Kat Von D Mercy Lipstick Review

Friday, 27 January 2017

While the rest of the UK seemed to fall over themselves at the Kat Von D makeup coming to the UK announcement, I somehow managed to stay upright. I wasn’t overly excited due to the fact I own 3 Kat Von D eyeshadow palettes and have found each eyeshadow to be a hit or a miss. I’ve never really found the Kat Von D makeup brand to be consistent quality wise so I refrained from purchasing anything straight away. Curiosity did get the better of me in the end so I decided to give the brand one more chance in the form of a lipstick.

Kat Von D Mercy Lipstick

I browsed the colours from the “Studded Kiss” lipstick collection but I wasn’t taken by the majority of shades. The ones that did catch my eye were completely wrong for my skin tone and I was about to give up all hope until I found Mercy.

Mercy is a beautiful deep plum shade with small flecks of glitter. It applies evenly and easily and has a creamy consistency. The creamy consistency made me rather happy as that usually means the lipstick won’t dry out my lips too much but, although my lips held up well, I could feel them drying out towards dinnertime and lip balm didn’t save them.

Kat Von D Mercy Lipstick

While Mercy initially goes on evenly I find myself constantly having to reapply it throughout the day. Mercy puts up a good fight when I’m eating and drinking but it seems to rub off my top lip so I’m left with just my lipliner and the faint remains of Mercy. In order to maintain the deep plum shade, reapplication is a must otherwise it turns rather muted and becomes more of an opaque shade as opposed to something that makes me look like I should be listening to HIM. Damn my hideously pale skin and black wardrobe.

Kat Von D Mercy Lipstick

I’d be lying if I said Mercy has completely won me over; it’s made me want to try more makeup from Kat Von D but at the same time I’m still apprehensive. I don’t think Mercy is the greatest lipstick out there but I am happy enough to wear it as often as I can without my uncle referring to me as a goth. The studded packaging is pretty badass though so I may be tempted into buying another lipstick just because of that.

How I Started Running (and Stuck with It)

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Running for beginners tips

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s moving. I’d much rather lie in bed with crisps and a bottle of Irn Bru than do any form of exercise whatsoever. According to the experts, however, my preferred lifestyle choice is incorrect and will probably result in requiring a crane to remove me from my house. In order to maintain my lifestyle of choice without the need for a crane, I figured I had to move and running was my preference. Sometimes I do press ups but only when no one is looking.

Running has been an occasional factor in my life for a good 4 and a half years now. The first time I willingly went for a run without a P.E teacher present was when the 2012 Olympic torch came through our town. From then on, I would run for a few months before giving up (usually when winter hit) and then would go back to it after a rather long hiatus. It was only last year that I really took to running and started to not only enjoy it but be hit with the desire to actually do it consistently.

Actually starting out was the hardest part (isn’t it always?). I would make excuse after excuse as to why I shouldn’t go for a run each day until I eventually decided if I didn’t go for a run that morning, I never would. I was being a total wuss because it was too much effort.

The way I managed to get myself out the door for my first run was to go into autopilot. I ate my pre-run snack (oranges or bananas), had a glass of water, put on my running gear, stretched and then bolted out the door before my brain figured out what was happening. Even now, this is the main way I get myself to go for a run. I have to zone out and go through my process without being fully aware I’m doing it until it’s time to start running.

I knew I’d never be able to really push myself during runs without some help so I downloaded an app I’d read about years ago. It’s called Get Running (I swear this isn’t sponsored) and it lasts for 9 weeks. The goal is to get you running for 30 minutes without a break and oh boy does it kick some ass.

The first week has you running for a minute eight times and then allows you to walk for a minute and a half in between each run. It builds up gradually until one week where you’re running for 5 minutes one day, 8 minutes the next day and then 20 minutes on the third day. It takes a lot of mental discipline and you have to really scream at yourself to not stop but it’s so worth it once you hit the final week.

Once I’d completed the Get Running app I tried to go it alone but I found I was a lot better when I had a target for each run. Upon that realisation, I downloaded the Nike Running Club app (again, not sponsored). The Nike Running Club app allows you to set up coaching sessions - which may include workouts from the Nike Training Club app – and also allows you to set speed, distance and time targets if you wish to do so.

