Monthly Roundup – August

I’ve taken screen shots from my Instagram to remind me, and show you what I’ve been up to this month.

Skincare and Haircare

I cut my curly hair using tips from Brad Mondo and tips from various natural hair vloggers to style my 2C curls.

I changed my contraception so got quite a few hormonal spots and this Body Shop Tea Tree, Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner was invaluable; as was The Ordinary, Lactic Acid which very gently and naturally exfoliates.

Now it’s the end of August and my skin has settled so I’m using Neal’s Yard Remedies Orange Flower Toner and Orange Flower Moisturiser everyday to keep my skin all glowy and nourished (along with the The Ordinary Lactic Acid twice a week).

Food, glorious food!

Me and my bloke spent our Tesco vouchers on Pizza Express (who will be going into liquidation next month apparently) and order two ‘new’ veggie pizzas and all of the salad.

To take advantage of the governments ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme we went to Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant. Amazing!

I’ve gotten back into the fake meat brand Vivera and have been making simple stir-fries. Like these Vivera Shwarma Kebab strips with rice and pea and sweet corn and Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce.

The hot weather made really reduced my appetite so these mezze/tapas style bowls were great to nibble on.

Style

I’ve had purchasing a Nirvana tee at the back of my mind for decades and this month I found an official pale pink one. Cute and grungy!

I got sick of buying summer shoes that were either too flat and bad for my shitty joints or too heavy or that flew off my feet going down stairs. I bit the bullet and bought Crocs. I actually think these look pretty bad-ass as they remind me of late 80’s/early 90’s street style. Here’s my full review of Crocs.

I still think the simplest thing to wear is a maxi dress. Hides a ton of sins and all you have to choose are shoes and then a jacket/cardigan for evening.

Lifestyle

In the crazy hot weather I’ve been wearing these sandals from Newlook, drinking Rockstar blueberry energy drink, using this light and fruity perfume from Eden and ( even with my limited concentration span) flew through My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

The households charity shop donations for the second quarter of the year: A crazy wide pair of linen trousers, a face scrub you have to mix from powder (I managed to spill the first pot everywhere), vest I’m now too big for, too small jeans, a teeny-tiny dress from Japan, shoes which I’ve had over a decade and worn out.

Tips on How Not To Be Constantly Late and a fun checklist to see How Basic Are You?

Listened to

80’s pop and bluesy rock.

Watched

Snowfall about the start of the crack epidemic in early 80’s LA, like a mixture of Breaking Bad, The Getdown and The Wire.

Canada’s Drag Race, love Priyanka!

Galdem (on BBC iPlayer) about women making it in the UK grime scene.

Read

My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

Don’t forget to like, comment or subscribe! Xxx

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Monthly Round Up – July

Style

I’ve mostly been wearing this combo or these pants with the-dye tops. I’m all about clashing prints this summer.

I bought these adorable and very unique Freda Kahlo earrings by Wilderness from Sour Cherry, who are located in Afflecks and they also have an online shop.

I’ve been wearing this outfit (shrug, maxi dress, black gladiator sandals) the few times we’ve been out and about.

I posted about Items of Clothing That Seem Ideal in Theory but…

Hated my heavy, long fringe in the heat so gave myself a short choppy one instead.

Food

After reading that Pizza Express will be slowly closing branches permanently from September my Bloke used up his Tesco points and treated us to a meal. We thought it crap that the rocket didn’t come with the mozzarella and tomato so we ordered that as well. We also ordered three 14″ pizzas which were amazing. A spicy, smokey one with aubergine, peppers and humus (added after cooking); a slightly sweet one with sultanas, black olives and red onion and a cheesy one with garlic.

I tried Aldi’s No Steak Bake which had the loveliest flakey pastry and a mince sauce that was so rich it would have suited a Spag Bol better!

Did a comprehensive Cupboard and Fridge Shop at Ocado (didn’t realise they have Follow Your Heart Cheese unfortunately). It’s all gluten and dairy free apart from the pepperoni which has milk in the flavouring.

We visited V Revolution. I had this cheese burger with bacon, slaw and onion rings. My bloke had the burger between two doughnuts which he said was very tasty and not as weird as you’d think. Okay…!?

I’ve started putting chilli (fresh, or oil, or sauce), spring onion and crushed roasted peanuts on everything. So refreshing for summer!

