Wednesday 31 October 2007

Back in the Saddle

Liesel and I completed our sponsored ride on Sunday and although we got absolutely drenched it was a really great day (but not one of my most glam!!) She jumped beautifully, was extremely well behaved and we managed to raise £145 for the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund . So although I arrived home soaked to the skin and have spent the last two days barely able to sit down (or get my hand out of the ‘claw’ position) it was all totally worth it for such a great day. Taking advantage to use it as an excuse to spend most of this week in hot baths with my latest read (Slash: The Autobiography).

I waddled into work on Friday to see that I had won a prize for ‘greenness’ which was a lovely surprise. I have to choose my prize and am having a look at all the latest ‘green’ cosmetics. Stella McCartney has a great range. All products are not tested on animals, 100% organic non-genetically modified ingredients, no chemicals or petrochemicals and suitable for every skin type - the Nourishing Elixir looks great. Another great ‘green’ skincare range is Ren – they cover everything from skin and facial care, to fragrance and haircare. I really love the look of their Phytokeratin Volumising Conditioner for Fine Hair (£19.50). I’d also love to try REN Zostera Marina Cleansing Wash 150ml (£16.50).

I’ve managed to get my hands on the new paperback edition of That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything in Between by Victoria Beckham. This is a really fun book with great pictures and tips but I have to say that I did not feel that it told me anything I didn’t already know. She gives great advice on where to get certain items of clothing and accessories but unless I am more clued up than most on fashion (which I don’t think I am necessarily) I feel that I could have written a similar book and, dare I say it, maybe done it slightly better. It would be a great girlie present but with books like The Goddess Guide around I fear the competition is pretty stiff.

I’m really loving the L'Oreal Resist and Shine nail varnish which I put on my toes nearly three weeks ago… it still hasn’t chipped!! Although I think I will stick to pinker colours on my tootsies and keep the red for the hands so far this is the longest lasting nail varnish I’ve had on my toes ever. There’s also a new comer in nail care which I think is a must try for all of you who love to varnish Butter London looks fantastic. None of their products contain formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (so are known as 3 Free) and as well as doing a fantastic range of colours (Macbeth, Portobello Pink, and Henley Regatta for the more adventurous) they also do nail fertilizer (Horse Power, £20), ridge filling basecoat (Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat, £18) and many more. And they do loads of fabulous gift packs which are great as presents ranging from £12 for a travel pack which complies with new airport rules (containing remover, sanitizer, nail files and cotton pads) to £18 for Lacquer Lovers (a set of two nail lacquers in either a ‘Vogue’ or ‘Vintage’ look) or for the really extravagant the Ultimate Mani Pack. It’s £90 but you get lacquers, treatments and files. It’s really worth checking out their site.

Mr J and I attended the annual Halloween party at my sisters house in Brixton last night. As usual there was mind-numbing punch and fantastic nibbles to be had. And we're going to not one but two fireworks displays this weekend. Brockwell Park on Friday and Ravenscourt Park on Saturday. I can't wait - I love fireworks although they have a nasty habit of making me feel prematurely festive. xx

Wednesday 24 October 2007

Don't Mention It

Just when you thought The White Company couldn't get much better they have now set up a Gift Reminder Service. You can fill in the date and the occasion, the age and gender of the recipient and the approximate budget. Not only do you get a reminder email but they will also give you some recommendations for the present. Perfect!

For those of you who live or venture to East London a new bar has opened and I really want to check it out. Mary Janes Bar & Lounge is the new place for cocktails, with speciality liqueurs and flavoured vodkas. Sounds like the perfect post-payday treat.

Now I hate to bring this up. But it is only 8ish weeks til Christmas and although I hate all the decorations going up too early it is true that the earlier you do your shopping the calmer the whole thing is. So I'm going to try and seek out some present ideas and deals that may help us out. I'll keep you posted.

One great new product which I would love to try and think would make a great girlie present is New Id Comsmetics' I-Smoulder. With an angled pencil at one end and eye shadow at the other it comes in Charcoal and Ember - perfect for smoky eyes xx

Monday 22 October 2007

Your Next Bold Move

Last night was finally the night when I dragged a rather willing Mr J off to see Ani Difranco at the Shepherds Bush Empire. I had a filthy cold and was feeling a bit subdued. I had also forgotten how massive the queues are outside the venue. It was all totally worth it. Mr J firmly believing in the healing powers of whisky made me have two for medicinal purposes so by the time Ani's support act Hamel on Trial came on I was feeling revived! I have to say I nearly forget just how good she was live and last night was as good as ever. What I did find strange was that nobody in the standing area was dancing (we were on Level 2 which I was initially annoyed about but it meant that a) i didn't have to stand which I really didn't feel up to for four hours, and b) we didn't have the eternal problem of me not being able to see anything). But I could barely sit in my seat - and I thought it must be a bit weird to be playing to a nearly still room. If you haven't already I really would recommend checking her out (Righteous Babe).

