Monday, 30 April 2012

Book Review: Insurgent + Giveaway!

A slightly different post today, but one not totally unfamiliar on my blog.  As you all know I am bookworm (you can see a post on a few of my fav books here and you can see my ‘book’ related tattoo here) so today I will be telling you about the book I am reading at the moment.

It’s called Insurgent and it is the second book in a series of three by Veronica Roth (the first was called Divergent) and it is a kind of action adventure/romance dystopian novel.  After reading Divergent and absolutely LOVING it, I couldn’t wait to pick up Insurgent and carry on following this story.  The two books and storyline remind me slightly of The Hunger Games so if you’re a fan of that book then you will definitely adore this!

GIVEAWAY I am giving away FIVE copies of the book and all you need to do to enter is comment on this blog post with your email address! 
Details - Five people who have commented will be chosen randomly when the giveaway ends.  This giveaway will end on Monday 7th May and I will contact the winners by email the following day.  This giveaway is courtesy of Harper Collins.  This giveaway is a UK only based giveaway and you must be a follower of my blog to enter.

I filmed a little video about what I think of the Insurgent book so far (I’m half way through) which you can watch below and I speak a little more about the story line and explain the giveaway also!

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Above left: book cover and right: book trailer

You can purchase the book at this link HERE and it is released tomorrow (1st May!). 

Don’t forget to comment below for a chance of winning one of five copies of this book!

Please note this is a sponsored post but in no way does it affect my judgement of the book or my honesty/opinions.  I did this post because I truly am a bookworm and was really excited to tell you all about what I’m sure will be the next book phenomena and to give you a chance to win the book!

xxxxx

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Friday, 27 April 2012

April Glossy Box Review!

The long awaited April Glossybox has just started hitting doorsteps, with the great theme of the ‘natural beauty box’ this month.  The box itself is 100% biodegradable (I love it already!) and all of the products inside are ethical products – perfect!

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Inika Cosmetics Certified Organic Lip Liner in 02 Moroccan Rose – This is probably my favourite product in this months box.  I do love lip liners and this colour is absolutely stunning.  It’s a bright pink rose shade which has an almost gold sheen to it.  It’s really pigmented and applies smoothly on the lips which is perfect.  It is of course organic and contains pressed plant waxes and natural pigments, making it a winner in my books.

Monu Hand & Nail Cream – I have used Monu products before (one of my favourite body moisturizers is in face by Monu) so it was nice to see another product of theirs in the box.  This hand cream has an aromatherapy smell of essential oils and lemons and leaves my hands feeling soft.

Figs & Rouge Lip Balm – I have way too many lip balms but the fact that this one is 100% pure, natural and organic makes it stand out from the others I own.  I do love that it is a multipurpose balm, so I can use it on my elbows and cuticles and well as my lips.

Phillip B Styling Gel – I’m always weary of hair gels because I don’t want my hair looking sticky and wet, but this styling gel states that it is a ‘multipurpose, supple, soft hold gel that adds volume and texture’ so I will be definitely giving this a go next time I go out.  I’m thinking of rubbing it into slightly wavy hair so that it adds some texture and holds my curls a little longer.

Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst-Quenching Serum – I’ve heard a lot about Caudalie from the beauty blogging world in the past few months so I was happy to see this in my box.  So far I’ve only tried it on the back of my hand because my skin is being a bit aggy at the moment, but once it calms itself down I’ll give this serum a proper go!

What I Think – Over all I quite like this box.  I love the lip liner and I love that the box and products are all ‘green’ and ethical.  I’ve seen other variations of the boxes and they all look great too so I think people will be happy with this box!  Next month is Glossybox’s first birthday so their next box is going to be quite special I’m sure!!

What do you think of this box?  Do you prefer to use organic/ethical products?

xxxx

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Bourjois Khol & Contour Shadow & Light Swatches!

One thing you will almost always find me wearing is a kohl eye liner.  I wear it most days to enhance the shape of my eye and there will always be one in my handbag.  Bourjois have recently created a new selection of kohl pencils (6 in total) and they are all absolutely lovely!

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On one end of the pencil is a dark matte shade and the other is a lighter, almost iridescent, shimmery shade which compliments the darker side perfectly. You can use these in a number of different ways – using the darker shade around the eye and the lighter shade on the waterline, or you can even use them as a base for eye shadows so you create a colour gradient of light to dark.

