Saturday, 31 May 2014

Review | RMK Makeup Base

RMK is a Japanese brand that I first heard about via Birchbox. The RMK Makeup Base is water based and like all primers it's designed to create an even surface for foundation application and is apparently the most loved primer in Japan! Read on to find out why it's the most loved primer in my collection...

RMK makeup base

Friday, 23 May 2014

Wednesday Whine | Five products I just don't rate

Strap yourselves in folks and prepare for some controversy! Since I started blogging in earnest last year I've come across certain things that it seems all beauty bloggers love that I simply loathe.


First up, a disclaimer: This is meant to be a lighthearted post! I'm not saying that if you love one of these things or even all of them (which you probably will) that you are wrong! I'm sure we've all sat back and watched a product we hate being hyped to Holy Grail stardom. I'm here to say that it is OK to dislike something everyone else loves and it's even OK to admit it! I really hope you appreciate my sense of humour in this post *insert winky face here*

Let's get down to business...

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Liebster Award

Andrea from Andrea's Make-up Artistry has kindly nominated my blog for the Liebster Award. There aren't any actual trophies or plaques (I might fashion myself one though!) and definitely no glitzy award ceremonies, which is a damn shame. It turns out the Liebster Award is an award given to bloggers with less than 200 followers by other bloggers who enjoy your blog. It seems a really nice way to find new blogs and to help one another out.


The rules seem to vary depending on who has nominated you and they've evolved over time but I'm going to follow the same rules Andrea followed:
  • Give 11 facts about yourself,
  • Answer 11 questions set by the person who nominated you,
  • Set your own 11 questions and nominate 11 bloggers for the award!
I'd really like you to check out Andrea's nomination post! I've followed all of the other nominees because they all seemed like great blogs!
11 Facts About Me
1. I wore a red wedding dress when I got married. It was custom made because nowhere sold red dresses at the time.
2. I have two dogs (both lurchers) called Monty and Buddy. Monty is the eldest and largest; he's 7 and weighs about 30kg (66lbs). Buddy is smaller is 2 years old and is only about 16kg (35lbs). They're very energetic at times but mainly enjoy lying around doing absolutely nothing.
"The Boys" at different ages
3. My two favourite foods are chicken dansak and risotto (but only when I make it myself!)
4. I'm planning on doing a CBT test and learning to ride a motorbike. My Dad has two motorbikes and my husband has one too. I'm a little apprehensive about it but I've been looking for a way to challenge myself and I think this might be it!
5. My eyes are hazel and change hue from time to time. Sometimes they're more brown and sometimes more green.

6. The best holiday I've ever been on was to Finland in 2009. My husband and I spent two weeks in Iso-Syote on honeymoon and it was fantastic. I'm a real ice queen and love the snow.

Finnish Reindeer
Iso-Syote, Finland
7. Unlike most people, I actually like my job.

8. I dislike gossip magazines like Heat, Look, Now, New, OK, Hello, Reveal, Star... I could go on... in short I think obsession with celebrity and celebrity culture is damaging to our self esteem whether consciously or not. When Celeb X loses weight we are told to either (a) admire her bikini body or (b) that she is dangerously thin. When she puts a few pounds on we're told she's (a) looking great or (b) let herself go. They show us pictures of women in natural states (no makeup, the HORROR!) and say it's to make us feel better about ourselves. It's wrong and I refuse to buy into it.

Come on ladies, please stop buying into this crap!
9. I am fascinated by stray apostrophes. I've noticed unnecessary apostrophes on shop signs, in subtitles at the cinema, on television, on menus (onion bhaji's anyone?!) and even on the back of a bottle of Nivea's Double Effect Eye Makeup Remover. Argh! Trust me, it's a curse!

10. I studied Combined Honours in Social Sciences at Durham University for 18 months before I had to leave due to ill health. I now have a higher education qualification in Humanities from the Open University. I would love to return to study full time but sadly I can't afford to do so.

11. One of my favourite films of all time is Strictly Ballroom which was the first film Baz Luhrmann directed. I don't particularly like dancing and wouldn't watch Strictly Come Dancing but this film is just all kinds of special. 
Source: Glogster.com
And now to answer the questions set by Andrea!

1. How many blogs do you follow and do you read every post?
I've checked my stats and I follow 315 blogs on Bloglovin! Wow, I didn't realise it was so many. I probably read about 80% of the posts but freely admit I don't tend to read outfit / fashion posts unless the preview picture is of something I'd be likely to wear myself. However, I'm unlikely to follow if it's purely fashion based and the writer doesn't have a similar style to me anyway. The other posts I don't read are ones that I miss due to being busy and I just don't seem able to catch up!

2. What is the meaning behind your blog name?
My original blog name was Twenty Something OAP and it was taken from song lyrics by a band called The King Blues. The song is called Save The World, Get The Girl. "I’m a 20 something OAP,
I’m screaming at my TV"... it resonated with me because people have always commented that I'm old before my time with my various grumblings about this and that. When I turned 30 I had to change the blog name. I still think it fits. (For readers who aren't from the UK an OAP is an Old Age Pensioner!)

