Thursday, May 31, 2012

taking a minute

I've had a lot going on recently, this is the first morning I feel like I've been able to sit and think! I've been working a lot of overtime shifts at work to try and save up some pennies before everyone returns from uni, as well as running back and forth between university, London, and running errands for my mum! 
The sun has gone today but I've been sitting in the garden whenever I catch a moment, and I think it would be really good to fill you in on whats been happening in my life. I recently had my work exhibited in an art-show in London that some friends from my course put on.. and I sold a piece of work! That's the first sale that I've ever made from a piece of art work, so I was completely overwhelmed. The piece I showed was this set of four prints, that I posted earlier this month. And the piece that sold was the top left had print, this one here
That was the first piece of good news. Then gradually, my marks for this year came out.. I was beyond happy. I had three unit marks to get back, two that were worth 15 credits, and the big one that was worth 30 credits.. I got mid-range 2:1's for the 15 credit units, and then, to my complete astonishment and joy, I got a comfortable first for my big 30 credit unit! I am still a little bit in shock, as its the first time I've pushed over into the first boundary for something that isn't essay/writing based. All in all, I am incredibly happy.
I just wanted to share these pieces of news with you guys! Let me know if you've got any good news to share with me. (: I'm off to see Snow White and the Huntsman tonight with my friend Gemma and have a good, well-needed gossip!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

the sun coming out, i know something good is going to happen

my garden / strawberries and cream pavlova 
my friends dog / puppy in the ford / the river
watching the dog try and eat a fish / my friend kiki 
the ford / cleaning the dog!

Ohhhh my lord, this weather has been beyond glorious! I'm sure there are hundred posts like this in the blogging world currently, so I'll keep mine short and sweet! I have managed to get a lovely touch of sunburn on my shoulders today, from walking my friends dog, Monty!, around the river and ford near where we live. He even managed to catch a fish! And then promptly rolled in its guts.. haha. I have no time for outfits or makeup at the moment, it's been too too hot, and I've been working like a mad thing.
I hope you're making the most of this sunshine whilst it lasts! (:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

simply red: my red lipstick collection..

"If you know me, you know I'll like… (fill the blank)." I start a lot of my posts like this. I am a Lipstick Person. I know a lot of people are not Lipstick People. I am also a Red Lipstick Person. 
Therefore, over the years, I have amassed a large collection of red lipsticks, and I thought I would take it upon myself to show you a variety of swatted colours. For reference, I'm a pale-skinned girl, around the NW20 shade in MAC Foundations, with dark hair and eyes, so red lipsticks are one of those things that suit me like a glove, luckily! If you've never tried a red before, I recommend starting with something light, or sheer, like Revlon's sheer lip butters (see my review below!), then working up to these..or, ignore that, and jump right in..!
(If some of the applications are a little sloppy, please excuse me, I was wiping them right off afterwards.) 

MAC Russian Red
This is the red-lipstick I would recommend to everyone who wants a good, solid, matte red. It's a blue-toned red, which is good for making the teeth look good, and it has a very nice, 50's kind of red feel. I think this is the best of MAC's 'staple-reds', far outshining Ruby Woo, MAC Red, or any of the other ones they do (that I have currently forgotten!). It is what I describe as 'high maintenance'. You need to keep an eye on the application throughout the day, it's also quite drying, but on the plus side - it is long lasting as hell! 

MAC Lady Bug
Lady Bug is my every day red, and its perfect for it. It has the colour of Russian Red and the quality of a MAC lipstick without being as drying. It's like Russian Red's glossy sister. You can layer it up so it's darker, or you can wear it a bit more sheer, like in this picture. 

Rimmel Alarm
Rimmel's selection is as good as MAC's, and at a much cheaper price. I've had this one for years, I think it was the first red I'd purchased. I still think it's as good as you can get for a super affordable price! It's got a really nice, cherry-ish scent, too. If you want a cheap, well pigmented, smooth lipstick, go for this one! I'm not sure if you can get 'Alarm' (I've had it for ages), but you can get the same colour with a different name.

Sleek Pin-Up (Pout Paint)
I'm including this in the lipsticks, because it's such a staple-red, but it lacks a lot in application. It's got the staying power of a lipstick, but unless you're super slick with the application, it bleeds like hell, like you can see in this picture. 

Christian Dior Rouge Bella Vita
This is a recent addition to my lipstick collection (you can read a full review here) and I am head-over-heels in love with it. It's a beautiful orange-toned red with the perfect combination of staying power, colour, moisturising qualities and sheen.. I cannot recommend enough!

