Monday, 16 January 2012

Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky - stormy weather...

So, ladies and gentlemen, it is official: I am a gigantic idiot. I had somehow failed to notice that a) Sally's in this country is just the same Mecca of glamour as it is in the States and b) there is one RIGHT OUTSIDE MY FREAKING FRONT DOOR. It is literally right over the road. I can see it out of my bedroom window.

Needless to say, I have made the best of this discovery once I got over my immense stupidity. The Saturday Shop began there this weekend just past, and provided me with two bottles of China Glaze (omg they sell China Glaze I am so happy) - one in Papaya Punch, a slightly terrifying tangerine colour that I bought because it was on sale and tangerine is apparently going to be a big thing this spring/summer, and the other in the ubiquitous Ruby Pumps. I also picked up a bottle of NMA Ultra Pro in Molten Opal, which I thought would make a good pearlescent topcoat, a pre-base-coat nail primer pen that stinks to high heaven but actually does seem to help with chip resistance, and a little packet of pretty black and while flowery nail decals. Remarkably restrained, I thought.

Yes, I too wish this photo contained less finger and more nail.
Less restrained was the fact that I popped back over the very next day while ostensibly out having a cigarette and dropped over a tenner on a bottle of OPI French Quarter For Your Thoughts. In my defence, I was coming to do this week's nails and I wanted something Januaryish. It's a beautiful stormy grey, just like rainclouds, and perfect for what I wanted the weekendly mani to be this time. Shown here - please excuse the random bus stop pic, I took it while waiting for the bus to work as the photo only looked any cop in the sunshine! - is that, covered with a top coat of the lovely holographic glitter I bought from the Accessorise range last week. It looks a million times better over this than it did over last week's green, upon which it was basically wasted. 

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Face of the day: A simple sparkly grey eye using a couple of the shadows I have recently bought from the lovely Sassy Minerals for cheaps, complemented with berry-stained lips from a lipstick I've had for a million years that originally belonged to someone else entirely that is probably from Stargazer Cosmetics but frankly who knows.

Scent of the day: BPAL's Rocking-Horse-Fly. Only two untrieds left to get through and the bumper pack of 45 imps I bought off ebay has yet to arrive, o noes :-(

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

On Failure

So the other day, as you know, I did slightly more shopping than was strictly necessary. But it was alright: I'd only bought things that I knew were likely to be reasonably failsafe. A pretty, sheer eyeshadow palate; very basic skincare things; dresses I'd already tried on; goodies from Barry M. Because if there's one thing I've learned in all these years of budget high street cosmetics, it's that Barry never lets you down. He's like my best friend in the whole of Superdrug. Other brands might mess you about, make false promises, crap out at the last minute, but not Barry: he might not be the swishest or the poshest or the most sciencey or even the prettiest, but he damned well delivers bright colour and gratuitous glitter that genuinely does stay on your face.

Until now.

Eyeliner Pen by Barry M in Emerald Green
The thing with this is that it so much didn't work that I'm almost wondering if I didn't somehow...do it wrong. I can't think how; after getting nothing from just drawing it on I scribbled it maniacally all over my arms like a pen that doesn't want to give ink, I tried it wet, I attempted a brush, I had a god over moisturiser, I even in the end desperately clipped off the very end with my thumbnail and tried further down in case that was the problem. But literally nothing I tried could get anything at all to actually transfer onto my face. It was weird. I don't think I've ever had a make-up product fail so hard on me.

I'm so surprised, actually, that I'm very likely to try again - I think I shall pick up another colour on Saturday and see if it was a fluke. Don't do this to me, Barry!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Divinely decadent, darling

I do always love having green nails. Cabaret is one of my favourite things of all time, and that line of Sally's came to me at a remarkably impressionable age and has stayed with me ever since. Alas, my nails are not quite as perfectly long and vicious-looking as Liza's!

