Bowery Mural

Winter skin woes

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

About a month ago it started to get cold, proper autumnal weather. The sun is lower in the sky, the colours are orangey/red and my skin goes to pot.

It's been a few months since my first facial in August and the start of that new skincare regime. What I can tell you is that was working. WAS. Until this cold snap kicked in. Normally my skin is dry. In winter it gets even drier. The only area that doesn't get dry skin is my torso. I have a rather smooth toned torso, even if i do say so myself, thankyouverymuch. But everywhere else i get varying degrees of dry skin. Even in my hair - that's been the bain of my life since i can remember.

Back to the face. My cheeks get red blotchy patches and it looks like tiny acne/spot scars get redder int this weather. (I think it's only me that notices this). With that comes dry skin on my nose, around my lips, on my lips, down the sides of my face near the hairline and in my eyebrows. Yes, i get flaky eyebrows. That is more annoying than anything else.

About a month ago i read a blog (from someone whom a lot of people recommend for her skincare picks). Then she recommended a few products to someone else and i copied one of those products. It was meant to be pure hydration in a tube. "Well in that case i must have this miracle elixir that will end all of my dry skin woes, so that i may tip toe through winter with the dewiest of faces". Aye, i knew it wouldn't end well too...

I skipped to Boots. Dithered. Went home. Went back the next day, dithered again, and finally bought a 30ml (30 fucking mil) tube of Hydraluron hydration serum.

As the name suggests it has hyaluronic acid in it - more on that later... There's loads of science and graphs and time frames on the box, but basically, within 8 weeks it's meant to have transformed your skin into a moistened pillow of health. It's a clear gel and a little goes a long way. It feels nice putting this on my face and neck - a pea sized blob does all of that. But it's been about 4 weeks now of me using this juju and i can report that whilst it does feel nice applying it onto my parched skin after cleansing, my skin hasn't seen any marked improvements. In fact, I'd say my skin was the same as before. I won't say worse because I really do think the cold weather upsets my skin more but i would say no real noticeable improvements yet. I'm going to power through and stick with it. I'm not gonna quit you miracle gel thing, no I'm not! At £25 a tube i expected a lot more from this. I'll use it up but hardly think I'll buy it again.

Now before you start. I know that everyone has unique skin tones and types and what's good for one may not necessarily be good for the other. I'm just telling you my experience of this product.

At the same time i bought the Hydraluron, i also bought a new eye cream.

Now, here's another thing about me and my eyes. I have really sensitive eyes. I wear glasses too. I can't get contact lenses in and i only really started wearing eye make up in the past 3 years. Some products make my eyes sting. Some concealers do this, MAC moisture cover being one, some mascaras and most eye creams.

Near the start of the year I bought a La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense eye cream. It was good, great in fact, but most of all it did not irritate my eyes at all. Bonus! But after a few months use the pointed end of the tube broke off so that was the end of that. I was literally unscrewing the cap one day and the whole pointy tube came off too. I was in the market for a new one anyway. I bought a few cheap ones. They stung. So i laid off the eye cream for a few weeks. I mean i'm 35, i don't have really bad eye bags, they're not too wrinkly, but the skin around my eyes is thin and gets a bit crepey and of course, dry too. I wanted to keep them moisturised.

I decided the try another La Roche-Posay cream. I really do like that brand and it's reasonably priced and available in Boots. Although you can get it cheaper online. This time i opted the La Roche-Posay Redermic C for eyes.

This was to be the turbo charged eye cream. It's anti-ageing as well as suitable for sensitive eyes (all LRP products are good for sensitive skin). I had high hopes for this baby. I applied a few dots as instructed. It's a thicker cream than the last one and promises so much more. Helps deep wrinkles (not that i have those but you gotta strike while the iron is hot), it aids hydration and it has our old friend hyaluronic acid as well as 5% pure vitamin C in it. I mean come on ladies, 5% Vit C! Our friend, the latest beauty buzz words Hyaluronic Acid. Here's the blurb on that... 
this powerful ingredient can hold up to 1000x its weight in water, creating a plumping effect on the skin. 

Sounds great right?!

