Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Male Grooming - Why are they so awkward?!

Male there anything more awkward? Don't get me wrong, I am all for men having tidy eyebrows and generally taking pride in their appearance, I love that! But I'm a firm believer in there being a line that men just should not cross.... For instance, I just find men with overly plucked and well-shaped eyebrows a bit of a turn off. If you have better scouse-brow than me I am not interested! It just looks odd, no?

(is that lipgloss?!)

Another awkward point involving eyebrows - why oh why do some men take a razor to their unibrow?! WHY?! I was talking to my boyfriend the other day and couldn't look away from the stubble between his eyebrows, odd. As a person who religiously gets their brows threaded because I am pants at shaping them myself, all that goes through my head is 'How are you supposed to shape them with that?!'. I can just see it going horribly wrong... Men of the world - if you're unsure, get your girlfriend/ female friend to pluck them for you instead, it will last longer and look a lot better. Plus, we quite like laughing at how wimpy you are about it ;)

Last but not least, body hair. I have absolutely no problem with body hair, I quite like a bit of chest fluff if I'm honest, but I understand many aren't keen. But PLEASE don't shave your chest! Again, my boyfriend is guilty of this and I just thought it looked really odd when he suddenly had a stubbly chest. Trust me, it's not the best look (and doesn't feel particular nice!) and so requires daily maintenance. Make life easier on yourself and get a wax or hair removal cream. I still find it weirder when men shave their arms and legs though....

Are there any other strange things you have caught the men in your life doing in the way of male grooming (nothing too rude please!). Oh, they are funny creatures! ;)

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Getting to know you - 10 odd facts about me

I AM SO SORRY I DISAPPEARED AGAIN!! End of August and September has just been completely manic, so much to tell! But it has been hectic with new jobs (eeek!! I start in just over a week), ear infections and other illness, my brother, sister-in-law and niece coming to stay, getting prepared to move house and all the other little bits in between. It is safe to say I have been run off my feet for roughly 6 weeks and just haven't had the time to take photos and all the other necessary processes needed for a good blog post. I know, probably a weak excuse but I'll try my best to be back with a vengeance now!

So, as I have been away for a while I thought it would be good to come back with a post reintroducing you to, well, me. I tried to go for the stranger facts to keep it interesting, but I promise I am not a weirdo! Oh, and sorry for the weird picture up there ^^ turns out I am not brilliant at paint...who would've thought!

1) When I was a baby I looked like an alien. My eyes were a bit big for my strange shaped head... I'm not even joking, look!:

Or a gremlin - look at those ears! :/

2) I watch films that are probably too emotionally draining whilst getting ready for work in the morning. I mean, last week for instance, I watched '12 Years a Slave' whilst doing my hair and make-up in the morning. Yes, I had to do my mascara twice but I don't know when I'd get the chance to watch all these things if I didn't have them on in the background (and yes I do still manage to follow them). It really annoys my movie geek friend though, maybe I should stick to things like 'Despicable Me' from now on...

3) I'm pretty sure I used to be addicted to extra strong mints. I literally used to eat 2 packs of them a day, obsessed! Before you ask, my stomach was fine, I was just always super minty. There were no support groups available to help me overcome my addiction so I had to go cold turkey and do it myself. My name is Jenni and I have been off extra strong mints for 3 years now *applause*

4) I spend forever in the shower and I have no idea why. Honestly, my parents turn on the taps downstairs to 'flush me out' sometimes. I have short hair so I technically should be through the shower quite quickly :/ I blame the fact I'm still half asleep most mornings.

5) I am OCD about lists. I make lists for everything. It drives my boyfriend mad and yet in no way organises me. But at least I have all the right intentions!

6) I used to swim for my county, I had actually got really good by the time I turned 16! Then I discovered boys and going out with my friends and getting up for practice or giving up my Friday nights for practice just seemed dumb. Now I wish I had stuck with it, gutted I didn't . You always think you know better at 16 though!

7) My parents call me the boomerang child. I have moved out 3 times so far and have always come back. My brother moved out once and stayed gone. Hopefully when I move out next week I will stay gone! I may even give them the chance to miss me this time ;)

8) I spend literally all my money on beauty products, the amounts of lipstick and perfume I have is just unnatural. But then I moan because I have no new clothes, and so buy more make-up to cheer myself up again. Vicious circle.

