Monday, 27 August 2012

Autumn/Winter Gig Excitement!

Not having a job sucks because I don't have oodles of cash (not that I ever had oodles you understand, just a heck of a lot more than I do now!) to go to gigs. And unfortunately I have noticed that gig prices here are often higher than in the UK. I think this is possibly because metal/rock music is a lot more popular over here, and a lot of the European bands I like have bigger followings (can you imagine paying more than about £20 to see Sabaton in the UK? It is nearly double that here) so can charge more for their tickets (Billy Talent tickets in October are going for over €40).

So I have to be a bit more picky about what I go and see, despite there being quite a few things I'd like to go to. But, excitement of excitement, I'm getting to see three of my favourite bands this autumn and that does please me!

First up, Within Temptation. I mentioned it before, but I'm going to their 15th Anniversary show Elements in Antwerp with the Beard and my Mum. I am really really looking forward to it (especially as we're combining the trip with a visit to Amsterdam, one of my favourite cities after Vienna), and the trailer the band released last week promises loads of amazing things, in true Within Temptation theatrical style.

Then, at the end of November, Stone Sour are playing here in Vienna. They announced the tour last week and I had a couple of days wait until the tickets went on sale but then they were mine.... I just have to pick them up this week from the ticket office.
They play Wien Gasometer (which is a nice small venue) on November 30th and will be joined by Papa Roach (assuming Jacoby Shaddix' voice is ok after surgery by then). Not a bad line up and the price wasn't too high - tickets are €34. The Beard is coming to this one as well. I last saw Stone Sour play in 2010 at Rock Im Park, just before they released Audio Secrecy. Their new album House of God and Bones Part 1 is being released a month before this gig, and hopefully they'll play a good selection of tracks from Audio Secrecy - I've not seen them do any of those live!



Finally, a couple of weeks after that, I have a ticket to see Soil, Fozzy and Breed77 at Szene, a small venue in Vienna.


I have a running joke that I only ever hear Soil's Halo at 1am when I'm out at clubs. Not sure what the curfew will be like for this gig, but maybe it'll be 1am when they play it?
I'm only going because of Breed 77 - I've loved them for a long time and haven't been able to make a gig of theirs for a while. I've seen Soil before in 2006, but that was when they had a different lead singer for a while. It should be a good gig, and I always always get excited about seeing Breed 77.



It is going to be a bit of a busy time gig wise, but oh so worth it!! I'm hoping to get to a few more gigs, time and money allowing, and will of course bring you reviews of all of them!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Budget Beauty Purchase round up

My beauty purchases are fairly limited these days, budget cuts and all that, but I do still have to buy some things. I'm not going to do a review for each of these because they are just everyday things, and I'm not sure how widely available they are outside of Germany/Austria.


From left to right:

Alverde Clear Peelingmaske: Or exfoliating mask in English. Alverde is a range of natural skin and body care products from German drugstore company DM. I've had mixed results with their products, but this and the tube next to it are really good. This mask contains maize flour and clay to help clear impurities. The scrubby granules are small and smooth - no harsh scrubbing here! This reminds me a lot of The Body Shop's Blue Corn mask which was my favourite as a teenager, and I suspect the ingredients are similar, although this is yellow. Leave for 10 minutes, add water, rub around the face and rinse off. My skin always feels lovely and smooth and you can see the difference. 

Alverde Clear Anti-Pickel SOS-Serum: Anti spot rescue serum. I have up until now been using Simple's Spot Zapper Gel, which is very very good, but not available here in Austria (my awesome Mum sent me some when I asked a while back). I wanted to see if this would be as good so that I don't have to keep getting stuff sent from the UK. I am very impressed with it so far. It contains 'healing earth' - no idea what that actually means, but not only has it helped get rid of my spots quite quickly, regular application has helped them heal faster. It isn't drying at all, and does contain a smidge of oil, but it absorbs well into the skin. I think the active ingredient is something called Silbertraum, but I can't work out what the plant is in English. 

Labello Pure and Natural Mint and Minerals: I go through lipbalm like nobodys business. I have dry lips that chap very easily. I'm trying to take better care of them so lipstick looks better. But really heavy thick lip balms give me spots around my mouth (my Nivea Pure and Natural milk and honey one does this). The lighter formula of this one is moisturising but not over the top. And the mint isn't over powering either. 