Anyway, after a few applications i thought yes, this is fine. But then midway through the day a slight sting would start to appear. My eyes began to water and that's how i knew this is not going to work for me. Grrrrr. Such a disappointment. AND the skin around my eyes appears to have gotten a bit drier. Now that of course could be the turn in the weather.

Oh but i nearly forgot. The end of the little tube is a pointy plastic thing. If you have a tube of eye cream you'll know what i mean. It means you can squeeze out a little at a time and not waste any product. But the end of that tube has a crack in it. This means that the cream is clogging in there and turning yellow. The eye cream has a slight yellow tone to it anyway, but when it clogs in that crack and dries it's turning a dark yellow colour and doesn't look nice.
the clogged tube!
This was an expensive eye cream too at just shy of £20 so I'd expect more. I'll try to keep using it if the eye irritation doesn't get too much. After that I'll go back to the less expensive but better for me Hydraphase Intense. It as more of a cool thinner cream/gel. Much better for my little peepers. We gotta keep them happy.

Angela x


What colour do you blush?

Monday, 26 November 2012

I've had a long weekend off work. It's been bliss. It'll be the last holiday until the Christmas holidays so i chilled in the only real way i know. I went to the cinema and i did some Christmas shopping.

Today i decided to head into town to break that back of the Christmas shopping. £80 later in Boots and a visit to Superdrug and i was done. Of course I was lured in by their 3 for 2 deals!

In the end I resisted the Superdrug 3 for 2 offer on make up and only bought one product. As an aside I should say i live in a small town. Well, a big town, a small city. Our shops are quite dated, except we've recently seen an 'Apple' shop open in the shape of Stormfront - a premium Apple reseller and our Superdrug has undergone a make over. So much so that they've finally got the Accesorize make up range in and the Essie nail polishes that southern girls have been going on about for months.

Anyway, in this new layout the make up stands have been tidied up and renewed - phew, they were a bit dirty looking. The new, clean stands obviously caught my eye. Especially the Sleek Make Up stand. All shiny, new and fully stocked! Jesus wept! FULLY STOCKED. This has never happened.

I was drawn to the set of 3 blushes that have been available since summer but never really in stock here. They also have the PPQ x Sleek palettes, blushes, lip stains, eye shadow palettes in all colours and it's very reasonably priced AND included in the 3 for 2 offer. But like i say i resisted.

What i did buy was this... a Sleek Make Up blush in the shade Pixie Pink (£4.49).
Sleek Pixie Pink blush - looks pretty full on
It looks pretty full on bright baby pink in the palette. Don't be scared though because applied with a light touch and you get that pretty 'been out in the cold too long' autumn/winter blush on your cheeks. Delicate and really pretty. It's really pigmented and a few swooshes of a brush gives you enough for a delicate pink cheek.

I've got a MAC cream blush in the shade So Sweet, So Easy and it applies much the same colour. I haven't used that for a while because to be honest i dipped a brush in it to apply it and it got all bits of fluff. I've managed to clean it though.
MAC (left), Sleek (right) 
I'd say the Sleek is a more delicate pink and the MAC is more of a blue based pink. A dark Barbie pink.

I've swatched them lightly on my arm (you won't ever get a close up make up picture of my face!). I can't wait to wear this tomorrow :)
Sleek pixie pink (left), MAC So Sweet, So Easy (right)
I'm quite a fan of Sleek Make Up but honestly, the empty (slightly dirty) stands have always put me off. Now that they're all new and fully stocked, i might head back to Superdrug and get the Storm eye shadow palette. I have the All Natural one already and the colours are great for a barely there look.

Angela x


When I Give Blood...

Saturday, 24 November 2012 never goes to plan.

I never thought I'd be saying this but i got a letter last week from The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service. A few weeks ago i headed to the Albert Hall in Stirling for what was to be my second time giving blood. I honestly don't know why it took me until last year to actually do it.

I waited in the queue, got checked in and sat in the seating area waiting until they called my name. The hall was busy with people all there doing their bit. I felt a sense of pride that i was doing this. I'm not a scaredy cat but needles aren't my favourite thing.

My name was called and i was taken to a make-shift booth (an area with a curtain around it). The nurse went over my questionnaire. It was sent to me in the post so had all of my details already printed on it, with a few other sentences that made no sense to me but did to the nurse. After here double checking with me that i'd filled it in properly she got a senior nurse over to explain...

