Lipstick & Chatter: Can We Stop With the Late Night Fireworks Now?

Everyone, can you believe its November? The German Market is just around the corner and so is the end of the year. I feel like it’s flying by quicker than I would like.

Shopping

These days, I get to come home to a great cinnamon scent in my room. I’ve been revisiting TK Maxx a lot waiting for a classically autumn scent like cinnamon or pumpkin in a reed diffuser. I own a few candles but I’m not allowed to use them upstairs for safety reasons, so the best near alternative for my room is a reed diffuser.

Now that I have my hands on a cinnamon scent, though, I think I would have preferred vanilla pumpkin or something without cinnamon as the scent is a bit strong. I’ve tucked away the reed diffuser in a corner where the scent will be less strong so hopefully, it won’t be so bad.

On the other hand, some of you may know that I love the Paper Place A4 Spiralbound notebooks from The Works. I’ve noticed that they’ve made their notebooks less pages recently although ultimately the same. I don’t know whether to be sad or happy seeing as it took me ages to get through them but now they’re less value for the same price!

University

I feel like I’m juggling so many things recently. Beyond university coursework, I’m also part of two societies, a language exchange group, a Japanese class and an extra module. I also have a gym membership and have been aiming for two days a week. I’d previously felt drained at most times during the week and at one point I started missing lectures and workshops in order to recover from my really long Tuesdays.

(This post goes out on a Tuesday, so rest assured I am probably dying at Uni as you read this.)

Until a few weeks ago, I also had two jobs. I’ve since quit the second job in order to have more time to fit all of these extra-curricular things with time to relax. The Tuesdays haven’t changed, essentially, so they’re still too long and tiring for the moment but I’m glad to have my Fridays and Sundays back – a few days where I can take time off and get ready for the next week. I feel as if I can still cramming in too much though and I’m still struggling to make it to the gym. I am hoping to change that this week.

NaNoWriMo

All this said, you’ll understand now why I’m finding it so hard to blog. You’ll be even more baffled to hear that I’m also adding NaNoWriMo to that list this year. For those of you unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month is a writing challenge to get 50k words done throughout the month. I’ve only succeeded once in 2015 and not reached 10k in subsequent years since. So, of course, I’ve set a small goal for myself of at least reaching 10k. Right now, I’m at 1k.

On top of that, I haven’t concretely planned my novel at all, whereas I have attempted plans for most of my previous projects. This is because, in my mind, I am still in the mindset of getting to know the characters and setting and when I try to write with a plot I quickly lose the plot (pun sort of intentional).

So I am actually approaching the novel more like a plan, and hopefully all those words will help me become more familiar with my characters. Case in point is that I started this month with only three characters and simply by writing about their setting I’ve now got at least eight characters.

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Lipstick Spotlight

Recently, the lipstick I have been wearing the most is my Smashbox Be Legendary in Legendary. I know I did review this lipstick a little negatively saying that it was not fully opaque and a bit patchy at times, but it means I’ve fully embraced a messy lip look.

I want something bold this autumn and winter as well as not too drying, so I have been wearing this two ways: popping this in the centre of my lips on top of Skinfood’s tinted avocado lip serum, or using the lipstick first in the centre and using a lip brush to line my lips in lip balm and soften the lip lines. I don’t have defined lips so softening lipstick lines really improves the look in my opinion. The result is this super plushy and glossy-ish look that I like wearing on a daily basis.

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The lasting power of the lipstick is not great so depending on food type it may have to be retouched. However, with just a drink or so, it will last well and only lose some vividity, fading to a more blotted look.

I did wear a liquid lipstick or two recently but I couldn’t handle just how drying they felt so I think I am back to bullets, pigmented balmy products and glosses for life. I picked my recent gel polish to match – it’s Halo Gel Polish in Apple Red, which is slightly orangey yet not too bright. Ask your local nail salon if they offer it, and if not they’re sure to know a trade stockist that does.

And Finally…

On a random note, I find myself picking more and more vegetarian options recently when I am going out for food. I recently picked up a jar of pumpkin seed butter to try out – it’s the one option I saw that was not nut-based (my sister is allergic) so it was an impulse buy! I just look at what interests me and many times it happens to be vegetarian. I told myself in this regard that I would never force myself to eat vegan or vegetarian, and focus on what I like, and it’s interesting to see what I naturally gravitate to and what I could easily give up.

