#OMCZ - Outside Your Own Comfort Zone

Thursday, September 24, 2015

As a rule I set a theme each month for these #OMCZ challenges but as we're all different what's out side my comfort zone is someone else comfort zone. 

Fort this months challenge I've asked everyone to post a picture of something they find outside their own comfort zone. 

For me it's collars. I don't know if it's because I've got a very large neck or if I'm just not cut out for them. I always feel like I look a little bit scruffy. 

A couple of weeks ago I wore two shirts in one day, both with collars and one worked far better than the other for me but I still found I had bunching of the collar and they fell flat. I feel like I need one of those plastic collars that come with school shirts to make them look good in the packets! 

The first was the Yours Clothing WOW Shirt dress. I got this in a size 22 and I'm surprised how well it fits. The collar is a bit soft and I feel like the collar crumples up. This is more me than the shirt. Also one of the press studs doesn't like staying shut so I think this will be one that will be worn open from now on or I at least need to remember to wear a vest under it! 

I feel like that sounds negative, I love the shirt, it's soft, comfy and perfect for winter. I'm just not good at wearing collars. It also need Ironing which I hate but I feel like I want to wear it again soon so I'm going to have to bite the bullet and I also want this shirt in the Black and White version as well. 

Find out what is outside everyone else's comfort zone

What is outside your comfort zone? If there is anything you'd like us to tackle let me know


Lush Haul - September 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I'm really excited that Autumn is here as it's means we will have hot water and hot water means baths, which in turn means trips to Lush. 

Over the summer I've started collecting bath products ready for the hot water and last night my mum mentioned the H word. 

Last weekend we went to White Rose centre in Leeds and I'll be honest it was the flamingo that got me through the door. I decided to grab a couple of other things. 

Pink Flamingo - Reusable Bubble Bar £5.95

I love bubble bars and the idea of a flamingo shaped one on a stick well isn't that just amazing. I do think these are a little expensive. I just hope I can get a few uses from this. 

It smells really fruity and the main fragrances are rosewood, ylang ylang, macadamia nut oil and bergamot. The website says cocktail inspired which sounds very excited. 

Brazilliant - Shampoo Bar £5.75

I picked this purely based on scent alone and I don't know if this will work for my hair but from reading the website I think this will work for me as long as I don't use conditioner. 

It's orange based and has Ylang Ylang as well and if this doesn't work for my I'll be quite content to sit and sniff it. 

Ickle Baby Bot - £1.95

This is one of my all time favourites from Lush. It helps that it has a low price point and it's small on size. I know the bath bombs that are huge are measured out and if you can be bothered you can cut them down but really I'd rather pay less and get a smaller amount of product.

This bath bomb is suitable for babies over 6 months but I love it. I often split in two and use it when I want a quick bath before an early night as the lavender is relaxing and calming. 

ButterBall £2.65

Am I right in saying this is the same as the Butter Bear they have at Christmas? If so I love this. What I really like about this is that it's white and no added colour. It's relaxing and moisturising and I'm hoping to get two baths out of this product.  

I really wanted to try some of the other products which were exclusive to the Oxford Street store but everything had glitter and I really don't do glitter. I hate bits in my bath.

What products from Lush should I try next? 

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10 Pan Roulette

10 Pan Roulette - Introduction

Friday, September 18, 2015

As we all know by now I'm on a mission to try and work through products and trying actually wear the make up I own.
I'm not on a spending ban as I just can't stick to them, I don't really try if I'm honest.

I'm doing quite well on my Use 8 By Bonfire Night challenge, which I really need to film / Edit / Publish.

I found / Someone told me about Lauren Mae Beauty on YouTube. I thought that Leah told me about her but not sure. Any how she does a lot of pan challenges and I came across a couple of her video's where she has done a 10 Pan Roulette. You put a number of items / product types on paper and do a lucky dip to help you decide what products to include in your 10 Pan Challenge. There is a list on her video but I just made my own list up.

It's funny because I chose what to write and as I drew out the pieces of paper, I kept thinking why did I put that! I decided not to limit myself to make up but I think all but one thing is make up.

What did I draw out?

Chubby Stick Lipstick - 17 Lip Crayon in Knockout - I seem to have a lot of chubby type lipsticks including Clinique chubby sticks. But as always I save things for best, this should give me a chance to actually use things. I love the berry colour and perfect for autumn. I've been clinging on to the hope summer is still here, but it's September and I need to embrace Autumn. I've measure this and there is 3cm of product.

