Friday, 31 August 2012

This Week I've Mostly Been ...

Killing another plant

I'm a notorious plant murderer but I've only had this one for about a month - a new record! I usually pass ailing plants to my friend Liz at the first signs of trouble, she can bring them back round with a bit of TLC and/or magic. But I think this one is too far gone.

I don't know if I dare get another one.

Clothes shopping!

I popped into Meadowhall on my way home last night with the sole purpose of buying skinny jeans. I came out of Gap with two pairs of THE BEST jean leggings I have ever tried, seriously, I wish I'd discovered them years ago. I struggle with skinny jeans, they're usually too tight around the behind and squeeze my knackered old knees but these are perfect.

I also got a sweater, a long sleeved T shirt and three mens T shirts (for sleeping in - sexy eh?)

Breaking my beauty spending ban

Don't judge me! I was only looking, then the lovely girl sat me down and used these products on my horrendously dark undereye circles and the results were so amazing I just had to buy them. I know, I'm a bad blogger. I was so determined to stick to my ban. It lasted all of a week.

On the plus side, I very nearly bought a blusher and a lipstick too but managed to resist. Does that count? No?

Buying more childhood books

I was so sad to hear that Nina Bawden had died recently. I went straight to Amazon to purchase my favourite childhood book of hers, The Peppermint Pig. My mum used to take me to the library every week to borrow books and audiobooks. This was an audiobook I reborrowed every week until the (mean) librarian suggested maybe it was time to let someone else have a turn!

My sister loved the audiobook of Tatty Apple by Jenny Nimmo. So I bought a copy of that too for her to read to her little boy 


I must have been a bit forceful in my warnings of 'mind my car' when my boyfriend was towing the digger off the drive this morning. He gave it such a wide berth that the trailer got wedged against the gate on the other side. I had to go to the rescue (after I'd finished taking photos from my office window!)

He didn't mention my crap parking so I didn't mention his crap manouevering. Fair's fair.

What have you been up to this week?

Thursday, 30 August 2012

A Guest Post

Hello blog friends!

The lovely Megs from Wonderful You kindly allowed me to take over her blog for a day whilst she is away on holiday. This is hugely exciting for me as, not only is this my first guest post, but it's for one of my favourite blogs!

Megs is a sweetheart and if you've never perused her blog I suggest you head on over and lose yourself for a while. I love her writing style and the design and layout of her blog is so pretty. She also posts videos, which I love to watch. I find videos really help you to get a feel for the person behind the blog.

I decided to do a haircare routine for this guest post. It's an idea I'd been thinking about for a while, mostly because I am obsessed with haircare products (as you will see) but also because I love to read about other people's beauty routines so I thought it might be interesting for you to read about mine.

So for today's post, please click here

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Bedside Essentials

Hello blog friends!

Today I thought I'd do a quick post on my bedside essentials. In our current house I don't have a bedside table as there is only room for one and my side of the bed is next to the wardrobe, so I sacrificed a table for wardrobe access. Selfless. So, like the classy girl I am, I keep as many of these bits as possible in an old Glossybox shoved under the bed. It's good to recycle!

Fluffy Bed Socks
Now these aren't sexy but they do keep my feet warm. I have the coldest feet in the world, 24/7. I'm pretty cold generally but my feet are like ice blocks even throughout the summer. So wearing these means I don't get chastised for sneaking my cold toes onto my boyfriend's legs in the night. What is it about men that makes them so hot all the time?
These socks are from Joules last year, I have about half a dozen pairs in different colours.

I like a bit of bedtime reading but I've been reading a lot of paperbacks recently, hence my Kindle needs a charge. I'm still undecided as to what I think about Kindles - they're great for travelling but at home I prefer the look and feel of a book in my hand. Unless the Kindle version of the book is cheaper!
My Kindle Gelaskin cover is from Amazon and features The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusaii, a painting I remember being excited about in art class at school. The zip pouch is from Cath Kidston. It looks like they don't do this design any more, which is a shame.

The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Honey & Beeswax Hand and Foot Butter 
My favourite hand cream (and my boyfriend's too!) which I slather on every night. I rub any excess into my elbows. You can read my review of this hand cream here

Sleep Mask
This is a silk eye mask from Monsoon, I bought it a few years ago so they don't do this exact design anymore, unfortunately. I love it, it's so soft and silky against my face. I always take it with me when I travel and use it at home if my boyfriend is using his laptop in bed and I want to sleep!

