July Monthly Blog Round-up

Turns out I’m still figuring out how to get my eye makeup to show up under my glasses. I’ve tried black eyeliner on the top and sparkly gold colours on my lids and lower lash line. This is the amazing result – oh. I’m going for masses of metallic blue and green liner next time, maybe a bit of pink!

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 17.47.33

Ordered from Zad’s in Chorlton as I really fancied some veggie junk food. It did not disappoint – OMG it was lush!

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 17.41.53

I reviewed the Pixi Strobe and Sculpt palette. It came out at just the right time when I needed to restock a few things, which all happened to be included in this palette! Read my review here.

37186869_10156446575532487_8069751131183513600_n

Not so great timing was finding this yellow colour corrector by Nip and Fab which you can mix with foundation that’s too orange – when I’d just thrown out three foundation which were, yup, too orange. Still, useful for that in the future and I can use it under lighter coverage foundation to tone down any redness I have.

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 17.43.32

I found some really nice firm tofu called Toofoo. It’s great grilled with a coating of chilli oil or some BBQ sauce.

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 17.42.46

When I heard that LUSH were releasing a solid foundation called Slap Stick and that it came in 40 shades with three undertones, I had to try it. See what I thought here.

37321572_10156454311892487_5753068835695493120_n

After half a year of summer I’d gotten a bit fed up coconut water or almond milk based smoothies. I chucked a load of blueberries and raspberries and water into a blender and blended thoroughly, then I added around 10 ice cubes and pulsed to create a slushy . It tasted wonderful!

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 17.43.18

I bought some amazing unicorn inspired brushes and realised I couldn’t fit them into any makeup bags I own. I saw this sparkly pencil case in Tesco and they fit great…Now that I’ve sawn off the giant pointy bit at the end. I actually think they look better now and are easier to use.

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 17.44.13

I have combination hair, y’know oily roots, meh mid-lengths and frizzy ends. I can’t tell you how many pre-wash treatments or overnight treatments I’ve used and two thirds of my hair LOVED them but my roots looked like I’d been at a festival – for a year. So I thought I’d share these two products that have solved the need for all of that, read the post here.

38085350_10156484846232487_4851763102452023296_n

This has been my fave outfit since the heatwave broke and I can stand to wear trainers – rather gladiator sandals – again. Doing outfit flatlays is hard! I miss Polyvore.

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 17.43.53

Chrissie

 

 

The Perfect Shampoo & Conditioner For Combination Hair

38085350_10156484846232487_4851763102452023296_n

Everyone has heard of ‘combination skin’ but many people also have ‘combination hair’ too. Y’know, greasy at the roots, average or coarse in the mid-lengths and dry or fluffy toward the ends. Most generic shampoos for greasy hair strip roots of ANY oil but pre-shampoo conditioning masks or oil based leave-in-conditioners can often only be used on ends. It can feel like a crazy balancing act with too many specific products, time and money.

Here’s my hero duo…

Faith in Nature – Brave Botanicals, Shampoo (£4.50, 250ml) Shampoo which cleanses greasy roots, while Demask rose and Argan tame frizz and replenish important oils, to give hair strength and shine. Certified vegan and Cruelty Free Internal/BUAV approved. This also quite kind to coloured hair I’ve noticed.

Noughty Intensive Care, Leave-in Conditioner (£6.99, 150ml) One of the very few leave-in-conditioners which doesn’t leave roots feeling flat or heavy. Argan oil, Shea Butter and Natural Source Vitamin E leaves hair naturally balanced and healthy. Oh, and I’ve just noticed this conditioner has won multiple awards and is certified vegan.

If your hair is long and combination like mine, this duo will reduce your shower time dramatically and save the strength in your arms for styling!

Chrissie

 

 

Pixi – Strobe and Sculpt Palette

Pixi, Strobe and Sculpt Palette £24 – designed by beauty blogger Maryam Maquillage – is perfect for when you want to glow on the go! Practical for when you are travelling and also a simple way to get into highlighting, contouring and strobbing (which is subtly highlighting EVERYTHING – even with contour – so you look rather ethreal) as there are instructions on the packaging of how to use everything.

