MUA Nail Constellation - Pisces

Friday, 30 November 2012

MUA Nail Constellation in Pisces £3

I wanted to talk to you today about these babies. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few months you'll already know about caviar nails, the tiny beads that make nail art relatively simple. MUA launched their own much cheaper range a few months ago and while I was always planning on picking some up, I was hesitant. You see, apart from a glitter tip or accent nail, I don't do nail art. I'm bad at it. I'm bad enough at painting my nails let alone actually adding extras. These seemed simple and so I took the plunge and bought a few. So glad I did.

They're very easy to use for one. I painted on two coats of NARS nail varnish (you can use any but I chose NARS as it was the best colour as a base) and sprinkled the beads on top of the wet second coat. Press them down, add a top coat (I used MUA) and put the rest of the beads back in the tube. You're done. Simple, right?

You see, in hindsight maybe I should have filled a bowl up with the beads and dipped my nail in as my blanket is currently covered in labrador hair and beads from where I couldn't get them all off and my dog tried to eat them. Can't be healthy. Alas, if I'm going to be ill my nails are going to look pretty and pretty they do!

What are your thoughts on MUA Nail Constellations or caviar nails in general?

Amelia Elizabeth - 2 years old.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Amelia is two!
I am currently torn between crying and laughing. I am torn between feeling like she's always been here and not believing it's gone by so quickly. My baby bear, the adorable one with the huge blue eyes, the one who throws earth shattering tantrums and respons with "Why?" to everything statement or question is two.

It does not seem like two years ago that I gave birth on the living room floor of my flat with my fiancé down with a sickness bug and my two and a half year old feeding me Matchmakers. It does not feel like two years ago that I had to be taken into hospital on my own with my baby to have surgery and having to have the one thing I never wanted - an epidural. Her birth was traumatic but she, is everything.

Week In Photos

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Tried the new Maybelline Fit Me foundation | I found a photo I made when I was 16 in paint of me and Patrick Swayze | No more space for books on the shelves so now they live here | Writing lists for Dec 1st's DGM challenge | Layla's school photos came | Command central | My presents from Christina | I really hate my chin in this but celebratory daiquiris

So this week has been a little bit crazy. Between resting a lot so I had the energy for Friday night to panicking about Christmas, being sad because my mother and nan couldn't be here for my birthday as I am every year, battling with new medication, trying not to let every little thing irritate me and childcare, there has been no time for photos. However, these are a few I did manage to take. The week has had it's ups and downs, for sure but it has overall been a good one.

What Laura Did: Turned 24.

So on Friday I turned twenty four and I was a bit apprehensive about it. I'm not one for big birthday parties or week long celebrations and for the past three years I have always spent my birthday either with my fiancé or my fiancé and my best friend. This year I decided to leave him at home and go out just the two of us for a few cocktails and a dance. My fiancé and kids had already bought me a few things the day before including the Rimmel Kate Moss matte lipstick in 107 which I'm wearing in the photos, the Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse foundation which I reviewed below this post, Collection's Lasting Perfection concealer, a new Real Techniques buffing brush, earrings, a dress, the MUA Undressed palette and a new top coat so I had nothing to open on the day. When it comes to my birthday there are never presents to open or big celebrations and it felt like every other day.

That is, until I woke up. I got a lie in until 9am so Layla had already gone to school and I was presented with a big cream cake (apparently he asked the bakery what the messiest cake was, et voila) and got to do nothing but see my sister who bought me a few little things I wanted (not in the photos as they were every day essentials I needed) and a big bottle of Martini, take a long hot afternoon bath with a book and miniature bottle of Baileys and sort myself out.

Christina came around with a bottle of vodka decanted into a lemonade bottle, a big bottle of my favourite white chocolate Corky's, a birthday cake, lip balm and the palette I've been adoring for a few months - the Accessorize 'You Are Everything'. So pretty and there'll definitely be a review coming up soon when I've had a chance to play with it.

We ended up going to the pub for a quick drink where I found a 'Birthday throne' chair and then on to Warehouse 54 for cocktails. I hadn't been in there before although I knew it had opened as it was the old club where I met my fiancé so we decided to check it out. Delicious reasonably priced cocktails (two freshly made over crushed ice for £6.50!) with beautiful decor and a chilled out atmosphere that was perfect for the night we were going for. We headed to the old favourite, Meze for a dance although it was unusually dead for a Friday night at midnight, grabbed a kebab (and an onion bahji because, well, why not?) and headed home for 1am.