After my first giving blood session last November, i'd received a letter to say that due to a technicality the couldn't use my blood. It had gotten contaminated somewhere between my vein and the testing centre.

This time the senior nurse informed me that due to the above they only take a couple of test tubes (instead of the bags) of blood and get it tested again to make sure everything was ok. It's normal she said. Ok I replied, but the worrier in me had started to reappear.

Anyway, i was sat at another seating area and a nurse came over, stuck the needle in my arm and promptly took 4 test tubes of my blood. She labelled them, marked them up and bagged them, then sent me on my way. I was feeling somewhat deflated. I realised at that point that i wanted to have that feeling of doing something good, to help others. That's my real reason for doing this, to help others. To do my bit.

Last week a letter came through. I recognised it because they type them in comic sans!!!.... I know!!

see! comic sans letter... 
I opened it and once again it read that my blood had somehow been spoiled again(!!) and that this time i wouldn't be called to give blood again within 2 years!! TWO YEARS. My heart fell. Literally fell into my stomach. WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?!!

(Interlude: apologies for the overuse of exclamation marks).

The actual words are that my 'samples taken are showing a false reaction. I can, however, reassure you that extended detailed test have not confirmed the screening test result, and we can therefore conclude that this is a false reaction, due to the extremely sensitive nature of our test systems'. I was left feeling really really really disappointed but kind of reassured by their serious letter that had been typed in comic sans... hhmm.
Aw man. It really knocked me again. I want to do some good. Something that people will benefit from. This is how my feelings started when I ventured off the Nepal (go back to the start of this blog if you want to read that story!).

So who knows... out of some minor disappointment, a new adventure may rise up. But if you can stand it, please do give blood. It's relatively painless and a great thing to do. Please.

What should I do next?

Angela x


#NOTD Ange does Chanel Malice

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Chanel Malice. Part of the winter range this colour is everything I'd hoped OPI Every Month is Oktoberfest.
argh, flash!
You might think it's a bit like Essie Skirting The Issue from a previous post, and you might be right. But this is enough to be different and different enough that i forked out £18 for a bottle. I think the shimmer is the difference. It's red shimmer. It says 'christmas party' sparkle to me.

weird finger position shot
It's deep dark, plummy, red with the most gorgeous shimmer in it. The good thing about this is that in daylight it still leans dark plum/purple/wine and not the brownish tint that i feel OPI does.

I used to struggle with Chanel's thinner brush. Yes, I'm talking about you Chanel Mimosa! But the brush on both this bottle and my beloved Rouge Carat seem to work with ease. Perhaps I'm just getting better at application.

The formula on this was great. No runny mess, no gloopy thick stuff, just right. As ever my pictures are OPI nail envy base coat, two coats of polish and I don't bother with a top coat as i like to change my polish often. It lasted a good 3 days without the topcoat and only minor signs of wear of the ends. You can find more amazing swatches over at Temptalia
Perfect deep dark red party nails
hands look weird, don't they?!
I love this colour. It's a proper classy dark red/wine shimmer shade. It's like a darker version of my other love, Rouge Carat from last years winter collection. With a little black dress, I'll sure to be swapping between these two through this party season!

Angela x


UCI Track World Cup, Glasgow

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

I'd waited on this weekend to arrive for months. Only a few months mind, but it felt like longer. This weekend I attended the UCI Track World Cup cycling event at the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow's east end. Oh man i was sooooo excited for it.
Sunrise from the railway bridge in Stirling
I headed on the train early to catch the very handy free shuttle bus from Buchanan Street bus station to the venue. I haven't done this journey so wasn't sure how long it would take. Turns out it was only about 15-20 minutes as there was some traffic. On arriving in the area I remembered it well. It's been a couple of years since I've been to the football at Celtic Park. The velodrome sits directly across the London Road from Celtic Park. Together they are a formidable sight. The Emirates Arena houses the velodrome incidentally.

I leaped off the bus and headed up the staircase where we were greeted by cheery 'gamesmaker' types at the front door in nice pink jackets. A welcome surprise on this sunny but chilly morning.