Britney just keeps going with the bizarre behaviour. This time she has got her lips plumped and crashed her car again. I just cannot imagine the decision making process that goes on in her head! She has got some visitation rights back though so fingers crossed she can do that right. Same goes for Amy Winehouse who has been arrested in Norway for drug possession. Refreshingly Lindsey Lohan seems to be doing well out of rehab although I don't want to speak to soon... It's the season finale of Grey's Anatomy on Thursday night so no guesses as to where I'll be on Thursday night. Ugly Betty series 2 has started though so there is some consolation.

This week I've been testing out [A'Kin] Rosehip and Shea Intensive Anti-oxidant complex. It smells great but the consistency is a bit strange after application. It is a great cream but I'm not sure it is up to the stiff competition out there. I'm going to give it a bit longer and see how it goes.

I got my roots hightlighted this weekend at Tony & Guy Essensuals. My colourist does a fantastic job but I think next time I'm going to make an attempt to return to my natural hair colour. I keep seeing brunettes and hearing my mother say that she thinks most people look best with their natural hair colour (although she has been telling me to stick to blonde). But I think next time it's got to be done.

I've been in bed all day struggling with this cold. I wish I'd got my act together and had got my hands on Camilla Morton's latest, A Girl for All Seasons. It looks fantastic and perfect for a bedridden Miss B (see Treat of the Week). xx


Sunday 14 October 2007


I have to get my disgust for today's News of the World off my chest before I can write this post. Today they had photo's of Kate Middleton stalking with Prince Charles saying that in today's gun culture they thought it was irresponsible. I was so cross because it's a perfect example of gun's being used responsibly in a tradition that has been going on for hundreds of years. Whether you agree with stalking or not there are people there who have been properly trained and who are using them in a safe environment. I think that we have a growing problem with gun crime but that doesn't mean anyone who handles a gun is going to use it dangerously. I hate that people waste time on tiny incidents when the serious ones keep getting worse.

Right - now that's over I think I tracked down four great nail varnishes on Friday (having convinced myself that they were necessities). The first was actually a Miss F find. It's Revlon Nail Enamel for £4.99 in One Perfect Coral. It looks slightly different depending on your skin tones - it looks more orange on Miss F and more red on me but what I love about it is that its a calmer alternative to a more post-box red. I can't stop looking at my hands!! The next is L'Oreal's Resist and Shine in 505. I can't track the actual colour down for some reason but this is a light red which is really girlie and pretty - I think it's the perfect red for toe nails. 17's Knockout Red is a cheaper, slightly darker version of the L'Oreal and 17 also do a great 3 in 1 clear nail varnish which moisturises and conditions and makes the perfect base and top coat. Both were just £2.59. I've been feeling like a real glamour puss since my nail fest at the weekend (Mr J had his eyes opened to a whole new world of the nail varnishing process). I will say that the Revlon did only manage to stay on for three-ish days but this is no criticism really. I have yet to find a nail varnish that can last longer than that and I've been trying for ten years!!

Right - the jury is in on the James Brown and Kate Moss new haircare range. First a bit from their press release...

"James Brown defines British hairdressing. One of the world's most sought after and influential session stylists: he has more British Vogue cover credits to his name than any other hairdresser. His signature brand of effortlessly cool hairstyling from grunge to high-octane glamour has influenced a generation "

"When formulating the range James called on his best friend and muse Kate Moss for her advice on fragrance direction and packaging aesthetics. This new partnership between James and Kate is a continuation of their long-term relationship which has seen them as best friends, flatmates, trusted confidantes and, on camera, as fashion catalysts. Kate's involvement also sees her as the face of the James Brown London brand, ensuring this exciting new launch is as much about James' and Kate's personalities, professional experience and personal favourites as it is about natural and efficacious ingredients. "

Now Miss F and I are pretty much the perfect testers for hair products. Her hair is naturally blonde and thick with curls at the end. Mine is fine, but there's lots of it and peroxided to within an inch of it's life. We both wash ours every other day but Miss F's can definitely go a bit further without washing than mine which, being fine tends to stick to my head and lose all volume. We were trying the dry hair shampoo and conditioner and the styling balm. Due to the peroxide my hair can be dry and frizzy. Miss F's has a tendency to frizz and although it's not dry - she wants it to shine.

I found that my hair felt really silky after using the James Brown products (the conditioner is pretty tough stuff so should just be applied to the ends of your hair) but the day after it lacked volume. Miss F loves it - she says it makes her hair feel shiny and her curls are proper curls rather than frizz. I think that a first wash with the James Brown and the second wash with the Thicker Fuller Hair Shampoo would do the trick for my hair (that's if I can get to the James Brown before Miss F). The Styling Balm is great is smells really nice and even though it feels quite hard (literally) to apply this actually ensures that you don't overdo it (which is the most upsetting thing). This range is definitely worth trying.

