Wednesday, 21 August 2013

50 Facts About Me

After reading the lovely Subtle Coral's post here it gave me an idea that I should really tell you all a little bit more about me (I hope she doesn't mind me doing this but I have seen a few floating around the beauty bloggers world. 

So, I am going to introduce myself to you a little more. 

  1. I was born in Liverpool and am in my 30's
  2. I have 4 children, all over the age of 16 (I was a teenage Mum)
  3. I live in the Isle of Man with my gorgeous husband
  4. I got married for the first time 10 months ago and have never been happier
  5. I went to boarding school
  6. I am an only child
  7. I used to be a qualified Mental Health nurse
  8. I gave it up as I broke my back 5 and a half years ago in an accident
  9. I am in a wheelchair
  10. I have uncontrolled epilepsy
  11. I LOVE my PS3
  12. I own 2 pet corn snakes, their names are Catherine and Delilah (Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights and Delilah from the eponymous song by The Dresden Dolls
  13. My favourite band is Queens of the Stone Age
  14. My favourite actor is Tim Roth and has been since I was 18. My husband looks like him. A lot! 
  15. My favourite actress is Amanda Plummer
  16. My favourite solo artist is Phildel
  17. My favourite artist is HR Giger (he designed the original Alien in the eponymous films)
  18. I hate tea
  19. I love marmite
  20. I used to love going to festivals when I was able
  21. I have had drink and drug problems in the past, but have been clean and sober for over 10 years now
  22. I can't draw to save my life
  23. I have an irrational fear of being buried alive due to watching an Alfred Hitchcock film
  24. I have a voracious appetite for reading, anything that is NOT chick lit
  25. My favourite book is Wuthering Heights
  26. My favourite author is currently Lee Child
  27. My favourite film of all time is The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  28. I used to be an enthusiastic amateur photographer until my accident
  29. I have written 3 books but never had the gumption to send them off to a publisher
  30. My favourite drink is caffeine free diet coke
  31. My favourite ice cream isn't an ice cream but lemon sorbet
  32. I have never celebrated a "milestone" birthday or had a party
  33. I own a pillow pet for when I go into hospital for respite (yes, I am that sad!)
  34. My husband is my best friend and I only have 3 friends other than him by choice, one is a lad I went to school with from when I was 13, one is agoraphobic and the other is 60. I love them all
  35. I was born in Liverpool as I mentioned, but moved away from there when I was 9 months old. I grew up in the US (Marfa TX) Malta, Las Palmas and Trinidad due to my father's job
  36. I got expelled from secondary school
  37. I was a goth in my teens, and still have my Dr Martens boots from then
  38. I studied at night school to get my A Levels and then went on from there
  39. I have fostered 4 teenagers at different times in my life and loved doing it
  40. It is only recently I have come back to makeup. The combination drug therapy I am on has made me look awful and I have decided to turn it around!
  41. My favourite "high end" brands are currently benefit and theBalm
  42. My favourite "high street/drugstore" brand is Sleek, hands down (with MUA coming in a close second)
  43. I started this blog to learn how to put my makeup on again! 
  44. 1 month in, I have already made a few very good friends
  45. My favourite YouTube "gurus" are Wayne Goss and Sam and Nic Chapman
  46. My "can't live without" product is Porefessional by benefit. It hides my craters pores
  47. I subscribe to Birchbox, Glossybox and Beateco Box - these are what sent me on my "I must get my act together" path
  48. I can't put liquid eyeliner on to save my life (unless it is on my lower lashes instead of mascara)
  49. I once had coffee with the guy who played Elliot in E.T.
  50. I can't sleep without the TV on 
So there, 50 random facts about me! I hope you enjoyed them and got to know me a little better from my offering. I do have a YouTube channel that I am hoping to use once I get my confidence up a little but for now, this is going to have to be it! 

Fi xoxox

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Mini internet haul...

I know I over did it slightly last week, but I had ordered a few things via the internet that weren't available where I live (the Isle of Man) and they all arrived in the post this morning. 

My Glossybox came too. It is a bit late as my daughter's came last week, but I have a feeling it had slipped down the back of somewhere in the sorting office as the outer box was a total mess. Fortunately, the inner box was absolutely pristine. 