Once inside the foyer area it wasn't that big for a venue that will see thousands come through it's door at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. But hey it was was fairly quiet. In the middle there was a refreshment concession that served drinks, pizza, hot dogs, popcorn(?) and crisps. Thankfully Golden Wonder (good choice). It wasn't too badly priced either i thought. £1.20 for a 500ml bottle of Cola, £1 for a small tea/coffee. Pretty decent. The hot dogs however were £4.50 - i don't eat them so wasn't sure if this was expensive or not. they were pretty huge though.

I headed into the velodrome and wow... First thing that struck me was how small it was.  I mean, I'm not sure what I expected but the track was small to me. Perhaps it was because the cyclists were flying around it at speed that made it seem small.
iPhone Panorama of the venue
I found my seat (a great seat on the start finish straight) about 4 rows from the front. The place started to fill up, which made it seem hotter than it's 26 degrees. There were a variety of spectators gathered. Mums, dads, kids, babies, boys, girls. The people I was sat beside were pretty friendly too, bonus. A few Twitter exchanges and I managed to spy @Pyllon busy doing some work in the track centre.

The action was happening at a pace. Not too long to wait between races. Good stuff. The daytime session was the qualifying for later rounds. Men's, Women's sprints, keirin, omnium and lots of different nationalities.

The noise rose when a Team GB rider appeared. It was amazing to see competitive cycling up close like this. And Olympic and World champions among them to boot! Wonderful.

Behind my seating zone was the BBC commentary position hosting Chris Boardman and Hugh Porter - the cycling commentary voices I've grown up with. High up to the right hand side of the start straight was the BBC TV commentary position. It's not all glamorous. Scaffolding! In the seat was Jonathan Edwards and Craig McLean.

On track Laura Trott was going through rounds of her Omnium. She's currently the World Champion at that. Jason Kenny was safely through his round of the men's keirin which was see him race later at night. Can't wait.

In the middle - track centre - i spied the GB area. They were all there. The riders, the coaches and the guys who work behind the scenes fixing the bikes, going through each step with precision. I needed a toilet break so headed up the back and there i spied David Brailsford himself. I'm not that bold as to ask for a picture with them so instead, what you have here is the back of his distinctive head! :)

He really is a legend, not only masterminding several Olympic champions but also, this year, Britain's Tour De France winning Team Sky. Wowsers.

Back to the action and i couldn't stop taking pictures all the while conscious of the fact the Instagram really runs your iPhone battery down low. I had to ration it's use. The racing for the daytime finished around 4.30pm so i headed back on the bus into Glasgow to grab a bit to eat and charge my phone. Thankfully i found myself in Eat which had both a plug and a panini to see me through.

Back to the evening session. I had chosen different seats. The back straight this time. Right in the middle and in the front row. AMAZING. I kid you not, you could feel the backdraft whooshing past when the men's scratch race was taking place. The phone and camera took a battering too!
I even caught the aftermath of Jason Kenny's fall, which he tweeted later on!! Thanks Jason!

Ouch. Jason Kenny after his fall in the Keirin heats
I'd decided i didn't want to hang around Glasgow on a dark November Saturday night so i left the venue around 9.40pm to get the bus back in time for the 10.18pm train. I'd be home around 11.15pm. Sorted. Or rather it was until the Stagecoach bus driver got us lost so much we almost ended up on the M8 motorway going east. Thankfully a passenger put him right and I found myself jumping off the bus and sprinting down North Hanover Street to catch the train. It was 10.16pm, and a long shot but i tried. I got to the station and missed the train by 2 minutes. I could've cried, real tears too. Grrrrrrr to the stupid driver. I had a half hour wait on the next one. Driving home the stars and planets in the sky were so clear. Driving into the village I caught my very first shooting star. It was bright and cheered me up again. I was so knackered when i got home that I fell asleep in anticipation of the next day.

Sunday saw me rise earlier, and drive to Glasgow this time. I got there dead on 9am and parked in Buchanan Galleries, £3 all day on a Sunday, and I wouldn't need to worry about catching a train later. The bus took us to the venue in short time as there was less traffic. Caught the bus and headed into the track. This time it was a little empty. Only to be expected. But the action was just beginning and it was the heats of the women's keirin and men's sprints. The big guns. Sadly Jason Kenny wasn't racing due to last nights crash but young Philip Hindes was. As were Jess Varnish, Becky James and Laura Trott.

