A Special Gift From L’Occitane

Mother’s Day, a day of relaxation breakfast in bed and bunches of daffodils… Yer right!

Ok, I’m pretty such the kids have made me some lovely homemade gifts and cards which I prefer! As for the whole relaxation thing… Well… An almost teenage boy with Aspergers Syndrome, a daughter who is fast forming a bit of a chip on her shoulder and an ever demanding toddler, I can most certainly forget that!

As it happens we are actually off to my nieces and nephews Christening this morning, so breakfast in bed is gonna have to wait anyway!

I do love being a Mother! Life Is always full of little surprises and I can’t honestly remember the last time I felt the need to complain that I was bored!

The memories built with my children are all so precious, whether its memories of our first family holiday or the day in which each one of them arrived in the world.

Yesterday I was sent a lovely little gift from L’Occitane & The Millennium Hotel. Their intention being, to make my Mothers Day that bit more specia.The gift, a beautiful little boxed set that contained, 30 ml of Shea Butter Hand Cream, 30 ml of Rose Autore Hand Cream & 30 ml of Spring Cherry Hand Cream. All delicately scented and beautifully presented making them the perfect little treat for hands.



Earlier in the week the Millennium Hotel had asked me a few questions that I was more than happy to answer, like what’s my most memorable holiday? To which my answer was… Its hard to choose just one whether it be the all inclusive packaged holiday to the Caribbean or the week spent at the Lake District, each one was special in its own little way.

As for family holidays, we had an awesome trip to Oxfordshire a few years back! We were attending the fabulous Wilderness festival, camping in a tent for the weekend. This mini break has to be one of my most memorable. I’d never done the whole outdoors thing, but the kids loved it. There was plenty to do at the festival and if the kids were not enjoying a sessions hola hooping we’d be swimming in the beautiful natural lake that runs through the woodland.


I’ve actually never stayed in a Millennium hotel but looking at the London hotels on their website I would defiantly consider both the Mayfair and Knightsbridge hotels. Both are in great locations and seem to offer luxurious facilities. I like it when a hotel goes the extra mile by providing its guest with those special little extras to make their stay more comfortable. I’d be extremely pleased to find L’Occitane products in my hotel bathroom and the Millennium Hotels offer just that. Having read some rave reviews on the Millennium Knightsbridge Hotel it would seem L’Occitane and the Millennium form the perfect partnership.

Well, thanks to both the Millennium Hotel and L’Occitane for the beautiful gift. Maybe next year I’ll be in one of your London hotels enjoying a L’Occitane bubble bath for Mother’s Day.

Must dash… A christening awaits.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone.

No Financial payment was made for writing this post. I did receive the L’Occitane gift free of charge for the purpose of this review. Nonetheless I was under no obligation to write about it. All opinions are honest and that of my own.

La Durbin Boutique – The Chic Fulham Salon

Friday evening I took the train to Fulham for a very special launch party. The opening of the new salon,”La Durbin boutique”

I had no idea what to expect when arriving at the La Durbin, though I wasn’t to be disappointed.

This is a Salon that has opted to avoid that modern almost “clinical” look and have instead created a beautiful elegant French vintage inspired setting (we all know how much I love the vintage look, so its a winner for me)!

The salon itself is simply stunning with beautiful French inspired furniture and fittings. The staff are some of the nicest I’ve met in a salon and the treatments provided are all of the highest quality.


Myself and a good friend arrived at the salon around 6.30pm and the party was already in full swing. We received the most warmest welcome from Latifa Durbin – salon owner and manager, who made it her mission to greet each and everyone of her guests Individually, and after being handed a glass of bubbly we were encouraged to enjoy the range of treatments on offer.

La Durbin Boutique offer a wide range of hair and beauty treatments from a cut and colour to a facial using products from the Dermalogica range or a Sienna X spray tan.


I got chatting with one of the salons lovely stylists while having my hair straighten. I received some great advice on the best ways to take care off my somewhat fine and broken hair.

I also got the opportunity to step into the tanning booth and receive my first ever Sienna X spray tan. I’m a tad body conscious since having my third child and almost backed out. The lady who sprayed me really was lovely helping me to relax and feel at ease in no time.

