Wednesday, 26 May 2010

hair dying - how do you do yours?

So tonight is hair dying night at kitty central and it got me to thinking about all the different ways to dye your hair. I am quite handy at dying my naturally blonde locks and even spent time as a colourist at a very small salon. Having been pretty much every colour out there I could never quite seem to justify the price of getting it done in a salon. I was going to treat myself for my wedding last year but in the end I was so scared they would mess it up I stuck to what I knew best.
I have been dying it black (it goes with everything) for about 7 years now and I have been using nice n' easy 122 natural black for most of that time I have dabbled with a couple of other recently without much success. The best thing about nice n' easy is that you put it onto dry hair which for me is great because it makes it far easier to work with and a lot less drippy, it also takes fairly well on my very resilient hair.
Chemicals are never something that has bothered me but there are a lot of chemical free brands out there now which offer a great choice of colours.
So what do you do?
salon or home?
natural or chemical?
highlights, henna or have you never altered your colour?
I would love to know!

45 minutes of thumb twiddly, head itchy goodness.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Busy week

Sorry there have been no posts this week but I have had a very busy week. New job role at work, life decisions to make and of course the glorious weather has meant more time spent in the great outdoors. I have got some very exciting things coming up this week though (and a follower giveaway coming up) so please stay tuned.
For now though I will leave you with a face of the day from last Thursday
really simple

Bourjois - healthy mix foundation and concealer with Benefit 10 to contour

UDPP, No7 1940's shadow trio, my beloved Clarins eyebrow kit, dior liquid liner and 1001 lashes.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Sunday project Mac/Urban Decay

So you know my love for all things eyeshadow and in my opinion no company does better eyeshadow than Urban Decay. The only thing I struggle with is the packaging, I have a lot of makeup and I mean a lot! so space is something of an issue for me. Now don't get me wrong I love the palettes that urban decay make and I guess the smaller ones are not too bad but the book of shadows is huge, far bigger than it needs to be. I also don't keep my eyeliners and primer potion with the shadows as I tend to use a mix of everything.
So off I trundled to Mac in Selfridges this afternoon to pick up one of their empty palettes, I paid £11 which isn't too bad and I am impressed with the quality. If you were filling it with MAC shadows then it would still be a nice palette but still not exactly space saving I guess. I had other designs for it! As soon as I got home I promptly snapped out the circle holder part to be left with a blank slate and then I set about destroying the Urban Decays. I have Book of Shadows 2, Ammo and Preen (which is the same as Show Pony I think) and since they are all made of cardboard and paper they were time consuming but fairly easy to pull apart.
Once I had all the shadows out I used Sticky Dots by Bostick to secure all of the shadows into the palette (i used the ones marked re-useable so I could get them out again if I ever wanted too. I also scavenged a couple of the mirrors to stick inside the lid and this is what I am left with, I even have space for a few more shadows in there depending on what they bring out in the future.
What do you think? Are you fussy about packaging or are you a space saving obsessive like me?

more freebies

Natural light
Ok so here we go with another round of freebies from Boots they really know how to push product there and feed a habit, This is Milan from their diet coke promotion. it is a lovely blood red and I have to say it applied a damn site better than the InStyle mink I tried last week. It still gives the same great colour pay off and the staying power on this baby is incredible, these photos were taken at the end of day 3 as you can see no chips and only the tiniest amount of tip wear. As reds go this a very true red unlike a lot of have tried at the moment which seems to have a distinct orange tone to them and it will become one of my go to reds. I have to say that Nails Inc reds seem to win hands down over any of their other shades but I am looking forward to trying out the Paris shade later this week.
With flash

Next up is one of the two No7 eyeshadow shades you get in the free gift, which is really easy to get with the till spits. It is called Mink and is a lovely neutral shade with an amazing shimmer to it, it is not as frosty or shimmery as say an Urban Decay shade but this does mean that you don't get any fallout. I went with it as a single shade so I don't know how well it will blend with other shades but it did blend over he entire eyelid really nicely. I might even looks for this in the full size if I ever run out of the sample size.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

I haven't done nails for a while

So lets have a run down of the last couple of weeks.