9) I am obsessed with ugly dogs. I don't know why but I am just drawn to them and fall in love with them, take my old dog Fito for instance:

I rescued Fito from SARA's when I lived in Lanzarote (which is a bit like RSPCA here). He is a Podenco and in the Canary Islands they are used for hunting and usually treated pretty appallingly. With Fito, he had been beaten so his bottom jaw was a bit wonky and his front legs were slightly bowed. But he was so sweet and lovely so I rescued him and I thought he was beautiful. (F.Y.I - my mum said he was an ugly fox/bat/dog hybrid, my poor boy! she did love him though)

10) And last but not least - my middle name is Maud... I have the ugliest middle name imaginable, that's Ned Flander's wife's name!! :'( I never tell anyone my middle name as I hate it so much, so you guys are kinda privileged right now.

And so, there you go. I thought it was probably best to stop at 10, I didn't want to bore you guys or leave you thinking I was a bit of an oddball. Hopefully it will leave you feeling like you have reconnected with me after my time off from blogging ;)

Please leave a strange fact about yourself in the comments, I love hearing about other people's strange qualities, it's good to know we are all a bit abnormal really!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Fake Tan Disasters!

During the summer months sales of fake tan must absolutely sky rocket because literally everyone is wearing it. It's always nice to have a gorgeous tan in the summer and so deserve a little help when you struggle to tan naturally, but sometimes this can go hideously wrong! I have tried to compile a list of some of the dodgy tan mistakes I have seen so far this summer.

1. Patches/ streaks in your tan
I know this is a very common one that we have all been guilty of at one point or another, but I have seen some extreme cases recently! One of them was a girl who was wearing a strapless dress and had obviously tried to apply her tan herself and failed... There was a big white patch in the center of her back where she had reached from every side as best she could but couldn't quite reach the middle. Lesson to learn - if you're not a contortionist, get someone to help you!

2. A shade that just doesn't suit you
Again, another pretty obvious one. If you are naturally very pale, going for the darkest shade of tan is just not going to suit you. It's a sad fact but it's true, this is the reason why I never go higher than a medium because it just wouldn't look right. My best friend is exceptionally pale (we call her the porcelain queen) and has always used the lightest shade of tan. One day I suggested using my tan just to see how it would look on her, it looked odd... Naturally sunkissed is the look you're aiming for remember.

3. Oompah Loompah tan 
I thought I may as well get all the obvious ones done and out the way first. I don't understand how still now, with sooo many choices for fake tan out there, people still end up looking orange. I don't think it is to do with the quantity of tan put on but the tan used because I have piled the St Tropez on before and it didn't look orange. Therefore, if you have found yourself resembling a carrot recently, let me know what tan you used so that I can avoid it in future!

4. Applying tan on a very hot day...
This is one that in hindsight seems pretty obvious but actually I wouldn't have thought of to be a bad idea before. The other day as I walked through town I saw a girl who had obviously slapped on the fake tan that morning and then been sat down somewhere in the very hot weather. You know what it's like when it's stupidly hot and you are sat in a chair, the backs of your knees get sweaty... Her tan would have looked lush if it wasn't for the fact that there were white diamond shapes on the back of her knees where her tan was obviously very fresh and the heat had made her sweat and the tan had 'washed off' from behind her knees - NIGHTMARE! I learnt the importance of doing your tan the night before right there! Poor girl.

5. Using a separate fake tan for your face
Now I do do this myself, I like to think the face tanner is gentler on the skin than the body one and so I like to use that instead (although there is probably no difference between the two). Which is fine if you match the shades up properly, horrific if you don't! I have been guilty of this in the past and the pictures weren't attractive...where I went wrong is that one was an instant tan and the other was one that developed (the body one). So I looked ok when it was all applied and I went to bed, the next morning my body looked a very obviously different shade to my face and where I had rubbed it in roughly around my neck, it looked a bit odd. A bit of heavy duty foundation though and it was just about passable, oops!

6. When the tan goes through your mitt and stains your hand
This has happened to me too many times! I'll use one mitt for ages and then one time I'll go to use it and the tan will leak through and dye my hand without me even noticing. I then take the mitt off when I've finished to find dark patches of tan all over my hands. It's a difficult look to pull off. I have been told to wear a latex glove under the mitt though to stop this happening in the future.

7. Getting fake tan all over your carpet, furniture, bed sheets...!
Ok, so this isn't a disaster in the way of everyone is going to see it, but it is a personal disaster in my opinion. No matter how careful I try to be I somehow end up getting some amount of fake tan on my carpet when applying it. It may just be me being a bit kack-handed but is probably why I have been told I am only allowed to apply tan whilst stood in the bath... The bed sheets one is kind of obvious,the solution is to buy black sheets then you can't see the evidence, yay no whinging from your mum! But furniture though...don't apply tan and then sit on the sofa, my friend has left a perfect print of her body on the sofa. Oh dear!