Reading light
I got this at Christmas from a bookshop in Meadowhall, Sheffield whilst buying a book for my Dad, I think it was Waterstones. It has a little clip which you slot onto the back cover of your book and it illuminates the page so you can read when your partner wants the light off. It's pretty bright - brilliant for you but not for whoever you're in bed with!

Neal's Yard Remedies To Roll 'Night Time'
I bought this as part of a set from feelunique. The set includes four aromatherapy blends in little 9ml bottles with a rollerball so you can just roll them onto your pulse points. I sometimes struggle to sleep so I keep this handy for those nights. The set includes 'Night Time, Relaxation, Travel and Energy oils. I keep the Travel one in my bag and the Energy and Relaxation ones on my desk.

Self explanatory really, I rarely use these but I like to know that they are there should I need them. If I've been unable to sleep for an hour or so they help me to fall asleep quickly and not feel groggy the next day. Well, no more so than usual anyway! I buy them from Boots

Vicks Vaporub
I've been a bit of a sickly kid recently and keep getting chest infections. This reminds me of being little. It's another Boots buy

Voltarol Emulgel
Another Boots buy! I use this for my back but it can be used on any muscles/tendons to relieve pain and I find it really effective

OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil
This is one of my favourite cuticle treatments, I get it from John And Ginger. My other favourite is ...

Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter
This was recommended by a nail blogger, I can't remember who I'm afraid. But it's brilliant! My cuticles are awful if I don't look after them so I try to use this little beauty from Lush  regularly, even when wearing polish

Figs and Rouge Rambling Rose Lip, Face and Body Balm
I think this came in the Glossybox that I store all this stuff in! It doesn't do much for my lips but I used it on the dry skin I got around my nose when I had a cold recently and had been blowing my nose a lot. It's 100% organic and available from feelunique

Lush Honey Trap Lip Balm
This gorgeous white chocolate flavour lip balm from Lush also smells a little bit honey/vanilla-esque. Yum.

Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Dark Cocolate & Peppermint Lip Butter
The absolute BEST lip balm out there BAR NONE. This was the only thing that worked for me when I was on Roaccutane (horrible acne medication) which dried up my skin something terrible. Sweet, sweet relief in a little white tube. I buy it from Boots but they don't sell it online. Superdrug do, however, if you can't get to a Boots store

So there we are, bedside essentials (with a few poorly person extras thrown in!) What items must you have by your bedside at all times?

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

How Much Is Your Face Worth?

Hello blog friends!

I have seen a couple of posts on beauty blogs called 'How Much Is Your Face Worth?' and immediately I guessed what the premise was. Basically, how much does the make up that goes into your everyday 'look' cost? I was a bit scared to do it myself, firstly because it involved a close up photo (God I hate how I look in photos!) but secondly because I had a sneaking suspicion the answer would be 'far more than looks would suggest!'

I wasn't wrong.

Total = £217.99


OK so let me attempt to justify this. The concealer was actually a sample that I've had for ages - I didn't pay full price for it. Um ... that's all I've got.

It really adds up though doesn't it? I only seem to buy high end brands but I buy makeup so infrequently that I've never really noticed the price. I should say that I mostly work from home and rarely go anywhere exciting so although this my current 'everyday look' I only wear this amount of makeup maybe twice a week. Apart from that I'm usually a makeup free zone, so I may spend a fortune on it but it lasts me ages.

Did I tell you I'm on a beauty spending ban this month ??

I'd love to know how much your face is worth ... leave a comment below if you are brave enough!

Job Interview Tips

One of my Twitter friends, Charlotte, tweeted a request for job interview technique blog posts last week and it set my mind whirring ... I LOVE job interviews! Maybe I could write a helpful post on interview technique? I've been working since I was 16, had more jobs than I care to remember and I've only had one interview where I wasn't offered the job so I suppose I must be doing something right.

So here are my tips to help you give good interview. It's a long post, better get yourself a cup of tea ...