Still experimenting with my OPI haul from Brand Alley, this one was a big departure for me as it is distinctly gold and I don't do gold in any way shape or form. I can't say I loved this either, objectively I can see it is really pretty of course as a metallic applied really well and dried super fast not keen on seeing brush strokes though and it just not feel comfortable on me.
With flash
Natural light

Next up is another OPI I think this is the first one I ever bought and I have actually repurchased this one. It is called Malaysian Mist and its one of my all time favourites I haven't worn this one in the longest time due to the staining on my nails. I don't think the staining would have shown through as it is more of a creme than a sheer but I still couldn't wait to put it on my newly whitened nails. This one also lasts forever on and I can easily get a good week out of this before it starts looking ropey which makes it an excellent holiday shade.
In sunlight
In the shade, this was right before I broke my nails :( look how nice they were

So it was back to the dark side again with surprise surprise another OPI, I always pick a vampy colour when my nails are short not sure why. This is Sapphire in the Snow from this years Holiday Wishes collection and I have to say I had high hopes for this. Looked beautiful in the bottle a rich purple creme but unfortunately the pay off did not live up to my expectations. The formulation was very gloopy and incredibly difficult to apply and the colour was much much darker than the bottle would suggest which was a shame, I may stick some thinner in this and give it another try but it won't be for a good long while yet.
Natural light
With flash
Bottle shot - see it was not quite what I was expecting

Yay for No7 till spits! this lovely is from the limited edition Decades range to celebrate 75 years of No7. If you haden't already guessed this is the 1940's shade called starlet stockings, it's a bright red which is far more orange toned than I would have expected for the 1940's but No7 were around then and I wasn't so what do I know! Anyhoos, it applied like an absolute dream glided on and was perfect in one coat (yes you heard me ONE COAT) but unfortunately this is another one that does not like the Seche Vite and I suffered from polish shrinkage and tip wear. I think if you had the time to wait for it to dry then this would provide an exceptionally beautiful mani but I couldn't stand the tips so took it off after only a day.
Natural light
With flash

Which brings us to what I am wearing right now, courtesy of InStyle Magazine. They Teamed up with Nails Inc (whats with all the Nails Inc promotions at the moment) to bring 3 exclusive colours and there was one free on the front of every copy. This is Mink and I love, love, love the colour even though it was like my worst nightmare to apply. Gloopy, Draggy and fairly streaky it took a good 3 coats to get this right but a coat of the old magic Seche Vite and it was stunning. So smooth and even someone actually asked me if my nails were real today. It is a darkish greige with slight purple tones and I hope it isn't too similar to the Diet Coke London I have coming up which looks more pink but I will do a comparison shot for you all to see.
Natural light
With flash

Phew! that was a bit of a whistle stop tour hope you enjoy.

Let me tell you about ...

.......Boots, so I was a little early for work this morning and I decided to have a mooch round Boots. My normal haunt is the Sedley Place branch on Oxford Street so I know it pretty well, imagine my delight when I walked in this morning to find the cosmetics department totally rearranged. It looks like it must have happened recently as the assistants were still putting out product and there were lots of new stands. So in comes Models Own, Une (the new natural range from Bourjois), My Face and Barry M. Bourjois and MaxFactor have massive new stands (whole bays to themselves) and all the usual suspects are still around. The only sad loss is Pure although the stand remains with only 2 products on it, hopefully they will have something equally new an exciting to put here like Sleek.

But Wait! That's not the best bit

So I turn around and there it is in all it's promotion stand goodness, I swear I heard angels singing and did that thing they do in films where the float across the room without moving their legs.

incase you didn't get that i'll repeat it for you

All you have to do is buy 2 bottles and you get to pick one of 4 polishes (London, Paris, New York and Milan) I drink diet coke everyday anyway so I did what any nail junkie would and bought 6 bottles so now I am the proud owner of London. Paris and Milan. I didn't like New York as I have recently gone off bright pinks.

All this and a NO7 till spit £5 too so if you haven't been to Boots recently get thee to your nearest one pronto.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Daniel Sandler blush

After the seeing the beautiful Charlottes post over at Lipglossiping
(one of my favourite blogs btw so check it out) about Daniel Sandlers watercolour blushes I was intrigued enough to order the sample set and try them out. Luckily when I got mine they were still fluid so I could use them straight away. This is my favourite of the bunch its called Life and it would happen to be a limited edition - doh! Anyways, this went on great over the Bourjois mineral matte mousse and it is one of the first blushes I have tried that really does stay put all day, I also got loads of comments on how fresh I looked even though I had no sleep and felt quite rough. It really does give you a perfect healthy flush and so easy to apply you need only the tiniest of amounts.

First thing in the morning in natural light
And no lie below is 12 hours later and I haven't touched up my makeup once!

