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17 Dec 2014

Serozinc comes to the UK!

If you read even just a few beauty blogs you will have heard of Serozinc.  It is the must-have bloggers skincare secret.  Once upon a time everyone went crazy for La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo, which I still use to this day, but then word got out from our continental friends that there was another cult La Roche Posay (LRP) product that we couldn't get! Cue endless trips to French Pharmacies to get our mitts on this most elusive of skincare items.


Well no more, Serozinc has arrived in the UK.  It will be sold exclusively by Escentual initially, you can join the waiting list here, which may be wise as I reckon this will sell out fast. I was incredibly lucky to receive a free sample in my goody bag at the LRP Bloggers Christmas Party (which was at the beautiful Magazine Restaurant at the Serpentine Gallery) and it really lives up to the hype.


What Does Serozinc Do?

Serozinc helps with combination or acne prone skin and helps control oil production.  This is not something that can be used by everyone, as if you have dry skin it would be disastrous, but for those of us not blessed with matte skin, this is a god send.  I have been using it for just over a week now and I can report that my skin is much less prone too oily outbreaks and I am even having to up the amount of moisturiser I am using!!!

How Do You Use Serozinc

It is a toner and like all toners it follows a thorough cleanse but before moisturiser.  The application is a dream as the aerosol can just lets you do a quick spray over your face (I like to rub it in at this point) then you just carry on your skincare routine as normal.  I apply Effaclar Duo on top as my moisturiser.  It can also be used to refresh your skin makeup throughout the day.

How Much Does It Cost?

It will be sold for £8.50 as a standard price but is 15% off at Escentual at the moment so it's only £7.22  Over the water in France it is just €5 which means it is still worth stocking up when you go on a Continental trip but for those who have built this in to their daily routine, we can now just stock up as needed.


Has anyone else tried this yet? I'd love to know how it works on other peoples skin.

11 Dec 2014

Christmas Party!

At the end of November I had my first Christmas Party of the year.  It was with the Mums from my daughter's school and was at the local golf club.  As always I took this as a chance to dress up.

picture taken before I put nail varnish on so that I wouldn't smudge it!

I got to wear my favourite dress, that my Husband bought for me to wear for his 40th in Las Vegas.  It is from LK Bennett's Black Ribbon collection, which is their luxury line, and I love it, though it is a pain in the ass to keep looking good as it shows both creases and marks up with only a glance at it.  

I wore OPI Vampsterdam on my nails which I picked up for only £3.99 in TKMaxx, it's a sheeny mulled wine kind of colour.  My shoes are from Nine West (last years, similar here) I bought them as the pale gold is pretty neutral and goes with most things.  Plus Nine West shoes are always comfortable and are generously sized. My bag is from Accessorise and is around 260 years old or thereabouts.  Note to self...must buy new evening bag, preferably one that my phone can fit in!

I went pretty minimal on the makeup as I was wearing such a bright dress, that I figured I would let the makeup take a back seat.  I have on all the usual suspects (see any of my previous makeup posts to get an idea) along with Urban Decay De-slick spray to keep it in place, I find this does help with the longevity of my makeup, I wouldn't say it last all day, but it definitely lasts longer.  The bottle is pretty large and I have had mine for a couple of years so far so a goo investment for special occasions.  I ventured to curl my crazy stubbornly straight hair with large barrel tongs and I used  volumising products, but it still dropped within 2 hours anyway.  

Obvioulsy I didn't wear my robe, this was before getting dressed.

What is everyone else wearing this xmas? 

26 Nov 2014

November Empties

I love a good empties post, it's when you get to see whether something perfomed past the first flush of infatuation and into it's twilight years.

Here is what I saved from the bin for your viewing pleasure this month.


The Best

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash 

This is a firm favourite in my house, everyone likes using it, including my Husband.  Silky and moisturising with a fresh sweet lime cheesecake scent.  Only slight downside is the price but if it's on 3 for 2 then it only works out at £4.30 per bottle.  This last me about 3 months as the pump stops you using too much.  The empty bottle can also be repurposed for shampoo/conditioner holders for the kids so they don't use a third of a bottle every time they wash their hair.

Botanics Cleansing Foam Wash

You have seen me using this before, I know your not supposed to use foaming washes, but this one is so gentle and effective, it doesn't break me out and is a dream on oily skin. The best part is it's only £4 but often they have half price so you can pick it up for £2!