I wanted a more golden high-lighter/strobber than the one I had and I also needed a new contour and basic face powder as I dropped and smashed both of them. I tend to improvise by using eyeshadow or even lipstick as blush and never thought I’d find everything in the one palette! The mineral powders deliver a surprising amount of pigment so I only the lightest sweep is needed. I get the feeling this will last a very ong time.

I’ve tested this on my pale inside arm to give more contrast, and to show you the shades individually. I love the warm tone to this palette but it also has a contour which is more grey than brown, giving a very realistic shadow tone.

Not quite sure why all of the contour isn’t showing right up to my ear (above photo) so I took one in shadow (below). To give you an idea of what is real and what isn’t: The contour which carries on downward toward my mouth is my natural contour. I have a long slim face, with very high cheek bones but really chubby cheeks!

This palette is going to reduce my getting-ready-time so much as everything is all together and has similar textures and application methods. After using all of the palette my skin looks more glowing and natural, than if I’d have just used a light foundation!

Rating 5/5

Monthly Round-up June

Style

img_3537

Find this in a pile of the Bloke’s old clothes and ‘adopted it’.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.16.30

36465363_10156419316857487_4268244305837031424_n

I finally found two dresses, that hide my pizza handles; are a practical but un-frumpy length (at least for me) and aren’t too prom-dressy. Both from EMP.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.51.03

When you can’t be arsed hiding your natural resting bitch face, ha! This Casual Urban Summer outfit felt surprisingly cool (before the heatwave) and also worked well with gladiator sandals for casual evenings.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.53.18

I’ve been trying to find sunglasses like these very old ones but haven’t been having much luck, as I guess they are very early-2000’s in style. I’m also learning how to take selfies with a point and shoot camera…I need more practice.

Food and Drink

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.13.33

Someone gave us an Aloe plant about a year ago and this is the first time that I used it in a drink. It tastes so bitter but if you only use half a finger, somehow that tartness goes away when you mix it with anything sweet, like perfectly ripe strawberries.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.21.45

The Bloke has bringing me veggie koftas by Gosh from the ‘posh’ Tesco in Didsbury. I don’t always have enough energy to make and fry my own falafel or to get to the deli before they close so these are a great alternative and last for ages in the fridge.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.15.55

We bought some chilli seeds around two months ago and now we have this lovely gangly thing. In the morning it raises it’s leaves and then bends toward the sun in an arch throughout the day. Just after sundown, it lowers it’s leaves again and stays still. I’ve just pollinated it, with it’s own flowers but I can’t see any yellow pollen so I have no idea if it worked and we will get chilli’s.

Beauty

36223479_10156402917542487_640816503611981824_n

Hempz, Herbal range are some of the best products I’ve ever used to style my crazy, frizzy natural hair so they were a joy to review.

32736382_10156312314292487_6603196460194332672_n

These three are the most borrow-able items in my blokes bathroom and they smell great too so I thought I’d review them in Pinching My Blokes Skincare.

Lifestyle

img_3488_facetune_28-06-2018-19-11-34

I was offered a free star map from Modern Map Art and chose to get one done for my Dad for Fathers Day. Here’s my review if you want to know more.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.16.08

I found this, which made me laugh as it was so appropriate at the time ^_^

gotham_season_4_cast_5k_2017-3840x2400

I’ve nearly finished series 5 of Gotham. It has it’s usual gangster slant and a new intelligent baddy for young Bruce. They’ve added more of a horror element this series and also the violence is less comic book and just plain graphic. I’m not a big fan of either of the above. Poison Ivy and Butch aren’t pictured here, probably for good reason, so as not to spoil the surprise of how they look.

I made this using the Geek Alphabet created by The Nifty Nerd. Such a great idea!

Chrissie

Hair Styling Essentials from Hemp

Finding beauty products that aren’t animal tested is fairly easy these days but finding cruelty free hair styling products – especially one’s which work on natural, coarse, wavy hair – is almost impossible.