Skincare and Makeup

If I Could Only Use One Skincare Product this is what I chose and explained why.

I blogged about my Lifestyle Tips for Maintaining Healthy Skin.

Unpopular Opinions – Makeup Tag was surprisingly fun to join in with. Spotted on Just Geeking By.

Lifestyle

I posted 20 Tips for Living a Greener, More Sustainable Lifestyle

Another tag which I find by the lovely Heather over at Just Geeking By was The 90’s Tag I was a teen in the 90’s so this was so much fun!

The last tag I joined in with was The Daily Gratitude Tag – Home Sweet Home

TV

Limitless – a spin off from the film staring Bradley Cooper. A guy who’s on pills which expand his mind consults for the FBI. Light and entertaining.

Preacher – About a preacher, a con-woman and a vampire ft. God and a murderous Saint. Totally nuts!

Films

The Avengers films – Never get bored of these.

Captain America – Kinda boring.

Mortal Engines – Film Set in the future most cities will have morphed into huge machines which move around and swallow smaller cities to survive but not all cities are as ruthless as this. Two young people fight to find justice and fairness. Based on the Mortal Engines Quartet books by Philip Reeve.

Super 8 – A film incredibly similar to Stranger Things before that series was created.

Youtube

Brad Mondo – Very honest, funny, sweet hairdresser who reacts to people doing their own hair and also does tutorials.

Music

Kate Bush album Hounds of Love; Fun Loving Criminals album Scooby Snacks; Lady Ice (fellow Mancunian) single No Silence; Nadia Rose single Skwod.

If there’s anything you want to ask me or to tell me, please leave a comment, I love reading them and replying to you!

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

20 Tips for Living a Greener, More Sustainable Lifestyle

TIPS ON LIVING A GREEN LIFESTYLE

  1. Recycle/Upcycle
  2. Reuse/Repair
  3. Buy organic
  4. Reduce plastic consumption (use wooden/fabric/glass/metal alternatives)
  5. Avoid single use plastic
  6. Support independent companies
  7. Buy local produce
  8. Campaign/fund raise for wildlife and nature
  9. Drive an electric car or cycle or use public transport
  10. Use cruelty free and natural skincare, selfcare and household products
  11. Buy from and donate to charity shops
  12. Sell quality items on Depop and donate the money to smaller charities
  13. Use fabric tote bags for shopping
  14. Grow your own veg (growing a little tomato or chilli plant or regrowing veg ends like lettuce on your windowsill counts)
  15. Avoid fast fashion as much as possible
  16. Get clothes altered and learn how to hem and use darts to alter size/shape (fairly easy but makes a huge difference).
  17. Buy your electricity and gas from Good Energy/Ecotricity
  18. Use the phone provider Eco Talk
  19. Turn off the light when you leave the room
  20. Wear another layer, rather than turning up the heating

Just do your best and don’t stress!

πŸ’šβœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ’š

If I Could Only Use One Skincare Product…

  • It would have to be the Comfort + Hydrate MICELLAR CLEANSER from Neal’s Yard Remedies!

    Why?

    • Easily removes makeup and cleanses skin.
    • You don’t have to rinse it off if you are in a hurry.
    • It’s certified organic
    • Packaged in an easily recycled glass bottle (I love the look of them lined up on the window ledge).
    • Kind on sensitive skin
    • Skin is left feeling soft and replenished
  • What is your hero skincare product?

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    How I’ve Brought More Colour Into My Wardrobe – Part 2, Styling Tips, Tops & Jewellery

    As I mentioned in part one of this post, since the start of the year, I’ve been on a mish to slowly replace darker coloured items with more upbeat and vibrant one’s. I’m mixing and matching so not chucking owt out, unless it’s seen (much) better days.

    What if you tend to stick to basics though?

    Well, from the start I decided that all of my colourful clothes would be basics! I build the outfit around them by adding neutral colours. A camisole/vest top can dress up anything (like jeans and trainers) and a tee can dress things down (like maxi skirts or fitted pants). Then you have that band tee, maxi skirt and trainers combo, which I love on others but haven’t tried yet.

    The Accessories Rules

    I was finding that including bright accessories too was a bit confusing so decided on these rules.