All in all, a fabulous birthday with no hassle, no arguments and no drunken idiocy that I'd like to repeat weekly, please.

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Light Porecelain

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Porcelain Ivory

I really want to sit down and talk with you about this foundation because, well, we've had our ups and downs. I first started wearing this foundation almost ten years ago when I was fifteen, maybe sixteen. I loved it for it's matte finish and it's coverage but looking back on photographs now it looked waxy, heavy and cake. Not a good look, especially when I used no blush to warm up my very pale complexion.

I was on the lookout for a good foundation (on a budget) that would provide good coverage without the dewy shine. I like to add shine myself with a highlighter but my base needs to be thick without looking cakey, comfortable and matte. I picked this up with the Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick in 107 as it was on a buy one get one half price offer in Boots and it was a sort of impulse buy. Obviously after knowing how it looked on me before I had tried it but not in a long time so I thought I'd give it another shot.

I am so glad I did.

Honestly, I first applied it with my fingers and it gave me the same effect as all those years ago but then I got to buffing it in with my Real Techniques buffing brush and it makes such a difference. It goes from matte and piled on to airbrushed in seconds. I am a true believer that the brush made all the difference but to test it I also tried it with a foundation brush (same effect as with finger blending) and a powder brush (very good, almost on a par with the buffing kabuki brush but not quite). Since it is a matte finish and such heavy coverage, even if you pick a colour that matches your skin tone almost exactly it looks very one dimensional. It's a product to add blush or bronzer to for sure so I tried both powder and cream blushes. Both worked well with the product but I preferred to use a powder so I could buff it in easier and then adding a liquid highlighter on top.

All in all, I will be repurchasing this and it would be great for oily skin. If you have dry or combination skin I would suggest that you use a good moisturiser and a good primer beforehand otherwise the product has a tendency to settle into fine lines and cling to drier areas but that's the same with many foundations, especially matte products. I'm a huge believer that the brush used with this products really transforms it from a not very good product to a very good product that does what it says on the tin glass tub.

Get Happy

Thursday, 22 November 2012

"You're never fully dressed without a smile"

I've been struggling for things to write here so I turned to Twitter for some suggestions. Ruby mentioned that she enjoyed a post I had written a few weeks ago about things that made me happy and I suggested I wrote a secondary list. Not secondary in terms of happiness, though.

- Friends. Not just any friends but best friends. At the age of twenty four it always seemed alien to me that I would have a best friend but I do and she is beautiful. She never fails to perk me up on a bad day, she knows far more than she probably should and she just makes me very very happy. I joke that she's my wife but it's not much of a joke as it's much more of a reality. Her name is Christina.
- Organisation.
- Murder/crime thrillers. Films, novels, true crime; I'm in.
- Feeding the ducks at the pond or the goats at the farm.
- Good penmanship.
- The perfect biro.
- Clean, crisp white sheets.
- The way my daughter's eyebrows raise when she laughs.
- Baileys. In a glass, over ice, in the bottle.
- Intelligent debates.
- The word 'juxtaposition'.
- Idiosyncrasies.
- Beards, especially on my fiancé as he looks twelve without one.
- Karaoke in dangerously high heels.
- The feeling of getting tattooed.
- Nostalgia.
- A pristine new eyeshadow or blush.
- Jennifer Lawrence as a person and as an actor.
- Leonardo DiCaprio's voice (the best celebrity voice bar Morgan Freeman).
- The way my four year old daughter knows more Welsh than I do.
- Glitter tipped manicures.
- Beautiful people who don't know they're beautiful.
- Country cottages.
- Effortless elegance.
- People without an air of pretence or arrogance.
- Knowing I have power over my own mind and my own body and that my daughter's do too.
- Being prepared.
- The smell of freshly mown grass and petrol.
- The way my huge labrador likes to lay in my arms like a small child. It's not really practical happiness though.

There are lots of things that make me happy but sometimes I get sad for no reason at all.

The Christmas Crazy - Wrapping

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Let's talk presents, or rather wrapping them. I've posted a few wish lists, inexpensive 'Secret Santa' style presents but I wanted to bring you something more personal. Little things about Christmas that I personally love from recipes to traditions to, well, wrapping! You'll usually find me on the floor surrounded by presents for various people writing tags in my best handwriting that gets worse and worse as I go along with tape stuck to the coffee table, ribbon in my hair as I've got a bit distracted and a glass bottle of Baileys by my side. By the time I have finished wrapping half of the presents I will have lost the scissors approximately eighteen times and that will not be due to the alcohol but due to the 'Christmas crazy'.

