Friday, 4 October 2013

A/W Style Update with Katy Dyer

I've mentioned before that, having followed London MakeUp Girl's colour analysis experience, I've become intrigued by professional colour advice myself. Although London is accessible for me, I wanted to see what was available closer to home and this is how I first discovered Katy Dyer in Thame. Katy provides colour analysis using the Colour Me Beautiful system but she also offers services beyond colour, including style advice, full image makeovers and wardrobe overhauls. As well as these one to one sessions, Katy runs workshops like the one I attended last night, which offer advice on updating your wardrobe with key trends and colour for the season. These group session are accessible to everyone, irrespective of whether or not you already know your personal colour palette.

Style Update

I don't consider myself very fashion conscious these days, my magazine reading is pretty much none existent, so I found the digest of key trends and colours very useful. As always, I homed in on the 'universal colours' for the season as these are handy if you're unable to self-identify with a particular colour group. Many of this seasons universal colours involved pairings that are traditionally considered to be colour faux pas; such as wearing blue and green together or pink and red. During the presentation, Katy offered some specific tips on how to wear the key trends according to your body shape. Her advice made sense of why I'd had previous shopping fails with large prints and other similar dressing room nightmares!

A:W Cool

We all had opportunity for Katy to show us which of the A/W trend colours would be best suited to our colouring, this included makeup shades as well as fabric. I was draped with a beautiful hot pink and grey from the Cool palette. I might have fallen slightly in love with the grey for the instant surgery it performed on my chin area! I also got to see for myself how hideous a mustard from the Warm palette looked against my complexion. It wasn't a pretty sight.

I came away from the session keen to see if I can pick up on some of this seasons trends in my own little way. The trends that particularly appealed to me were the landscape prints, coloured camouflage, tweed fabrics and I now have sudden desire to invest in a sequin top. As you do. Although I loved the shapes of the fuller skirts and voluminous coats, I know these are unlikely to suit my shape, so I'm happy to admire on others. 

Mary Katrantzou dress from
Floria Sweater from Wrap London
Ola t-shirt also from Wrap London

I must share this gem with you that Katy included in the session. Accessories are an easy way to update your existing wardrobe and whilst I love wearing scarves, I'm not very imaginative when it comes to tying them. Katy showed us Liberty's Chiffon Knot tutorial which I'll definitely be trying, I think the scarf in the video is rather lovely too.

The style update has certainly whetted my appetite for more and I will be dropping unsubtle hints about a one to one session for Christmas. Speaking with some of the ladies last night who have already had colour consultations and wardrobe overhauls, it's clearly well worth it. You can find out more about Katy and the services she provides on her website,

Disclosure: I attended the style update as a guest.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

A Bit of Crochet and a Catch Up

Long time, no speak! I really don't know where the last few months have gone but I must be honest and say that they haven't included any makeup shopping and barely any lemmings. Instead, my free time has been occupied with lots of book reading, meeting new people and discovering new ways to waste time on the internet hobbies.


Thanks to my local WI (waves at the Tea Birds), I have learnt how to crochet. My principal motivation was not missing out on the opportunity to go to the pub every two weeks for Knit and Natter! I can't claim any particular expertise: I know these things are supposed to be relaxing but I have been known to suffer with yarn rage. However, I managed to keep up on my first crochet course at Purlesence last week and I seem to get as much pleasure poring over expensive wool online, as I did looking at taupe eyeshadow swatches. Who knew?! My current work in progress is a cushion cover made with Noro Silk Garden and I've just bought a knitting pattern (I have no idea if I can actually knit) in the hope of making this rainbow dress for Miss MB. I won't share how long I've wasted looking for the right shade of blue for this particular project. Maybe one day, when I grow up, I will pick a pastime that doesn't hoover up time and money like a vacuum.

Now, if you will forgive me, I want to share a few gratuitous family shots from the summer, as well some other highlights from the last couple of months.

Beale Park
Beale Park

pamper evening
The Summer Pamper Evening

Miss MB's discovers the carousel


The boys

Wall stickers
Miss MB's birthday present finally make in onto her wall, only six months late...

I'm not sure whether my makeup blogging mojo will ever return properly. I do still enjoying wearing makeup and watching tutorials, but these days I tend to stick to wearing my tried and trusted staples and I find that's not great for inspiring blog posts.  However, I do have a few things I would like to review, so hopefully dipping my toe in with a bit of general chit chat will help me find my way back. Feel free to share what you've been up to, it would be lovely to catch up on your news too.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Pimping my Pamper Evening

Well, I think this is officially my longest break from blogging since I started. The last couple of months seem to have passed in a blur and I thought it would be nice to share what has been keeping me otherwise engaged, particularly as it's beauty related.