Every single one of these pencils are seriously creamy, pigmented and soft, meaning you needn't worry about tugging at the skin trying to apply them.  I absolutely love the colour varieties and find it very hard to choose a favourite as they are all stunning.  I love the grey/pink combo as it gives a more subtle twist on the smokey smouldering eye and the bronze pencil is perfect for both day and night.  Also – I’ve never worn a khaki green eyeliner before but this one is absolutely beautiful and very easy to wear with its champagne accompaniment. 

Unfortunately, these babies won’t be hitting stores till June, so in the mean time you can decide which you prefer!  They will retail for around £5.59 each and will be available from the Bourjois stand at Boots and Superdrug stores from June!

What is your favourite eyeliner?  Which colour combo would you wear the most?

xxx

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Monday, 23 April 2012

Nails inc Event & New Launches 2012!

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited along to an event with Nails inc.  I do love Nails inc polishes – I think their quality and colour variety available is fab, so I was super excited to be able to attend.  Nails inc have ALOT of new limited edition collections coming out in 2012 so I thought I’d show some of them today!

Metallic Collection (released June 2012)
The Metallic Collection is absolutely stunning and I am very excited about this launch. It consists of three shades; Greenwick Park (full coverage silver glitter), Wembley (gold textured chrome) and Horseguard's Parade (a bronze textured chrome). They will be available in a gift set and will be displayed on a podium in the box. These shades are seriously stunning and so perfect for this summer, with it being the Olympics in London and all (think bronze, silver and gold medals!) and will retail at £25 for the three.

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Neon Collection  (out now!)
These limited edition babies are absolutely perfect for summer this year because of how beautifully bright they all are!  They only need two coats to look perfect and they are SO neon that they glow under a UVA light (great for parties!).  Colours are - Kensington Park Road (neon blue), Holland Park (neon purple), Notting Hill Gate (neon pink), Portobello (neon coral orange), Westbourne Grove (neon yellow orange) and Ladbroke (neon green).

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Nail Jewellery (available from April)
As y’all know, I LOVE glitter polishes – I let out a squeal of excitement when I saw these.  These polishes have a ‘revolutionary formula’ which include hand cut particles which dazzle and sparkle like ‘precious stones’.  They are simply stunning and look absolutely beautiful over the top of other polishes.  In the swatches below they are layered over Black Taxi, but the blue for example looks stunning over a layer of blue polish.
The four shades are as follows; Burlington Arcade (diamond), Piccadilly Arcade (emerald), Royal Arcade (sapphire) and Princes Arcade (pink diamond) and will retail at £11 each.

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Autumn Collection (available from late August)
This collection of limited edition shades are a great accompaniment to your autumn/winter wardrobe.  The box will retail at £25 for the four and includes the shades – Sloane Gardens (unique navy glitter), Chester Street (delicate nude pearl), Bruton Mews (deep forest green) and Richmond Terrace (a rich glossy plum).  I think these polishes look very mature and grungy which is always on trend in the colder months.  My favourite definitely has to be the blue glitter!

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Sprinkles Collection (available from June)
My favourite LE collection out of them all!  Each polish in this collection is seriously unique and completely unlike any other polish I’ve ever seen before.  I literally can’t explain how lovely these polishes are – they only need two coats to give you stunning look.  It contains ‘mattified’ glitter particles with a background colour, leaving you with a ‘sprinkle’ like effect.  The shade I’m wearing on my nails below is called Sweets Way and is a pale blue with pastel blue, pink and white glitter.  The other shades are Sugarhouse Lane (pastel grey with monochrome glitter), Pudding Lane (teal with navy and gold glitter) and Topping Lane (Pink with fuchsia, silver and blue glitter).

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Other collections out this year include – Fishnet Magnetic Polishes, Neon & Nude Mini Collection (both pictured below).  I love magnetic nail polishes so I absolutely can’t wait to try out this new ‘fishnet’ magnetic pattern.  The gold shade looks absolutely stunning (I want!).  And the Nude & Neon Collection is out now and includes six mini polishes – 3 neon and 3 nude.  A great little gift I think!

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Fellow Bloggers Mani’s from the night!
Top row – Sophie with Burlington Arcade over a neon polish and Sabrina with Sweets Way
Bottom row – Meg with Burlington Arcade over Porchester Square and Jessica with Sweets Way!
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I’ll be posting again soon with swatches from a few of these collections, so stay tuned for those!