Retinol Reface by Indeed Labs

I have a whole post on this over here.  I love this silky retinol treatment for the face.  It is a bit siliconey which may not be everyone's taste but it doesn't leave me greasy and can be layered with other face products easily.  The price isn't too shabby either at £19.99 and it's regularly on 3 for 2. I already have another one in my backup drawer waiting for my to finish my ROC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream.

MAC Fluidline in Dipdown

I actually got to within 10% of finishing this baby before it went dry which, I'm sure you'll agree, is a miracle with gel eyeliners.  The colour is lovely and can be worn on a daily basis without being too dramatic, you can build it up for evening looks too so you can go all dramatic without having to wear black.  This really lasts and is on my re-buy list now. £15.50

Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in Addiction

I have re-bought this already as it is only £4.  A your-lips-but-better neutral colour.  It glides on nicely and is retractable so no sharpening needed.  It lasts well, though not amazingly.  I use this as a lip colour when I don't know what to wear.  Then I just layer on a coloured gloss or balm to give more depth. Another good colour in this range and not as dark is East End Snob, I hate the name but a good mid tone pink for everyday wear.

The Meh

Tres Semme Liquid Gold

This used to be my go-to hair serum, that is till I tried the Organix version that smells divine and is identical.  I don't believe the Moroccan Oil hype as it's first few ingredients are all silicones so the amount of Argan Oil left will be negligible.  See more detailed post here.  I do think that this is a good serum when it's on offer I bought mine at Superdrug and it was on offer so was £2.99 (usually 6.99) which is great for a decent quality serum with a pump.

Victor and Rolf Flowerbomb

I really wanted to love this but it just didn't have the sillage or the depth that makes a great scent for me.  I found it good as a Spring/Summer everyday perfume but nothing truly amazing.  Luckily it was a gift from Duty Free as I would have been gutted if I had paid for it.

The Dreadful

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

What was all the hype about! Seriously this stuff strips your skin and leaves it red and I have very robust skin that very rarely reacts to anything.  It gave me a lovely collection of blemishes within days of using it.  I discontinued use and then tried again with the same results.  I definite no for me, maybe better for others *I doubt it*

Scholl Cuticle and Nail Cream

Dull, boring, ineffective...  I didn't even finish it (and I had owned it for about 5 years) I'm going to stick with Sweet Almond Oil in future decanted into the cute little Solar Oil bottles which is pretty much what Solar Oil is anyway.

Aussie 3 Min Miracle Light Deep Treatment Mousse

I am the biggest fan of their original 3 Minute Miracle and have been using it for about 15 years, I love the smell, the feel of it and the result I get.  It's even a good price.  But this... Oh dear... I can't even brush it through my hair it has no "slip" so you can't comb it through your hair to evenly spread it and detangle.  I ended up using a handful about the size of a hedgehog to get any detangling going on at all.  Then, if I wasn't unimpressed enough, it decided to constantly dispense the remainder of the container down my shower walls for the next 3 hours until it was completely empty.  Definitely wins award for Biggest Let Down of 2014.

Offending article on the left :(

So there you have it, a trawl through my trash.

7 Nov 2014

Comfy Cosy Winter Style

I ordered this jumper dress on whim from Very, as I was looking for something for Christmas parties, but when I saw this, I knew it would work for so many daytime occasions over the festive period.  I did buy an night-time outfit for parties too which I will post at a later date when I have figured how to style it.  It was only £14 which is ridiculously cheap for such a nice dress.

Navy Duffle coat - originally La Redoute similar here on sale for £20! 
I love the colour which is the most true in the face shot, it is a purpley red with good blue undertones so I don't look too florid in it, though I would NEVER wear it it without makeup as it is very bright so needs balancing.

Bright Pink Jumper Dress from Very £14.40

Boots - originally from White Stuff £95 - similar here or here
 For more functional and reasonably priced outfit ideas follow me on Bloglovin here, or use the mail sign up form on the top right if you prefer it all a bit more old school :)

6 Nov 2014

Learning to Run - 8 Weeks On - Update

If your looking for a cheap, effective and totally personal workout then I fully recommend running (more like jogging) I wrote a post, 2 months ago when I decided to embark on a new fitness regime.  I started the 5k Runner app and followed its simple instructions 3 times a week for 8 weeks.

Was It Easy?