Essence I <3 b="b" base:="base:" eyeshadow="eyeshadow" stage="stage">  I needed a new base for my eyeshadow and this looked interesting. And it was cheap. I actually love it, it does a really good job. I've not used a proper primer in a long time, and that was UDPP, which I didn't really like. I've tested it in the heat and it stands up to sweating and my constant watery eye. Although that seems to have stopped a bit, so I'm wondering whether it was the MAC Paint that was causing it in the first place. 

S-he False Lash Waterproof Mascara: Another DM brand, this time make up. Getting waterproof mascara seems to be really hard. I don't understand why. Luckily S-he have loads. I plumped for this one, thinking that if I didn't like it it wouldn't be too bad, it was only €2.49. On my first use I thought it was a bit dry and difficult to apply, but it has got better and goes on really well. Not clumpy at all and really does darken and thicken my lashes nicely. Can't speak for its waterproof properties as I haven't tested it in the pool (nor would I!) but it does hold up with the watery eye thing I have going on sometimes. And sweat doesn't seem to bother it. 

All these products were under €3 each. 


New shampoo!! Yet another DM bargain (I really do love the store). From left to right: shampoo, conditioner and intensive 2 minute conditioner. My hair was feeling a little strung out from all the swimming I'd been doing so I went to buy some intensive conditioner or a hair mask. I stumbled on this range and thought I'd try the lot. One of the great things about Austria (and I guess Germany as DM are a German company) is that there are lots of hair products available without silicones. The smell of these is properly coconutty without being sweet, although the shampoo is sweeter because of the tiare blossom. The lather is good, the conditioner is buttery and the intensive conditioner has restore my locks. Best bit? The shampoo and conditioner are €0.75 a bottle.

I love cost effective purchases!!


Currently playing: Walls of Jericho

Yesterday I stuck Walls of Jericho's American Dreams album on because a) I felt like it and b) I haven't listened to it for a while. Actually it was listening to 36 Crazyfists' "The Tide and Its Takers" that did it, as Candace Kucsulain, lead singer of WoJ supplies guest vocals on "Vast and Vague".

Candace has a great voice, doing both growls and clean vocals. Her slightly husky tones on "The Slaughter Begins" make it one of my favourite songs on the album.


The album's title track is also pretty awesome.


In the hum drum of everyday life it is easy to forget how awesome music like this is. My new found pledge to myself is to listen to more music, more of the time. This is a great start :)

Friday, 24 August 2012

Stars and Spikes

I'm not usually one for costume jewellery. I'm really really allergic to nickel, so until the law in the EU was changed to cap the amount of nickel able to be used in skin contact items to under 1%, I couldn't just walk into a shop and buy a pair of earrings or any jewellery that had metal components. Therefore I developed a bit of an expensive jewellery habit. I have some lovely jewellery, and nearly all of it is silver because that is what I can wear.

The change in the law meant that I can now buy cheap earrings from anywhere, although I'm still pretty much steered clear of them. Why? I guess as my best friend puts it, I'm a bit of a jewellery snob. I'm not going to make excuses, that is just the way it is.

Sometimes I spot pieces that make me change my mind. Like these earrings from H&M which I picked up yesterday when I went in to buy a bra.

Spiky hoop earrings from H&M €4.95

Skulls and Stars stud set from H&M €3.95


The thing I like about the spiky earrings (other than being spiky) is that they are really light. Sometimes hoops with adornments can be ridiculously heavy (like my beautiful black ones from River Island).

The stars and skulls set are a tiny bit cliche but you know what? I'm pretty fed up with trying to not be a walking cliche. Sometimes you just gotta pitch in and have fun. Actually there were loads of different star earrings in H&M, looks like they are going to be big as accessories this season. I might have to go back for some other ones to add to my enormous collection of star jewellery....

Finding peace and freedom

I have finally found, after a minor epiphany the other day, is a modicum of peace within myself. I've spent many many years trying to be someone, trying to be something. And while I will never stop striving to do my best at my career, my life etc, I won't be trying to be anyone but me from now on. This new found feeling of reinvention is so liberating and will help move this blog along into something better.

I've been contemplating whether to continue blogging recently, mainly because I'd started feeling the pressure to write something which I suck at - fashion and beauty. It isn't that I don't care about these things, or that they aren't big parts of my life, but seriously, I don't care enough any more to have the latest wonder product, or the newest colours. As far as clothes go I have loads of things I love wearing, including awesome things I have made myself, but I have no desire to keep expanding my already sizeable wardrobe. So trying to keep up with fashion and beauty blogging is a pointless endeavour for me, you'd only ever see the same things over and over again.

