Staying fabulous at 50+

Out With The Old And In With The New

2012 has been a funny old year for me, some good and some not so good things have happened.

At the end of March I was made redundant from a job I absolutely loved, to say I was gutted is an understatement.  A 3 week holiday to Florida in April definitely perked me up, although I continued to sulk about my job on my return for a few more months.

I then began suffering from a few health problems, turns out I was slap bang in the middle of the menopause and have a slightly under active Thyroid.

I was then lucky enough to have another 3 week holiday in Florida in September, that really is my happy place.

In October I started my Open University Degree in Criminology and Psychology, my first challenge was learning how to learn again.

Also in October my husband bought me a Maine Coon kitten, I have wanted a Maine Coon for years.  His name is Dexter and he is beautiful, he is 5 months old and already larger than our dog!

Maine Coon Cat

Main Coon Kitten


December has been an emotional month.  For the past 10 years I have travelled to New York every December around my birthday, I make a start on my Christmas shopping, visit the tree at The Rockerfeller Centre and usually take in a Broadway show.  Well with me being unemployed and already having had two trips to Florida, New York was a no go.  However, on my birthday my oldest daughter brought New York to me.  She got me an Empire State Building Pandora charm, a New York Taxi Christmas decoration, a bag and make up from Sephora, a Bone China Tiffany mug, Nail Polish called Times Square and a few other bits and pieces, my husband then took me to London for the weekend where he bought me an iPad and took me to see Wicked, it was the best birthday I have had for years.  Yesterday my oldest daughter moved out to live with her boyfriend.  I couldn't bear to be here when she left so I took the youngest daughter to the cinema.  She's only moved a couple of miles down the road but I miss her terribly.  It's so tough being a parent sometimes, letting go is the hardest thing in the world.

I realise that in the grand scheme of things 2012 has been very kind to me and for that I am eternally grateful.

So 2013 is nearly upon us and I have spent today deciding what changes I would like to make in my life.  I intend to start looking for part time work, I have enjoyed spending time with my youngest daughter and could not go back to working 60 hours a week again.  I aim to become more active on my blog, after a 4 month break I now feel revitalised and ready for the challenge.  I am going to continue with my healthy eating plan, I have lost a stone and plan to lose a couple more before the summer, I'm also going to make friends with the treadmill!

Thank you to all my readers for sticking with me and I'd like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2013




Firmoo - Free Glasses

Earlier in the year I was informed that I needed glasses, apparently I am short sighted in one eye and long sighted in the other, this means that my middle distance is perfect but I struggle with reading and watching TV.  I was contacted by a company called Firmoo who offered to send me a free pair of glasses to review.  I chose a pair of sunglasses, I then emailed them my choice and my prescription details and within a few weeks my sunglasses arrived.

Firmoo glasses

Firmoo

Firmoo review

These are the glasses that I chose but as you can see there are lots of other's to choose from at www.firmoo.com/wrap-around-rx-sunglasses

They arrived in a hard case with a lens cleanser, I was also sent a pouch type case.  They are perfect for driving as although they are sunglasses they do not make everything too dark.  They fit very well and are really comfortable and lightweight.  I absolutely love my new sunglasses and now you can get a free pair of glasses too.  You can chose from prescription glasses/sunglasses (single lens) or clear fashion glasses.  You only have to pay the shipping.  Pop over to the website at www.firmoo.com and browse all the fabulous styles.  You can even upload a photograph of yourself and try the glasses on.

I have been really impressed with the service from Firmoo and would not hesitate to use their services again once my prescription is due for renewal.



*Product sent free of charge for review.

Stila Brighten & Correct Concealer

I saw the Stila Brighten & Correct Concealer in Sephora whilst in America in April.  I was in the store to purchase the Stila Perfecting Concealer which I have reviewed HERE.

I was initially drawn to this product because of all the swirls in the tube.

Stila Brighten & Correct Concealer

This comes in 4 shades, Fair, Medium, Tan and Tone, I purchased Tone.

The product contains a unique multi-mineral complex and Haloxyl, it acts as a brightener, illuminator, concealer and will help reduce dark circles over time.