The Christmas crazy is something I experience at least once during the beginning of November to the middle of December. It's the feeling you've forgotten someone and buy an emergency present or five (it has happened a lot so I have to be prepared). It's the feeling that you should go to town on Christmas Eve to see if there's a spare roll of wrapping paper somewhere as you've just run out on one person's presents and they can't have different wrapping paper so you head into town to get mauled by the crowds and you come home in a bit of a teary flush as you unwrap someone else's present and hope that wrapping paper fits the other present while you silently rewrap the present filled with whisky and resentment.

Just me?

If you're anything like me you plan to meticulously wrap all the presents in pretty paper with an elegant scrawl on the tag, beautifully tied bow and will have thought of every detail but then it goes awry. You end up with lumps in your wrapping because your fiancé told you using a ruler to make the folds neat was more than a little crazy and so you're not speaking to him for an hour when the bulges happen. The worst? Where you've taped it wrong, you lift off a little to see if you will be lucky and the tape takes the design off the paper. There is no saving that so you drink more.

I sound like an alcoholic but I promise it's only at Christmas and significant life events (like the date you bought your first sofa - yeah, that happened). So instead of reading my rambles I think you should just go and check out Wilkinson's range of Christmas goodies because they're very cheap and rather nice. This is not a sponsored post but a post because I am cheap and really love Wilkinson.

Do you like wrapping gifts? Tell me about your Christmas crazy because you're fooling nobody.

Organisation.

Organisation. I love it and yet I can't seem to do it. When we first moved here almost two years ago I wanted the perfect organised home where "Everything has a home" as my nan used to say. However with a three month old baby at the time, a raging three year old and packing my life into boxes it didn't pan out that way. Life got in the way of my organisational skills and boy I was pissed.

Two years later my house is no more organised than when I had that three month old and three year old. If anything it has become worse with things being haphazardly hidden and books piled on top of books just to make them fit. This is partially down to lack of storage space but is mostly down to my attitude. I just don't put things back and it's a trait that I have had as long as I can remember. I can't keep things tidy however much I would like to be that woman with those traits. However, I do love looking at organisation tips and spend many hours on Pinterest and I Heart Organizing so I feel like it's time for an A/W resolution. Who wants to follow the crowd and wait until January, anyway?

For the month of December I will be in 'Domestic Goddess Mode' hereon out known as DGM. I will write myself small tasks every day and I will do them. If I don't do them one day I still have to complete them the next. I will not buy anything new for storage purposes but I will repurpose what I have, customise it and/or buy from charity shops. I will have a clean, tidy and organised home by January 1st when I can really get down to the nitty gritty personality faults I'd like to change. 2013 is the year if nothing more so than the fact I have been bombarded with the end of the world theories December brings. I have survived quite a few 'end of the world' days plus a few raptures for the religious among us so I'm pretty confident that if I survive this, I owe the world some serious stuff.

For now I make lists but December 1st? I'm coming for you and if December 21st is coming for me? My house will be a little tidier.

What Laura Pinned: Style Inspiration

Monday, 19 November 2012

All original sources can be found on my Pinterest board here

What Laura Wants: The Fantasy Collection

So I've been doing all of these lovely gift guides and wishlists for my birthday and Christmas and I've realised none of the items are worth more than £250 and even then that was just one item, the beloved Michael Kors watch. I realised that while I am a simple creature because I've never been brought up with a lot of money if I did have a lot of money there are some things I most definitely would buy with no hesitation right this minute.

1. The Canon EOS 600D. Not too expensive at £500 but expensive enough and out of my reach for now. I got to play around with it and fell in love but it wasn't to be with my measly little bank balance.

2. The Tiffany Soleste ring. "This ring is classically elegant with a cushion modified brilliant diamond encircled by a double row of bead-set diamonds. A diamond band enhances the striking magnificence of this piece" and that it certainly does. At the moment I am without an engagement ring despite being engaged for three years so if I won the lottery tomorrow, Tiffany would be the first port of call. This ring is a staggering £10,200 and I'm sure for that my partner would have a custom ring made. I am a firm believer that if you do Tiffany, you do it well and this piece is definitely a 'never ever' piece.

3. The Mulberry Alexa. Need I say more?

4. I really want an iMac. This is one from the lower end of the line but if I had the money I would definitely get the fastest and biggest going. I have dreams of an iMac since I am currently working on a battered and bruised 2007 MacBook (not unibody) with a missing 'N' key.

