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Project Reorganise: Dressing Table

Project Reorganise has slowed down a little of late, but I have managed to get to a milestone on the Dressing Table.

I’ve been holding off posting about it until I had found the right mirror for it, which I found at a Big Surrey Fair at the Tolworth Recreation Centre on the A3 a few weeks ago. It’s in a lovely Art Nouveau style and complements the picture frame that I bought last month (which you can see in the picture).

Dressing table

Dressing table

When I saw the mirror, the seller was busy in conversation so I spent time having a really good look at it and then moved on, returning when I saw that she was free again. She said she’d seen me looking at it and would I like a price on it, to which I said I would. She said that she could come down from the sticker price of £38 to £32. I asked if she’d accept £30 and she said she would. She also remarked that she’d told herself that if it didn’t sell today then she’d probably have kept it.

I mentioned to her that I hadn’t wanted to interrupt her conversation earlier and she said that she wished I had as the guy was a bit of a bore. Oops. 😀

Small picture frame

Small picture frame

A week or so later I was at another fair, this time in Hartley Wintney, which is nice and local to me. I happened to come across a little double picture frame that had almost exactly the same design as the mirror (or, certainly, incredibly similar), which I managed to buy for £5. I haven’t yet decided what pictures to put in it or where to put it – whether to have it right next to the mirror or to have it elsewhere so that someone looking at it might go “oh! Isn’t that the same design as…?”

I’m not yet sure if this will be the final configuration of my Dressing Table, as when I have put on my make-up at it I have felt that the mirror is a little small and also that there is not enough light in that corner of the room, so I may have to revisit this. But it will do for now and it certainly looks nice.

 

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2015 in Diary, Home furnishing

 

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Hotel adventures

In my previous post I mentioned that I was considering staying in a hotel mid-week to break up my long-distance commute a little. A local Spa Hotel had a special rate last week where they had 20% off their standard room-only price, so I thought I would give it a go, just for one night.

I decided that it might be nice to take advantage of the different surroundings for some pictures, so when Tuesday night came around I spent ages packing up all my make-up, some outfits, and all the stuff I felt I would need. In the end I filled a small suitcase and also a shoulder bag. It’s absolutely no word of a lie that women need more luggage space than men.
I packed a nice silk (or silk effect anyway) black corset and some fashion tights, a nice dress, some shoes to go with it, and a PVC corset, PVC boots and PVC skater skirt. It wasn’t really my intention to take any photos for public consumption with the PVC outfit, but I just thought it would be a little fun.

I arrived at the hotel at about 5.30pm, checked into my room, unpacked and hung up my dress, and decided that I would have a little walk around the grounds. So I grabbed my camera and went for a wander. The hotel and grounds were nice enough, but there was a bit of an air of “faded glory” about it all. I managed to take a few nature and architecture photos, but none that I was happy with or wish to publish.

Returning to my room, I thought I’d get my swimming gear together and go down to the Spa and use the facilities. I have to confess that I’m not much of a swimmer or a bather, and I’m not really into saunas, so it was little surprise that within 20 mins I was bored and had enough so decided to return to my room.
Barely an hour had passed by now, and already I was very bored and realising that this hotel idea was probably not working out. Yes, it’s all very convenient not to have to drive 50 miles to get home, and the same back the next day, but being away from all the amenities of home is a big down side.

Hotel adventures

“Hotel adventures #1” on Flickr

I’d brought a bottle of wine with me, and also a box of sushi, so I had the sushi and a glass of wine whilst surfing through the channels on the telly, then after that I thought maybe I’d do my nails (bit of a frivolity to do that only to take it off again a few hours later, but I thought it would look nice for the pics). That seemed to take ages, but I did it whilst watching a Dave Allen compilation show on BBC iPlayer on my tablet, although it tended to buffer every so often which was rather frustrating.