Two shades are swirled together, one for correcting and one for brightening, the product is also infused with light-diffusing pigments.

Stila Brighten & Correct Concealer swatch

Although on it's own this is not heavy enough to cover my dark circles, it does lighten and brighten the under eye area, it works particularly well over your normal concealer.

This is the perfect product if you are having a 'no make up' day and just want to freshen up the under eye area.

If you are in the USA you can find this product in Sephora stores or at www.stilacosmetics.com for $28
If you are in the UK you can find this product at www.stila.co.uk for £18 with free shipping.


Stila Perfecting Concealer Review

I first saw the Stila Perfecting Concealer in an American Magazine in April, the beauty journalist was raving about it and claiming that certain celebrities would not leave the house without it.  As I was in America at the time I hotfooted it down to Sephora and parted with $23 and left the store with a tiny tube in shade C.

Stila Perfecting Concealer

See what I mean about the tiny tube?  There is only 8ml of product, that's not even 2 teaspoons full, but who cares about the price if the product lives up to the claims!

It is recommended that this concealer is applied after foundation and before powder.  It is described as a fuller-coverage concealer with a semi-matt finish, it can also be used as a full coverage foundation.

Now let me just say that I am a long time fan of Stila products,  I have been using their lip glaze, eye shadows and nail polishes for years, I didn't doubt for a moment that I wouldn't love this product.  However, this review does not have a happy ending.

Stila Perfecting Concealer swatch

If you look closely at the above picture you can see that I have blended the product out underneath the blob of concealer.  There are two problems for me, one, the coverage is minimal and two, the product sits in and accentuates lines.  This did absolutely nothing at covering up my dark circles, the coverage is not buildable without caking and looking chalky and within 30 minutes I had a build up of product in the creases under my eyes.

Now just because this product didn't work for me doesn't mean that it's a a rubbish product.  Maybe it is just not aimed at working on women of a certain age, if you are below 40 years old with minimum lines/circles and have a perfectly hydrated eye area then I can see that this product might be perfect for you.  However, this product did not work for me at all and as such I will not be repurchasing.

If you are in the USA you can find this product in Sephora stores or at www.stilacosmetics.com for $23

If you are in the UK you can find this product at www.stila.co.uk for £15 with free shipping.

Have you ever purchased a product after seeing rave reviews in a magazine, only to be bitterly disappointed?

Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth Boosting Concealer

Another product from the Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Range, this time it is the Cosmeceutical Youth Boosting Concealer.  You can see my review of the Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Youth Boosting Foundation HERE

Again the strap line for this  product is "Look Up To Ten Years Younger Instantly".

This product combines two concealers and a blending tool for flawless coverage.

Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth Boosting Concealer

As you can see there is a small pot of Yellow Cream with a doe foot applicator, this is designed to correct dark under eye circles and blends easily for buildable coverage.  Then there is the solid concealer for covering imperfections and minimising lines.  So you first of all apply the Yellow Cream on your dark circles and either use the roller ball or your finger to blend, then apply the stick concealer on top and blend, the stick concealer can be used on any imperfection on the face prior to foundation application.

Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth Boosting Concealer swatches

These two concealers together are fabulous.  I normally use Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer, but this product is far superior.  Covers my dark circles beautifully, does not crease or sit in the lines around my eyes and lasts all day.

I purchased this product from CVS and it was a bargain at $12.95  Sadly this range isn't available in the UK and again I found this EBAY SHOP but it is £18.49 with £1.75 delivery.  I'm sure you may be able to find it much cheaper than that if you have a rummage around the internet.

Although this product didn't make me look ten years younger instantly it has to be one of the most impressive concealers I own.  Nothing I have tried before covers my hereditary dark circles like this does and I will be purchasing several back ups on my next visit to America.

Have you found a concealer that really does cover up your dark circles?

Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Youth Boosting Foundation

I first discovered Physicians Formula several years ago when I was working as Cabin Crew.  Whenever I go to America I always pick up some goodies from the range.  In April I spotted the Physicians Formula Youthful Wear range which consists of a concealer, a foundation and a powder.