    1. Pick a bright accessory, either the same colour as your outfit or a flattering, contrasting colour that subtly ties in somewhere else (like blue dress and yellow bag with gold jewellery).
    2. Wear several bright accessories but only with a neutral coloured outfit (greys and neons look awesome together)
    3. Have bags, belts and shoes in metallic silver, gold and rose gold, which are fancy neutrals.

    Here’s the original top that inspired the idea. I’d love to know what this pattern stitch is called?

    Ideally Summer is like….

    But honestly, it’s more like this…

    But when this Covid craziness is mostly over, I’ll be going out more, as well as wanting to look more cheerful indoors.

    (From top – bottom)

    1st Column

    Stay Wild Moon Child tee – Bellelily (an Insta add which reeled me in!)

    Nirvana tee – EMP

    Sakura unicorn tee – Tokidoki

    Tiger racer back vest – Brave Soul London

    2nd Column

    Butterfly tunic (cropped into vest) – Joe Browns

    Orange camisole – Boohoo

    Grungy tie dye tee – Veronica Fever (Ebay)

    Tie dye racer-back camisole – Persephone Apparel (Etsy)

    3rd Column

    Lime green vest – Not a clue!? Either I was drunk or half asleep when I ordered this, ha! (Edit) Really versatile day-night item as it turns out, yay!

    Neon tie dye tee – Brave Girl Official (Ebay)

    Teal green tee (cut into tank) – EMP

    Most of these earrings are from Claire’s Accessories apart from the owls which were a gift, the blue and silver raindrop ones were from EMP, the pink drop earrings I made from guitar plectrums and the peace sign earrings I got from Moss-side Caribbean Carnival.

    Being able to pick a colourful item of clothing and accessory each morning is making such a difference to my moods, especially on dull days. I look forward to getting up and getting dressed now, rather than it being a chore.

    As always, I hope this has given you some ideas and inspiration or you’ve simply enjoyed having a nosey at my stuff. ✌🏽🀘🏽

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    Black Owned Brands & Bands inc. Rock, Hip-hop, Alternative Apparel & Cruelty-free beauty

    πŸ–€ Black Rock/Metal Playlist by Nova Twins

    πŸ–€ I personally recommend the whole back-catalogue of Skunk Anansie

    πŸ–€ 2020 – 2021 Black Rap and Hiphop Playlist by Red Music

    πŸ–€ General Black Owned Business Directory

    πŸ–€ Cruelty-free, Vegan Beauty and Lifestyle List by Vegan Beauty

    πŸ–€ Cruelty-free Beauty and Lifestyle List by Logical Harmony

    πŸ–€ Hair and wellness family owned brand. Cruelty-free and vegan,

    πŸ–€ Alternative Style and Makeup

    • Glam Goth Beauty
    • We Are Unapologetic
    • Gothic Lamb
    • Coloured Raine Cosmetics
    • Jada Le Bour
    • Pocky’s Shoppe
    • Hooked On Ariel
    • Via Shea
    • A Whole New Witch
    • 6t9
    • Candles With Purpose

    πŸ–€ Kawaii and Alternative Styles

    (compiled by @foxxtailz on Instagram)

    • Otaq Apparel
    • Polka dot Cute Shop
    • Magical Boys Club
    • Dragon Dandy
    • Teal Teacup
    • Moshi Melon
    • Plushii Kawaii
    • Hard Decora
    • I Puke Kawaii

    (compiled by @yasminesumman on Instagram)

    • That’s So Kitschy
    • Default Club
    • Charmin Darlin
    • Hissyfit Clothing
    • Maurio Kart (death metal shirts especially)
    • House Of Bats

    Happy shopping and listening!

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    Your Fave LIFESTYLE Photo’s from the Last 6 Months

    I post a selection of photo’s from this blog onto my Instagram and share a few general images everyday. Come follow me if you don’t already @vamp_it_up_mcr

    I’ve gone through which photos got the most likes (on Insta) and divided them up into four categories, Lifestyle, Style, Food and er, Me!

    Lifestyle

    (Clockwise)

    Gap Between Buildings When you walk down Whitworth Street heading to Oxford Road, you cross over a tiny bridge without realising and that’s the view of the canal and swanky apartments to your left.

    Baby Jay I’ve only ever seen a Jay twice before so this little’un sitting right outside the window was lovely surprise.

    Sorting my makeup and storage I chucked out anything old or crap and arranged everything here into one bag and base coverage and tools/brushes into a wicker basic. I indulged my left over OCD traits and lined up everything colourful for this photo; so satisfying!

