own signature style.

Put Together a Signature Look

Now this first one straight off the bat, sounds a little bit daunting but, there are two ways to look it. Look at what your wear on a regular basis there must be some similarities in your outfits, although I'm trying to branch out into other things not, my signature look, and something I always felt comfortable in and keep coming back to, is a patterned, colourful top, and a pair of plain skinny jeans, and all I did was mix the shoes up depending on the occasion. Simple, but I used to get comments on my look and tops when I used to attend blog events - people remembered me because of my outfits which I guess is a good thing.

A signature look could basically be a whole outfit that you can wear on different occasions, but when put together, it looks chic and stylish, for example a pair of jeans, a striped top and a blazer - a classic but it works and it can be dressed up or down depending on the accessories . You could also maybe add a signature piece of clothing to your wardrobe. Consider investing in timeless pieces that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Invest in a waxed jacket from John Partridge to add some practicality to your outfit, or a cute leather jacket or even a classic beige raincoat - instead of looking like everyone else you could be the person in the wax jacket! It surprising how quickly people start to associate us with a certain style or item of clothing.

Add A Little Pop of Colour Or Just Experiment With Colour Full Stop

Ahhh my favourite thing - colour! I've always loved colour, the brighter and more garish the better, even now, when the world tells me as a bigger girl that I should shy away from brights and drawing attention to myself I still love it, and my overflowing wardrobes are full of bright colours and prints. Don't get me wrong I still love neutrals but sometimes all you need to make an outfit look a bit more stylish or put together is to add a pop of colour. It doesn't even have to be a pieces of clothing even if you're wearing a head to toe black outfit adding a bright scarf, statement earrings or even a pair of colourful shoes, will help pull your outfit together and make you stand out from the crowd.

Upgrade Your Accessories

Now as much as I love my clothes, I think accessories are probably my real love, I love jewellery, scarves, hair ties, and of course handbags. Even if you lose or gain weight 9 times out of 10 your earrings and your handbags will still fit. It's really easy to underestimate just how much of a difference a necklace, or even a bag can make to an outfit. Accessories can take any outfit from average to chic in seconds. Investing in quality accessories such as handbags, sunglasses and jewellery can really upgrade your style and give you that polished, more thought out look. If you're going to invest look for classic pieces that won't go out of fashion and consider investing in luxurious items such as leather goods or designer bags, or better still invest in something that you'll love. Don't forget as well though that more budget friendly pieces especially jewellery can make a huge difference to your look, and by experimenting with budget pieces you can also afford to get out of your comfort zone, and try something new, for example colour, or new pieces such as scarves or hats

Quality Pieces

With so many peoples finances taking a down turn at the moment, it's hard for a lot of people to think about spending a lot of money on seemingly frivolous things such as clothes and accessories but buying cheap isn't always the best option in the long run. As well as the obvious environmental impact, a cheap pleather bag is never going to look as good or last as long as the real thing. If you invest in quality pieces you should be able to wear them and use them for years and years to come. Investing in classic pieces such as a leather jacket, a good wool or cashmere jumper or a designer handbag, will really elevate your look, and will never go out of style or fashion. Something worth thinking about if your considering buying a higher price item is to try and work out the cost per wear - for example despite the initial outlay an everyday style, designer hand bag that you could in theory use everyday for a year and beyond, would work out better value than a dress from the high street that you could only wear a couple of times. Obviously don't spend beyond your means, to try and keep up with the Joneses but it's something to keep in mind

Pay Attention To Fit

This one I guess goes without saying, although fashion trends sometimes include clothes that are oversized or too slim fitting, and personal preference also plays a part a well-fitted outfit makes all the difference when it comes to looking fashionable. Make sure that everything fits properly and doesn't look too tight or baggy. There is a difference between something being intentionally baggy or tight and something that just doesn't fit. If it doesn't fit put it to one side or donate it, or if it's a higher quality item tailoring can also make an item fit better and look more polished. Getting clothes adjusted used to be commonplace but now thanks to cheaper, more disposable clothing, it isn't as common but if you have a item that you love that just doesn't fit the way it used to then consider taking it to a professional or a friend or family member that's pretty handy with a sewing machine.

Layer Your Outfit

I don't know whether it's down to practicality (a lot of tops are too short on me) or aesthetics but I'm a huge fan of layering and it's something I've always done. I remember wearing vests over long sleeved tops and now I'm a huge fan of wearing long line t-shirts or vests, under everything from shirts and blouses, to jumpers, and cardigans. Layering is a great way to instantly look more fashionable. Consider adding a blazer or cardigan over a dress or wearing a t-shirt and a sweater together for an effortless yet chic look.