The strap line for this range is "Look Up To Ten Years Younger Instantly"

The company claims that 100% saw less deep wrinkles & fine lines instantly.  94% saw lifted lifted and firmer looking skin after 3 weeks and 100% of women would use Youthful Wear as an alternative to a cosmetic procedure.

I purchased the Youthful Wear Youth Boosting Foundation and the Cosmeceutical Youth Boosting Concealer.  Today I will share my thoughts on the foundation.

Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Youth Boosting Foundation

This foundation comes with an application brush but I soon discarded that.  This is available in Fair, Light and Medium.  I chose Light as Fair was too pale for me with a bit of a tan and Medium is quite dark.  

The texture is like a very thick mousse but it does melt on contact with skin and gives excellent coverage, it even covered my sun spots on my cheeks without the need for further concealer.  One thing I did notice was that if you apply this foundation with your fingers it has a slightly gritty feel to it, but that disappears as you blend the foundation into the skin.

Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Youth Boosting Foundation swatches


Although the colour looks quite dark and orange on the inside of my arm it actually blended out to the perfect colour on my face.  Sadly with the lack of summer in the UK this is currently a bit too dark for me, when I go back to America I will be purchasing the Fair colour to wear on my paler days.

The most impressive thing for me about this foundation is that it lasts all day, once it's on it's on, I wore this whilst in Florida and normally I don't bother with foundation as it melts off in the heat, this stayed put until I removed it.

Now the big question is did it make me look 10 years younger instantly?  Well actually no it didn't, but what it did do is make me look less tired, it made my skin look firmer than it actually is and it did a great job of minimising my sleep creases first thing in the morning.

All in all I really like this foundation, in fact I think I would chose this foundation over my beloved Estee Lauder Double Wear.

I purchased this from CVS in Florida for $14.95 which is less than £10  Sadly this brand is not readily available in this country but I have found this Ebay Shop that stocks most of the range, unfortunately they are charging £18.99 plus £1.75 delivery.  I'm sure if you have a look around the internet you will definitely find it a lot cheaper than that.

Have you recently found a foundation that has replaced your all time favourite?

Japonesque Complexion Perfection Brushes

This is my first experience with Japonesque brushes and I am very suitably impressed with the quality.

I received 3 brushes from their Complexion Perfection Kit.

Japonesque Complexion Perfection Brushes

The Japonesque Angled Foundation Brush was a bit of a surprise, I've been used to using a stippling brush to apply my foundation so I wasn't sure how this was going to work.

Japonesque Complexion Perfection Foundation Brush

This is a great foundation brush, the fact that is angled makes it perfect for applying foundation around the nose area and under the eyes.  It's fabulous for building up coverage and leaves a very smooth finish to your foundation.  I also used the brush to apply primer.

The Japonesque Pro Finish Fan is also a brush I have never come across before.

Japonesque Complexion Perfection Pro Finish Fan Brush

To be honest I don't know how I have managed all of this time without a Finishing Fan Brush.  If you're a user of subtle highlighter like me then you need one of these brushes.  It is the perfect shaped tool for sweeping a light dusting of highlighter powder on top of the cheek bone in a 'C' shape up towards the temple, it deposits the correct amount of powder and leaves a beautiful professional finish.

My favourite of the 3 brushes is the Japonesque Travel Lux Bronzer Kabuki Brush.

Japonesque Complexion Perfection Travel Lux Bronzer Kabuki Brush

I love this brush, I have used it every day since receiving it.  It's perfect to apply bronzer, blusher or powder.  It is very soft and so far it hasn't shed any hairs.  It seems to intuitively pick up the correct amount of powder and distributes it very evenly wherever you use it.

I don't have a huge collection of brushes but  these are the best that I have used so far.

Japonesque brushes are now available at www.hqhair.com

Japonesque Angled Foundation Brush retails at £19.50
Japonesque Pro Finishing Fan Brush retails at £15.00
Japonesque Travel Lux Bronzer Kabuki Brush retails at £36.00

HQhair offer free standard UK delivery on all items and £4.95 next day delivery.
International standard delivery is £2.99 and free on orders over £75 using the code INTERFREE

If you looking at replacing old brushes or adding to your collection then have a look at www.hqhair.com



*PR Sample

Anastasia Brow Wiz Review

At last, after years of searching, Anastasia Brow Wiz is, in my opinion, the perfect eyebrow pencil.

