Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Queen Liz comes to Leeds

Ok, ok, maybe not the actual Queen Liz, but the Beauty Industry's next best thing:
As you may remember from my post last week, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the opening of the new Leeds store and meet the gorgeous Liz Earle for a wee natter and a glass of champers.

(Credit: Nicoletta)
As you can see, the store itself is beautiful and located in the very swish Victoria Quarter of Leeds. They've split the store over two levels, with the bottom level being aimed at your "grab it and go" shoppers and the top level aimed at those who want to take their time browsing, maybe have a skin care consultation and even have a sit down and a bit of a read in the library area. Also, a little birdy might have mentioned the possibility of treatment rooms at some point in the near future - how exciting! The whole store in inspired by the Isle of Wight where Liz Earle's head office is based, so it has a very serene and peaceful feel.

Upon arrival (and after a few sneaky glasses of Rose with the girlies and a bit of a shop), we were greeted the the lovely Louise and also the utterly stunning Jennifer (she's the botanical research manager). Now obviously the main question on everyone's lips at this point (other than can I go play with the treats) was "What do we do with our bags?" - the shop was absolutely teaming with other shoppers and we didn't fancy lugging our big winter coats around. We were presented with the perfect solution - security guards of course! Yup, that's right... my £3 H&M bag was given its own security guards - look:

The second question was "Please can we much one of those beautiful cakes?" and the answer was of course yes - look at them - they were so small and glittery. I actually felt bad for destroying such tiny works of art.

After making sure our bags were adequately guarded and the cakes thoroughly enjoyed, we were let loose in the shop and very much treated - we were allowed to choose 5 full size goodies from the shelves to give a try.

I chose:
  • Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer
  • Skin Repair Moisturiser in Normal/Combination
  • Superskin Concentrate
  • Daily Eye Repair
  • Brightening Treatment Mask
And rest assured I'm putting them through their paces and will be bringing you some reviews over the next few months. Eventually, Jennifer and Louise managed to pull us away from the shelves for our natter with Liz. She really is an incredible woman - I felt a little bit in awe of her to be honest. I loved finding out more about the company and what its roots are. I try my hardest to support ethical companies and I really do feel the Liz Earle hit the spot. One this that I found out quite a lot about is that Jennifer sources ingredients that are being used as traditional skin remedies/hair treatments etc and then works with the women of that particular village/tribe to provide sustainable income from the plants they grow. Liz Earle are very pro supporting woman in 3rd world countries, and from what I can hear, they seem to be fairly good at keeping things sustainable.

Another interesting fact is that the Shampoo and Conditioner came about from the fact that Liz herself has never managed to find a Shampoo/Conditioner combo that's truly worked for her and her extremely sensitive scalp, and the fact that she personally visits and approves all the supplies and ingredients. To say what a big multi-national company they are, Liz Earle still manges to maintain a homegrown feel.

After a nice relaxing chat with Liz came my personal moment of humiliation... somehow the other ladies felt that I was best to the the face and the voice of the bloggers, so I took part in an interview which will be appearing on the Liz Earle website soon. Rest assured that for hilarities sake I'll be posting it for you to witness my wittering and wonder about what the other ladies behind me are doing (I'll give you a clue - mainly nodding and sipping champagne - lucky!)

Finally, we were given one final treat - a very exclusive tube of the new Energising Body Lotion which launches in January. I've been using it over the past few days, and will be doing so for the next couple of weeks to see if it lives up to its claim to smooth, firm and tone.

All in all, it was an utterly fab evening and such a treat and privilege. I loved meeting all the girlies and had such a giggle with them. This was my first "proper" blogger event, and it really did live up to all my expectations and more! So a big thank you to the gorgeous Liz Earle team for spoiling us rotten and a big thank you to the 5 other beautiful bloggers that I got to spend an afternoon with!

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Camera Questions

Hello lovelies!

Bit of an odd one today, but I want to ask you (my wonderful readers) a question - what camera do you use and what do you love/hate about it?

This is my camera - a Fuji FinePix s5600 and it does me ok considering it only cost me £139 5 years ago. I've taken some of my favourite pictures with it (you can see some on my Flickr) but it's utterly rubbish in low lighting and can be quite grainy/blurry at times. Also, the viewy bit on the back isn't that big, which means I can rarely see what's going on and I end up getting home to discover that all my "lovely pictures" are actually just a big blurry mess.

