2012:Week 1 | Skincare, 'Carnival' Nails, Primark, Nude Lip, Sophie's World...

First- Seventh January, Twenty Twelve 

Salutations And A Belated Happy New Year!

So, we're well into 2012 now. I'm not going to lie, the beginning of this week was tough for me emotionally and mentally- the first week into a new year usually is. It's the over-contemplating, over-reflecting, over-planning et cetera, et cetera. That fear of the unknown, I suppose. I know exactly what happened in 2011 so find comfort in sort of holding on to it, but what 2012 has in store is anyone's guess. I was M.I.A for a few days. I had to take some time out to clear my mind but I'm feeling fresh and reloaded now.

I'm not a resolution person, I just make sure that I'm realistic about what I want to achieve but most of all I stay true to myself. Just because the clock has struck 12am on the 1st January doesn't mean that I will miraculously become a changed person or have all the answers to my troubles. Far from, in fact. I make mistakes and learn from them all year round. That's what life is about. Learning. Developing. Evolving. I know what I want and I simply take the necessary small steps to get there. As Henry Ford once said, and agreeably so: "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal".

So...This week? On New Years Eve, my hubby managed to claim his full chicken from good ole Nando's before his loyalty card expired at midnight (I missed out on my quarter chicken, but I'll live). The evening was spent indoors with my two favourite fellas (husband and baby boy), peri peri style (extra hot), a bottle of wine ( sparkling white zinfandel, to be precise) and watching 'Alan Carr's New Year Spectacular (chuckles all round). I wouldn't have had it any other way.

I know it's incredibly British to talk about the weather but it's been so predictably unpredictable, I just have to give it a mention. Well, it rained cats and dogs on New Years Day (Sunday). The superstitious person in me saw it as a washing away of negative energy from 2011 while the grumps me just thought Mother Nature was taking the Minie Mouse. Monday was chilly but really sunny, so much so that one could have be forgiven for wearing shades in January...in England. Tuesday's wind was my alarm clock and the rest of the week, to my relief,  was relatively mild and more settled.

Don't worry, I've been up to a bit more than focusing on the weather's shenanigans....

BEAUTY: Let's Face The Day

I've finally put together a face cleansing routine that I'm really happy with (for now, at least).
Johnson's Day and Night Creams have become a staple part of my daily skincare regime. I've been using them for the last two weeks and have been rather impressed with the results. Hydrated, supple and smooth skin.
I can't rave enough about the Clarisonic Refining Skin Polish. Skin feels remarkably smooth after use and there are enough grains in a pea-sized amount to get a really good exfoliate going on. I'm saving up for the brand's electronic brush. I've heard so many great things about it.
I started using the Clean and Clear Morning Energy- Shine Control Cleanser after reading about it on Sara Hassain's Blog. As a cleanser, it does exactly what it says on the tin and does it well. I tend to wash my face with cold water. I like the added tingle and rush when the ice-like water hits my face. Re-fresh-ing.
Fashion Fair Cleansing Creme is amazing for removing stubborn makeup because it picks up every ounce of dirt.
Kleenex Facial Cleansing Wipes are great because each sheet hat got just the right amount of moisture for a thorough clean. I love the quilted texture.
I use the Tea Tree Oil Face Mask from The Body Shop every three days. You only need to put it on for about ten minutes and the results are instantly noticeable.
What skincare regime do you have for your face?

NAILS: Car-ni-vaaal
As the festive season was nearing an end, I figured I'd get all things glitter and sparkles out of my system (a trend, however, that seems to just be getting started, judging from the amount of glittery shoes and accessories- not to mention other glitter polishes- featured on a lot of blogs I read). I bought the 'Carnival' nail varnish by Technic three weeks ago and like most polishes I buy, I don't really get round to wearing them 'til I'm in the mood for that particular colour, finish etc. Anyway, it's exactly the same as the OPI Rainbow Connection one. Call it a dupe, if you will. I used my Sleek 'Nailed Polish' in 'Poison Ivy 12' as a base colour. I love the way the glitter looks when it catches the light from different angles *wiggles fingers*
What nail polish(es) have you been rocking this week?

FASHION: Primarni and an OOTD: Tanned
Did some retail therapy at Primark this week too. It was much needed, I tell ya! Still trying to get my head around how ridiculously cheap that store is. I always go there first before forking out my money in any other clothes shops because if there's something you want fashion-wise, it's more than likely that you'll find it in Primark.
Treated yourself to anything nice this week?
Jacket (see video) | Bershka
Brown Turtle Neck | Bershka
Skirt | Primark
Boots | Barratts
Headband | New Look
Bag (see video) | Next
Ring | Miss Selfridge
Earrings | Miss Selfridge
Nails | Rosy Raisin (E.L.F.)

I like teaming different brown and cream shades together. I bought this tanned faux leather jacket about three months ago for £30- an absolute steal. It's very warm, trendy and cosily hugs the top half of my body. The detachable faux fur collar allows you to be flexible with the look. I love it.
I don't normally go for long skirts but I liked the knitted detail and the fit of this one so I was drawn to it in the store. As it's very fitting, it works really well as a high waisted skirt.
What have you been wearing this week?