Sleek also had a sale on which was quite dangerous! I did get a few bits for my daughter too so this is just my portion of the box, I didn't think it fair to put hers in too.

I am going to keep this blog entry short as I have got so much stuff that I would like to do blog entries on and ask for people's opinions that this is just going to be a quick "show and tell".

First up - what arrived today! 

Everything but the box that it is all resting on (that was bought last week by my ever suffering better half to keep my newly acquired things in).

On to the good stuff. The Real Techniques brushes that were out of stock in the ONLY Superdrug we have over here..

On the top (as if anyone needed telling!) the powder brush and below the stippling brush. I have to be honest, I don't have the money for Sigma or Mac brushes and have watched so many YouTube reviews and tutorials that I actually consider these an investment for me. I already got the starter kit and the core collection kit so apart from a couple more, I think I have enough to be going along with for now. I would love a few more but the Avon brushes that I have had forever do still do the job as I like to think that I take care of them. At least I know what I will be asking for come my birthday and Christmas. 

I would love Wayne Goss' new collection but I think they are a tad out of my price range, and in all fairness, my ability too. That isn't to say I won't be salivating over them when they come out next month! 

The Real Techniques brushes were bought from here and here

You can register interest in Wayne Goss' new brushes on the same website here (I believe they will be exclusive to this site for now) and they are out next month. I haven't seen a price point on them yet, but given that they are cruelty free animal hair and hand made in Japan, we can safely say they will be out of my price range! I just like looking at them though! 

Next up, my belated (through no fault of their own) August Glossybox. I am going to gloss over this one (pun completely intended) as it has been shown a million times already. 

This month's them is High Flyers. So, from left to right, my Oceane makeup remover pen (not available in the UK currently), Jelly Pong Pong's 2 in 1 Eyeliner and Shadow (available from their website), Olay's Regenerist wrinkle relaxing complex (available in most high street/drugstore places), TRESemme's Platinum Strength 60 Second Treatment Shot (Superdrug, Boots, Tesco and Waitrose currently) and finally Emite Make Up's eyelash curlers (from Sweden) with 3 extra rubber pads. These retail at approximately £20 in their online shop.

All in all, I was rather pleased with this month's box, it seems a great balance of new things to try out and great items to add to my growing arsenal of tools. 

Lastly, and I am not going to fib, my favourite box that arrived today. My mini Sleek haul. They had/have a sale on that started last Friday so I took full advantage and treated myself to a few things that I had been looking at for a while. It would have been rude not to! 

As I didn't want to do too many pics as I want to go through these more in depth (they aren't going to be reviews - I am in no position to do them), but I want to do blog entries as to how I feel about them, and what I am going to get from my recent purchases. 

Let's start at the top left, the i-Divine ultra mattes (v2) Darks palette (here). I have got theBalm's Nude'tude and wanted something a with a few more matte shades and this fit the bill perfectly. Next up, keeping on the top row, the face contour kit in light (here). I think it will be a great thing for me to actually get my head round contouring properly and am really looking forwards to using it. 

Moving to the lip products in the lower left hand side of the picture. Pout Paint in Minx (here). I was introduced to Sleek's Pout Paints in July's Glossybox and am thrilled with the two I got, so thought another in more of a "me" colour wouldn't go amiss at all. 

Beneath that is Gloss Me in Fools Gold (here). Gorgeous colour, typical doe foot applicator. Really can't wait to swatch and road test this one. 

The two pencils beneath are lip pencils - top one is 188 Bare Essential and the bottom one is 645 Ruby. I know they are of differing lengths but I am not complaining as they are sale items and were sealed. 

Last two items. A blush and a lipstick. The blush was something I have been trying to get from my local Superdrug for a while but it is always sold out and just the sad and lonely tester is there. It is their (starting to become hard to come by) blush in Rose Gold (here). I have very grey and sallow skin due to my combination drug therapy and it really is just the perfect colour to perk my cheeks up.

Last, and by no means least, their true colour lipstick in 755 Liqueur. Gorgeous colour that I can't wait to swatch, but as with all the other things, I have restrained myself! 

I think I have got plenty to be going on by now, and am looking forwards to getting swatching away, and getting some better light to swatch in! 