Mix And Match

Something else that I've done for quite a whole now is to play with clothes and team different things together. Don't be afraid to mix and match different pieces to create unique looks. From pairing unexpected items, such as a skirts and dresses, with trainers, and more street shoes such as Converse or Vans, to clashing styles and prints. Mixing prints is something that I never feel quite comfortable with but it's something I definitely want to try more in 2023, if it looks silly, then just get changed. Don't be frightened to try new things and experiment, it won't always work out but when it does, you'll look amazing and stand out from the crowd.

Play With Fabrics

Although I don't necessarily agree with the term fast fashion (no matter what I pay for my clothes I will either wear them till they fall apart or I'll donate them, I don't buy things to wear them once and move on!), there is no denying that clothes these days just aren't made as well as they used to be, there are a lot more synthetic fibres out there, and also some recycled material fabrics and lets be honest, a lot of times they develop those silly little holes and lose their shape. Again the initial outlay may be higher but fabrics can be important when it comes to looking stylish. Investing in quality fabrics like silk, linen, and cotton will ensure that your outfit looks polished and luxurious. Spending a little bit more on high quality basics even the sales will always be a worthwhile investment.

Confidence Is Key

The most important thing to remember when it comes to looking fashionable is that confidence is key. If you feel confident and comfortable in what you're wearing, it will shine through and make you look even more stylish! Too many times over the years I've worn on trend things that haven't suited me, my body shape and my lifestyle and I've felt and looked uncomfortable. Finding what suits you, and most of all what you like and feel comfortable in is definitely the way forward.

Don't feel you have to go with flow, wear what you like, it's more about style than fashion and don't be afraid to make 2023 the year that you experiment a little bit with clothes and accessories. Fashion is meant to be fun, and despite what the magazines and Instagram would often have you believe, there are no real rules!

If you are looking to upgrade your look and get yourself out of a fashion rut then hopefully some of these tips will give you a starting point or some ideas when you next go shopping x If you have any questions or any of your own style tips then please leave me a comment and let me know, and whether your dressing up to the nines tonight or like me vegging in your PJ's I hope you have a happy and safe new year x

*Collaborative / Partnered Post

Thursday 29 December 2022

COVID, Fatigue, Pain, Piercings, Another Christmas That Didn't Quite Go To Plan And Looking Forward To 2023*

Hey, I promised I'd be back this week and here I am, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas if you were celebrating. I did but like so many things this year it didn't quite go to plan. 

My usual Christmas dinner buddies, are my mam and my Godmother, and after last year when my mam was poorly, I wanted this year to be even more special, so we really had gone all out, but our plans were slightly thrown into disarray when a related called early on Christmas morning to say that my Godmother had been taken into A&E after a fall - I admit it a few tears were shed but me and my mam finished opening presents and decided to proceed with our plans anyway and it was just as well we did. After the 9 hour wait in A&E didn't quite come to fruition (probably because of my Godmothers age and history - she's 92 and a multiple cancer survivor), she was home by 10.30, all be it battered and bruised with a broken arm. Whilst she needed a lot of assistance and was still pretty shook up she made it down for dinner, and with me and my mam on cooking, cutting up food, and present unwrapping duty, a nice if slightly truncated Christmas day was had by all. She's quite shook up still, and a little battered and bruised but she's been well looked after by an army of relatives popping in and she has an outpatients appointment sometime this week to check her over again, but I must stress she was very lucky not to do any more damage!

I suppose that one incident kind of summed up how 2022 has gone for me, we started the year with the aftermath of my mam's Christmas hospital dash, before moving on to my 2 month long flu virus, and another diagnosis or two in my never ending list of ailments. By September though things were starting to sort themselves out a bit, apart from the usual stuff I started feeling a bit more normal, I got a few posts and eventually I felt as though I was turning and then wham! 2 steps forward and a zillion back over! 

I was posting well into October and then boom nothing until Christmas Eve, so I guess you deserve an explanation as to where I went. Well I was right it started off with an iffy reaction to my flu jab, before moving on to another iffy nauseous reaction to my COVID vaccine. Despite that though I'm still a huge advocate of vaccinations especially considering what happened next!