Sadly I’m a girl who doesn’t seem to develop a natural tan in the sunshine and have therefore always been rather on the pale side.The Sienna X tan took to my skin really well and took no more than around 10 minutes to apply. I entered the tanning booth resembling Snow White and came out looking like I’d just stepped off a plane from Greece. The Salon offers Sienna X spray tans for around £30 which I thing is really reasonable and I’d highly recommend it.


Representatives from the Dermalogica brand where also on hand throughout the evening and having established my skin type I was able to take home some product samples suited to my dry and slightly sensitive skin. I’ll be sure to update the blog with my thoughts on these samples soon. Looking at the salons treatment menu I’d possibly love to try out one of the facials using the Dermalogica treatments to experience the full benefits of such a product.

I also got to check out the Manicure bar that I was drawn to by its display off eye catching polishes from O.P.I and Shellac. Intrigued about the latter, I soon discovered that the salon offer the 3 Week Manicure which is created using the salon product Shellac. This promises exciting results, by opting for the Shellic manicure, its promised that 3 weeks in your nails will still look as good as the day they were painted. The prospect of a truly chip resistant polish for up to 3 weeks has defiantly left me excited. Its something I must try and am very keen to.


So, having been freshly sprayed and having undergone a little hair restyling I was spoilt that little bit more when the salons makeup artist, offered to jazz me up a little. Not only did she do a truly wonderful job as I relaxed in the chair feeling totally pampered but I also managed to pick up a few makeup tips and tricks to take home with me. It was great to try a whole new colour pallet, discovering new colours that suited me, ones I never thought would. At first I was a little shocked at the prices charged by the freelance makeup artist, but can now say that these do truly reflect her work, work that is absolutely amazing. Whether its natural daytime, party eyes or bridal makeup, no Job is to difficult for this lady.


The launch party was a magnificent evening. The atmosphere was perfect and the Salon manager Latifa was so lovely making all her guest feel very welcome. A perfect party host and ideal Salon Manager.

Though, I wasn’t the only one having a great time! There was also one or two celeb faces receiving some of that La Durbin magic! Below is a picture of Lucy Watson one of the made in Chelsea ladies leaving with a smile on her face. In fact everybody left smiling and feeling a million dollars, including myself.


La Durbin Boutique has now fully opened for business. I’d recommend that you ladies close to Fulham Place Road go check it out! Seriously, you won’t regret it.

Check out La Durbin Boutique on twitter or like their Facebook Page for all the latest news and offers.

What’s In My Makeup Bag – My Top 5 Nail Polishes

I’ve done a few “Whats In My Makeup Bag” posts before but sadly not in a while! So, today I thought I’d share my favourite 5 nail polishes that I currently house in my makeup bag.


So here we go… I’m counting down from number 5… Oh and check out the Vine clip at the end of this post.

Number 5…. Barry M 293 Grey

A very matt grey that looks great worn alone or with Leighton Denny pure white polish applied as nail art. The polish is pretty easy to apply. Its rather thick so its better to apply a couple of thin layers avoiding heavy coats. If a good top coat is applied the polish lasts well over a week before any chips appear and in my opinion this is much longer than some of the more expensive brands I’ve owned. Barry M is a high street brand that’s a true bargain for under a fiver.


Number 4… O.P.I Nail Lacquer – Colour: “Just Spotted The Lizard” Collection: Spiderman Collection

This is a two tone polish that shines a gorgeous gold and green, though in some lights it sometimes has this amazing hint of teal/blue. I love how wide the brush is and how easy the polish is to apply. The only downfall for me is how quickly this polish chips compered to other O.P.I polish, this one started to chip in just a few short days.

But given I love the colour so much its still one of my current favourites.


Number 3 Leighton Denny – Diamond Diva

This is a beautiful shimmering silver that looks amazing when it catches the light. The bottle makes the colour seem more like a glitter polish than a shimmer so I was actually really pleased to find it was the latter which I prefer. I apply two thin layers, the polish dries super fast and I’m then left with a non streaky finish that doesn’t lose its sparkle when a top coat in applied. I always find that if wearing a base and top coat the vanish is chip resistant for at least a week.


