"Betty Leopard": May 2012

Friday, 25 May 2012

Wining and Whining

This is pretty much how I've spent my week. Whining about most things, from the state of my skin through to  how bored I am of my work and the fact that my boyfriend is working away (again) and I am very bored and lonely without him :(

As a result of this, I have been indulging in a fair amount of wine drinking of an evening, just to take the edge off :p I've drunk more wine than I would of a normal week, not helped by the fact that I have a Co-op just round the corner which has £9 wine for half price, and they put it right next to the queue, so I ended up leaving with two bottles of Rose. I have very little will power.

These two combined may have contributed to my recent blogging identity crisis :/ Sorry about that.

Can you really go wrong with a £9 bottle of wine for £4.50?

I should add that the weather isn't actually something I've been whining about. It has been hot, possibly a little hotter than I would normally like, but after all the cold and rainy weather it has been so wonderful to enjoy some sunshine. To be honest, the glorious weather has been the absolute highlight of my week and goodness knows what my moos would be like without it.

The heat and the sunshine haven't really helped with my work productivity, and it's a shame my boyfriend hasn't been around to enjoy it with me, but I have had our dog Alf to hang out with.
Alf rarely fails to make me smile, so having him around has definitely help keep my spirits up.
He loves the sunshine too, he likes that it means we spend more time outside and he loves just lazing around in the sunshine. He's such a happy boy :)

So, the weather, the wine and Alf have totally made my week. And my Mum, who has put up with my almost nightly moany phone calls. Thanks Mum :)

It's now less than a week until my boyfriend returns, just in time for the Jubilee bank holiday weekend! I hope the weather holds out. It's May going into June, so it really should, but this is Britain, and it will be a Bank Holiday, so I'm not putting any money on it being nice :( I'd like to have a barbecue with friends, but I don;t want to plan anything and jinx it.

I hope you've all had a good week and that the weather has made you smile, even if you haven't been able to get out in it properly yet.
Thanks for bearing with me this week, I can be a nightmare :/


Thursday, 24 May 2012

This is me

My name is Betty, and I'm a bit of a multiple personality Blogger. Actually, I'm just a bit of a multiple personality person.

I'm a scientist and a writer, a baker, a crafter, a WI member........

I love shoes, make up, clothes, movies, music, lipstick, baths, biscuits, cake, cocktails, books, bed, and a whole load of other things.

I'm not fashionable and I'm not cool.

I don't think I'm a particularly typical Blogger.

I'm not particularly skilled at being a girl, I don't understand my skin or know how to apply eyeshadow properly.

I'm very messy.

I have really big hair (when I don't do anything to it).

I hate exercise (doesn't work well with the love of cake :/)

I'm usually sarcastic and often cynical - I'm trying to be less critical (mostly of myself).

Representin' lol

Lots of Love

Monday, 21 May 2012

Is this me?

I'm not sure how long this post will stay up, but I've been thinking.
I love blogging, but recently I've not been as excited about this blog. I think the problem is that I'm not really being me. I think I've been too sucked in by the idea of being a beauty blogger or a fashion blogger, or some other category, when really I just want to be a me blogger. There's so much more to me than this.

This is me. I'm not really fashionable, but I like to think I'm fun, or at least interesting!

From now on, I really aim to put more personality in my blog.
I hope you all still like it!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Summer Shoes: Jellies!

Right now, it seems a bit optimistic to be thinking about a summer wardrobe. I'm having to fight my urges to buy jumpers and coats.

I saw these shoes on Facebook, in an album of items being sold by burlesque performer/axe-thrower extraordinaire, Anna Fur Laxis. I fell in love with them straight away and snapped them up. I'm not good with sandals, so these seemed like my perfect summer shoes. I can imagine wearing them on a beach, having a picnic in a park, at a BBQ or just doing general summery things :)

I haven't owned a pair of jelly shoes since I was very young, I only recently found out you could get them for adults. I saw some in Topshop and Urban Outfitters a while ago, but they weren't pretty and so I had absolutely no interest in them. These ones seem to be by Jin Dali, not a brand I know or can find anything about online!

I love the glitter and I love the bows! I would still love them if they weren't peep-toe, as I'm not the biggest fan of my feet (who is?), but they're pretty subtle as peep-toes go. I almost love them so much that I don't want to wear them and just put them on a shelf to admire, but I already have quite a lot of shoes like that :/

I'm very excited for the weather to pick up so I can wear them. It seemed like a long enough wait just hoping the sun would come out so I could photograph them outside.