About 3 weeks after my vaccine I started to feel a bit unwell, a bit chesty, a bit coughy, a bit snotty and my ears were really hurting, I suffered in silence for about week before I decided to do a COVID test and low and behold it was positive! After getting COVID really early into the pandemic, I'd then managed to avoid for over two years and then bam! I'm not going to lie even fully vaccinated and boosted, it knocked me for six, it was nowhere near as bad as it was first time round but as well as the flu like symptoms, it was the sweats, and the all over body pain and fatigue that finished me off. It took 13 days before I eventually tested negative (unlike Mummy Lou who tested positive and then negative within 4 days and had barely any symptoms!) and even then with December approaching at the rate of knots I still felt like death, so much so in fact the one of my besties even helped me with a little bit of my early Christmas shopping. 

By the time I had pulled myself together Christmas was rapidly approaching and nothing had been done, there was a house to clean, cards to write, presents to buy and wrap, and friends and family to see. My energy was sapped even more quickly than usual, and everything was all a bit of struggle. I only made it to the Metro Centre twice before Christmas and even then for no more than a couple of hours at a time. On the first trip I treat myself to same Bath and Body Works goodies, and on the second I treat myself to another 2 helix piercings at the fabulous Doc Black Ink (the same place where I got my daith done), a sort of Christmas present to myself and a congratulations you survived the last few months gift! By Christmas Eve I was ready to flop and with the added stress and effort of Christmas Day, I've spent the last few days catching up on my sleep, dosing up on painkillers, eating and watching a bit of football.

So where does that leave the blog, well it's fair to say that 2022 has been a bit of a fail! I've achieved nothing that I intended to and I'm so far behind on every regular post that I write so what do I do? Well I have one very belated Glossybox unboxing post that was in the final stage of prep, so that one will go live, and the rest will alas never see the light of day. I have a basket full of Glossybox products that I've received over the last year which I'll hopefully get round to either reviewing at some point or that you might see in future empties posts, so hopefully all my photos won't go to waste. I've actually got so much unused Glossybox stuff floating around that I'm seriously considering whether or not to cancel my subscription - we'll see and I'll keep you posted either way x 

I'm also way behind Trimming My Stash wise but I can assure you that those posts and the accompanying mini reviews will still be going live - I aim to be all up to date with those by the end of January, and it goes without saying that empties posts are going to be continuing in 2023.

So what else have I got to come, well I've got an overview coming up of the products in the 2022 Glossybox advent calendar, no full reviews or anything like that, so if you want to see a product in more depth don't forget to comment on the relevant post and let me know x I've also got a whole load of products to review for you, as well as maybe a few more fashion posts (I enjoy posting outfits on Instagram so maybe I should do more of that on here - let me know your thoughts x) and maybe some more home and lifestyle stuff, as well as a little giveaway just to say thank you for being there.

My aim in 2023 is get back out there and produce the content that I know I can - I hit 1,885,000 all time page views whilst I was AWOL, and I'd love to hit the old 2 million by the end of 2023 but I can only do that by posting regularly again and posting content that I'm happy with and content that you want to read - so I'd love your input on what you would like to see on my blog going forward. My family and my own health will always come first but I've had lots of time to think about what I want my blog to look like, and the content that I want to create so hopefully 2023 can be a more successful year blogging wise x 

So I just want to say a huge thank you for sticking with me in what's been another flaky year. I really appreciate your support, every like, every comment and every follow, be it on here or on my other social media channels (get following me elsewhere if you haven't done so already x - links in the sidebar →). Regular posting will resume asap with a little paid collaborative post this weekend (sorry if they aren't your thing but Christmas is expensive especially at the moment), and then a very late unboxing of the March 2022 edition of Glossybox before moving forward with some reviews and empties catch up x Thanks again for being there and I'll see you soon x

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links 

Saturday 24 December 2022

A Quick Merry Christmas And A Promise

It seems to be something of a reoccurring theme this year, that I have a post either planned out in my head or drafted, and for what ever reason I've never managed to get most of them published x 

Well the same thing has happened again - I had this post all planned out in my head, an explanation for where I've been for the last month or so, a little bit on the future of the blog, and of course taking the opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas. 

Today has been a little bit busier and crazier than I'd anticipated and even at 8pm at night every thing that needs to be done still isn't done - never mind that's clearly the story of my life lol, so anyone I just thought I'd stick a super quick post up to wish all of you that are celebrating a very Happy Christmas, and even if you aren't celebrating tomorrow I hope you all have a happy, healthy and peaceful holiday weekend. 

If life isn't that great at the moment though, don't forget that you are never alone and even over the holiday period there will always be someone out there to listen, I'm still pretty active on twitter so please feel free to message me or tweet me x  

So I hope you all have a lovely day tomorrow and I promise I will be back in the next few days with a more detailed post xx

Friday 30 September 2022

Trimming My Stash - May 2022 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews*

Right, catch up time, now before I post a belated Glossybox unboxing I thought I'd stick up a quick and yes, late empties post for you, and whilst I will be doubling up months in some future trimming my stash catch ups, in honour of it being my birthday month, May the lucky thing gets to have a post all of its own! 