It tracks your runs, calculates your speed per mile and lets you see where you were fastest and where you were slowest. Being able to actually track my run is my new favourite thing as it constantly puts me in direct competition with myself and I love beating previous speeds and distances.

Having new workout clothes also encourages me to get my ass in gear. I deliberately don’t buy a lot of items as I tend to shop in Adidas and Nike which aren’t always budget friendly but whenever I do buy something new, it leaves me itching to run. A lot of supermarkets have started to make some amazing workout clothes so if I’m looking for a bit of a boost, I’m heading straight to the clothing department in my local supermarket to see what’s up.

Sticking to a schedule that my apps create for me is probably the reason as to how I’ve managed to run on a regular basis. I get really frustrated if I miss a day due to laziness or other commitments and I channel that frustration into my next run. I still hate getting up in the morning and immediately going for a run and I really resent running in the dark thanks to it still being winter though.

Running isn’t easy especially when you’re just starting out but the feeling after you complete each run is indescribable. I adore the way I feel after a run and I love the increase in energy. It's sweaty, it hurts but so long as you’re disciplined and get yourself into the right frame of mind, running isn’t really all that bad, in fact, it’s oddly enjoyable.

Nivea Sensitive Caring Micellar Water Review

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

While the Garnier Micellar Water is a firm favourite in the skincare department, I have an odd need to try all of the micellar waters from other brands. Usually, I purchase a different micellar water, use it for a few days and then run right back to Garnier. I haven’t found any micellar water that can compete with my Holy Grail item but, as Nivea usually make great skincare products, I thought their micellar water might put up a good fight.

The Nivea Sensitive Caring Micellar Water is marketed as a 3 in 1 product. It promises to gently remove eye makeup, cleanse deeply while removing all other makeup and it will also remove the signs of sensitive skin (redness, tightness and dryness). These claims sound brilliant but the reality is so different.

I try to keep my makeup as light as possible so really, it shouldn’t be too difficult to remove but the Nivea Micellar Water just can’t seem to do it. I always use this micellar water with high hopes but then I spend 5 minutes smearing my eyeshadow around my face as opposed to actually removing it. I’m not wearing industrial strength makeup, I’m not even wearing waterproof makeup so I’m amazed that the Nivea Micellar Water can’t do the basic thing of at least removing some of the gunk on my face.

As for the promise of removing the signs of sensitive skin, well, I don’t have sensitive skin but this micellar water sure makes it look like I do. The Nivea Sensitive Caring Micellar Water actually leaves my skin burning and slightly red once I’ve finished smearing my makeup around with it. I genuinely thought I was going to wake up with a rash the first time I used it.

If it didn’t burn, I’d maybe use the Nivea Sensitive Caring Micellar Water as a general cleanser for when my skin needs something light (and I mean light) but that’s obviously not going to happen. I’m really disappointed as I usually like Nivea’s products but this one is going straight in the bin; I don’t even want to force it on my enemies!

Books of December

Saturday, 14 January 2017

books to read

With 2016 coming to an end and a lot of books left to read in order to meet my reading challenge goal, December was supposed to be my best month for reading yet. Everything started out so well, I had planned to read a book every 4 days and was on target until I hit book number 3. That book stopped me from reaching my goal and ultimately made me resent myself for purchasing it. This is a major first world problem so I expect no sympathy.

I’m technically lying as book number 3 wasn’t the only one that deterred me from my reading goal. I started December off by reading Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris. I decided to read it as it was nominated for a Goodreads award and, although the description made me cringe, I figured if it was nominated it couldn’t be that bad.

Behind Closed Doors. The Secret. Killing Floor.

Behind Closed Doors is about a relationship that looks perfect from the outside but shockingly it’s not so great “behind closed doors”. I bet you didn’t see that one coming! It follows the story of a girl who managed to talk her way into a brilliant job at Harrods while taking care of her sister who was born with downs syndrome. She meets this amazing man whom she marries within 6 months and then discovers while on her honeymoon that her fairy-tale is a total lie. The man is a douchebag and does everything in his power to torment her and later reveals he only married her to get to her sister.