Before the big day - 'to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail'

Research the company
Check their website and Google them. Found out about their market, main competitors and any recent industry changes.You need to let them know that you understand their business and are able to discuss it intelligently
Re-read your CV
You need to know it inside out and be ready for any questions eg 'what did you do in this two month gap between working for Gucci and Prada?' (if only, eh?)
Re-read the job advertisement
Remind yourself exactly what they are looking for, make sure you understand what they are require in a candidate and can demonstrate how you could add value. Also, try to use some of their own phrases (in a discreet way, not parrot fashion!)
Make a list of questions you want to ask
Take a notebook with a list of questions you want to ask the interviewer and some prompts for yourself - bullet point the things you want to make sure you mention eg relevant experience and past achievements, you can sneak a peek at these if your mind goes blank. It's also a good idea to Google 'interview questions' too as some employers trot out the same old unimaginative questions, it's good to have some answers ready.
Plan what to wear
And ensure it is laundered and ready! Trouser suits used to be a big no no but I think those days are gone now! Skirts shouldn't be too short and it goes without saying that you shouldn't layer on the make up with a trowel if you want to look professional and be taken seriously
Make sure you know where you are going
Write the address in your notebook, as well as a telephone number in case the worst happens and you are delayed.

When you get there

Arrive early
I suggest you aim to be around half an hour early. This allows you time to get stuck in traffic, park (they may not have their own car park) and prepare yourself. Re read your CV, the job advertisement, any notes you have made
Check your appearance
Do your final make up check. Check your teeth for errant herbs, pop in a breath mint and switch off your phone!
Present yourself at Reception
I usually aim to be about 10 minutes early. This gives me time to sit down, take some deep breaths and get a feel for the place. Don't sit with hands clasped unless you want sweaty palms!

During the interview

Appear confident
Even if you don't feel it! Fake it til you make it. Give a good firm handshake and make eye contact. Think about your body language. Sit back in your seat and cross your legs at the ankle, keeping your knees together
Take it steady
Speak slowly, try not to get flustered or out of breath. If it's a panel interview, make sure you speak to everyone, don't just focus on the person in front of you or the person who asks the most questions. Relax - they fully expect you to be nervous. Just do your best and try to look comfortable
Make it interactive
They're not looking for a puppet who can sit like a rabbit in the headlights and give monosyllabic answers. This is your opportunity to convince them that you are the candidate they have been waiting for. Expand on your answers with relevant experience and past achievements. Ask your questions if they aren't covered
Good questions to ask
'What attracted you to working for xxx?'
I asked my boss this question at my interview and he told me later it really made him think and reminded him that an interview is as much about the employer selling their company to the candidate as it is about the candidate selling themself to the employer
'Is this a new position?' If it's not, try 'If you don't mind my asking, why did the last employee leave this position?'
You may find out that the last person who held the role has been promoted internally - great if you want a defined career path. If you're not confident to ask this, try 'What is your policy on internal recruitment - do you often promote from within?'
Salary and holiday entitlement - you must ask if you don't already know. It shows you are seriously considering the position. Be bold and if they give you a bracket - 'I assume, with my experience, that I would sit at the higher end of that bracket?'

*A note on holidays*
A new employer is not obliged to honour any existing booked holidays. So if they don't ask you at the interview if you have any holidays booked, it's a good idea to bring it up to avoid any nasty surprises later - 'I have a week's holiday booked at the end of August, is that likely to be a problem?' It virtually never is - if they want you they won't turn you down over a holiday commitment.

After the interview

Shake hands again, thank them for seeing you and tell them you look forward to hearing from them soon.

You could follow up with a letter to the same effect if the interview was very formal or if they didn't give much away as to how it went. But I've only done this once - the job I was never offered. Every other time I've either left having already been offered the job or been told to expect a call later that day.

I know interviews can be nervewracking but they are a necessary evil in life and if you can turn them from being something to be scared of into an opportunity to prove yourself, you'll make your career progression a whole lot easier on yourself. I hope this posts helps!

Feel free to leave any questions or your own tips as comments.

Monday, 27 August 2012

August Bank Holiday

Hello blog friends!

I love a bank holiday weekend. The extra day off work feels like such a treat, even if it usually rains!

This weekend was much needed, I had a hard week. On Saturday morning I went to the local Farmers Market with my sister and my little nephew. We bought some amazing natural cordials and had a coffee whilst watching the locals with their tiny dogs. The town is Tiny Dog Central, everyone has one, we must have seen a hundred. Including one which was sitting on a cushion in a custom made trolley! I missed a good photo opportunity, I must take some photos next time I go.