MAC Crazee
Crazee is a funny kind of red. It's a lustre or something, and it has this shine. I do sometimes enjoy this red, it's super shiny. Sometimes I feel like this, but I often don't. It was limited edition lipstick, but you can find frosty-reds in hundreds of brands' collections, if you really want them! Generally, I really don't get frosty-lipsticks. They're just not my kind of thing. Maybe if I had a perma-tan.. haha

MAC Rapturous 
Another limited edition, I'm afraid, but these kind of colours are ten-a-penny.. and not my thing at all. In my hunt for the perfect deep-red lipstick, I found hundreds of berry-reds.. which are really just not want I wanted at all. It's a nice lipstick, another high maintenance colour, and it does bleed quite badly, but if you like a purple-ish red, this is the colour for you!

NARS Fire Down Below
In my opinion, I saved the best until last. This is probably my All Time Favourite Lipstick. Dun-dun-dunnnn... Yes, I have picked one! Haha. It's a lot darker than my camera would pick up. I swatched many a lipstick to find this beauty. It's both everything I love and everything I hate. It's drying and high maintenance and it can bleed if you're not careful.. but I put up with all of this for the colour. It's a dark, blue-toned red, which is apparently incredibly hard to find! I found a million brown-reds and purple-reds and everything in between until I found this beauty. My tips? A really good, heavy duty lip-balm underneath. Carmex or Burt's Bees are my choices, and then a good lipliner all over helps. 

That was a long post! My apologies, I can wax lyrical about lipstick, and apparently I have done! What are your favourite reds, and do you think I've missed anything major from my collection? 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

burt's bees vs nivea body lotion

Nivea is my go-to brand for body moisturisation. They do my all-time, cure-all hand cream, which I have repurchased and repurchased over the years, and I recommend above all. At uni, my housemate had been using this Nivea lotion, and it made her legs ridiculously soft, so I thought I would give it ago. Whilst at home, I remembered I was given this Burt's Bees Milk & Honey Lotion for Christmas, and I thought I would compare the two and see which comes up on top..
Nivea Express Hydration Body Lotion, £5.10 for 250ml:
+ Takes roughly 3 minutes to absorb, which is good.
+ Does last for a long time, I would say about 6 hours.
+ Good on legs, I use it after shaving and it helps moisturise very well.
+ Very lovely, fresh, clean, smell.
+ Good value for money, but you use quite a lot each time you apply.
- It leaves the skin feeling like there is a sheen on top, theres no product left, but it feels sort of like barrier cream, if you know what that is. Over time, this wears off, but it does feel a little plastic-y at first.
- Bad as a hand-cream, leaves the hands feeling very sticky.

Burt's Bees Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion, £5.99 for 70g:
+ Quicker than Nivea, it's dry within about 2 minutes. A close run, but it matters when you're in hurry!
+ It has a buttery feeling when it's sunk in, as opposed to a sheen, which is really
+ Works really well as a hand-cream.
+ Comes in a smaller size for popping in your hand-bag and travelling!
+ Doesn't feel as waxy as a lot of their butters/salves.
+ Not inexpensive, but a little goes a long way.
- Although it feels more hydrating than the Nivea, it doesn't seem to last as long, I would say 3-4 hours at best.
- Has a less 'fresh' smell. I don't mind it, but I know Milk & Honey isn't it everyones taste, my mum in particular isn't fond of it.
The verdict is pretty inconclusive really! Both claim '24 Hour Moisturisation' which I am skeptical of anyway, both are for normal-dry skin, and claim a non-greasy feeling, which is true. The Nivea has a wide-range of choices, including Irresistibly Smooth, 'Touch of Happiness' (sounds like drugs or something?!) and Firming Body Lotion with Q10 Plus. Burt's Bees obviously do a wide-range, too, from a Richly Replenishing Cocoa and Cupuacu, Radiance Body Lotion, and a France Free Lotion with Shea Butter and Vitamin E. So there is a wide selection. I really like long-lasting, fast absorbing, hence my choices. Both of them I'd re-purchase, and are good value for money, so really it just comes down to your favourite scent, I think!

Anyway, I'm off to a Private View this evening in Hackney, which my work is in! I hope it goes smoothly.. haha.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

revlon lip butter review

I know everyone and their mother has posted about these lipsticks (lip balm?) recently, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents. They are.. nice. Maybe that's harsh. They alright! They're a nice, tinted sheer lipstick - I wouldn't actually call them balms, because they don't really moisturise, I feel. 
What I think they are good for, and when I generally reach for mine, is when my lips are feeling a little bit dry, I'm not wearing much makeup and I need a bit of pick-me-up. This is a good colour if you want a little bit of colour, or you're not used to wearing bright lipsticks, or can't be bothered with the high-maintence of a fully pigmented lipstick. They are very sheen-y though, and I do generally prefer a matte, but that is just my personal preference. 
I really love the style of the packaging, particularly the little seethrough top and the colour tube. I know there are people that only like the tapered-style traditional lipstick and don't like this kind of flat-end, but I don't really have a problem with that! 
The price is a bit steep, though. I got mine in a 3 for 2 thing at Boots a while back, but they're currently on sale at £5.99 at Boots (see link above) and I still think that is a bit pricey. I know Revlon market themselves as a higher-priced drugstore brand, but I think if they'd aimed them around the £4.99 mark, I'd be a lot more receptive to it!
Price: 2/5
Packaging: 4/5
Colour: 4/5
Texture: 2/5
Would I buy this product again?: No, none of the other colours appealed, I'm more of a solid/bright lipstick person. 
Have you tried these? I think they're generally not that well received in the blogging world, which is a bit sad! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