As well as the usual exam invigilating I do at this time of year, I have been busy organising a ladies pamper evening as a fundraiser for my daughter's pre-school. It's the first time I've ever organised an event like this, so I don't mind admitting that I've been learning as I go. The pre-school my daughter attends is a lovely setting and the staff are really dedicated to providing early years education for all children, irrespective of their background and need. They have experience of supporting vulnerable children, which often requires input outside of nursery setting. They also have a well earned reputation for supporting children with additional needs and parents do come outside of catchment to enroll their children. As it isn't a privately run nursery, fundraising events like the pamper evening help with costs of purchasing new equipment, toys and books, as well as enabling them to subsidise educational trips for the children.

As a newbie at event organising, I have a new found appreciation for how much effort it actually takes. I certainly take my hat off to all the PR girls. Embarrassingly, in a bid to avoid using stock imagery for the posters, I created an image that seems to have an unfortunate, how shall I put it...'alternative interpretation'. I will spare your blushes by not expanding any further! With only two weeks to go until the big night, I still have plenty to do and I'm anxious to make sure everything runs smoothly. I really wish that I could suddenly become less shy, as it would make selling tickets much easier. Did I mention I have a sash?!


Of course, you will be unsurprised to learn that I have enlisted the help of friends that I've made through blogging. HelenJNT and I will be running a stall together, Oxford Jasmine will be offering Rebel Nail manicures and Karin of English Rose Cosmetics will be selling her lovely handmade products. I'll be showcasing some beautiful pieces from The Fushigi Shop on my stall because I couldn't miss an opportunity to share. I also want to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to for generously donating a prize for the raffle.

I will end with a cheeky little plea. If any of you are in the South Oxfordshire area on 10th July and want to come along, offer your service for a stall or (cheekiest of all) provide a prize for our raffle or lucky dip, do get in touch. Without completely giving away my location, I'm very close to a main train route into London, so you don't even need to be that local to join us.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to reporting how it all goes.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Prime Beauty pays A visit to the Beauty Spotlight Desert Island

It's Prime Beauty's turn to get dumped on the desert island with her 12 must-have products. She's hoping she'll meet a handsome island man who will appreciate her efforts!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Beauty Spotlight 26/05/13

The Pink Sith shows you that it's not a sin to love red lipstick especially when the lipstick is Lipstick Queen Sinner lipstick in Red!

Attention Tom Ford Cheek Color Fanatics- there is a new "Private Blend" to behold! Helen from Lola's Secret Beauty Blog discovered that Frantic Pink+Wicked=Passionate Pink! This union creates a stunning new must-have shade!

Cindy over at Prime Beauty shows you how to stay to cool and look fab at those pool/beach parties this summer with the new Make Up For Ever Summer 2013 Collection!

Win It!!! Enter Pammy Blogs Beauty's Conair Styling Tools Giveaway!

Beauty Info Zone finds that when MAC Cosmetics does something right, they do it right! See what makes Marcia so happy.

Visionary Beauty takes a departure from her natural shades and goes for the brights of the Dior Bird of Paradise Peacock Palette.

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed goes ultra glam with her Bourjois Volumizer Ultra Black Mascara - come admire her lashes and see if you think the extra step is worth the results!

Is London Makeup Girl a Saint or a Sinner when she checks out Lipstick Queen's new shade, Fire Red?

15 Minute Beauty shares 12 common sunscreen mistakes and how to fix them!

Jessika is celebrating three years of polish insomniac with giveaways!  You can enter giveaway #1 here!

Perilously Pale has found her new summer pedi polish colour of choice in the OPI Couture de Minnie Collection. This is every pink and red lovers dream, and if you think you aren't a pink and red lover this collection will convert you into one!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Blog Sale inc. RBR, Chanel, MAC and Tom Ford

I've decided that it's time to part with more makeup. This has been the hardest clear out so far as I love many of these things but having so many similar items, I know it's not reasonable to hang on to it all.

As for my previous blog sales, all of the items I am selling have been purchased (or won) by me, I would never sell samples. There are a couple of items towards the end that are marked with an asterisk and these are items that can be added to a bundle but I don't feel it reasonable to sell them individually due to the postage costs. Now for the boring rules bit...