So they are the worst fake tan disasters that I know of. Feel free to comment if you have any more! Have you done/ witnessed any of these yourself?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

*Binky London Nail Polish*

*PR Sample*

I received these 2 nail polishes from the new Binky London collection last week and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked them. Binky, in case you weren't aware, is the Binky Felstead of 'Made in Chelsea' fame and although  I love her on the program, I was worried that these polishes would be a bit...gimmicky. You know how you see some celebrities go and try their hand at their own make-up line etc and it's just a bit wrong? That was my concern, but actually they are kind of lovely.

The shades that I was sent is a blue - which has a metallic sheen to it - and a  pink- which has a slightly more gel like finish to it - and they look gorgeous in the bottle and strangely go really well together, not sure if that was intentional but the colours really do compliment each other, perfect for future nail art ideas, always good for me! Sadly I couldn't find any shade names, which I thought was a bit odd?

The brush is of a good quality. It is thicker and flat and shaped at the tip, which is perfect for painting the entire nail. It was slightly streaky in the metallic finish so you had to be a bit more careful with that one, but the pink was incredibly simple to apply and looked great. The above picture is also after just one coat, you can imagine how great and bold these look after a standard two coats.

Durability wise, I applied the pink shade to my toes about 5 days ago and there has been no chipping from what I can see, and I have been wearing sandals all week! It looks so bright and girly and just perfect for the summer. I really do think these are pretty damn good. For a celebrity product, I like it an awful lot.

Ok so the bottle I think tries to copy Rimmel a little bit too much, with the Union Jack and little crown detail, but it is quite appealing. Nothing too over the top but enough that it doesn't look a bit bog standard and boring.

Overall I have liked these a lot more than I thought I would. They tick all the right boxes for me at least. There are 31 polishes in the Binky London collection with many different shades and finishes - including gel effect, denim effect and metallics - to choose from and so really is worth having a look at.  Order these, and other shades, here.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

*Kooky Neon Nail Wraps*

*PR Sample*

I was recently contacted by The Beauty Partnership to ask me if I would try some nail wraps. For those who regularly read my blog, you will understand that I am a massive fan of nail art!! And so I couldn't resist, especially when they told me that they were neon nail wraps, exciting!

So here are the wraps that I was sent:

They are really neon pink, cheeatah print wraps. The brightness of them doesn't seem to photograph well because in real life they look incredibly luminous, but the camera didn't quite seem able to capture that. I know, a bad workman always blames his tools!! But they did look impressive in the packet. Really gorgeous!

The only thing that disappointed me slightly was that on the application instructions it stated to 'Cleanse and dehydrate each nail plate using Kooky dehydrator' which I had not received in my pack. This would worry me that you would need to order that seperately and it is not made clear, hopefully when you purchase these from the website they will send you the dehydrator as part of the pack. I'm hoping it will not make too much of an impact on the application and durability of these nail wraps!

Other than that little blip, they were incredibly easy to apply. I used one strip to do two nails, one on the right hand and the corresponding one on the left. In this way it means that they match up better, luckily they were good sized strips. They were incredibly easy to apply smoothly to the nail, buff on to the nail and remove the excess length. I would definitely recommend these for ease of application. As you can see, they look gorgeous on the nail!

The instructions didn't advise to apply clear polish over the top so I am trying to stick to them as much as possible to really test how good they are. I find the real test with nail wraps is whether they catch and start to peel off when you shower. I washed my hair with these on this morning and there seems to be no sign whatsoever that these are beginning to come off. I leave for holiday on Thursday so I'll keep you updated on how they survived! But I have very high hopes :) But they are so comfortable to wear, you don't even notice them on. Unlike some that I tried once before that started peeling off in minutes and I was so concious of them all day - nightmare!

Now, a little bit about the brand. These wraps are from Kooky Nail Fashionistas who describe their wraps as 'micro thin, high performance vinyl film designed to cover the nail plate' and a big part of their campaign seems to be that they are heatless...I don't know a great deal about nail wraps but I have dabbled with them in the past and I have never known them to require heat for application? Maybe I am missing something, but it seems to be a big point for them. But anyway, they're described as incredibly hardwearing and from what I have experienced so far, they aren't wrong.

