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Summer Skin

23 Jul

I love the summer.

When I wake up in the morning and the sun is shining through the blinds and I feel the heat on my face, I’m happy. I forget the rainy days and the cold winters, and there is a spring in my step. I live for the warmth.

My skin however, hates it. It melts as soon as there is a little humidity and shines and flakes in equal measure. It’s a hot mess.

There is however, something I have done to go from looking like a spotty teenager to oozing a bit more poise, and my secret weapon is… cue drum roll… Clarins.


When I left school, I worked for the brand in department stores up and down the land, and although their skincare was really good and gave me the expensive taste I now display while purchasing lotions and potions, the makeup wasn’t up to scratch. But recently the PR girls at Clarins got in touch with me, so I thought I would try it all again.

The products are amazing, and here are my top 3 (and I have EXTENSIVE knowledge of the range!) summer products:

1) Clarins Multi Active Day Lotion SPF15

I have skin that burns within minutes of sum exposure, so I have to have an SPF in my moisturiser. I have had fears since training in skincare that my face will show my age (although currently still getting carded for alcohol bolsters confidence on this one!) and the aim of the game is to protect my porcelain palette.

2) Clarins Hydra Quench Tinted Moisturiser20140723_181610

Goes on a bit like war paint, but bear with it. Once it’s all rubbed in it gives your skin a gorgeous glow, and doesn’t feel dry at all. Added points for the SPF, and if your skin is normal you don’t even need to worry with a day cream. I do, but my skin is like sand paper.

3) Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara.

Having forever been a fan of expensive mascaras, and a marketers dream when falling for ad campaigns, I bought this mascara in the airport, and loved it. Then I went to New York and couldn’t find it to replace, so opted for the one I had heard good things about with beauty bloggers – Bobbi Brown. Nothing in comparison. I’m now ploughing through it so I can buy another Wonder Perfect!

Bonus points for the Tonic range, which Father Christmas knows will keep me happy if he throws in my stocking.

What’s your favourite or most indulgent beauty product? *

*Sorry guys, this one isn’t for you. Normal service will be reinstated tomorrow!

Fake It To Make It

13 Feb

I know what you are all thinking. “That girl is such a natural beauty”. You weren’t? What gives? All us girls know that to leave the house looking like this would be social suicide. But why?  Coco the Clown isn’t bang on trend for spring summer 2012? Jeeeeeeez.

We are all guilty of a little fakery. Whether you wear that uber bra that makes you look four cup sizes bigger, meticulously stick on fake lashes before you go out for the night or stain your bed sheets orange trying to get that perfect sunkissed look, it’s all the same.

But the interesting point is the difference between what us girls think is too much and what the men folk around us deem to be unacceptable. My first boyfriend once informed me that he hated it when I wore makeup, yet hadn’t even noticed my existence at college until I lost the glasses in favour of contacts, and put a bit of makeup on. Funny that.

I love a fake eyelash or two and I fake tan in the winter months to stop people mistaking me for Casper the Friendly Ghost. A tan really makes you feel your best, and as I don’t live in a country where we see the sun on more than a monthly basis, fake tan is the only way (believe me, I am working on my living situation…) The idea of possible skin cancer on a sunbed counts that one out for me, so slathering myself in creosote coloured lotion is the only way, and I go through fits and starts as to whether I wish to be a bronzed goddess or pale and interesting.

I wear makeup as not to scare small children, and sometimes I dye my hair, but as April will tell you, not often enough. (When will you notice those roots??!!!) So where do we draw the line? A friend of mine rushed out and purchased the new La Senza boob enhancing bra, but after a few weeks she cast it aside in favour of her trusty old bras. When questioned on this point she admitted to feeling bad, as when she met guys she felt that she was false advertising the size of her boobs. Which made me laugh. Men I have dated have marveled at the difference when one of my old housemates wore her fake hair and didn’t, citing it to be false advertising to new boys on the block, and my Dad often looks at me with incredulous wonder when I am at the fake tan stage where I look like I have been down a mine, and simply asks “Why?”.

