Monthly Life Update – February

I’ve broken my record for often being ten minutes late by being ten days late as I thought I’d already posted this. Here’s everything I’ve been doing and reviewing!

Sorry I’m a bit grainy. Manchester doesn’t get much daylight in February.

Lifestyle

I created a list post called Self Imposed Ban on Buying and wrote down everything I have a lot of, the reason why I have a lot of it and why I shouldn’t buy any more of it. It’s a lot easier to realise what’s going on and to harden your resolve when you can see it in black and white.

I reposted Spring Cleaning My Beauty Cupboard from last year because I’ve done so well with keeping it ordered and thinking thoroughly about my purchases, that I’ve not needed to do it again this year.

Food and Dinning Out

Me and the Bloke have decided we are going to take it in turns to choose where we want to eat out for the evening (and who pays), at least once a month. The bloke chose Sai Spice an Indian place in Chorlton.

We ordered the veggie starter platter to share and four smaller curries. One spinach and dumpling based, one chickpea dahl, a nutty yoghurt based one and a spicy but not too hot Kolhapuri. Everything tasted amazing! It’s a brightly lit, affordable, family style place and I think Lilly’s would have some competition if they were closer to each other. Couldn’t resist grabbing a kulfi to go.

Here’s my review of Vertigo, the plant based restaurant at First Street, Manchester, which was my choice. I’d been wanting to go for a while but waited until I heard some good reviews as I’m not exactly rolling in cash.

I bought some ‘facon’ in the form of Coconut Bacon by Pimp my Salad, which I’m throwing on pretty much everything or just eating straight from the jar.

We made English Gluten Free Pancakes for pancake day or Shrove Tuesday as they call it.

I sampled one of Clive’s Tarts which I realised tasted lovely chilled or heated up. I was surprised it was both dairy and gluten free.

I’ve finally discover how wonderful Tika is! Tika panner, Tika broccoli (Yeah, I wasn’t expecting to come across that one either) and tika mock chicken. I reviewed two very different Tika Masala Veggie Readymeals, one from Tesco and one from Asda.

Skincare and Makeup

On my never ending quest to find a base that makes me look all glowy and healthy, rather than matte and a bit sallow, I bought Pixi Beauty Balm. Did it do the trick? You’ll have to click!

I’m trying to reduce my carbon footprint bit by bit, so I was pleased to find Zao essence of nature, a natural beauty brand that uses refillable bamboo packaging. I bought the essentials: Concealer and Mascara.

Thank you lovely people, for catching up with me.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Spring Cleaning my Beauty Cupboard

*First posted 1 year ago*

I’ve decided to do something positive and have a product Spring clean. Sorting through your skincare and makeup stash was one of my tips in my post 6 Simple Beauty Tips Which Make a Big Difference what a good day to follow my own advice, ha!

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This was all of the skincare products I owned and as you can see they are pretty much all over the place, with face, body and hair, old stuff and new stuff all mixed up. After going through everything this is what I learned…

  1. I had so much oil! I could easily just use the same one for my hair and body and a lighter one for my face.
  2. Out of all of those products I only had one face moisturiser.
  3. I found products that had changed consistency or were nearly empty and all of those were expired.
  4. I still had tanning oil from my twenties! o_O
  5. I buy face masks because they are on offer in pound shops and NEVER use them.
  6. I thought I needed to stock up on miceller water and cooling eye gel as I was running low but then realised I’d originally bought them in two’s to save on postage.
  7. I had a stupid amount of body butter.
  8. I’ve rediscovered cruelty free beauty brands I’d totally forgotten about!
  9. I had bits and bobs from various razors and waxing kits that I stopped using ages ago.

I’ve reduced the above to a single crate and the cute wicker basket. The rest is either in the recycling, the bin or my dressing table so I actually remember to use it daily.

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Here is all of my makeup, apart from what I’ve thrown out and repeats of the same thing and yeah, it’s still a lot!