Like I said, I am in no position to review, but I will be posting my thoughts of my new purchases (which I actually read up on before I bought them), and hopefully getting some help and feedback off everyone that cares to swing by my little blog. 

Many thanks for stopping by

Fi xoxox

Friday, 16 August 2013

August Haul

I have to be honest, most of this was bought yesterday but a few things weren't available on the Isle of Man so I have had to buy them all on the internet, but they have all come this month. 

As I have previously alluded to, when it comes to makeup I have as many clues as I do Olympic Gold Medals (tally of 0). I am just starting to get back into it, and boy is a way more daunting place than it used to be! 

I have been reading blogs, reviews and watching videos on YouTube. I wanted to get a feel for what was out there, and then find my own way from some recommendations. There are some fantastic beauty bloggers who I follow who have given so much detailed information in their reviews that they have given me the push to get a few items I might not have looked at previously. There are also things I have bought that I haven't seen reviewed but I have found suit my skin tone! I don't want to be a "collection clone" but with so many people giving such great advice, I am going to link back to their posts as they were absolutely brilliant. 

So, without further ado - here is where I am so far. This is just an overview of what I have got. Over the next week or so I am going to give my take on what I have got and swatch things against my skin tone and, if I have the guts, show the finished product (errr, that would be a before and after photo of me!) 

I know when I have been watching haul videos or reading haul posts that some people assume that anything other than actual makeup is boring. I actually have learned so much from some of these posts that I am going to include the "boring" stuff too, and will link to everything that I have got. The things I have got have been grouped together so that I hope it makes some semblance of order! Just one thing I would like to mention is that I *know* the photographs aren't the greatest for today. I am going to work on them but I need my husband's help due to the whole "I live in a wheelchair" thing so these are just some I managed to take on the bed by myself. It may not sound much, but it has given me a huge sense of accomplishment! 

First up - hair care.

The lovely Heidi over at wrote a great post about Dove haircare. I must have been past Dove shampoos and conditioners a hundred times and never given them a second thought as I had, for absolutely no rational reason whatsoever, thought they must smell the same as the hand soap which I absolutely detest the smell of. I was in Boots yesterday and it was on offer so I thought I would give it a go. My hair is damaged by radiotherapy so I bought the Pro-Age range which claims to "help repair the hair surface leaving it looking thick and full". You can betch I am up for trying that! My very fine frizz could do with a treat so I am looking forwards to trying this tonight that is for sure. 

The shampoo and conditioner can be found here and the conditioner can be found here as neither Boots or Superdrug appear to have them on their websites, but they are in their stores.

I also got some L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil (found here)  as much as I have tried, I just can't get Argan or Moroccan oil to work for me at all. It just leaves my hair feeling greasy. I have cheated a little on this one as though it isn't a repurchase, I have tried my daughters and it is fantastic for my hair. I had tried a couple of the Argan oils but they just aren't for me at all. 

Next up - some beauty bits and bobs..

Now the eyelash curlers are a bit of a cheat - I got them from Birchbox (here) when they had an offer on. They came as a freebie with any purchase. It had never even crossed my mind to purchase some (just as it has never, and never will, cross my mind to buy false eyelashes). Saying that, I wouldn't be without them now - they are fantastic. They don't hurt at all and I can get right down to the base of the eyelash without ending up with a kink in them, just leaving a lovely curl. 

The tweezers (found here) are another matter. I go through about a pair a month. This isn't due to any weird things I do with them, it is because they are always "just the thing" my husband needs for a job that usually involves soldering and flux paste. Once those old tweezers have been near that there is no way they are coming near my face, no matter how much he protests that they are clean. What he doesn't understand is that they have to be sharp too. I had this little trio out last night and given that they have the square, slant and point tip - they are fantastic. I was that pleased even my daughter got attacked with them too. I don't know about anyone else, but I find some tweezers hurt more than others. These are great, no pain at all. 

So, whilst we are on the "tools of the trade" I bought these from Amazon...

Yep, I caved in and bought the Real Techniques brushes. They can be found here and here and were a very good price from what I was able to find on the internet. I did have the absolute basic brushes from Avon which are superb, but I soon gathered I was going to need something a little more up to date than the 4 I had! 