3. Most useful blogging tip?
Proof read. Use the spell check. Ask someone else to proof read if you can. People are more likely to enjoy reading something if they aren't picking up on any basic spelling and grammar errors in their head. I'm not saying you should know what an Oxford comma is but cheking basic things such as that you are using "your" and "you're" correctly can make all the difference to how your you're perceived.

Source: cse.buffalo.edu

4. What is the most you have ever spent on a single beauty product? What is it?
£43 on DARPHIN: INTRAL Redness Relief Recovery Cream from Space NK. I still want the serum but it's £53 so I'm waiting until I have a few more reward card points built up.

5. What is the most you have ever spent on a single item of clothing? What is it?
I actually have no idea. My parents bought my wedding dress so I can't even say that! It's probably something really boring like £120 on a winter coat from Marks & Spencer or a pair of leather boots.

6. Most embarrassing moment?
I once went to school with two different shoes on. I also once called a teacher "Dad" in front of the whole class. Most of my embarrassing moments were probably as a teenager. As an adult you tend to forget things more quickly.

7. What is your day job?
I'm a Civil Servant. Apparently "the Civil Service helps the Government of the day* to develop and deliver its policies as effectively as possible." I like my job and I'd like to say more about it but I'm not allowed. (*Does not suggest endorsement!)

8. How do you see your blog progressing? Where do you hope it will take you?
I would like to continue with a mix of beauty, lifestyle and travel posts. I love writing about the cinema, gigs, days out etc but I also love talking about the products I use and reviewing them. I don't hope it will take me anywhere; I just like to write!

9. What are you most proud of?
I want to say "myself" but that sounds so conceited. I think I am most proud of the fact that I will always stand up for what I believe in even if it makes me unpopular.


10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Realistically I see myself in much the same place as I am now. Living in the same house, working at the same place, doing the same old stuff. In between all of that I hope I'll travel, have lots of fun experiences and continue to live a life that is loyal to my values and beliefs.

11. Which physical aspect of yourself are you most comfortable with/uncomfortable with?
I like the shape of my legs. I am uncomfortable with most physical aspects of myself but not enough to change them. Aside from the usual answers (tummy, bum etc) I don't like that I have short stubby fingers - thank you genetics / Dad!

WOW. That took forever and a day, so thank you if you managed to read it all, I really appreciate it!

My nominations: (I don't know how many follwers you have, I'm sorry!)

1. Gemma from Beauty Skool Dropout
2. Chelsey from Chelsey's Thoughts
3. Jane from Secret life of a mother and wife when bringing up a son
4. Beth from MissCosmeticBlogger
5. Jemma from Dorkface
6. Genevieve from Genevieve's Life Blog
7. Simone from Long Hair & Lipstick
8. Beth from Beth Tinkerbell
9. Kathryn from Miss Kathryn's Misstakes
10. Rachel from Rantings of Lard
11. Em from Any Girl Friday

My questions for you lovely ladies:

1. Do you like your first name? If not, why not?
2. Why did you start a blog?
3. Is there anything you won't mention or talk about in your blog?
4. What makes your blog unique?
5. Where do you live?
6. What is your dream job?
7. What is your favourite kind of music? Name some of your favourite bands.
8. Who is your biggest inspiration?
9. Kebabs - yes or no?
10. Do you have any piercings or tattoos? Tell us about them.
11. What is your favourite pizza topping? Thin crust or deep pan?

Thanks for stopping by!

Have you entered my giveaway yet? To celebrate my new blog layout I'm hosting a giveaway where you can win prizes from MAC, NARS, Yankee Candle and Models Own. Enter here!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Wednesday Whine | Top ten cinema hates

As you may know I'm a huge fan of cinema and with my Cineworld Unlimited card (first talked about in my Top 5 Films of 2014 (so far) post). I go to the pictures at least two to three times a week. Some weeks it feels like I spend more time at my local Cineworld that I do at home so it's no surprise that after three years I've built up quite a list of things that actually really bug me about going to the cinema! Read on to find out more... 

TOP TEN CINEMA HATES

Friday, 16 May 2014

Review | Wantable Makeup Box May 2014

This is my fourth Wantable box. You may recall in my April Wantable review that I said I was going to pause my subscription because I received yet another black mascara and eyeliner. I did pause it. And then I un-paused it. I guess that I can't stand the thought of losing out on something. I saw on their Facebook page that they had some sparkly new brands in stock so I un-paused the subscription and waited eagerly for my box to arrive!

Wantable Makeup Box May 2014

The cost of the box varies slightly each month due to fluctuations in the exchange rate so this month the box was $36 / £21.43 plus $15 / £8.93 taxes and shipping. In total the box was $51 / £30.36.

What I received:

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Review | Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Kiehl's claim that they sell a bottle of their Midnight Recovery Concentrate every minute. With this in mind I'm surprised that in all my time blogging I've never come across a review of any of their products! Kiehl's was always an enigmatic brand and I had never ventured into their stores until I had a poor customer service experience in Space NK in Newcastle and was advised to try Kiehl's by the wonderful #bblogger community on Twitter!

