Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Cheap Sewing Pattern Haul & New Sewing Machine!

I've mentioned on twitter and instagram a few times that I recently bought a sewing machine! (Well, two sewing machines, but one is just for decorative purposes) I'll also be sharing photos of what I've made, once I've actually made something worth showing! At the moment I'm just practicing with some cheap £1.50 per metre fabric so I can improve my dressmaking abilities, which are definitely classed as 'beginner' at the moment.

I went for the Janome Decor Excel 20 (as seen in my lovely instagram picture) and I am very happy with my choice. I think it's an excellent first machine, as I feel like I can grow with it. I used to own the John Lewis Mini Sewing Machine and I broke it. Ha ha ha. It was ok to learn on, but it was so flimsy and useless at sewing more than two layers of lightweight cotton together that I had to upgrade to something a bit sturdier. I used to use it for making cushion covers and bunting and the like, but since I want to get into dressmaking, I needed something a bit, well, better.

Janome Decor Excel 20 Sewing Machine
My new baby

This is where the Janome comes in. I did a lot of reading online before buying this machine, since it's a big investment and I wanted it to last me for years, not months. I decided that I didn't want a computerised machine, since I don't need about 200 decorative stitches right now. The Excel 20 has 14 stitches and comes with lots of attachments, including a zipper foot and buttonhole foot. That's excellent for a beginner's machine and will save me money in the long run, since I've got everything I need already!

Obviously, there's a lot for me to learn and I think that I probably need to go to an actual class so I can learn how to make everything, but I'm really enjoying being able to sew again and I find a lot of satisfaction in making something myself. I often have problems with high street clothing, it's too tight here, too loose there, the wrong colour, the wrong material, too expensive, so I think that making my own clothes is the perfect solution to these gripes because I can make exactly what I want, in the style, colours and materials that suit me. 

In the spirit of this, I picked up 5 patterns from my local charity shop for the bargain price of 99p each! Some of them haven't been opened, which is great. I made sure that they were actually in my size as well, which obviously helps. 

Sewing Pattern Haul
All for the bargain price of £4.95

I'm working on the top left- the easy Vogue top at the moment. I'm making the one on the bottom left, with the sleeves of the one on the right. I've made it out of my cheap £1.50 material (is this a toile?) and have decided for the real thing that I'm going to lower the neckline, take in the waist, size down the sleeves and size up the hips. I found practicing on cheap material very helpful! I also learnt that I'm rubbish at bias binding. So that needs some more practice before the real thing. 

Now to daydream about the perfect fabric... Hopefully I'll be able to update you soon on my finished project, but for now, I'll keep the pictures of the ill fitting toile away from the internet...

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Saturday, 26 April 2014

L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara Review | Brown/Black

Another day, another mascara. I've reviewed 3 other mascaras on this blog and the L'Oreal Falsh Lash Telescopic Mascara is by far my favourite one. Again (can you sense a pattern here?) I bought this in the Boots 3 for 2, since I didn't get on with the Avon Mega Effects Mascara and needed a new one. I have had L'Oreal mascaras in the past, including my favourite Volume Millionizer for Hazel Eyes, which I can sadly no longer find. I gave L'Oreal another go with their Telescopic mascara, which I believe was advertised by the true Angel of the North, Cheryl Cole. 

This isn't a new mascara, but I've never given it much thought until I randomly picked it up from the L'Oreal counter. It has a thin, plastic wand, which has a slight curve in the middle. I prefer plastic wands to the fat, fibre brushes because I think that they grip my lashes better. This wand is very good at gripping at my lashes and giving them volume. I think it's a really good day mascara, because you want them to look naturally good, and False Lash Telescopic achieves this.

At £10.99, it's mid-range for a mascara and I'd be happy to pay that again. I've been using it for about a month now and it hasn't dried out, which is a massive plus in my book. It's easy to remove, especially when using my Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover and doesn't budge throughout the day. Although it doesn't build volume, it doesn't claim to do that, so you can't really hold that against L'Oreal.

Overall, I really like this mascara. I think it's great for daytime, especially for work when you don't want to look like a spider has clung onto your eyelids. In fact, I'd say as a lengthening mascara it definitely does the job. Bravo, L'Oreal. Now, bring back Volume Millionizer in Hazel!

L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara 

L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara 

L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara 

L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara

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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Bourjois Liner Feutre Review | 14 Noir Moka

I haven't used felt tips since primary school, and was therefore a little apprehensive when picking up Bourjois' Liner Feutre in Noir Moka. I thought I'd write a review, since I'm quite impressed with it. Not bowled over, but impressed. It costs £6.99 and I bought it in a Boots 3 for 2, so I think that I got it for free. I've been trying to buy more flattering colours for my colouring, and since I have pale skin and red hair, brown is much more flattering for me than black.

Having sensitive eyes often means that I have a problem with eyeliners, in that they seep into my eyes and make them water. Not the case here, which is more than I can say for the Rimmel Exaggerate eyeliner... The felt tip makes this eyeliner very easy to apply and the dark brown colour is really flattering for my complexion.