Something you keep avoiding - Models Co Cream Blush + Lip. This came in a beauty box and I've avoided it. it's been swatched and used as a lip gloss once but I don't know how to use it. I don't expect to hit pan on this. My goal with it is to learn how to use it and try and build it in to my routine. I'm calling this product un-used as it's only been swatched and maybe used once. 

High End - Illamasqua Lipstick in Minx - This is probably the most expensive product I own it's RRP is £19.50. I got it in a beauty box and I love it. It's a really nice colour that I feels works really well on me. It's also one I'm not afraid to use or feel like I have to save for best. It's also the only one of my very few that I think I'd wear for work. 2.7cm of product left at the moment.

Something you love- Essence Stay Matt Allday in 10 Matt Beige - I was going to move this into my Use 8 By Bonfire Night, but decided not to swap in other products. This shouldn't be far off hitting pan as you can see the crop circles of pan through the powder already. I really love this powder as it's light and doesn't sit on the skin. I'm not sure how to measure the use of this one. We might just have to compare pictures. EDIT - I hit pan a couple of days after deciding to use this product and before I took the proper pictures but I did catch the moment I hit pan and I have to say I was really excited about that moment.

Foundation - No7 - I'm toying with changing this as after not using it for almost a month I don't think it's quite intelligent enough to match me. I have another Number 7 foundation I might swap it in. I think I'm going to trial using both and see which is the best match and decide next month. 

Eye Shadow from a palette - Girls on Film from the Makeup Revolution Girls on Film Palette - Looking through all my palettes this is the most use shade I own. it's a really nice base colour and I lay this down all over my lid and all the way up to brow bone before applying any other eye shadow. Edit - I hit Pan! The day I took the pictures I used the palette later in the day and there it was.

An Eye shadow single - Wild About Beauty in 06 Alana - Another beauty box acquisition. This isn't a brand I was aware of before but it's co-founded by Kim Jacobs and Louise Redknapp. I hadn't tried this before digging it out for this challenge. I hadn't even swatched it. I love the colour and the formula. I don't really use singles as I'm usually doing make up on the go but even using it on the bus it has been fine. Especially as it has a mirror in the lid. It retails at £13 which is expensive and I rarely pay that for a palette but it's such a lovley satin textured powder. I think I might be converted to single shadows already. 

Body Butter - Sanctuary Spa body butter - This is one of the slips I didn't want to draw out but at the same time I really do need to moisturise and I forget / avoid it and wonder why my skin doesn't feel great. I got this body butter in a Boots sale set I got in January and I think I've used it one. It smells amazing and reminds me of the Gok Wan range they had a couple of years ago.

Lipbalm - Burts Bee's - I was also in two minds about adding it lipbalm as I'm working through one for the use 8 before bonfire night but I've done really well with the one i'm working through and with winter just around the corner I need a lipbalm and I think the Burt's Bees one will be good for this time of year. 

A Nail Product - Essie Milionails - I'm torn on this one as I was going to use a coloured nail polish but not sure I want to commit to using one colour for most of the time? I've also bought two new nail treatments and might include them. However would it be wrong to use something i've bought new? I know some of the products i'm including are new & unused but i've had them for a while. rambling now.
EDIT - Stuff it. It's my challenge and i'm going to use the new products

BONUS Product
Lollypops Eyeliner Black - I'd picked this out as a product I avoid but I have actually used a fair amount of it and only have a small amount left to use. I'm not massively keen of the product. it's a bit smudgy and is hard to take off. BUT the next morning after taking off as much as I can it looks how I would want it. if that makes sense!!


Use 8 By Bonfire Night - September Update

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

As some of you might know I've moved into the world of doing the odd YouTube video and I'm taking part in a Pan Challenge - Use 8 by Bonfire Night. 

If you're not familiar with Pan Challenges, the basics are you set yourself a challenge to finish a product and with powder type products the metal cases are called Pans, so you are trying to see the pan.

I love the idea of these as I buy so much make up and I'm always swapping and changing and I never finish products.   

I've not blogged much about this but after filming my latest update I found a missing product so decided I'd do a quick update for the blog. 

Use 8 by Bonfire Night
Only two products to work through - Use 8 by Bonfire Night

Leah from Leah XL started the challenge and I'm really glad I joined in. Not only did it give me the push to start making YouTube video's. You can find her latest video here

As this was my first ever pan challenge and on Leah's advice I picked products I liked and enjoyed using. For me these challenges are not about getting rid of things but more about working though things and find out if I like the products or not. 