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Review | Birchbox May 2014

I'm a huge fan of subscription boxes but in the past few months I've found most of them to be hit or miss. Birchbox has been, in my opinion, consistently good. Of course "good" is subjective and we all want different things from a box. From time to time we all receive things we already own, will never use or are downright confused by!

I knew that Birchbox were collaborating with the women's lifestyle magazine Harper's Bazaar for their May box and the spoilers on their Facebook site meant I was already aware of some of the goodies that awaited me.

BIRCHBOX MAY 2014

First and foremost the box itself - wow! The last collaboration Birchbox did was with Lulu Guinness in March and the box just had a removable sleeve. This month's box lid actually has a pretty design which made me "ooh" when I opened it (not aloud, just in my head!)
 

Monday, 12 May 2014

Days Out | Barter Books - Keep Calm & Carry On!

Last week I wrote about my trip to Alnwick Castle and its connections to Harry Potter. Whilst I was in Alnwick I visited one of my favourite places - Barter Books.
 
Barter Books is a second hand book shop nestled inside a converted railway station. It still has many of the original features including the ticket office windows. There is a vast array of second hand books as well as DVDs, vinyl, antiquarian books and a huge children's section. In addition you'll also find a pleasant cafe, lots of cosy seating and a roaring fire in the winter months!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Days Out | Harry Potter at Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle is just a mile or so off the A1 in Northumberland and was used to film scenes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. As a child of the north I've been to Alnwick Castle many times but last week I took advantage of a rare sunny Bank Holiday and headed to the castle for some history and fun.

ALNWICK CASTLE, ALNWICK, NORTHUMBERLAND, HARRY POTTER

Friday, 9 May 2014

Film | Top 5 Films of 2014

I said in my new blog layout (and giveaway!) post that I wanted to blog more about the things that interest me and not just beauty products. Don't get me wrong, I'm a makeup junkie, but I do have some other hobbies too!

One of my favourite past times is going to the cinema. I've had a Cineworld Unlimited card for three years now. In short I pay £15.90 a month and I can go to the cinema to see as many films as I like as often as I like. I also get 25% off snacks and drinks too, which hasn't helped my waistline!


In 2013 I saw 102 different films at the cinema and some of my favourites included The Sessions, The Paperboy, Trance, The Place Beyond the Pines, Star Trek Into Darkness, Populaire, Pain & Gain, Rush and Don Jon (amongst many others!) As you can see I have a varied taste and like foreign films and art-house releases as well as Hollywood blockbusters.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Review | Garnier PureActive 3 in 1

Garnier PureActive 3 in 1 is a wash, scrub and mask all rolled into one. It's part of a range designed specially for oily skin prone to imperfections. The helpful "is this product right for me?" section on the back of the tube says this product is suitable if "your skin is combination to oily, prone to impurities, open pores and shine." Wow - it's made for me then!

I bought this 150ml tube in Asda for £3 although the shelf label said it was rolled back from £5. I was intrigued by the 3 in 1 claims but was mainly looking for a new face mask. There aren't any high end brands for sale at Asda but this caught my eye with its claims to purify, unclog pores and mattify. It also contains white clay which is quite a trendy face mask additive at the moment.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Review | April empties / favourites

It's a nice coincidence that my April Empties were also my April Favourites!

The Elegant Touch Rapid Dry for Nails spray retails for £3.05 at Superdrug. In direct contrast to what I'm about to say it seems the one person who has reviewed it on the Superdrug website didn't like it at all! I however, love it! It's simple to use - just spray it on your nails after letting them air dry for 60 seconds or so. Yes, it does leave your cuticles and fingers a little greasy but you just have to wash your hands, which, if you use cold water, helps to set the polish even more. I used to use Avon setting spray which just didn't work at all. This does. Would I buy it again? I already have!

NIPANDFAB NIP+FAB ELEGANT TOUCH RAPID DRY NO7 LIPSTICK CARAMEL KISS

Monday, 5 May 2014

Review | Nip + Fab Energy Boost Body Wash

Nip + Fab are a brand that I was silly enough to overlook for a long time. It wasn't until I realised it was fashioned by the creator of cult brand Rodial that I started to take notice. Rodial products carry quite a hefty price tag so Nip + Fab offers a more purse friendly alternative whilst still delivering great quality products.

I own quite a few Nip + Fab face products but wasn't aware they had a body care range so I was surprised but pleased to see the Energy Boost Body Wash in TK Maxx reduced from £8.99 to £2.99. The bottle is a generous 500ml and the packaging is simple and eye catching.

NIP + FAB ENERGY BOOST BODY WASH

Friday, 2 May 2014

Giveaway | MAC / NARS (ENDED)

Last week I noticed that one of my favourite blogs had had an overhaul and I followed the link to Serena at Pretty Wild Things. Boy am I glad that I did! The new layout and design are just perfect and I couldn’t be happier!

The new banner at the top is my favourite part of the transformation. I asked Serena to include several aspects that I think reflect my personality, likes and interests and voila, she got to work within 24 hours! “So how does the banner reflect you, Simone?” I hear you cry... well, let me tell you!