Number 2 Leighton Denny – striptease

As you can see I’m a bit of a Leighton Denny Fan (my top drawer on my dresser is stacked full of it)! I love this colour which is perfect for both spring and summer. Its a really shimmery pink that seems to have lots of different tones coming through. These tones mainly consist of other pinks, as well as the odd hint of lilic and a little peach maybe even orange.

Again the polish is easy to apply (two thin coats work well for me). This one also lasts really well when worn with a good topcoat vanish. It was a strong contender for my number one spot!


And finally the polish crowned my current favourite polish in my makeup bag for March 2013 goes to…


Number 1: Nail Polish By H&M – Colour: Bella’s Choice

Yes, your not mistaken, the award did just go to the high street fashion chain H&M… Its the wonderful colour I blame for this! Ok, honestly, it doesn’t apply as well as my Leighton Denny and does probably start to look that little bit shabby a day or two ahead of my Leighton Denny Polish. However, I’m totally in love with this very pretty blue colour that is ideal for spring and summer. The polish looks as good on the nails as it does in the bottle. It reminds me of a tropical ocean, making it a perfect travel companion for them summer trips aboard!


Verdict…. I love it!

And here’s the Vine Clip that demonstrates the colours much better.


Just after Christmas I was given the opportunity to review some haircare products by DGJ ORGANICS (aka Daniel Galvin Junior).

I was sent a lovely bundle of their newest products consisting of… DGJ ORGANICS HAIRJUICE clarifying shampoo and clarifying conditioner and a bottle of their new Berutti Oil.


DGJ offer a whole host of affordable haircare products from shampoos to hair treatments. They have some great product lines for both adults and children.


Clarifying Shampoo & Clarifying Conditioner – This shampoo and the conditioner have both been designed to revitalise and cleanse the hair to remove build up and impurities. The products are made up of essential oils with HAIRJUICE containing organic mandarin and rose extracts (that I must add smelt beautiful)!

I used to use a fair amount of styling products on my hair which often lead to build up making the hair quite limp & greasy. Nowadays I’m a tad kinder to my hair, though I’m still using the GHDs quite regularly which leads me to use hair straightening creams and heat protection sprays. I guess the worst thing I still do to my hair on a regular basis is bleaching it! A few weeks and a number of washes following my colour application I’ve noticed that my hair tends to become rather dry and straw like. With this I was keen to give the OGJ HAIRJUICE a go to see what it could do for me.

Firstly, A little shampoo goes a long way! This is a shampoo that really lathers up well when applied to wet hair. (Some natural haircare products can often fail to do this due to there natural ingredients). As I massaged the shampoo into my scalp it was hard not to notice the incredible fresh scent of mandarin oozing through the air. It really is a beautiful fresh smelling scent that instantly makes you feel clean just by smelling it. I let the shampoo sit on my hair for a few minutes to work its magic, before finally rinsing well with warm water, ready for the application of the conditioner.

The conditioner, as mentioned above contains the same essential oils and organic ingredients as the clarifying shampoo. It has the same beautiful scent and doesn’t feel heavy or sticky when applied to the hair. I always roughly towel dry my hair following a shampoo and before conditioning, as I think this really helps the hair to absorb the conditioner therefore getting the maximum benefit. Once I’d applied I massaged the conditioner well into my hair paying particular attention to the ends which tend to be the driest part of my hair. I then left the conditioner sitting on my hair for around 5 minutes before finally rinsing it off.


My hair was definitely left feeling very fresh and smelling sensational. With this, I left my hair to dry naturally. This seemed the best idea given I had no place to be and didn’t fancy applying any more heat damage to my hair via the hairdryer.

Admittedly, my hair did frizz a little but this was solely because I’d decided to dry it the natural way.

Looking in the mirror I noted how my hair looked much brighter since using the HAIRJUICE. It had noticeably more shine and looked much healthier than it had before. My hair felt light and bouncey and regardless of any frizz it also felt quite manageable.

I’m a girl who 99% of the time washes her hair on a daily basis. Given I was reviewing the products I felt it would be much better to purposely avoid doing this so I could see how my hair was holding up at least 24 hours following application. The results were surprising, my hair still looked reasonably bright and healthy when usually it would be absolutely crying out for a re-wash right now.