Bath & Body Works Afternoon Apple Picking Gentle Gel Hand Soap - 236ml
Derma V10 Got Buns Hun Boob Mask - 1 x Treatment
Derma V10 Everything's Peachy Booty Mask - 1 x Treatment
Keeome Hydration Therapy Mask - 1 x Mask - 25ml
John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Shampoo - 250ml
Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple Whipped Confetti Body Scrub - 175g
Beautaniq Beauty Nourishing Mascara - Black - 8ml
Total - 7 Items

Okay, so I was one product down on April's total of 8 items, but I was still pretty pleased to have consigned another 7 items to the empties pile in the merry month of May! Since I tend to eek my birthdays out for as long as possible, I threw in a few extra self care days, and as a result I added a few unusual pampering products to Mays total. May also saw me finish a few festive ish themed items, and shock of horrors I finished a make up product!

1. Bath & Body Works Afternoon Apple Picking Gentle Gel Hand Soap - 236ml

First up a festive item or should I say a more fall or more autumnal one! As some of you might remember around this time last year, NEXT Beauty became the first official UK retailer of Bath & Body Works, and as a result I officially became a lot poorer!

With the first few items online being more fall related this was one of two hand washes that I purchased, alongside Pumpkin Apple, and just like that one Afternoon Apple Picking smelled good enough to eat.

In the gel like, liquid soap formulation, this hand wash contained aloe vera, shea butter extract, and vitamin E, and had a almost apple pie like scent with notes of apple, pear and cinnamon. The formula was gentle and non drying and a little went a very long way.

As of yet I haven't seen this scent this year on NEXT Beauty but I have already ordered both the Pumpkin Apple, and the Pumpkin Cupcake Gentle Foaming Hand Soaps; They aren't cheap at £9.50 each (although there is currently a 2 for £13 offer!) but as I say they last for ages and the scents are incredible, and I for one can't wait to see what other Bath & Body Works treats are on offer for this years fall and festive seasons.

2. Derma V10 Got Buns Hun Boob Mask - 1 x Treatment

Now as I said in the introduction, since May was my birthday month, I indulged in a little bit of extra pampering, including a hair cut and colour, and a brow wax and tint as well as trying out some new shower and body products, and some masks. As well as face masks (more on that later), on a whim I also decided to try out some...ahem...other masks, to treat some body parts that don't often (if ever!) see the light of day! 

First up boobs, and my next May empty was a boob sheet mask from Derma V10! Alas no pictures of my modelling either this or the next mask - I did take a couple of pictures, but on reflection I decided that I'd like to keep my advertising revenue ;) and I really don't think that anyone would actually like to see that anyways ;), but this or should I say these masks contained hyaluronic acid, collagen, aloe vera, vitamin E and retinol, as well as a whole host of plant extracts including chamomile, rosemary, and liquorice, and is especially designed to hydrate "your perky oar" (their words, not mine!) eek!

The masks themselves had a pink and white cupcake style design, and they had a subtle sweet coconut type scent. Size wise, these babies never stood a cat in hells chance of covering my rather ample chest, so in reality on me they looked more like pasties! 

They were pretty wet to the touch but despite that they were still pretty easy to unfold. Popping them on was a bit of a shock to the system as they were pretty cold and wet but they pretty much stayed put for the full 20 or so minutes that I wore them. After peeling them off there was a little bit of liquidy serum left over, so as per the packet instructions I patted it into the girls!

So were they perkier? Not really, but they definitely felt cooler and more refreshed, which would be perfect for that time of the month. My skin also felt softer and more moisturised. Yes, they are a bit gimmicky, but once I got over the initial dampness and chill, my boobs seemed to enjoy the experience, so you never know I might try either this one or another boob mask again in the future.

3. Derma V10 Everything's Peachy Booty Mask - 1 x Treatment

From boobs to the butt, and did you know that Derma V10 also do a butt mask? Well they do! and in for a penny, in for a pound, in my ongoing quest for a peachier bum, I gave that one a go as well. Again containing collagen, and retinol, as well as extracts of prickly pear and aloe vera, this mask is designed to give you a softer and smoother booty!

The sachet contained two decently sized, peach print sheet masks. Again they were very wet, but they were decent quality so again they were fairly easy to unfold. They had a slight fruity scent but nothing to strong or obvious.

