Tuesday 31 July 2007

Cheer Up

At the risk of sounding sorry for myself I’ve been having a bit of a tough time of it recently. My dear dog Pippo had to be out down leaving a big empty hole in my family and our house. Having rescued him from Italy two years ago I’d expected him to be around for a while but unfortunately he had inoperable tumours and there was nothing we could do. It’s hit us all really hard.

I’ve also been living in a building site due to a burst radiator and now that work has finally started the hot water has decided to stop. Three days and counting – thank god for the fabulous Miss W who has let me nip over to use her shower. Otherwise I think I would have no friends left.

It’s vaguely comforting to know that I am not the only one (you never are!). A pregnant Nicole Richie has been sentenced to time in prison but who knows when and for how long? I am all for celebrities doing time if they’ve done a crime but I am absolutely terrified at the thought of Nicole even being pregnant – I think she needs to sit quietly for the next 7 or so months until it’s born. Britney too has been not having the best of times – although she still seems to be in complete denial and have lost the ability to stop doing things she shouldn’t. Having had some sort of ‘episode’ on a photo shoot for ‘OK’ magazine she has also been acting weird on the set of her new video. If you had gone through a messy public divorce, had a messy public meltdown involving head shaving and umbrella wars and were constantly at risk of having your children taken away from you what would you chose as your comeback video?? Yes that’s right Britney – dress in leather waistcoat, shorts two sizes to short and fishnets and pole dance. That will restore everyone’s faith. This will work best if you punctuate practises with vacant eyed puppy cuddling.

I think what we all need sometimes is something to cheer us up in product form – and I’m not talking about Valium. Unfortunately I am too poor to be able to buy anything but a girl can dream. So here are some products I really want to try that are packaged and pretty to make a girl feel better.

Meteorites Powder for the Face (£30) by Emilio Pucci for Guerlain. The packaging is simply divine and is described as “the secret to a perfect complexion”. Made up of multicoloured beads each add something to the skin – the green takes away redness, pink adds healthy glow and gold adds highlights.

Mac Cosmetics Pigment in (£15) this is great for adding shimmer to the cheeks and brow bone or indeed anywhere and is available in over twenty different colours but my choice would be Frozen White or Frost as they look great over light blusher or on the brow bone.

Paul and Joe’s Eye Colour comes in 20 different shades and a cute compact. I really like the light green (01).

Crayon Liner in No 1 by Pixi (£12). This is a gorgeous green that will really make you feel like summer is finally here.

Benefit Hollywood Glo Body Lustre (£22). This body balm adds a rose gold glimmer to your body. Perfect for arms and shoulders now that the sun is finally out.

Flower Eye Colour by the Body Shop (£9). Comes in two colours – I love the look of La Cruz in Aqua Peach.

And finally Palette Mauresque for the complexion by Yves Saint Laurent (£36). Also available for the eyes but this is the one to go for I think made to give a healthy glow this mixes browns and pinks to avoid either the flushed or the dirty look.

Let me know if you are lucky enough to have any of these products or if there is something that you think I've missed that can cheer you up. Remember everything is impermanent so no bad feelings can last forever. xx

Tuesday 17 July 2007

Hangover from Hell?

I had a sudden realisation on the 6 hour (so not that sudden) train journey from King's Cross to Perth that having written about parties, Ibiza and now weddings I have yet to come with any tips for a crashing hangover. Needless to say I was suffering with one at the time. It all started on Thursday lunchtime and I am not responsible. Thinking it was Friday (I had Friday off to get up to Scotland) I agreed to a boozy lunch involving me and a three or four pints of San Miguel. Having realised my error I was left to suffer at my desk until 5.30 with impending doom in my sinuses. Obviously to get over this lunchtime drinking hangover I had to continue - demanding Proseco and Champagne from Mr J when I turned up tiddled for supper and getting increasingly in the 'holiday' mood by being alternately mouthy and sleepy.

Danger. Woke up grumpy and sore-headed on Friday with a train to catch and a Boots shop to accomplish. Having downed some painkillers I started thinking about what we can do to get over self-induced punishments whilst still looking fabulous (well... trying to). It's always tempting to go for the hair of the dog option but why prolong the agony? Unless its a Prairie Oyster I say stay away. So here are my rules for making the day after the night before as bearable as possible.

1. The first and most important rule is take your make-up off before you go to bed. I know this sounds obvious but I know that we've all been in the position of too drunk to get undressed let alone remove make-up. I keep some face wipes and a small tin of Vaseline next to my bed for those times when standing is just a little too much (if you can't make it to the shops you can get it here Vaseline Petroleum Jelly No. 3 - 225g or you can get the small tin like mine here). You know its true!! Waking up with last nights make up down your face and mostly on your pillow is a recipe for hangover disaster.

2. Take a Vitamin C before bed. Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant which helps the liver recover from the alcohol and minimizes tissue damage. It also bumps up the immune system making you less susceptible to a post-hangover cold. It's pretty easy to track down but also available here Goldshield Vitamin C Orange Effervescent 1000mg 20 tablets.