HAIRJUICE is a great product, one designed for all hair types even that of coloured hair. The conditioner did particularly well when it came to restoring moisture to my hair. I can actually say that since using HAIRJUICE my hair has really started to soften up. Considering this isn’t a repair or intense treatment I’m pleased by this result.

The Berutti oil is another of DGJ’s new products. This oil that has been formulated to help nourish and restore healthy hair, and contains the ingredient of organic Argan Oil.

Now… This is quite simply wonderful! Initially I was a little unsure about using the Berutti oil! The word “Oil” alone made me want to run a mile. I just don’t have good experiences with oil based products, its probably due to me applying way to much as I always look as if my hair has gone all limp and greasy. However, this really wasn’t the case with the Berutti Oil and we can safely say that “Yes, I am a fan” This is like magic in a bottle and I now can’t see myself living without it.


I’ve applied the Berutti Oil in two ways. Once following a wash, condition and towel dry and secondly I’ve applied to dry hair as a way to tame unruly hair… Yes frizz! When I applied to my hair when damp, I had to be extra careful not to apply to much. Its hard to tell when hair is damp so a little was added before my blow dry. As I dried my hair with the hairdryer I noticed how shiny my hair was. It looked really healthy and dried completely frizz free. When applying to my hair when dry as a way to control frizz the results were just as good. My hair doesn’t feel at all weighed down, greasy or limp. What’s more its the perfect size for my handbag so has seen itself as my traveling companion these past few weeks. Nonetheless don’t let this cute little bottle fool you! It may be small but its powerful and like most DGJ products, a little goes a long way!

I really am a fan of Berutti Oil. Its sneaked its way into my life and looks as though its here to stay. Good job its priced pretty reasonably at £7.99. Not bad for professional haircare wouldn’t you agree?

You can order all these products & more by visiting the official DGJ ORGANICS website.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review but did receive samples of the above products so that I could share my honest feedback. All words are that of my own and have not been Influenced in anyone anyway.

Big Brand Makeup On A Budget (Bootfair Finds)

Just before Christmas on the Sunday I visited a car boot sale that took place in a Multistorey carpark in South Croydon.

We got there rather late, So late in fact that people were actually packing up to leave. However, this did mean that we got to grab a few bargains.

This was mainly in the way of cosmetics And I got to grab a whole bunch of new branded make up that hadn’t ever been open. This was expensive stuff, however I grabbed the whole lot for just £2.


Here’s what I got…

Leighton Denny full size nail polish (12ml) in Pure White


Leighton Denny full size nail polish (12ml) in Amazing Grey


Laura Geller Invisible Oil Blotting Powder (Translucent Compact) full size (12m)



Laura Geller Baked Cake Eyeliner in Plum Pudding/Black Forest (full size)


Laura Geller Wonder Wand Eye Brightener (full size)


Models Prefer Brush On Brilliance Aquavit Concealer (full size)


I.D by Bare Escentuals Peal Lip Gloss (full size)


Can you believe it? All this… Sealed and new for just a few quid. Anybody who likes their makeup will know these are not cheap brands. I normally buy my Leighton Denny Vanishes for at least £11 each and I’ve had Laura Geller makeup which I’ve brought from QVC and its never been really cheap. Given I’ve not had the luxury of buying good quality makeup in sometime, I was dead pleased with my bootfair finds.

The seller was a really lovely women who had some fantastic bits and bobs from makeup to shoes… I just wished I’d had both more money and more time.

So… Me being me, I got home and searched the Internet to try and discover just how much of a saving I actually made.

Most of my new Laura Geller Products are not currently on the QVC site but I found the blotting powder going on eBay for no less than £30 and that wasn’t even sealed (even though it states unused). The Laura Geller collection is highly available in the states but QVC UK does have quiet an extensive range on their site. There are some beautiful products listed and although being QVC you can spot a good deal or two, the prices are of course considerable more than I paid! Check it out for yourself Here.

As for my two Leighton Denny nail polishes I found these both listed on the official Leighton Denny Signature UK site. Both Amazing Grey and Pure White are listed at £11 each. I should mention I also discovered the most gorgeous blue vanish while I was searching and its seriously calling my name (I just might have to pay full price and order that one)! Naughty I know!