Until Next Time,

X

Weekly Thoughts #10

I am typing almost half asleep and am blissfully wondering if I could squeeze in a nap before dinner…

  1. I think one of the single biggest factors of my skincare problems is my lack of sleep. The other is hydration, which has been easier to rectify. I get into bed at 10pm but don’t fall asleep until midnight, giving me an average of 8 hours’ sleep (7 on school days or when I stay attached to the family iPad) when I should try to get more as I definitely have the time.
  2. I have attempted to stick to a blogging routine but well, personal happenings do not happen on a schedule so I think I shall just roll with this semi-scheduled format.
  3. I have discovered a new eating place near Mom’s nail salon. I have walked past it so many times on my way to get lunch at Greggs’ (or another local eatery) but never entered the shop. The Spud Oven does simple lunch foods like jacket potatoes (with a great variety of toppings) and pork sandwiches and soups and regular sandwiches and sometimes other hot foods like cheese and potato pie. I am a convert and will be visiting regularly from now on!
  4. I bought a slightly battered copy of Game of Thrones from a charity shop to ‘try out’ but I think I may have dived into the deep end of the pool. I feel as if this series should be read first and watched later because knowing what happens by watching, I no longer have the patience to read all about it again. The books, however, are just as vivid and action-packed as the TV series which is a good thing to know. On the other hand I bought some old pop CDs from the 2000s and I’m really not sure whether to regret this or not – ah well, for 50p each I can’t go too far wrong… can I???
  5. I am developing a vague interest in tea, and have purchased Pure Green Tea and Mint-and-Green Tea for the health benefits of the Green, even though I am not a fan of the taste – the mint is a welcome addition and sometimes I put lemon in my Pure Green Tea. I also bought a small box of Chamomile Tea for the evenings to help me relax and possibly help with my sleeping routine. These teas are surprisingly really affordable at less than £1 a box for own brands (I bought mine from The Co-Operative Supermarket) and a bit more for Twinings.
  6. I (or rather, Mom) bought a pair of beautiful new boots at New Look in the kind of style I have been lusting after for months and months (Mom justified this by fitting well into them as well so we can share!). I love block heels with platforms in particular but they’re particularly hard to find sometimes, especially as I have small feet (I fit a size 3 with wide fit and 4 without). New Look have a lot of items in styles I love and the biggest blessing is that their stuff actually fits my petite frame. I spotted a long t-shirt style top which is now on my mental wish list for my next after-work shopping spree.
  7. I ripped out my Lael Cowl and started it over again as I didn’t like the rolling stockinette at the beginning. Instead, I replaced it with seed stitch which doesn’t roll and adjusted the pattern so that the bumps in the main pattern fall in line. I have knit enough to catch up to where I should be as the 3rd episode of The Great British Bake Off is on tonight.
  8. I have re-done my nails twice since my last nail-related update, so a post is long overdue. The parents have plans to redecorate the salon and I got a huge bagful of throwaway polishes that have questionable colours and half-full bottles… But c’mon. It’s free nail polish – even if my mom has a particular disdain for those brands (How could she not like China Glaze? Really.)

The back to school rush has well and truly started  – I’m exhausted from today’s shift at work, I mean we have a ticket system for a reason, dear customers, don’t tell us we’re crap for not catering to your every whim when you didn’t get a damn ticket or bother to get measured – and that only serves as a grim reminder that we have like, two weeks left of the holidays.

I swear, yesterday I still had my entire life ahead of me, what happened?

X

P.S. It’s my brother’s turn for GCSE Results Day tomorrow. Wish him luck.

Green Things.

I seem to have gathered an abundance of green things so I thought I would put them all in one post. It must be the side effect of living in a grey/brick red city area.

Months ago, I finished an amazing, green lacy purse-stitch scarf. It was a Wednesday afternoon and I remember wearing it home in the heat of late June and subsequently stashing it away without a photo, ready for colder days. Well, these past few weeks it has been both rainy and sunny in equal measure/intensity – typical British weather but great for scarf-wearing. Here is a quick photo snapped during break at work.

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It doesn’t do any justice whatsoever to the gorgeous green colour – this photo (link later) is more accurate. It’s the artificial lighting.

Longer ago than that, I finished my pair of Spring Fling Fingerless Mitts and never did take a photo of these either. They were completely improvised. Yes, the stockinette curls which is ever so slightly annoying, but I don’t like ribbing in this yarn. Just me? Sadly may have to use ribbing as I have more pairs planned – I have 2 1/2 skeins still to go through of various colourways of Calico…

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In other news, I had my nails painted again.

