Monday Amusements 18 and today's charity shop find!

Look at this amazeballs skirt that I just bought! The bathroom mirror photo does not do it justice, I assure you. I only went into the charity shop to drop off some donations, but when I turned away from the till I saw this beauty. I looked at the tag, saw that it is a size 14, and was saddened until I took a step back. Polyester? I thought. Tulle underskirt? I detect...'80s. A 1980s size 14 is about equivalent to a 10, or a small 12. I have a couple of skirts that my mum used to wear with size 14 tags and I bought a Laura Ashley dress a few months ago that is an '80s 14. I looked at the price tag - £4.50 - and decided that I might as well try it on. And success! It is now mine and makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland and/or a Disney princess. I love it.

I also popped into Superdrug to take a look at the Revlon Colourburst lip glosses. After reading Robyn's review at Stay Beautiful, I couldn't resist seeing how bright pink Adorned really is. It is extremely bright.  Maybe it's too bright. I loved it, but I'm too intimidated to buy one right now!

Lots of bloggers have been posting their autumn wishlists, but my favourite so far comes from Hannah at Daisies and Dr Martens. I love how she explains her choices and picks out accessories to wear with the clothes.

I loved reading this review of Nail It! magazine at Do Not Refreeze, it sounds great. I am also very intrigued by the review of the 2True Pro Sequins Nail Polish range.

I am determined to autumn-clean my blogs, and will definitely be working through SillyGrrl's 10 Things that shouldn’t be on your blog list. Sorting out my tags will take ages and I don't think I'll get it down to 10 - I want to keep brand name tags here and author name tags on my book blog, because they're useful, but I really want to simplify things.

Finally, the cuteness this week is actually supplied by two bloggers! Kate at ghostparties shares some kitten advice and some adorable pictures, whilst The Girl Who Looks Like a Cake shows off her beautiful black cat.


4 Make-up Products That I Can't Get Excited About

I am thrilled by the sight of colourful, sparkly eyeshadows. I love reading perfume reviews, even though I want to smell perfume before I buy it. If a blogger has reviewed a new lipstick range, I feel kind of like it's Christmas. However, there are some products that I just don't care about. I may not be using the Best Ever version of that product, but I can't be bothered to ruthlessly hunt it down.

1. Foundation

I only wear foundation because heavy eyeshadow and under-eye concealer looks really weird on me if I don't have something on the rest of my face. When I was a teenager, I was obsessed about covering my spots and freckles, but now I rarely get massive spots and quite like my freckles. Unfortunately, even the thinnest layer of foundation seems cover to them up.

I have tried four foundations in my life. The first was a Rimmel stick foundation. I went through several tubes because they were often on sale for only a few pounds at my local pharmacy. Then when that supply ran out, I moved onto Stay Matte because it was the cheapest. Finally, I tried the Cool Matte mousse foundation in the lightest shade, but it oxidised and went orange just the same.

Finally, I was old enough to own a debit card, and I orderedsome samples of Lily Lolo's foundation. I found a good enough match in 'Porcelain', and haven't bought another foundation since.

2. Bronzer

I am resolutely pale. I bought a bronzer once, in my teens. I applied it so sparingly to my face that it didn't show up. I used it as an eyeshadow a couple of times, then passed it on to my sister.

3. Blush

I own four blushers. A light pink one, a really light pink one, a darker rose one, and a bright almost florescent magenta. This is already two more than I actually need. I do read reviews of blush, and occasionally I bookmark one, but every one I like is an almost-dupe for one of the four I already own. I don't see the point in buying them, so I don't.

4. Mascara

I love mascara. I always have and always will, but it's just not exciting. I've yet to find a realy great purple mascara, though I always have three black mascaras on the go. One that I've had open for a while, for 'natural' lashes; a newer one, for when I'm going out; and a double-ender, for when I want extra volume.

I've found that the brands don't really matter. As long as the mascara is of the 'volumising' variety, it usually works fine. I really like the Benefit Bad Gal mascara, but that's only because it is the least clumpy mascara that I have ever tried. I don't think that it's any more volumising or black than any other I've tried, but it's so clump-resistant that I can wear three coats without it looking ridiculous. I pulled out the stopper on this tiny sample about a month ago and it's still not really going clumpy. I'm not sure I'll be buying the full size any time soon, as it's £17.50.

Do you love all types or  make-up products, or are there some things that aren't your cup of tea? Can you get excited over these basic items?


Monday Amusements 17

The Girl Who Looks Like a Cake spent the weekend on the Isle of Wight and all her talk of charity shops, vintage books and a Doctor Who themed shop (!!!) is making me want to go there.

Midnight Violets has a new feature - What's new on the Highstreet? - and I'm delighted to be able to live vicariously through someone else's trips to Boots and Superdrug, though I might have to make a sneaky visit to Superdrug myself, after reading this intriguing review of their Konjac sponge at Blood. Feathers. Lipstick.