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Here’s what I’ve thrown out.

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A slightly smaller pile, heehee.

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Here’s my main big-ass makeup case, my daily makeup case and my travel/wash bag with miniatures and samples in. Here’s what I’ve learned…

  1. Even though I treat my makeup fairly well, there were still spillages and products that felt sticky – eeew.
  2. If it’s really broken, through the damn thing away! You are not Stig Of The Dump or a Womble.
  3. If it doesn’t suit your skin tone or texture and it can’t easily be mixed with something else, then throw it away or swap it/give it to someone.
  4. There are lots of reasons why buying two of the same thing can be a good idea but hoarding the same type of product, or buying several before you’ve even tried if the product works for you is not a good idea.
  5. How many golden-brown eyeshadows and copper-brown toned lip products can one person reasonably own!? Five eyeshadows and eight lip products it would seem ;0)
  6. I still have products I bought before I went totally cruelty free. That was TEN years ago!

As you can see, I still have the big makeup bag but now my little ‘everyday makeup bag’ includes the best of my base, mascara, tools, contouring kit (I missed out the wonderful Pixi contour kit in the first photo) and three eyeshadows and eyelinners that I rotate on a monthly basis. This means that everything is easy to keep track of/clean/sharpened, quickly to hand, and I don’t forget to use all of the lovely colours I own.

I hope this helps with your declutter! Let me know if it has or if you also do some of the bad habits I’ve mentioned.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

 

 

 

 

Self Imposed Ban On Buying…

This list is me banning myself from buying more of the things I already have far too much of, and why.

Food

Thai curry ‘flavour’ things – They all taste like lemons, perfume and disappointment.

Oat/Rice cakes – They last five minutes and then taste like a limp biscuit (not the band).

Tins of Indian style curries – Let’s be honest, I’m just going to order one from Uber anyway.

Vegan/dairy free cheeses – I love the vegan Applewood Smoked, anything else is just a bit meh.

Supplements (apart from Omega’s) – These either give me indigestion and I should be getting them from food anyway.

Takeaway – Yeah, right! 😆

Clothes

Those ‘waterfall’ cardigans that don’t close – They’re a bit shit when worn with leggings. “Hell no, don’t want no camel toe!”

Trainers – I rarely wear them because I’m always in boots.

Boots – 10 pair 😐

Yoga/lounge pants – Always either too tight, too hot or far too short. Seriously, is it just me, seriously?

Pointy toe’d shoes/High heel shoes – Oh the horror!

Countless Tees and Hoodies – Even I’m getting bored of seeing me in this combo.

Flannel shirts/Big Jumpers – I swapped the above obsession for this obsession instead!

Hair accessories – I wear my hair in a low bun with curly/spiked bits fanned out 95% of the time. Who am I buying these for?!

Dressing gowns – 6! To be Fair one has ears and another has ears and embroidered raccoon eyes on the hood. I’ll give a few to the charity shop.

Stationary

Partly this is because I’ve gotten gifted quite a bit, through brands or for Christmas but mostly it’s because I can’t resist cute journals.

Jewellery

If it’s dainty I either break it or loose it. I have amassed so much medium-chunky stuff, I’m only buying charity items like pin badges now. I like how I found a reason for more pin badges there. 😁

Certain Disability Aids

Some joints just don’t want to be braced it seems, or shouldn’t constantly be braced anyway, plus they’re too bloody expensive and I can’t try them on beforehand.

Heated neck & shoulder pads – One wouldn’t switch on. One eventually scorched and welded it’s wires together, WHILE I WAS WEARING IT. 😳

Nail polish

I stopped painting my nails for a year because they were too weak but every time I’d see a polish that had an unusual look I’d still buy it. Now my nails are healthy I have a lot of catching up to do!

Makeup

(I should just stop at ‘makeup’ lol)

Foundation/Base – I’m sticking with the one that works. I need to buy more of that actually.