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The colour is Cacee’s BFE Nail Lacquer in Isabelle. Apparently this is one of Mom’s most unpopular colours at the salon as not a single client has picked it (nudes, purples, deep reds and neon corals/pinks are the rage depending on the age group) but it really is a nice colour! The stickers are from Mom’s stash – I think the brand is from Hong Kong. A top coat is used to seal them into place after application.

Finally, as previously mentioned, I began a new part-time job last week so I bought a new watch as there isn’t a clock on the shop floor. It was £4 from Asda, and does the job well enough for me. While I was at it I added the matching earrings I wore to my shift a few days ago, which were bought as a set of 3 from Sainsbury’s for £5. The others in the set are the same design but the centre colour is in white or pale pink.  The magic balancing dragonfly lives on top of my computer monitor -apparently we bought this in Vietnam last year although I don’t remember.


I also have a thing for green eyeliner and coincidentally, my dumbells (well, my moms but still) are also a light green. There is no end to the green.

X

Nail Polish that Glows In the Dark? Count Me In!

You read that right!

Color Club have released a spin-off collection of their Poptastic range – the Poptastic Pastel Neon Remix (woah, what a mouthful!).

I saw the little display of the collection of colours when I visited the Nail Supplies store with Mom, and I was drawn to them like a magnet. Mom, to my surprise, agreed to purchase them as they were quite affordable there (nail supplies are always cheaper at a beauty stockist’s but you usually need to be a professional and in the trade to be allowed in!). However, a few colours were already out of stock but we got 5, so enough for a colour on each nail.

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The Colours are, from left to right, little finger to thumb:

  • Blue: Get Down Tonight
  • Green: On the Flip Side
  • Purple: Feel The Funk
  • Yellow: It’s Electric
  • Orange: Soul Sister

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The colours are really sheer when applied. It took 3 coats to get this opacity, which I’m not so happy about as they are nowhere near opaque.

They’re very glittery as well as light and I think that’s the reason this ended up being so sheer. Y’know, if I wanted sheer colours I would’ve bought O.P.I’s sheer tinted range. (

It also seems like it is quick to dry when really, it is not. It looks and feels dry after 5 minutes but press lightly (key word here, as even some of the best lacquers give way with enough pressure 10 minutes into drying) with the edge of your nail and you’ll leave a permanent, annoying little dent. Not that this happened to me, obviously, I say as I glance at my thumbnail and flare my nostrils at it.

Another key thing is  that the polish barely lasts a day before chipping. I did buff and file and base-coat my nails, although some of the base coat came off as I forgot to wear gloves whilst using acetone, whoops. Anyway, this does not excuse a wear time of less than 24 hours. Two are chipping and even more are doing that thing where they are basically ready to chip and I’m trying not to pick at them. This is really irritating.

However, the most important question is, as we all know, does it glow in the dark?

I wish I could take a photo of my nails right now, but HELL YES, THEY GLOW IN THE DARK… and I think that almost makes up for all its cons. If only they would last more than one night out (not that I go out at night).

X

New Nails and Charity Shop Buys!

So over the last week I’ve been helping out at the Nail Salon again.
I removed the polish from last time, and my nails began to hurt. This is normal, apparently, especially when I have had polish on my nails all year without a break. The pain only lasts a day or two so as soon as my nails felt comfortable again, Mom popped on some new colours for the last few weeks of the summer term.

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  • Cacee’s Nail Lacquer in Summer (Yellow)
  • Glam Lac’s Nail Lacquer in Neon Pink

The neighbourhood in which Mom works is different to that of my home, which is closer to the city centre. Mom’s workplace is situated on the local high street so when the Salon isn’t busy, I’ll go browse the local shops. There are two charity shops, which are my go-to places to buy books and rarely, yarn. Today I got a good haul.

Is it Just Me? by Miranda Hart. I already own the paperback copy of this but when I saw the hardback in the shop window I couldn’t resist. I’m giving the paperback away to a friend where, hopefully, the laughs will catch on. According to the cover, the hardback is worth £20. I bought it for £1.50, people. I wish numbers could be in caps, but this is what the bold button is for.

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Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix – That makes 6/7 books from the series, all of which were bought at charity shops! They’re all in really good condition too apart from one which has a little rip in the paper cover of the Hardback, and the second book which has gone through a lot of wear. Order Of The Phoenix is one of the chunkier books in the series, though, so if I see it in hardback anywhere else it will be mine.