Anastasia Brow Wiz

Anastasia Brow Wiz Review


Now, the problem I have always found with eyebrow products is that there is always too much red in them.  I have no red whatsoever in my eyebrows so I have resorted to using matt brown eye shadows.  This is not my preferred method of enhancing my wispy brows but there just wasn't a brow pencil out there that was the correct colour.

During my last trip to America I visited my favourite store in the world, Sephora and asked if they stocked an eyebrow pencil that had no red in it.  I was given the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash to try.  To say I was overjoyed is a bit of an understatement.  At last an eyebrow pencil that matched my actual eyebrows.

Anastasia Brow Wiz Swatch


Anastasia Brow Wiz Swatches


Just look at that perfect Medium Ash Brown.  The pencil itself never needs sharpening as it is a mechanical pencil, there is a handy brush at the other end to ensure perfectly groomed and blended brows.

Other colours available are Caramel, Ash Blonde and Brunette.  The pencil retails at $20 in Sephora but is available in the UK at www.cultbeauty.co.uk for £15.50

JINNYlash Lash Bar Launch at Selfridges

JINNYlash are launching a new Lash Bar in Selfridges London at the end of August.

They will be offering 16 new designs of Strip Lashes and these will also be available online at www.jinnylash.com

Here are just a few of lashes that you can choose from.


DISCO DIVA

CANDY STRIPE

SECRET


NATURAL GLAMOUR


ELECTRIC SWAN



The JINNYlash Lash Bar will offer a unique service where you can 'try before you buy' by allowing you to try your chosen lashes against your lash line on a lash wand.  The lashes are priced between £6 - £10 and can be re-used several times.

As I'm not that brave I would probably go for Natural Glamour or Secret, but believe me if I were a few years younger I would be definitely going for Electric Swan.

Which ones would choose?

Carmex Lip Products

carmex lip balm

I have been using Classic Carmex Moisturising Lip Balm for such a long time, there is always one in my handbag or pocket.  It just puts the comfort back in if your lips are feeling a bit dry.

I had not tried any of the other Carmex products until recently and I have thoroughly enjoyed testing them out.

Firstly I tried the Mint Moisturising Lip Balm, this contains SPF 15 so it's fabulous for use on holiday.  The balm has a lovely minty taste and instantly soothes and moisturises dry or cracked lips.  I found this balm ideal to use before applying lipstick or even on top of lipstick.  I have to say I became a little addicted to this and have since purchased several tubes.

Lastly I tried the Carmex Moisture Plus.

carmex moisture plus

I was sent the Sheer Peach to try but it is also available in Sheer Pink and Clear.  This again has an SPF 15 and I intend to take this on holiday with me next month.  Although the colour is described as sheer this is actually more pigmented than I was expecting, it gives a decent wash of colour and feels really nice and moisturising, there is no stickiness and because of this I have been using this much more than my lip glosses.

Classic Carmex is £2.69
Carmex Moisturising Mint Lip Balm is £2.69
Carmex Moisture Plus is £4.49

Now I know how you all love a bargain, I'm happy to report that all Carmex products are currently on off at 3 for 2 at www.boots.com




*PR Sample

Optrex ActiMist 2 in 1 Eye Spray

If like me you suffer from dry eyes but you're also not very good at administering eye drops then Optrex ActiMist 2 in 1 Eye Spray is the product for you.

Optrex actimist review

As you can see from the front of the box, this product is safe to use with contact lenses, it works for 4 hours, it won't disturb your make-up and it moisturises the area around the eye.

optrex actimist 2 in 1 eye spray

I was a bit sceptical at first, I couldn't work out how this was going to help my dry eyes when I was spraying it onto closed eyelids. However, I followed the instructions and hey presto within 5 minutes my eyes felt much more comfortable and looked less red and more refreshed.  

The spray can be used as often as required, can be used by other people as there is no problem with cross contamination, does not need to be discarded after 28 days, unlike like most eye products this one is good for 6 months after opening.  At only 10ml it is ideal to take on a plane with you and use throughout the flight.  On the bottle it states that there is enough product to use approximately 100 times.