One thing I did learn from my hours of YouTube watching was that there was no need for expensive brush cleaner - I have washed them with baby shampoo and they have come up brilliantly. If it is good enough for some of the professional ladies out there, it is good enough for me. It was quite a relief too as the price of brush cleaner nearly made me boke! 

So, all this out of the way - on to the actual makeup I bought. I think I will just go from the skin outwards so here we go. 

Concealers, primers and colour correctors! This is probably where I went a bit overboard. I have oily skin some days, and dry others so I have to cover all bases. Also this is when I found the Benefit counter too ^.^! I know a lot of these products will be so familiar to so many people, but I was so lucky to have a makeup artist help me with my colour selection. I have horrible red hyper pigmentation on my cheeks and really purple/blue dark circles under my eyes so with help, and after being introduced to the colour wheel, I am now sorted to cover it all up! Along with my enormous pores!  

From left to right:- benefit porefessional
 benefit boi-ing industrial strength concealer (in a scary shade, but it looks great on!)

I stopped there as I now have enough for oily, dry and combination days! As with all the makeup I got, I am going to do individual posts with swatches if applicable to see what I think of them, an to see if anyone else has any ideas as to other things that I might benefit from. 

Next up - foundations and a BB cream (that I stole back from my Mum for the photo - I have more on order)

I had a really good look round for these items, after reading lots of blog entries. 

Cosmopolitan's blend perfection sponge (yep - I am a cheapskate on occasion!)

I am thrilled with all of these as I have things covered for both skin days! 

Next up - the brows that need taming!

I was very tempted to get the benefit's one, but I think that can wait for another month or two! 

From the top..

Beauty UK's Hi-Brow Kit

I am genuinely looking forwards to seeing how the last one works out as I haven't seen it floating round the blogs at all. It wasn't the one I had set out to get (an Accessorize one) but they were sold out. This one has some wax and a good choice of colours (even though that is what I bought the MUA eye shadow for) so I am looking forwards to giving this one a test run. 

So, with the brows out of the way, I am guessing it is time for me to 'fess up to the eye shadow part of this haul. Here we go...

I am going to do swatches of all these in another post, so just for now, here are the links to what I got:-

theBalm's Nude'tude
Maybelline's Color Tattoo in Eternal Gold (05)
Maybelline's Color Tattoo in Permanent Taupe (40)

It was the lovely Michelle over at that gave me the heads up with her fantastic review of the Maybelline Color Tattoos. I was completely won over! She didn't just say "woo, they are great" she actually gave some advice as to what you could do with them other than slather them on your lids. Her brilliant post is here

OK, so with our eye shadow out of the way, on to eye liners! 

I already had a couple of the traditional kohl liners so I thought I would branch out a little. First up the beast on the left which is Sleek's Kajal Liner. I am not going to lie, it looks as scary as hell but I am going to really give this one a go. Armed with my brushes I think I stand a fighting chance. The others are, from top to bottom:-

Maybelline's Eye Studio Master Precise Liner in Black (damn you and your 3 for 2 Superdrug!) 
Laura Geller's Inkwell in Purple (thank you Birchbox)

I think I have all the bases covered that I need to for now! 

OK, now we are getting somewhere. Next? Mascara! 

From top to bottom:-

Rimmel's new Scandaleyes in Black (and it is GORGEOUS!)

Anyone for blush?

I genuinely couldn't resist either of them. And the first of my Accessorize products too. I have tried to make sure that I have a "day" look and a "night" look with all the things that I have bought and can mix and match. These are the ones that I have gone for:-

MUA's blusher in Candyfloss

Like I said, this is just a haul post so swatches and my thoughts on all these things are to come over the next couple of weeks.

That is it for the blush, so on next to bronzers for contouring. Oh yeah, I know where I am at now with it all!!

Two here again - one for day and one for night.

NYX's Illuminator in Narcissistic and

Have to admit, preliminary investigations show these both to be rather fantastic. 

My haul is nearly at an end now (and if you are still with me, I am thoroughly impressed!). Only two more things to go. My penultimate purchases were face powders..

Rimmel's Stay Matte pressed powder. Just a side note on the Rimmel powder - I must have bought my first one when I was about 12. It still smells the same!!! That is in no way a complaint, it really is a blast from the past! 