Dramatis Personae has an amazing post about personal uniforms. I don't think I have a uniform yet, but I feel as if I'm starting to develop one. I've always repeated outfits that I like multiple times, and I'm in the process of working out what makes me wear certain combinations over and over. I'm trying to buy more clothes that I can wear (almost) all year round, and that means, for the most part, dresses with longer skirts (but not so long they drag on the floor and get in puddles) and higher necklines, so that I can wear long tops underneath them. I like separates, but I don't think that I look as elegant in them, and I find it more difficult to find long skirts that I like, and to find interesting tops that work well with trousers.

I love Stay Beautiful's guide to make-up shopping in London. Usually I avoid central London and stick to the Westfields (Make Up Store, Inglot, and Beauty Base at White City, and Kiko and Beauty Base at Stratford) but this guide made me feel like I'm missing out!


Monday Amusements 16

I haven't tried all three of these yet. Why am I thinking about buying more nail polish?

I love this take on the 1920s make-up style by Viola of Killer Colours. I did something similar for Prohibition last year and kind of regretted it, as it didn't look that good on me. I knew it would be unflattering, but it just didn't really work. But maybe if I practice I can look as good as Viola does!

Fringing is usually not my style at all but I love this DIY Festival Fringe Bag on Dreams That Glitter, I think it looks really glamourous and would make a great evening bag.

I am really jealous of Ashe right now. 'It’s Never Too Early to Plan for Halloween: Vivo Handcrafted Masks' SO. STUNNING.

I haven't bought a pair of trainers since I was in secondary school, and have been wearing the same pair to work out in (indoors) recently. They've still got plenty of life left but I have been wondering what I'm going to do when they bite the dust. I know next to nothing about trainers, but I do know that Selina's new kicks are stunningly pretty and they offer me some hope that I will be able to find a pair that I don't hate!

I am supposed to be on a nail polish no-buy right now, but I just discovered that a pharmacy near me has a big Mavala stand! I managed not to buy anything despite the BOGOF offer, though I'm sure that I will return and buy a few. I'm also lusting after the Models Own Velvet Goth collection, as reviewed on Makeup Savvy, which is even more hard to resist!

Finally, some cuteness, from good old Cute Overload: an armful of puppies! Ahhhh so cute!


Nails of the Month August 2013, featuring Barry M, Sinful Colors, and L.A. Colors

I love nail polish. I have a lot of it. I've wanted to write more about it for some time but the Nails of the Day or one-polish-review format doesn't really suit me, as I often keep the same nail varnish on for about a week, adding extra coats as it wears down, or piling glitter on top. I started Instagramming my nail varnish this month, and have decided to post a regular monthly round-up of all the photos, with more detailed reviews. Let me know what you think of this format!

I'll warn you in advance - I have short nails, and slightly raggedy cuticles. If this offends your sensibilities, I suggest you skip my nail polish posts! I always keep my nails short because if they get longer than my fingertips they start to annoy me.

I've found that short nails chip less, so nail polish tends to last longer on me than on the average wearer, even though I use my hands a lot. I get tipwear quickly but that can easily be covered with a new coat of the same polish.

I use Barry M's clear basecoat/topcoat. I really like the consistency and it has two ball bearings in the bottle so it stays smooth.

Barry M's 'Lilac Foil' (£3.99)

This picture shows one coat after three days wear. The tip wear was not overly noticeable but on day two I acquired a few dents in the middle of the nails which looked a lot like smudges although the nail polish had been dry for ages. After taking this photo I gave one thumb an extra coat to cover up a really obvious dent. Despite this, it's a beautiful colour and I would buy it again. It surprised me as I usually don't like metallic-effect polishes very much.

Sinful Colors' 'Let's Talk' (£1.99)

I am in love with this colour! It's definitely my new favourite purple polish. I took the photo with a bar (okay, a bit of a bar) of Cadbury's chocolate so that you can more easily judge the colour, but it's bluer and brighter and better, in my opinion, than the Cadbury's purple shade! The photo shows one coat, I'd been wearing it for four days. There was some tip wear and the polish had worn quite thin on my thumbs, I could see the natural colour of my nails through it. I gave the thumbs a second coat, and then I applied:

L.A. Colors' 'Jewel Tone' (99p)

I've never liked this polish all that much - it's just purple, magenta and turquoise-blue glitter in a clear base and it doesn't look very impressive alone or over dark polish. However, on top of Sinful Colors' Let's Talk, it looks brilliant. I will definitely be repeating this combo. It applies easily, although the brush is on the small side, and dries fast. After a few days wear I've found that the colour starts to come off the glitter near the tips. I'm still wearing it now, and I keep admiring my nails!

Have you tried any of these polishes? I was so excited when Boots started to stock Sinful Colors, but 'Let's Talk' is the only one I could find from my wishlist, and now the stand seems to have vanished.
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