After my nails were finally dry, I started getting my makeup on although it initially didn’t go very well and seemed to take twice as long as usual. Also I made several mistakes trying to do eyeliner wings, and ended up taking ages and getting rather frustrated with myself. Also I discovered that the eyeliner pen that I mentioned in my previous post was useless – it was far too narrow.
By now I was starting to get really rather upset and was very close to taking it all off again and not bothering, but I was exchanging emails with my friend Sarah whilst I was doing this and she encouraged me to keep going. So I stuck with it, then got dressed, and finally felt I was ready, then took the set of photos of which I chose to publish the one above.

Hotel adventures #2

“Hotel adventures #2” on Flickr

After that, I changed into the PVC outfit but wasn’t at all happy with how it sat on me; it looked awful, and none of the photos I took are anything that can be shown. Not even in private, so don’t bother asking. However, I did take a few head & shoulders portrait shots whilst wearing the PVC corset and I was quite pleased how this one came out. So that got published too.

By now I was really weary of the whole thing and I really didn’t feel like changing into the dress that I had also brought with me. Besides, the time was getting on by now and I needed to start thinking about bed, which meant planning enough time to get my makeup off, get unchanged, and get everything packed up again. So that was that.

The plan had been to have a lie in the next day, but I slept badly and woke earlier than usual and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I decided to get up, have a cup of tea, check my emails, Facebook and Twitter, and then check out and go to work. I made it in to work for 7.15am. Eeeps! Still, at least that meant I was able to leave mid-afternoon having done my hours.

Will I do this again? I don’t know. If I do, I will plan my entertainment a lot better – perhaps bring my laptop along with some DVDs and other offline content, so as not be so reliant on patchy Wi-Fi. Maybe a good book too. And if I do take pics in girl mode again, it’ll be less ambitious (with no nail varnish). We’ll see.

 

 
 

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Colour-correcting Concealer

A good t-girl friend of mine recently asked me for recommendations on concealer, particularly one able to hide shaving redness and beard shadow. And although I replied immediately in email, it has inspired me to write a blog article on it to go into more detail in case it is of benefit to others too.

Until I had the laser hair removal, I suffered from really bad shadow. Even after wet shaving really closely I’d have dark shadow that normal foundation and concealer couldn’t hide.

I found two systems, both by Kryolan, to be extremely effective. Kryolan are a German company who specialise in make-up for the film, theatre and television industries. But their products are also widely used by people who need serious concealer coverage.

Dermocolor Camouflage System Tester Kit

Dermocolor Camouflage System Tester Kit

The first is Kryolan’s “Derma Color” Camouflage concealer range. This is marketed as

“A paramedical makeup line developed by Kryolan, a world leader in cosmetic manufacturing. Dermacolor is designed to correct skin disfigurements or discolourations whether they are accidental, dermatological, surgical or congenital.”

Dermacolor concealer in D4

Dermacolor concealer in D4

It’s suitable for covering tattoos, scars, skin pigmentation issues such as Vitiligo and, of course, beard shadow! The concealer comes as a creme and can be bought in individual shade pots (pictured), palettes, compacts, and also a handy Tester Kit (pictured)

The tester kit contains Camouflage Cream in 7 shades, Fixing Powder, Cleansing Cream, Moisturiser Cream, Cleansing Lotion, Cleansing Milk and makeup remover. Of the kit, I think I have only ever used the camouflage cream and fixer powder. The rest are rather superfluous, in my opinion. But it is an inexpensive way to dip your toe into the Dermocolor range.

However, my personal recommendation would be to get one of their palettes as these are refillable and have more long-term use. I actually have one of these – a 12-colour palette – but I can’t find it right now so can’t take a photograph of it for you. The one I have is rather retro; it’s in a metal case and looks like a watercolour paint set I owned as a child. You can also get palettes in 3, 5, 6, 12, 24, and any number of others (I’m not going to do exhaustive research on this. Let’s just say “a variety of palettes are available”).

