Disaster struck. My Urban Decay Naked lipstick broke off at the base during application and tumbled to the floor. I managed to retrieve the thing before the dog scoffed it, but alas I have no backup.

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Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, you were an awesome lipstick – until the base bust.

Rest in pieces, Naked. You’re being consigned to that general purpose graveyard, also known as The Bin 😦

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For those of you who don’t already know, Vidal Sassoon are discontinuing their excellent Salonist range of permanent hair colours 😦

Why is it that whenever I find something I like, they eventually stop making it??

If you have any recommendations for a good, permanent hair colour alternative, drop me a line in the comments below.

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Ah, my favourite subject – all things furry x

Probably the oldest cosmetic in my entire collection is the Urban Decay Lipstick in Fur (remember when UD housed their lipsticks in the old silver bullet casings?)

Urban Decay Fur label

Fur looks like a cool mauve in the tube, but swatches more bronzey. Despite its age it’s worn well, doesn’t smell odd or taste strange. The consistency is creamy and hydrating and lasts reasonably well through eating and drinking. Another bonus is that it requires minimal touching up throughout the day; just as well, really, as heaven knows what I’ll do when it finally runs out (this was discontinued ages ago).

Dupe ideas, anyone?

UD Fur lipstick

 

OPI Nail Polish in My Dogsled Is A Hybrid

This minty green isn’t the usual sort of nail polish I’d go for, but at the time I fancied something a little different. Having worn it a couple of times, however, I decided something was lacking and so decided to add some glitter particles. Result – what looks like the inside of an Aero bar, all bubbly and knobbly!!

OPI knobbly effect

Despite my mishap, MDIAH is a nice summery shade, perfect to show off in flip flops whilst sipping Pimms on the lawn. The application was a little patchy, even sans sparkle, so you’ll need to apply 2-3 coats, and also a top coat to offset the matte finish.

OPI My Dogsled Is A Hybrid nail polish

TIP: If you do plan on adding glitter to nail polish, make sure it’s compatible, or else most of it will sink to the bottom and you’ll end up with an uneven, gritty texture.

 

MAC Burmese Beauty eye shadow quad

One of three of the Limited Edition palettes from the Fabulous Felines collection (the other two being Palace Pedigreed and Leopard Luxe), Burmese Beauty is one of those rare gems with which you can achieve a complete look. There’s Prized ( a pale beige for the browbone), Burmese Beauty ( a sort of greeny-brown duochrome not dissimilar to MAC’s Club eye shadow), which I wear in the crease, Skintone 2 ( a golden shade for the inner lid), and Showstopper ( a dark brown for the outer lid).

Burmese Beauty open

This is my go-to quad, taking me from just chilling at home, through to going into town, and then going to work. I wear it no matter what I do or where I go (anytime, any place, anywhere), and it stays put from morning till night (I know a lot of recent MAC LE products tend to be of subpar quality, but this isn’t the case here as it’s pre 2011).

The only gripe I have is that MAC could have made more of an effort with the packaging. This is why I decided to customise my quad with some cute Burmese cats:

Burmese Beauty customised back

 

 

Chantecaille Bengali Tiger palette

This golden compact houses four eye shadows, a blush and a highlighter which, in my view, looks good universally. The eye shadows are a deep forest green, cool pale gold, cool beige and dark brown. The blush is a flattering coral shade and the highlighter is a champagne hue.

Chantecaille palette closed

As you’d rightly expect from a luxury brand, all the colours are beautifully pigmented and easy to apply and blend. The blush and highlighter have an image of a tiger in the overlay, but as you can see in the pic below, it does fade eventually.

Chantecaille palette open

One reason I find Chantecaille so endearing is that they donate a percentage of their profit to endangered species. As an animal lover I feel our four legged friends are often overlooked in favour of conditions and situations affecting humans, yet animals have no voice but need our help just as much.

 

ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick in Kitty

This is the only item I have from ModelCo in my collection. It’s a nice, soft YLBB pink lipstick with a smooth texture which my dry lips absolutely love.

Modelco Kitty lipstick open

As for the ‘party proof ‘ claim – well, it certainly has staying power. Again, great for those of us who don’t have the time for constant touch-ups. Not sure whether this is still available; if so, it shouldn’t set you back more than £12.

Modelco Kitty Label

 

 

Hello Kitty Eye Shadow Compact

Okay, I’ll admit it – I bought this solely for the cute 70s style packaging. Hello Kitty looks so adorable riding that little purple scooter!!