Yes to start with, as the walking outweighs the running so most of the time you are just meandering along.  As you get to week 4 though, things start to get harder.  I just found solace in creating an awesome playlist so I could keep running when I just wanted to stop.  The last 2 weeks are the hardest but because you know you have come that far you won't let yourself give up.  I tried hard not to skip weeks/sessions on the app as I had tried that before and it doesn't give your body time to adapt so you then are unable to complete sessions later on.

Do you ned anything special?

To start with I just bought another pair of exercise capri pants, so I could have one on and one in the wash.  To be honest though you could just chuck on any old tracky bottoms, a t-shirt and get going.  I would recommend ensuring your trainers are run-worthy though as if you sprain anything by twisting your ankle early on it will really annoy you.  I have since bought a fleece headband (I look terrible in this) to stop my ears getting frost bite as I run first thing. I have also purchased some sealskinz socks to stop my feet getting wet.  I am not a fan of running on roads, there is too much, traffic, crossing junctions, boring views, beeping white vans and other people for me.  The place I run most is generally used as a rugby pitch and so is awash with mud.  The first few times I stood in an ice cold puddle, I just got on with it but after a month or so I looked into buying some waterproof trainers, but they were all either hiking boot type things or hideously expensive. I found these fugly socks.  They aren't cheap, but because you can wear them with any shoes (obviously not stilettos!) I figured they would be useful.  They are parts of the Standard Army Kit so I figured they should be good.

Have you lost any weight?

Nope, not 1 solitary pound.  But...I have eaten enough cake recently (I blame Great British Bake Off) to have normally put on weight and so the running is negating some of my less than healthy eating habits.  I have lost size though  All my jeans are looser on me and my legs and arms, bizarrely, have toned up lots.  I imagine if you did this in conjunction with a diet it would work wonders but I figured that starting to run after a 10 year hiatus was enough for me, so I just concentrated on one change at a time.

What are the main advantages?

I found that the main thing I noticed is my mood improving.  I am much more positive after a run and feel more able to take things on.  I also noticed an improvement in my skin, I guess all the blood pumping round was helping the cells gets everything they need.  I also like feeling that I have accomplished something that I had been avoiding for years.  I had used every excuse to myself for 10 years and I have shown myself that it was just a load of rubbish.  I suffer with back pain, but running has eased it lots, it was bad the first few times I went out, but it quickly eased.  I also told myself I would start running when I was lighter which I see now, is the most ridiculous thing ever, but I honestly felt that it would be too hard to run with more weight.

What do you do when you've finished the C25K app?


I ran my first 5k last Saturday at the Banstead Parkrun, which are free 5k's that run every week in parks all over England.  They are a great way to try a race without the pressure.  I went with some friends which helped me feel less nervous and my Husband came too.  I was definitely not first but then neither was I last so I was happy overall.  I guess you could graduate to training for a 10k if the idea of running for an hour straight doesn't bore the pants off you. I however have decided to stick to 2 x 20 min quick runs per week and then 1 full 5k each week.  I am hoping that I can improve my Parkrun time and also keep my stamina for longer runs. I found this for anyone who fancies keeping going once the 5k mark is reached.


Has anyone else started running?  I know loads of my friends have.

30 Oct 2014

How to Wear Ankle Boots with Curves - Lotus Teagan

When the lovely people over at Lotus offered me the chance to try some of their shoes, I obviously snapped them up.  I decided to try something slightly outside of my comfort zone as I live in knee high boots in Winter and so I opted for these gorgeous ankle boots.  They are called Teagan and are of such high quality for the £75 they retail at.  The thing that impressed me most, was the comfort as I spend nearly all day on my feet (well except for when I'm blogging) and these have lovely padded insoles and a sensible stacked heel.  They have a normal leather front and then a suede snakeskin effect back which makes them more original than most ankle boots out there.  I also really liked to leather pull, on the zip which makes them a doodle to put on.


Lotus Teagan Boots £75

I figured it would be too easy to just put these on with some bootcut jeans, as all you would see was the front, so I decided to try a different approach.  I love the looks I see on Pinterest with ankle boots paired with dresses, but as usual this is a look that works best on those with a slimmer frame.  So I decided to adapt it slightly by matching the colour of the tights to the boots and skirt so that it slimmed my silhouette but still gave me a slightly more edgy look than usual.  To be honest edgy would never be a word you would associate with my style, I play it safe every time.

