Sephora Call Me Baby Review

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Every time I decide I need a new make up product, I wonder why the UK does not have a Sephora. It’s probably a good thing we don’t as my bank balance would never be the same again but still, us Brits deserve some Sephora treats.

Sephora Call Me Baby Lipstick

Despite the lack of Sephora, I did manage to get my hands on one of their lipsticks thanks to having parents who decided to skip off to Italy for a few days. My parents know that I absolutely adore Sephora so I think they felt obliged into getting me something from there. My parents also know I have a thing for bright lip colours so they got me the rather fabulous Call Me Baby. Win!

Call Me Baby is part of the Sephora Rouge Cream lipstick collection which is a revamp of the Sephora Lip Attitude Chic. Sephora claim that this collection is hydrating and creates full lips with intense colour. I will hand it to Sephora right off the bat as Call Me Baby is certainly an intensely bright lipstick!

Sephora Call Me Baby Lipstick Swatch

As for the rest of the claims well, I’ve never known a lipstick to be hydrating so we can throw that right out of the window. While Call Me Baby doesn’t dry out my lips, it doesn’t exactly help them to stay moisturised. It also doesn’t create full lips and that claim alone is completely confusing me. To me, Sephora are somewhat suggesting that the Rouge Cream lipsticks will plump up your lips but in reality, the only way they’re going to be fuller is if you draw them slightly bigger with a lipliner. I can tell you that Call Me Baby did not make my uneven lips any fuller!

Despite the fact Sephora were clearly drunk when they wrote their Rouge Cream lipstick description, Call Me Baby does deliver on some things. The formula is very creamy and incredibly easy to apply. It’s also well pigmented so it’s extremely bright (which means any mistakes I make while applying it are next to impossible to remove or cover up) and it doesn’t budge while eating and drinking. For $12.50 (or however much my parents paid in Euros), it’s a great lipstick and is also the perfect dupe for Illamasqua Luster.

Sephora Call Me Baby Lipstick

While I’m still annoyed at the complete lack of Sephora in the UK (although if they did choose to open one I bet it will be in London which will only annoy me further) I think Call Me Baby will keep me happy for a while. I love wearing this lipstick and I think it’s safe to say my parents did rather well in choosing this particular shade for me. Go team parents!

The Easiest Vegetarian Recipe

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Easy Vegetarian Recipe

Before I even get into this post, I want to say I am not a great cook. I make a huge mess and have a tendency to burn things whenever I’m allowed in the kitchen but I am improving. I’m not going to be winning any awards for my culinary skills but I’m mastering the basics and I’d like to share the easiest vegetarian recipe I have with you.

As I’m a vegetarian and a fussy one at that, I lack of lot of things in my diet. Due to this, I’m eager to eat things that are delicious and good for both myself and the poor humans I’m cooking for. The one recipe I keep going back to involves a lot of vegetables, some rice and not much else. It sounds really boring but trust me, this is one of the best dishes I’ve ever successfully made. I told you I wasn't a good cook!

Chopped Peppers

Ingredients (Serves 2):

Bell pepper x 3 (I like to use different colours just to make my meal look pretty)
Sweetcorn x 165g
Five Bean Salad x 235g
Onion x 1 (and goggles to stop yourself from crying while chopping it)
Vegetable stock cube x 1
450ml of boiling water
Salt and pepper for flavouring
Spices of your choosing
Rice x 1 cup

Easy vegetarian recipe

Method:

1. Chop the peppers and onion - I like to chop everything quite finely but this tends to take absolutely forever and I almost slice my fingers off in the process. Add to pot once chopped

2. Drain the sweetcorn and five bean salad before adding them to the pot as well.

3. Boil 450ml of water and add your vegetable stock cube. Pour water into pot once cube has dissolved.

4. When your stock cube infused water is in the pot, start adding your spices. I tend to add salt, pepper and garlic so everything has a subtle albeit delicious taste.

5. Allow the water to boil for approximately 20-25 minutes while stirring every so often. I usually allow the majority of the water to boil off before serving however, I have found that this dish can be served when around half of the water is left.