The afternoon was spent tarting up the house for a viewing on Sunday morning. This ended up involving a bit of impromptu decorating too! In the evening we went to get a take away from our new favourite Indian restaurant and ended up staying and eating in. We did exactly the same last week, I really ought to dress up more as it seems to be becoming a habit! A Jack Daniels and Coke and a lamb bhuna was exactly what I needed and I went home happy (and extremely full)

I was up early on Sunday for the  house viewing. They stayed 13 minutes. It felt like a complete waste of time and I was pretty ticked off. I went round to the new house to take Boyfriend some lunch and marvel at the swimming pool that has appeared in the footings of our future lounge.

Back at home I did a bit of work on a blog post for later this week, whilst watching The Bachelor on catch up and when I could stand the longing looks no longer, took the dogs out for a long walk in the woods. I took some photos and got bitten by bugs.

On Sunday night I did roast pork and we watched Countryfile and caught up on The X Factor. I don't know why we watch it, I know it's rubbish and staged and naff but it's a bit of a tradition for us and it makes me happy because it means Autumn is nearly here. A big glass of red wine and I was sleepy and happy and so content - more content than I've felt in a long time.

Today we've had a lazy morning with bacon butties and a huge pot of tea and we're now putting off the inevitable - going round to work on the other house. Boyfriend has bricks to lay and I have walls to paint. We were so excited there yesterday, talking about the layout of the lounge and how we would divide up the garage block so we each get as much space as we want! But today, sitting in our clean and tidy cottage, it seems an uphill struggle again. One of our new neighbours gave us a card and bottle of wine yesterday to say 'welcome to your new home'. We're still months away from moving in - have you seen the lounge?? - so that made me laugh!

Anyway, no more tea, it's time to get on with some work. I hope you're having a fabulous weekend and making the most of the extra day!

Friday, 24 August 2012

This Week I've Mostly Been ...

Baking bread

I love home baked bread. OK so it's a pain to slice evenly and it only lasts a couple of days because it has no preservatives etc in it. But you can't beat fresh bread smothered in honey or lemon curd. Or a doorstop slice toasted and dripping with butter.

I'm no domestic goddess - I have a breadmaker. And I highly recommend them!

Starting a journal

I've been feeling a bit bogged down lately and thought that writing my feelings down might help me make sense of them.

It's years since I've written a journal. I remember having one when I was about 18 and my mum found it in the bottom of my wardrobe, had a good read then tackled me about some of the more um ... unsavoury entries. Yeah, that did not go down well!

Reliving my childhood

Last year I started a Winter tradition of buying old books from my childhood to re-read in front of the fire on rainy days.

I began with Flambards, my all time favourite series. I've even got the DVD box set which I think was made in the seventies - I remember my mum telling me that she and my dad watched it on ITV!

This year it's Patricia Leitch's Jinny & Shantih books. I'm really looking forward to reading them again, as an adult.

Implementing a beauty spending ban

I've gone a bit crazy with my beauty spending this month and I need to rein it in. There are things I am saving up for and I could be saving more towards them if I cut back on my beauty spending.

So I'm going to try to use up all the unopened products I own - I have a huge list of products to review too - before buying any more.

Trying to come up with design ideas for my blog

This is so hard. I have enlisted the services of the super-talented Dana over at Wonder Forest to help me out with a design that will make my blog look a bit more special but I seriously have no ideas of what I want. This in itself is a bit depressing - how uncreative am I?? But I want it to be perfect!

I hope you've all had a great week, Happy Friday!!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Beauty Spending Ban

Hello blog friends!

I was a bit surprised to notice that I was quite poor last week. Boyfriend asked what on earth I'd spent all my money on and I acted outraged but secretly thought 'uh oh - I've bought quite a lot of beauty products this month'

I put off checking my online banking last week but decided it was time to face facts this weeks. The facts are not pretty.

I should point out that I never buy clothes. Well, very rarely. I'm no clothes horse and have virtually no sense of style. Clothes, shoes, bags - these are not things I spend my money on. Buying clothes is painful for me. I am often to be found squawking that I have nothing to wear and it's absolutely true - you would be shocked if you saw the contents of my wardrobe.