With my face done, there is only one thing to finish my haul off. Lippy! Only one problem there though - I hate the stuff. I can just about manage a light gloss so these are the ones that I have (including 2 from Glossybox and 1 from Birchbox)

Yep - that is it! I am so embarrassed that I don't really want to even leave the links to it! Lest it be said, 2 Sleek pout paints from Glossybox (actually love these), 1 Laqa&Co Lil'lip from Birchbox (lovely formula, not the greatest colour for me) and a couple of MUA's sheer finish lip glosses. I have got a few bits on order lip wise so these will no doubt appear in a September haul post! The ELF products are end of line all over body things that you can use on your lips so I bought them to give them a try. One colour stick and one body shimmer. We shall see. 

So yes, that is my haul. Just when I thought it was all over, my gorgeous husband took me into TK Maxx and he went off looking for things. As I mentioned in my previous post, he wouldn't let me look at what he was getting. This is what he arrived at the check out with:-

Now I have absolutely no links to these, but they are a large storage box in chocolate brown with cream writing on to keep said haul, a lovely mirror with normal reflection on one side and 4 X magnification on the other. The little organizer on the right is in chocolate brown pleather and turns round on a little circle on the bottom for my brushes and pencils. I feel quite the spoiled lady, that is for sure! 

Anyway, if anyone sees any glaring omissions, or has any suggestions for me, I would really be thrilled to hear them. I take constructive criticism very well and don't bite!

Fi xoxox

No pic pre-haul post..

I have had a rough few days with my epilepsy so my gorgeous husband took me to our local high street yesterday and let me go wild in Boots and Superdrug!

With my little list that I had been compiling over the past few days when I had been reading all the lovely blogs that I follow safely saved in my phone (and after the endless reading of decent dupes for certain things) off I went. 

Now, living where I do - the Isle of Man - our choices are limited, hence my total wish list, accompanied by my "dupes" alternatives.

First up? Boots! I have to admit, I hadn't been upstairs (where the makeup selection is) for about 5 years. Since breaking my back I had got out of the habit of wearing ANY makeup whatsoever. I hadn't been able to get there either as they have only recently (in the last 2 years) had a lift put in. The store had a huge refit and in went an escalator, lift etc. 

Needless to say - it has changed! Beyond recognition! A lot of the girls were busy but the gorgeous Mary from the Lancome section was on hand to help me. 

Being in a wheelchair I can safely report back that there isn't much you can see. At all. She asked me what I was looking for and I handed over my phone. She asked what I had got already (a few bits from theBalm, NYX, E.L.F and NYC - all this in my mega haul posts later today and more this week when I can get the camera out. I am writing this at 4.30 am so I didn't think my husband would be too pleased if I got the camera out just now!) and seemed impressed that I had got my head round the basics. 

So, after stops at Revlon, No 7 and Rimmel she took me over to a stand that I couldn't see from where we had been. We have a Benefit stand!! 

Just to put this into context - it would be the equivalent of a Sephora suddenly popping up in every high street in the UK. Yes, we are seriously that far behind the times. 

I did reign it in at the Benefit stand but treated myself to the two things I was trying to get my dupes for. 

She also let me into a secret. Well, not so much a secret but I am the only person who has asked about this brand and they are coming to my local Boots in October. Smashbox is making it's d├ębut ! They are actually coming over the week before my first wedding anniversary, and she is going to be running it. 

Normally, as with any other Boots you can't book a makeover, but she has booked me in for one on the morning of my wedding anniversary (I saw it in her diary) so I am ridiculously excited for that. 

Next stop - Superdrug. I knew Maybelline was on offer there, so I got 3 for 2, some Accessorize and a couple of MUA things, a gorgeous little brow kit from B and some bits and bobs (including a new set of tweezers as my last ones ended up being used by my husband for soldering something). Anyone else have this problem?! 

Then, my better half who usually couldn't tell you if .I am wearing makeup or not took me to TK Maxx. I have a confession. I absolutely hate TK Maxx with a passion for clothes but he took me upstairs as they have some home wear items. 

(I have just realized how bad this sounds that my husband has to take me everywhere. I am perfectly capable of getting myself round in my wheelchair, but I have uncontrolled epilepsy so that is why I can't be left alone. Ever. No, not even the loo!) 