My one main gripe with this product is that it isn't waterproof. That means that it always smudges by the time I get home, because inevitably in England, it will rain, or drizzle. It's usually fine if I keep it above my lashes, but as soon as I do a cat eye flick, it looks more like a Rorschach test than a line. However, in the summer I'm sure it'll be fine. Unless I get sweaty that is...

Overall, I like this eyeliner. It's not perfect, but the colour works in its favour, and it's very easy to apply for someone who has a generally unsteady hand. I just wish that it was waterproof!

Bourjois Felt Tip Eyeliner Brown Review
Bourjois Felt Tip Eyeliner Brown Review


Bourjois Felt Tip Eyeliner Brown Review


Bourjois Felt Tip Eyeliner Brown Review


Bourjois Felt Tip Eyeliner Brown Review
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Saturday, 12 April 2014

Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover Review

It's time for a make-up remover review and today it's the Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover, which at (gulp) £18.00 RRP is ridiculously pricey. I had a Debenhams voucher for Christmas, so got it then, and although I love it, I wouldn't usually part with that much for eye make-up remover. Even if it is the best one I've ever used.

Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover Review
As you can see, I have actually used this quite a bit
I've had a lot of trouble with eye make-up remover in the past. I've never seemed to find one that actually works. A lot of them make promises to remove even the most stubborn makeup and then they either make my eyes water like crazy, or do nothing. I can say, however, that Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover does indeed live up to its claims. It removes my makeup quickly, efficiently and does not irritate my sensitive eyes- result!

Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover Review
All Shook Up.mp3
Before you use the Instant Make-Up Remover, you have to shake the bottle to combine the two elements. I've noticed that all the make-up removers that specialise in removing waterproof makeup use this part oil, part liquid formula. Clarins' offering is particularly effective in removing makeup in one swoop. Of course, there is a bit of scrubbing involved with stubborn mascara and eyeliner, but it does a bang up job of removing everything quickly. It's not instant, but it's fast, which is good enough for me.

Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover Review
It's blue da ba dee ba da di (remember that song? Classic)

Unfortunately, the only thing that I don't like about this make-up remover is the price. At £18 it is so expensive. However, it has lasted me ages, as I have been using it every day since Christmas, and I'm not even half way through the bottle. When I've finished, I'm not sure if I'll repurchase it, even though it is so good. A shame, but I really don't like spending so much on a make-up remover. I think I'll have to keep my eyes out for a dupe...unless I get another voucher that is!


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Sunday, 6 April 2014

Revlon Photoready Cream Blush Review | Pinched 100

I don't really like to do a negative review, but my god is this cream blush awful. I bought the Revlon Photoready Cream Blush in Pinched (100) from Boots and I am so disappointed with it. It was £7.99, which is way too much for something that has no pigmentation, no lasting power and cuts through foundation like acid.

Revlon Photoready Cream Blusher Pinched 100
It looks so innocent, but it's pure evil
Don't get me wrong, I like Revlon. I love their Photoready primer, which despite having a weird smell, is pretty good at keeping my foundation on all day. This blusher, however, is abhorrent. 

The story to me buying this blusher is as follows: I read in a magazine that people with red hair and pale skin should use peach blusher. So, I dutifully went to Boots to search for one. My local Boots isn't very big and this was the only peachy blusher in there, so I thought, well how bad could it be? They didn't have a tester out, so I took a chance and got it anyway. This was a big mistake. If I'd swatched it, I would have known that it was awful.

Revlon Photoready Cream Blusher Pinched 100
Pretty colour in the pot, right? Not out of it
I've only ever bought one other cream blusher, and that was from MUA, the cheap brand in Superdrug, and that cost me the grand total of £1, so I wasn't too fussed that the colour wasn't right for me. The lasting power, however was fantastic, and it actually showed up on the skin after one swipe. The same cannot be said for the Photoready Cream Blush. In fact, it's pretty much the opposite of photo ready. It's shockingly, well, chalky. Not a word that I'd usually associate with cream blushers, but it's not a pleasant texture.

Revlon Photoready Cream Blusher Pinched 100
This is straight out of the pot. And three layers of it!
For a cream blusher, it's difficult to apply because it's very slippery, yet not smooth. It's hard to describe. By far the worst thing about this blusher is the colour pay-off. In the pot, it looks a lovely peachy shade. However, in the above picture, it took me three layers to get the colour to show, and as you can see from the photo below, as soon as you blend it in, it all but disappears. What's the point?! When I used it for the first time on my face, it completely cut through my foundation and primer and sat on top of my skin like scum on top of a lake. It was disgusting. It got caught in my pores and made them look massive. I was so disappointed.

Revlon Photoready Cream Blusher Pinched 100
"Blended" into the skin. Squint hard enough and you might see it

Safe to say, I would not recommend the Photoready cream blusher to anybody. It is vile. Do not waste your money. It hasn't put me off cream blushers, but I will definitely be swatching them before I buy them next time. But for the time being, I'll stick to my trusty powder blushers.

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