Beauty products, hair products, make up - these are a real obsession for me and this is where my money goes. I suppose it goes back to when I was 17 and first developed acne. My (much older) best friend took me to the Lancome counter, where she was a frequent visitor, to see if there was anything they could do to help me. There was. They sold me over £130 worth of products in one go and I was hooked from that moment on.

Even as the years passed and I became responsible for bills, mortgage payments etc, I always made sure I had the make up and skin care I wanted. I remember when I bought my first house and had virtually no furniture - I still had Chanel moisturiser in my bathroom!

But I think I've reached a record this month. I will spare you the details but suffice to say I have spent WAY too much on beauty this month.

I've decided to attempt a beauty product spending ban. I don't need anything at the minute, I have heaps of unopened products I haven't even tried yet so I will aim to use these up. There's a big difference between 'want' and 'need'.

Have you ever done a spending ban? Have you any tips for me?

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Rachael Reviews - Klorane Oatmilk Gentle Dry Shampoo

If you've read my shampoo post you'll know that I have quite oily roots and wash my hair every second/third day. I wish I didn't need to, I wish I could be like my hairdresser who regularly goes EIGHT DAYS between washes - I am so jealous of that!

Between washes I sometimes use dry shampoo to make my scalp feel a bit fresher and to banish the dreaded flat, oily roots that give the game away.

I've always used Batiste but never been overly impressed with it. When my hair was darker it was virtually impossible to use - it was just too white-powdery, even the coloured versions. As I've lightened my hair that's become less of a problem but I've still not been the biggest fan of Batiste. The scents are a bit cheap and the effects don't seem to last longer than an hour or so for me. Yet so many people seem to rave about it.

I'd never heard of Klorane but I got a can of their dry shampoo as part of a gift with a magazine subscription this month. I wasn't expecting anything marvellous but I liked the white packaging, it looked fresh and clean and a bit more ... sophisticated? ... than Batiste.

This product is distinctly less powdery than Batiste, I can't see it on my hair, which is great! It does the job and it LASTS - all day rather than an hour or so. It also adds volume and texture (see left) without weighing my hair down, it feels very light. The scent is fresh and not overpowering, it doesn't smell cheap and synthetic - my pet hate

I am converted and will never touch Batiste again. The Klorane dry shampoo is a little more expensive, as you would expect but it's definitely worth spending the extra in my book, I don't know why I've persisted with Batiste for so long!

You can buy Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo from

Do you use dry shampoo? Have you tried this one?

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Looking forward to my favourite season

Hello blog friends :-)

Maybe it's because I've been ill for the last few days, so have been feeling cold and shivery and in need of cosiness and hot drinks. Maybe it's because the Lakeland Autumn catalogue arrived last week, full of Kilner jars and jam spoons. Maybe it's because the nights seem to be slowly drawing in and the chickens going to bed earlier. I don't know what it is but recently I've been feeling a little excited, looking forward to Autumn.

Autumn has always been my favourite season. I love everything about it;

Walking the dogs on crisp, misty mornings, seeing the leaves change colour and feeling them crunch underfoot. I love how the weather starts to change, cooling down and becoming foggy. I love the dark brooding clouds and looking down into misty valleys.

Foraging in the hedgerows for berries to make bramble jelly and sloe gin. Apple chutney, steak and ale pies, slow cooked stews and casseroles, roast lamb. Winter Pimms and mulled wine. Baking in a warm, sweet-scented kitchen with the dogs hanging around my feet while it's dank and drizzling outside.

Hearing the first shots of the shooting season and getting my winter dog walking gear out of hibernation. Dodging young pheasants on the road and looking out for the old campaigners who made it through last season. Seeing fit, clipped horses and excited riders out cubbing.

Being cosy in front of the log burner on dark nights, watching winter TV in our lamp lit lounge with the dogs curled up on the rug.

Tweed! Chunky jumpers, cord skirts, thick scarves and snoods. Flat caps and bobble hats. Gilets and cardigans and boots. I love the cosy feeling of wearing layers but am usually found around the house in a hoodie.