6. While the vegetables drown in the water, start cooking that rice. I typically make this with tomato and quinoa rice but have occasionally served it with brown rice and basmati rice. Today's meal was served with long grain rice because it's the first thing I found in the cupboard. It was either that or Coco Pops.

7. Once everything is ready, serve it up on a pretty little plate or store in the fridge for consuming later. I’ve found that with the amount of vegetables and rice I use, there’s enough for 2 adult sized potions (or 4 Mel sized portions as I don’t appear to be an adult).

Easy vegetarian recipe

The great thing about this recipe is it’s so inoffensive, you can add whatever you like to it. If I’m in the mood for some spice, I’ll add some chilli, if I have some zucchini in the fridge as opposed to peppers, I can throw that in instead. It’s also really straightforward to make and requires very little effort. It’s something I like to prepare when I can’t really be bothered cooking but still want something more exciting than a ready made meal.

I’d love to be able to tell you about adding some meat to this dish but I’m fairly certain anything I told you would give you food poisoning so let’s refrain from doing that. If you fancy an easy, filling and healthy meal though then try this recipe out. Just don't forget about it while it’s cooking and burn everything like I did the first time I made it…

The Playlist Additions

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Have you ever intended on listening to just a few songs before going to sleep or rolling out of bed yet you’re still in the same position 3 hours later? That seems to be happening to be more and more. I intend on going to sleep at 11pm but I’m usually still grooving in my bed 4 hours later. Thank god there’s no one around to hear me as my dancing in bed makes it sound like I’m doing something very different.

Beats by Dr Dre

While I’ve given up on trying to find new music as everything sounds the same to me now – is this the first sign of old age? – I do occasionally listen to something beyond Eminem. I could happily babble about each and every song I have on Spotify and my iPod but I’m fairly certain my blog would crash from the sheer length of the post. Instead, I’m just going to share a couple of my latest favourites with you. Here goes!

Can we just take a minute to reminisce about The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land? How incredible was that album? While I love old school The Prodigy, I am really enjoying their new stuff especially when played live. Invaders Must Die is one of my favourite albums of all time but their new album, The Day Is My Enemy is slowly climbing up the ladder.

Get Your Fight on is probably my favourite song from the The Day Is My Enemy as it’s so disgustingly aggressive! It’s definitely an extension of the songs from Invaders Must Die and I’m rather enjoying the fact The Prodigy are heading in this direction. I seem to really like having Keith Flint screaming in my ear, I don’t know what that says about me!


Action Bronson - What About The Rest of Us

I really love the Southpaw soundtrack, like seriously love it but I’ve only just started to appreciate Action Bronson – What About The Rest of Us. I tend to listen to Eminem’s and Bad Meets Evil’s offerings on the soundtrack hence why it’s taken me so long to properly like this song. I kind of like having What About The Rest of Us playing in the background when I’m doing something that requires a lot of concentration.

I like having noise around me but I don’t like anything that’s going to steal my focus from what I’m doing so the repetitive beat of this song works perfectly. It’s a really simple, straightforward song in comparison to the rest of the soundtrack but it’s amazing all the same.

My other half woke me up when the news broke that David Bowie had died and I flat out refused to believe it. I grew up listening to David Bowie and almost had the opportunity to see him live in 2004 until he was forced to cancel the performance. I never really appreciated David Bowie as a child and even into my early teens but I’m glad I was raised on his music.

One of the songs that’s always stuck out for me and ended up being in my head for 3 days after his death is Starman. I never remembered the words as a kid but I do remember forever trying to sing Starman in my bedroom and mixing the lyrics up with The Beatles – Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Eminem - Stronger Than I Was

While I do branch out from Eminem from time to time, I still like blasting him into my eardrums. I seem to have a habit of getting totally obsessed with one of his songs for a month or so before moving on to another one. The song I’m currently obsessed with is Stronger Than I Was from The Marshall Mathers LP 2. I really wish this song was around during my teenage years as it’s such a great break up song without all the slushiness break up songs usually come with.

