Clinique's Superbalm moisturizing gloss

Monday, 28 March 2011

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I've been trying out a couple of the Clinique freebies that I purchased in the recent Glamour mag promotion. One product that I knew I would love is the Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss, as I had tested it via another mag promotion (I think it was Elle). I'm not a big lipstick wearer, but I love glosses, especially sheer ones so these were ideal.

The product is described as "lip balm with a colourful twist. Gorgeous colours treat your most undermoisturised skin to helpings of soothing shine. Instantly relieve dryness, protect with antioxidants and more".

I can certainly vouch for this, it's a lip gloss and balm all in one. Dry lips are annoying and some glosses and balms just don't cut it when it comes to moisturizing so I was delighted to find that these Clinique ones live up to their promises.

As for the colours, I have sample sizes of Grapefruit (left) and Currant. Grapefruit is a pale blue pink with white shimmer, whereas Currant is a rich reddish deepened purple.

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On my lips, Grapefruit is almost clear, a very, very pretty pale pink in some lights.

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Currant is also very sheer but has a slightly deeper red tone to it as you can almost see here.


These glosses retail for £13 for 15ml which I think is quite pricey. I think I'll be sticking with snapping up the various sample sizes (7ml) that always seem to be on offer on eBay instead, but other than the price, I do love these balm glosses.

Bodyform Seven Sins tins

Friday, 25 March 2011

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Those clever people at Bodyform have designed a new range of tins to store your unsightly sanitary towels, entitled the 'Seven Sins' collection. Be gone those days where a brightly wrapped one would fall out from your handbag and embarrass you in front of your silly male friends. The ones who would pick it up and start sticking it to their heads or doing other very stupid things with them whilst chanting obscenities such as 'You're on the rag!' (further proof that females mature much, much faster than males) Yes, those days are truly over, thank you Bodyform!

Anyway, I do quite like the designs and ending up getting two. I got 'Greed' and 'Vanity'; one for my everyday handbag and one for my travel bag. Stylish and practical, yet they could have designed them to hold more than one unsightly sanitary towel though. Perhaps that's why there are seven to collect?

One free with every promotional pack of Bodyform.

NOTD: OPI's Red

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

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As a nail polish fanatic, I am all too aware of the sometimes ridiculous names attributed to colours. So it was refreshing to come across this one which is simply called 'Red'. And it does what it says on the bottle, delivering a nice bold true red that applies nicely in two coats.

The Virgin Suicides - Jeffrey Eugenides

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

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Blurb: "The shocking thing about the girls was how nearly normal they seemed when their mother let them out for the one and only date of their lives. Twenty years on, their enigmatic personalities are embalmed in the memories of the boys who worshipped them and who now recall their shared adolescence: the brassiere draped over a crucifix belonging to the promiscuous Lux; the sisters' breathtaking appearance on the night of the dance; and the sultry, sleepy street across which they watched a family disintegrate and fragile lives disappear."

One of my all time favourites. Despite its macabre subject, The Virgin Suicides elicits lost childhoods spent during long summer days and is one of the most original coming of age stories I've ever read. There's a lot of warmth and romanticism as the boys who longingly watch the Lisbon sisters, narrate the middle class American suburbia around them. Through the boys, we are privy to a sheltered bubble that Mrs Lisbon tries to keep her daughters in to protect them from the outside world. Yet this cotton wool wrapping attempt of preserving innocence only makes things worse. The five Lisbon sisters (Cecilia, Therese, Mary, Bonnie and Lux) entrance the boys and after the sisters are gone, its the boys who are left wondering how and why things happened the way that they did.

The descriptive writing is at times poetic and simply beautiful; often wistful and yearning. It goes through the emotions of being young, witnessing death at that age and overcoming it.

Suicide is still sadly a shamefully taboo subject, even in our modern day relatively liberal world. There's just something about it that unsettles people and put them on edge and this book explores some of the aspects of human reactions when it happens in their neighbourhood. Is it strange to say that I enjoyed reading this? Perhaps, but I think that shows how much further the story goes and how many different threads (love, youth etc) can be unraveled from it.
10/10

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It is rare that I love a film adaptation as much as the original book, but The Virgin Suicides is certainly an exception. Directed by Sofia Coppola, it brings the book to life in beautiful detail.