I've also felt a bit unable to write about music and alternative stuff recently because I guess I just don't feel as if I belong. In some respects I feel like a bit of an imposter. I like the music I like (which is a diverse range) but without going to gigs or clubs regularly it can be a bit difficult to discover new stuff, whether it is properly new or just new to me. I've said it before, the metal/alternative scene can be a bit intimidating and definitely some groups can be a bit elitist and cliquey. But this is silly, and noone has the right to tell me who or what I am.

So this new found freedom will enable me to write better, to be a better girlfriend, to be a better person. I have an opportunity to be whatever I want to be, I better seize that and damn well use it.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Disco Pants/Sparkly leggings: Yay or Nay?

So Disco Pants. Shiny trousers. Which surprisingly I am sort of tempted by...


But I'm thinking maybe something a bit more sparkly. Like this:


Either way, I will have to craft them with my fine hands, so I'm going to look for some fabric next week. I'm thinking for a gig, paired with a long tunic top and my DMs.

What's your take on disco pants or sparkly leggings?

Friday, 17 August 2012

Revisiting old favourites: MAC Nightlight Pigment

It has been really warm today so I wanted something easy but with maximum impact for my make up.

Enter MAC Night Light Pigment. This was from the She Shines Collection in 2006. It is a gorgeous olive/khaki green with a hint of blue and a cool antique gold shimmer. As far as I know, MAC have never produced anything like this since.

Applied dry this has hardly any fall out, and has a slightly sticky texture, which makes application really really easy, and the colour quite intense even without any help. When applied wet the intensity deepens, and the metallic sheen becomes more of a foil effect.

I love this colour, and it really brings out the colour of my eyes. Sorry for not smiling, I was too busy concentrating!!






(all products MAC unless otherwise stated)
Eyes
Essence I <3 eyeshadow="eyeshadow" p="p" primer="primer" stage="stage">
Brule Eyeshadow
Nightlight Pigment
Blacktrack Fluidline
S.He False Lash Waterproof Mascara
Stud Eyebrow Pencil
Essence Clear Mascara/Eyebrow gel
Face
Matchmaster Foundation
Studio Finish Concealer SPF35
Select Sheer Pressed Powder
17 Bronzing Pearls in Light
Pinch O'Peach Blush
Transparent Finishing Powder
Fix+
Lips
Viva Glam II

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Modal Corpus A/W 12/13 Part 2

Modal Corpus A/W 12/13 Part 2


Vero Moda purple cardigan
$27 - welikefashion.com


H M top
$6.26 - hm.com


Mini skirt
$47 - emp.de


Fishnet tight
$11 - pret-a-beaute.com


Shoes
$200 - longtallsally.com



Wet Seal rucksack bag
wetseal.com



Pieces leather jewelry
$21 - bestseller.com


Long necklace
evanity.com


Yves saint laurent perfume
yslbeautyus.com

Modal Corpus A/W 12/13

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

In The Kitchen: Vegetable Curry

Another one where I forgot to take a picture before we ate it or I put the leftovers in the freezer.

Vegetable Curry

I made this one mild because The Beard doesn't like hot curries that much, and I don't think they work all that well with vegetables. Just our personal preferences! Another really simple recipe that relies on getting the onion and garlic just right. If anything, more cooked than with the pasta sauce recipe.

1 medium aubergine, cubed
2 courgettes, chopped small
2 peppers, 1 red, 1 yellow, chopped small
1/2 punnet mushrooms, quartered
5 tomatoes, chopped
2 tins of tomatoes
1/2 tube tomato puree
3 onions
5 cloves garlic
Head of cauliflower, chopped.

Spices
3 tsp garam masala
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp carraway seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp ground coriander
4 black cardamom pods
6 cloves
1 large cinnamon stick
Fine ground Sea Salt

Corn oil (or other flavourless oil) for cooking

Method

Chop the onions and peel the garlic. Heat 2 tbsp corn oil in a large pan with a lid. When hot, add the onions stir for 1 minute. Grate/crush the garlic into the pan, stirring to ensure that it doesn't burn. Add 1 tsp of salt and turn the heat down to medium and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally for approx 10-15 minutes until they are soft and sticky, and very sweet.

Add all the spices EXCEPT the cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon stick. Stir into the onion/garlic mix and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the chopped tomatoes, stir in and put the lid on the pan. Allow to simmer until the tomatoes are soft. Then add the tins of tomatoes and tomato puree, stirring in. Allow to heat through. Then add all the other vegetables EXCEPT the cauliflower. Replace the lid and cook for at least 30 minutes.