Is anyone else struggling to get in the mood for summery clothes? What do you think of jellies?


Friday, 18 May 2012

My Day Job

As it's the thing that's been keeping me from blogging so much recently, I thought I'd write a little bit about my day job.

I call it a job, but I suppose it isn't really. I'm a PhD research student; which technically makes me a student, but I get paid (a bit), so I think of it as my job.

Doing a PhD is a really mixed bag. In some ways it's great - there aren't really any set hours so I get to manage my own time and mostly I choose work at home. On the other hand, it's a lot of work, and I really mean A LOT, and your work is never really good enough (basically you can always do better, no matter what).

I'm in my final year now and have gone through so many highs and lows with it. Right now I'm in a pretty decent place with it, which is good. The biggest problem with getting so close to the end is the time pressure! Hence why I'm not blogging so much at the moment.

These days I spend most of my time sat at my desk at home running endless statistical tests on my data and writing up sections of my thesis based on those results. It can get really tedious to be honest. The tests are so repetitive that I've actually almost perfected the art of running them whilst watching Mad Men (I've got through 2 and a half seasons in a week). Sometimes the results can be interesting, which gives me something to write about!

Sometimes I get to do some different things. I spent a long time running focus groups with people about their opinions of biofuels and more recently I've got to speak to some pretty important people in some big businesses about their interests in biofuels. It can be quite nerve racking, but it needs to be done!

My, slightly chaotic, workspace
I really want to make more time for blogging again. I have some new clothes I want to blog about, but the weather hasn't exactly inspired me to break them out yet :/

Thanks for still reading :)

Hope you are all having more fun that me!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Lip Boom (Shake, Shake, Shake the Room)

Lip Boom is a new product from budget high-street brand Make Up Academy (MUA), created in conjunction with Alexandra Burke of X-Factor fame.

Doin' Good, Bring It, It's A Situation and LMK (Let Me Know)

I'm not a fan of Alexandra Burke, so, for me, her involvement is of no real consequence. If anything, it potentially stood to put me off. I only really got interested in the product when I saw the promo shots of the different shades. I fell in love with the colours and the glossy-glittery finishes, particularly the four bolder shades (from a total of 8). The photo below shows the promo shots of these four shades, clockwise from top left; It's A Situation, Bring It, Doin' Good and LMK (Let Me Know).

Photo from MUA Facebook page

As soon as I heard they were available on the MUA website, I headed straight over and picked up all four - at £3 each I had absolutely no hesitation about getting all four!

I've had them for a little while now an have been playing with them and wearing them to test them out. I really like them all, but in different ways.

Doin' Good is a really great everyday sort of shade, not too pink, not too neutral and not too bold, but still glam, especially using the glittery gloss. I've worn in to work and out to lunch and have been really happy with it - it'll probably be the one I use up quickest.

It's A Situation is an amazing high impact shade, showing up as more red or more purple depending on the light. I have worn it during the day - I felt like being a bit dramatic - but is probably more of a nightime shade on my pale skin.

Bring It is also fab. I love red lipstick, and this is a really good red shade. The gloss has gold shades in the glitter that really compliment the red.

I am really torn on LMK (Let Me Know). It might be a tad dark on me, but I haven't properly made up my mind. I haven't included a picture of me wearing it as I had to use my flash and the whole set up made me look a little dead. It's a really deep purpley-red brown, which is really dramatic, like It's A Situation.

Me wearing Doin' Good, It's A Situation and Bring It (Left: Lipstick only. Right: Lipstick and Gloss)
The pigmentation in all of them is really good and strong. The lipsticks aren't drying, especially not with the gloss added as well.
The gloss obviously fades with time, particularly when eating and drinking, but the lipstick has pretty good stating power, and the glitter takes quite a lot to budge.

I think they're really really great, especially given the price. I'm always impressed by MUA products, they have a great range and are far better quality than their prices suggest.

Have you tried and of the Lip Booms yet?


Thursday, 10 May 2012

The secret to Pure & Clear skin?

About a month ago I splashed a bit of cash and overhauled my skincare regime. Again. While I have been finding progressively better products, I still can't help wondering if there's something even better out there!

While browsing on Boots.com I saw a banner ad for Nelsons' Pure & Clear range. I wasn't familiar with Nelsons', let alone the Pure & Clear products, but the advert promised blemish control and improved skin for all ages. As that's pretty much what I've been looking for, a non-teenage-salicylic-acid-filled product range to help keep my skin looking fresh and blemish free.