I haven't thought ahead any further than Tuesday what they've got to go with, but tomorrow I'm going for a pretty green eye and on Tuesday after work I'll be out pretending to be a werewolf so anything with earthy tones is a good idea; I'll be in a dark green shirt at any rate. I shall just have to remember not to wear blue this week and I'll be on to a winner.

Over my standard ridge-filler base coat is a Collection 2000 polish that I can't tell you the shade of because the damn text has worn off the bottle, topped with the Accessorise clear glitter I bought on Saturday for a bit of extra sparkle. There's two coats of everything and a whole load of top coat, so with a bit of luck this shouldn't chip too much over the course of the week. I can but live in hope...

Today has been remarkably quiet on the beauty front. I've been giving my skin a day off make-up as I wasn't going anywhere, and I haven't even managed to get round to testing a BPAL today. I shall have to rectify that in the morning - I have a cheap job lot of GC imps I bought on ebay on the way here, and I really do need to get caught up with my untrieds.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

The Saturday Shop

Face of the day: a simple, casual smoky eye with gold and browns, and a carefully nuded lip. I'm getting quite good at invisible lips - there are some looks that I think work better if you basically make your lips vanish away into the rest of your face. I struck lucky when I found a nude lipstick that was basically my exact skin tone, and with that and a liberal amount of pressed powder this is trivial to do. The beauty spot, by the way, is kind of my trademark - I keep considering getting it tattooed on.

Outfit of the day: a big slouchy printed top over black bootcut jeans and my FitFlop boots. Simple, casual, comfortable; it's a Saturday and I have no plans other than shopping and I dearly want to relax.

Scent of the day: BPAL Black Temple Burlesque Troupe. I'm building up my BPAL reviews and database over on their own forums, and plan to keep it pretty much exclusively there - I know that BPAL is one of those companies that divide the beauty world somewhat, and while I'm a big fan I have no wish to annoy anyone [grin]

***

I am not at liberty to disclose what percentage of my weekly income I spent on Prince's Street this afternoon. The Common Sense and Decency Police forbid it. I got a pretty damn good haul, though, so I'm not feeling anywhere near as guilty as I should be.

First stop was Superdrug. I've bought myself a lot of skincare bits and pieces, including my first ever foray into the world of having separate day and night creams instead of just slathering on the same cheap moisturiser every morning after my shower and every evening after taking off my make-up. It feels really rather grown up. I also finally got around to picking up some cuticle oil. My nails are one of my projects at the moment - they're kind of a wreck. I'm even taking those special 'skin, hair & nail' vitamins every morning in the probably vain hope that they aren't just snake oil. On the make-up front I got a clear glitter polish from Accessorise's new range (can you believe I didn't actually own a clear glitter polish until now? I know, I know!), a new black eyeliner from Barry M as part of my relentless and largely disheartening search for the perfect pencil liner to draw in my eyebrows with (Boots 17 is utter shite, btw, as evidenced by my shitty eyebrows in the photo above), an emerald green pen liner also from Barry M, a nude/gold blush from Collection 2000 as I want to experiment with brown-toned blushers without breaking the bank and a dirt cheap pretty little eyeshadow palate from a budget company called beautyUK.

I'm not expecting miracles from this, of course; it only cost £3.99. But I've swatched them all on the back of my hand and they're actually surprisingly good considering the price and range - it's a nice collection of soft, pretty tones, perfect for spring. I'll try and get some half-decent photos when I actually get round to using them properly, though I make no promises.

Then I hit up Primark, which was surprisingly satisfactory. I tried on a large number of nylon dresses that made me look like an elephant, but also managed to uncover one little gem that ACTUALLY FUCKING FIT and was EVEN REALLY QUITE FLATTERING for, of course, barely more than a tenner. I've failed to get a photo so far that doesn't look like utter crap, but as soon as I wear it there'll be one of the whole look. Suffice it to say I'm pleased - floral patterns are going to be big this spring, and floaty chiffon is always in for S/S. This pattern is on black, which makes it feel 'me' as well as being on-trend, and it's in a few different colours that mean it'll work with all sorts of different eyeshadow and lipstick combos.