TV Stick by Kryolan

TV Stick by Kryolan

However, if this proves not to be enough, you can wheel out the really Big Guns of concealer and try Kryolan’s “TV Stick” (oh! the irony in that name!) which is a very heavy cream concealer that looks like a Pritt Stick, and is only slightly less gunky. This stuff is seriously thick & creamy, and covers even the most stubborn beard shadow. It would make even Homer Simpson look clean-shaven (although I don’t think Kryolan make it in yellow). I found that dabbing it directly onto the skin and then blending in with a damp cosmetic sponge was the way to go. I then put normal liquid foundation on top (such as MAC’s excellent Studio Fix) and then fixed with translucent loose powder. Be warned that you run a real risk of looking like you are wearing a face mask with this stuff, but it really is the way to go if you have problem beard shadow like I used to have.

Edit: I’ve had feedback emphatically agreeing that TV Stick can end up looking like a face mask (well, I did say that!). I really can’t emphasise enough that it is vitally important to blend this with a damp latex cosmetic sponge and also to use a loose powder to fix it. This really is extremely effective in making it look more natural to the point I would say that it is essential.

 


Links & Further Reading

Extreme Makeup
UK seller of Kryolan products, including both TV Stick and Dermacolor

Kryolan UK
Kryolan’s UK website

Vanity Treasures review
A review on the TV Paint Stick.

Makeup and Beauty review
A review of Dermacolor concealer.

 

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in Cosmetics

 

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MAC Attack!

On Thursday I had a make-up lesson with MAC Cosmetics in Guildford. MAC do a number of offers like this, from a taster, to a makeover, to a full 90-minute tutorial / lesson which is what I went for.

It costs £50 for the 90 min lesson, but you get that money back as credit against MAC products, so is effectively free (or a discount on products, depending on how you do your maths).

Made over / up

Made over / up

I decided I wanted to concentrate on eyeshadow for this session, and particularly a shaded look. So that’s what we did, although we covered other things too.

With these sessions, the artist does one side of your face and you do the other under supervision. We went for me doing the right side of my face (my right, so the left as you look at the picture) and her the left (my left).

For the eyeshadow we used a primer, and then quite a pale cream colour (“grain”) on the inner part of the eyelid, then a bronze on the middle, which is also mirrored on the lower eyelid, and then a black (“carbon”) on the outer edge of the lid both above and below, all blended in of course.

For eyeliner we started with some gel eyeliner but then got talking about various eyeliner techniques; I’ve used pencils, gel and liquid before now, and she showed me a fourth option. Using the carbon eyeshadow and an angled brush, you can use that to do an eyeliner. And it has the advantage of being quick and not dragging, and also giving a softer smokey look. I think I may experiment further with that.

For the lashes, we used MAC’s “Extended play” eyeliner. Normally I use their false lash mascara which has a much chunkier brush. But she showed me how to use a small separate mascara brush held vertically to do the lower lashes and I discovered lashes I never even knew I had! I was so excited about that discovery. She’s given me some of those brushes and it is possible to buy more so I will definitely be using that technique in future!

On the eyebrows, I usually use MAC’s “Lingering” eyebrow pencil and then blended with an angled brush. The disadvantage is that the pencil is very thin (it’s a propelling pencil) and doesn’t last long and also breaks very easily. But we explored an alternative (and cheaper) option. Using an angled brush and MAC’s “Espresso” eye shadow you can achieve the same effect on the eyebrows as the pencil, plus it comes out a little softer too which is exactly the effect I wanted. So I’m really pleased with that and will start to do that in future rather than replacing my pencil when it runs out.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Another tip I picked up is to do eye makeup before doing foundation. Usually I do foundation first to create a “blank canvas”, and then move on to my actual makeup. However, eyeshadow often falls onto your cheeks when doing your eyes. By doing the foundation after the eyes, you can wipe off any excess eyeshadow that has fallen on your cheeks, and then cover it over with foundation.
We used Fix Fluid NW15 (which is what I normally use) and NW20 Pro Long liquid concealer under the eyes. Normally I use a solid concealer in much the same way but I may get the Pro Long at some stage.
On top of that we used MAC’s “prep & prime” translucent fixing powder which is something I use anyway.

For blusher we used Dainty, which is a lighter pink with lovely sparkly bits in it, applied to the tops of the cheek bones.