Got some more lovely treats in the post today so am off to check them out xx

Tuesday 9 October 2007

Miss F Returns

Miss F has returned from her sojourn in Australia so finally we are a full house again and Grey's Anatomy normality can be restored). This week we will mostly be washing our hair - the new James Brown products have arrived and I have to say... I'm impressed. They smell gorgeous and I had a sneaky try on the balm in the car and it seemed pretty good. I used the shampoo and conditioner for the first time today and my hair does feel softer but definitely less volumised. But obviously will take a few washes to settle down so will keep going. Am impressed so far.

I've been feeling so lethargic this week (I'm blaming Miss F for my sympathy jet-lag) but haven't been too lazy to notice how great Nicole Richie is looking now she is pregnant. She looks really healthy and happy so I'm hoping that motherhood will sort out the weight problems once and for all. We'll have to wait and see. Another person who is continually in the papers (apart from Ms Spears and her lack of underwear) is Amy Winehouse who was apparently so upset when her husband failed to appear at the MOBO's that she is talking divorce. I'm not holding my breath though - it certainly seems too good to be true. Right - off for the first wash with the James Brown... xx

Thursday 4 October 2007

Shopping Spree

I sat down to write this two hours ago but I have been finally going through all my emails and I had loads of really nice ones from people who read this but also I’ve been told about a couple of new products out there which I’m determined to sample. The first package of goodies is currently sitting in the post office waiting for me to retrieve it tomorrow morning. It’s James Brown’s new haircare range. He’s one of the most sought after British stylists and who has he chosen to collaborate with? His best bud, ex-flatmate and muse, Kate Moss. I can't wait to try them out! I’ve also been told about a new mineral cosmetics brand from Australia - Inika. Not only are their products made from minerals with no parabens, talc or fragrance but they’re also 100% Vegan. Want to give those a go too.

It's been a good week for me with my goodies but a bad week for... you guessed it - Miss Britney Spears. She's now only allowed to see her kids in the presence of a social worker. I've completely lost faith in her turning her life around. I still really hope she does but she just doesn't even seem to be trying... in any way... at all!! When I got back from holiday friends of Amy Winehouse said she was coming round to their way of thinking but this actually seems to be untrue. She's missing the first couple of dates on her November tour to be by his side in court.
But back to normality… for Mumma B’s birthday (which falls in the middle of our family holiday so is always tricky to for packing) I gave her some L’Occitane Elixir from Immortelle. It’s supposed to show results in one month so I’m going to go and prod at her face this weekend.
I’m loving the You’re Bluffing by Benefit. It really works. This really was a decadent buy because I don’t suffer too badly from patchy skin. I do always get redness around my nose and this works like a dream. It also comes in (typically) great packaging too. Some Kind-a Gorgeous is fabulous. I am less keen on the packaging with this one. It’s pretty clunky and plasticy – but luckily what’s inside is worth the £19.50 you pay. These were my welcome home from holiday treats. But then I get an email telling me about their new product Cupids Bow. Not only is it a lip liner with two shades but there’s also a brush and sponge all in one. I must resist I must resist… well I’ll try really hard to resist.
My final hurrah on the spending front was a trip to Topshop last Thursday night. I finally succumbed and bought a pair of skinny jeans. They do not look good but I'm determined to tone the thighs. They have become my aim. I also bought a jumper from the new Kate Moss range (Kate Moss again!). Which is really gorgeous. Worth a look in - if you can face it.
I’m getting excited about seeing Ani Difranco in a couple of weeks time at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. I am taking Mr J though so am slightly concerned about how he’ll handle it. Not content with spending my salary on products I bought some mugs from the Righteous Babe website. The best thing for a cup of tea. I’m going to use it for my lunch time soup. I’m desperately trying to shed a few pounds but have no will power whatsoever so keep cheating. I’m trying to do exercises in the morning, and not eat carbs after 5 but then naughty Miss K tempted me into getting a bagel from breakfast. The aforementioned lack of will power ever present I had Pastrami, cream cheese and pickles. Full fat cream cheese obviously. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.
Miss F is still in Australia. It’s very strange without her – watching Grey’s Anatomy is just not the same surrounded by boys with no ally. She’ll home soon though and then I get to watch them all over again thanks to the wonder of the Sky+ box. Speaking of which it’s 10.30 on Thursday – time for some McDreamy. It's sooooo good xx

Monday 1 October 2007

New Arrivals

Woke up on Saturday morning to find the first box of my Benefit order has arrived. I'm overjoyed to have my Bad Gal eye liner back but I was also intrigued to try out the You're Bluffing creamy yellow correcting stick after the disaster that is Rush Hour I was having doubts about their more different products. But it really works and of course the packaging is divine. Now just waiting for the Some Kind-a Gorgeous to turn up then I'm going to have a fully girlie play about and let you know what I think. xx
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