The added bonus of using this product is that the skin around the eyes is also kept moisturised.

I love this product and it will be a permanent product in my handbag.

Optrex ActiMist 2 in 1 Eye Spray is available from www.boots.com for £12.89 and it is part of their buy 1 and get a 2nd product for half price on their Healthcare offer.  So for you savvy shoppers out there, you could have a years worth of perfectly moisturised peepers for £19.33




*PR Sample

Revlon Lip Butter Review

A few months ago every other blog post I read was about Revlon Lip Butters.  I waited until I went on holiday to purchase one to try as I just had a feeling I wasn't going to like them.  I decided to purchase just one than rather than the whole range, I paid around $7 for mine.

Revlon lip butter Raspberry Pie

As you can see I opted for Raspberry Pie

Revlon lip butter raspberry pie review

revlon lip butter raspberry pie swatch

A light and not so light swatch in different lights

Well my intuition was correct, I did not like this at all.  I like the colour in the case and swatched on my arms but on my lips it was a different matter.  It has a sort of gel like consistency and even with a lip pencil this bled almost instantly and within an hour the only colour remaining was what was left in the small lines around my mouth.  Now if you are young with no lines around your mouth then I'm sure the lip butters work really well for you.  However, if you are of a certain age then I recommend you give them a miss.

Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll-on Kit

Hair removal is my least favourite thing to do, I have tried all sorts, plucking, epilating, threading, creams, wax strips and nothing works as well as warm wax in my opinion.  Now as a trained beauty therapist I am a dab hand at waxing but I hate dragging my salon size wax pot out of the cupboard and plugging it in for and hour or two just to wax my upper lip.  I have tried microwave wax but I don't trust the instructions on how long the pot should be heated for.  A salon that I worked at had a cartridge wax system and I always really liked it as it was nice and hygienic, my clients all had their own cartridge head so there was no cross contamination and it was a nice clean way to remove hair.

I was recently sent the Veet EasyWax Elecrical Roll-on Kit and was very impressed when I took it out of the box.

Veet electric roll on kit

The kit comes complete with a stand, a wax cartridge, a packet of wax strips and packets of after wax wipes.

Veet easywax electric roll on kit

The instructions are idiot proof, just put the cartridge in the unit, plug it in and wait 20 minutes, you are then good to go.  Apply the wax in the direction of the hair growth, smooth on a wax strip and whip it off in the opposite direction against the hair growth.  For people that haven't waxed before I suggest you start off by doing small areas to start off with until you feel more confident with your technique.  There are lots of hints and tips in the instructions.  I really like that you can buy smaller cartridges for waxing underarms and bikini area.

This really is the first home waxing unit that I have tried that gives salon results, no mess, minimum pain and excellent results.

The Starter kit retails for £29.99 the large and small refills retail at £9.99 and the replacement wax strips are £3.49 for 24

1 cartridge will last up to 4 waxing sessions, so based on an average leg wax at the salon being around £20 outside of London, you can make a significant saving by using this at home kit.

Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll-on Kit is available www.veet.co.uk you can also find more hints and tips on the site too.



*PR Sample

JooMo Face Wash

JooMo is a skincare product for young people developed by Nick Wallen and Linda Russell.  The face wash includes 100% natural ingredients and includes the revolutionary skin care product SaponinJ, this is a proprietary skin repair system dealing with existing skin conditions, repairing the damage caused by synthetic products and rebuilds the skin's natural defences to prevent future problems.  The product is designed for young, sensitive skin.

So with this product being aimed at the young I gave the face wash to my 14 year old daughter.  Now she is a sensitive soul, well that's actually a lie, she is not sensitive at all but her skin is super sensitive.  As a toddler she could never have her face painted as she would react within seconds to the face paints, it took a few years to find a sunscreen that we could use on her and bubble bath was a big no no.  Although she has sensitive skin she is very lucky that she has pretty good skin at the moment, not too oily and I don't think she has ever had a spot in her life.  So this is what ChloĆ© had to say about JooMo Face Wash.