So to cut to the chase, I'm looking for recommendations of other cameras that you use so that I can try and work out what to do with myself - shall I just keep on keeping on with this little beast or shall I get something new and exciting?

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Monday, 29 November 2010

Christmas Gift Ideas

Now most of you will know that I'm a bit funny about asking for makeup and beauty stuff for Christmas - I prefer to buy it myself (for some reason it feels like more of a treat that way.... I'm an odd girl!). However, I've been scouring the interwebs and I've come across some gorgeous gifts that have almost tempted me to change my ways. Here's my top picks of this year's makeup and beauty gifts:

Bare Minerals Pure Luxuries Gift Set - £59
This gift set has really caught my eye, offering a whopping 8 eyecolours, 2 liner shadows, an all over face colpur, a faux tan, 3 blushes, 2 brushes and a glitzy gold train case. Excellent value for money I think.

Lush Gingerbread House Tin - £13.95
Quite honestly, how on earth could you NOT want this gift? 4 fab Christmas bath products and a super cute tin to use all year round (or to be reused next Christmas as the wrapping for some lovely homemade gingerbread men for Grannie!)

Soap and Glory "The Mini Series" Hatbox - £10
What a cute little stocking filler! This gorgeous hatbox contains 4 travel size treats from Soap and Glory and a lovely pink shower puff (a girl can never have too many!). Even better, the hatbox can be used throughout the year to store even more goodies and treats!

Frontcover To Go Eye Collection - £35 £23.33 from Boots this week!
Frontcover have bought out a whole range of super gifts this year, but I thought this was worth flagging up whilst it's on offer as it really is a bargain of a set. I love the fact that they've included a mini palette to pop in your favourite colours.

Estee Lauder Gloss to Go Pure Colour Lip Gloss Set - £28
When I saw this on the Estee Lauder counter in Debenhams, I let out a little squeal - what a cute gift. These shrunkdown lip glosses would make a perfect gift for any gloss junkie out there, with a whole range of colours and finishes. Alternatively, this gift could easily be broken up into stocking fillers for the ladies in your life (and maybe keep a cheeky one or two for yourself!)

ELF 32 Peice Eyeshadow Palette - £9
There are so many fabulous things on ELF that would make excellent stocking fillers or secret santa presents but I've picked this because it's something I've actually tried. An excellent palette which will keep any girl (or lady) happy. (I'll be bringing you a review of this palette in the next couple of days)

These are some of my favourite bits and bobs that I've been whilst looking for presents - what are your favourite makeup and beauty gifts out this Christmas?

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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Review - Eyeko London Lips Glosses

Hello Lovelies!

Phew - what a week! I've been dashing all over the place but it's been completely worth it! I've had such a fun few days, which I'll tell you more about over the next week or so. For now though, I though I'd do a cheeky little review of the three Eyeko London Lips Glosses that I own.

Aren't they beautiful?! From Left to Right we have Knightsbridge, Shoreditch and Soho. Of course it's all very well and good to have pretty packaging and nice colours in the tubes, but what are they like on the lips?

Quite honestly? A dream. They have fab pigmentation, but can also be sheered out, they're fantastically moisturising and aren't at all sticky. To me, they feel almost like a cross between a lipstick and a gloss - the texture is very creamy and thick, not all runny and goopy. Knighstbridge has a bit of sparkle/glitter, but it's not at all gritty and doesn't make you look like you've been snogging a glitter ball. But don't just take my word for it, have a look at how they are on the lips....

First up, Knightsbridge. See, a nice pale pink (but not too pale) with a hint of sparkley niceness

Next we have Shoreditch. This was the first London Lips gloss that I got (I was sent after my Ambassador code was used for the first time) and I've been wearing this almost every day. It's a lovely dusky rose pink that gives a great "your lips but better" sort of look.

Finally, Soho. Blue toned fushcia, which can be worn loud and proud or (if you're like me) sheered out a bit for a nice pop of colour on a dull winter day.

London Lips cost £6.50 from Eyeko and if you spend over £15, feel free to pop in my Ambassador code (E12559) for an extra special gift!