Their Summer 2014 collection is called the 'Neon Me' collection, and the wraps I received are from that. They have a wide range of wraps though, and in all honesty they are gorgeous. I would happily wear about 90% of them, my favourites being the 'Front Row Ticket' wraps - lush! There is such a large variety of patterns and colours and also textures (which are new to the brand) so I do believe there is something for everyone.

Each set of nail wraps is £5.00 and includes 16 different sized wraps. It concerns me that on the documentation that they sent me it says 'wrap print may differ slightly from image shown' but I am hoping this is them just covering their backs and being overly cautious... For more info or to purchase go here.

Friday, 25 July 2014

The new exercise class that will near kill you, but keep you coming back for more!

This class is called Les Mills Grit series. It is apparently based around the Insanity Workout (you may have seen the late night/ early morning adverts for Insanity?) and it is tough, so so tough!

 As you can see, I used the picture for Grit rather than a picture of myself actually doing this class. This is solely because they look a lot more glamorous than I do during a Grit class. I'm usually bright red and sweating profusely within about 5mins and I really don't think anyone wants or needs to see that really! So I thought it would be best to show it with all these lovely beautiful people that look like they are having much more fun than I do mid-Grit...!

There are 3 different classes for Grit - Plyo, Strength and Burn. So far I have only done 2 Strength classes (the only ones they have run on a Thursday morning at my gym over the last 2 weeks as I have only just braved going to one) so I can only really comment on that class for now, but hopefully over the next couple of weeks I'll get to do the other two also. Strength involves a quick warm up which includes burpies (a lot of them), low rows with a weight bar, squats with weights and push presses. These are done at high repetitions over 2 minute intervals and it definitely warms you up, I am usually looking a delightful shade of beetroot after just the first 2 minutes of burpies, lovely. In case you aren't sure what a burpie is, you do a squat down then put your hands on the floor and jump back and do a press up then jump your feet back in and stand.

The main body of the Strength class is doing a lot of high repetition toning exercises, so a lot of squats, jumping lunges (are they called scissor lunges?), low rows etc but at quick bursts of high reps. I thought this didn't sound too difficult, especially as it is only a 30 minute class, but it is by far the hardest I've ever done. I have never so genuinely felt that I was going to puke and pass out at the same time! But I absolutely loved it.

The great thing about Grit is that it has such fast results. Doing high intensity training does give you fast results anyway, but this has been the best work out for me. I did a class yesterday morning and already this morning I could feel aches in muscles I never thought I had. Aches are good! Ok, so i struggled to lift my arms to wash my hair this morning but that's a small price to pay....!

In all honesty though, it is an excellent new class to try if you're thinking about changing up your routine slightly. Don't worry about struggling in it because EVERYONE is struggling, that's just how it is. I would definitely recommend it, or at least look in to it. It is slightly addictive as well, once you have been once you want to keep going back because you just know it is doing wonders for your fitness, despite the fact it feels like torture for that half hour you're in there!

Have any of you tried this class yet? Do you have places locally that are offering it and you have been considering going? All comments are welcome :)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

W7 - Budget but brilliant!

If you had read my earlier post on how I struggle to get on with face powders (here) then you will know that my skin can be a bit of a pain for finding powders that have that 'you but better' effect. I want a powder that looks natural but also gives a good coverage. Then I came across this little beauty from W7 - W7 Sheer Loose Powder.

As you can see from the photos, the powder comes in a screw-top plastic pot that has holes in so you can dispense a small amount of product to pick up with the brush so it doesn't get too messy! I would suggest being sparing with it on your brush as it does have really good coverage and when I first tried it I thought it would be a bit rubbish and require loads to get any coverage and ended up looking slightly mental, so less is more!

It does come with a brush but I personally don't think it is that brilliant. The bristles are a bit stiff and not particularly soft and it doesn't seem to pick up the product brilliantly well so I prefer to use my Real Techniques Multi-Task brush to apply this. It is so simple to sweep over the face and blend across.

You can see from the pictures of it brushed on my hand that it gives a very soft appearance to the skin and goes far to cover imperfections such as those fine lines. I really do think it is a very good product and use it a lot. Especially seeing as I know it will be very cheap to replace!

W7 is a brand that is often stocked in Next (I bought my Urban Decay palette dupe by W7 from Next) but is also available on websites such as Fragrance Direct. They do some really good dupes of high-end products such as Benefit boxed blushers and OPI polishes. Ok, they aren't of quite the same quality as the high-end counterparts but they are very good for the teeny price you are paying for them. I would definitely recommend giving some of their products a try.