Friday, 7 May 2010

PURE cosmetics

I guess this post is a little redundant now the brand is discontinued but you can still pick it up on places like ASOS so if you get the chance I would recommend it. Anyways I got this haul ages ago and it was at super knock down prices, we are talking about £1 per item here, so I thought it was worth a go.
I had seen this brand in Boots and really liked the packaging and colours but always felt that it was a little expensive which is why I never picked it up before. I ravaged the stand and here is what I got.

shadow duos in smokey and emerald
high coverage lip gloss in angels wings
the black Kohl liner
nails polishes in bright blue and bright pink
diamond lip gloss

the first thing I tried was the blue nail polish and I have to say the formulation was great but I think this is the only shade I have ever found too bright for me but like I say formulation and wear time was fantastic.

bright blue

Next I tried the lip gloss, the fact it said it was high coverage apealled to me as I have quite pigmented lips so nudes don't tend to show up to well on me. This was lovely shimmery and did blank out my natural pinkness.

angel wings

The eyeshadows I have to say are amazing, buttery, blendable, shimmery and very highly pigmented. I used these with UDPP and the went all day without creasing or moving but I did get the tiniest amount of fallout from the green.



I haven't tried the kohl yet and the pink polish and crystal lip gloss are going into me 100th post give away which should be coming up sometime soon so stay tuned for that!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Yellow stained nails

As any good polish addict knows that a good base coat is essential to stop your talons turning a lovely shade of mustard. No matter how many different base coats I have tried I still do a get a tinge to my nails and it doesn't bother me too much through the winter months as I am a fan of darker shades. After a polish mishap this weekend (No7 speed dry doesn't like OPI start to finish) I went without any polish for the first time in what must be about 2 years. This prompted hubby to exclaim "whats wrong with your nails!" I explained to him that it was staining from the nail polish and we both decided it looked gross and I should do something about it.
So off to Sallys I trundled and bought a kit of the trusty Bubble White I have used on and off over the years and I also got some Nail Bright peroxide gel and embarked on a bank holiday weekend of no polish :(
I was to ashamed to show you what they were like to begin with so I will start half way through. This is after one 5 minute soak in the bubble white and one go at the peroxide gel.
This was after a second day of peroxide gel and another 5 minute soak in the bubble white, I also finished by buffing out the worst and the stains with a 4 way buffer and now have nice natural nails again

now where did I put that nice dark purple OPI........

Sunday, 2 May 2010

catching up - it's been a very long week........

.........and a sad one, sadly we had to say goodbye to our cat Ronnie on Thursday. She was 13 years old, senile, arthritic, with a suspected thyroid problem and chronic kidney failure. She was a very very pretty cat and we had her and her sister since they were 7 weeks old and she was never quite the same after we lost her sister Reggie to cancer last year right before we got married. The kitty household has never been without a cat so it is going to take some adjustment to get over the loss. So as you can tell I have no felt like writing much this week.

Still life goes on and so would shopping it would seem. I took my weary hubby and me to Bicester Village on Saturday for a much needed cheering up and some time out of the house. The train journey there from London Marylebone is beautiful and it was nice to escape the city for a while. I enjoyed wandering round the shops even though it was hubbys worst nightmare and I acutally managed to do quite well for myself.

I got
2 dresses and a top from Monsoon
1 pair of earrings from Accessorize
1 pair of Cath Kidston plimsoles
1 pair of Tommy Hilfiger pumps
a small selection of Mac Makeup.

Now I have not bought much from MAC in the past I used their foundation and concealer along with the prep+prime range for my wedding and I bought a couple of bits from the Hello Kitty range (more because I am a Hello Kitty fan). I thought this may be an excellent opportunity to get to know a few more bits from the brand. I got the Charming Garnet:Glamour Basics (classic glamour) set and a mineralize eyeshadow in Blue Sorcery. The set included - Belightful iridescent pressed powder, zoomblack zoomlash mascara, black funk eye pencil and a slimshine lipstick in Bare.
All the bits and bobs
mineralize eyeshadow

swatches top to bottom - eyeshadow, liner, highlighting powder, lipstick.

here is the look

I used
Prep+Prime Face Protect SPF 50
Select Foundation NW15
Select Moisture Cover Concealer Nw15
Prep+Prime Powder to set
Hello Kitty Beauty Powder in Pretty Baby
Then I used everything I had bought :)

I have a love hate relationship with mac products, I love the Prep+Prime range but the foundation doesn't seem to sit well on my skin it makes me feel hot and flustered. The Hello Kitty powder does nothing for me, too light for a blush, too dark to be a setting powder not really sure what to do with it.
As for the new products the lipstick is a perfect nude on me and has really good staying power the blue from the eyeshadow is really gorgeous but you get a lot of fallout from the silver. The eyepencil is lovely goes on really smoothly and I would imagine it would smudge out nicely even though it stayed exactly where I put it even in the rain. The mascara was soso and the illuminating powder is gold so it will only be a summer product for me but nice all the same.