Top fashion chains ban sandblasted jeans

Monday, 21 March 2011

A number of high street companies are being urged to ban the sale of sandblasted jeans. The process of sandblasting can cause serious illness to workers and even death. Campaign group Labour Behind The Label have highlighted this issue in their new report entitled Killer Jeans.

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An example of a pair of sandblasted jeans

Sandblasting is a process that gives jeans a 'worn' look, one that has been popular for some time with consumers. Silica sand is one of the most commonly used mineral abrasives in the process. The compound breaks up very easily which leaves behind large quantities of dangerous dust and exposes workers to potentially contracting silicosis, a debilitating lung disease. Use of silica sand in this way has already been banned in Germany and Portugal for these reasons.

"The trend for killer jeans must be phased out by companies and rejected by consumers with immediate effect." - Sam Maher, co-author of the Killer Jeans report. She is also calling on the brands to compensate workers who have been made ill by using sandblasting machines.

Internationally famed denim brand Levi's and popular high street retailers H&M stopped use of sandblasting back in December. Marks and Spencer and New Look have also said they no longer use the process, whilst Next have declared that they have cancelled all new orders. Supermarket chain Asda have said it is in the process of phasing out sandblasted goods and budget retailers Primark are expected to be be 90% sandblast free by the end of the year.

Disappointingly, the high-end denim label Diesel says it would stop sandblasting on its products 'early next year' and Matalan have stated that it is currently reviewing the safety procedures of the process, implying no promises to stop the sale of sandblasted goods in its stores.

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You can find out more from Labour Behind The Label.
Original news source The Telegraph via Yahoo! News here

Films I've watched recently pt 2

Sunday, 20 March 2011

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1. Dead Man Running (2010) - I'm not sure why I watch films with Danny Dyer in, they are usually dire to say the least... this one is no exception. 2. The Expendables (2010) - can only be described as THE stereotypical action blockbuster for boys. 3. Inception (2010) - I liked it but I wasn't overly wowed by it. 4. Little Miss Sunshine (2006) - Love this, one of my absolute favourites. 5. Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994) - um... pretty awful. 6. Predator (1987) - Arnie, the 80s and some dreadlocked alien in the jungle. 7. Ghost Town (2008) - Hilariously sarcastic, I feel that this film is underated somewhat. 8. Zoolander (2001) - my sister had never seen this, so that was quickly rectified.

Salt of the Earth natural spray deodorant

Saturday, 19 March 2011

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I made the switch to natural deodorants about a year ago and I haven't looked back. There are some nasty chemicals in commerical deodorants and with more and more people becoming less inclined to readily purchase parabens etc, a whole 'green' market exists to give us the choice of what to buy.

Solid crystal deodorants have been around for centuries so I used them first when I switched and I love them. They last a long time so are very economical. For a change, I decided to try out the spray (basically a liquid version) and whilst it works well for me, I will probably go back to the solid one purely because they last longer.

The spray (£5.08 - 100ml) and the solid (£5.60 - 90g) ones I tried are from Salt of the Earth. You can buy them from Crystal Spring, as well as most highstreet health shops. Shipping from Crystal Spring is very fast and was free when I ordered. Bonus!

NOTD: Topshop's The Big Easy

Thursday, 17 March 2011

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Blue isn't a nail colour that I am immediately drawn to usually, but for some reason, this one caught my eye. Makes a nice change from what I usually wear and I love the cute packaging.

ELF High Definition Powder

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Having seen this product being hyped for some time and having run out of my usual face powder, I decided to see what the fuss was all about regarding ELF's High Definition Powder.

What is it and what does it claim to do?
"The high definition loose powder creates a "soft focus" effect to the skin. Masks fine lines and imperfections for a radiant complexion. The incredibly soft and invisible powder is great for on-screen and everyday wear."

