Friday, 22 May 2015

Love Knows No Limits



I don't know why but I don't think I've ever mentioned on my blog that I am bisexual. Ive struggled a lot in the past with that word. I've always been semi-openly LGBT but I guess I still deal with a lot of the Bi-Phobia that is ingrained in both the straight and gay communities. I've called myself "open", "fluid", a "lesbian who happens to also like men"; I wince at the looks I get when a girls eyes glaze over because she thinks "oh you're one of them" or when a guy thinks he's managed to turn me because I'm showing an interest in him. 

The truth is that I've always been bi-sexual. I've always fancied both. You really are born that way. I first realised it when I was 11 and had the urge to kiss the girl sitting beside me in a Religious Studies class. I have vague memories of saying I was "Curious" at 15 to my friends and then never mentioning it again. And then I went through an odd period where I was "out" but just didn't tell anyone what I was. My friends were Gay, I socialised in Gay bars, I attended all the necessary events to be seen as such but if anyone asked me the question of what I was I just shrugged. I wasn't a lesbian but I hated that word. 

I've overcome that feeling thankfully. I came in out in work by taking on the role of leading our LGBT network and now I'm having amazing experiences through fundraising, networking and awareness campaigns, my small attempt at activism. I used that excuse to officially tell my family too although nobody was surprised there. I struggle daily with meeting new people and trying to work out do I awkwardly force this in to conversation or do I just leave it. Because you never stop coming out. 

And today I'm coming out here. In my silly little corner of the Internet where I choose to talk about make up & clothes. Where I share what I've been doing, what I've been buying, who I've been hanging out with, and sometimes allude to how I'm feeling. I still haven't fully crossed that line yet but now I'm telling you who I am.

Why am I telling you this? Because I live in Northern Ireland. And about an hour away, in several directions, from where I live there is an amazing thing happening. The people of Ireland are going out in droves to vote Yes to Equal Marriage. If you check out #HomeToVote tag you will see they are literally de-emigrating to come home and have their say that no one should be excluded from marriage. No one should be a second class citizen. And from a Bi-Sexual point of view, no one should have to write off the idea of ever getting married just incase they fall in love with someone who has an Inny rather than an Outty. Whether you agree with public referendums or not, you can't help but admit that this is a huge step towards true equality. And I really do hope that it passes, even if that leaves me stuck in the only country in the British Isles that doesn't recognise the right to marry. YET. 

To all my Irish friends and to everyone voting today I want to say you are amazing. 
 




Princess Realness with Eliza J & House of Fraser



I've been holding these pictures back for weeks because I didn't know how to say how much I loved it. Truth is I talk too much so I'm not going to say anything, just marvel at the absolutely gorgeous gown I wore to the charity ball I mentioned a few weeks ago.




   
Dress: Eliza J | Shoes: New Look | Accessories: Dyrberg Kern | Makeup: Rebecca Bryson


LOVE!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Hospitals, makeup & anti-embolism stockings: Living the dream.


I can go makeup free almost every day in life but when it comes to being in hospital (the one time it's actually required) I just can't. Sorry guys. I need my holy trinity. 

My holy trinity being powder, bronzer & mascara. If I have just these 3 things, I can make it through anything. Including my regular trip to theatre to have my vocal cords lasered & my dreams of being a singer shattered. 


My current view of the world. It's pretty blue. They've just wheeled out the first patient on the list and I'm third in line so it won't be long til I'm called. The waiting is the worst bit. And knowing what's coming. Actually maybe the worst bit is knowing that it won't make a damn bit of difference. Although I did learn I'm getting a new anti-viral treatment so you know... Fingers crossed for that. 


I get fairly reflective sat here on my own just waiting. Needlessly reflective I'm sure some would say. You'd think after 24 years, two or three times a year (less since budget cuts & waiting lists) Id be used it. Sadly not. Happily though I'll be home by 8 this evening and can crawl into bed for a few days with a bucket of soluble painkillers and Grace & Frankie on Netflix. 


Let's not forget the outfit of the day. My lovely sheer gown & stockings. Totes fetching. 