The packaging is nice, not too girlie or too boyish.  I like the smell, I hate things that smell flowery or fruity, this just smells nice and fresh.  It feels nice on the skin and rinses off easily, leaves the skin feeling nice and soft and not tight.

Joomo Face Wash review

Joomo Face Wash Ingredients

I can confirm that ChloĆ© has had no adverse reaction to this product at all.  I have used this a couple of times myself, purely for research you understand, I actually really like it, I'm not usually a fan of face washes but this is lovely to use.  This will definitely be a re-purchase in our household and if you have teenagers at home then I would thoroughly recommend that they give this a try. At just £4.75 for a 100ml tube you are getting something free of any nasty additives and you're getting your teens into a good skincare regime at an early age.

There is another great twist to this product.  JooMo are offering all 16 to 24 year olds the opportunity to join the JooMo Co-operative, they will have a chance to gain a stake in a growing business, take a share in the profits and have a say on how the co-operative is run.

For more information about the products, how the business was founded and about the co-operative please visit the www.joomo.coop



*PR Sample

Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just Me?

If you are under the age of 45 then there is nothing to see here so please move along and make way for the women of a certain age.

Menopause


I've been feeling a bit strange/odd/unwell for the last 6 or 7 months, nothing I could put my finger on, just a bit meh.  I have had lots of niggly symptoms such as extreme fatigue, weight gain, memory loss, cold hands and feet, tingly fingers and thinning hair just to name a few.  Then 2 months ago I started waking in the night in a hot sweat, not just a bit warm, I'm talking full on sweat, damp pillow, wet hair, oh my god, some nights I thought I was going to self combust with the heat.  I demanded my husband fit a ceiling fan immediately, which he duly did, this did not help, the breeze from the fan was lovely, however, the noise from the fan made me want to throw a brick at it.  When these tropical moments started happening during the day and some other symptoms appeared I decided it was time to visit the GP.  

Well that was easier said than done, it has taken 3 weeks to get an appointment due to a new booking system.  So on Friday off I went with my list of symptoms, yes I took a list as with my memory problems I couldn't trust myself to remember everything.  I reeled everything off that had been happening since January and when I had finished he said 'Jude, I think you'd have been better off going to the vet, they would've put you out of your misery'!  He then said that although some of the symptoms I'm having are clearly indicative of the menopause there are other symptoms that are more likely to be an under active Thyroid.  After discussing the treatment options open to me for both conditions he made an appointment for me to give an armful of blood and a follow up appointment in a few weeks.

When I got home I did what most people would do and googled my symptoms, now I don't normally do this as god knows what I would diagnose myself with and there is every chance that I could die from a misprint.

In this case though I have symptoms that would fit with both conditions.

Although I haven't had a conclusive diagnosis yet I want to investigate what treatments are available to me.

I just wondered if any of my readers are going through the menopause or dealing with Thyroid problems?  

I would like to know if you are treating these conditions with conventional medication or whether you have found natural remedies that are working for you.  How long after treatment started did you being to feel better.  Have you suffered any side effects from either conventional or natural remedies?  If you are happy to discuss this with me but don't want to do it in the comments then please feel free to email me at fairydust.dunn@gmail.com

I'm really looking forward to hearing about other people's experiences.


Emma Hardie Amazing Face Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm Review

Back in March I blogged about buying the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm and I promised to let you know how I got on with it.

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm

Do I like it?  No, I absolutely love it.

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm review

First of all it smells absolutely amazing.  I can't describe the smell to you at all but it just smells amazing.

Now, in the instructions you are told to mix a small amount of the balm with water to make a milk, well I totally ignored that, I didn't want any watering down of this product and as I'm hardcore I chose and still choose to use it neat on dry skin after removing my make up.  The balm just melts into the skin and makes it so easy to do a little facial massage.  Remove with a flannel and admire the wonderful glow that your skin has.  Seriously, this cleansing balm makes your skin look and feel as if you have had a facial.  When my skin has been dehydrated I have put a very thin layer of the balm on before going to bed, this worked like a dream whilst I was in Florida, especially with all of the sun exposure and air conditioning.

I purchased this large 200ml  tub from QVC when it was on offer for £44 with free delivery.  The 100ml tub is available on QVC for £29.10 plus delivery.