* Paypal only- I must receive payment within 24 hours or the item will be re-listed. Please check that your postal address is correct on Paypal as I will not be able to keep track of requests to post to a different address.

* Postage will be £3.70 and I will be sending packages 2nd Class Signed For as standard. The £3.70 covers small parcels up to a weight of 1kg, so postage is likely to remain the same for multiple items.

* UK only on this occasion, I'm afraid.

* I aim to post packages within 1-2 days of payment.

* No returns or refunds - I have included pictures to show usage and also given an estimate of how much product remains in each case. Please make sure you check swatches and reviews before going ahead with any purchase.

* Either leave me a comment below with the item(s) you are interested in and your Paypal address or email me at with BLOG SALE in the subject and your Paypal address in the email.

* I will invoice you from a different email address- DO NOT PAYPAL ME until you receive my invoice!


W3LL People Narcissist Foundation and Concealer Stick in #1 - £10
There's approximately 75% of the stick left. I have wound it all the way up to show how much there is inside the tube.



Tom Ford lipstick in Smoke Red - £15
Smoke Red is a discontinued colour and it's obviously the older white packaging. I've used this a few times and the TF is no longer visible on the bullet, but there's still a good amount of the lipstick remaining (approx 80-90%).


Shiseido Perfect Rouge Lipstick in Venetian Rose - £11
I have swatched and worn this once, so 95% remains. Comes with original packaging.


RBR Gloss in Secret Places of Love, 80% remaining - £5
RBR Cream Eyeshadow in Batiste Grayling, 80% remaining - £5 - SOLD
RBR Loose Glitter in Caress of Mink, 95% remaining - £13 - SOLD


MAC Lipgloss in Possum Nosed Pink - £5
Possum Nosed Pink was released with the Dame Edna collection. I've had it rather a long time but it's hardly been used and still has the distinctive vanilla scent. The sticker on the lid has lifted on one of the corners.


Inglot Lip Paint in 59, hardly used, 95% remaining. Comes with original box - £2


Illamasqua Cream Blush in Rude, 85-90% of the pan remaining - £6
Illamasqua Eyeshadow in Cancan, used 2-3x times, still has some hetch marks on the pan - £3


Ellis Faas Milky Lips in L207 - £7
It's tricky to estimate the usage in this case as I bought in used condition. I have used it 3-4 x.

Charcoal Brown+Fig1

MAC eyeshadow in Charcoal Brown, used 4-5x, 90% remaining - £5 - SOLD
MAC eyeshadow in Fig1, used 4-5 x, 90% remaining - £5


Ben Nye Eyeliner in Espresso used 3-4x, 85-90% remaining - £2


BECCA Pressed Shimmer Powder in original box, 95% left - £10


Ben Nye Dura Cover in DV-30 used 2x, 95% remaining - £2
Ben Nye Creme Foundation in Pure Ivory used 2x, 95% remaining - £2


Bundle of loose Shiro Eyeshadows  - £3
Includes the colours: Gengar, Gandorf, Golem, Mewtwo, Epona, Poliwarth and Master Sword. They have hardly been used and most colours have only been swatched.


*Nyx Lip Liner in Mauve, 85% remaining - £1



YSL Chromatics Palette in #3 - £15  SOLD
I have only used this palette a couple of times so 90-95% of the product remains. The pans look a little messy as the shadows can be used wet or dry. I have used a tissue to wipe over the surface of each pan.


Chanel Ombre d'Eau in Splash, 80-85% remaining - £10 - SOLD
*Topshop Crayon in Mystical, 90% remaining - £2 - SOLD


(Left) Ilia Beauty Lipstick in Crimson and Clover used 2-3x, 90-95% remaining - £13 - SOLD


Chanel Quadra in Topkapi - £20 - SOLD
Topkapi was a limited edition quad. I have used this palette 4-5 x, as you can see that the taupe has had the most use however, much of the quilting and C's remain on the pans. The palette is a little dusty from the eyeshadows. The palette comes with the protective guard and velvet pouch.


NARS duo in Grand Palais (on the left) used only 3-4x, 90 - 95% remaining - £15 - SOLD


Shiseido Cream Eyehshadow in Patina - £11 -SOLD
I have worn this 2/3 x so the majority of the pot remains. Comes with original packaging.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

It's Lisa's turn to visit the Beauty Spotlight Desert Island

Beauty Info Zone's Lisa has way more fun than a blogger should picking her 12 items for a fantasy desert island experience...