My Models Prefer Concealer pen maybe discontinued as this was hard to find. However I did unearth it on eBay at a buy it now price of £9.99 without postage. The Bare Escentuals Lip Gloss will normally set you back £11.99 as sold by Martyn Maxey UK.

Well… Looking at the evidence it would seem that I had a brilliant result. I’m keeping all the products as I like them all. However, seeing the prices some of these items and brands fetch on eBay it may be worth baring this in mind and keeping your eyes wide open next time you hit your local bootfair. I know I will be!

The JooMo Skin Test

My Beauty regime in terms of skin care consists of soap free products designed for sensitive skin.

Despite having skin that is prone to Eczema, growing up, the appearance of my facial skin was always really good! I was never one for rashes or sports (maybe the odd pimple when it was that time of the month but nothing more)! However, now at 30 years of age, my skin isn’t as great as it used to be. I guess the stress and late nights don’t help either! Lately I’ve noticed that my is much more sensitive, as well as drier and as a result I’ve noticed the never ending outbreaks of them pesky little white pimples (known to many as the White Head).

Over the last few months it seems my skin is getting worse, what with the suns UV rays and the constant application of sun cream, I feel my skin is suffocating!

Lately, I’ve had to reframe from wearing foundation or liquid make up and have instead been applying tinted moisturiser and even though I’m not having as many flair ups my skin is still not great and I feel I’m just holding the problem off rather than combating it.

Another complaint I have is that of a cyst just above my left cheek born which required a biopsy. Despite it growing rapidly while pregnant and the chance that due to its location and exposer to the sun, it has a increased risk of turning cancerous, the NHS are still currently stating there are no funds to remove it. Honestly… Don’t get me started on this one! Another post maybe.

When I was contacted by a representative for a new skin care brand called JooMo, I was intrigued to learn more.

JooMo is the first ever 100% natural face wash that uses a SaponinJTM formulation that treats severe acne, eczema, and a number of other skin conditions.The Co-Founder Linda Russell developed a skin allergy in 2008 and set out on a quest to find a skincare regime to aid her suffering. Following a two year investigation of prescribed skincare treatments, using leading natural brand names and even embarking on scientific and historical research, including Chinese methods, Linda and her partner developed JooMo and her skin has never looked better!

Does it sound to good to be true? I’m a person who believes in evidentialism which basically means, “Show me the hard evidence then i’ll believe it!” JooMo have been so kind to send me a bottle so… I guess i’ll soon find out if it does what it claims to do.

I’ve been using JooMo for a week now and my skin is less dry and it seems to have a certain glow about it. I haven’t developed anymore pimples using this face wash and certainly feel more fresh faced. I’m hoping that JooMo is giving me a really deep clean and will bring any impurities to the surface of the skin. That’s the thing with having these tiny white nasties, “they are not overly noticeable” that is unless you look more closely. However I know they are there. They leave my skin with an uneven texture and my normal makeup products don’t seem to sit well. I’ve ditched the tinted moisturiser since I started using JooMo as to really let my skin breathe and see if the product makes any difference to my existing skin complaint.


JooMo is designed exclusively for young sensitive skin (yes, I’m still only 30 so, no wise cracks please)! It smells truly wonderful with its natural fragrance of honey and oranges. The packaging is funky and inviting and comes in a handy handbag friendly 100ml squeeze tube and can be brought for £4.75 by visiting the JooMo websites product page at

Already, I do love the way JooMo leaves my skin feeling refreshed and verily cleaned. Here’s hoping that it’s special ingredient of ‘Saponin J” is working it’s magic beyond the top few layers of the skins surfaces, therefore banishing those pesky little white heads for good.

For now that’s all… But I’ll be back to report on how it’s going in a week or two with an updated picture from the one below. Be sure to pop back and check it out.


This is not a sponsored post and i did not receive payment to write this. However I did receive a sample of the product as to allow me to give my honest feedback with readers.