It’s not the fastest of Eminem’s songs and if you’re looking for a killer rap then I’d point you in the direction of Rap God but I love Stronger Than I Was regardless. I don’t even want to know how many times I’ve listened to it in the past few days; it’s probably an embarrassing amount!

Now that I’ve written this post I have a mash up of Action Bronson and Eminem stuck in my head. I guess that beats having the Cha Cha Slide forever playing in my mind and fighting the urge to do the dance in public. Hey, maybe if I do another one of these posts the Cha Cha Slide might feature in it. That song is still relevant right?

Tell me which songs you’re constantly playing – if you name an Eminem song you’ll automatically become my best friend.

How I Take Care Of My Feet

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Lush feet products

If there’s one thing I’m good at remembering to do, it’s applying a generous layer of moisturiser on my skin after every shower. As an eczema sufferer, it’s something I’ve taken to doing in order to keep flare ups at bay but there’s one part of my body I always neglect. Oh get your mind out of the gutter will you, I’m talking about my feet here!

I don’t know about you but I am absolutely awful at taking care of my feet. I stuff them into 5 inch heels on a regular basis, I forget to keep them warm and I ignore any hard skin that appears. My feet are forever taken for granted but, as the warmer weather is hopefully due soon, I’m going to make a point of having pretty feet. After all, there’s no point in wearing some rather lovely shoes if you’re going to have some nasty feet on show.

Lush Pumice Power

The Lush Pumice Power is the first thing I introduced to my "make my feet pretty" routine. I haven’t used a pumice stone in I don’t even know how long and I can’t even begin to tell you how nice it is to have soft heels again. The Pumice Power was an impulsive purchase but it’s presence in my Lush drawer is encouraging me to keep my feet looking cute (as cute as feet can be, they are so weird looking after all).

Lush’s Fair Trade Foot Lotion is also now applied to my feet either before I go to bed or after a Pumice Power session. I tend to prefer applying it to my feet and then hopping straight into bed as it does take a while to soak in. My feet always feel significantly softer after I’ve allowed the Fair Trade Foot Lotion to do its thing; my only wish is I had someone to rub it in while giving me a foot massage at the same time. I don’t want much do I?

Lush Fair Trade Foot Lotion

Sorry to all of you foot haters out there for this post but at least I didn’t post a picture of my feet! Hopefully when the warmer weather rolls in and my less conservative shoes are in rotation, I will have some incredibly good looking feet. I might even go all out and get a pedicure. Oh god I’m going to attract people with foot fetishes aren’t I?

'"Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith" Exhibition

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

After receiving the original invitation to attend the opening for the “Hello My Name is Paul Smith” exhibition well over a month ago – and having to turn down the opportunity thanks to work – I finally managed to pay a visit to the fabulous display. The exhibition is currently being held in The Lighthouse in Glasgow until March 20th so I cut it incredibly close.

Hello My Name Is Paul Smith

After making the hour long trip to Glasgow and being unable to use Google Maps to actually find The Lighthouse (my sense of direction is horrendous), my other half and I finally managed to find our way into the exhibition. Neither of us really knew what to expect; we assumed we would see clothes but that was about it.

Upon entering the exhibition, we were greeted by a wall full of art prints, photographs and drawings. Some of the items displayed were the works of some very famous artists whereas other pieces could genuinely be something you would find on Etsy. Regardless of where the items came from, they all mean something to Paul Smith and make a rather delightful introduction to his world.

Hello My Name is Paul Smith

Following on from the first of a few walls covered in framed pictures is a replica of Paul Smith’s original store that was opened in Nottingham. It was 3m x 3m square, had no windows and the store manager was his dog, Homer. I wouldn’t be able to store my collection of shoes in such a small space but somehow, Paul Smith started his quest for fashion domination in that tiny spot.