He had looked at my viewing history on YouTube and I had been watching the storage videos. Not the ones with people who have lots of make up, but ones for those with just enough for a few looks. 

I wasn't allowed down the aisles that he went down, I had to stay at the end. He came back proudly brandishing the most beautiful flip top box in a chocolate brown with cream writing on it (it goes with our bedroom), a beautiful little brown pleather twirling thing for my brushes and a little stand alone vanity mirror that flips over to  4 X magnification. 

To say I was stunned would have been an understatement! They are perfect for the amount of stuff I have, and perfect for what I wanted.

I have been reading, lurking and watching SO many videos to get an idea of what I wanted and I am now finally there. To do one huge haul post would be ridiculous, but I am going to split it up by brand, and then my gorgeous little F Features (my daughter) has agreed to be my guinea pig and is going to let me do a makeover on her.

I must admit to having information overload so I decided that I was going to take the basics that really did perform across the board, and find my own way from there. I have swatched, taken advice from professionals and have what I hope is a great little "kit" that will see me through the seasons for now. 

I knew if I bought the Urban Decay palette it would only be because everyone else had it which is why I bought theBalm one instead as I had received a sample of their blush in a Birchbox, which had given me actual access to the quality of the products in person so I wasn't buying blindly over the internet. 

So, over the coming days there will be daily posts with my new things, from the "tools of the trade" down to the foundations, concealers, primers, bushers and bronzers. 

Genuinely, I would really appreciate ANY help I can get. If anyone has any ideas as to what might help something I have work better, or something that I have completely missed then I would be incredibly grateful for their help. 

Makeup hasn't been a regular appearance on my radar for ohh, about 15 years now so I really do need all the help I have got. I have also made myself a promise not to get thing just because everyone else has them. I am going to get what suits me, and nothing else. I don't want tons of the stuff lying round that will never be used at all (although I am going to have to repurchase something already - I made the mistake of showing my incredibly glamorous 71 year old Mum my Sleek BB cream and that was it - GONE!). She may be 71 but would pass for late 50's, early 60's. Unfortunately, I do believe I haven't got the "I don't look my age" gene! She seriously is one stylish lady. 

So, when the sun comes up - the camera is coming out and I am really hoping that you guys could help me out with some feedback as to things I might need, or things that I have wasted my money on. As is my mission statement in my little corner of the net - I am just starting out again and it has changed so much since the last time I was here!

Pic heavy posts to come, but I always resize on the computer before uploading onto PhotoBucket (Flickr and I just don't seem to get along too well), in case anyone is worried about data usage etc. 

So, with that, a haul post to come later today - I am thinking I have enough for a week, then I will be trying out the stuff I have bought, and who knows - maybe even a YouTube video. 

Fi xoxox

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Thread vein removal (hopefully) with a cream, Day 1

Well, I am a few weeks into my foray into blogging so I thought I should at the very least introduce myself so "Hello!" (just a quick aside - absolutely NO makeup today - it would defeat the object completely!).

This is me (with my husband's mess cropped out of the picture). If you look on the left hand side of the photos my two pet snakes, Catherine and  Delilah are trying to get in on the act! Maybe more about them for another post if anyone isn't too squeamish. They are gorgeous little corn snakes and absolute dolls. Both of them enjoy tummy rubs and getting their chins tickled.

Anyway, this isn't what this post is about. I was in hospital last February for respite (I have uncontrolled epilepsy) and they found out I was suffering from something called Premature Ovarian Failure from a routine blood screen. In a nutshell, it means I am going through the menopause before the age of 40. If anyone is interested, there is a link here

I haven't got a problem with the fertility side of it as I have 4 gorgeous children already and they are well on their way to being grown up. We have 3 boys and 1 girl. They are 21 (b), 17 (b+g - twins) and 16 (b) so fortunately I wasn't too upset when I was diagnosed about it. 

What I wasn't expecting was the severity of the side effects on my skin (amongst other things). Fortunately I haven't gained much weight but my hair is falling out at an alarming rate, the hot flushes are horrendous and my taste buds are up the shoot.  I have left the weirdest side effect until last - my eyes have changed colour. They used to be steel grey but now have flecks of brown in them. Anyone any ideas as I am all out! 