Right I think I've reflected enough. Time to go distract myself with some hardcore social networking.

SEE YOU ON THE FLIP SIDE!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The super cuteness of Studio Ghibli nail art



These were done with various Gelish colours over a Hard Gel overlay with embedded glitter. 
Characters featured are Totoro - My Neighbour Totoro, Soot Sprites - Totoro & Spirited Away, No Face - Spirited Away, and Calcifer - Howls Moving Castle. 





Thursday, 30 April 2015

Faeriwood Kitchen: Marinated Pork Loin

I make a point when I go food shopping to buy 1 herb/spice/condiment outside of my comfort zone. It's a great way to build up the store cupboard but it also encourages me to be a bit more adventurous when cooking. 

This week it was Oyster Sauce and also a few cheeky fresh herbs & spices thrown in, so I decided it was the perfect opportunity to branch out my efforts into an Asian style marinade. I was confident I'd watched enough cooking programmes to know the basics and create something to satisfy the tastebuds, which this completely did. 

The pork loin was, if I'm honest, 93p from the reduced to clear section in Tesco. A huge bargain and not a cut I would usually use given that I find pork can be dry and salty. Not with this marinade! The marinade would go well with chicken or cheaper cuts too if you aren't lucky enough to find 93p meat the day before payday. It's also perfect for the BBQ season which we seem to be having at the moment. 



Ingredients:

Marinade
1 thumb sized piece of Ginger
Red Chilli (or as much as you want)
3 cloves of Garlic
A small bunch/handful of fresh Coriander
1/8 cup Oyster Sauce
1/8 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup Kikkomans Soy Sauce 
1/4 cup Mirin/Sushi vinegar
2 tbsp caster sugar (or honey to taste)

1 Pork Loin butterflied so that it lies flat. 

I measure in Cups because they're so easy. It may sound lazy but I really can't be bothered with millilitres & grams when I come home from work, plus I love my measuring cups. They look like miniature sauce pans! 

Method:


Start by blending the Garlic, Chilli, Ginger,  & Coriander. It looks so much prettier if you leave it a bit coarse rather than go into a full paste but it's up to you. Add the wet ingredients then pulse again and taste. Add the sugar/honey to taste, give it a final whiz and you're good to go. 

Slather the mixture on and make sure it's fully coated. Because my bit was butterflied out there were a few nooks and crannies that I had to make sure were properly coated. Leave it in the fridge for an hour and then pan fry as hot as your cooker will allow for no more than 7 - 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Allow to rest for 5 minutes then slice before serving.

I served it with Creamy Five Spice Noodles, which are exactly what they sound. Heat a pinch of Five Spice and a small dash of cream (I use Alpro Soya Cream because of allergies) then toss cooked Noodles through it & garnish with whatever the mood takes you. In my case it was chives and more coriander, because I was feeling fancy. The cream will cut through the chilli and the five spice is just yummy!







I absolutely can't get over how well this turned out. I had the leftovers the next day in a salad for lunch and it was just as tasty cold. It's completely changed my opinion on using pork that isn't just mince or sausage. 

Monday, 27 April 2015

Tales of the Pale: A TanTastic Self Tanning Liquid and Mousse review.

So here's a thing, I'm pale. Paler than pale. There is no Ivory there is only Irish White. Proven last week when I was getting my make up professionally done and Rebecca actually had to add some White Illamasqua Skin Base to the lightest foundation she had! 

I'm pale. 

So I'm always little bit wary when it comes to self tanning and the glaringly obvious ways in which it could wrong. I've tried dozens of tans in the past and few have passed muster. 

So you can imagine when the lovely folks from TanTastic sent me their Vitamin E enriched Self Tanning Liquid & Mousse I was hopeful but sceptical. 


The first thing I noticed was the clever packaging. You open up the box to find a very detailed application guide, and a guide to the individual products, printed on the inside. It's the first time I've seen it and made me pay much more attention to the actual instructions rather than on an additional, easy to lose, leaflet; saving both trees and hassle. 