Here I wore them with a Poncho, ribbed black skirt and tights.  I would wear this outfit regularly as it is so comfy and versatile, I could wear this for most anything.

ankle-boots-with curves

I also gave the ankle boot, cosy sock and tights look a go, I'm still not sure on this... but I figured it was worth a try.


I then tried a more dressed up look.  I have a on a Ted Baker coat that is several seasons old and was originally red, but I dyed it black.  I promise I am wearing a skirt beneath the coat, contrary to photographic evidence.

ankle-boots-with curves


Overall I am really impressed by the boots, less so my styling of them, but I reckon with a bit of practise I may be able to give wearing ankle boots without trousers a go.  I liked that as a size 8/9 UK these fit me with ease, which I would say means they are pretty true to size, towards slightly generous, so if you like to wear socks under your boots then you would be able to do this with Lotus shoes. If you fancy taking a look at their range this is the site that I got them from, I also really liked these boots, which are more biker-y.


To keep up with all my latest attempts at making myself look presentable, feel free to sign up with Bloglovin here.

22 Oct 2014

Autumnal Nails with Revlon and OPI

I am not a big fan of Summer nail polishes, apart from the coral pink ones, they without fail, look dreadful on me, I don't think my skin is made for such bright colours.

Now Autumn colours is a completely different matter.  These are just the colours I have worn in the last week, I reckon I could list about 20 colours that I love for Autumn.

OPI My Private Jet Revlon Mischievous Revlon Smoky Canvas

As you can see from the pictures above, the colour in the bottle is somewhat different than the colour once applied.  All of these are 2 coats and no top coat.

Revlon Smoky Canvas- Review

Smoky Canvas is such an easy to wear everyday colour, it is a kind of a mushroom colour and looks great on the days where you just want to wear black.  I like that this one is good at hiding chips too.  It is obviously not quite on the same chip-hiding scale as Nude polishes but it's not bad either.  It is nice and opaque after 2 coats and has a reasonable glossy finish.  It seems to have been discontinued now but Bare Bones by the same brands is just a slightly warmer version.

OPI - My Private Jet - Review

I adore this colour and had been after it for about a year when I eventually needed a top up product to get a deal on a purchase of a steam mop (oh the glamour) and so I got this.  I want to wear this everyday, obviously this is not possible, but I still wish I could.  For those of you in-the-know out there, this is the non-holographic version, but I like its subtle sparkle as I am not a big bling fan.

Revlon Mischievous - Review

I have had this a couple of years now and it is a lovely muted purple.  It as actually closer to the colour in the bottle than the photos I took, but I couldn't get it to show up well at all.  In case you haven't gathered I am am a serious Revlon nail polish fan.  Their formulas are so heavily pigmented and the bottle is larger at the bottom which helps me to not knock it over whilst applying it.  I also really like the brushes that come with them.  I often buy these when they are 2 for £10 in Superdrug.  They last for ever and I rarely get to the end of one. Again this one has been discontinued but here is an almost identical shade from Barry M called Cappucino £2.99.

What are your favourite colours to wear in Autumn?

19 Oct 2014

A Woodland Walk with Joe Browns

I have just got my Joe Browns Catalogue through the door and a couple of pieces really stood out as perfect Autumn Day Wear. I already have a similar pair of boots but the Secret Support Leggings sound ideal, they seem to be thicker than usual and, according to the reviews, good at smoothing out lumps.  I have to love the Poncho too, I have a grey one already which I love but it isn't often the weather to wear it, as it can't be too cold nor too warm, or raining, so I only get to wear it a handful of times per year.


15 Oct 2014

The Autumn Tag

A saw this Tag over at Sailboat and had to join in because I LOVE Autumn.  BTW how cool are these leaves for falling of in nice neat rows, one of those rare moments you just have to catch.

What is your favourite seasonal drink from a high street coffee chain?

I am not a big fan of seasonal flavoured coffees etc.. the only exception being the Creme Brûlée latte from Costa.  I pretty much stick to the same thing everyday (grande, skinny, one shot latte, to have in) I like habits, they make me feel safe, which is why I still haven't dared to try soya milk in my lattes yet.  As a special treat I do like to add whipped cream and Salted Pecan Slice though.

Accessories - What do you opt for, boots, scarf or gloves?