On application they initial felt cool, wet and a touch sticky, there was then a slight tingling sensation that only lasts for a minute or so before disappearing. Unlike the boob masks these ones didn't seem to stick as well so the only real way to keep them on for the full 20-30 minutes was to lie on your stomach!

After peeling them off there wasn't too much leftover serum but I massaged it in anyways. Initially it did feel a bit sticky but it gradually absorbed leaving my derriere feeling cooler and refreshed and maybe a tiny bit smoother, but on the whole they didn't make a huge difference, and my butt definitely didn't feel any peachier. To be honest I think that one was a little bit more of a gimmick and whilst I wouldn't rule out me trying another butt or thigh mask in the future, I'm way more likely to try out another boob mask.

I picked up both of these masks in my local Poundland, but you can also pick them up in stores such as The Range, and Savers.

4. Keeome Hydration Therapy Mask - 1 x Mask - 25ml

Continuing with the mask theme, and for the first time in a while I decided to brave my skincare drawer and try out one of the numerous facial sheet masks in my stash and I found this one from Korean inspired beauty brand, Keeome. 

Alas like so bits and pieces in my extensive beauty stash, this brand and this particular products seem to be long gone, which is a real shame.

This vegan friendly, and paraben free mask contained natural white mulberry extract, a key antioxidant and anti-aging ingredient, as well as a high concentration of hyaluronic acid to combat dryness and fine lines. Designed to replicate a full on spa visit and professional facial experience, this was claimed to smooth, plump and brighten the skin.

Made of 100% natural micro fibre cotton, it was immediately obvious that this was a quality sheet mask. It was very, very wet, and there was a large amount of fruity scented, slightly oily liquid left over in the sachet, but it was still fairly easy to unfold.

On application it was still very wet, and as a result a lot of the excess cool feeling liquid ran down my face and neck and into my eyes, which was slightly stingy. In the 25 minutes or so that it was on my face though it dried out slightly but it still felt quite cold and damp.

When I removed the mask my skin was covered in a layer of lightweight, oily like serum. Unlike a lot of sheet masks that tell you to massage any excess liquid into the skin, the instructions on this sachet said to rinse any excess away with warm water, and to gently pet the skin dry. Afterwards my skin looked a touch pink, but it looked and felt really clean, it felt smoother, more hydrated and it had a real glow to it, perfect for any birthday girl!

I really liked this mask and I think it's a real shame that it no longer seems to be available; the official website appears to be offline, and the brands Facebook page doesn't appear to have been updates since 2018 - I think I originally received this mask in a Birchbox, and I actually found another one in my stash, so I think I'm going to keep it for a special occasion.

5. John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Shampoo - 250ml

Birthday month equals pampering and there is nothing that makes you feel better than a good hair cut and a splash or two of hair dye, and fresh colour means the reintroduction of some colour maintaining and boosting products into my hair care regime.

If you're a blonde, a brunette, or even if you have grey or silver hair, there are a plethora of colour enhancing and maintaining products out there, but if you're on the ginger to red spectrum there isn't really a lot out there, which is strange really when you consider that red hair starts to fade pretty much the minute you step out of the salon!

Anyways this particular product seems to be one of the few 'red' shampoo on the market and it whilst it doesn't really impart any extra red colour on the hair, this shampoo which contains pomegranate and vitamin E, smells lovely and fruity and it leaves the hair looking really healthy and shiny.

I've mentioned this shampoo quite a few times on the blog, so have a little search to find out more. Even though I'm now well overdue both a cut and colour this is something that I will continue to buy and use, that being said though if you know of any other red toned shampoos or if you can recommend anything else to use then please let me know in the comments below x 

The John Frieda Radiant Red Shampoo retails at anywhere between £6 and £7 and is available from various retailers including Boots, Tesco, Ocado, and Feel Unique. They also do a matching conditioner which I also love, but if you want a real red colour boosting conditioner then I may have found something even better, which I will be sharing with you in another upcoming empties post x 

6. Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple Whipped Confetti Body Scrub - 175g

Next up another product from Bath & Body Works and alongside Warm Vanilla Sugar, this was the scent that started a whole new and predominantly long distance obsession! I've already mentioned it about a dozen times on the blog especially over the last 12 months or so but Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple is probably one of my favourite ever scents - sweet sugary apple, warm rose, sweet yet tart citrus, and cinnamon and maple, leads to something that to me is absolutely mouthwatering .