5. The 'dream home' and it comes in at only £600,000. Yes, I know that is way out of most people's budgets but £600,000 for a home as beautiful as this that's only a half an hour drive from my family? In a heartbeat.

6. The 1969 Chevrolet Impala. Glorious. I'm not a fan of cars. I watch Top Gear because I like to laugh at the misogyny of Jeremy Clarkson and like watching celebrities loop a track but I don't know a thing about cars. I do know that when Supernatural started my boyfriend of the time was obsessed and while I steadily grew to become obsessed with Dean Winchester played by the beautiful Jensen Ackles, my first love was this car. I need it. It will be my MetalliCar.

7. What wish list would be complete without Elie Saab? None, I tell you. Every season the collection takes my breath away. I could never pull off this dress with the lumps and bumps around my middle but I would sure as hell try and have a great time doing the housework in it! £8,703. Let's just sit there and think about that for a minute. I pay more than that in rent for a full year. I'm sure my landlord would be okay with not receiving payments while I buy this. Right? Right?

The Christmas Tag

Sunday, 18 November 2012

I wasn't actually tagged in this tag either (I never am) but I enjoy doing these types of posts as I feel it gives you all a better insight into me as a person which is what I enjoy seeing on other blogs too. I'll sporadically post a tag or maybe some questions that you've asked from time to time and I'll always tag every reader rather than a few specific bloggers.

1: What item of clothing do you love to wear in winter but wouldn't be seen wearing in public?
There's the ubiquitous onesie which I love. I have a monkey, an Elvis and most recently stole acquired an elephant from my boyfriend and they're perfect for lounging around the house but a pain when you need to go to the toilet. I also like oversized, ratty hoodies (you know the ones. They're the ones with the strings chewed and the cuffs all tattered). I'm wearing one I 'acquired' from my boyfriend right now as it's just comfortable to laze about in when you're not going anywhere.

2: Most wanted item for autumn/winter?
I am in desperate need of a new pair of boots. Mine are all coming away from the soles or Ugg style boots which I only try to wear around the house, to pop to the shop across the road or to walk the dog in. I'd love a pair of black riding boots or chelsea boots.

3: Favourite boots to wear in the winter?
Flat ankle or mid-calf boots in black or tan. They go with anything and make me feel more stable in wet or slippery conditions than heels.

4: Are you a fan of UGG boots?
Not at all but that doesn't stop me owning a pair of UGG style boots. I don't usually wear them out unless I'm going for the comfortable look as they can never look stylish but they are warm and cosy.

5: It's snowing/raining outside, what are you favourite wellies to wear?
I only own one pair of wellies and they are the green Hunter style that I bought from New Look a few months back. I usually only wear them in bad conditions when I walk the dog now and team them with a khaki parka and leggings or skinny jeans. I've never been a huge fan of brightly coloured or patterned wellies on fully grown women.

6: What is your favourite autumn trend?
Bold lips, without a doubt. My lips are the one feature I truly love so accentuating them with deep berry tones or a bright pop of colour is right up my street.

7: What is your typical winter day consisting of?
Lots of moisturiser, lots of coffee, deep berry colours, warm knitted jumpers and cardigans, wishlists, blogging, Baileys or a good old Irish coffee, reading, Snow Fairy, twinkling lights and trying to avoid the outdoors.

8: Cup of tea, hot chocolate, or coffee?
I really hate tea. I love fruit teas and herbal teas but I don't drink 'regular' tea so it's coffee as a firm favourite in my world. Hot chocolate is a close second though, especially during the long, cold winter evenings.

9: Do you like or dislike that it's starting to get dark?
I have a love/hate relationship with it. While I love it because my children realise it's bed time and it makes it easier to unwind for the day I also hate it because I'm not a fan of being out in the dark so if I'm late night shopping or needing to pop over the shop my anxiety can flare a little.

10: Christmas is coming, do you have any idea of what you want?
I know what I want but it's whether or not I'll get it. I know I'm definitely not going to get a new MacBook or iMac but that's fine as although I lust after them, my old knocked about one is still working. I also know I'm not going to get my beloved Michael Kors watch but if I get the knock off, I'll be a very happy lady! If I'm honest, all I want this year is for everyone to be happy and not full up with a vomiting virus on Christmas day again. We're restricted by money this year so a lot of people are getting token presents or simply a card. While my family are not ones to ask for things and are appreciative of absolutely nothing but time, it would still be nice to give them a little something.