In a nutshell, an invisible face powder to make your skin look better.

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It comes in a matte black plastic box/container which is quite chunky and much bigger than anything else I've seen a face powder packaged in. You get 8g and it costs £6.

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Upon opening, a lot of the powder immediately fell out. The packaging is cheap and clumsy so be warned. It comes with a face puff which was OK quality but I prefer to use my Everyday Minerals kabuki brush to apply these sorts of product. The sifter tray is very useful but the sides of it seem to distribute far too much powder all over me and my desk.

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How do I use it?
"The microfine particles are designed to be used with high-definition camera technology or for everyday wear. Apply powder all over the face for a professional and youthful look of perfection."

Below is a quick swatch I did to show how chalky it is before blending. Upon blending into the skin, it does keep its claim of being 'invisible'. The main problem I have with it is that it doesn't seem to do anything else... you apply it, it looks invisible, and then it just looks like you haven't applied anything!

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Overall verdict
I didn't see any change in my skin. It looked like I was wearing nothing. I tried not blending it so much but it just started to look chalky like in the swatch above. Perhaps it works better/only on paler skintones? Who knows, but it did nothing for me. 0/10

Please support The British Red Cross

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

If you've been watching the news, reading newspapers, following blogs and feeds, or even just going about your daily life, you'll have no doubt come across the many recent disasters that have been troubling our world. From Australia, New Zealand, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and now the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, millions of people have been deeply affected, directly and indirectly.

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You can donate here.

Please give whatever you can to support those helping on the ground. There are many, many organisations in need of financial donations to send aid, but if you're feeling slightly overwhelmed or unsure, then The British Red Cross is always a good one to support. Please remember to tick the Gift Aid boxes if you are a tax payer so that more of your money can go to the charity of your choice.

If you are unable to give financially yourself, there are many other ways you can help. Having a clearout and donating items to the local charity shop branch that is helping overseas is one idea or you can organise a fundraising event at your college/uni/workplace etc. And simply helping to spread the word doesn't cost anything.

Glamour-mania and other magazine freebies

Monday, 14 March 2011

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That time has come again where women (and probably a fair few men) in their thousands rush to their nearest magazine retailer and consume, consume, consume. Yep, it's Glamour-mania. What is it this time?

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Ah, Clinique products!

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Yeah, I shamefully went to WHSmith with a big stack of Glamour in my arms. My haul:-
High Impact Mascara, Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss, Take The Day Off Make-up Remover, 7 Day Scrub Cream, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, Liquid Facial Soap and two All About Eyes. These are all very generous sample sizes (30ml and 4g) and perfect for travel bags.

I wanted to get the Moisture Surge as well but alas, they had all been grabbed. Two products I wasn't fussed about was the High Impact Lipstick (I rarely ever wear lipstick) and the Long Last Glosswear (which I've tried before and despite its claims of being 'non sticky', I found it much too sticky).

I got the last two All About Eyes and would have picked up more if they were available, I love this eye cream and by the looks of it, a hell of a lot of other people do too.

A great promotion with the mags costing £2, it's easy to see why people went a little bit crazy. At the time of writing, there were still quite a few lipsticks, make-up removers and lots of the facial soap left.


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But why stop there? This month's Marie Claire (£3 travel size) has a 100ml Cowshed body lotion in six different scents (same ones as the shower gel freebies last year). I got the Moody Cow one, but refrained from collecting any others as I have a LOT of body lotion to use already.

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And this month's Bliss magazine has a free pack of lip gloss tubes in assorted colours from Barry M for £2.50.

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But let's not stop at beauty products. The newly released Baked and Delicious has a free pack of six coloured silicone cake cases. A steal at just 99p!

Whilst you enjoy your goodies, please remember to recycle all of those excess magazines you may have picked up. Pop them in your paper box for kerbside recycling, give one to a friend/relative, drop one off at the doctors/hospital, get out the scissors and make a lookbook or perhaps even an economic collage of how one goes into WHSmith intent on only spending £2 and comes out the other side of the checkout significantly poorer.