The accessories are my main reason for loving Autumn  I have a ridiculously large collection of  scarves, long fingerless gloves and winter boots.  I justify this total over-the-topness by living in the UK, and not liking wearing coats (I'm a Northern lass at heart)

Music - What do you listen to in the Autumn?

Apart from Christmas songs and Summer hits, my listening habits don't really change due to the seasons.  I like Kiss FM in the car, Radio 4 in the Kitchen and Spotify at the computer.

Perfume - What is your favourite scent this time of year?

My Husband just bought me back a Jimmy Choo fragrance from New York and I really like it.  I like it so much that it is my current "going out" fragrance which means that I only wear it a couple of times a week.  It is the EDP not EDT and it lasts a ridiculously long time.

Candles - Which scents will you be burning this time of year?

Candles are a big thing in our house, my Husband cannot go near  TK Maxx without buying at least one. We spend all year stocking up christmas candles so we can burn them everyday over Christmas.   Currently we have a  Bahoma Graprefruit and Lime (not very autumnal but lovely and fresh smelling) and a Tilly Parker Orchid and Ginseng (now this one is very seasonal.) I am pretty sure Tilly Parker is one of TK Maxx's fake brands but whatever they smell great and last forever.

What do you love most about Autumn?

I love dressing the kids up for Halloween.  I get pretty overexcited when it comes to doing costumes for the kids and so Halloween is always an excuse to go all out.  Here is Charlottes Web, The Worst Witch, Alice in Wonderland and a generic party witch.  I actually sat for 2 days at my sewing machine to make the Alice dress as all the shop bought ones looked nothing like the real one, obsessed much.  The spiders web tutu and stitched t-shirt were other homemade pieces.

Favourite Makeup look

I really enjoy getting my pale skin back so that I can crack out the berry colours.  I really like more plum lips and blushes.  I also love metallic eyes, so my Urban Decay Naked Palette gets used constantly.  A recent re-discovery was my Bobbi Brown Long wear Cream Shadow in Berry Noir, this is a great plumy/metallicy brown that can be worn as an eyeliner if you use a decent amount on a liner brush or you can sheer it out for an eyeshadow.  I am also seriously in love with OPI My Private Jet nail varnish at the moment.

Bobbi Brown Long wear Cream Shadow in Berry Noir


What are you looking forward to most this season?

One of my favourite things to do as the nights get darker is, light the fire on the Lounge, put on some candles, get the Harry Potter Lego out and then we put on a Harry Potter film.  One each Sunday till Christmas.  This is a great way to spend a miserable Sunday afternoon with the kids.

Over to you... feel free to join the TAG and link to it below.  What are your favourite things about Autumn?

13 Oct 2014

Grown Up Style - Top 10 Best Style Bloggers Over 30

Just because your not a fresh-faced 20 something doesn't mean there isn't a wealth of super stylish ladies snapping their OOTD's for you.  Here are some of the ones whose style resonates with me, perfect for some new autumn outfit inspiration.  I have a such a few over 40's in too.

My Pick of the Best Bloggers Over 30

super-stylish-over-30's bloggers

Top -Love Maegan - Maegan has such crazily creative ideas and a penchant for cute fancy dress outfits, love her fun blog.
Bottom - Thirty Something Fashion - Carly always looks glamorous without being OTT.

    see links below

    • Top Right & Centre- Chic on the Cheap - Lydia has a great byline, never sacrifice style for savings
    • Top Left and Bottom Left -Grit and Glamour - A sexy lady with a killer sense of style, probably not for the school run though!
    • Bottom Centre and Right - Not Dressed as Lamb- over 40 stylish red-head with a fantastic sense of colour.

    see links below

    • Top Left -The Average Girls Guide - Alyson is a Florida based blogger who covers lots of bases, from lifestyle to beauty.
    • Top Right -Ava Graces Closet - 40 something style with cute fashion pics and she evens includes her kids too.
    • Bottom Left - Grechens Closet - A women the same shape as everyone else, looking great, love this ladies outfits, she has figured out what works for her and stuck with it, you could actually wear these looks in real life!
    • Bottom Right - Jacket Society - Super Luxe with amazing accessories, some perfect shoe porn.

    I have made a Pinterest board (obviously!) with some of my favourite grown up bloggers best bits on, feel free to follow here.

    If you are an over 30's blogger please leave your links below.  I love to find some new blogs to read.

    For my all time favourite blogs see here.