Eyeshadow – I have a whole rainbow of colours in every finish/texture. Enough!

Eyeliner – Too subtle on my narrow eyes. I slap a load of eyeshadow on instead.

Liquid Lipstick – I don’t want my lips to look like shrivelled prunes after an hour cheers.

Books

I’m a slow reader in the sense that it takes me ages to get around to even starting new books. My reading list is ridiculous and my physical ‘to read’ pile is actually intimidating.

Skincare

This is the one category I use constantly so I’m applying a one-for-one rule. Use one item up – buy another one to replace it. No multiple versions of the same item.

No face masks – I can never be arsed to use these.

Bath bombs – I don’t own a bath. 😶

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Sustainable Essentials from Ecologue

I’ve discovered an affordable UK eco shop online called Ecologue. They sell what’s pictured bellow as well as bamboo cotton buds, tote bags and metal straws.

Stainless Steel Bottle

I’ve had two water bottles recently, a plastic one which smelled funky after two months and a huge metal flask which can be too heavy when full. I was so pleased to find this metallic blue flask (how gorgeous is that colour) with matte ‘grippy’ paint and easy-to-open lid. Stainless Steel Bottles £10 for both 500ml or 750ml which keep things hot or cold for hours!

Bamboo Makeup Pads

I use cotton pads everyday either morning or evening for my cleanser and/ or micellar water, it was one of the few wasteful things I still did. These Makeup Remover Pads £14.99 for 16 pads are made of 70% cotton and 30% bamboo and can be thrown into the washing machine inside their net bag. I don’t use long wear foundation, water proof mascara or seven layers of under-eye concealer and then powder. If I did, I’m not sure how white these would stay!? But they are perfect for me!

Bamboo Handle Toothbrush

This is from a family pack of 4 Bamboo toothbrushes for £8. The bristles are soft but dense which I prefer to the modern plastic ones and the round handle is still fairly easy to grip.

For eco reasons of generating less waste and packaging (even though it’s all cardboard) I ordered the pack of toothbrushes and the biggest pack of pads. The bottles sell out quickly (because they are awesome obv) so if you have your eye in one you better grab it quick!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Pixi Glow Tonic – Heavenly or Harsh?

I have the type of dry-combination skin which doesn’t naturally exfoliate itself very well. It gets duller and duller, produces sebum and then gets clogged up and crappy. Help!

Pixi Skintreats Glow Tonic £18 contains 5% Glycolic Acid so it gently strips off dead skin cells and excess sebum as well as removing general dirt and light makeup. Glow Tonic also contains Aloe and Red Ginseng to sooth and protect skin, which my skin found beneficial. However, I would not recommend if you have very sensitive skin or (even mild) rosacea or eczema and applying a good quality moisturiser and/or oil afterward is essential.

I’d cleansed my face in the morning, gone makeup free all day and yet, this is the amount of dirt Glow Tonic removed in the evening.

As for the ‘glow’ it promises, I can attest it’s true! After using this daily, for three days my skin feels smooth, it absorbs products much more efficiently and looks much healthier. It’s also the easiest way to cleanse and refine if you’re tired or in a hurry.

Rating 5/5

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Hangover Prevention and Selfcare Bedtime Routine

In a way, these are general ‘sleep hygiene’ tips, no, not washing your sheets everyday but tips on how to get your head down, get a restful sleep and to wake up feeling (and looking) vaguely human.

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Beauty Kitchen Products – Oil

They are an independent UK company who try to be as sustainable and natural as possible. This oil is wonderful for taking makeup off with, to give the face a quick massage with and to nourish skin. No more waking up looking like a dried up Mummy, with curiously puffy eye bags.

Laptop/Book

Before I go to sleep I watch an episode of 90210, Lucifer or You Tube makeup tutorials by Wayne Goss, with the screen dimmed. If my eyes aren’t too tired I’ll read a character driven novel. Anything that’s interesting but not taxing.