The boy perspective is often amusing to us girls who are so used to the rituals of layering on lotions and potions, colours and scents to make us feel our best. First boyfriend could smell fake tan a mile off and often accused me of smelling like ‘a digestive’. I have laughed with friends about the ritual of dying the bed sheets orange, or disasters where you wake up and realise you fell asleep without washing your hands and now have palms the colour of terracotta. I love fake lashes, makeup and hair dye but I draw the line at actually clipping someone else’s discarded hair into my own, while other girls see nothing wrong with tinting their eyebrows, bleaching their bum holes and rocking a head of hair that once belonged to someone else.

I think for me the real answer is that it is simply too much bother. I don’t mind myself too much without all the additions, so I can’t be arsed to get up three hours early just to make myself look like someone else.

But I want your opinion! Girls, what are you prepared to do to look good, and what is a waste of time? And men, what are your thoughts on the multi million pound industry that is fakery?

What do you think? What counts as enhancement, and what counts as false advertising?

Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. Deal with it.

20 Sep

I have been thinking a lot recently about the nuances between girls and boys and the part that one has to play in the other. Whether you are male or female, married or single, or in the starting throes of a relationship where all you can do is talk about that person and really annoy your nearest and dearest, you will have felt the confusion of the opposite sex at some point in your life.

I have no propensity to talk about the weirdness of the male species from their point of view. I am one of two girls, my cousins are girls (making me girl three) and my boy cousins are teenagers and therefore a whole other sub species of males. They don’t wash, they show their love for us by punching us and whipping us with tennis balls in socks and talking to them is like having a deep and meaningful with either Beavis or Butthead.

I can however, talk about girls, and the delicate intricacies of our personalities. We all fall into buckets, you see. And I could try to describe all of them, but there’s no point, as Sharideth Smith has done a far better job than I ever could at the Glossary of Girls

She Peaked in High School

You know who I mean.  She’s in her mid to late 20′s and still campaigning for prom queen.  she may never be more than she is and her life plan is to be Mrs. dr. somebody.  The height of her success will be chairing the women’s axillary at the country club.  that’s the super prom queen win.

The upside to this one is that she is not a gold digger.  She will tend to be simple and loyal.

Miss Insecurity

This is the beautiful girl who has no sense of self-worth.  She puts herself down, refuses to take a compliment and asks questions like “why do you like me?”  She needs constant reassurance and may have trust issues.  However, there is hope for this one.  If you see moments of fierceness poking through the fear clouds, she may be able to learn to stiffen her spine and become “a keeper”.

The Cling-on

This girl is so needy she can’t function without you.  That’s an ego stroke on the front end but exhausting shortly there after.  She has to know where you are and be able to get in touch with you at all times.  Blowing up your cell phone during your guy’s night is just the beginning.  At first she will seem normal but she will quickly dump all her friends and activities to be attached to you 24/7.  And oh yes, she will expect the same from you.

Upside to this one?  Just like Miss Insecurity, she may be able to learn to chill out and gain some confidence.

The Princess

She is the Sears Tower of high maintenance.  It’s her way, all day, everyday.  according to Dr. Phil, and I quote, “She’s not a wife, she’s a job.”  You’ll spend your whole life catering to her.  She is the epicenter of self-absorption.  If she gets annoyed, and she will, a lot, you’d better be ready with the jewelry.  She would never pick up a newspaper but has an encyclopedic knowledge of teeth whiteners.

Positives?  I can’t think of one.  Unless you’re into vapid and spending all your money.

Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong

This one can be sneaky.  She will lure you in by making you believe she’s fun and outgoing.  Next thing you know, you’re insecure and a shell of your former self.  She will criticize everything you do in a way that makes you think she’s right.  She wields a passive-aggressive sword with all the finesse of Picasso.  You are cleanly sliced in two before you ever see the blow.  Being right all the time and making you understand how right she is, is her drug of choice.

Positives?  Her respect can be earned.  You just have to pick your battles.  Man up and learn to say no.