Philip Hindes after a little meeting with the boards - ouch, again.
The omnium time trial (women's) saw Laura Trott do a superb ride and immediately after she got off her bike, she almost threw up over in the waiting area. After a wee lie down for 10 minutes she was back up and on a col down/warm up for the final race that would come later. What a champ!

A little check on Twitter and the @TrackWorldCup account told me that the man himself was in the building. Sir Chris Hoy of course! He was interviewed in the track centre by Dougie Vipond but not before they played a film of all of his Olympic and Commonwealth medals over the years. It was really emotional but great to be reminded of them. And he looked so young in 2004!

Sir Chris and the Deacon Blue drummer...
As each race passed the atmosphere grew as the velodrome filled up. We were now on the afternoon (and sadly the final) session of an amazing weekend. I snapped away photo after photo and soaked it all in. then came the final race in the women's omnium. Could Laura Trott snatch victory from the Australian girl Ankudinoff? You bet she could! Brilliant rider she is.
Trott, before her final race of the weekend. So tiny, but so strong!
Laura Trott receives her Gold medal.
Next up was the men's sprint. Germany V Germany. who would win? Would it be he of the gigantic thighs, Robert Foerstemann or would it be Stefan Boetticher?.... It was Boetticher, surprisingly! I ventured around to the bend to try to catch a few pics on the ramp. Man it was steep. This picture kind of shows it...
Foerstemann in front, Boetticher behind
Now it was time for me to head home after a thoroughly brilliant weekend. I was on cloud nine after my first live cycling event. I'll be back. But I won't go before telling you who else was there, at the end of my row... Redbull trickster himself, Danny Macaskill. I didn't have the guts to go and ask for a photo but plenty of kids did. He was very accommodating too. Nice to see. He seemed really quite shy at one point when Dougie Vipond was over hassling him for a wee interview. Head in hands and beetroot red face at one point. Wee shame.
Danny Macaskill, with Sir Chris Hoy in the background in the BBC commentary position
If I had to choose I'd pick rows D to H of any of the zones. Front row was great but the metal railing around the barrier got in the way when snapping away.

Between each race and the riders coming to the start, a musical soundtrack was played. Good pumping tunes. My only complaint was that it could've been a little bit louder to get the crowd going more. Nonetheless the atmosphere all weekend was great.

I had the best weekend. The volunteers were nice and helpful. The venue was really great. The racing was fab. And I can only imagine what the atmosphere will be like at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. I for one cannot wait. Thanks to everyone involved in that weekend. And to the @TrackWorldCup tweeter, great tweets. And to British Cycling for my heavily male orientated members goodie bag! Anyone want some Adidas mens shower gel?!... haha.

Angela x

Nephews, Brothers

Thursday, 15 November 2012

I haven't mentioned those boys in a while. You know them. My nephews, Connor 3 and Ryan 6.

I popped in to see them tonight after work and town. They were all upstairs are Dad is about to start painting their rooms. You see they've been busy with paints and pencils. Mostly over the walls next to their beds. It is a mess. A funny mess though.

Tonight their mum and my dad were cleaning the rooms out in preparation for the decorating. Ryan started helping and Connor was playing with an old toy laptop of Ryan's.

He was sitting at a little desk and pressing the buttons. "Look Angie I done a number". "Look Granda it's a B"... then ...

"Look Ryan I did a 5". Ryan runs over to where he was sitting. Looked at the tiny VTech screen and said "Oh yeah, cool!", patted Connor's back and gave his head a little kiss.

I melted.

My Nephews. The best ever. It's a pleasure to watch them grow and have so much love inside of them for each other.

Signing off: Proud Aunty Angie x


"It's a very powerful thing to be quiet and collect your thoughts"

Monday, 12 November 2012

Quiet. Shy. Introvert. Mouse. The list of words to describe myself could go on.

Last week I was put into a situation where I had to explain my quietness, because someone can't handle the fact that I don't want to tell all and sundry what I did at the weekend or what I had for my breakfast that morning in general chit chat (it was a bit more than that but i'm trying to tell you in simple terms).