Over the months some of my opinions have changed, I've grown to love things more and thought why don't I use this more often. There are also products I know I don't ever want to use again. I'm glad I've worked through them and they are gone or will be as soon as 5th November comes round. 

It's also given me the itch to work through more products and I have 2 more Pan challenges in the pipe line. 

The products:

1) Benefit RSVP Ceaseless Eyeshadow  - This is a product I've had for around 4 years and one I kept saving for best. Why do we do that? I decided as I really do like it I should use it. I managed to misplace this after filming my first update. I was using it consistently up to that point. I've given it a stir and it still seems fine. I will be throwing it away regardless on 5th November due to the age of the product. - Would I repurchase? Probably not. This came is a duty free set and while I wouldn't be upset to own another one I feel I can get similar from drug store brands for a lot less money. 

You can see from the comparison pictures I am getting through it and I know the product is now mainly up the sides but it is going down. 

2 & ½) Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencil 02 Hot Chocolate & Essence Eye Brow Pencil Brown - I decided to go for 2 & ½products as the EyeBrown pencil had only one or two sharpens left in it, I finished that between deciding on it and filming the intro video. I have repurchased it and I'm using it pretty much every day. The Eyeline is also finished and I have repurchased the same one and two other colours from the same range. It has been the best wind up eyeline. I haven't started using the new ones yet as I'm trying to work through a couple of other ones first. 

3) Nivea Soft Rose Lip Balm - Another finished product. I'm quite proud of myself as I usually lose lip balms or don't use them. I really liked this one and I would think about buying another one. I do seem to have quite the collection of lipbalms so if I ever work through them all. 

4) Maybelline The Eraser Eye  in Nude - Sadly this had to be thrown away. The sponge applicator broke off and it leaked. I really enjoyed using this, I tended to use it as main concealer as well as under eye. I did rebuy this but in the light colour. I've only used it a couple of times and do quite like it.

5) Essence Silky Touch Blush 20 Babydoll - My plan for this product was to wear the pattern off. I still feel like a novice when it comes to applying it. This is also one of the products I keep falling in and out of love with. It seems to alternate between updates. I did think about swapping it for another product but the point of the challenge is to work through products and I kept it in and I'm glad I did as I'm currently enjoying it. I feel like you can see a real dip on the pictures below. I still don't think I'll hit pan but I'm feeling more hopeful now. 

6) Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash - I didn't enjoy this product. I really disliked the scent. It was like a fake chemical natural smell. It is 99% organic but the scent really put me off. It didn't do anything bad and I quite liked how it left my skin but it was a fail for me. 

7) Avon 24k Gold Strength - Can you believe it I've finished a nail polish! This is the tiniest little bit at the bottom but I can't get to it. No matter how much I try to twist the bottle round and try and get the product to the brush. I have called his a holy grail nail product in the past. We do have back up's of this in the cupboards. I fins that my nails are always weak and brittle and I do bite them. Using this makes them feel stronger and they do grow. I've decided to try something else for the moment but I would highly recommend this and I think I should get a prize for finishing the bottle! 

8) The Body Shop Wild Rose Hand Cream SPF 15 - Again I've finished this product and I didn't enjoy it. It left a chalky feeling behind and it took a while to soak in. Towards the end I started to use this on my legs as I had some really dry patches after coming back from Holiday and it worked a treat. I've used quite a few of the Body Shop's hand creams and I've loved all of them. I'm wondering if it was the SPF element that caused the chalky feeling but this isn't something that I will be buying again. 

What products have you used up? 

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Feeling Autumnal - Tesco Shirt Dress

Monday, September 14, 2015

On Saturday night I went out for a meal with some friends. We haven't been out in such a long time and I honestly can't remember the last time I saw them both. How terrible is that!

I'm really happy about the seasons changing. I love Autumn and the warm rich colours. I decided to dig out this shirt dress from Tesco that I got in the sale last year. It's fairly sheet and I went out of my comfort zone and didn't wear a cami underneath it and I felt good in the outfit.

Even when my friend offered to lend me something to wear when she discovered I hadn't take anything else to get changed into. I didn't let if bother me and I tried not to show that I found it funny she wanted me to changed. He face was a picture when we met our other friend who complimented me on it.

Fashion and taste vary so much from person to person, perception of flattery varies from eye to eye. If you like something and you feel good wearing it then wear it.

I love this shirt dress, it's a bit of a bright and obnoxious print but 's ind it really comfy and it reminds me of a bowling shirt from the 80's. I feel like I've seen something similar in a film.