What of these collections floats your boat?  What’s your favourite Nails inc polish?

xxx

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Friday, 20 April 2012

Sleek Blush By 3 Lace Review & Swatches

When I first saw these cheek palettes it was love at first sight.  I love nothing more than Sleek Makeup, makeup palettes and blushers so I was so excited to get my hands on a few of their new Blush BY 3 palettes.  The first in my collection (and by no means the least – I’m definitely going to purchase both Sugar & Pumpkin too!) is Lace.

The Lace Blush BY 3 palette is just stunning for all skin tones in my opinion and absolutely on trend for this spring and summer with its coral and peachy tones.

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Crochet – The most perfect orange blush!  This is very similar to MAC’s Peaches blusher.  It is matte and very pigmented so you only need a light hand.
Guipure – A stunning pink blush with specks of golden shimmer throughout it.  This is very similar to Sleek’s Rose Gold blush but I personally think it’s even nicer!  This looks so pretty on my pale skin and has the most perfect blush to highlight ratio which really enhances your cheeks.
Chantilly – I’m pretty sure I don’t have another blusher similar to this in my collection.  It’s a unique pink with a hint of coral.

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I have to say that I think all of the Blush by 3 palettes would look absolutely stunning on darker skin tones – all of the blushers are extremely pigmented and packed with colour which will enhance any skin tones.  Those a little paler like me just use a lighter hand and blend well. 

These palettes are £9.99 each which is a bargain for three good sized products.  I think these are perfect for those who are looking for new blushers to try or those who want to widen their blush collection.  I can’t wait to get my hands on a few more!

Do you have any of the Sleek Blush By 3 palettes? 

xxx

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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Bourjois 1 Second Magic Nail Polish Remover!

Never before have I EVER found a product that has made my life that little bit easier, than this!  Ladies, I introduce you to a product that you will not regret buying – the new Bourjois Magic 1 Second Nail Polish Remover.

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When I first saw this at the Bourjois event a few weeks ago, my first reaction was ‘borrrring’, but after trying it for the first time I absolutely fell in love. This makes taking nail varnish off SO easy and SO quick that I’ve been changing my nail colour every day! Normally I’m a little lazy and will wear a nail polish for a week before taking off and reapplying a different shade, but not since owning this bad boy.  It literally now takes me under a minute to remove nail polish from both of my two hands.

This little pink pot contains a black sponge with a hole in the middle and is filled with a ‘Nourishing Sweet Almond Oil’ nail polish remover which is acetone and paraben free.  You simply stick your finger/nail in the hole, give it a twist about for maybe four seconds and voila – your nail is completely clear and polish free.  It really is such a simple idea that I don’t know why it hasn’t been done already!

One of my favourite things (apart from how quick it is to use) is the smell of the polish remover.  Normally nail varnish removers stink – but this has a delicious red fruit and vanilla fragrance when used so your fingers smell sweet after using.  Another thing I love is that fact that I do not need to now buy cotton wool.

Something I would say is it does take a little more work to remove glitter polishes (maybe 30 seconds for each nail) but that is so quick and easy in the scheme of things (normally it takes me about 15 minutes to remove glitter polish from all of my fingers) that it doesn't bother me.

This magic product hits stores TOMORROW & will be available in Boots and Superdrug for only £3.99.  Bargain.  I’ve been using this a lot over the past month and it is still going strong so I’m positive I will get another at least three months use out of it.  Not bad for £3.99!

Will you be getting this new magic remover?  What do you currently use to remove your nail polish?

xxxx

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Monday, 16 April 2012

Jolie Box Review – March & Feb!

I don’t know how it happened, but for some bizarre reason I did not get around to reviewing the February Jolie Box (which coincidentally happened to be one of my upmost favourite beauty boxes I’ve ever received!).  I decided to do a joint review on both the most recent March Jolie Box and the Feb box in one post here today!

Firstly I want to comment on how much I love the little drawstring bag that the products now come packaged in.  This bag comes in so handy when travelling or staying round people’s houses and makes much less mess and waste than the frilly paper packaging.  Big thumbs up from me!