3. Drink 1/2 litre of water before bed. One of the reasons you feel so bad is the dehydration caused by the alcohol so drinking water before bed will make it less of a shock to the system when you wake up. If you are not a fan of water a 'sports' drink will do just as good - in fact sometimes these are better as they are made to rehydrate you.

4. I know how tempting it is to reach for the coffee or the comforting tea in the morning but in fact caffeine will actually make you feel worse and add to the dehydration. Herbal tea is a much better option - one of my favourites is Jackson's Green Tea or House Japanese Green, 50 Teabags.

5. Aspirin - sounds obvious but they really do help. Having lived with Mr J aka Mr Hangover for sometime I have witnessed first hand the wonders of Alka Seltzer (Alka-Seltzer XS - 20)... they work they really work. Stock up and feel the relief (unless you are like me and throw-up on the first sip - we weaklings have to stick to pill forms of pain relief - I choose Nurofen Plus).

6. Food is good. If you can't face it then go for toast but egg is great for dealing with toxins. If you are feeling really nauseous then Coke is great - the sugar perks you up and the fizz helps the sickness.

7. So we know that your insides get dehydrated hence the gasping need for water. But your outside is also affected. Have a hot bath which will help you sweat out some of the toxins and have a good moisturise afterwards. A moisturising face mask will make you feel better on the outside and give you a chance to put your feet up for ten minutes. I recommend Drink Up! by Origins.

8. If the skin on your face is looking tired scrub your face vigorously to get the circulation going and then use lots of moisturiser to plump. Now I know this sounds like madness but for make-up in this situation less is more.

9. I know this sounds like most booze victims worst nightmare but exercise and fresh air (I sound like Mumma B) is really good. Just go for a walk and take some deep breaths if that's all you can face - it will make you feel better.
10. Not for the faint hearted. The Prairie Oyster. Now, there are many different ways of making this but in it's true form as a hangover cure it really should contain just a little vodka. Here's my recipe for the perfect Prairie Oyster although you should adjust the recipe to suit you!
  • 25mls Vodka (some people use Brandy)
  • 10ml Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Juice (I recommend Clamato Juice which I think is available in Tesco's now but unfortunately their site is too rubbish to find out)
  • Dash of Tabasco
  • Dash of celery salt
  • Dash of Pepper (starting to feel like Jamie Oliver)
  • 1 Egg Yolk

  • Rinse a Martini glass with olive oil.
  • Mix together the Vodka and tomato juice and pour into the glass.
  • Next slid in the egg yolk - do not break it!!
  • Season with the Tabasco, Worcestershire Sauce, Celery Salt and Pepper.
  • DOWN IT... there is no point doing this half-heartedly. Down it and I guarantee you it will make you feel better. xxx

Thursday 12 July 2007


The big day for Miss E-soon-to-be-Mrs-H is upon us and I spent most of this morning counting make-up products into my bag. Have been having nightmares of arriving in Perth without the chosen eyeshadow or necessary implements. Think I must have remembered anything and to be honest I'm not sure anything else will squeeze into my bag and from the look on Mr J's face when I reminded him of the necessary excess of make-up, I'm not sure he's willing to carry much more! I've opted for my cream summer dress from Joy with massive flowers an birds outlined in gold thread with gold suede stilettos. Not sure that this is the best choice of outfit for Perth (Scotland not Australia) wedding but have got fingers crossed that the heat wave will descend any moment.

Will let you know how it goes... fingers crossed!! xx

Saturday 7 July 2007

Lucky Me

I was lucky enough to see Tori Amos play the Hammersmith Apollo on the 4th July which also happened to be Me and Mr J's anniversary, so as a double whammy, he bought me a delicious sushi supper before hand. I'd been in a bit of a decline as we originally missed tickets but thanks to Mr T we got guest list and so had great seats. The sushi was amazing, although has confirmed my suspicions that I'm getting slightly too attached to raw fish and meat.

As for Tori, she was, as usual, unbelievably good. I know that venues have great sound systems and acoustics deliberately but she is the only person I know who can physically and vocally fill an auditorium. She is also one of the few people for whom a seated show works. I am a fan of seated events because at 5'3" it's often a visual nightmare to go anywhere that you have to stand to see. But when you are sitting you inevitably get the urge to dance - or, as was the case here, you manage to find the most annoying people in the world to sit next to. Mr J was next to a couple who thought that rocking the seats and singing loudly and out of tunley along was funny. When ticket prices are around the £35 mark, other people trying to match their vocal stylings with Tori is not amusing. However, they were eventually told to put a sock in it and it really didn't take away the enjoyment of the evening.

But as always I left vowing to be more glam and try harder to make myself presentable. I think this feeling is partly due to me being flat-shoe-bound after the doctor pronounced the arrival of my second bunion. She does always look amazing though - no matter how kooky or what she wears. This time as it was a significant date she appeared first in a yellow/peach short and shirt combo with gold heels but then changed into an amazing glitter jumpsuit of the American flag... not many people could carry it off but of course... she can.

I don't think I'll go as far as the glitter jump suit just yet but I do need to spruce myself up definitely. I'm on a mission. I'll let you know how I get on xxx

Get Tori's latest album American Doll Posse here.
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