Hello Kitty closed

The palette itself contains eight eye shadows in off white, taupe, flesh, cool plummy brown, olive, turquoise, dark grey and violet. It comes with a tiny little brush, and the compact has a mirror with a small Hello Kitty image embossed in the bottom right hand corner.

Hello Kitty open

The eye shadows themselves are poor quality, with little pigmentation and virtually zero staying power. However, as I mentioned earlier, the retro packaging is awesome, so at least this will brighten up your dressing table, if nothing else.

 

 

Essence Urbaniced Street Style Eye Shadow in 03 For City Kittys Only!

For me, Essence eye shadows in particular are either hit or miss; thankfully this one is the former. A deep smokey grey, I use this mostly as an eyeliner. It works either wet or dry.

Essence Urbaniced closed

The surface is kind of craggy, similar to close up pictures one sees of the Moon. With usage these soon disappear and in no way affect the product itself.

Essence Urbaniced open

So there you have it. I know this collection is mostly feline based, but I haven’t come across many products based on, for example, dogs. Let me know in the comments below if you have any animal themed makeup in your stash.

Thanks for reading x

Coming up in Part Four … The Weather

After ten long years, Phil and I finally got to revisit The Lake District, the ultimate haven for peace and tranquility.

We stayed in Ennerdale, at a place called Bankend Cottage. On our first morning I drew back the curtains and spent ages just watching the sheep grazing on the hillside opposite. It was a welcome change from seeing row upon row of houses and washing lines back home.

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The Lake District has become more touristy in the decade since we last visited. I was surprised to see a mother attempting to push a  young child in a buggy across the rocky terrain, and the local eateries were full of noisy youngsters who were behaving worse than any of the visiting dogs there.

 

Construction.JPGEnnerdale under construction

Our favourite pub in Ennerdale was The Fox And Hounds. Situated in a quiet location, the ales were excellent (I drank lots of Swan Black!), customers were well treated and the delicious food was reasonably priced. I highly recommend their steak and ale pie which is heaven on a plate 🙂

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I can’t say the same for the nearby Shepherds Arms Hotel. When Phil popped in to check out their opening times and menu he found the staff rude and unhelpful; so much for shepherds looking after their flock, then.

Shepherds Arms Hotel.JPGUnwelcoming – don’t bother stopping here

 

The Lake District scenery was as breathtaking as we remembered it. No matter what the weather, I could have sat by the lakeside all day and drank in the wonderful views.

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Another reason for our week long visit was a view to perhaps moving up to this idyllic part of the world in the future. Armed with the sort of prices we could afford, Phil and I investigated places such as Workington; unfortunately our budget didn’t spread beyond grey, dismal, rabbit hutch estates where weary housewives were pegging out their washing and the local kids were hanging out. I’d rather throw myself under a train than live in such an environment.

Chaucer Road Workington.JPGChaucer Road – the nicer and more expensive part of Workington

 

We also visited Buttermere and Cockermouth, searching for suitable souvenirs. Having traipsed up and down a few hilly roads, Phil and I realised just how unfit we both were. Even our dog Skye was struggling.

The Black Bull Cockermouth.JPGThe Black Bull, Cockermouth – our local’s namesake 🙂

 

DSCF5405.JPGWalking around Buttermere

 

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On the day of departure we were on the road by 7.30am, and we stocked up on our favourite ales along the way as we braced ourselves for the long drive back.

As my dear old Dad used to say, ‘Everywhere’s great …. but home is the best place to be’.

 

 

I’ve picked the worst month of the year to start my challenge. Why? Because it’s my birthday month and this is when the brands begin releasing their autumn collections (my favourite!) I could kick myself! Still, there’s no turning back now. My daughter craftily suggested I could ask her Dad to buy me makeup instead, but a) he’d probably baulk at the prices, b) he’d have no idea about what to buy without my specification, and c) he’d endlessly remind me how much makeup I already have (sigh).

I’m doomed.

Travel makeupMy holiday travel kit – everything I need for a perfect and fast makeover.

Friday 4th August 5.30pm:

My daughter Kat and I were getting ready to go to work at 6pm when my little Japanese Spitz rescue dog, Anya, had a seizure in the kitchen. After a couple of minutes she came round and was fine, I mopped up the wee she’d left behind and carried on as normal.