Ladies, have you tried London Lips? What did you think? Do you have a favourite colour?

*Disclaimer* I was sent Shoreditch as part of the Ambassador scheme, the other two were bought with my own pennies :)

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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Inspirational Interviews - Get Lippie

Hello lovelies! It's Saturday which means it's time for yet another Inspirational Interview! I have to say, one of the biggest shocks in putting together this series is that when I've asked some of my favourite bloggers to let me loose with a headful of questions, they've said yes. That was very much the case for this lovely lady, whose blog I've stalked followed since pretty much the very start. So please give a very warm welcome to the fantastic Louise of Get Lippie!

Hello Louise!

Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed! Firstly, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Ha ha!  Where do I start?  I'm a beauty junkie, accountant, ex-Club 1830 rep who currently does a bit of work for the government.  Kinda.  Maybe.  Sort of thing.  Oh, and I'm a blogger.

How long have you been blogging for and what inspired you to start blogging?

I've been blogging on and off for around eight years, but Get Lippie was born about 18 months ago when I was at a bit of a loose end.  My friends - who I've been taking shopping and doing their special occasion makeup for, for years - had been bugging me about starting a beauty blog for a couple of years beforehand, but I'd always resisted because I was a bit in awe of the (mainly US) bloggers I'd been reading at that time, and thought I didn't really have anything to say in comparison!  400 posts and no real signs of stopping later, it turned out I was wrong ... 

What are the best bits about being a beauty blogger?

I love the writing, the thinking of posts, and the whole feeling of getting my thoughts in order.  For me, blogging gives a bit of structure to my week, and also lets me justify my frankly terrifying beauty shopping habit!  Other things I love are the sense of belonging to an entire community that I never really knew existed, and the thought that I've made some amazing friends that I simply wouldn't have met any other way.  Also, I love reading other beauty blogs too, always finding new people's viewpoints is fascinating.

And the worst?

It's changed the way I shop, slightly.  Sometimes I find myself overlooking products in the supermarkets, simply because I can't get a blog post out of them!  Also, there's the occasional writers block I suffer from, which I find really frustrating when it happens.

What's been the highlight of your blogging "career" so to speak?

There have been a few things, really!  I was selected to be a judge of a national hairdressing competition earlier this year (other judges included John Frieda, astonishing for a small-town girl like me to be in such company!).  I've been to tea at Andrew Collinge's house, and I've had my makeup done in Harrods by Daniel Sandler.  All astonishing opportunities to meet amazing people that simply would not have happened any other way.  I've met so many amazing and wonderful people over the last 18 months or so, it's been really inspirational.

You recently had a run in with a dodgy hairdressing experience - have you had another other memorable product/treatment testing mishaps?

I'm generally quite lucky, I tend to know what works for me so product-wise I can usually avoid stuff that I know won't work.  What tends to be more memorable for me is the bad customer service that I occasionally encounter, I've written about bad service whenever I've found it, whether it's in Harrods, Selfridges or even that blimmin' hairdresser!  

And the weirdest thing you've even been sent/asked to try?

The only thing that really springs to mind is the painkilling foot gel that you had to use for three months before it started to work.  That email went straight into the delete folder!

You recently (well, not that recently) had your blog's first birthday - what inspires you to keep blogging?

Simply put, I love it.  I couldn't do it if I didn't, it takes up so much time and energy that what would be the point of doing it if I didn't?

If you could choose only one make up brand to use for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Gnargh!  I can't answer this!  It is so difficult to answer, but I think it would be a toss up between Chanel, and probably Le Metier de Beaute.  Maybe some Edward Bess? Oh, Rouge Bunny Rouge!  No, Becca.  Oh, I don't know. But if it's body care, then Haus of Gloi, no question.

If if you were going to rid the world of one?

I'm really not getting into that one!  I think most brands do at least one thing well, so this is actually far harder for me to answer than the one about my favourite brand!  

What can Get Lippie readers look forward to over the next couple of months?

Loads of stuff, keratin blowdries, eyelash extensions, plus the usual reviews and slightly googly faces of the day.  Oh! And the return of my makeover series!  Any volunteers? ;)

Ok time for some quick fire questions:

3 Favourite Items of Make up:
Currently, it's Le Metier de Beaute Le Cirq Palette, Guerlain Rouge G in Georgia, and Trish McEvoy's Jet Black mascara.