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March Box 2012
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This box is all about Spring products and just by looking at the products, they are all quite colourful and definitely get you in the mood for Summer. This is also the first ever Jolie Box to contain all full size products, so you are getting a lot for your money here.
I must admit I was a little disappointed when I opened this box and saw that there were two products which had previously been in another beauty box – but the Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner is in a different shade (a mauvey brown) and the Davines Balm will make either a nice back up or gift!
The Yardley English Lavender Shower Gel would be lovely if my skin wasn’t so sensitive (I can’t use any shower gel apart from Fem Fresh or Ahava’s Sensitive creams).
I love the little mirror in this box – it’s the perfect size and weight to carry around and isn’t too bulky or heavy. The LCN Nail Polish is also pretty but I find it hard to get away with white nail varnish (my Mum always comments about how it looks like tipex) but after trying this, it’s actually really pretty.  It looks lovely over other nail polishes (I’ve been wearing it over Orly’s ‘Jealous Much..?’ and it looks fab!

February Jolie Box 2012
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I absolutely adore 4 out of the 5 products in this box and would happily buy full size versions of each (this is a first!). This beauty box was perfect in my opinion, couldn’t have been happier with it!
The Taaj Himalaya Micellar Water is AMAZING and removes makeup incredibly well and smells delicious (like cola bottles I think). I have been using this instead of my Bioderma recently and I just love it.
The Macadamia Deep Repair Masque is also incredible and makes my hair SO soft. I got about four uses out of the sample pouch and am going to buy a full size pot very soon.
The Lavera Hand Cream is lovely and travels around in my backpack so my hands are kept soft and hydrated all day, and the Jane Iredale Lip & Cheek Stain is just a lovely product which adjusts its colour to suit your skin tone.  When I wear this is goes a subtle neon pink which I ADORE.  I will definitely be buying a full size of this too!
I have not yet used the Kimia skincare oils and probably won’t because I don’t like using sample skincare products, so I will give this away to someone!

Are you subscribed to Jolie Box?  What did you think of the last two boxes?

xxx

P.S – Does anyone know where I can buy a full size of the Macadamia Masque at a reasonable price!?  That’d be really helpful!

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Friday, 13 April 2012

Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism Event!

I’m sure you’ve seen this popping up all over your blogger dashboards recently, but I thought I’d throw in what I think of the new Illamasqua collection too. Aptly named Human Fundamentalism, the range breathes diversity, confidence and unity.

Alex Box (Illamasqua’s creative director and one of my inspirations!) was on hand to show off the range by creating stunning art work on a model. She says about the range ‘Human Fundamentalism is the unique spirit and fundamental human drive for individuality. Its a belief, a movement and an emotion. A connection with the spirit of the age and its global motifs. You are your own hybrid, a unique nomad of street cultures and global trends”.

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The Human Fundamentalism range consists of a white ‘penultimate’ liquid liner (which can also be used as a nail pen), two palettes (one bright and one with neutral browns), two nail polishes (a bright jade and a mauve purple), a selection of six stunning eye shadows and a Skin Base Foundation in shade ‘Au’ - perfect for wearing alone as a highlighter or for mixing with your foundation to create a glow and finally two lipsticks – a red and a teal!

Now I know your probably thinking, a teal blue lipstick (whhhaattt?!) but after spending the night with beautiful girls wearing this shade on their lips it became normal and very appealing. Any one who tried this lipstick on looked glamorous and beautiful – it suited all skin types. Now, I’m not sure I would be confident enough to brave wearing this out on the streets of Essex, but makeup is all about being individual and creating new looks and changing yourself like a chameleon to fit how you feel that particular day. I love how diverse and creative Illamasqua are and I LOVE that they are trying to push the boundaries with makeup and give women the confidence to wear a striking lip colour or a neon purple eyeshadow because they feel like it that day. This brand of makeup are incredible and the fact that they make makeup for people to express themselves (instead of just creating pretty shades that are in fashion right now) is so inspiring to me and just makes me fall in love with Illamasqua ten times over.

I received a few samples from the new range which will be appearing on my blog over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, what do you think about Illamasqua?

Will you be picking anything up from this Illamasqua range? What do you think about teal blue lipstick?

xxx

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Thursday, 12 April 2012

BFF Tag!

After my ‘deep’ last post, I thought I’d lighten my blog up a little with a new video!  I had a sleepover with one of my besties last week and we recorded the BFF tag!  I’d like to introduce everyone to Alex!  @IOUAlexander

I hope you have a giggle if you watch it – we cover inside jokes, how we met, favourite films, Britney and as always there are bloopers at the end!!

Have you filmed a BFF tag video?  If so, link me to it! 