charity ears

If you know me, you know I love earrings.. Generally, the bigger the better! I think because I waited until I was almost 18 to get my ears pierced, I have such an obsession with earrings, and with me they just need to be big and heavy and shiny.
Most of the earrings you can buy in the shops these days are, frankly, crap! Overpriced and made of poor quality metal, I very rarely can justify buying them when I see such amazing ones in charity shops or at carboot sales all over the country, never costing me anything over £1. The earrings you see here are all 80's-90's costume jewellery (though my friend Alex found a pair of Christian Dior earrings once! keep your eyes peeled..), but they are made of a much better material, I find. For example, I wore a pair of Topshop earrings a couple of times and they turned green and brown and the back fell off - the white enamel pair in the second photo are my ultimate favourite earrings and I've worn them countless times and they're still flawless.
These are just some of my collection - a lot of the heavier/bigger ones are clip-on's, and they can take a little getting used too because they are so heavy! The crumpled-gold ones are the heaviest, and I can generally only wear these for a couple of hours before I lose all feeling in my earlobes, haha..The black 'diamond' drop pair are a bit more evening-wear ish, but they make me feel all glamourous, which is something a scabby green pair from H&M, Topshop or Accessorize never does! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

treat yo self..take two

In my last post I said I needed to find something to do that didn't involve spending money.. well I haven't found that out yet. Me and my housemate Alex went into Guildford the day of hand-in and had a Nando's lunch and a good browse of Waterstones and Muji and Lush.. it was a very lovely day. 
The Muji Cleansing Oil is me attempting to duplicate my Shu Uemura's Cleansing Oil that I have just run out of and I am addicted too.. I will update you guys with a review when I've had a chance to test it out fully! 
The volcanic looking rock is one of Lush's body butters, called something silly like Snap the Whip, but it was only £5.50 and smells amazinggg! I do love Lush, but I hate that they don't last like other products. I'll do a full/detailed review if you'd like but it's pretty crappy if you want to use it in the shower, because it nearly all melts away the second you get it wet, and rubbing it into dry skin really hurts, I find, because it is so exfoliating! Ah well, you win some, you lose some. 
And finally, I treated myself to a book! I am a massive book nerd but during term-time I find that it's not really acceptable to indulge my fantasy whims (ahem, the ASOIAF series..) so during the summer I go a bit mad for books - I bought two more at a charity shop today! - and this once caught my eye because it sounds really interesting. You can read a review on Amazon or Waterstones but there's also been a 7-hour experimental film made of this, which I might try and find in my universities library later in the year.
Anyway, have you splurged on anything recently? Please make me feel better about my awful spending habits!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

miracles happen all the time around here

I mentioned that my deadline was upon me, and now, I am all completely finished! It feels so weird to sit around doing nothing, I've been watching a lot of crappy films and taking on a few extra shifts at work but I've basically just had a load of sudden free-time thrust upon me! I've been helping some of the third years out getting the studios nice for their degree show that is upcoming, but since September I've had this panic propelling me forward to this point, so to stop now, I'm not really sure what to do! I've been gorging myself on crappy films (Minority Report, Cruel Intentions, Bedazzled and Braveheart to name but a few!) but I'm starting to get a bit bored now! I'm going to have to think of something to do that doesn't involve spending money..
Anyway, I thought that I would show you some of my work that I have been doing over the last few months, so you can see what I've been wasting my time on, haha.

Sunday, May 06, 2012


orange peel towers in my studio / impressive sunsets / bright moonrises
red lipstick in the studio / the empire strikes back! / yayoi kusamas exhibition at the tate modern
food shopping.. / cherry blossoms in my studio / pretend birthday cake
cherry blossoms in my garden / whipped cream coffee gifts from my housemate / drawings
trying on t-shirts at h&m / etching plates in process / bingo pens with cliff richard! 
the ice tea i drank in italy.. / easter cakes / rice krispie cakes!
my friend sending me adorable puppy photos / chips on brighton pier / homemade tandoori chicken
rain rain rain.. lightning / is this enough research?! / drowning in essays