Saturday 5th August 11.30pm:

I’d returned from work two and a half hours earlier, anticipating a normal Saturday night spent with my family, listening to Planet Rock and just chilling out. Anya, who was on the sofa with me, suddenly had another seizure, and fell to the floor. I informed my husband Phil that I was going to spend the night downstairs with her. Another seizure soon followed. Then another. Each time she came round quickly, having soiled herself again, and I knew I was in for a long night. At 1.30am Kat asked why I was watching one of my cheesy Hammer horror films at that hour, and I explained about Anya’s fits. Throughout the night more followed; some when I was cuddling her in my arms. Each time Anya rallied, sometimes she seemed confused, at other times she’d been frothing at the mouth. She eventually drifted off to sleep. An hour passed. I began to relax a little, then Anya woke with a start, and another seizure followed. By 8am I was exhausted, having been up all night. I’d lost count of all the fits, and Phil and Kat came downstairs to look after her while I grabbed some much needed sleep. When I eventually woke up I was very surprised when they told me everything was fine; they’d even taken Anya and our Samoyed, Skye, out for a walk. I couldn’t believe it.

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Monday 7th August, AM:

I spoke to our vet about Anya’s seizures, and he increased her Epiphen medication from a quarter of a 30mg tablet daily to half a tablet twice a day. The rescue place we’d got her from back in May had told us her epilepsy was ‘mild’ and that the low dose had kept things in check.

Anya and Morticia

Anya and our cat Morticia were buddies

 

Wednesday 9th August AM:

Having fed the pets, I took Anya and Skye out for their usual walk. They met some of their doggie friends, exchanged backside sniffs, had a little play, and we went back home. At 10.30am Anya began throwing up, projectile vomiting like something from The Exorcist. I wondered how such a small dog could produce such a large amount of puke as I went round clearing it all up. A while later Anya threw up again, this time an even larger amount. It dripped down the sofa, all over the floor – everywhere. During the course of the morning she drank at least four large bowls of water – and she couldn’t even keep that down. My first thought was gastroenteritis, as Kat had had something similar the previous year, so I went about preparing some chicken and rice for Anya’s next meal.

By 2pm Anya was no better, and the vet decided she needed an x ray. Anya had a seizure in the waiting room so the staff administered a diazepam rectal tube which made her a little groggy, but stopped the seizure in its tracks. The x ray revealed an obstruction in her stomach which required surgery. Anya was to be kept in overnight and the vet would inform us of her progress via the phone.

6PM: The vet phoned to tell us that, despite being on a ventilator for an hour after the operation (during which they found grass and other ‘objects’), Anya had ‘no brain activity’. I knew instantly what that meant, and broke down in floods of tears. The multiple seizures had proved too much, and the vet explained that even if Anya had pulled through there would be no guarantee she’d be the same dog. We’d had her for such a short space of time; the Shelter had told us she’d come over from Ireland where she’d been abused, used to produce puppies then dumped when she was of no use to anyone. Was Anya born epileptic, or had she developed it as a result of her miserable existence? I shall never know. Having had a difficult early life myself, all I’d wanted was to provide Anya with a loving home and some happiness, to show her not all humans were bad. To say I was heartbroken was an understatement.

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Sunday 13th August:

Thanks to Diazepam, Kat and Phil, I’ve somehow managed to muddle through these last few difficult days, operating on automatic pilot. I returned to work as it was better than sitting around at home moping, though I’m far from healed. Anya was the second pet we’ve lost this year – our 18 year old cat Bonnie died from cancer on – ironically – the NINTH of January.

Although rescue centres do their utmost in looking after and rehoming unwanted and abandoned pets, I have a very clouded opinion of them. Ten years ago we adopted a cat called Sparky from a local shelter, only to discover that, despite them giving him a clean bill of health, he had cancer. We had to have him put down just five months later.

Tonight, we shall light a candle in honour of the little dog who stole my heart. Anya’s appetite for attention and cuddles was insatiable. I miss her nibbling my hair, competing with Skye to see who’d squeeze through the door first, or who could run home the fastest after a walk. Phil and Kat cried at Anya’s passing, too, despite not being quite so attached. Run free, my little angel. Mummy loves you very much xx

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It’s official – I need to ‘shop my stash’ rather than clutter up my drawers with any more makeup. Below are some photos of my entire collection on which I’ll have to rely for a whole twelve months.