3 Favourite Foods: 

Steak, Wine and KFC (Hot wings, in particular).

3 Desert Island Items:

My iphone, I couldn't live without it! My bed (cheating, I know), and MrLippie.  Please don't tell him.

3 People who've inspired you:

My friends Sheonaidh and Sarah, without whom the blog would probably never have gotten started in the first place.  And there's Caroline Hirons, who is one of the most inspirational people I've ever met in my life.  But again, she doesn't need to know this, so, like, keep it under your hat, okay?
3 blogs you'd like to recommend:

Three blogs I read every day - and even when they do update every day, I wish they'd write more often - are, LondonMakeupGirl, JustNiceThings and BeautyLookBook
3 words of advice:

Write what you love, love what you do, and it'll all come together.  Eventually.  And don't worry about the word count.

Louise, thank you so much for taking part! You're such an inspirational blogger and I really do love your blog! Ladies, if you don't follow this lady yet then get over there now!

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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Review

liz earle cleanse and polish
When I was offered the chance to give Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish a try, I pretty much bit the hand (metaphorically of course - I'm a good vegetarian girl) off of poor Andrea. It seems that every girl and her dog has used this except me, and it really wouldn't be the done thing to go for Afternoon Tea with Liz Earle (tomorrow... me... Liz Earle... Afternoon Tea - I think the excitement is a given don't you?) and not have given this a go. 

However, there was a certain element of fear rumbling under the surface. Why? Because my skin hates water. No, seriously. Whenever I try to use wash off cleansers for more than 2 days in a row, my skin starts screaming and shouting and the alcoholic esq red nose (see this post for reference) comes out with gusto. Despite this (and because I love you) I decided to give it a go anyway. So how did I get on?

Initial Impressions
liz earle cleanse and polish packaging

liz earle cleanse and polish packaing

The first thing that struck me was that Liz Earle really do make an effort. It feels like they want you to feel like this little ol' cleanser isn't just something to wash your face with but a luxurious experience to top and tail your day. And you know what? I feel like that. I love the fact that time and consideration had gone ito the wrapping of my product - beautiful tissue paper, expertly wrapped with a gorgeous silver seal glinting at me as I opened the jiffy bag. Then the lovely little pouch to store my cleanser and cloths - all just simple and beautiful and lovely.

liz earle cleanse and polish

liz earle cleanse and polish ingredients
The packaging itself is the same duck egg blue as the little zip bag, very easy on the eye and the sort of thing that will look gorgeous in any bathroom. But the thing I really loved - all the instructions are printed on the bottle itself in a)a reasonable sized font (*cougholdladyeyescough*) and b) plenty of detail. This made me very happy indeed - it really bugs me to get a new product but have literally no idea how to use it. Am I meant to wash it off? Flannel it off? Take it off with cotton wool? Do I even take it off at all?! Happily, this was far from the case with this little beauty and I felt safe and happy in the knowledge that I had all the information I needed. In fact, just for those of us who are super parinoid about how to use a product (that'd be me then), there's even a little card included which goes into even more detail:
liz earle cleanse and polish instruction card

Cut the waffle - what was it like?!
Sorry. Yeah, I get a little carried away with instructions apparently. Cleanse and Polish is a gorgeously thick rich cream, which you massage over dry skin and then take off with the muslin cloths (doused in hot water and then wrung out). It feels so lovely going on, and is removed quickly and easily - you aren't left with any gunkyness, just beautifully soft skin. I've been using this for nearly a week, and I can already see that my skin has a better texture to it (much smoother and less bumpy) and is feeling generally softer and cleaner. I've also noticed that some of the stubborn blocked porey things around my nose are starting to disappear. And you know what? The angry alcoholic-esq red nose hasn't appear once. My skin hasn't had a single reaction to this, but instead has behaved itself and even started to show signs of improvement!

Final thoughts
Cleanse and Polish is an excellent cleanser and I would really recommend it. I can definitely see why it's been a best seller for Liz Earle for all of this years! It's proving itself to be comforting in the cold harshness of winter and gentle but effective in its cleansing power. Go on, give it a try!