A Tuscan Dream

Sat here in my garden, the warm evening rays of the departing sun warms my skin. A glass of white wine is firmly griped within my hand with the remaining half a bottle sat on the table before me. I’ve been reading a novel, one set in glorious Florence Italy. The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga, has left me in a state of day dreaming, I lose myself as I try to visualise the beauty that is Tuscany! This somehow leads me away from what is proving to be an incredibly written novel!

“No, no … No…”
I’m not running off, leaving the sounds of my giggling children far behind me as I head of to throw my designer wardrobe into my Gucci suitcase in-order to catch the first available flight to Tuscany! Yer… As if! I’m just off to fetch my MacBook so I can ask my good friend Google to show me a couple of images of this italian dream location. Is it as beautiful a place as the one I had now created in my mind?

Italy is full of beauty, it’s a country that is filled with romance, religious traditions, breathtaking scenery and incredible cuisine. My children have been blessed with a touch of the Italian gene through that of their father (Why else would I have given my eldest son a name like Giovanni).

I’ve been to some beautiful places both on the Italian mainland and it’s neighbouring island of Sicily. Though I must be honest, Tuscany is somewhere I’ve not had the pleasure in visiting and it’s only now as I begin to look at it in such finer detail, My eyes are opened to its exquisite beauty and I’m left questioning myself, “Why haven’t I been here before?”.

This is a part of Italy that has now somehow captivated me purely from reading about its existence.

20120825-202959.jpg Sunset over Florence Italy. Image credit Wikipedia

There are many elements of beauty and interest that surround Tuscany, it’s artistic legacy, beautiful wine and outstanding locally produced cuisine. But over all it’s that combined element of cultural, historical, natural and architectural beauty that swings it for me!

I can just visualise myself stood on a cobbled terrace belonging to a beautiful old italian farmhouse that still displays that same originality as it did hundreds of years before. A breathtaking Tuscan countryside lined with vineyards and rows upon rows of olive trees.There is no ending to be seen just miles of natural outstanding beauty.

A picturesque vision, one of Intertwined tones of greens and yellows that form the rolling hills that descend into nothingness. But set somewhere deep within the Italian countryside of Tuscany is that of this small remote but equally as beautiful, dusky medieval village with its narrow cobbled walk ways, lit up by a string of little town house, its quite simply idyllic.

I’m drawn in by it’s culture, the way of life this Tuscan village has to offer. I’ve done the big organised holiday at the all inclusive beach resorts and although these can sometimes be pleasing I still find it difficult to understand how this would offer that fabulous cultural experience that a new place of travel should ultimately bring. Can one really relate when I state that I want to smile at the passing locals as I sit on the doorstep drinking a glass of ‘Vernaccia di San Gimignano’ How about the wonderfully inviting aroma of freshly baked Italian beard that drifts through the old wooden windows while as you rise from your bed on an early summers morning?

20120825-202856.jpg Gimignano view from torre grossa Image credit: Wikipedia

It’s important to me that such a place of cultural heritage, fine architectural beauty and stunning scenery should be fully appreciated for all it has on offer. For me it really isn’t about 5 star beach side hotels. I’d much rather experience villas in Tuscany or that of a traditional Italian farmhouse. When opportunities arise, these should be taken fully for granted in order to experience a new and wonderful way of life that’s a bit different than the one that we’ve always known because who knows if we’ll ever be given such opportunities again! For me a holiday in Tuscany would begin with the throwing away of any itinerary (unless I’m with the children as this would then become one of the most important aspects of our holiday due to my eldest child’s autism diagnosis). I guess this is partly the reason while I seek this degree of spontaneity when holidaying alone or with friends.

Since asking my very good friend “Google” for the run down on this place I’ve uncovered a string of beautiful finds that I’m almost certain I’m destining to be. San Gimignano a hill top medieval village was that of my vision described above. Yet, I’m far from finished. I feel that my description relating to my favourite element of Tuscany lacks the credit it deserves.Though yes, it is clear to see that Tuscany oozes character with its historical villages, beautiful surrounding greenery, fresh water lakes and stunning architecture, Its felt that there is still so much more you really should know in-order of fully appreciating my visualisation of that of Tuscany.