Once you’re out of the claustrophobic store replica, you’re greeted with another wall of art prints along with a voiceover from Paul Smith. Discreetly tucked away in the corner is another replica but this time, it’s of the hotel room in Paris which Paul Smith and his wife Pauline used as their very first showroom.

Hello My Name is Paul Smith

Further on in the exhibition is another replica that will make any clean freak hyperventilate. The chaos that lies before the viewer is of Paul Smith’s office complete with vintage items, fabric, paperwork and very little surface space. My other half and I spent a long time taking in this part of the display and even then, we didn’t manage to cram it all into our brains; there was just so much stuff!

Hello My Name is Paul Smith

As you approach the end of the exhibit, you can hear Paul Smith’s voice discussing what went into the 2014 Paris fashion show. If you walk towards his voice, you’ll finally find the clothes! While the majority of the designs hang from railings, there are 4 outfits shown on mannequins. The lighting throughout the entire display is dark and screams high end fashion (seriously, what is with high end stores having such dim lighting?) but the loud, colourful clothes pop against the poor lighting.

Hello My Name is Paul Smith

It’s in this part of the exhibit where you really see Paul Smith’s love of colour and contrast come together. There are pieces on show that I can’t imagine any self-respecting person would want to wear but then there are the items that you just want to take off the rack and immediately change into. I found myself trying to create outfits with the items shown and although each outfit became more ridiculous than the last, I still wanted to put them all on and wander around Glasgow.

The designs that Paul Smith creates inspires my inner child. Y’know, the child that wandered around in pink zebra print leggings and turned up to places wearing a bright pink, sequinned dress and glittery shoes while everyone else wore jeans and trainers. Dear god my current style is so boring in comparison to my childhood.

Hello My Name is Paul Smith

While I may have left The Lighthouse wondering why I was wearing a camel coat and knee high boots rather than something bright and patterned, I still enjoyed the entire thing. I regret not being able to attend the opening due to having to be a responsible and mature adult (ew) but I’m happy I did eventually attend it nonetheless. I also acquired a pink Paul Smith eraser so that may have added to my overall enjoyment. What? I’m fickle okay!

My MAC Lipstick Collection

Sunday, 6 March 2016

While I have a tendency to buy a lipstick whenever I make a purchase from MAC, my collection remains modest in size. It fits neatly in my make up drawer and they blend in rather well with all of the other black cased lipsticks I’ve insisted on buying. While I may not own every single shade, I still feel like sharing the ones I do have with you. We can drool over the pretty shades together!

MAC lipstick collection

Let’s start with my least obnoxious shade. Chatterbox is a beautiful, pale pink shade that is perfect for all occasions. It’s an Amplified formula therefore it’s creamy, easy to apply and doesn’t dry out my lips. I love wearing Chatterbox when I want to look like I made an effort without being too over the top.

Flat Out Fabulous is going to act as my test for MAC Heroin. I want to say it’s a purple but there’s so much pink in it, I can’t even think of a suitable description. I can tell you though Flat Out Fabulous is an amazing lipstick and one I tend to wear if I know I will be consuming a lot of liquid. This lipstick just does not budge!

MAC Chatterbox, Flat out Fabulous, Impassioned
From left to right: Chatterbox, Flat Out Fabulous and Impassioned.

Impassioned is another Amplified formula and is my absolute favourite shade – I’m wearing it as I write this post! It’s a bold pink that can be muted if you apply it lightly with a lip brush. As it’s an Amplified formula it’s exactly like Chatterbox in terms of application but Impassioned sticks around much longer than Chatterbox.

Lady Danger was my first MAC purchase and considering how long I’ve had it, I should throw it away. I don’t want to part with it as it popped my MAC cherry and it’s such a lovely red with orange undertones. I thoroughly enjoy wearing Lady Danger whenever I’m feeling like, well, a lady. Is this a Shania Twain – Man, I Feel Like A Woman moment?