So I was thrilled to get a chance to try some of Hempz Herbal hair styling range, which include nourishing hemp seed oil and also smell so good, that if they were a cocktail, I’d be ordering three of it.

Instant Dry Shampoo

This changed my hair from greasy, split mess to fairytale-like tresses. I just spray it on (with no powder residue) and gently brush my hair through with a paddle brush with thick plastic bristles. My hair looks clean and shiny and smells of pineapples!

Rating 5/5

Workable Hairspray Medium Hold

I have a love hate relationship with hairspray; I love that it holds my wild hair in place but hate that it makes  tangled mess when I try to brush it out. Hempz hairspray is tough on holding a style but fairly easy to brush out and leaves hair feeling soft and looking shiny. Then there’s that uplifting pineapple scent again, so you don’t even have to leave the room for a moment, after you’ve used it. I wouldn’t say this could hold a large volume of hair in a gravity-defying style but then it is only supposed to be ‘medium hold’.

Rating 5/5

Flexible Styling Sculpt

My fringe is a cartoonishly-big, frizzy canopy when freshly washed but using this made having a fringe enjoyable, rather than a chore for the first time, ever! I can absent mindedly shove it into a quiff off my face if the weather is too hot and then just spread it out again into smooth waves when I want. If I want a glam look, I can sweep it into a low side parting and it just stays there, looking effortless. It’s also useful as a curl cream if there are unruly strands that hair oil cannot shape and tame. Just for example: Here is my hair before I’ve oiled it, with the front strand covered in Flexible Styling Sculpt and gently twisted.

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

The Body Shop, Drops of Glow Lustre Finish Creator – Illuminating

The Body Shop, really?

I avoided the brand for years when it got purchased by animal testing L’Oreal but now it’s been bought by Natura Cosmeticos (the largest beauty producer in Brazil) I’ve started to tentativley buy from them again. Natura Cosmeticos use natural ingredients that are cruelty-free (as are their finished products) and sustainably sourced. They also pledge to now reduce the carbon footprint of their brands and stores and do not sell to China.

The Body Shop, Drops of Glow Lustre Finish Creator – Illuminating (£12, 15ml)

I wanted an illuminating product that could be worn under foundation and patted over it as a subtle highlight on cheekbones and collar bone. I use a medium-full coverage ELF foundation because it’s one of the few foundations that actually matches my skin tone and stays put. Unfortunately, it also makes my skin look totally matte so I thought this would be perfect to give it a lift.

Without foundation

Gives a very sweaty gym bunny look – next!

Under foundation

Gives my matte foundation and new lease of life. I looked glowy and healthy, even when I applied powder. Unfortunately I had to apply bronzing because my face was radiating so much white light, it looked too pale and also like I was sickly and sort of clammy.

Unfortunately this is just too pinky/cool for my skin tone. If I used too much, I could easily be heading down the yellow brick road into Tin Man territory. But pale girls could totally carry this off for an ethereal look, I’m sure.

Durabilty wasn’t great. I noticed that after around three hours of hot, humid weather, my amazing wear-proof foundation was gathering in my pores, in my (ahem) lines and literally sliding off my face.

Under foundation

As a highlighter on cheek bones, nose and chin

This is a winner when applied sparingly, as it’s sheeny and glowy, rather than obviously sparkly. You can build it up though to have more impact and it stayed on in the club. I didn’t expect that!

Over all 

I get that The Body Shop has these ‘drops’ to mix with your foundation to make it lighter or darker or for a strobing effect but I think the names of these products are a little OTT; as if the longer the tittle – the better the product. This one is a liquid highlighter basically. I like the glass bottle and pipette as you can apply directly to face or sponge with no mess. Sadly, it just wasn’t versatile enough for me.

Rating 3.5/5

❤ Chrissie ❤

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Is B. Pure Micellar Water Any Good?

In the past I’ve used my fair share of toners that stripped my skin of any natural oils or gentler one’s which didn’t remove any dirt. Cleansers that efficiently removed dirt and makeup but needed to be thoroughly rinsed off. A pain in the arse at 2.00am when my tired ass needs to get to bed.