Films I've watched recently

Sunday, 13 March 2011

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1. Minority Report (2002) - Satisfying Sci-Fi thriller featuring everyone's favourite scientologist Tom Cruise. 2. Wolfman (2010) - Amazing horror remake, beautifully shot and Emily Blunt looks more amazing than ever. 3. Suck (2009) - Rock 'n' roll vampire horror comedy with Alic Cooper and many others, suprisingly good and certainly not as naff as I thought it would be. 4. Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (2010) - is Jake Gyllenhaal one of the most attractive actors of our modernday times? Yes. Is Gemma Arterton one of the most attractive actresses of our modernday times? Yes. No further reasons needed. 5. Leon (1994) - Love, love, love this, one of my favs. 6. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) - yeah I'm still really into this.... I know, the shame, the shame.... 7. Chaos (2005) - really awful film, it's just terrible. Ryan Phillipe, whatever compelled you to be in this?! 8. Vanilla Sky (2002) - confusing but brilliant in a really weird way.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey

Sunday, 6 March 2011

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Blurb: "Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is the seminal novel of the 1960s that has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Here is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient who witnesses and understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the awesome powers that keep them all imprisoned."

I very much enjoyed reading this. We see the world through the eyes of a half American-Indian, a giant of a man called Chief Bromden. Chief doesn't say or do much of anything as the people who run the mental institution where the story is based, think he's deaf and dumb. He plays along with them and pretends because he finds it much easier to get by this way. One day, a loud red-haired man by the name of McMurphy is committed and begins to wreak hilarious havoc on this asylum which is run by a tyrant named Nurse Ratched, or the 'Big Nurse' as Chief calls her.

Once I'd gotten the image of Jack Nicholson finally out of my head (he played the character in the film adaptation), McMurphy really came alive for me in the novel. I loved his anti-authority stance, his overbearing confidence and his ability befriend a group of mentally ill patients, when he was actually faking to be there to avoid doing time at the Work Farm. Genuis! He is such an amazing character and was a delight to read about. McMurphy's defiance againt Nurse Ratched turns badly for him at the end but it was his confidence and personality that managed to finally free Chief Bromden, both physically and mentally.

Great book, definitely another one that falls into 'the book is so much better than the film' catergory.
9/10

NOTD: O.P.I's Pink Before You Leap

Friday, 4 March 2011

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inside by the window / inside under artificial light

With the return of some sunlight, I instantly chose this gorgeous pink glittery nail varnish by O.P.I. It's even prettier when the sunlight catches it and it glistens and twinkles, ahhhh. Can you tell I am longing for summer already?!

BUAV Little Book of Cruelty-Free 2011

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

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The new BUAV/Leaping Bunny product PDF has gone online today, and lists over 100 companies who have been approved and verified on their strict no-animal testing policies.

As well as the very green/eco independent companies, it's comforting to see continued support from some of the bigger names on the high street such as Urban Decay, Too Faced, L'Occitane, Marks & Spencer, Liz Earle, Paul Mitchell, Dermalogica, Hard Candy and Neal's Yard Remedies.

Whilst I would say this isn't a complete list of all of the non-animal testing companies out there (I think it's safe to say that two of my favourite independent brands, Barry M and Lush don't test on animals), I'd say it's a good starting point for anyone interested in this issue.

The BUAV's Little Book of Cruelty Free can be viewed here.

Avon's Ultra Colour Rich Moisture Seduction lipstick

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

That has got to be one of the longest titles ever for a lipstick?! I recently received a sample of Avon's latest lipstick in the post and decided to try it out.

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The sample I got was the 'Red Kiss' shade. A pretty pink-based red which I wasn't expecting as the lipstick itself was a dark, very deep red.

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On the lips, it's a nice solid red. It is very moisturising and stayed on for several hours without the need to reapply. I'm more of a lipgloss kinda gal and rarely wear lipstick because I do find many brands are drying, but this does live up to its ridiculously long name.

You can get a free full size sample (paying p&p of about £3.50) from Avon here.
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