I was only really that familiar with the body wash, the body cream, and the hand gel, but the launch of the range into NEXT Beauty last year introduced me to a whole load of new products in the Winter Candy Apple scent, and this was one of them!

I do love a good body scrub, and this one looked like a bit of fun for the festive season! Containing shea butter, sugar and vitamin E, this one was predominantly white in colour, and had quite a creamy, fluffy texture. The cream contained small exfoliating particles, and little pink /red and blue / green sprinkles!

It was super pretty and obviously it smelled amazing, it was surprisingly hydrating, and it rinsed away easily, but for me it just wasn't scrubby enough. If you don't like really strong, gritty scrubs, then you would probably like this one but personally I prefer something on the rougher side so I probably wouldn't repurchase this one.

As of yet I haven't seen any Winter Candy Apple products on the NEXT website but fingers crossed they'll be added soon and then I can stock up x

7. Beautaniq Beauty Nourishing Mascara - Black - 8ml

I'm guilty of a lot of things and faux pas when it comes to beauty, probably one of my biggest sins is continuing to use products long after the use by recommendations. If it still works, it hasn't changed texture, and it doesn't smell funky then I'll probably keep using it.

This mascara came in the March 2021 edition of Glossybox, but I didn't actually end up reviewing it until September last year, so when it eventually bit the dust in May, it had been open for around 9 months instead of the recommended 3, whoops! Anyways you can read a full review here, but in short it was a good everyday mascara, nothing spectacular but it didn't clump or dry out the lashes. Like most things the price has now increased and it now retails at £19 direct from Beautaniq.

So they were my very late May empties, as per usual if you have any questions please leave them below and I will see you soon with another catch up post that will probably be a Glossybox unboxing xx 

*This Post Contains Automatic Affiliate, Added Affiliate And Non Affiliate Link 

Tuesday 20 September 2022

A Piercing, A Passing, A Primark Fail, And Pain! - 2 Weeks In LouLouLand

Hey peeps, it's been a couple of weeks since I last posted, and what a few weeks they've been! I had every intention of posting sooner but with the events of the last week or so it's been a bit of a balancing act for some of us on social media, wondering whether it's okay to post or whether or not some people might see it as being a bit disrespectful. It all depends on your view of the monarchy I guess - To be honest I'm not a huge fan of the whole institution, and the pomp, and inequality of it all, but even I've shed the odd tear or two. I can completely understand people being indifferent or critical but for me that doesn't mean that you can't be respectful, the same way you should be if anyone has lost a loved one. Thankfully though today a sense of normality seems to have returned and it was nice to see the news readers wearing cheery colours this morning and long may that continue.

Anyways apart from that I've actually had quite a busy couple of weeks. After cancelling god knows how many times, on Monday 5th September I actually made it to the Metro Centre for the first time since December 2021!!

Unlike some people I know, I wasn't there every week, I only ever went to real shops about once a month, but an unenforced 9 month absence is something of a record even for me! It's been a crappy year health wise for both me and Mummy Lou, and it seemed like every time I was well enough to go she wasn't, and vice versa. Finally though the stars aligned and I made a trip to one of my spiritual homes.

I had two main reasons for going  - number 1 to get a birthday pressie for Mummy Lou, and number 2, to spend some of my own birthday money on something that I'd wanted for a long, long time..

No, I didn't get a tattoo, I got a piercing! After debating it for a long. long time, I eventually took the plunge and got my left daith pierced by the lovely Kelly at Doc Black Ink.

I'd been fancying another piercing for quite a while, and I loved the look, and slightly secretive aspect of the daith piercing, and even although there doesn't seem to be a lot of solid evidence, I was also intrigued by the fact that some people find that it helps with headaches and migraines, however I had once been told by someone else that my daith was just too small and tight to pierce, so I decided to pop into the shop, and get a second opinion.

After speaking to someone on the reception desk, and talking to Kelly, she said it should be fine to do, and it was, it was a touch awkward but she was skilled enough to do it without any problems, just one thing though when a piercer tells you that the process might be "a bit nippy" what they're probably trying to tell you is that it might hurt a bit, and I'm not going to lie, it did!

It was a combination of stinging and pressure, and it continued to throb for a good 24 hours or so afterwards, and even the slightest touch maybe me want to jump through the roof, thankfully though (touch wood) just over two weeks later now the pain has pretty much gone, and whilst I still can't sleep on it till it's fully healed, or wear ear pods (I've bought some cheap wireless headphones from Poundland that are actually pretty impressive!), so far so good. My ear seems a touch dry and flaky in patches, but I'm keeping it clean with saline spray, and looking after it so fingers crossed in 6 months or so, it will all be nicely healed and I can start buying some pretty jewellery for it!