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Beauty Spotlight Roundup 12/05/13

Want to jump on the bandwagon but fail at nail art? polish insomniac shows you how easy it is with nail tattoos!

If a luxury nude pink lipstick makes your heart skip a beat…then Lola's Secret Beauty Blog urges you to look at By Terry Rouge Terribly Age-Defense Lipstick #100 Terribly Nude! It's stunning!

Got dull, dry, lifeless or problems with aging hair? Prime Beauty found her solution with Nexxus Youth Renewal Hair Care. You're welcome :)

What products are you loving lately? Pammy Blogs Beauty shares her Spring Favorite Beauty Products!

The Pink Sith has finally found a hair treatment that moisturizes, shines and de-frizzes her hair without the use of silicones. The miracle product is the Deep Moisture Hair Elixir from Luxury Lane Soap.

Beauty Info Zone can't help but be enchanted by the spring Lush products. Whether you need a treat for your mom, a grad or yourself, Lush knows how to do it right.

Fresh, Luminous and with a touch of gold and coral zest, lets have a taste of some of the Sisley California Soul Collection for this Spring/Summer with Visionary Beauty.

If Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed was a Bond Girl she would be Fluffy Falaise (which incidentally is also her porn name) - we're sure it will be included in the next OPI Bond Girl collection - until then admire the current sans-Lisamarie one!

Perilously Pale is excited to announce that she has been asked to be a Spokesperson for Almay! As part of Almay's Makeup Moments With Mom campaign, with Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson, they are giving away a trip to NYC and Makeovers for two so be sure to check it out and enter!

Want to know more about Paula from Older Girl Beauty? She was interviewed by Jamie at The Beauty of Life blog for her "First Look Fridays" series.

15 Minute Beauty found a great lip stain which she's obsessing over!

Friday, 10 May 2013

I'll name that taupe in...

Just a bit of fun as it's Friday. I've bought a new pretty and couldn't resist taking a group comparison shot. I wondered how many of these eyeshadows you eagle-eyed* taupe fiend could name without assistance?


There are no prizes for guessing correctly, just a sense of satisfaction. I'm also wondering how many of you are old enough to remember the game show I've misappropriated my title from?

* yes, I couldn't resist!

Firmoo Glasses Review

I have been in desperate need of a new pair of glasses for longer than I care to admit so when I was approached by Firmoo to review their glasses and the process of buying glasses online, I jumped at the opportunity. I hate shopping for glasses and finding a good frame shape for my face is always harder than it ought be: those of you that have been following my blog for a long time may remember the "Penfold" episode! I had been dabbling with the idea of going down the online purchasing route for a while, so Firmoo's offer sounded ideal.

Firmoo is an online optical store that ship worldwide. They have a reasonable number of frames to chose from and they are relatively inexpensive as glasses go. They have a first pair free program so if you're completely new to online glasses shopping, as I was, you can order a pair and only pay the shipping costs. The free glasses come with 1.50 index single vision lenses as standard.

The process of browsing and measuring up for buying glasses online made me realise there was an element of truth about what I'd been told at Specsavers. Glasses that are too wide across my face do not sit or look right and as each of glasses thumbnails also gave the recommended pupillary distance range, it was far easier to narrow my options. I found the virtual trying on tool useful too. Although it's not a perfect guide, as you will see for the #CP6061 frames, it definitely gave me a clearer idea of which shape to go for.

Top - #CP6061, Bottom - #CP6096

From the options I was given, I chose the frames #CP6061 ($46/£31.74) and #CP6096 ($39/£26.91). I've always wanted to have a pair of glasses with quite chunky frames but I've never found a shape that I was happy with. This seemed like the ideal opportunity to experiment with something a bit different.

The process of browsing and selecting the glasses was easy, as was inputting my prescription details. As with buying at an opticians, you are given a range of lens options including varying lens thickness and coatings, tints etc. at extra cost. What I did find tricky was measuring pupillary distance or PD. It isn't given as standard on your prescription in the UK and I wouldn't be surprised to find that opticians are reluctant to give you that information. I found a youtube video which I made my husband watch and asked him to measure for me. I did get an unfortunate case of the giggles whilst he was measuring which I'm certain professionals don't ever have to put up with!