The story is just all too convenient. There’s a new friend who just happens to be suspicious of the relationship, the husband is a lawyer who defends victims of abuse so of course, no one would ever believe that he could be abusing his wife and the ending is so ridiculously perfect my eyes almost fell out of their sockets due to rolling them so hard. I know a lot of people love this book but I personally thought it read like a bad Lifetime movie. The only time I felt anything towards the story was when the puppy died. I think that sums my feelings up rather well.

Fortunately, the second book I read in December was significantly better. The Secret by Kathryn Hughes was initially difficult for me to get into but once I was passed the first couple of chapters I was hooked.

The Secret follows the story of a group of people who decided to travel to Blackpool for the day but various things occur that will change their lives forever. Some of the characters stories are cut short due to an accident while others receive exactly what they’ve always wanted. The plot was quite easy to figure out but despite that, I was still intrigued. The Secret isn’t going to become my favourite book anytime soon but if you’re looking for an easy read, I’d highly recommend it.

Behind Closed Doors. The Secret. Killing Floor.

Finally, we have the dreaded third book; the book that hindered the entire challenge and made me want to punch myself in the face. Killing Floor by Lee Childs was almost thrown across the room several times due to how painful it was.

I’ve never read a book I’ve hated so much. I couldn’t handle the way it was written. It was literally written like this. Like a primary school child. It made me read it like I was learning English. There were too many short sentences. There were also too many “shrugging” actions. He shrugged. She shrugged. Every bloody character could not respond in any way beyond shrugging. That sentence was too long.

Ok back to normal. Killing Floor is about Jack Reacher, an ex-military man turned drifter who just happens to end up in a sleepy town when a murder occurs. Of course he’s blamed for the murder, of course, he’s not guilty and of course, he just has to get involved in the case (while also getting involved with the hot female cop because why wouldn’t he?). Jack Reacher can do things that only Arnold Schwarzenegger can do in movies and everything just happens to fall into place while he does them. He could’ve turned into King Kong and climbed up a building and I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid as everything was beyond ridiculous.

I’m trying very hard to find a redeeming quality here but it’s proving extremely difficult. I have been informed that the other books in the Jack Reacher series are better but, based on a description I was given of one, I’m not sure I believe that.

My reading challenge was not completed; it was probably a long shot anyway but I was determined until book number 3. I’ve since started a new challenge for 2017 and this time, I’ll know to steer clear of books whose descriptions make me cringe and books that start with too many short sentences. Wish me luck!

What I Got for Christmas and My Birthday

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

I’ve been going back on and forth on whether I actually wanted to write this post as I was afraid of coming across as rather crass, but I’m a nosy human and these are my favourite type of posts to read. It only seems fair that after overindulging in everyone else’s versions that I write my own; just ignore how late this post is.

As my birthday is 11 days after Christmas, I spend a good 2 weeks of my life incredibly spoilt and extremely full of chocolate. There weren’t many things on my Christmas list this year – it was literally made up of a Fitbit, a Lindt ball and some Lush products – so mad props to my parents, my fiancé and my future in-laws for managing to think of presents. I’m beyond grateful for what they gave me and hopefully, they all liked what I gave them. Ok, slushiness over, let’s start looking at presents!

Green Day tickets
Just casually putting my underwear on the internet.

My main present from my parents this year was 2 tickets to see Green Day at Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park as well as 2 nights in a rather fabulous Glasgow hotel. I’ve loved Green Day since I was 4 so I couldn’t say yes quick enough when my parents asked me if I wanted to see them. They were actually originally considering a spa day for my fiancé and I but I was thinking of getting that for my fiancé and he was thinking about getting it for me. In the end, it was my future in-laws who gave him the spa day. What is with us and spas?

The people who made me also gave me Lush Ocean Salt and D’Fluff, pyjamas with adorable Rudolphs on the bottoms, underwear (Hunter has been eating my underwear so I was desperately needing some replacements), a few other items of clothing, a huge vegetarian cookbook (this was actually for my fiancé and I but he never cooks) and the Lindt ball I wanted.

Vegetarian products

Teddy somehow gave me a present too – for a dog he has excellent wrapping skills – which was in the form of a 2017 Guide Dog diary that has now been turned into a blogging diary. I think I should probably tell Teddy he isn’t actually training to be a Guide Dog anymore.