I honestly can't recommend Doc Black Ink highly enough, they're are really convenient (they are upstairs in yellow mall opposite Primark), you don't need an appointment for piercings, it was really clean and hygienic, and all of the staff were really nice, and Kelly especially did a really good job of putting me at ease and making sure I was okay, so much so in fact that I'm already planning my next piercing or two, maybe another upper lobe / cartilage piercing, or maybe a helix? Let me know what you think I should get in the comments, and I'd also love your recommendations for places to buy nice daith jewellery x 

I went for my piercing straight away, and thankfully I was okay enough to do a bit of shopping afterwards. I picked up a few things for my mams birthday, and then I headed to another one of my happy places, Primark, and do you know what lovely readers, I left feeling pretty disappointed!

Maybe I just didn't really need anything but it was just an unsuccessful trip all round, the little people hadn't gone back to school so it was still stupidly busy and I'm being serious when I say there was virtually nothing in the entire store over a size 16! Just racks upon racks of 8's, 10's, 12's XS, S, and M's! Talk about a confidence destroyer! I saw a few things I liked but finding anything that I liked enough to buy in my size proved to be an impossible task, so I only ended up spending a massive £13.50, and that included £3 on a t-shirt for Mummy Lou! Disappointing but I thought I'd share my buys with you anyways.

Yes, I had to do it, I continued the ear theme of the day by picking up a set of 6 pairs of celestial style earrings for £3.50. The set contained 3 pairs of studs, including a pair of clear crystal like stars, a pair of plain circular blue crystal studs, and pair of gold tone triangle shaped dots. The set also included 3 hoop style dangly pairs including a pair with beads and blue crystal detail stars, a pair of crystal hoops with beads, and moons, and a pair of plain hoops (which can also be worn alone) with a chain and a star plaque charm.

If you can wear cheaper earrings then to be honest you can't go past Primark. The jewellery section didn't really wow me this time around but I absolutely love sets of earrings like this because if you have multiple piercings it really takes the effort out of deciding what to wear, and who doesn't love moons and stars, just don't try and pierce your eyes with them! I've recently got lost in piercing Tik Tok and I can't believe there are people out there who try and pierce their own ears with Primark earrings! eeek!

The next thing that I bought it something again that I'd wanted for a long time. I used to have one of these years ago but alas it got into a fight with a cat and lost, no I'm not going to say how lol but I'd meant to replace it and I'd just never got round to it.

These things really are a godsend for some many reasons, first up they help you keep your bag more organised, fill it up, pop the things that you reach for most into the pockets, attach your keys to the lanyard, and because of the light colour you can find what ever you want straight away in even the darkest and deepest of bags.

If you're a handbag junkie like me, handbag organisers also make it really easy to move the contents of your bag from one bag to another. I do like to switch my bags up depending on my outfit or mood, and this makes the job so much easier just move the organiser from one bag to another, and you're good to go. This is actually a pretty decent size so if you use smaller bags then it probably wouldn't really work for you, but personally I love a good tote bag, so this one is currently entrenched in my Coach Chelsea Hobo with room to spare.

Finally I had a look through the beauty section, and again nothing really stood out but I did manage to pick up 3 beauty products, and 2 of these were reduced! First up a hair brush, and not just any hair brush, it's a Care Bear hairbrush! It's hard to believe but it's been 40 years since the Care Bears were first introduced, and when I was tiny (ok and maybe still now!) I was obsessed with the Care Bears, I had lots of cuddly bears, the wallpaper, the duvet set, the books, and countless rubber and plastic bears - I loved them! In fact I think I still have some of my collection packed away. 

I was and still am a huge fan, and I've bought quite a few bits to celebrate their 40th anniversary including some jewellery and t-shirts from Shein, but alas I think I missed out on most of Primark's offerings but I did manage to get this Cheer Bear paddle brush that was reduced to just £2.

Sticking with both the reduced and har care theme I also picked up this hair care kit from their Paradiso range that was reduced from £6 to just £3.

The kit included a gorgeous orange and pink marbleised tropical leaf design tangle teezer, wet brush style detangling brush. I have quite a few of these but they never come in wrong as they also make quite good cat brushes, and this is a particular pretty one.