XXXX

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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Scoliosis – My Story

This is going to be a completely different post to anything I have ever written before on my blog.  It’s going to be a very personal story that not many know about me, but I want to tell in case there are any other people going through what I once went through, in hope that this might answer some questions for them or might help them through major spine surgery or a tough time.

When I was 11 I was diagnosed with scoliosis.  Scoliosis is actually quite a common medical condition, which basically means that you have a curvature of the spine.  Mine was congenital scoliosis which means that I was born with the *deformity*, although my parents and I were completely unaware of the fact that it was scoliosis until I was 11.  I was at my weekly dance classes and we were doing a ballet exercise where my teacher placed a full glass of water on your back when you were bent over, to make sure that you could achieve a flat back.  My teacher noticed a bump and couldn’t place the glass on my back and so she told my parents – who too had noticed the bump a few times over the years but didn’t realise it was serious.

At my first X-Ray they discovered that my spine had a 32 degree curve… pretty scary!  I was only 4’6’’ at the time, so I was really small and so the curve of my spine was the reason I was (and still am) so tiny.  With months of more X-rays, MRI scans, cardiac-echo tests and kidney ultrasounds we learnt that thankfully nothing else was wrong with me but we learnt that the curve was progressing and getting worse.

My back before the operation – You can see one shoulder is a lot lower than the other (left) and when bent over I had a noticeable lump on one side of my back (right).
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The X-Rays of my spine before my operation. Standing straight (left), and bending to the side (right).
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The Operation - I was booked in to the Portland Hospital the following Easter (I was 12 years old by this point) to have the Major Spine Surgery to straighten my spine.  My actual scoliosis came from the result of having a hemivertebra at T11 (thoraco-lumbar).  This means that one of my vertebra hadn’t fully formed (half a vertebra in the shape of a wedge instead of a square) which also means that I am missing a rib!!! 

By the time my operation came my spine had a 45 degree curve – which meant that the curvature was progressing really quickly – if I hadn’t have had this operation I would have a hunchback now.  There is a risk with the operation that you could be left completely paralysed from the waist down, if your spine or nervous system gets damaged.  It was a big decision, but my parents and I decided to go ahead with the operation.

Gory Details - During the operation I had both anterior and posterior surgery (an incision down my back and another on my side).  I had a titanium rod placed on my spine, which is held in place with large bolts – one to the vertebra above and one below the hermivertebra.  I then had a section of my ‘extra’ rib removed and used as grafting material so that all three of the vertebra were fused together.  The surgery was about 4 hours.

After the Operation
Trying to play gameboy an hour after the op, ha! (left) Asleep (right)
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When my parents first saw me after the op I looked chirpy (haha!) but my face was swollen.  I had antibiotics and saline drip neck lines, a morphine drip in my left hand (& a stand-by needle in my right), a chest drain, catheter, pulse and blood pressure monitors etc, a gastric-nasal tube and oxygen tubes and face mask.  I was on 2.5mg of morphine an hour (which was dispensed very slowly via a remote pump) – and I only lost about half a pint of blood in the op and didn’t need a transfusion.

I was in intensive care for almost a week after the operation and I couldn’t move at all – I had nurses who would turn me over during the night if I became uncomfortable.  Over the days the tubes slowly came out one by one and I had my back brace plaster cast fitted (apparently this was the first time I cried after my operation, as turning me back and forth hurt). 

After that week I was moved back to my own bedroom in the hospital (wearing my back brace).  I had to learn to walk again and underwent physio (I remember carrying bags of sugar up and down some stairs, ha!).  I had a 6 inch cut down the centre of my spine and a 7 inch cut down my side which were starting to heal.  I was very dizzy though and couldn’t do much for very long (which was devastating for me because I had been bought the new Spyro playstation game which I desperately wanted to play but couldn’t because it made me feel nauseous). 

Me in hospital wearing my back brace (I chose to have a pink gingham pattern!) (left) and my scars after the operation (right)
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My X-Rays after the operation.  I will have the titanium bolts in my spine for my whole life! 
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At home – My dad had to make me a bed downstairs as I couldn’t sleep on the top bunk in my bedroom.  I had a month off of school but had to wear my back brace for 3 months.  I remember my back brace very well – I hated wearing it as my scars were itchy and I obviously couldn’t scratch them (although my sister and I devised a ‘straw up the vest system’ which meant I got to itch slightly, haha!). 

I returned to the hospital 10 days after the operation to have my stitches removed.  At my 6 week check up with my surgeon we found out that my curve had gone down to 20 degrees – an amazing result!