    Pins I have so many pins I have to rotate them on bags and coats. I need to make space on my pin board to display them all properly.

    Skincare Routine After setting myself he challenge to get healthier skin in one month, I narrowed down my products to these and found a consistent routine and it worked!

    Street Art This is a very old photo of the side of a block at the start of The Northern Quarter. The beautiful art (subject now replaces by Mcr bees) is by Faunagraphic who’s responsible for all of the nature inspired, pastel or brushstroke effect street-art in town. Check out that pretty fire-escape too.

    Narwhals Narwhals Swimming In The Ocean (the pre-curser to the baby shark song) My Bloke got me these slippers last Xmas.

    Bench In Our Tiny Backyard All my Dads work. I offer to help with our yard but he always refuses as he loves doing it so much. He’s like me, if he gets an idea in his mind, he knows exactly how he wants it. I’m not arguing as it comes out looking lovely every time ^_^

    (Centre)

    Sustainable (what used to be referred to as Eco) Purchases I got everything here from an online shop called Ecologue. Metal flask, really light but efficient; Bamboo toothbrush, the most comfortable one I’ve ever used and biodegradable; Cleansing pads, also made from bamboo and machine washable!

    As always I’d love to hear your thoughts…

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    Featuring – Callybo Creations

    Abi at Callybo Creations creates cute key rings and bracelets, with uplifting and loving messages. Just the thing that someone might really appreciate right now. All profits are donated to Mind UK the charity which supports mental health.

    Here are two I got sent for review and then later purchased/donated because most of us need a helping hand with our mental health at some point in our lives so it’s a vital charity to support. I gave the key ring to my Dad and the bracelet to my Bloke, both of whom thought it was a lovely surprise.

    Hop on over to Facebook to request and buy your perfect Callybo Creations.

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    Trying to Get Naturally Healthy Skin in Just One Month – Week 4

    Products

    • The Body Shop, Vitamin C, Cleansing Polish
    • Neal’s Yard Remedies, Micellar Cleanser
    • Pixi! Glow Tonic if at home or The Ordinary, Lactic Acid
    • Ecologue Bamboo Face Pads
    • The Body Shop, Vitamin C Moisturiser
    • Neal’s Yard Remedies, Rosehip Oil

    On the rare days I wear makeup I use the Vit C Daily Glow (by foaming it up, rather than massaging with the scrubby bits). I only use the Pixi Glycolic or The Ordinary Lactic Acids every other day. I use the micellar cleanser, moisturiser and oil everyday. Read previous weeks routine and diary

    Monday

    Did full skincare routine. Forgot oil before bed last night but still looking quite radiant this morning.

    Samosa for dinner and big bowl of Daal (lentil curry) and oat cakes for tea.

    Tuesday

    Used The Ordinary Lactic Acid, moisturiser and lots of oil today.

    I woke up feeling so thirsty and wanted hydrating foods so Saag Aloo (spinach and potato) with rice for lunch and aubergine curry for tea (and a random samosa for super).

    Wednesday

    When I woke up my skin felt and looked like I didn’t need to do any skincare at all! Still did my routine though. My lips are really smooth and nourished as well (I think it’s the oil).

    Had four beers but hydrated before and after drinking.

    Thursday

    My skin was dry, so more inside and outside hydration was needed.

    Had a salad for dinner with shredded carrot and beetroot, cucumber, ice berg lettuce and seeds and cashew nuts, had mushroom Satay for tea.

    Friday

    My skin felt quite grainy and looking quite matte so I applied Pixi Glow Tonic, left it on for 15 minutes, rinsed it off with a wet face pad and then moisturised. Much better!

    Having a drink again tonight so I’ve eaten a big salad and replaced my coffee with a nut milk protein smoothie instead. Left my Rosehip oil by the bed to remind me to use it.

    Saturday

    Considering I ate a huge bread crumb coated veggie burger with spicy curly fries (certainly not wheat free) I’m impressed with how I look just after waking up today. A bit pink, rather than red, my skin isn’t really dry and I don’t have loads of water retention at the side of my nose, chin or eye bags, like I normally would after drinking and having wheat. Draining massage everyday when applying skincare really does work!