I bought the Purifying Daily Facial Wash and Balancing Moisturiser. 
Nelsons' products all seem to be based on natural plant extracts, and the Pure & Clear products are no different. 
The products don't contain many of the common artificial cosmetic ingredients, including Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Polyethylene Glycol. Instead they utilise plant ingredients - the facial wash has a seaweed base - and extracts including tea tree, arnica, hypericum and calendula.
The products are also not tested on animals.

I've been very happy with the products and really think they have made a difference to my skin. 

I've been using the face wash every morning and the moisturiser whenever I'm not wearing make-up. I did try the moisturiser under make-up, but it made for a lousy base for foundation. It does moisturise well, my skin has been very soft and not at all dry, but it is oil free and absorbs really thoroughly so leaves your skin surface quite dry, in a matte way. That's great when I'm not wearing foundation, but gave me absolutely nothing to work with when applying foundation.

Without the foaming effect of the sodium lauryl sulphate, the face wash doesn't foam up, which takes a bit of getting used to if you normally use very foamy products. The foaming usually has nothing to do with how effective a product is, and this face wash certainly leaves my face feeling clean and well cleansed without it. The texture is a little strange, a bit more gelatinous than most face washes, due to being seaweed based, but not strange in a horrible way. It leaves my skin feeling fresh and not dried out.

Both products smell reasonably strongly of tea tree, which might put some people off, but I don't mind it too much (especially if that's all I have to put up with the get the great results!).

I have also been using Olay Daily Facial Cloths in the evening, instead of the face wash. Not that the face wash isn't good enough to use morning and evening; I just liked the idea of very mild daily exfoliation, again to help prevent my skin getting congested and blemish-y. 

The three products in combination seem to have worked wonders for me. My skin isn't 100% blemish free, I still get the odd couple here and there, but generally a lot fewer than I was getting. Areas which used to be quite congested are also looking better.

Hope you've been keeping well while I've been such a bad blogger :/

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Biore: Reviewed

As I mentioned in my last post, the good people at Holler were kind enough to send me some samples of the new, relaunched Biore products. I received the Make-up Removing Wipes and Deep Cleansing Pore Strips.

I've had the products for about a week now, enough time to play with them, get to know them and give you my opinions on how I've got on.

Make-up Removing Wipes
I used the make-up removing wipes both to remove make-up and as a general cleansing wipe when I wasn't wearing make-up. I was impressed on both fronts.
For general cleansing they removed a lot of dirt (I was a bit horrified at how much to be honest!) and for make-up removal they cut through even my thick eyeliner with ease. I was a bit concerned I'd need more than one cloth to remove all my make-up, but one handled it just fine.
In both cases my skin felt really clean and well cleansed. The cloths smell amazingly fresh too.
At £3.99 a pack, they are a fair bit more than my usual cleansing wipes, I tend to go for the cheap £1 Boots own brand wipes. I'm torn on whether I would use these again, they worked really well, but maybe not four times as well as £1 wipes. I would probably keep a pack around for bad skin days or when I've been wearing a lot of make-up for a long time, to help prevent breakouts.

Deep Cleansing Pore Strips
I had mixed expectations for the pore strips. I've always wanted to try them out as I hate the pores that come up on my nose, but wasn't totally convinced they'd actually work.
I was excited to try them out an pleasantly surprised with the results. The strips are easy to use and the instructions on the pack are clear; I wet my nose, applied the strip and waited 15 minutes, then removed.
The results weren't as obvious as in the advert, but that might just be that there wasn't much dark dirt in my pores. When I looked closely I could really see tiny little spikes of gunk that had been pulled out of my pores! Amazing and disgusting.
It didn't get absolutely all my nasty pores, but most of the ones that got missed were in areas where it was hard to get the strip to stick around the creases in my nose.
I was impressed with the results; I'm pretty sure my pores have looked better and the strips definitely made my nose really soft! I would probably consider buying the strips in future, but probably only if I had a special occasion coming up or was going through a particularly bad skin/pore phase.

I can't really comment on whether these products have improved the quality of my skin overall, as I've made a lot of changes to my skin care regime lately. My skin has definitely been better than normal, but I don't know if that's the Biore products or something else I've been using (which I will also write about when I get chance!).

Biore seems like a good brand with products that work and I'd definitely consider trying out some of the other products in their range.

Has anyone tried Biore? Do you think you will now?

Hope you're all doing well,