And possibly the best thing - looking forward to Christmas! Planning gifts and wrappings, writing my Christmas card list and Christmas menu shopping list. Getting the decorations and Christmas scented candles out of storage. Deciding who to invite over to eat and when, what we will do on Christmas day, the restaurants whose Christmas menus we CANNOT miss. Heading off for a weekend in Chester with my best pal, eating, drinking, soaking up the atmosphere and only buying gifts for ourselves. And of course, Lincoln Christmas Market, that mecca of overpriced Christmas food, drink and festivities which has been a lifelong tradition for my family.

But before all that is the traditional October spa day at Eden Hall with my best friend Liz. We frequent this spa about four times a year and try to stick to the colder months because it feels even more of a treat to be warm and pampered whilst it's raining and windy outside. Plus their Autumn/Winter menus are amazing. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

I don't want to wish my life away, goodness knows this year is flying by quickly enough but I really can't wait for Autumn!

Friday, 17 August 2012

This Week I've Mostly Been ...

Getting out on the bike

OK that's not really me, it's the Boyfriend! This was the first time his road bike has actually seen the road this year as we've just been too busy with the house. I had been planning to get on and do my test this summer but I just haven't had the time, I think I'll just stick to being a pillion for now

Wearing men's fragrance

I got a sample of this recently for Boyfriend and we have been fighting over it so I had to go and buy the full size  bottle! Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb has been my signature scent for about four years now and when I heard they were bringing out Spicebomb for men I couldn't wait to get my mitts on it! I love spicy scents and this one is absolutely gorgeous. I love it on him, I love it on me ... I just love it.

Looking forward to Autumn

I know when the Lakeland Autumn catalogue drops onto the doormat that my favourite season isn't far away and I immediately start planning what pickles and preserves I will be making and stocking up on supplies.

I need to get on and plant some bramble plants at the new house too, to make sure I've always got bramble jelly ingredients to hand!

Doing a horrible day of driving whilst feeling ill

I woke up on Thursday feeling absolutely rotten, not what you need when you've got a day like this ahead of you. Headache, sore throat, sneezing fits ... cue much swerving and one handed nose-blowing!

And today I drove 100 miles to a meeting to find that my laptop and blackberry were flat and I'd forgotten to confirm the address to my guest. I could have stayed in bed! 

Stocking up on essentials

So here's my ingredients for this weekend. Bed, tissues, drugs. And my laptop of course. What a perfect opportunity to catch up on my favourite blogs :-)

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Peace Reigns

We took the difficult decision to lose some chickens at the weekend. If you read last Friday's post you will know that my little favourite, Custard, revealed that he is a boy. This went down like a fart in a lift with Squealer, who had decided that he was the Big Cheese around here, so he took to beating Custard black and blue pretty much non stop. I also spotted him having a go at one of the Buffs and hiding under the truck and jumping out on the other chicks when they walked past. He'd just got altogether a bit too big for his boots.

They used to be such good friends! Squealer (left) and Custard (right)

So it wasn't a difficult decision to let him go. One of our new neighbours had already asked if we wanted to rehome some with him so we decided to give him a trio. Deciding which two hens to let him have was a bit harder. We eventually picked Evil Black Hen and Partially Bald Frizzle Hen as we thought we would be least likely to miss these two and whilst we were sorry to lose two good layers, Squealer and EBH could go and cause havoc in someone else's flock.

So off they went on Sunday and since then all has been peaceful.

Long may it continue!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

To My Best Friend

I'm so sorry you're having such a shitty time at the moment. I wish I could take some of the weight off your shoulders and make things a bit easier for you.

I hope you know that whilst I can't make the difficult decisions for you, I'm here to help you make them yourself. We can talk it over as much as you need, whenever you need.

Don't be led by others, don't be led by fear. Don't worry about what people will think or say. They'll only know what you tell them so guard your feelings closely. I won't tell.

Don't rush, there's no hurry. It's vitally important to get it right. No regrets.

You are the best friend to me that a girl could wish for. No one goes above and beyond like you do. No one understands me like you do and no one is so giving of themselves.

You know I'm not the huggy type. But I want you to know that I love you like family and that I am ALWAYS here for you.

Thank you for being my friend xx

Rachael Reviews - Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant

This is a Dermalogica classic - one I will probably always use. It was recommended to me when I was about 19 and had terrible acne. My therapist explained that it's important to exfoliate when you have oily, acne prone skin but as your skin is so sore and painful, a scrub is no good at all - you need an exfoliating masque. And my skin was sore, I could hardly bear to touch it with my fingertips to cleanse it. God it was awful.