Now –
My back & scars now -
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I am all well now - I am SO happy I had the operation. If I hadn’t I would have a proper hunchback now and would probably be even shorter than I am. !  I have two pretty impressive scars on my back (and a smaller one where my chest drain was inserted) but they have faded dramatically and are hardly visible.  I get the occasional back ache but I now have no physiotherapy.  I will have the bolts in my spine for the rest of my life and I will not grow any more, obviously. 

I am only 4’11’’ – I grew about 5 inches after the operation but then stopped.  This is the part of the whole thing which is hardest for me.  I know that good things come in small packages, whatever, but I really do hate being this little.  From behind I must look like an 11 year old girl.  When I work as an actor in schools, most of the children in year 7 are taller than me.  I feel like I get judged a lot by others because of my height.  I get ID’d almost everywhere I go and some people generally talk down to me because they think I’m younger than I am.  If I was 5 foot I would be so happy, but alas, that’ll never happen. 

I get a little self conscious now and then when going swimming but that doesn’t stop me from wearing a bikini.  It’s also a little awkward when dating new people (if we get to that point in the relationship) but I normally just make a joke of it (oh yeah, did I tell you I got attacked by an alligator when travelling in Australia one time?).

As I said earlier, Scoliosis is REALLY common and many people have it without even realising.  I’ve put together a list of symptoms that are common with people with scoliosis
- one shoulder being higher than the other
- one shoulder blade being higher and more prominent than the other
- one hip being more prominent than the other
- back pain with nearby muscles feeling sore and tender
- Leaning of the body to one side

If you have scoliosis and would like a chat – or are considering having the operation and want some advice then please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment or send me an email.  I’ve been through it all and have come out strong and healthy in the end (my spine is now actually stronger than most people – I am bionic woman!).

Do you know anyone with scoliosis or have ever had any major spine surgery?

xxxx

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Sunday, 8 April 2012

Sigma Make Me Crazy Brush Kit Review!

I have had a Sigma brush set on my wish list for a good few years now and I would have purchased them a while back had it not been for the fact that they are quite hard to get a hold of in the UK.  I was kindly gifted a 12-piece ‘Make me Crazy’ brush set and after using them for almost a year now, here are my thoughts.

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Large Powder F30 -  This is perfect for applying powders or mineral foundations because it is quite dense and so big!  The hairs are soft, but not as soft as The Body Shops brushes, but that’s okay because I can actually feel where I’m buffing my powder in.

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Duo Fibre F50 – I don’t know how I lived without this to apply my foundation!  I have no idea how or why this works so well to apply liquid or cream foundations but it really leaves me with an even coverage when I swirl it in the product and buff it into my skin in circular motions.  Love this but absolutely HATE how much it malts; Every time I use it I end up with a black hair across my face which winds me up, but it works so well so I keep using it!

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Large Angled Contour F40 – Another brush I simply could not do without; this is absolutely perfect for contouring or highlighting your face.  I use this to either apply blusher or contour and I carry this around with me a lot for touch ups.  The shape of the brush is lovely, slanted diagonally down one side and skinny when placed on its side.

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Foundation F60 – After discovering the duo-fibre brush above then I have not had much use to use this foundation brush.  I have used it occasionally but I now hardly pick this up.  It’s a lovely shape and has soft bristles but not of much use anymore!

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Tapered Blending E40 – I’ll be honest and admit that even though I have had these brushes for ages, I have only just started using this particular one.  I find it too big and fluffy to blend eyeshadow in, but it works absolutely perfect to use when contouring my nose or for blending in concealer!  To use as a contour brush I swirl it to a contour powder and lightly blend apply the powder on each side of my nose with this brush.  To use as a concealer brush I literally just swirl it in the concealer and buff it into my skin.  Works wonders but malts horrifically.

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Large Shader E60 – This doesn’t get enough attention when I apply my eyeshadow because I prefer using the brush below, but its quite a nice size to just sweep a base colour over your eyelid.

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Eye Shading E55 – I like this eye shadow brush because the hairs are really dense so they pick up a lot of product, perfect for loose pigments etc.

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Medium Angled Shading E70 – I do like this brush because it is really soft, but I much prefer my Body Shop Blending Brush.  I use this occasionally to blend the darker colours in a smokey eye out.  I think this would be better if it wasn’t angled to be honest!

9 Concealer F70 – A standard concealer brush, perfect shape and size to get into those hard to reach areas on the face such as around the nose and under the eye.