I felt like my quiet nature was for the first time being used against me in a way to justify the way I was being acted towards. In a bad way.

As a natural born worrier this totally played on my mind all weekend to the point I was beginning to question myself and my nature and my whole being. Not good.

Then I remembered an article I'd read via a link posted on Twitter. (There's no point in me linking it here because they've taken it down but it was a excerpt from a book on introverts by Susan Cain. The article was entitled Why The World Needs Introverts (I believe she did a TED talk about this too called The Power of Introverts). Google it. no wait, here's the link.

Anyway, I'm fed up being classed as hard work just because I don't engage in certain conversations, or give you every single detail of the weekend just passed or that I may not be the one with the quick funny retorts in a chat. That is not me and never has been me.

I am Angela. I am an introvert. I'm also shy when I don't know you. I'll never come up to you and chat freely if i've never met you. However i will listen if you come and chat to me. I mean really listen, not that pretend listening that say an extrovert might do when they've not got a clue what you've just said, they're just planning their next in to your conversation. That kind of listening I can do. I'm never going to be the life and soul of any party but I really do like to have fun.

When I get to know you I can be as chatty as the next person, with you, one on one. I respond well to people who are genuine and take the time to get to know me by not giving up on me after the first encounter. And most of all I am a good person.

Yes, i'm quiet. Yes, I could also be labelled as shy. But don't ever call me aloof or grumpy or hard work because you don't know how to talk to me.

“It’s a very powerful thing to be quiet and collect your thoughts.” Susan Cain.

I had to say my piece there.

Angela x


Fishtail braid and curls

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Last weekend i decided i was going to try curling my hair with my new curling wand. It's an Enrapture Totem styler (currently on sale in certain places). I bought mine half price from Next online - good deal.

Anyway, yes i do have very nice naturally curly hair but it's the kind of curls that are really tight at the sides and front and falls into big waves at the back. And although I really do love my curly hair, I wanted to try that uniform big blow dry type of loose curl that sort of just hangs there and you can swoosh around. We all love a bit of swooshing don't we girls.

I washed my hair and let it air dry overnight. Sunday morning I straightened the hair (I have to do this first or it ends up a pure frizz ball). An hour later I set about it with the curling wand. It sort of worked - there are no pics. By the end of the day my own little tight curls started to appear around my hairline, well it was a drizzly day here in central Scotland.

On Monday i curled it some more and this time it was better. There's still no pics though. Duh! It sat well and i think i got the hang of this curling malarky.

On Tuesday I decided to try a fishtail braid what with my hair now becoming a little bit less clean than it had been the previous days. I managed to do it pretty quickly and so glad I tried it. It sat perfectly and managed to get me a few compliments - result!
first time fishtail braid - result!
This time i did manage to take a few snaps. They're a bit grainy due to the front facing iPhone camera less than perfect picture quality. (what a mouthful that was).

I also snapped this cute little curl that my hair managed to find its way to hang in during the day. love it.

Angela x


#NOTD Every Month is Oktoberfest by OPI

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Quick NOTD post.

I bought this Every Month is Oktoberfest by OPI about a month ago and decided it was time to give it a go.

Every month is Oktoberfest (flash used)
In the bottle it leans towards a shimmery looking purple rust colour (not my bag), but i'd seen swatches of this and thought it was a good alternative to the wine stains that are out just now for autumn. Look at the photo above. It looks like a lush wine shimmer. That was under lamplight and a flash. Deceiving...

It applied really well. I could've gotten away with one coat but all pics (iPhone pics btw) are 2 coats and no top coat.

close up of the shimmer
On the nail it goes between a dark blue toned purple with dark burgundy shimmers to just plain dark brownish metallic (Don't you just love my descriptions?!). I'm not sure exactly what colour it's meant to be but in plain daylight (no sun) to me it was a dark (leaning towards rusty brown) burgundy colour. When the light shined on it it sparkled a little and the wine tones showed through more.

Overall I don't think i liked it on my nails. I'm sure some people love this colour. However, the formula was great as is usual from OPI. If it hadn't been so rusty looking in daylight then i'd change my mind. I prefer the straight up wine colours out like Essie Skirting the Issue or Bahama Mama, also from Essie.

Angela x