The next path of this Journey leads us to the beautiful city of Siena. One that boast rich Italian cultural traditions, rare and beautiful original buildings from churches to museums and of course some of the worlds finest art galleries! Although this is a city, it’s cobbled narrow winding roads, pretty churches and amenities make it seem more like a friendly little village. Whats more Siena’s location within the hilly hilltops of the Tuscan countryside add to its rare character and charm.

Siena is a city of many treasures and it’s the spectacularly designed Duomo a glorious gothic cathedral located just above the cities popular historic square ‘Piazza del Campo’ that is home to many. Inside this magnificent cathedral you will discover ancient workings of art, such as original paintings and beautifully crafted sculptures by some of the worlds most famous artist. Here you can view original masterpieces by Donatello & Michelangelo just to name a few (and … No i’m not referring to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so don’t even go there)!

20120825-202320.jpg Duomo Cathedral Siena Tuscany. Image Credit: Wikipedia

The Duomo is a somewhat impressive build which dates back to 1215 and is recognisable for its fine display of Marble black & white symbolic stripes both inside and out. Its arched appearance and spectacular bell tower add to its mediaeval charms! One may actually refer to this historic cathedral as something of an architectural work of art.

Now although this Tuscan city is more peaceful than most there is a period of time when it plays host to a number of popular traditional italian festivals. During the summer months both locals and tourist flock to its stunning medieval square the ‘Piazza del Campo’ to witness the well known Palio, two of Italy’s most spectacular horse races that are followed by a magnificent display in one of its most talked about medieval pageants.

20120825-203205.jpg Pailo di Siena image credit: Wikipedia

As many will know, Italy is a country renown for its religious artefacts, its only logical that it would house some of the worlds most beautiful churches. The Catholic Faith is one taken very seriously, it forms a massive part of Italy’s cultural history and will continue to shape much of its future. My interest and love of architectural beauty can easily be ignited when stood before me is a magnificent house of worship… I’ve stepped inside some of Italy’s most magnificently designed churches, ones that have simply took my breath away.

While researching the churches on offer in the area of Tuscany, it quickly become apparent that it was home to some amazing places of worship. Its really not difficult to paint the picture in ones mind. The sound of church bells can be regularly heard ringing out throughout Tuscany’s towns and cities, each one housing its own historic church yet each defined by that of its own beauty. Medieval churches can be found nestled between the orange and olive groves of the Tuscan countryside, while others sit upon slopping hilltops, the grounds that surround them, a sea of red when the sweet smelling Poppy’s blossom in the spring time.

For me Tuscany has suddenly become an extremely appealing destination that has left me needing and wanting to explore it more. I wish I could continue in writing what i’ve come to learn about the wonderful delights that are florence or the history that surrounds Tuscany’s Pisa home to the extraordinary leaning tower of pisa.

20120825-203333.jpg Leaning Tower of Pisa Tuscany Italy. Image Credit: Wikipedia

Sadly I must now reluctantly return to that of reality! Yes, the whether that was once described as a warm summers evening, has took a rather sudden turn for the worse! It’s now pouring bucket loads and my washing that is hanging from my washing line is dry no more! Oh well, that’s the danger of dreaming.

The fabulous contents of my makeup bag

Admittedly I haven’t been on here for a week or more and as you may have already worked out, the daily #366 photo is no more, I failed! However, I’m not to bothered and figured that I can post pictures I love anytime I like, which is the beauty behind blogging! Staying on the subject of beauty, I actually had a massive sort out of my overflowing make up bag today. Seriously, I have so much makeup that I’m storing it in both oversized makeup bags as well as storage containers. So, it was definitely the time to clear some of it out and I was surprised how much makeup actually remained sealed.

So, tonight on Valentines day as I’m not being wined and dined, I thought instead, I’ll share some of my favourite, can’t live without, pieces of makeup, for both day and night when I very occasionally hit the town to swing my pants.

Lemon aid £15 from benefit, designed to help reduce redness and can be worn alone or under make up. I’ve been using it for around a month now and wouldn’t go back. High brow from benefit £14, highlights the brow bone defining eyes giving them an instant lift. Mac Mineralize Loose Powder £23, I love this silky mineral rich powder that has SPF 15 for protection against the sun’s rays, I use this powder almost everyday. Bourjois Paris illuminating Touch £7.49, a great addition to the makeup bag, it’s a soft blendable powder that can be applied to cheekbones and temples to sculpt the face, plus it’s sells for a very reasonable price.

