Birchbox October 

Birchbox October 

This month’s Birchbox just got dropped off, it’s a pretty box too. 

There are five beauty products in this box – two are fullsize. 

ModelCo Contour Stick RRP £8 – this is way too dark for me – it just makes me look like I haven’t washed. Shame as I picked it as my choice of ModelCo product this month.

 

Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash RRP £16 – this has a bit of a strange a scent probably because grapefruit and frankincense don’t really go. However it’s a good facewash – not too astringent but does leave skin nice and clean. 

Anatomical Grab Your Melons Shower Gel *Fullsize* RRP £1.50 – nice zesty morning shower gel. In collaboration with charity CoppaFeel this shower gel reminds you to check your boobs with a handy shower sticker. 

EcoTools Contour Perfecting Applicator *Fullsize* RRP £5 – essentially a beauty blender on a stick. Nice soft sponge designed to create and blend your contour. 

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner RRP £16 – essentially a skinny felt pen eyeliner in a nice solid black. Another way for me to end up with it smeared all over my face. 

A nice balance of products from the skincare and make up options. While I don’t think I’ll get much use out of the contour stick the rest will be handy. 

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Review: The Red Thread – Dawn Farnham

Review: The Red Thread – Dawn Farnham

I was kindly sent this in exchange for my honest review. 

The Red Thread is book one of the The Straits Quartet – set in colonial era Singapore. 

The author lived in modern Singapore for many years and has written several books sit in the country’s past. 

I found it quite hard to get into this book to begin with – which follows Charlotte McLeod as she travels from Scotland to be with her brother who has been appointed to head up the first police force in the British colony. 

It also tells the story of two young men, Zhen and Qian, who travel at the same time from China in search of success and fortune. 

Their paths will cross with Charlotte’s with explosive personal results. 

There’s some quite raunchy sex scenes so maybe don’t leave this lying around if you’ve got young children who are learning to read (it happened to my friend with a different book). 

Anyway, back to the book. 

Once I got into the plot a bit more it picked up a pace and was really easy and pleasant a read. 

There are some sad moments and as I said some very sexy ones. The story is peppered with real people and sits into a historical narrative, including Raffles, who founded modern Singapore, but has already returned to England as Charlotte arrives. 

I enjoy historical fiction that gives context as the plot unfolds, as this does, rather than giving a history lesson before the story. 

Although one day I am getting a time machine and going back to tell all these daft women living in tropical climates to throw away their petticoats and crinolines asap and swap them for sensible native dress. 

The ending seems quite final – so it would be interesting to see where the story picks up in the next book. 

Glossybox October – Unicorn vs Mermaid 

Glossybox October – Unicorn vs Mermaid 

This month’s Glossybox is about those two Instagram faves Unicorns and Mermaids. 

I received the Mermaid box which is a pretty greeny/purple colour. 

Inside there is matching paper and ribbon which is lovely, and will be very recognisable in the photos I’ve taken. 

The beauty products inside are very much in keeping with the theme starting with the Make Up Revolution Mermaids vs Unicorns eyeshadow palette. This is lovely, with shades covering something of a rainbow from greens to blues, purples to pinks. 

Sleek Creme to Powder Blush in Amaryllis – this is really pink but I have been told I can pull off a bright pink blush. It feels very soft and silky, gliding onto skin. 

Lord & Berry Magic Brow in Brunette – once again a brow product I can’t use, way too blonde for this. 

Bang Beauty Dolce Pink Cream Colour – at first I couldn’t work out what this was, the packaging gave nothing away – it could be a lip gloss, blusher, highlighter, who knows. However it seems to be an eyeshadow, a bright cream eyeshadow. Which is a bit of a random item. 

Kawaii Brush Cleanser – I have a cheap eBay version of this and it is brilliant for getting my make up brushes super clean. 

I really liked this box – something of a return to form for Glossybox, which as you know, I have occasionally been furious with for their choice of products. 

You can also purchase a unicorn or mermaid jumper from Glossybox to go with the box. Unfortunately they’re a) £30 and b) the large is still quite small. So I won’t be partaking. 

The Blogger Tag 

The Blogger Tag 

I saw this on Naomi’s blog a while ago and lost it in my drafts. I love a tag post – it’s a great way to tell your readers a bit more about yourself. 


1.       How Tall Are You?

5ft 8in – so just above average for a woman

2.       Do You Have A Hidden Talent? If So, What?

I can pick things up with my toes – like pencils or paintbrushes when I was a kid, it’s useful if I drop something.

3.       What’s Your Biggest Blog-Related Pet Peeve?

The snide bitchiness that goes on and the accusations of stealing people’s ideas – it’s not always plagiarism. Sometimes it’s genuinely being inspired by a post. Maybe just say “this post was inspired by ….” or something. 