-Unknown Cotton 4ply yarn in Black – Recently the charity shops haven’t yielded any interesting yarn other than basic acrylics, but I saw this bunch stuffed at the bottom of the yarn basket and gawped. I love cotton yarns and that isn’t a secret, but I’m not so sure what I’m going to do with 360g of black, which, if my hunch is correct, equals over 1000 yards to work with. Giant shawl? Lacy top? The possibilities are endless, and this was a steal at £2.

Finally, I have just hit 200 likes! *round of applause* Thank you, thank you.

X

Lips.

Who isn’t a lover of lip balms?
Despite seeing LipSmackers everywhere in my childhood I never bought one, thinking it was a novelty brand for kids. Uh, no. Seeing as it was Twerp’s Birthday recently one of her friends bought her an awesome set of presents (awesome considering her Year 7 budget), including:

  • a basic knitting set – plastic needles, not enough acrylic yarn to do anything but your first multicoloured square, instruction booklet that my sister doesn’t need because she knows how to knit so I taught her to do I-cord bracelets… Like I said, Year 7 budget, but I have so much second-hand appreciation for the thought that went into even getting these gifts!
  • jelly (because she’s recently been obsessed with it)
  • a whole set of Lipsmackers because Twerp is always losing her balms.

This girl knows my sister well.

Anyway, Twerp gave me one of the doubles in the Lipsmacker set, a strawberry starburst flavour, and I love it. It’s a tube, which means that while it’s great for portability and fits into just about every pocket, I can’t leave it on my desk standing up or I’ll knock it into my green tea latte by accident. Which just happened. I observed that the tube floats in water and the lid doesn’t allow water to get in. So if something in your bag leaks, your LipSmacker would be safe and your priorities could be focused elsewhere.

Tubs are better for leaving around the house.
Tubes are better for leaving in bags and pockets.
(Maybe I should do a post on the other lip stuff I have?)

Anyways, why are people spending £3 on Maybelline’s Baby Lips when you can buy a set of 8 of these for around £10-12 which makes each one £1-ish? I think both products are similar aside from the tints. Of course, the Baby Lips Colour (you may notice how uncomfortable I feel writing colour and flavour without a u…) is more tinted, but only slightly.  My own Baby Lips was bought in Vietnam and the packaging is different to the ones sold in the UK, but similar to the LipSmacker.

L-R: LipSmacker Starburst Strawberry Candy Flavour and Maybelline's Baby Lips Colour in Berry Crush.
L-R: LipSmacker Starburst Strawberry Candy Flavour and Maybelline’s Baby Lips Colour in Berry Crush.

See? Basically, if you need to stock up on lip care, buy a set of LipSmackers. Don’t think I’m going to turn back!

X

P.s. Recently been helping Mom out at the Nail Salon. She has these gorgeous looking bottles of cuticle oil! Apparently those are real flowers in the bottles, and the scent is lovely, too… You can find them online for about £6.56/ 30ml.

Blossom Scented Cuticle Oil. So pretty.
Blossom Scented Cuticle Oil. So pretty.

P.P.S. A song, to complement this post, called Lips. SNSD is a Korean Girl Group, and this is one of their Japanese releases.

In which picking Angel Sky & Heaven White as Nail Colours was totally a coincidence.

It’s the half term holidays now. We all know what that means… New nail design!

This year, thanks to relaxed sixth form rules regarding nails, everyone has come in with different designs at least every term, if not every week! I am not great at painting my nails, so I wait until the holidays when Mom (a trained professional) does them for me…

This time around, Mom was keen to use a new technique from YouTube- The water marbling technique. It looks so simple but it took us an hour just to get my ring fingers done!

You can see the ring finger design better in this photo.

It’s a hard method to explain, so you’re probably just better off Youtubing the technique. It involves taping your fingers lightly so that your fingers aren’t covered in polish, then dropping polish in water, creating a pattern with a toothpick, then sticking your nail in.
Here are some extra pointers if you’re going to give this a go:

  • Don’t use the horrendously cheap polishes. The colour will not spread nicely in the water.
  • As mentioned, really really time consuming on your first try.
  • Uses up a ridiculous amount of polish, about ten fingers’ worth for one fab nail! Even more if you go wrong! Is it worth it? You decide. Personally, I’d rather not do this again.

The colours used this time around are:

  • Glam Lac’s Nail lacquer in Angel Sky (blue)
  • Misa Nail Lacquer in Heaven White
  • Glam Lac’s Nail lacquer in Orchid Dream (purple)

Altogether, these colours make a gentle combination. If only the skies were as blue as my nails right now…
X