Dior 5-Couleurs lift palette £41, I love the Christian Dior makeup range and despite it being that bit more expensive, it looks good and last the test of time. SHU UEMURA Eye light pencil £16, a lovely soft white dual-ended crayon pencil eye liner with a matte white and pearl white finish. I got this for christmas and have fallen in love with it, this magic stick gives my eyes an instant lift even when little sleep has been had (which is often)! Elizabeth Arden Lash – Primer and Conditioner, £14, a regular addition to my makeup bag, it’s used daily and admittedly I do go through it but simply can’t live without it, my lashes look fuller after an application of this primer which I apply before my mascara. When it does come to mascara, I use Maybelline New York Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara £7.15, on a daily basis and just love the extra volume it gives just after the on coat, plus the great price I pay for it.

Kick ASS ConcealerTM from Soap and GloryTM, £10, is a new addition to my makeup bag and I use this often to conceal blemishes easily. I’ve been using YVES SAINT LAURENT Touche Eclat £25, for years now, having first brought it duty-free at the airport when I was 17 years old. I love it and although it isn’t cheap, it does what it claims to and I often find myself relying on it. AVON Ideal Flawless Pressed Powder currently reduced from £9 to £5, a great price for a product that actually works pretty well. I have it in shade light medium, which matches my skin tone really well. I love powder as it isn’t heavy on the skin and therefore gives you a flawless complexion. One of my favourite items in my makeup bag is ESTEE LAUDER Signature Silky Powder Blush, £24, it last for ages and sits really well, not creating the look of a clown or rosy rag doll. I find that I have to be so careful when choosing a blush as my complexion is quite pale.

DIOR Rouge Creme de Gloss lipgloss £19.50, isn’t sticky but soft and gives a really lovely satin rich finish while lasting a good proportion of the day so one gloss seems to last for ages, meaning it’s not as expensive as it may first seem. MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder £18.50, I love this silky finishing powder that is especially great over liquid foundation and sets your completed makeup really well. Yves Saint Laurent Duo Eyeshadow £30, another new addition to the make up bag, I love the natural colours and wearing them together, they blend well, giving a soft natural finish. Nails Inc Boltons Polish £11, a present from my mum who given she doesn’t wear makeup always seems to get it right when buying for others. This satin red is really beautiful.

PARTY EYES I have a makeup bag just for my sparkle. I love party makeup, just as much as I love a good party dress. This Biba Eye Palette £26 (but currently on sale for a fab £15.60) has 4 stunning metal and precious jewel shades that create stunning party eyes. A bargain party buy are these Barry M Supersoft Eye Crayons costing just £3.99 these bold matt colours let you create stunning smoky party eyes. My favourite party bag  are buy are fabulous Heavy metal metallic liquid eyeliner, £13. by Urban Decay, which I’ve been using for the last 10 or more years and still love them as much as the first time I tried them. Another great product is the collection 2000 Extreme Coloured Length Mascara at a tiny £2.99. This coloured mascara creates a big dramatic impression for a really small price and is therefore worth a buy. I got mine only a week ago, and can’t wait to wear it out.

When getting ready for a night out, I love Benefit Bad gal lash mascara £16.50, it’s a glam mascara for a night on the town and my lashes don’t leave home without it. NARS The multiple multi-purpose stick £29 is fabulous, it’s a must have makeup addition for young and old, use on the face and body for a beautiful glow. NARS Looks really great on cheekbones and I love it! Barry M instant nail Effects gold foil, looks stunning worn day and night but creates an extra special look for dressed up occasions, for just £4 its amazingly long-lasting.

Saving the best till last… Dior Diorskin Airflash spray foundation is amazing, costing £33 Dior revolutionises makeup with a spray foundation that goes on completely even and in my opinion creates the most natural flawless complexion, I’ve seen as a result of a makeup product. There is a downfall however, you cannot see how much you’re using and I tend to get a tad upset when I’ve run out! 😦

So, what’s in your makeup bag? Anyone with any of the above, or do you have a completely different mix altogether