Healthy Crisps

I always find I need salty food to soak up the sugary alcohol I’ve had. It also means I don’t wake up starving but too tired to make breakfast/lunch. I find the crunching really relaxing as i carry a lot of tension in my jaw.

Oil Based Lip Balm

Skin needs both oil and moisturiser so I apply this before it’s needed. I’m such a mouth breather at night XoD

Scrunchy 

How do people sleep without their hair tied back, how!?  When I do that, it wraps around me like a Face-hugger from Alien and then I wake up with it looking like statically charged spaghetti.

HYDRATE! (Waiting for my new flask to arrive)

I always have weak, sugar free cordial (water just goes straight through me) to sip before I go to sleep, throughout the night and before I get up in the morning. This stops me feeling shite, keeps my skin clear and reduces eye bags and ‘desert mouth.’

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Before I started this routine I used to wake up with a really flushed face, crazy hair, bloating, bone-dry skin and feel more tired than when I went to bed! This has made a significant difference to my morning chronic fatigue and mental health; most days I’ll happily get up at 11.00am, rather than dragging my sorry arse out of bed at 1.00-2.00pm like I used to.

🥂Chrissie🥂

 

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm review

In the early 2000’s tinted lip balms were drowned out by glosses which your hair stuck to, then moisturising lipsticks which were pampering but transferred onto everything  and recently matte and liquid lipsticks which are overwhelmingly drying, so I was delighted to see the return of tinted lip balms.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm is pricey at £8 (for a Balm) but I was desperate for a quick and simple way to get some moisture and colour onto my lips. The colour payoff is intense but at the same time fairly sheer, so you can still slap it on without being particularly precise and then build up the coverage.

This is a single firm swipe of Ripe Raspberry. It’s not a perfectly smooth line because it dragged a little, rather than gliding (and that was on my arm) so lips have to be super smooth before application. The staying power of this is so surprising, it outlasts all of my moisturising lipsticks by hours. The Shea Butter does mean it’s non-drying but it’s hardly moisturising and the addition of Vit E doesn’t seem to condition lips either. Much better as a gentle lip stain than a lip balm.

There are seven shades and a plain one; three shades look a little on the grey side (at least on the website) and three are increasingly bright shades of pink, starting with a nice dusky rose, which I’m going to buy next.

The colour payoff, the size, the slight drag when applying, sound so similar to ELF’s lip balm it would be interesting to compare the two.

Rating 3/5

🎄Chrissie🎄

 

All of Superdrug Own Brands Are Cruelty Free!

Five years ago I got invited to Superdrug in Manchester for a makeup masterclass, launching their new collection of cruelty free makeup. Since then I’ve used B. makeup and B. skincare. Now Superdrug have gone one step further and made all of their own brand – not just their B. line – cruelty free and Leaping Bunny (BUAV) approved – hurrah!

I think this is wonderful because not everyone has the time or can afford multiple postage costs to buy online from different independent brands and not everyone is lucky enough to have Neals Yard, The Body Shop and other CF shops local to them (mine are a 30 minute bus ride into town if I had the energy and the balance to safely ride a bus). Now people can easily pick up everyday items on their local high street with a clear conscience.

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It was 3 for 2 on minis so I bought these so I could try the Hand and Nail Cream before committing to the bigger 150ml bottle and 2x bottles of Balancing Facial Oil. I need a little bottle of oil to carry around in my bag as I use it on my lips several times a day and this should last me ages.

Superdrug Balancing Facial Oil (30ml £2.99) has apricot oil and Vitamin E to calm and balance skin, which it does really well. I’ve used many more expensive facial oils that have had an equally good effect and some that weren’t as calming for my skin. It’s also saved my lips from drying up in central heating and is a great base for certain foundations and lipsticks as it’s a dry oil.