4.       What’s Your Biggest Non-Blog Related Pet Peeve?

People who walk really slowly in the middle of the pavement so you can’t walk around them. Living in London this is a daily nightmare. 

5.       What’s Your Favourite Song? 

It changes depending on my mood, but Nina Simone singing “I think it’s gonna rain today” is always on the list.

6.       What’s Your Favourite Social Media Website?

I do love the twitters (HT Marian Keyes)

7.       What’s Your Favourite Way To Spend Your Free Time When You’re Alone?

Reading and eating popcorn, or taking a much needed nap. I do love a nap.

8.       What’s Your Favourite Junk Food?

Probably salted popcorn with Galaxy counters or chocolate buttons chucked in there so you get the salty and the chocolatey – oh so good.

9.       Do You Have A Pet Or Pets? If So, What Kind And What Are Their Names? 

Currently we have four rats, all girls, Izzie who is a pink eyed white and about 2, then 3 little cheeky ratscallions – Rosie Posie, Dumbo (Little D) and Ninja who are sisters and about 8 weeks old, they’re hooded, dumbo rex rats, so they have different markings, really soft fur, big round ears and curly whiskers.

10.   What’s Your Favourite Fiction And Non-Fiction Books?

This could be a really long list – I have so many top reads, but I will go with These Is My Words by Nancy Turner as I love this book so much, and recommend Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis (from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers) as my favourite non-fiction biographical book as it is so compelling a read I literally read it in one sitting. Otherwise Prisoners of Geography is one of the most interesting non-fiction books I’ve ever read.  

11.   What’s Your Favourite Beauty Product Or Tool?

I really do like a good blending sponge and my Spectrum Collection brushes are pretty excellent. Product wise I am a big fan of Soap & Glory’s primer and Make Up Revolution’s setting spray, both mean that my make up looks good and stays put.

12.   When Were You Last Embarrassed? What Happened?  

I trod on the  back of my friend’s boot the other day, she was really nice about it but I need to watch where I put my clown feet.

13.   If You Could Only Drink One Beverage (Besides Water) For The Rest Of Your Life, What Would It Be?

Diet Coke – my one vice apart from buying takeaways instead of cooking too often…

14.   What’s Your Favourite Movie?

Much like the book question this contains multitudes – Empire Records, The Princess Bride, My Neighbour Totoro, Rent, Disney’s Hercules, the list goes on…

15.   What Was Your Favourite Lesson In School And Why? 

Drama because Mr Jones was a fab teacher, and I thought I wanted to act. I now know I’d be better off as a Stage Manager, and that one day I will write a play.

16.   If You Could Live Anywhere In The World, Where Would You Live? 

There’s an island in the Venetian lagoon that hardly anyone lives on – that would suit my hermit nature down to a tee.

17.   PC Or Mac?

I like the look of Macbooks but I lack the resources to own one. Mostly I use my dying laptop.

18.   Last Romantic Gesture From A Crush, Date, Boy/Girlfriend, Spouse? (Or Kind Gesture From A Friend)

My fiancé, bless him, isn’t the romantic sort really, but he bought me some biscuits while I was stuck at home sick in a bid to cheer me up.

19.   Favourite Celebrity?

Not really into celebrity as such – there’s some pretty cool writers out there I’ve met and Sarah Millican seems like she’s pretty awesome.

20.   What Blogger Do You Secretly Want To Be Best Friends With?

George from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust – who is incredibly lovely (we got our first rats from her) and just seems to be someone who’s really fun to hang out with.

21.   Who Is Your Biggest Inspiration? 

My Grandad – left school at 13 to start working, was in the RAF, lost his father at 19, first wife died at 22, moved to London shortly after, met my Nan, married her, adopted her children (my mum and aunt), raised his family, worked like crazy, ran his own company, retired and sold it, got bored so went and got another job, has travelled all over the place, and now takes care of Nanny who is very poorly, despite being 86 with 2 new knees, 2 pacemakers and hearing aids. He’s pretty cool and we swap thrillers.

22.   What Is Your Favourite Blog To Read? 

Vix Meldrew is hilarious and insightful. I also loved Tara from Cattitude & Co but she’s taking a break from blogging right now.

23.   What Is Your Favourite High Street Shop?

Waterstones or Superdrug probably – books and skincare are pretty much all I buy these days.

24.   Are You In Education Or Do You Work?

I work for a charity, but even when I was a student (oh I miss those days) I worked as well so it feels like I’ve been working forever. 

First Impressions: Urban Decay Naked3 Palette

First Impressions: Urban Decay Naked3 Palette

I rarely buy pricey make up products, partly because I’m a high street shopper and also because I’m often on quite a tight budget. 