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Pencil E30 – Love, love, love this brush!  I use this to put a darker colour in the crease of my eye, or to apply a darker brown or black under my eye for extra smokey-ness. 

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Small Angle E65 – I mainly use this to either fill in my brows or to draw on liquid gel eyeliner.  The actual brush head is tiny so you can be very accurate with it.

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Eye Liner E05 – Love this brush, its perfect to apply gel eyeliner and I sometimes use it to smudge pencil liner underneath my lash line too. 

What I think – I think this group of brushes makes a perfect starter kit to those getting into makeup and are unsure of which brushes to get.  It has a nice varied range of eyeshadow, foundation and powder brushes which are all very handy when applying makeup.  I like that it comes in a pot/tube which you can stand your brushes in and which means that it makes travelling with the brushes easy. 
One thing I do not like about two of my favourite brushes (E40 & F50) is how much they shed hairs.  I wouldn’t mind if they shed for a few weeks after I first bought them, but I have been using these for such a long time now and they still leave dark hairs on my face. 

You can only buy Sigma brushes online on their American website here - https://www.sigmabeauty.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=96

Do you have any Sigma Brushes?  What is your favourite brush brand?

xxx

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Thursday, 5 April 2012

Superdrug Spring/Summer Press Day!

A little while ago I was invited along to the Superdrug S/S Press Day to see what this high street store has to offer.  I obviously paid the most attention to the makeup on display so this post is going to be a jam packed with beauty products!

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Accessorize Makeup – I love the store Accessorize but I don’t actually own any of their makeup products (I also have a play with them whilst in Superdrug thought).  The packaging of the products seem pretty and girly and I imagine would look pretty in your makeup bag.  I love the look of the peachy orange lip glosses (above) and the mineralized eye shadows which look very pigmented and are available in a wide selection of shades.

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We Are Faux Eyelashes (top photo) – a brand new range of false eyelashes which will be launching in Superdrug this spring.  They range from £6.99-£8.99 and come in a variety of shapes and styles. 

Glam Republic Stick on Liner (bottom photo) – New and exclusive to Superdrug for two months only will be a new range of ‘stick on eyeliner’.  Named ‘Illusion Eyes’, these are stickers are incredible for girls who can’t get the hold of drawing on liquid liner flicks on their top lashes, these do the job for you.  They come with adhesive and you just stick them on your eye as close to the lash line as possible and voila – a perfect cat eye flick with no hassle.  Just look at the photo above – how gorgeous do they look!  They will retail for around £4.99 and come in a variety of styles and colours!

I received samples of both of these products so expect to see full reviews of each soon!

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Fashionista – I love the Fashionista range, especially their ‘build your own palettes’ so I was happy to see that they are launching a few new products.  Firstly nail polishes (I want the gold glitter lurking in the back of the top photo) and secondly an eyebrow palette.  It looks very similar to the infamous HD Brows palette but includes a wax to help set the brows into shape as well as three powder shadows, a brush applicator and mini tweezers.  This will retail for £7!

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Sleek MakeUp – Now onto possibly my favourite makeup range on the high street – Sleek!  It was lovely to be able to meet the PR girls behind Sleek and they showed me a few new products which have just starting hitting the shops.  Their ‘Blush by 3’ is pretty big in the blogging world right now – a beautiful palette which includes 3 blushers.

They will also be launching another product called ‘Face Form’ which is the ‘ultimate contour kit’ (the two bottom pictures) and will include a contour shade, highlighter and blusher in one palette.  I CAN’T WAIT TO OWN THIS!  It launches in stores very soon and will retail at around £8.99.

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Superdrug own brand skincare – I’ve never used any of Superdrug’s own branded skincare but after seeing that they cater for every skin type I am interested.  The Vitamin E range now has its very own Hot Cloth Cleanser which comes with a muslin cloth – I am interested to see how this compares with Liz Earle’s famous one!  Superdrug are also brining out a range for sensitive and oily skin.

Also – Superdrug are launching their own brand dry shampoos, sun care products, tan ranges etc.  Elemis will also be appearing in Superdrug stores with a new skincare range called ‘Fresh Skin’ which is targeted at those under 25 (which will be cheaper than their current mature skin products).

This event has really got me excited for this Summer and it was lovely to be able to see the new launches in store for us this year. 

What products are you most looking forward to this S/S?  What is your favourite brand in Superdrug?

xxx

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