The 200ml tub is huge and I have been using it twice a day since March and I am not even half way through the tub yet, so although it sounds like an expensive cleanser it really is worth every penny.

Have you tried any of the Emma Hardie range?  Please let me know what you have tried and what your thoughts are on the products.

"Don't Cover It Up" The new campaign from Refuge in collaboration with Lauren Luke

Refuge has today launched their brand new campaign "Don't Cover It Up" in collaboration with the fabulous Lauren Luke.

Lauren Luke


Refuge

domestic violence

Please take a  look at Lauren's You Tube video entitled How to look you're best the morning after it is chilling and compelling but depicts the lives of so many women living with domestic abuse on a daily basis.

Some shocking facts :-

Over half of young women aged 18-21 reported experiencing at least one abusive incident from a boyfriend, husband or partner in a 2009 Refuge and YouGov survey

2011 research by Bristol University and the NSPCC showed that over half of teenage girls aged 13-18 had experienced sexual violence in their relationships and considered it to be normal

In a 2009 NSPCC survey, one quarter of girls aged 13-17 reported experiencing intimate partner violence; one in nine female respondents had experienced severe physical violence; and almost three quarters of girls had experienced emotional abuse

A 2005 NSPCC and Sugar magazine survey showed that 40% of teenage girls would consider giving their boyfriend another chance if he hit them, and one third said that cheating justified the use of violence

According to the British Crime Survey 2011, almost 13% of women aged 16-19 experience domestic violence, making female teenagers the group most at risk of domestic violence


If you or someone you know needs any further information or advice then please visit www.refuge.org.uk

How can you help?  There are several ways you can help to spread the message, you can share the film Lauren has made, you can share the link above to the website of Refuge, whilst on the website you can sign the online petition and/or can make a donation of £2 by text, you can share this blog post or you can tweet @RefugeCharity using the hash tag #dontcoveritup

Thanking you all in advance for your support of this fantastic organisation.


Beauty Blogging Blues!!

Hello lovely readers.  I just really wanted to update you with my current situation and hopefully explain my  absence from blogging and twitter.

As some of you know I was made redundant at the end of March, to console myself I went off to Florida for 3 glorious weeks with my family.  On my return, not only did I have the post holiday blues but the impact of redundancy really hit me hard.  I realised how devastated I was that I was no longer doing a job that I loved and I had no idea how to deal with how I was feeling.  My mood didn't get any better when for the first time in my life I had to go to the Job Centre and sign on, they practically made me jump through hoops to get the paltry amount that I am entitled to and I was made to feel like a scrounger!

In the last week I have managed to haul myself away from the very dark cloud that I was under and re-evaluate my situation.  I have realised how lucky I actually am, I get to spend all day with my youngest daughter who is home schooled, financially we are pretty secure so I do not have to work, this also means I don't have to take a job that I wouldn't enjoy just to make ends meet.  The positive side to redundancy is that this is the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

I have updated my CV and registered with several job sites.  I have several skills and qualifications so I'm sure there is a job out there for me somewhere.  I have also booked another holiday for September.

I am now in the process of sorting through all the products I have to review and hope to be back blogging and tweeting very soon.

I'd just like to say a big thank you to all of my readers for not deserting my blog, your continued support is very much appreciated.


......and the winner is



The winner is WhatLauraLoves I have emailed you for your shipping details.

Thank you to every single one of you who entered, your support is so welcome.  Look out for a new giveaway coming soon.

Beauty UK Paint For Life Nail Trio

This post is a result of receiving an email from my lovely friend Liloo.  A little over a year ago Beauty UK ran a competition to create a nail polish, one of the participants came up with an idea to have a range of Pink polishes designed to support and raise money for a breast cancer charity after watching her mother go through the ordeal of having breast cancer.

Beauty UK accepted the challenge and have launched a box of 3 polishes called Paint For Life.

beauty uk paint for life nail trio
beauty uk paint for life nail trio


The polishes have very inspirational names, Hope, Love and Strength.  For each pack sold Beauty UK will donate £1 to breast cancer research.  The collection retails at £5.99 and you can purchase yours at http://www.beautyukcosmetics.com or at your local Superdrug store.  Liloo has some beautiful swatches over on her blog at http://lilooblog.blogspot.com/

So come on ladies, what are you waiting for, get your pink on and raise money for a good cause.