Lush Christmas gift set

My future in-laws know how much I love Lush so they were kind enough to give me a Lush gift set. The gift set contained a large bottle of Snow Fairy shower gel, 2 bath bombs, a tub of Celestial, a tub of Helping Hands, a bottle of Fairy Dust and Lush Fairy Wand. They’d also put a heart ornament with a dog on it and a mug with dogs on it into the gift set too.

Fitbit Charge 2 Marc Jacobs Decadence Gold

The delightful human being that is my fiancé struggled for gift ideas for me this year and constantly moaned at me for having a birthday so close to Christmas (blame my parents). In the end, he got me a Fitbit Charge 2 from the rose gold series as well as a bottle of Marc Jacobs Decadence. He actually gave me Decadence last year but because Marc Jacobs has released a gold bottle, he got confused and thought it was a new fragrance. I’m not complaining though as I adore Decadence!

House of Bruar Black Bag

So that’s Christmas covered, let’s get into my birthday. My parents usually let me choose my birthday present but because they’ve been away for the last month in Australia and New Zealand, they bought my present in advance. I’m starting to worry my parents are mind readers as I have been recently thinking that I wanted a new black bag. They must be either creeping on me or it’s a total coincidence as they gave me a black bag big enough to carry all of the crap I insist on lugging around with me (do I really need that used ticket to see Suicide Squad in my bag?).

High end make up

My future in-laws were very sweet and gave me a gorgeous silver photo frame that will eventually hold a picture of Teddy once I find one where he’s not drooling. Finally, I’ll be able to add some feminine touches to the residence I share with my fiancé!

Speaking of the fiancé, due to the aforementioned struggling to come up with ideas, he made my present purchase on New Year’s Day. Due to his tardiness, he guilt bought me MAC Blot Powder, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion and a Kat Von D lipstick in Mercy. They’re not technically birthday presents but I’m going to include them regardless.

Kenmore Hotel Gift Voucher

The actual present was a voucher for a 2-night stay at the Kenmore Hotel in one of their exclusive rooms as well as dinner, breakfast and a bottle of champagne in the room. The Kenmore Hotel is one of our wedding venue options and it’s also the place my dad had his 50th birthday at so I’m excited to go. I actually took David there in the spring last year and I think he loved it as much as my dad and I do.

I believe this is the part of the post where I say how grateful I am for my gifts and how blessed I am and blah blah blah. There’s too much protocol for a post like this so I’ll just say cheers to my wonderful family (and my future family) for the presents and you can all breathe a sigh of relief that Christmas and my birthday are both over.

Happy Birthday To Me (I Resign)

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Today is my birthday; a day that’s usually full of cake and celebration but alas I hate cake and everyone is too celebrated out thanks to Christmas and New Year being only days ago.

Birthday cards

What a melancholy way to start a post off. I guess it’s rather fitting though as my birthday makes me feel that exact way. I used to adore my birthday; I loved it being a mere 11 days after Christmas! It was always during the school Christmas holidays so I was guaranteed a day off (excluding that year when I turned 16), I got to pick out my own presents which were usually something Barbie related until I discovered the art of Jackass and demanded the full boxset and, thanks to the aforementioned dislike of cake, I got to stick candles in donuts before eating them all myself.

Somehow all of that brilliance never quite made it to my adult years. My birthday now is just a day where I turn an age I don’t really want to be and I’m not sure I’m ok with that. When I was a child it was fine, turning 10 was a huge moment and becoming a teenager was an even bigger deal. It’s the 20s I have a problem with.

I benefit from the fact I still look 16 which usually results in me still feeling 16. In my head, I’m just a regular teenager whose only worry is if my period will appear randomly and ruin my favourite underwear again. In reality, though, I’m a 20 something-year-old adult who can now figure out exactly when Aunt Flo is coming to town and hasn’t ruined any underwear in years. The adult in me wants to cook proper meals and live in a nice house with a few sticky (why are kids always sticky?) children, Teddy the dog and my adorable future husband but the teenager in me would really like to be doing some history homework and avoid “adulting” altogether.