Best stash group photo

Good pic 1

Good pic 2

Yes, you read that right. No more makeup purchases for three hundred and sixty five days. Apart from mascara which needs replacing frequently, if I run out of a product I’ll have to improvise somehow, and I’m looking forward to the challenge! Can I do it? My husband and daughter have their doubts.

Starting in August, I’ll be posting a month-by-month diary of my new venture. I’ve already unsubscribed from various websites to make things a little easier; all those tempting Special Offers will no longer flood my inbox.

Keep reading, and wish me luck!!

 

Today my awesome daughter received two certificates from her College – one for her efforts in Health and Social Care, the other for Female Student Of The Year.

Well done, Kat – both your Dad and I are immensely proud of you and love you lots. Keep up the good work xx

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/40440306/nars-make-up-boycotted-after-cosmetics-tested-on-animals-in-china

 

This is going to be a rather short post as I’ve either a) already reviewed items in the above theme in a separate post, or b) I don’t have as many astronomy themed makeup items as I originally thought. Oops!!

Let’s start with Sleek Celestial palette. This has twelve mostly sparkly shades: Solar (rich burgundy pink), Astral Blue (self describing), Aurora (medium green), Galactic (silver), Earth Shine (starry night dark blue), Dark Matter (black),Stargaze (pale lilac shimmer), Saturn’s Ring (shimmery medium blue), Meteoric (matte hot pink), Terrestrial (matte pale green), Lunar (shimmery silver blue) and Eclipse (shimmery khaki silver grey).

Sleek Celestial 2

As with all Sleek palettes, the pigmentation and colour payoff is superb. The consistency is smooth and easy to apply although the darker shades are prone to a little fallout. The quality of these eyeshadows is such that you can get away without primer; they simply stay put. Normally, glitter eyeshadows tend to be chunky and gritty, but with Sleek the glitter is more finely milled. I do find, however, that the deeper blue shades leave a ‘stain’ (probably due to the amount of pigment in them) following removal, but that’s no biggie.

Sleek Celestial 1

I wear this palette a lot during the grey winter months, and I love it 🙂

NYX Lipstick in Mars

I’ve tried plenty of NYX round lipsticks over the years and found the majority to be cheap and nasty, with poor coverage, strange texture and an almost ‘soapy’ kind of aftertaste in some instances.

Step forward Mars, the exception. This dark nude shade has enough slip without feeling greasy, making lips feel soft and hydrated. The colour payoff is good, there’s no weird taste or smell, and I’ve repurchased on several occasions. However, the downside is that it doesn’t wear well and needs reapplying every couple of hours or so.

NYX Mars

 

MAC Lipglass in New Galaxy

I take my hat off to all those brands who introduce non conventional colours, whether it’s red eyeshadow or green lipstick. Who wants to look like the girl-next-door, anyway? Not me!

New Galaxy is a grey shade with lots of blue and pink sparkles. It feels nice and light on the lips, and can be worn alone or as a lipstick topper.

MAC New Galaxy 1

In the pic below I’m wearing New Galaxy on its own; even though my natural lip colour is quite pigmented, you can still see the effects of NG shining through:

New Galaxy on bare lips

In this next pic, I’m wearing NG on top of MAC Little Buddha lipstick. The lipstick colour appears more intense, as do the lip gloss sparkles:

New Galaxy over Little Buddha lipstick

I personally prefer wearing New Galaxy over bare lips, even though it was fun experimenting with different effects and ways of wearing it. New Galaxy is long lasting and stays put despite eating and drinking, so that’s a big plus in my book!

MAC New Galaxy 2

 

Barry M Cosmic Lights Highlighting Palette

Behind the cute holographic packaging lie six cream and powder shades: Clockwise from top left, cream pale pink, pink shimmer, cream bronze, cream pale champagne, pale silver lilac-blue (looks white in the pan), and cream baby pink.

Barry M Cosmic Lights 2

The cream shades give an ethereal kind of glow, the powders are more reminiscent of ‘princess-and-unicorns’ (hope that makes sense!) theme. This palette is great for whenever you fancy creating an out-of-this-world look, and is certainly cheaper than the high end equivalents out there.

Barry M Cosmic Lights 1

Apply to cheeks, cupid’s bow, shoulders and decolletage for the ultimate luminous finish.

Coming up in Themed Beauty Part Three – Animals (my favourite subject x)