I give this ♥ out of 5 hearts
Would I use it again? Definitely. When this runs out, I think I'll be treating myself to a bottle
Price: £13 for the Hot Polish starter kit (includes 100ml bottle of Cleanse and Polish and 2 muslin cloths) from lizearle.com

Disclaimer: I was sent this sample for review purposes

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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The beauty counter and me.

So a week or so ago, the beautiful Beauty Blogging Blonde did this post about her experiences with concession staff and it got me thinking whilst having a wander around town today.

As most of you know, I work as a teaching assistant and I also cycle the 4 miles to and from school most days. Hence I wear an ultra cool (read tragic) 3 in 1 raincoat/fleece thing most days (to keep me warm on the playground and to block out the wind when I'm cycling) and I have a bike pannier which detaches and can be used as a bag. It's massive, but it's still pretty cute. I also rarely wear make up  on a school day because I leave the house at stupid o clock and quite frankly, I value sleep more than a made up face.

However, what I've really noticed is that on "school days", I frequently get blanked by sales staff at a variety of concessions. So today I thought I'd do a little test and see what happened. Here's my thoughts...

Clinique staff clearly hate me. I went to 3 separate Clinique counters in York and was not once asked if I was ok or if I needed any help. In fact, one woman actually lent in front of me to ask another customer if they were ok, yet still gave me no acknowledgement of my presence.

Estee Lauder, same goes for you - I was playing and swatching and looking but did you say hello? Did you jiggery.

Origins and Clarins - well done you! You gave me lovely sunny smiles and made me feel very welcome.

Benefit - you amazed me... for once in my life I walked past both of your counters WITHOUT being traffic stopped. Such a shame as I always enjoy being tangoed on a dull Tuesday afternoon.

Dior - Your concession lady was wearing a scary amount of blush, but she did at least give me a hello.

Lancome - no acknowledgement of me at either counter but other customers were approached.

Bobbi Brown - you were wonderful. Even though you were super busy, you gave me a lovely warm, open question and a big smile, and when I told you I was looking for a foundation you booked me in to come back and see you in 45 minutes and then spent almost an hour matching my awkward skin to a foundation (I'm a 3.25 - Cool Beige in case you're wondering - apparently a shade that pretty much never gets sold), and then matching my even more awkward under eyes to a corrector and concealer. You didn't give me any hard sell, and you were just generally lovely people. Thank you.

Now of course it may well be that these other counters were just distracted by other things (stock or jobs etc), but some of them were downright rude. Part of the reason I wanted to do this test is that I frequently feel intimated by these brands and not worthy of buying from them. I hung around all of the concessions for quite a long time and made sure that I was swatching and giving bits a try as opposed to just standing stock still starting blankly. At pretty much all concessions, I was not the only customer. I also know that when I've been wearing slightly less teachery clothing, I've been approached by some of the same members of staff that basically ignored me.

Ladies, what are your thoughts on the counter concession? Do you ever feel looked down upon/treated differently because of how you're dressed?

Disclaimer - This isn't a scientific bit of reasearch, but is just a comment on my own experiences. I used to work in Lush (very sales/demo driven) so I know that sometimes you just can't be bothered.
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Monday, 22 November 2010

Urban Decay Naked Palette review and swatches

urban decay naked palette

Yes, yes, I know that everyone and their grandma has the Urban Decay Naked palette now - what can I say, I'm late to the party! Still, never mind eh? I adore this palette, and have been lusting over it since the minute I first saw the PR pictures. I have to say, it's quite odd for me to lust over a palette with such neutral tones, but something about the Naked palette really grabbed me. Maybe it's because I work in a school now, and exciting eyeshadow isn't really the done thing (that and I don't really have time to faff with makeup when I have a 30 minute cycle ahead of me).

urban decay naked palette

I think what I like is that this is such a compact and usable palette. It's the sort of thing that would work perfectly for a weekend away - colours which are easy to wear day and night and which can be worn simply or dramatically.

urban decay naked palette

urban decay naked palette

urban decay naked palette

My favourite colours are Darkhorse (a complex black and and slightly green infused brown), Hustle (almost maroon brown) and Gunmetal (blue persian cat esq grey). This is how all 12 look swatched:

urban decay naked palette swatches swatch

For some reasons, my eyeliner swatches look rubbish so I'm not going to include them, but basically you get a snazzy double ended 24/7 liner (see the first couple of pictures) with Zero (black) at one end and Whisky (a warm rich brown) at the other. All in all, a gorgeous palette at a very reasonable price. I think I may be in love.