Rating 5/5

Superdrug Hand and Nail Cream (£1.50 30ml) does exactly what you want a great cream to do; it strengthens nails but also softens hard skin on hands and makes cuticles supple so that they don’t crack. It sinks in easily and doesn’t feel oily and, I’m glad to say, doesn’t have that strong old-fashioned hand cream sort of smell – which I like but find it always conflicts with the perfume I’m wearing.

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

 

Making My Skin As Glowy As When I Was A Kid! Using The Body Shop – Vitamin C Facial Cleansing Polish and Glow Boosting Moisturiser

 

Hello lovely people!

As the tag line on the products suggests I naturally have ‘dull, tired, grumpy skin’. So I thought I’d simplify my routine and lay off the micellar water/cleanser and expensive Glycolic Acid (exfoliating) and Hyaluronic (moisture attracting) Acid and facial oil combination for a while.

The Body Shop, Vitamin C Facial Cleansing Polish (£11, 125ml)

I love this because it’s gentle enough to use everyday and it’s a cleanser and exfoliator in one. I wish they’d have reduced the amount of SLS as it’s very foamy! It’s not drying or irritating though and the polish leaves skin feeling clean, smooth and fresh.

Rating 4/5

The Body Shop Glow Boosting Moisturiser (£16, 50ml)

This is one of those gel-moisturisers where a little really does go a long way and it sinks in almost immediately. It’s also the perfect base for makeup for people with medium-dry skin. It left my skin feeling hydrated for the entire day and my T-zone remained shine free. It even rescued the look of a too-matte foundation I bought by mistake.

Rating 5/5

After a week…

My skin looks and feels like young, healthy skin. Honestly, I’ve not had skin this good, with this little effort since I was about ten! Rather than absorbing the light because it’s so matte, it’s now radiant, soft, smooth and looks slightly plumper. I’ve had no breakouts around my T-zone and I only have to use facial oil every three days, rather than everyday. This hero duo are perfect for the central heating seasons!

Don’t buy this range if you do not like the overwhelming scent of oranges. I love them!

Chrissie

Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath Review – Well, I wasn’t Expecting That!

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Unusually for a white chick (as far as I know, but it’s complicated) I have a big ol’ pout which I really like but I wish it were more even as my lower lip is a lot bigger than top. My lips are also incredibly dry and dehydrated which causes them to peel or even crack sometimes – ouch! As my eternal quest for more peachy coloured and non-sticky lip gloss continued, I came across Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath £25  which sounded glam, plumping and possibly healing.

After applying a thick coat I felt a cool tingly effect which subsided after about 15 minutes. It’s not very sticky but I certainly wouldn’t want to eat food or go out in the wind without my hair tied back. I mainly applied it to my top lip and as you can see it’s evened them up!

My face is blotchy because of allergies NOT the gloss btw. After about five minutes a second coat and wow are they pouty! Sometimes when I smile, I get a tiny little gap between my lips on one side but it’s not normally this noticeable.

After ten minutes you can see (with my head tipped back) the gloss has inflated my top lip but rather unevenly, like it made no difference to that little bit on the right. I can’t see or feel any scar tissue there but I do have a collagen disorder – Hypermobilty Syndrome – so maybe I just didn’t have enough in that area to plump up?

Conclusion…

I’ve been using this lipgloss sparingly as I like the colour and sheen and the feel but I won’t be slapping it on heavy-handedly anymore, that’s for sure!

I love the glam, glass packaging (easy to recycle) and the little heart applicator is cute but I would have preferred a pointed doe foot applicator instead for more precision. My first attempt at application made me look like I’d been eating apricot jam lol

As I said, my lips get so dry and dehydrated; everyday they have the texture of crinkled, rough paper unless I apply masses of balms and oils. This gloss made them so soft and healthy for the day, just with one application!

It’s the most expensive lip gloss I’ve ever bought but it certainly does have an effect and Tilbury’s other glosses which don’t plump are all on the pricey side.

Rating 5/5 Giving it the benefit of the doubt because of my own wonky collagen

Chrissie