But on my way to the Bloggers Blog Awards last weekend I popped into the Urban Decay in Kings Cross (I was really early to the station thanks to C – I think he just wanted me out of the house) and treated myself to the Naked 3 palette with the last of my birthday money. 

Now this palette isn’t cheap, at just under 40 quid it’s at the pricey end and about £30 more than the last palette I bought. 

It’s a selection of quite warm pinky tones, which I tend to wear for every day, make up free make up (if you know what I mean). I asked the sales assistant her thoughts and she agreed this was the one for me. 

The shades are quite highly pigmented with a mix of matte and glitter colours, going from day colours to more smoky night ones. 

Although the shades are quite small in terms of pan size I think this will last a while as it’s well packed and pigmented. 

The packaging is nice too and feels quite well made, with actual brushes not those weird sponge applicators, and they feel quite good quality. 

Also UD is cruelty free so that’s happy bunny time too. 🐇🐇

Overall I really like this and am happy with my purchase. I don’t know if I’d buy another Naked palette as the others maybe wouldn’t work so well with my skin tone but I certainly like the look of some of their lipsticks and other palettes. 

Goodbye Glamour

Goodbye Glamour

I remember the first time I saw a copy of Glamour magazine. It was on the floor of my cousin’s bedroom, I was 14. Not exactly the target audience but something clicked. 

For years Glamour was the magazine I bought. I collected every issue and stacked them by my bed (they got thrown out by my dad when I went to uni). 

The first ever UK edition – April 2001
I continued to buy it, and not just when there was a freebie stuck to the cover. Two quid a month was reasonable and I preferred it to the other options. 

Women’s magazines seem to be dying out – there used to be dozens, now there’s about four.  

And Glamour won’t be among them monthly anymore. An announcement that “Britain’s No 1 Women’s Magazine” is going to only be published biannually has stirred up the internet. Even it’s own columnists (Juno Dawson, Dawn O’Porter among them) have spoken out in sadness. 

Magazines are weird – basically disposable books (recycle them please) that come out monthly and cover fashion, beauty, feminism, world events, culture, books, films, TV, interviews, celebrity news and gossip – it’s a lot to pack in. 

I kind of understand the thinking – as we move everything online people aren’t buying magazines any more. You can get similar content online instantly, not in monthly chunks. So a twice yearly release plus a “digital first” policy sort of makes sense. 

But it is sad. October’s issue (actually November’s because of the weird way magazines date themselves) a special 200th edition, is sat next to me, along with the other magazines I read (Blogosphere, Bust, Bitch, Rock n Roll Bride). 

The current issue – November 2017
Glamour is the only mainstream publication I still buy – the others listed above are all indie publications and for the most part, quite specialised. 

Part of me wishes I still had my Glamour archive, it would be quite impressive now. Especially as now it’s going to be a rare purchase but those long ago copies are definitely now recirculating as recycled paper products. 

I don’t keep my copies anymore – the loss of my original 50 or so put me off. But Glamour will still always mean something to me, just as that early copy on my cousin’s floor did. 

Body Shop Birthday Buys

Body Shop Birthday Buys

It was my birthday last month and I treated myself to a few bits from The Body Shop’s make up range. Thank you for the Love Your Body Club discount. 

So what did I buy you ask? 

Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick – this might look rather odd, it’s a sort of purple/black in the stick but it’s designed to adapt to the unique pH of your skin to develop into a poppy shade that suits your skin with a matte finish. It also smells good too with a floral scent.

 At first I wasn’t sure about this but if you let it settle it really works – the soft reddish pink I got is really nice. 

Lightening Touch Universal Radiance – an illuminating highlighter which is super easy to apply (it has a built in brush) and leaves skin dewy. 

I really like this and can see it being used for brow bone and cheek highlighting. 

Lipscuff – this green stick contains lovely mint to buff away dead skin on lips and moisturise at the same time. 

My lips are super dry, especially in the winter so this is genius – a lip balm that’s also a scrub. 

Drops of Glow Lustre Finish Creator – a multi use illuminator – mix it with your favourite foundation or moisturiser to add all over glow, layer onto eyelids for extra sparkle or use like a highlighter. 

On days when I don’t wear make up this will be perfect mixed into my moisturiser to keep my skin looking healthy without needing foundation. 

Shade Adjusting Drops (lightening) – this is a pretty famous product, mix it with that foundation that’s just a bit too dark to lighten it and make it more wearable. 

Being quite pale I struggle to find foundations (and concealers) that are right so hopefully this will help level out the slightly too dark/orangey ones and make them more wearable. 

L-R: lightening drops, drops of glow, velvet stick, lightening touch.