Below you are going to see a picture that it has taken a lot for me to post up. It is me completely bare of anything other than moisturiser. Not even a tinted one as another side effect of POF is thread veins in the face, and an exacerbation of the dark circles under my eyes. The circles were already pretty bad due to the combination drug therapy I am on for my epilepsy and the pain I have from having a broken back (I am in a wheelchair) but BOY do look bad! (Please excuse the really large spot too - that decided to make an appearance on the day I decided to do this, i.e. today). 

You might notice my face is a bit lop sided too (I had a stroke a few years ago) so it isn't the prettiest sight without makeup on! All I can say is thank god for learning to contour and highlight my face subtly. On to the subject I want to talk about....

Oh yes, the thread veins! They are pretty horrific. I have tinkered with the photo a little as the light in my room isn't the greatest so you can see just how bad they are. The only way I can describe it is that in the last 3 years, somebody has given me completely different skin. I knew being on the medication I was would change my skin but it wasn't that bad. I switched moisturiser (I used to have normal skin, I now have dry/sensitive skin), switched out my foundations and bases and all was good. 

The problem is, the veins take an awful lot of coverage and on bad days, I really don't have the inclination to do that much about them. I know I look way over 40 but I am still in my 30's and to be honest, that really upsets me quite a bit. I always used to have pretty good skin but those days are long gone. 

Fortunately, whilst I was in respite they arranged for me to see a dermatologist as the first signs of POF was the huge flare up I had on my face. I up until then I could count the amount of spots I had had on my hands. Now it is nearly all the time. 

She recommended that I use a Vitamin K topical cream (info about it is here). To quote Wikipedia...

Vitamin K may be applied topically, typically as a 5% cream, to diminish postoperative bruising from cosmetic surgery and injections, to treat broken capillaries (spider veins), to treat rosacea, and to aid in the fading of hyperpigmentation and dark under-eye circles"

These creams are available on the NHS but given I don't have it really badly, I don't qualify. Please don't get me wrong, I am not complaining in the least but it made hunting one down quite difficult. 

I have had a bad few months health wise so it is only really recently that I have got my act together to track some down. I managed to track some down on Amazon for £5.65 but I am guessing that I got the old packaging as when I went to look for the link this morning, it has gone up and has been rebranded a little. It is available (from the same company) here now.

As of today, I will be applying it as directed. Twice daily to moisturised skin on the affected areas. As can also benefit dark circles too I am using it on there. The dermatologist told me not to expect overnight result, she said it will take up to a month before I start to see any improvement if it is going to work for me so this is my blog entry on my first day. 4 weeks from today expect to be equally freaked out by my mugshot for comparison!

Apparently, this is also great for people who bruise easily and it can speed up the healing time.

The reason I have shown my right cheek is that is where it is worst. I am going to take weekly photos at home, but don't want to blast you all with irrelevant blog entries given that I have been told it will take up to a month to work. 

I am quite looking forwards to trying this out. I don't hold out much hope for it so would love to be proven wrong. That would just be a complete bonus for me. 

Something I mentioned earlier was my hair loss. I did make an effort and straighten it up for having my "naked face" photo today but it is painfully thin (radiotherapy doesn't work wonders for hair either, believe you and me). I had that 4 years ago now and my once very thick and curly hair is now thin, limp frizz. It can get me down a little as I get looked at enough and if I am having a "bad hair day" that just makes it worse from my perspective! 

I have decided to combat one thing at a time, so if I can perhaps see a little improvement in my dark circles and thread veins, I am hoping to look for something to thicken my hair up a little. I can do it with what my better half calls "smoke and mirrors" (i.e. hairdryers, back combing, mousse etc) but I am going to look into investing in any decent hair treatments that might help.

Anyway, that is is for today, if anyone wants to know any more about POF, or knows somebody going through it I am more than happy to give my email out to talk to them. Even if somebody wants to chat about the epilepsy, or being in a wheelchair, I am your girl. Just leave me a comment and I will get back to you.

Hope you all have a great Sunday

Fi xoxox

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Beauteco Box August 2013 review...

Well, here it is. August 2013's Beauteco Box. I have to admit, I ordered this one with indecent haste the minute the boutique opened and have had it a few days but wanted to give a the products a few days to try them out.