The second thing I noticed was there is no shade. These are a one size fits all product with deeper colour built up by layering rather than formula. They are instant colour formulas though so you can see what you're doing which is always nice!

The Mousse - £18

I started off with the mousse as I always seem to gravitate towards mousse tans. I just love how easy they are to apply and this one is no different. It spreads across the skin nicely so I'm able to get a full limb out of only 1 or 2 pumps. The glove is great and doesn't suck in too much of the product so I don't feel I'm losing half of it in the sponge.

I applied this at night, an hour or so before going to bed, because that's when 90% of us do our tans isn't it? And I was relieved when I woke up the next morning that I was noticeably tanned but not tangoed, there were no marks on/from the bed sheets and the colour had stayed consistent. Over the next week the colour washed well and faded nicely without patchiness or looking dirty.    



The Liquid - £15 



I was more nervous with the liquid as I've had some huge disasters in the past with these. I was put at ease when I realised that it was another Instant Colour product so I could see what I was doing and where I was going wrong throughout the process. I also did this one during daylight hours, better light made for better application of a product which doesn't spread as easily as the mousse and dries super quickly! Seriously, it's so fast. 

Verdict

I really enjoyed both of these actually. They are slightly darker than I would usually go, even with only a single coat but still look really natural so I have no worries about feeling self conscious without makeup during the day and would feel more than happy on a night out knowing that I'm not a day-glow Orange! I'm a bit of a convert to the liquid although I will be sticking to the mousse for my night time use. I didn't notice any smell or feel sticky before showering which is always nice and the final developed colour was soft and very wearable. 

A big thumbs up! 

TanTastic is available from various chemists including Gordon's & SemiChem. You can also find it online here at TanTastic and from Very.co.uk  






Monday, 20 April 2015

Whatever happened to Acid Rain? Reviewing Bravura and Nip + Fab


Recently I saw someone pose the question "Why does everyone have to be obsessed with everything? Why can't we just like something?"

It's a fair point; We are "Generation Obsessed". Either that or "Generation Can't-Even". 

What can't we even, I hear you ask? 

None of us know, that's why we can't!

Moving on swiftly, I am obsessed...


...with Acid Exfolation. Ever since I discovered there was a way to remove all those nasty dead and dry skin cells without scrubbing my face raw I was a convert. 

It started with a Christmas gift from my mum. A stocking filler she apparently bought sometime in June last year. A complete throwaway gift which has become my favourite thing! I give you the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix pads. 

They say: Glycolic acid retextures and resurfaces, Hyaluronic acid moisturises and refreshes, Blue Daisy soothes and calms. 

I say: Yes please, more of this. 

I was worried that my skin being so sensitive would reject these completely, I had heard of friends finding them overpowering but it's been quite the opposite. I have completely disregarded their guidance on use, however, once every other day is enough. Once a day if I'm having an extreme dryness breakout. Definitely not twice a day. My dry patches & flakiness have about 95% cleared up. No longer do I need to hide my dandruffy brows (yes that's an actual thing) and scaley hairline (Aren't I the most attractive person ever?!). 

Second up in exfoliators is Bravura Purifying Calendula Toner for normal to problem skin. 

They say: combines the effective exfoliation properties of 10% Glycolic acid and 3% Lactic acid hydrating Aloe Vera and healing Calendula extract. 

I say: Yes and No. I was kind of hoping for more punch. 

I use the Bravura during my hormonal moments when I have an over abundance of sebum (the stuff that creates White & Black heads) around my cheeks and chin; the usual hormone trouble spots just without the actual spots, thankfully! 
Despite the fact that it's a 13% acid you'd think it would be kick ass but the additional oils compensate well, making it a delicate experience and I wouldn't be afraid to use it more regularly if I needed to. At £8 direct from Bravura.com it's excellent value & I'm seriously considering its Ginseng sister for my normal dry skin days. 

So these are my acids. I'm sticking with the budget ranges until my Borg skin adapts and I have to go hunting for something new again. Resistance is futile but suggestions are welcome. 

Thanks for reading!