When the vegetables are cooked to your liking (we let them go quite mushy because we like them like that), put some rice on to cook (see below), and then add the cauliflower to the curry. By the time the rice is cooked, the cauliflower will be just tender.

Serve immediately.

Slimming World notes: Corn oil isn't technically a HEXB, so if you are adhering strictly, then either use olive oil or syn this. I got 7 large portions out of this quantity, so you could probably get up to 8 decent sized ones. That would make the oil 1.5 syns per portion.

Cooking rice

A lot of people are scared of cooking rice, but it is really simple once you know how. My SIL showed me how to do it properly and I always use this method now. It works for brown and white rice, although the cooking times are different.

Always measure rice by volume, not weight. I use 100ml per person for a normal meal, or 150ml per person if we're feeling hungry (I use these measurements because we have a Swedish measuring spoon and it's the easiest thing to do rice with!).

Step 1: Put your rice into the pan you're going to use. Rice should be cooked in a shallow, wide pan for best results, but a regular one will do, just make sure it isn't too small. Add loads of water and swill the rice around. This will remove some of the starch on the outside, which is what causes rice to go sticky and claggy.

Step 2: Drain the rice using a sieve and shake off excess water. Transfer back to the pan. Add 1.5x the amount of water to rice. So if you are cooking 100ml of rice, you need 150ml water. Add salt to taste. Remember that rice can take quite a lot of salt, so don't be too scared. 1/2tsp is probably about right for 2 people.

Step 3: Put the lid on the pan and turn on the heat. Start high, then when it is boiling, turn down to the lowest heat on the cooker. Leave to cook until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Once this has happened, turn off the heat and take the lid off, to allow the rice to 'dry' out a little.

You should have perfect rice! If you want to flavour your rice, add them with the salt and water.

Monday, 13 August 2012

My thoughts on Illamasqua

I've been thinking about this for a while and I can't go on.

I want to like, no LOVE Illamasqua. They are everything I believe in, their colour range is amazing and their packaging is beautiful. I want to love them.

But I can't. I have a range of products from their ranges and I only really like 1 of them. That's the Medium Pencil in Sophie. It really is a great black eye pencil.
The other products I own (2 cream eyeshadows, Skin Base foundation, Liquid metal, 2 powder eyeshadows and Precision Ink) vary in terms of how much I like them or they feel good to me. It breaks down as follows:

Cream Eyeshadows: I bought 2 of these in the sale in January, for £5 each. I have Wail (a beautiful pale, lilac grey) and Debauch (a rich, purple burgundy). I cannot make these work. Even when used over primer, and set with powder shadow, allowed to dry, these do no stay put. No matter how much I try, these beautiful colours end up creased or gathering around the base of my lashes. And in my eyes. Which is no good as a contact lens wearer. I don't even have oily eyelids. They are actually quite dry.

Liquid Metal: Pretty much the same thing happens with this. I have Surge, which is the most divine warm pewter shade. I really wish it didn't slide right down my lids into my eyelashes. It does work OK as a highlighter, but it never dries down and threatens to remove my mascara every time I blink.

Precision Ink: I have Abyss. Which is a gorgeous, glossy black. The only problem is that this feels like applying a line of liquid plastic to my lash line and again, it ends up IN my eyes. It clumps in my lashes and when it comes to removing it, it flakes into rubbery balls, again ending up IN my eyes. And not all of it comes off. It is a pain in the arse to remove.

Skin Base: I love this foundation. The texture is beautiful, the coverage impeccable. The shade range was amazing to start with, and I guess is even better now there are new shades added. How I wish that I could use this foundation. But it contains that most evil of all ingredients: Mineral Oil. Mineral Oil makes my cystic acne return with a vengeance, leaving me with raised, sore red bumps. My skin and oil based foundations don't get on that well, but I reckon it would be fine with this, if only the oil came from some form of nut or seed (just not cocoa or Shea butter, they aren't much better than the mineral stuff). Jojoba oil is light and good for all skin types, why cheap out and use horrible horrible mineral oil? It isn't a cheap product.

Powder Eyeshadows: These fair a little better in my estimations. The colour range is really good, and for matte shadows they apply really really well. I have Stalk and Intense and I do like them. I just find that the pigment blends out a little too much and it is hard to layer. Hence they sit largely untouched in the back of my make up drawers, waiting for the days when I have the patience to play with them.