The glasses arrived very quickly. Each pair comes in a fairly basic but sturdy case complete with cloth, and there was also a little pouch included with tools for adjustments. I immediately tried both pairs on when they arrived. I really like the shape of #CP6096 and would love a pair like this in lighter coloured frame, possibly tortoiseshell, as I think the black is a little too much on me. The depth of the #CP6061 is greater than I was anticipating from the virtual tool and I have likened myself to Mike Read in this pair! The shape also accentuates the natural wonkiness in my features. This is something I've come across with other frames in the past.




#CP6061 - AKA The 'Mike Read' Specs



Moving away from the frames, I have had some issues with the lenses. For reference, I am shortsighted and I do have to wear glasses all the time. When I put these glasses on, the lenses are absolutely fine for things that are near distance (so I'm generally fine around the house) but the perspective in the far distance is off and also when I look at the ground. I have a suspicion that this problem is a minor error in my PD which I've already mentioned was not measured by an optician. The PD measurements are in mm, and go up in increments of 0.5mm, so you can see how someone that is not professionally trained could easily make such an error.

For me, this has been a really interesting experience. I think if you're a confident about your prescription and PD, this could be a inexpensive way of experimenting with frame shapes or buying a second fun pair. It has given me useful ideas about frame shapes and potential colours but I'm not sure I would go the online route again because of my error with the lenses. I think the first pair free program is certainly an inexpensive way of seeing if online glasses shopping would work for you too.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I received the glasses free of charge in exchange for an honest review of glasses and online shopping process. I have not included affiliate links.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Polish Insomniac visit the Desert Island

This week is it polish insomniac's turn to be stranded on a desert island.  Will this lacquer obsessed lady have the common sense to leave the polish at home?  Let's find out!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow!

I recently mentioned in passing that I couldn't quite decide what to do about my hair. In typical me fashion, I made the absolute worst decision and decided to visit the the local walk in hairdressers. 'How much of a mess could they make of a little trim?', I thought to myself. Well, as they completely missed the fact that the lengths were asymmetrical, the answer was a very big mess, in just over five minutes. I never learn, do I?

A week on, and the cut looks a bit less severe. Unfortunately, the cut also turned my partially hidden unnatural colour in the longer lengths into a full on stripe. In order to make it look less obvious, I decided to colour it purple again, so I haven't had opportunity to try out my recently purchased bottle of Peacock Blue. On my bleached section, Hot Purple fades to a two toned blue-green which I really like and I'm hoping that Peacock Blue will cut out the middle-man. I had been considering bleaching more sections into my fringe but after taking pictures of myself today, I'm actually wondering if I should just cover the grey and the purple with a brown semi-permanent. Harumpf!!


On a more cheerful note, my hair is in excellent condition at the moment, including the side section that I doubled bleached for the Crazy Color. I have been using Alterna Caviar Repairx Instant Recovery Shampoo* and Phytobaume Hydration Express Conditioner together for a couple of months now and they make a really good pairing. I particularly like the fact that they leave my hair soft without it becoming greasy quickly, so I can still leave a day between washes.

I found the opening mechanism of the Caviar Repairx shampoo tricky to work and managed to pull the twist off cap right off on the second use. Oops! Fortunately, it's still water tight and works just fine despite the cosmetic damage. It foams well, rinses away easily and doesn't knot my hair up. It's sulfate and paraben free formula (however, it does contain silicones) and the formula reminds of the Pureology Shampoo I've used in the past. It is quite expensive at £33.50 for 250ml.


I'm very pleased that I picked up the Phytobaume on London MakeUp Girl's recommendation. I've found it a good substitute for the very lovely, but more expensive Rahua conditioner. It smells divine and reminds me of the creams they used to encourage you to slap on before hopping into the tanning booths (don't judge me to harshly, it was a long time ago). The Phytobaume conditioner is a really rich, cream conditioner and you don't need to leave it on for before rinsing. However, I rather like massaging it in and find it lathers slightly when I do this. It rinses from my hair without too much trouble but I do find it has a tendency to leave a slightly greasy residue in the bottom of the shower. It costs £13.50 and I bought this tube from SpaceNK but you can also buy Phyto from John Lewis and Feel Unique.


I had vowed to style my hair more often when I initially had it cut short. I haven't stuck to this as much as I meant to but before my most recent trim, it had been cut in such a way that it was easy to make it smooth or give it texture. I liked to mess it up by pulling out random sections and then running my straightners through these sections straight up from the roots. I'd finish off by breaking it up with a bit of Fudge Rocker Wax. The Rocker Wax has clearly been a hit with Mr MB too based on the speed it has started to disappear!

* Indicates press sample


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