MAC Dangerous and Lady Danger
Left to right: Dangerous and Lady Danger

Here we have the other red MAC lipstick in my collection. No it’s not Ruby Woo or Russian Red, it is in fact Dangerous. Annoyingly, Dangerous and Lady Danger are very close relatives. Dangerous is more matte than Lady Danger but aside from that, they could be the same lipstick for all I know. Despite the similarities (and obvious waste of money) I still adore Dangerous and wear it when I’m going all out.

The most extreme lipstick I own is Candy Yum Yum and I definitely have to be in the right mood to wear this one. Candy Yum Yum is a ridiculously bright pink that you can spot from a mile away. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea and it is my least worn shade. I kind of feel like I’m reliving my scene kid days whenever I wear this lipstick.

MAC Vegas Volt and Candy Yum Yum
From left to right: Vegas Volt and Candy Yum Yum.

Finally, while it’s not typically a shade I would gravitate towards, I somehow ended up purchasing Vegas Volt and haven’t looked back. There are times when I look at Vegas Volt and question my purchase but then I apply it and fall in love with it all over again. If I get the rest of my make up right, Vegas Volt can do wonders for me. I don’t really want to tell you what happens when I don’t get everything else right though!

So there we have my entire MAC collection. It’s small in size and doesn’t exactly have much variety but I love it all the same. Whenever I try to buy a new MAC lipstick, I tend to pick up the ones I already have – I realise before I actually buy them again before you think I’m that stupid – so at least I know I really, really like them. Who needs 40 lipsticks anyway? I do kind of want 40 lipsticks though…

Banning Tackling In Rugby

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Banning tackling in rugby

It was recently announced that more than 70 academics and doctors are calling for tackling to be banned in rugby matches played in British and Irish schools. The argument for the ban is that the majority of injuries sustained during matches are concussions that can have long term effects for the children involved. While we all know the effects concussions can have and are aware that high impact sports can cause some serious injuries, I can’t help but think the idea of a ban is a load of bologna.

I may not be an avid rugby fan but I’ve watched enough matches both on TV and at Murrayfield (plus my parents have Scotland season tickets so I’m totally qualified to comment on this) but I understand enough about the sport to know tackling is a huge part of it. If you remove tackling from rugby all you’re left with are a bunch of people playing tag with a ball. I don’t know about you but I stopped playing tag when I was 10; it’s just not cool once you hit your tweens.

Now of course, the matches I watch involve the professionals who know and understand the game like the back of their hands. Schoolchildren on the other hand, aren’t playing on the same level as the professionals and more than likely do not possess the same skills. Due to this, they’re going to be prone to making mistakes which can in turn lead to injuries. Saying this though, the only way anyone who actively chooses to play rugby from a young age is going to get better is to practice the full game and learn from their mistakes.

Thinking back to the guys who played on my school rugby team, I can’t imagine many of them would’ve bothered if they weren’t allowed to tackle. I think if you were to remove tackling from rugby played at school age then we would see a significant drop in people interested in participating. Considering we as a nation are constantly told we’re overweight and underactive, surely you would want to encourage children to participate in a sport rather than deter them?

There is a point where I do agree that tackling should be banned in rugby in schools and that’s when it is actually forced upon the pupils. During my delightful P.E lessons at school, we would only play tag rugby and never contact or tackle rugby however, not every pupil has the privilege of playing tag with a ball. There are some schools in the UK who have tackle rugby as part of their P.E curriculum.

Thinking back to my tag rugby days, I think very few of my peers would be interested in learning how to tackle correctly and we most definitely would not be able to execute a tackle. That right there would have opened every single person on the field up to injury and is exactly why I think tackling should be banned when you’re only participating because your school says you have to.

While high impact sports do come with the possibility of being injured, if you play the game safely and properly you lower the chances of concussions and long term health issues. Of course, you’ll never eliminate injuries completely but teaching kids and teenagers how to play properly and even providing suitable head gear, is a start at making the sport safer. Eliminating a huge part of rugby altogether is not the answer and if you’re going to attempt to ban tackling then you better ban throwing the ball in basketball; I’ve had more injuries from pretending I’m Kobe Bryant than I ever have pretending I’m Greg Laidlaw after all.
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