So, at the end of all that we got to what you see in the pic above. I’m really happy with it and it’s definitely “me” and a look I would regularly wear. If you want a full breakdown of what we used then be sure to click the pic on the right.

Tadaa!

Tadaa!

I mentioned at the start that the lesson was £50 redeemable against product. I decided to go for the primer, the espresso and carbon eyeshadows, an eyeshadow holder, and the dainty blusher, which came to £61.50 (it adds up so quickly). Depending on how you do your maths, that’s £61.50 of makeup with a free 90 min lesson, or £50 for a 90 min lesson with a professional make-up artist and £61.50 of make-up for £11.50, or perhaps something in between.

Sadly I couldn’t afford the rest of the eyeshadows, or the amazing brushes we used (the dual bristle foundation brush was gorgeous but was £27), so after I left I confess I popped next door to Boots and took advantage of their ‘buy one, get the 2nd half price’ offer in their No.7 range, and got a ‘chocolate fondant’ quad eyeshadow compact, a foundation brush, concealer brush, and eye contour brush for a total of £30.87 (a saving of £8.88 due to the deal). Yes, the brushes are nowhere near as nice as the MAC ones and may be a false economy but I simply can’t afford the MAC ones right now. I didn’t buy angled brushes as I already have two.

Also whilst in Guildford I did a little clothes shopping and picked up a couple of bargains in New Look’s sale. A nice black & green velvet flock dress, and a really cute short pleated skirt for £4 (yes, £4!!!). When I got home I just had to put a schoolgirl outfit together with it but more on that another time.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2014 in Cosmetics, Diary, Out & About, Photos, Shopping

 

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Let your mind go and your body will follow

Regular readers will know that I tried going to Salsa for a while but for one reason or another, mainly confidence, I stopped going.

Since I’ve spent so much time and money on laser hair removal and Voice Coaching, I decided I may as well press on and address that too, and so I contacted my Salsa teacher since she is really nice in order to enquire if she does private tuition, and she does.

So today I spent an hour with her, just working on basic moves; moving to music and being encouraged to essentially do what the title of this post says (I’ll give you extra points if you can identify the film it comes from, but only if you do it without googling!)

Normally I have to be drunk to let go like that, and of course when you’re drunk you always think you dance better than you do. But something wonderful happened today – I was able to let go and just dance. And if felt wonderful. I was so pleased with myself and am going back on Friday for another session!

On the way back, I needed to call into Fleet to pick up some things I had bought online but with ‘Collect In-Store’ rather than delivery, and I just happened to see a little craft stall and fell in love with a pair of earrings, which I bought. Then as I passed Claire’s Accessories I recalled that it had been just over 6 weeks since I had my ears pierced there, so called in and asked if they would help me remove my starter studs. It proved quite tricky to remove them, but we finally got them out and we got the new ones that I had just bought back in. I’m so happy! I’d like to thank the staff at Claire’s in Fleet for being so helpful and nice; it’s so lovely when you get people going the extra mile to help you.

I also managed to get a really lovely jumper in New Look for over 50% off and which cost me £11. Bargain! I’ll not post a photo just yet – it can wait until a I take a pic of me wearing it.

I also had another go with liquid eyeliner when I did my make-up this morning and, as you can see from the pic, it came out pretty well. Yay!

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2013 in Diary, Out & About, Social

 

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Friday on my mind

On one of my recent fashion updates I mentioned that I had bought a lovely Rockabilly-style dress from Friday On My Mind. Well, now have photos of me wearing it. Woot!

This pic is a close-up that doesn’t really show the whole dress, but I liked it a lot so decided that this would be the one I would post to Flickr. If you look closely (or zoom in) you can also see my experiments with liquid eyeliner that I have applied to my upper lids above the lashes. I’m quite pleased with how it came out.

Friday on my mind

Friday on my mind

As a bonus, and not currently on Flickr (although I may add it at some stage), here is a pic showing the whole dress too. Isn’t it lovely?