I picked Box 2 from the menu (for those not familiar with Beauteco Box, they have a choice of 3 boxes and you pick which one you would like ahead of purchasing it).

Absolutely thrilled doesn't cover how I felt about this month's box, even though I won't be using everything. I shall explain further on about that bit. Anyway, customary photo of the box....

So from the menu, we have Arran Aromatics Lavender and Tea Tree Facial Wash (full size).

Lord and Berry Intensity lipstick in Peach Gleam (full size).

Lord and Berry Kissproof Lip Colour in Blossom (full size).

S5 Calm Serum (sample size in 10ml/0.3fl.oz).

Melvita Atomiser Orange Blossom Water (sample size 28ml/0.95fl.oz).

For me, all in all an absolutely fantastic box. 

First up, the Arran Aromatics Facial wash. This claims to be have naturally exfoliating loofah, be a non drying formulation and have the" deep cleansing action of tea tree and lavender to promote a revived complexion". I was a little wary of giving this a try as my skin is, in a word, pants. I have mentioned before that I am on combination drug therapy for my back and epilepsy and both absolutely wreak havoc with my skin. One day it is dry, another it is oily. You name it, my skin will experience it. Anyway, I subscribed to 3 boxes for a few months so I could find some new things to shake up my skincare and beauty routine so I gave this a go. 

It wasn't nearly half as harsh as I was expecting. In all honesty, I wouldn't have picked it up to purchase but having used it 5 times now, I am very pleasantly surprised. I find using a 10 pence piece size amount is plenty and the loofah doesn't have the texture of scrubs such as the St Ives scrubs (which I was a slave to when I was younger). I have been more than pleasantly surprised and although not sure if I will purchase it when I finish it - I am more than happy to use it in the meantime. 

Secondly, the Lord and Berry Intensity Lipstick in Peach Gleam. I am going to lump this together with the Lord and Berry Kissproof Lip Colour in Blossom as they aren't colours that I would wear but my daughter is absolutely raving about them. I did a quick swatch of them and this is what they look like (flash off)

I am not a huge fan of any kind of lip products unless they are either a lip balm or a lip stain/tar. I am definitely more of an eyes and face person. Saying that, I wasn't in the least bit disappointed to receive these as like I mentioned, my daughter was thrilled to get them. They suit her complexion perfectly. As this is second hand information, I can only tell you what she did (bearing in mind she is 17) but the lipstick apparently goes on brilliantly but isn't the greatest lasting. It looks fairly highly pigmented, but wears off even with good lip prep really quickly.

The lip liner is another matter altogether. It has a very creamy consistency so she used it all over her lips with a slick of NYX's Mood Lip Gloss in Sensual (found here) and it looked amazing. She wore it for a double shift at work and it didn't budge. I think this will be one that will be repurchased, and in different colours too by her. She is a happy bunny for sure!

Now we are on to my personal favourite from the box, the S5 Calm Serum. Given that I have skin problems that I have already mentioned, I was really looking forwards to this one and it did not disappoint in the least. I have used it for 3 nights on the run now and can feel a difference in the texture of my skin. The redness has calmed a little and the usual "itch" I get on my face after I have taken my medication is easily soothed by this. The sample size is a generous 10ml and a little goes a long way so I have got a good couple of weeks of this left. Given that this sample is £9 alone and a full size bottle is £44 I am so glad that I received it in this month's box as I know that a little goes a long way and even though the full size is £44, I feel it will be money well spent. For me? A purchase I will be making once the sample runs out. 

Lastly on to my least favourite item in this month's box, the Melvita Atomiser Orange Blossom Water sample. I genuinely hadn't heard of Melvita before and I don't think it will be on my radar after this either. I have POF so am getting hot flashes all the time and get absolutely no relief from it (unlike the Anatomical's Spray Misty for Me from last month's Glossybox which is fantastic). The smell alone is just odd. It has something in it that I just can't even try to describe, which only gets stronger after you have put it on. I really don't like it so out of all 5 items, this is going to be the one that I think will find its way to my Mum who I know will love it. 

I can't give this months Beauteco Box anything other than a 4/5. It was absolutely superb and I definitely couldn't ask for more for £10.

Fi xoxox