Itsneverenough Girl

Nothing you do, provide, accomplish will ever be enough for this one.  Reaching the bar will never happen because she will always raise it.  It’s highly likely that when she’s in a good mood, she’s the life of the party.  But when the party’s over, she’s going to give you the laundry list of everything you did wrong that she’s been tallying all night long.  She is always on the verge of fury, will emasculate you and use sex as a weapon.  No matter what you do, it will never be enough and she may even tell you so directly.

The only hope for this one is a personality transplant or Prozac.

The Runner

This girl is not for the faint of heart.  chances are good that she has some legitimate trust issues that have been more inflicted upon her than acquired.  Once you start to get too close, she bolts.  But she’s strong and probably very caring and intelligent.  She’s just afraid and will put you through the wringer before granting you even the smallest trace of faith.  However, she is very likely worth it.

The Keeper

This girl doesn’t need you but just prefers to have you along.  She’s comfortable around your friends and family.  unless of course, you friends are schmucks or your family is a cesspool of dysfunction.  She knows who she is and likes herself.  she loves being with you but is also happy having her own friends and independence.  This is a girl who, if you dropped dead, would survive because she’s that strong.  She likes her life but would rather have you in it.  she’s your equal.  She challenges you and makes you want to be a better man.  You’ll be waiting to see what she says next.

It’s funny because, of course, its true. I think most of us see a little of ourselves in one or other of these categories.

But this is not the point of my post. My point is, why do people say one thing and totally mean another? My friends have been through the ringer a little bit recently with men saying one thing and meaning another. One man asked a friend to take the day off so they could spend some time together and then cancelled at 4pm. Pretty much once her working day was done anyway. Another has been messed around by a guy who keeps saying he wants to see her and cancelling, and then has decided actually he doesn’t want to see her at all. And girls do it too. Don’t say you are interested in someone, let them buy you dinner and then not reply to an invitation for days. And don’t use “something came up”.

I think the whole point that I am trying to make is that when your mum told you as a child that honesty was the best policy, she was right. The truth may hurt, but it’s a damn sight better than giving someone the benefit of the doubt and then finding that they didn’t mean what you were putting your faith in in the first place. And I think that whether you are male or female, when you meet the right person they will say what they mean and mean what they say. And they will take you for who you are. They wont listen to people talking about who you used to be and they will go with the flow. Because when its right it will be easy. So hold your head high!

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What Would Your Mother Say??

5 Jul

Through your life you will find that you fall for someone you don’t approve of. If Romeo and Juliet had this problem, who are we to think that we might be any different?! And come on, it wouldn’t have been half as interesting if Shakespeare told it that they went home to Juliet’s dad and he said “sure, so how much is this wedding going to cost me?” would it?

So I thought I would make a list of celebrities that your mother would definitely not approve of. While listening to S Club Juniors. Goddamn iPod shuffle…..

Sawyer from Lost

My mother would tell me that Sawyer from Lost was a bad penny. She would say that he was best avoided, as he was a bad boy, and she would probably be right. And that’s why we like him, right girls?

Tara Reid

Come on guys, you must agree with your mummy on this one. Botched boob job, lilo lips and the worst fake tan in history? She’s the kind of plus one that would make your dad ask “why would you do that to your mother?!”

Angel from Buffy

Surely this is obvious. He is dead. My mother is tolerant, but I think that might be pushing it.

Sarah Palin

Slightly embarrassing dinner table conversations as you do your best to cough over her extreme opinions on a multitude of topics.

George Clooney

(but Muuuuuu-uuuum!)

It’s hard for me to bad mouth the silver fox, but I’m sure mothers all over the world would agree. Right, he is gorgeous and probably a nice man, but his track record isn’t doing him any favours. Although I see he is single again (shocker) so form an orderly queue.

Hannah (Belle du Jour) from Secret Diary of a Call Girl

Nice enough girl by day. Bit too much eyeliner for le jour, but we can forgive her. It could all go really well, until your dad asks her innocently what she does for a job. Call girl. End of conversation. Awkward.

Snoop Dogg

The ‘dee oh double gee’ would not be welcome for dinner at my mums. For one, she wouldn’t understand him due to his desperate need to add ‘izzle’ on the end of everything, and the pot smoking might be an issue too.

Have I missed any good ones?!