I now have a bottle of B. Pure Micellar Water and cotton pads on my bedside table; this way I can melt away dirt, makeup and balance my skin, in bed! I can then apply a night moisturiser or just leave my skin to breathe. When I wake up my skin isn’t paper dry or flushed and sensitive.

My only problem is that when I applied it in the morning and didn’t moisturise (I thought the oil in the micellar water would be enough and wasn’t planning on wearing foundation) my skin felt slightly tacky for hours. I ended up applying a light moisturiser anyway in order to fix the feeling.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Melts away all traces of dirt and makeup
  • Refreshes and balances
  • Soothes

Cons

  • Oddly tacky
  • Doesn’t mean you can skip moisturiser

Chrissie

Murad Essential-C Day Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 30

31093398_10156247969077487_8486190924796600121_n

Murad Essential-C Day Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (£60 50ml) combines, vitamin C for radiance and firmness, antioxidants to shield skin from environmental damage and  sun protection against UVA and UVB rays.

If you are anything like me, you might have cringed, just reading £60 never mind spending it. Here’s why I did a) My skin needs all of the technical and biological help it can get b) I ALWAYS forget to wear suncream on my face c) When I do remember to apply some generic one that’s around the house, my makeup slides off within the hour d) As I’ve hit my mid-thirties my skin has become a lot dryer to the point where it makes the best foundation look like cement on application.

Pro’s

  • Non greasy
  • Doesn’t have an obvious suncream scent
  • Makes skin look naturally radiant, even under medium-thick coverage foundation
  • Keeps skin moisturised all day
  • A little goes a long way

Con’s

  • If I’m going to pay £60 I either want more product or a fabulous looking jar
  • Too heavy for oily or combination skin
  • Not an all-in-one product. You’ll need to use a separate primer after this if you want your makeup to last in a hot club/at the gym etc.

Note:

For the golden skinned or the old-school tan lovers out there, please don’t be put off by SPF 30. If you are out in the sun for hours your skin will noticeably thank you for protecting it (especially as you age) and SPF does not mean total sun block so you will still tan, even on days with light cloud.

Chrissie

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

What is it?

Don’t let the very specific tittle put you off, Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (£35 200ml) gives your skin a helping hand with cell turnover and hydration to reveal smoother, more radiant skin.

How does it work?

It uses gentle Salicylic acid (BHA), Lactic and Glycolic acids (AHA’s) to dissolve dead skin cells. AHAs are water soluble and do not penetrate very deep into the skin of the person, while BHAs are oil soluble and often do penetrate much deeper into the skin, even past the oil barrier of the face. AHAs are good for eliminating dead skin cells on the surface that are caused by sun damage. The oil solubility of BHAs make it better suited for clearing up clogged pores deep in the skin, so that they can be removed.

Jojoba beads are also used to exfoliate and to boost hydration.

My skin type

I have high maintenance and very indecisive skin. Flakey, dry and oily. I seem to have a very quick cell turnover but the cells just build up (because they stick to the natural oils) instead of shedding to reveal the new skin underneath. Basically, I’d make a terrible snake. I also have a collagen disorder thanks to Hypermobilty Syndrome which means I have less collagen in some places but more in others, thanks to acne scarring in my teens and 20’s. As a result, my cheeks have ended up with a very dimpled, orange peel effect going on. Gimme the Pollyfiller, now!

Verdict

This is one of the most effective cleansers I’ve ever used. The beads are natural so no damage to the environment and are incredibly fine so a little bit really does make a big difference. I’ve been using this three times a week as my skin really needs it. I wouldn’t say I have very sensitive skin but it can go red easily when massaged too much using harsh cleansers and soap. Even though this contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate it is still very gentle and does not irritate my skin or strip it’s natural oil barrier.

My skin feels incredibly soft and looks surprisingly smoother and more radiant. It also means that my serum and moisturiser can actually sink into my pores now and foundation just glides on without looking dry or dull. I’m actually not bothering with my medium-full coverage foundation as much, even on nights out.

Honestly, after four weeks of using this, I looked in the mirror and did a little happy dance!

Rating 5/5

Chrissie