Really what my birthday this year has brought me is a minor and very early midlife crisis. I’m starting to wonder if maybe I’ve been living all wrong and that I should be further up the adult ladder. I don’t really know if what I’m doing is right and I’m kind of just fumbling around in the dark looking for a light switch that the electrician never installed. I know where I want to be but I just don’t quite know how to get there. It doesn’t really help that being a billionaire is quite a hard thing to achieve with very little effort.

I know things will work out in the end but, for the first time ever, I’m admitting I am scared of this whole being an adult thing so I would like the world to accept this post as my resignation from adulting. I would also like this birthday to be removed from the history books so there is no record of me ageing at all. From now on I will accept the perks of adulthood (i.e. no bedtime, eating cheese for breakfast, watching R rated movies etc) and will ignore the tribulations adulthood has to offer. This post will really not reflect well on me should I ever choose to take over the world.

*Can you get a lifetime supply of baby wipes from somewhere as I really do not want my potential future children to be sticky?

Book Haul

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Apparently, my brain malfunctioned at some point after midnight on January 1st as it decided to set me the challenge of reading 40 books this year. It doesn’t sound like an impossible task but it also doesn’t sound all that possible to me either. Clearly, I’m feeling very optimistic.

Regardless of my pessimism, a new reading challenge means I need new books so obviously, I had to do another book haul. How much money should I bet that I won’t have finished all of these by July?

I’ll refrain from delving too deeply into each book as a few of them will be appearing in my Books of December post but first up we have Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris. I purchased this book because it was nominated for a Goodreads award as opposed to it sounding like a genuinely good read. Behind Closed Doors is about a relationship that looks perfect from the outside but is actually awful “behind closed doors”. If you think you’ve read this book before, it’s probably because you have.

The Secret by Kathryn Hughes also made its way into this book haul. Unlike Behind Closed Doors, The Secret is about a group of people whose lives are changed dramatically by an accident after a day out. Usually, when I read a description like that I run as far away as possible but I was rather intrigued by The Secret hence why I went ahead and bought it. The cover may have also played a role in that decision but let’s pretend I’m not that shallow.

I figured I needed some sort of action book to balance everything out so I went for Killing Floor by Lee Childs. Killing Floor is about a man recently discharged from the army who just happens to end up in a sleepy town when a murder has just occurred. I can’t be the only one who reads a description like that and figures out exactly what’s going to happen without reading it right? Why did I buy this nonsense?

Roald Dahl’s Lust came next in the purchasing department. I absolutely loved Cruelty by Roald Dahl so I figured a nice collection of short stories about lust would be a good way to follow it up. Admittedly, I’m rather stuck reading this book as I don’t seem to be as into it as I was with Cruelty; with any luck, I’ll have finished it by the end of this month.

After thoroughly enjoying Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, I wanted to read more of her work so I picked up The Storyteller. The friendship between a former SS soldier and a Jewish woman is explored in The Storyteller and apparently if you exclaim “oh this is about murder so I’ll buy it” when you pick this up in a bookshop, people will move away from you.

I ended up buying the The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer which revolves around a TV crime reporter whose career is approaching the toilet and “recruits” a serial killer in desperation. Reading the description of this book kind of makes me think of the film Nightcrawler which I hated so I hope The Beautiful Dead is better.

Finally, we have The Whistler by John Grisham. I would be lying if I said I didn’t buy this book because I thought the cover was fabulous so I’ll be honest, the cover is awesome and I didn’t even bother to find out what the book was about before buying it. I’ve since discovered that The Whistler is about an investigator for complaints regarding judicial misconduct that is given a case involving corruption on a major scale. I’m not sure if this is going to be my kind of thing but I’m looking forward to it sitting on my bedside table so I can look at the cover (I’m going on so much about the cover but didn’t even photograph it for this post).

Now that I’ve written about all of these books I’m starting to wonder if this new reading challenge was a bad idea. I’ve really gotten back into reading over the last few months but I think I may have overwhelmed myself here especially since I seem to really care about covers. Can I just put the subtitles on a TV show and act like each episode is a different book?

*First lesson learned of 2017: Trying to write a post with Russell Howard on in the background is extremely difficult!
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