The dress was perfect thing to wear to go for a meal as it was quite a relaxed setting, I didn't overheat despite it being really warm. I feel like I am going to wear this a lot this Autumn and Winter

Dress - Tesco Size 26
Leggins - Forever 21 Size 2XL
Boots - Ecco Via TK Maxx 
Necklace - Primark 
What do you wear to make you feel Autumnal? 


Is Plus Size Equal?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Over the past couple of weeks I've come across two campaigns promoting more equality across the Plus Size brands world but for me both of these have missed the mark in a massive way. 

#StyleHasNoSize by Evans which was kicked off by 5 very beautiful Plus Size Models who were all very similar in size and shape being the poster girls for the campaign. 

If style has no size then why are all 5 girls who were chosen not all different sizes. Why were they all similar heights? Well the answer is they chose to use Plus Size Models who are all very much from the same mould. Now this isn't a dig at the Models, the modelling industry at all. It's saying to Evans go into any one of your stores on any Saturday afternoon and look who is shopping. 

Last time I went it to Evans there was a 5'11"ish, 60+ Lady who was around a size 18, her friend was slightly younger under 5'4 and a size 28ish. I was there. 34years and a size 24. My Mum 50+ Size 12/14 with the occasional 16s. That was just 4 of us. Each one completely different. We were all dressed in nice modern clothes. Not one of us was wearing a smock (nowt wrong with them if you wear them) If we'd have had a friend we could have done the pictures. Which is exactly what 5 very lovely Plus Size Bloggers did that same afternoon. 

Abi, Hollie, Stephanie, Michaela and Katie did their own take on the #Stylehasnosize campaign run by Evans and UKPSFW.
Photo Credit - Abi 
There is no denying all 10 women are Plus Size, whether that is by modelling standards or what I think of as Plus Size. They are all beautiful and the bottom picture for me shows a better cross section of Plus Size women who shop at Evans. They could have used London Bloggers. Held a contest or even just asked people who were shopping that day to take part. I really feel like they missed the mark with this one. 

The next campaign I've been made aware of is an American Company Lane Bryant who are promoting #PlusIsEqual sizes 14-34 (UK 18-38) However the very T-Shirt they are selling to promote this only goes to a size 28 (UK32)

Image Credit Debz
If Women in this size bracket are to be celebrated equally then why on earth can they not buy a T-shirt from the brand that is supporting the campaign.

They have given a response that they are only stocking their normal size bracket and last night I was thinking they could at least offer all sizes.Maybe by special order as they could argue there is little demand for that size but then I thought no that's still unfair for this campaign at least they should stock those sizes. They are excluding three sizes which take away all the positive things they are try to do.

I think these campaigns had so much potential and really could be great and the more positivity and equality within the fashion industry is needed. I don't think we will ever get to a point when there is no distinction between plus size and non plus size but if companies are getting behind body positive marketing they they need to walk the walk.

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50 Books in 2015

Book Review - Hiraeth A Burden - Baich - Marc - Liz Riley Jones

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

This is a second in the Hiraeth trilogy by Liz Riley Jones. I was sent the first book to review in January and she recently reached out to me to see if I would like to review the second book. 

I was really eager to read the second book as the first left us on a cliffhanger of Eastenders Proportions. You can read my review of the second book here

This book was very easy to get into as it picks up exactly where the first book left off.  It's set in a modern day Druid community in Wales. Mona is the lead female character she is a warrior who has just had a baby and is coming to terms with her ex partner returning home which is the main feature of the previous book. 

As in the first book they are still searching for the traitor in the camp and having to defend their community from the Irish Druids.

I love that it's set in the present day but looks back on old traditions and practices, the elements of myth, magic and legends really appeal to me. This book also brings in the use of modern technology which I won't give too much away but it it's briefly mentioned in book one but it's brought out in this book. 

One of the things I did find confusing was the cross over of names. Similar names are used in both camps. For example Cian and Cai and some characters are known by more than one name or a nickname 

While the book is fantasy I can imagine knowing some of the characters which helped to blend the myth with real life. 

The book is action past and moves at a much quicker pace than the first book which meant I read it very quickly. It answers some of the questions left by book one and raise a host more ready for book 3 which I'm excited to read. 

I would recommend reading the first book before this one as I didn't feel there was a lot of recapping as there often is in book series. I felt like I was expected to know who people were and this isn't a criticism as I liked this in a book just a little heads up. 

This series is well worth a read and I can't wait for the 3rd one to come out and I'm excited to read all three books back to back.

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