The main reason that I bought this set though was from the hair mask, I am slightly obsessed with hair masks and I'm always on the look out for new ones. Packaged in an Ojon, Sol De Janeiro style tub, this one contains argan oil, as well as jojoba and coconut oil. I've got to be honest and say that on opening the tub I wasn't that impressed, I haven't tried it yet but it just resembles more of a thicker, fresh smelling conditioner rather than having a proper thick mask like texture, but you've never know appearances can be deceptive and it might surprise me, I'll let you know my thoughts in a future empties post x 

The final item that I picked up is something that you've seen before although not in this packaging or under this name. Understandably since I was last in Primark lots of things have changed and that included my favourite tea tree wipes, which are now named Clear + Cool Facial Cleansing Wipes. They are still biodegradable though, they are still just £1 for 2 packs and they still smell the same so it's just the name and packaging that seems to have changed. I don't really use these on my face i just use them as a general freshening wipe and here's a tip, if your NARS rubberised packaging has gone sticky, then these wipes are great for removing the sticky rubber, which is actually pretty scary when you think about it!

Whilst the Primark trip was a bit of a fail, I did manage to get my piercing, and my mams birthday pressie, and I enjoyed a normal shopping trip, which was something that I'd really missed. 

In the days that followed Mummy Lou had a nice birthday and although I had to cancel one family visit, I did manage to see some family members before the pain and exhaustion kicked in again and painkillers once again became my best friend. Alas that's the trade off anyone with chronic illness has, do something fun, good or even something that's considered normal and spend days recovering, that's just the way it is! Thankfully I'm now feeling a little bit more with it so I should hopefully be able to get another post or two up in the next week or so, including a long promised empties post x 

Thanks again for sticking with me and don't forget to leave me your piercing and jewellery recommendations and of course any questions that you have on my daith piercing or on my Primark haul x Thanks for reading and I'll see you soon x 

Saturday 3 September 2022

Nails Of The Day - Orly Color Blast - Rose Chrome Foil

Hi Guys x I hope you are all having a nice weekend, It's raining quite heavily here today so I've been keeping cosy and working on a few blog posts starting off with a nails of the day from the Orly Color Blast range.

Although the regular Orly range is still alive and kicking I can't seem to find many of the Color Blast polishes online bar a few on eBay, and Amazon. From what I remember I think that they were originally on sale in Superdrug in the UK, and I actually remember buying this particular shade because my mam saw someone wearing something similar and kept going on about how nice it was.

I don't think Rose Chrome Foil would ever win any awards for the most creative of names but it's certainly pretty accurate. Described as a rose pink metallic foil, it's an almost cool toned rose gold, crammed full of smooth sparkles.

In a slightly different shaped bottle to the other Orly polishes I own, the polishes in the Color Blast have a ribbed, rubber grip style lid for improved application, and a long medium to thin brush, perfect if you have smaller or shorter nails.

I'm not going to lie if you're a polish perfectionist like me, this particular polish will frustrate the hell out of you. You get a fair bit of coverage with the first coat but for full depth of colour you really need two or three. The trouble with it being a smooth foil is that you can see every single mistake, and brush mark. I'm probably wearing about 3 coats here because I kept trying to perfect but try as I might you can still see the odd imperfection. The temptation is to apply one really thick coat but you'd probably wait an age for it to dry and smudge it in the meantime - so if you have a colour like this go slow, apply thin coats and give it a few minutes to try between each one.

If you aren't as much a perfectionist as I am, then all you'll see is a gorgeous, glossy, smooth finish, metallic foil with just a hint of sparkle. Drying time as I say wasn't bad and the wear time was actually even better. After a few days I noticed some minor tip wear, and it was another few days after that before it started to chip. Bear in mind though it's one of those polishes that once it chips you can't just paint over it and touch it up, as I say polishes like this literally show up any imperfections, so it's easier just remove the polish from the offending finger and repaint it.

I don't think that my issues with this polish are really anything to do with the formulation, the bottle or the brush, I always have similar issues with foil and metallic shades it's just the way that the shades translate, and I think that I am just too much of a perfectionist for them. That being said though, if you don't look too close, and fixate on the brush marks, it's actually a very nice, hardwearing polish, that I've actually worn two or three times now, because it literally goes with any outfit; It's sort of a neutral with a sparkly dressed up twist, and Mummy Lou has always commented about how pretty it is when I've worn it (her own nails are too short for polish, and I'm sorry for saying this but she's also a bit of nail biter!). 

As I say I can't find this particular polish anywhere online now but I'm sure most brands will have a similar rose gold metallic in their inventory, and Orly actually have a shade Rage, in their main line that looks similar, if a little pinker, and there us also a colour in the Orly BREATHABLE range, called Fairy Godmother which also looks similar x Let me know your thoughts on this polish and I'll see you soon with an empties post x