Available from Urban Decay concessions for £27 (possibly, although it is sold out in many places)

Do you have the Urban Decay Naked palette? Do you love it or do you feel it was overhyped?

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Sunday, 21 November 2010

Thank you

Just a wee post to say a massive thank you to all my followers as yesterday my little blog whizzed its way past 200 followers! I'm amazed and so grateful! Everytime I get a new follower, I'm still as excited as I was with my first few. So yes, thank you!

Also, if you're following me and for some odd reason I haven't managed to follow you back, please just drop me a comment with your blog and I'll put things right :D xx

Ps - I've been having a little play around with the layout, what do you think?
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Saturday, 20 November 2010

Inspirational Interviews - Lady of the Lane

Whilst I had a blogging hiatus, I spent quite a lot of time focusing on remembering why I'd started blogging in the first place. It all started with a combination of the Lush Forum's Makeup thread (which is a billion pages long) and discovering the exciting land of beauty blogs and youtube gurus. I was hooked. Therefore, I feel privileged to introduce my new blog series - Inspirational Interviews. Over the coming weeks, I'll be treating you to a sneak peek into the lives of some of the bloggers and companies who have inspired me most.

To kick this series off with a bang - I bring you the gorgeous Lady of the Lane. To make things extra special, today is her one year blog birthday, so tootle over after you've read this and wish her Happy Birthday (and if you don't follow her, you should!)

Thank you so much for agreeing to be one of my interviewees! Can you start off by telling me a little bit about yourself?

I’m Charlie, I’m quite old and a stay at home mum of two little girls,4 and 18 months. I don’t know what on earth I’m going to do for a job when the time comes for me to go back to work, I’m toying with training to be a nail technician at the moment. I live down here in Devon, nothing much happens, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

How long have you been blogging for and what inspired you to start blogging?

This Saturday marks my first year anniversary or blog birthday if you will! I started out planning to talk about all sorts of things, but mostly ranting about Daily Mail readers, I just lost my way a bit as my love of make up came to the fore… I didn’t even realise there was a blogging community!

What's the best bit about being a beauty blogger?

The best bit is writing about things I love. But also, seeing as how I love to moan a bit then I even enjoy writing about the things I don’t love. I also love some of the friends I’ve made as a result.

And the worst?

Oh god. My own insecurities is probably the worst thing. Worrying about what people think of how I look, or worrying people think I’m a rubbish blogger, that kind of thing.

You recently chose to break free of putting disclaimers at the bottom of posts - how are you finding disclaimer free life? 

Well! Turns out to be more complicated than I thought since I always discuss within the body of a review where I got an item, it usually gives me my starting point for a piece of writing “ I was recently sent such and such “ or “I was recently in Boots and bought” and turns out most people seem to consider that a disclaimer anyway. But it is nice to not have to remember to try and put that sentence at the bottom of every post!

You did an amazing job on your sister's wedding make up - do you have any plans to start working as a freelance MUA?

No I really don’t have the skill at all for it. I did enjoy doing it and I did a better job than I thought I would but I did have largely a free reign, I think I would struggle to achieve a look someone specifically wanted! I would consider doing friends if they asked though, but I wouldn’t have the nerve to charge!

If you had a free day completely to yourself with unlimited financial resources, what would you do?

Seriously? A whole day to myself with unlimited financial resources? Well in the last four years I’ve barely had any time to myself and I’ve always liked my own company so I would go out shopping in the morning for clothes and make up of course, I’d splurge on Philosophy bath goodies, Nars make up and various other bits and then I’d finish up nipping to costa grabbing a Large skinny latte extra hot and a cake and bringing it home to enjoy some much needed solitude and to play with my new goodies.

What can readers of Lady of the Lane look forward to in the coming months?
Things you can look forward to in the coming months on www.ladyofthelane.com: Le Metier De Beaute Le Cirque review, stash shopping, and Alpha H skincare reviews to name just a few of the coming blog posts!