Other acquirations included a pair of high-heeled Oxford brogues (yes, I *know* they're on the way out but hush, I like them), a pretty patterned top in the burgundy wine shade that seems to be becoming the accent colour in my capsule wardrobe (the basic being black, obv) and a little black and white dress that ticks a lot of fashion boxes all at once - 70s for the buttons, 60s for the cut, colour blocking, drop-waisted, front pockets...

I was pretty chuffed, to say the least.

Then I went and spent thirty quid on books, BECAUSE I CAN BITCHES, including The Hunger Games which I keep on and on hearing about and have never actually read. And now I am going to go and play Skyrim, because it is about damned time too.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Current Lust List

I wish I knew where Geek Chic Cosmetics has been all my life. I do not think a single online shopping website has ever made me happier in the first ten seconds than this one did.

I'm holding off placing an order for now, probably, as I have bought too much already today, but Things I Want include Rose Tint My World (it is an EYESHADOW inspired by ROCKY HORROR I might have to DIE now) and Ebon Blade (because not only is it a WoW shadow, which wins, it also just might be that perfect burgundy I've been looking for to match the Radley handbag I got for Christmas). I also might wind up buying myself the complete Mana Screwed eyeshadow set some day, even if only because someone made eyeshadow inspired by M:tG and I feel it is my duty as a female gaming make-up geek to give them my money in return. (And to think I used to say I wasn't influenced by targeted advertising...)

As far as lipsticks are concerned, the range is much smaller but some of the colours look interesting. Thanks to a fashion disaster involving blue glitter lipstick when I was about fourteen I am suspicious of Hipster Arial, but it looks so sexhay in the photo on the site I might be brave anyway. I definitely want to have a go with KAOS, either way.

Here are some True Facts about me.

I have never in my life used any kind of primer.
Practically every item of clothing I own is from Primark.
I almost never style my hair.
I have been known to go a whole month without shaving my legs.

"So why on earth", I hear you ask, "should I listen to a single bloody word you have to say?" It's alright; my boyfriend asks the same question at least three times a day. In his case, the answer tends to be "because otherwise you're not getting laid for a week", but if that holds true for every single person who ever reads this blog then I'm going to need a bigger bedroom*.

For you lot, though, we're going to need something a little less in the line of blackmailesque threats that play into the 'mainstream' view of traditional gender roles in male/female binary relationships in the 21st century Western world. You'll have to make your own mind up, of course, but my suspicion is that you should keep reading because a) I can actually write a bit, sort of, if the wind's blowing in the right direction and the cock crows three times on the gatepost, b) I am totally prepared to lay bare my journey into the world of Real Beauty Geekery, failed smoky eye pictures that look like I've gone ten rounds with a rottweiler and all, and c) I really love this shit. I really really do.

I love glamour. I have always loved glamour. Ever since I was old enough to totter around the flat in my mother's high heels, I was disappointed that my mother wasn't actually very into wearing high heels and mostly only owned boots and flat sandals. One of my favourite things about going round to Nana's house was that she'd let me go through her big box of treasures saved from decades past and try on little lace gloves like posh women in films wear to funerals, and huge 80's earrings with more rhinestones than Britney Spears circa 1999, and brooches that looked to my untrained eye as though they could be a hundred years old. I've worn a full face of make-up nearly every day since I was twelve years old. I had a phase of wearing a black mantilla over my school uniform (I can't really work out why either). And now that I am a Real Grown Up with a Real Full Time Job and Real Money in my Real Bank Account, I know exactly where most of it is going to go.

So come with me. Learn with me. Watch me and roll your eyes at how quickly I manage to chip my nail varnish. Keep jumping in; the water's gone a bit cold but the bubble bath smells lovely.

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*I hope. Probably nobody at all will ever read this except my own mother and the long-suffering girl who sits next to me at work who is extremely lovely but has to put up with a LOT of my squee over random indie beauty shops I've just discovered on the internet. But what is life without hope? Apart from cheaper, obviously.