I was a bit nervous about using a chemical exfoliant on such sore and painful skin but this gentle, non-abrasive masque did the job nicely. It is cooling and soothing and gives all the benefits of exfoliation without the friction. It loosens dead skin cells, clears follicles and helps to stimulate cell renewal.

I had to stop using this product for a while when I was on various different prescription acne treatments and I forgot all about it. I rediscovered it recently when my skin was a bit dry and my usual scrub wasn't really doing the job. Sometimes I think a bit of a change can give your complexion a good kick up the backside.

This product has quite a thin consistency, you MUST give it a good shake before use as it WILL separate in the tube! It has an odd texture as you apply it, it's smooth but also a bit chalky feeling - hard to explain! It dries fairly quickly and you need to leave it on for around 15 minutes.

I remove it with a Dermalogica sponge cloth but a muslin cloth would do just as well. Be sure to get into the nooks and crannies like the sides of your nose and your eyebrows, otherwise you will be left with a chalky residue! When it comes off it reveals instantly smoother skin, taking care of the little flaky patches and blocked pores I tend to get around my nose and leaving my complexion altogether brighter. You can really feel the difference when you apply your moisturiser, the smoothness is better than after a scrub.

Gentle Cream Exfoliant is suitable for all skin types and RRP is £36.00 (wow!) although you can find it much cheaper (and with free delivery) at John & Ginger or Beauty Flash. Dermalogica do recommend that you visit an approved salon and have their products specifically 'prescribed' for your individual skin requirements and if you want to treat yourself to a facial I would definitely recommend doing this. Be warned though - you will pay RRP in a salon!

Have you ever tried a chemical exfoliant? Would you try this one?

Friday, 10 August 2012

This Week I've Mostly Been ...

Trying my hand at bricklaying!

This was the first course of our garage block and I just had to have a go at laying bricks (heavily supervised of course, I'm pretty sure it got lifted up and relaid when I wasn't looking!)

Next on my list of things to try - using the digger. As if anyone's going to let me near that bad boy!

Trying to eat more healthily

This didn't last long if I'm honest, I keep trying to cut out the ice cream and chocolate but it's just not in my nature. I love junk food.

Caving every breakfast time

Yup, this is my all time fave cereal. Not sure it actually qualifies as a cereal to be fair. But damn it, it's yummy!

Emptying out my handbag

This is a weekly job for me. Can you guess what my favourite lip balm is??

Administering chicken first aid

This is my absolute favourite chick, Custard, who today has decided to come out of the closet and admit that he is in fact A BOY. Every time he crows he gets his head kicked in by Squealer, whom I now hate with a passion. Look at his poor little head! I haven't ruled out bringing him inside to live with us and the dogs, just need to run it by Boyfriend first ... I'm sure it will be fine ...

I hope you've all had a fabulous week. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Rachael Reviews - MAC Plushglass in 'Nice Buzz'

It's not often I finish a lip gloss. Usually I fall in and out of love with them very quickly and the tube barely shows any sign of having been used. But I have repurchased this gloss TWICE so I thought it must be worthy of a post all of it's own.

I'm a pretty low maintenance kind of gal and I tend to play it safe when it comes to colour. Minimal make up is definitely my bag. Which is probably how I fell in love with this beauty in the first place.

The gloss is fairly thick and velvety, it applies nicely from the doe foot applicator and has plenty of pearlised shimmer without being in-your-face glitzy. It's sheer although there is a hint of pale peachy pink to it.

Alone it gives quite a pale/sheer finish so if a pale lip is your thing, you'll love it. Pale lips don't do anything for me I'm afraid so I do tend to layer this over a colour and that's when it really comes into it's own, giving depth and shimmer and keeping your colour on for longer. I usually wear it with Diorkiss in Praline (below right) 

It has a cool sort of vague tingle when you put it on, I'm told that's because it is a plumping gloss. The best part is the smell, it smells gorgeous. It reminds me of something from childhood ... sweets or cakes? I'm not sure but whatever it is, it's lush!

This gloss isn't cheap at £17.00 but it is a real staple for me and I might even be brave and  try out some other, more adventurous shades from the Plushglass range.

What do you think? Do you have a favourite gloss?

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