Sephora By OPI Betsey Johnson Giveaway (CLOSED)

Whilst browsing around Sephora at The Florida Mall, Orlando, I saw this fabulous collection of mini nail polishes from OPI.  I couldn't resist picking one up to give away to one of my lovely readers.

sephora by OPI

L to R xox Betsey, Alley Cat, Too Too Turq, Yellow My Name Is Betsey, Son Of A Gun, Pushing Your Luck.

These are the mini bottles and contain 3.75ml each, so enough in each bottle for a couple of manicures or pedicures.  

All you need to do to win this collection is be a follower of this blog on GFC, Hello Cotton, Bloglovin or Networked Blogs and tell me your favourite nail polish for summer.

Please leave a way for me to contact you in your comment, either your Twitter name, Blog URL or email.

For an extra entry please tweet the following
 'I just entered @jadlgw blog giveaway to win the Sephora by OPI Betsey Johnson Polish Collection http://www.lovelustandfairydust.com/2012/05/sephora-by-opi-betsey-johnson-giveaway.html '
Let me know in your comment if you have tweeted.

The giveaway is open internationally and will end at midnight on 27th May 2012 and the winner will be chosen by Random Org.  

(GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED)

Nailtiques Maui Hawaiian Nails

Today's guest post is brought to you by the fabulous Liloo from Le petit jardin de liloo

Hawaiian Nails

nailtiques


You can get the girl out of high street but you can't get the high street out of me and if a  brand doesn't usually sell in your average Boots or Superdrug, I am not usually interested. This  is true unless a brand gets a huge amount of hype around beauty blogs. American born brand Nailtiques  is one of these brands which my beauty blogging friends have been raving about and obviously I  had to find out for myself, if the praise is worth the hype. Nailtiques is best known for their  nail treatment range, and their ground breaking protein formula, which won them, not once but 9  times the best beauty buy award by InStyle Magazine.

Today, I want to share with you my impressions on Maui, a nail polish, part of their colour  range, designed with the same award winning protein formula.

They say:

”The colors are from our line's 16 classic shades, all infused with the same protein Nailtiques  nail treatments use. Our formula offer special combinations of ingredients, including hydrolyzed  keratin and protein in combination with gelatin and calcium to build a healthy nail foundation.”

nailtiques maui hawaii



Maui is a bright corally pinky red creme which screams Summer and I love the fact that they chose  an Hawaiian Island to name it after. The application was an absolute dream and reminded me  straight away of the outstanding quality of the Leighton Denny nail polishes, which I didn't  think, until I tried Nailtiques could be rivalled. The best word to describe the delight of the  formula is creamy and I couldn't believe how easy was to apply. Not a hint of streak, drag,  bubble or anything like that in sight, the polish practically applied itself. I felt in control  of the application at all times and was able to take my time to guide the polish on my nail bed  and around the edges.





All fine and dandy, I hear you say, but what's the damage on the purse? Maui was gifted to me by a friend. I didn't know of its value  while first playing the polish but I knew right away it was high end polish, which the tight high  street girl in me wouldn't normally go for. Well I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the  Nailtiques polishes retail at £8.75 at Look Fantastic. This is more than I would usually part  with but I would happily part with this amount of money for a Leighton Denny polish as treat,  even if the Leighton Denny polishes don't have the protein formula added bonus.







Maui required 3 generous coats to cover completely the 'white' nail line, which is 1 coat that I would  usually be happy to apply but the formula is such a dream to work with that I am happy to  overlook that. Besides when you know you're actually caring and strengthening  your nails while  painting your nails, you really don't mind.


Conclusion: I am in love, I need some more Nailtiques  colours in my life but I don't know which 'city' to go for next. Cairo, Shanghai, St Tropez? If  you own some Nailtiques, let me know which shade you would recommend :)

See, I told you she was fabulous.  Now pop over to Liloo's blog at http://lilooblog.blogspot.com/ and don't forget to check out her amazing Avatar make up HERE



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