The whole dress

The whole dress

 
 

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Strictly plant inspecting

I had a great weekend just gone. It started off with a bit of drinksitting on Friday evening and staying up into the early hours of the morning talking drunken rubbish to friends on Facebook and IM, and then a lie in on Saturday morning and a little bit of a hangover (a far more mild one than I deserved to be honest). I watched the F1 qualifying (I’m a big F1 fan), pottered around a bit. and before I knew it, it was early evening and Strictly Come Dancing came on the telly. Now, I have a confession to make; I have never watched it before. But I know several of my friends love it so I gave it a go and I am absolutely hooked now. I loved it! ha ha. I smiled, I laughed, and I even cried at one point, but mostly I had a happy grin on my face and felt very entertained and happy. And that can’t be a bad thing can it.

Plant inspecting

Plant inspecting

Sunday saw me in a much better disposition, so after I had watched the F1 race, I got my makeup on, experimenting with liquid eyeliner which worked really well for me. I also tried on this lovely dress that I got from La Redoute that I mentioned in my last post. It fits beautifully and I’m really pleased with it. In fact, I decided to pop out down to Marks & Spencers wearing it. And then took my car through the car wash after.

Girl Racer

Girl Racer

I was a bit bored whilst in the car wash, and I had my trusty little Panasonic compact camera with me that does great selfies so took this pic whilst I was waiting. I’m quite pleased with how it came out. Can’t say the same for the car though; the automated car wash missed loads of bits. Still, it’s better than it was.

When I got back home I decided to try on some more outfits and take some more pics. I’ll be posting them up on Flickr over the next few days so be sure to keep an eye on my Flickr if you don’t already!

 

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A great day

I had such a brilliant day today.

I had a nice lie-in, and a nice lazy bath before I got ready for my trip up to London for my first meeting with the Voice Coach. It took me longer to get there than I thought it would, and I was beginning to panic that I was going to be late, but as it turned out I rang the doorbell precisely at 4pm which was when my appointment was.

It went really well and I came away feeling very positive. The Coach told me what my friends already keep telling me; I don’t have an especially unfeminine voice. She thinks that I should respond pretty quickly to the training and thinks it’s going to be pretty easy for me. What great news! Also my goals and expectations aren’t that high either; I’m not looking to pass on the phone, just be “good enough” for being out & about, when shopping or meeting friends and the like. She thinks this is very achievable, so that’s good.

After that, I called in on a good friend who lives in London and we went out for a nice meal. We ate in a Brazilian restaurant (not something I’ve done before) and both ended up having what was, basically, chicken and chips. But it was very nice chicken and very nice chips. The waiter was rather yummy too. ha ha.

Then it was off home, driving across London in the cool of the evening and then onto the M3 for the journey home.

It was very, very hot in London today. I was concerned my make-up might slide (a friend warned me it might and to take powder with me) but actually my MAC makeup lasted all day without any signs of giving up, and didn’t even need touching up. I was wearing MAC’s liquid foundation with their translucent loose powder on top, and that really did the trick.

Only two downers on the day were my shoes rubbing the backs of my feet raw until they started bleeding (ewwww) and getting up to London so late that I didn’t have any time to go shopping. On my next visit I will make sure that neither of these things happen again!

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2013 in Diary, Out & About, Social

 

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Hello and welcome!

I’m really looking forward to this weekend. I have at least 3 outfits that I want to take vain self-portraits of, and also I have my new MAC makeup to try, now that I have found the missing items (long story). So that will be good.

And, of course, once dressed up with no place to go it would be rude not to go out shopping, so maybe I will find some other outfits too (Yay!) There’s many more nice clothes available to me now that I have lost some weight. 24 lbs so far now, which makes a big difference, I can tell you!

Talking of photos, I was really happy to see that over the past 2 weeks I have over 700 views (at the time of writing) on my latest Flickr pic. I guess it was obvious that the corset and gorgeous boots would garner extra views, but it was still really nice. I love getting views, nice comments and nice emails.

Next weekend should be even better though, as I am going round to some friends for a girls’ night in on Saturday. Well, girls plus Rach’s boyfriend. Poor thing. It’s going to be great though! Can’t wait!

 

Update: 3,378 views as of 14-Aug-13!

 

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