Wednesday, 30 April 2008

When Life Gives You Lemons...

I have only pre-ordered two things in my life. Juno - which is one of the best films I've seen for years and the new Atmosphere album When Life Gives You a Lemon You Paint That Shit Gold: Deluxe Edition. The exciting thing about pre-ordering is that just when you've kind of forgotten that they are ever going to exist they arrive in the post like a present. The bad thing is - that to pre-order something means you must really want it. And patience is not a virtue I possess.

Thankfully the Atmosphere album was well worth the wait. As usual this album is completely different from its predecessors. Based on fictionally stories thought up by the ever prolific Slug and smoothly produced by Ant, When Life Gives You a Lemon You Paint That Shit Gold: Standard Edition sounds like nothing they've ever done before - but in a good way. My favourite tracks are Puppets, Yesterday and The Waitress which are definitely the 'sing along' tracks on the album. It hasn't been out of my CD player since it arrived and prompted me to immediately search for (and find) tickets to their show in June at KoKo where they will be playing with Brother Ali. I seriously recommend going (if tickets are still available). You will definitely get your £15.50 worth - available through (the best events website in London) xx

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Sucked In

If it is this month that I am declared bankrupt then I shall be holding Miss M a little responsible. We took the day off work on Thursday to go shopping. It sounds extravagant but with both of us working in badly paid industries we both rather felt like we have been constantly on a strict budget since leaving university. So we wandered through Selfridges and manged to restrain ourselves although, for me, the beauty counters are like heaven. We nipped into Boots on our way to Yo Sushi for some lunch, just to pick up some L'Oreal SuperLiner for me when lo and behold we get waylaid by the Benefit girls wanting us to try thinks. Stronger women than us would have kept on walking but next thing I knew I was at the till with Dr Feelgood, Hollywood Glow, and That Gal. They didn't even have any of the eyeliner left!

Both of us are aware that quite often with Benefit they look great but don't actually do anything. Miss M got off lightly by getting That Gal and Lemon Aid - the latter I swear by and use every day. As for the former... I'm not so sure it does anything. It's a primer which goes on before your foundation to brighten your face and keep your make-up on. Whilst it may keep my make-up on I can't say I've noticed any brightening... but then again it's hard to tell under bright office lights what's going on! But for £19.50 I want to see some difference!

Dr Feelgood (£19.50) is supposed to give you a smooth matte finish when applied over your make-up. However, the girl in the shop informed me that she uses hers underneath her foundation. This does seem more sensible to me as surely you'll just muss up your foundation by rubbing anything over the top of it but again I can't see it making any difference. It does smell nice though... and feel nice. But as for closing my pores and giving my face a matte finish? I just don't see it. But again it's early days and I may yet be surprised. As for the Hollywood Glow. It must just be my skin that likes to be as pale as possible. Miss M loves this... I can baste it on to no avail. Nothing. None of the promised 'rose-bronze' tint. But I'm determined to get my £16.50's worth and make it work. Back to the bathroom for me for more experimenting I say. I'm determined that it will be money well spent. xx

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

The Illusive Spring Tan

Since the arrival of Johnson's Holiday Skin I have made a point of trying out that and all similar products on the market. Johnson's caused my slightly sensitive skin to itch so although it worked (in a slightly orange way) I felt it my skin wasn't happy with it so what the hell, I'd try all the other choices. The Dove Summer Glow smelt ok (better than the Johnson's which they have just bought out 'smell-free') but after using it for two weeks and still being pasty white I lost all faith in it. I've recently tried it again to the same disappointing results. However, this is Mumma B's self-tanning moisturiser of choice so it clearly does work for some. Garnier SummerBody was next on my list and this was my favourite so far based completely on the way it smells. I'd like to say that this left me looking like the sun-kissed beauties on the adverts but it did not. It left me smelling nice but still looking like I'd spent the summer sunbathing on my east facing roof terrace in London. Again I re-tried this recently to no avail. I'm still valiantly persevering with the Garnier SummerFace but having gone for a foundation consultation recently and been recommend 'Ivory' I can't say that it's made any difference at all.

Have I been put off spending my money on these products? No. Today I was seen back in Boots examining my options and wondering whether itchy red lumps were really so bad if they appeared on rather orange (rather than see-through) skin. Had Mumma B been closer to hand rather than examining the vitamins a couple of aisles away I may have saved myself a valuable £5.99 but no. Instead I found myself leaving with a bottle of L'Oreal NutriSummer Tone-Up for 'medium skin' (whatever that means). Not only does this give a 'gradual sun-kissed look' but it contains caffeine which will apparently help banish my cellulite. I have to say that although I'm an advocate of using products which are good for you I'm not sure that caffeine sounds like a particularly health conscious option. But I'm determined to make an effort to look good before the summer rather than being taken by surprise as always and therefore blinding people with my glaring skin as I wheel out my summer wardrobe.

I really want to try Vani-T's Body Bronzing Mist. It's 99% organic and is an immediate tan which gives a honey glow whilst moisturising. Available for at Austique for £24 this may be the easiest and most skin-friendly option. In fact instant tan may be my only option after the self-tanning disappointments of the past but I'll keep you posted. xx

Saturday, 5 April 2008


It's been a while but it had to happen sooner or later. No 7 have stopped doing my standard everyday fail safe eyeshadow. I thought it may be a temporary blip but no... it's still not appeared after months of patient waiting. I could take the hint that I'm just not trendy anymore but no - instead I'm determined to find a replacement. And not only have I done so but I think I've found better.

I loved the No 7 in Opal because it was silvery white without being too 80's and OTT and the replacement, Revlon ColorStay 12 Hour Eye Shadow, well, it just looked too white and needs careful application but it's amazing. It says it will last for 12 hours but I have long ago stopped believing these kinds of claims but (and I hate to say this in case it jinx's it...) it seems to be true. I don't know whether during the day I manhandle my face or have particularly sweaty eyelids (I'd like to point out that they don't feel sweaty), but after a long day the eyeshadow is definitely... well, patchy. Not so for the Revlon. Having just looked in the mirror this puppy stays on - it's a dream come true. Now I just have to worry about when they decide that this is no longer fashionable. Then the hunt will continue. But for now I'd definitely recommend the Revlon ColorStay as a great eyeshadow for everyday use - whatever the colour! xx

Wednesday, 2 April 2008


As soon as I had my hair cut off and dyed auburn I decided that although I am not a natural blonde I am in fact a blonde at heart... and a long haired one at that. Easter weekend was spent reverting back to being 8 and sitting on my mother's knee weeping whilst she attacked the disaster with curlers, straighteners and scissors.

It's not a disaster. A week and a half later I'm used to it but am having the slow realisation that although blonde's are supposed to have more fun the auburn in me wants to behave badly and go out all night. Which is nice but not great for my bank account, or the bags under my eyes, or the people who have to speak to me the next day, or Mr J who has to deal with remorseful phone calls and persuade me that I'm not really a bad person!

I've been getting used to the hair with the help of Maybelline's Define-A-Lash mascara. this actually does what it says on the packet. It's clump free and the ultra-flexible brush gives a great coat of deep colour. The last lot of Max Factor Masterpiece I purchased is really clumpy so a nightmare to use without a comb. Define-A-Lash is definitely it's new rival for my favourite mascara. xx

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