Now, I appreciate that with the cream eyeshadows, and the liquid metal I might be doing something wrong in the application, or there might be a neat trick to it that I'm missing. If so, please please please enlighten me! As I said, I really really want to love this brand. I don't want to look at their colour range and think "oooooo yes" but then remember with a heavy heart that the formula just isn't up to scratch. Please please help me on this.

There isn't anything anyone can do about the Skin Base issue unless Illamasqua decides to change the formula to a non paraffin oil based one, so I think this is destined to be that foundation that is perfect except for one tiny detail, and in this case its a biggy.

I'm not even sure that much can be done about the liquid liner - I hated MAC's Liquidlast range for the same reason, the plasticky finish. I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one, which is a shame because I wanted to try Glister and the new shade coming in the Autumn. But it is not to be.

I will continue to ogle the beautiful faces that the Illamasqua team create, and I will continue to lust over the pretty colours, but I don't think I'll be opening my wallet again, even at sale time.

Can you help me love Illamasqua? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below. 


In The Kitchen: Roasted Vegetable Pasta

I really should start taking photos of my dinners when I cook them. Unfortunately the idea to blog the things I've been cooking over the weekend just came to me, and I've already bunged the leftovers in the freezer. So please accept my apologies for the lack of pictures.

So. I have my cooking mojo back. I like to think I'm pretty nifty in the kitchen, and it is certainly one of my greatest pleasures. Thankfully I have a very appreciative audience for my cooking in the Beard. And he's honest, so he'll give me constructive criticism when I ask for it.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta. 

Nothing fancy, but oh so delicious, and relatively fuss free. Oh, and very Slimming World friendly. The trick here is to get the onions and garlic cooked enough - they should be sweet and sticky and taste delicious on their own.

For the roasted vegetables:

1 medium aubergine
1/2 medium butternut squash
2 courgettes
2 peppers, 1 red, 1 orange
1/2 punnet mushrooms, quartered
Fine ground Sea Salt
Olive oil

For the sauce:
2 onions
4 cloves garlic
6 tomatoes chopped
Tin of tomatoes
Good squeeze tomato puree
Fresh or frozen basil, chopped
Glug of balsamic vinegar (if I had to guess it would be at least a tbsp, maybe 2)
Fine ground Sea Salt
Olive oil

Pasta of your choice - penne or fusilli works well.

The Method

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C (200 for a fan oven)/Gas Mark 7. Chop all the vegetables to be roasted into small-medium chunks, put in an oven dish and add 1 tbsp of olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt. Use your hands to mix all together. Place in the middle of the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile....
Chop the onions finely. Heat up 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan that has a lid. Add the onions and stir for 1 minute, before turning the heat down to medium. Grate/crush the garlic into the pan, stirring to ensure it doesn't burn. Add a tsp of sea salt and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic and onions have practically turned to mush and smell very sweet. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes.

Check the roasting veg and stir to turn it and ensure nothing burns.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and turn down the heat. Then pop the lid on the pan and leave to soften for abour 5 minutes. Once the tomatoes have softened, add the tinned tomatoes, the puree and the basil. Stir thoroughly and return the lid to the pan. Leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes.

By this time the oven veg should be about done, check it and if ready, remove from the oven and transfer the veg into the pan with the tomato sauce mixture. Leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes while you put some pasta on to cook.

Remember to put plenty of salt in the water with the pasta, and when it has drained, add a smidge of olive oil and a good grinding of black pepper.

Serve immediately. Parmesan or other hard cheese optional.

Slimming World notes: There is quite a bit of oil in this (at least 3 tbsp), but I got 6 portions out of this amount, which totals only 1/2 tsp per portion. This would be 1/2 HEXB or 3 syns. All other ingredients are free/super free.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Customised t shirt

I had this t shirt that I loved the design of, but the shape was a basic t shirt with sleeves (I stupidly didn't take a proper picture before I hacked away at it...)


I bought it before I lost weight, and it felt a little big. I also didn't feel it was particularly feminine or flattering. So, a few snips here, a few snips there, and a bunch of safety pins et voila! A top which looks and feels much more 'me'.



The safety pins are helping to nip the shirt in a bit to give a better fit.


Skirt: made by me
T shirt: TKMaxx (summer 11), customised by me
Leggings: Warehouse
Boots: Doc Marten

New storage solutions: make up and jewellery

I present to you my completely revitalised make up and jewellery storage.