MAKEUP: Colour Me Naked
My Beauties Factory 120 eyeshadow colour palette (No.2) arrived on Tuesday. The pigmentation isn't great but it's workable, however, I do like the mix of matte/sheer and shimmery eyeshadows. I know what suits me so there are a few shades I won't be trying (not out of the house, anyway). When it comes to eyeshadow- like with most of my makeup- I prefer to keep it nude/natural-looking and subtle. Having said this, I  think it's always handy to have a colourful palette to use should you choose to add a pop of colour to the eyes. Come to think of it, I haven't really worn any vibrant colours on my eyelids. Wait, no. Tell a lie, I have >>here<<

Since getting the palette, I've wanted to test out a few looks but have played it safe and only done a royal blue smokey eye. For experimentation's sake, I only worked on one eye:
I'm embracing the 'nude lip' too. I've been really into bright red lips this autumn/winter but I figured toning things down a little (or a lot, in the case of the nude lip) wouldn't go amiss. When it comes to the nude lip, I'd rather do gloss than lipstick- don't know why, it just seems to suit me better. With some nude lipsticks, no matter how well I put on the liner, I feel like I run the risk of making my lips and the surrounding area look ashy. These are my current favourite nude lip products:
In order (L-R):
MAC Lip Pencil in Dervish;
New CID Cosmetics iGloss in 'Coconut Ice';
NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in 'Tanned';
Rimmel London Vinyl Gloss in 'Cosmic';
MAC Lip Glass in 'Liqueur';
UNE Natural Beauty Lip-Toned Colour lipstick in 'L14';
(All swatched below in same order).
What have you done recently makeup-wise that's a little out of your comfort zone? Have you been into any particular lipstick shades of late? 

This week, I've been more focused on my little bubba's food. He's at that weaning stage now so we're slowly introducing him to new tastes and textures for his palette. My husband picked up a hand- held blending set from Next. It's for making cupcakes but obviously does the trick for the purpose we need it for. Plus, this is a considerably cheaper alternative from Avent's baby food steamer and blender which is retailing at £75. <-- !! Daylight robbery!!

A friend gave me the Annabel Karmel's Top 100 Baby Purées book so I've been reading through that to get a few ideas. I make two days worth of purees at a time (one fruit set for the afternoons and one carb or protein set for dinner, for example) and put them in cute little plastic pots. At the moment, I'm making single purées rather than mixing different fruits, veg etc because I'm trying to figure out what foods little man likes and dislikes. I love the way babies give you that "what's this you're feeding me?" look then proceed to cautiously, yet willingly sample it before giving full approval by opening their mouth widely for the next spoonful. Yesterday I accidentally made a large batch of plantain puree for him. He seems to love it. Just as well for me, really. 
   What's cooking? Have you tried any new foods this week? Eaten out anywhere particularly nice for the New Year?

I've started taking my multivitamins again as nutritional support and have made a very conscious effort to drink at least 1.5 litres of water every day. So far so good. My skin appears clearer and I have noticeably more energy. They say "the body is a temple" so it's high time I show it a little more respect. It's funny how throughout my pregnancy, I was fussy about what I ate: whether I was eating enough, getting the right nutrients and yada yada yada- and that's because it's imperative that from the moment you find out you're carrying all selfishness stops there. For those nine months it's not just your body anymore. your growing baby relies on you so you have to go into a permanent selfless mode. As soon as me and my husband's little bubba was born, I neglected my body, for instance only having one proper meal a day and not consuming enough fluids, and on top of lack of sleep I started feeling the repercussions. I'm a big believer in healthy home-cooked food, so nutritional value has never been a problem when it comes to my diet, thank goodness, otherwise I would have been in such a poorly state.
CULTURE: Sophie, Me and a Cup of Tea
There's nothing quite like sitting on the sofa in winter, rain banging against the window pane, cup of tea and biscuits (preferably milk chocolate digestives), and snuggling under a massive blanket on the sofa and getting really stuck in to a good book.  A close friend of mine lent me 'Sophie's World' by Jostein Gaarder all the way back March last year and admittedly, I've only just gotten round to actually reading it (Sorry Mona). She's probably forgotten that I even have it. I've been so bogged down surfing the Internet that I forgot how much I love reading- an actual book. I'm not really a fan of Kindles. Great idea, don't get me wrong, but I love the tangibility of having a paperback. Being able to turn the pages, leaving it doggy-eared, the smell...So, I started reading it yesterday afternoon and have only got through four chapters but I'm completely engrossed.
What are you currently reading? What was the last book you read?

Well, that's a snippet of my last seven days. How was your first week of 2012?
"Years end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us." - Hal Borland
I hope you all have a prolific and productive week two.

As ever,


  1. What do you make of the body shop face mask? I've been looking at trying this one out!

    Marie x


  2. great post, love the makeup palette!

  3. @ Marie Loves : I love it. I've been using it for almost three years now. Yes, you most definitely should give it a try. :)

  4. @ Femme Virtue: Thank you. It's a decent palette. Not amazing for pigmentation but good nonetheless.

  5. Such a long and great post, love ur outfit,makeup look and skincare regimen. I have always been dramatic with my makeup looks but that has since changed idk why but keeping my eyes simple and bold lips! Happy new year hun xxx

  6. @ Sharon: Thank you! Yeah, it's really long for a blog post but as I didn't post anything last week I decided to cram everything into one. I might do posts like this from now on and do the ocasional odd stand-alone post (e.g. a review)....Yeah, I prefer simple eyes, and bold lips too.

  7. @ boo! coco: It's lovely, isn't it? Primark impresses me.


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