    Sunday

    Here I am (with no product on my skin) in the one bit of week sunshine we had that day, before it disappeared behind clouds again. My skin would have needed a filter to look anywhere near this smooth and radiant a month before!

    The Conclusion of my Month Long Challenge

    Positive Changes

    It feels great to just be able to casually take a no-makeup selfie, without reaching for the foundation and even then, deleting so many rubbish shots. I also leave the house bare faced now and with confidence because I know people won’t be staring at my puffy, blotchy face anymore but wondering instead how I look so glowy, when it’s not even sunny!

    What I’ve Learned

    • Oil can balance oily skin as long as you find the right oil for your skin and use it at the right time of day/night
    • What you put inside of your body has a huge effect on the outside, it might just take several days or weeks to notice, which can be confusing so keep a diary.
    • Before you touch your face for any reason make sure you wash your hands first. I always forget this when applying makeup, usually because I’m in a hurry or being spontaneous.
    • Yes, you should cleanse your skin in the evening but don’t beat yourself up if you forget now and then.
    • Get used to you! Your face maybe having a bad day but that’s life and you’re still you behind it. After all, it’s your personality that’s he point!
    • All of this facial massage and staying hydrated and getting enough sleep advice actually does work, if you stick with it.
  • The Realistic Road to Success

    If you don’t have, or are already on top of a medical/allergy related skincare concern (for me it was spots, oil and a huge amount of redness in the past), then yes, it is possible to get naturally healthier looking and skin in a month! It does take patience to find the right skincare routine and diet for you and the tenacity to stick to it though.

    Do you think my experiment over the past month might help you?

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    Trying to get Naturally Healthy Skin in Just One Month – Week 3

    I’ve realised that the first two weeks were about finding the best products for the job and how best to use them. See week 2 here.

    On the rare days I wear makeup I use the Vit C Daily Glow (by foaming it up, rather than massaging with the scrubby bits). I only use the Pixi Glycolic or The Ordinary Lactic Acids every other day. I use the micellar cleanser, moisturiser and oil everyday.

    • The Body Shop, Vitamin C, Cleansing Polish
    • Neal’s Yard Remedies, Micellar Cleanser
    • Pixi! Glow Tonic if at home or The Ordinary, Lactic Acid
    • Ecologue Bamboo Face Pads
    • The Body Shop, Vitamin C Moisturiser
    • Neal’s Yard Remedies, Rosehip Oil

    Monday

    I can see that I’ll be sticking to the above skincare routine from now on as there’s everything I need but it’s still nice and simple. My skin is looking slightly radiant even when I’m not standing in full sun, which is a first. Had crackers and ‘cheese’ with caramelised onion for dinner. Salt and pepper tofu for tea with chilli oil.

    Tuesday

    Had quite a few beers in the evening and forgot to take my makeup off because I forgot I was wearing any. Doh! Had veggies and cashews in black bean sauce with egg fried rice for tea. At least that was healthy!

    Wednesday

    Even though the Rosehip oil doesn’t smell great, I prefer it to the rose scent my other oils/balms have and it’s supposed to even out the texture of skin and really nourish it. We’ll see!

    Spicy beans, falafel, iceberg lettuce, humus, Violife β€˜cheese’ chunks, peanuts and lime pickle for a picnic type tea.

    Thursday

    The Body Shop Vit C Cleanser removes makeup so easily and leaves my skin so soft and moisturised. Never had a cleanser as good as that before! Had mushroom and onion stir fry with Satay sauce for tea.

    Friday

    Making a bigger effort to drink enough water, not just energy drink and ‘milky’ coffees. Skin feeling very grainy today as I’ve not used either of the exfoliating acids for the last two days. So doing full skincare routine today.

    Had kebab strips with rice, sweet corn, peas and green beans with Soy sauce for dinner and then with chilly oil for tea.

    Saturday

    Before, when I’d massage in any skincare my face would get so flushed it would stay red for about 30 minutes but now it doesn’t react at all! After weeks of massaging it looks more toned, with a lot less water retention.

    Sunday

    To sum up at the end of the third week

    • A lot less redness
    • Less puffy and more toned
    • Actually radiant
    • Smoother
    • Balanced so it’s not going from dry when I wake up to slightly greasy on my T-zone before bed anymore.
  • Free-from pesto and pasta for tea.
  • If anyone has any tips, recommendations, or opinions, I’d love to hear them!

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€