The unit at the bottom is the ubiquitous Ikea Helmer unit in white, beloved by so many make up and nail bloggers the world over. The less than pretty organiser on top is my former make up storage, a screw organiser I believe, which is now housing all my jewellery. As you can see, my perfume lives on top. (Sorry the picture is a bit wonky, I was crouching down on the floor).

To keep my make up tidy inside I also bought 3 of the Antonius inserts, as recommended by Lipglossiping. I had planned to do the lipstick origami storage, but I don't really have that many lipsticks and my storage is working so far.

So here are some of the drawers... I don't have as much make up as some, but its nice to be able to get everything in one place, with space for more stuff if I need it. Which basically means my dressing table only has my mirror, a fancy jewellery box in the shape of a chair with a vampire lion mouse sitting in it and my make up brushes on top. There is so much space!





Of course it needed labels on the front, so I made some this morning:


We have a great magnet collection that used to live on our fridge. Unfortunately for the magnets, our fridge is inside a cupboard in this flat, so we haven't had anywhere to put them, until now!! The 2 little ones on the top drawer were freebies from the Nivea Haus and feature old Nivea adverts. They were totally worth the trip down there!

Once I'd cleaned out my old make up storage case, I realised that it would be perfect for my jewellery, which was crammed into a traditional jewellery box, and a clip lock box in my cupboard. I hate those traditional jewellery boxes, they really don't work for me. This isn't the prettiest storage solution, but it fits the bill until I can afford one of these.


My tiny perfume collection lives on top so not to block the drawers from opening. I'm really pleased with the end result, and have already found that I am keeping my dressing table tidier, and wearing more of my jewellery than before. 

Ikea Helmer: €24.99
Ikea Antonius x 3: €6
Stanley Organiser: £13.99 (no longer available, similar here)

Saturday, 11 August 2012

My heroes: Sylvia Lancaster



Five years ago today Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend Robert Maltby were attacked on their way through the park in Bacup, Lancashire, for nothing more than being Goths. I remember hearing it on the news, and although I didn't know this couple, being incredibly upset. Sadly Sophie never recovered from her injuries and died nearly two weeks later.

In the aftermath of the tragedy Sophie's mother, Sylvia Lancaster and her family established the Sophie Lancaster Memorial Fund, which goes by the moniker S.O.P.H.I.E (Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere). Sylvia has worked tirelessly to promote awareness of subcultures and differences in schools, prisons and all kinds of arenas.

This is why Sylvia Lancaster is one of my heroes. She has taken something so deeply tragic and horrific and turned it into a positive force for change. It is all too easy for someone who has suffered a loss this great to hide away, to become angry, but Sylvia hasn't and that is why I consider her one of my heroes.

RIP Sophie.



For more information on the Foundation, go to http://www.sophielancasterfoundation.com/ and a range of clothing and merchandise is available with all proceeds going to the Foundation. The Foundation is also on Twitter: @sophie_charity and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thesophielancasterfoundation 

Monday, 6 August 2012

My favourite nail polishes

My nail polish collection has grown a lot over the last couple of years. Especially since discovering places where I could get OPI and China Glaze cheaper than normal. I actually dread to think how many polishes I have, although I know my collection is small compared to others! These are some of my favourite lacquers.

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark

A fantastic dark purple which with 2 coats looks almost black. Perfect for classic goth/rock nails.

China Glaze Ruby Pumps
The best red I have ever come across. The glitter is the perfect size. Classic red nails with a twist.

Jessica Blushing Princess
I bought this after the receptionist at my old hairdresser had it on her fingers. I fell in love with it instantly. This is a beautiful formula, and the colour has the perfect amount of depth and brightness.

Barry M Black
A classic black paint, with a good long lasting formula.

Chanel Vendetta
I bought this on a whim a when it first came out. It is very hard to photograph, but it is a very deep blackened purple with a gorgeous shimmer that reflects a little blue.

OPI Ski Teal We Drop
Another whim purchase, but another that when I have it on my nails, I cannot stop admiring the perfection of this colour!

OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvellous
From the same collection as Ski Teal We Drop, this metallic silver is classy as well as sparkly.

China Glaze Near Dark
The most recent addition to my collection, this limited edition from last Halloween is a green/black jelly. Good for those days when a flat black isn't quite hitting the spot.


All pictures via Amazon.co.uk except Chanel Vendetta, which is via Allure.com






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