Ok time for some quick fire questions:

3 Favourite Items of Make up: Clinique High Impact Mascara, Mac Blushers, and a fave for many years, Rimmel Hide the Blemish Concealer.

3 Favourite Foods: Onion rings! Black Forest Gateaux! Roast Potatoes! Can’t have any of them because I’m on a diet.

3 Desert Island Items: Tweezers, Swiss Army Knife, paper & pen, sorry I know that’s four!

3 People who've inspired you: British Beauty Blogger, Sarahloolaa at I Heart Cosmetics and my Mum for having three children and appearing to love it whilst I have two and seem stressed most of the time!

3 blogs you'd like to recommend: Iceomatic’s Nails http://iceomaticsnails.blogspot.com/ for inspired nail art. http://www.britishbeautyblogger.com/ for constantly blogging about things I covet but can’t have. http://makeupbyoe.blogspot.com/ She doesn’t post often but she does make up looks I love and if she never blogs again I’ll still enjoy going through the back catalogue!

3 words of advice: Think before speaking.

Thank you so much Charlie for such wonderful answers and for agreeing to let me interview you! Happy Blog  Birthday - I'm very much looking forward to the next year of reading! 

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Friday, 19 November 2010

Very exciting offer from ELF

Hello lovelies - this just popped up in my inbox and I thought I should share!

How awesome is that? A free palette worth £9 when you spend £10 or more! All you need to do is enter the code FREE32UK at the checkout :)

Enjoy lovelies xx
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Thursday, 18 November 2010

Fraulein 38 Professional Brushes Review

Everybody knows that good brushes are the basis of any budding MUA's kit, but what do you do if you don't have a squillion pounds to spend on MAC/Bobbi Brown/Sigma brushes? You take a risk apparently.

Whilst I was putting together the basics of my freelance kit a couple of months ago, I did exactly that and ordered a brush set from fraulein38.com - I couldn't find any English reviews, and most of the non-English reviews I could find were on youtube anyway, so Google Translate was no help!

I was pleasantly surprised! For a mere £17.99, I was met with super soft, high quality brushes that make applying make-up a dream and more than meet my current needs. Have a little looksee at my video to find out more:

If you missed Part One aka My Alternative to the Zuca Sport, you can read it here.
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Favourite Lipbalms

As the days are getting colder, and the wind getting more blustery, I'm finding myself reaching more and more for lipbalm. I seem to have them everywhere - in bags, in random pockets, on my desk. Especially as I cycle, I find that I need to use them more than I ever have before at the moment. Anyway, I thought I'd bring you a little round up of my current favourites, and any other things that I'm treating my lips to in the ongoing battle against chapped lips.

Burt's Bee's Rejuvinating Lip Balm *
Love this - it has a lovely fresh, slightly zingy flavour but isn't overpowering. Love the fact that it contains zero mineral oils but instead lots of lovely omega packed oils that will actually do something instead of sitting there doing nothing. Apparently, the Acai berries are packed with a squillion antioxidents and vitamins, but I wouldn't really recommend trying to use it as one of your five a day. 
£3.49 from Burts Bees

Burt's Bees Nourishing Lip Balm *
Another fruity treat from Burt's Bees, but this time with Mango. I find this one slightly thicker and more errrr Nourishing (they clearly didn't name it that for nothing!) than the Acai one. Again, it's slightly fruity but not over powering. Both of these lip balms have a fairly soft texture - you can definitely tell you've got them on, but they don't clog up your lips (if that makes any sense). Oddly, whilst on the subject of Burt's Bees, I'd say that these are both much better than the Original lipbalm, which I can't stand to be honest.
£3.49 from Burts Bees

Dr Organic 100% Organic Pomegranate Lip Balm
I've used this for ages after picking up in Holland and Barrett one day.  I was in town and my lips were drying out, need a lipbalm but didn't really fancy grabbing a Lush one - I wanted a stick that I could shove in my pocket and preferably apply whilst still cycling. I stumbled across this beauty and haven't looked back. Taste wise, it's slightly pomegrantey and slightly nothingy. But it does the job. really soothes, hydrates and nourishes. Texture wise, it's perfect. Why? Because it's fairly dry. It's not slippery or slimey (I'm looking at you Body Shop Lip Butters) and it creates a wonderful smooth base for lip colour. Perfect.
£2.99 from Holland and Barrett

Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub
I'll be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that last year I had a Lush voucher to use, I probably wouldn't have gone for this. You could very easily make it yourself - just a bit of sugar, oil and maybe a touch of peppermint oil (or if you're really cheap, toothpaste probably wouldn't kill you). But, it is useful and I do appreciate the fact that it's edible - I can scrub my lips in the morning before I cleanse/tone etc and lip of the debris. It's also much more convenient than a homemade lip scrub and much drier - I know that I'd end up getting overly happy with the oil content and end up with an oil slick on my face. There's a new one out for Christmas that's all lemon sherberty if that's more your style. If not, you can go for the revolting smelling Bubblegum or Chocolate ones instead of this nice After Eight one if you like....
£4.50 from Lush

What's keeping your lips happy this winter time?

Disclaimer - products marked with a * were sent to me for review purposes. Still doesn't change the fact that I'll always be honest with you about them :)

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Wednesday, 17 November 2010

I'm so excited!

I feel very very privileged as I'm getting the chance to attend two very exciting events over the next couple of weeks.

The first will be the opening of the Liz Earle store in Leeds - this is going to be the first flagship store in the North, which is incredibly exciting.

The second is the Aussie Bloggers Market, also in Leeds, which the lovely Sinead is taking me to as her guest. I have literally no idea what a bloggers market is, but it sounds rather exciting! The equally lovely Jen has invited me to a squillion Aussie events in Manchester but it's always been that little bit too far so I've never managed to make one hence I'm uber excited about this!

Are any of you girlies going to these? I have to say I'm a little bit terrified - I really hate going into a room of people I don't really know! 
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Tuesday, 16 November 2010

All I want for Christmas...

... is books and dvds apparently :/ (well...maybe a few other things as well)

Here's a little selection of the things I'll be asking Santa for this year:

Brother Innov-is 20 LE Sewing Machine
Well... money towards it at least! I caught the sewing bug whilst taking a textiles class with a few girly friends and would love a nice machine to make lovely things with :). This machine is excellent because it has what I like to call "stupid mode" aka a really adaptable speed changer that doesn't require a peddle!

Miranda Season One
Oh Miranda, how you make me chuckle. I watched all of the episodes of this series twice when they were on iplayer and they really do make me laugh. Very much a guilty pleasure!

One Line a Day - a Five Year Memory Book
Love the idea of this - a simple journal that asks for only one thing - a line from or about your day. All of the posts for a particular date are on the same page - you just add the year at the start of the section. Lovely way of journalling for lazy people like me!

Rose Elliot's New Complete Vegetarian Cookbook
Anyone who really knows me well knows that I have an addiction to cook books... specifically ones written by Nigella Lawson, but also any other interesting looking Vegetarian or Vegan ones. This book is huge and wonderful and has such a wealth of useable sounding recipes. It's also laid out beautifully, which always helps!

Harry Potter Years 1-6 DVD
Yes I know, I should just wait another year and get the entire Year 1-7 box set, but I'm impatient. I'm also extremely excited about the prospect of two Harry Potter films at the cinema in the space of a year. There will be tears when it's all over I'm sure, but for now I want to bask in its glory and force family and friends to endure some Harry Potter action this Christmas.

Gilmore Girls season 5-7
I love love love Gilmore Girls! In my head, they're actual friends of mine. If you don't like it or have never seen it, I assure you your life is in incomplete.

There's a few other bits on there as well - Love in the Time of Science by Emiliana Torrini, some Hope Larson comics, a few more cookbooks and Anne of the Island (it's the 3rd book in the Anne of Green Gables stories). One thing you'll note is a complete lack of makeup/beauty related goodies - I don't know why, but I always find it a bit weird to ask for those sort of things as presents. Never liked doing it, probably never will.... I always end up feeling a little diappointed, no matter how amazing the treat is. I think there's a childlike part of me that is always wanting something to play with or to read or to generally be engrossed in present wise. Funny girl.

What are you asking Santa to bring you ladies?

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