Tuesday, 29 January 2013

100 Day Spending Ban: Update #2

At the end of week two of this challenge, I'm feeling reasonably good about my ban on spending.  For the couple of days following my first update (you can read my last post here) I was positively angelic.  I managed to stay away from the shops in the city centre and even ignored those emails in my inbox every morning shouting about the the last few days of seemingly everyone's January sales.

The major temptation for me really kicked in when I got paid on Friday, I could barely keep myself away from my local beauty halls and had to ban myself from even looking at Asos.

As I did last week, I posted the things that tempted me most on Pinterest (see my board here) so I can keep an eye on how much I potentially would have spent if not on this ban.  I think it's safe to say that between the Asos clothes, the MAC lipstick, and the latest album from Biffy Clyro, I've saved myself a pretty penny!

Apart from groceries, there was one thing this week that I had to spend money on. I ran out of my daily moisturiser from Liz Earle on Sunday so had to place an order, which will see me through at least 6 weeks.  Gladly though, I'd built this into my rules as an exception as I don't have a backup skincare stash at all really.

Now I know I'm stocked up, I'll be entering the next week of my spending ban feeling much more positive, and will be keeping up with news from everyone else doing the ban on Marvelle's blog, Blog of Shadows and through the #spendingban chat on Twitter (Thursday at 8pm).

Are you taking part in the spending ban? How's it working out for you?

Find me on: Twitter - Pinterest - She Said Beauty

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

100 Day Spending Ban: Update #1

So it's been a week now since I started the spending ban (click to view my original post) and I can hardly believe it's time for an update already!

I suspected the main areas I'd really 'feel' the ban would be when I wanted new books, cosmetics or snacks for work; but honestly I've barely thought of splashing the cash (it helps to be ridiculously busy at work!).

I'm only human though so of course I was tempted by a few things; strangely enough my moments of weakness all occurred on Friday, kicked off with an email I got about the Illamasqua sale.  There wasn't a lot that I wanted, but from first lusting after a blusher in 'Thrust' (a gorgeous deep pink) and then the 'Fundamental Palette' my thoughts started turning to other things I wanted, like a nice Spiced Chai Latte from my local Caffe Nero, or a new lipstick from MAC.

I'm proud to say I stayed strong and didn't give into my urges, so it was plain sailing after that.  I even cut open my last tube of my usual eye cream, Liz Earle Daily Eye Repair, to delay having to buy a new one.  I thought it had completely run out so was surprised to get at least another week's worth out of the packaging; it's now being stored in little glass jar!.

Anyway, I'm very pleased to have not spent any money on items from my 'banned list' so far, but next week is pay day so we'll see how it goes then!

Are you doing the spending ban?  Leave my your link, I'd love to know how you're getting on.

Find me on: Twitter - Pinterest - She Said Beauty

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Tattoo Aftercare: Missy LePink's Tattoo Tonic

As some of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram (I'm @StargazyEyes on both) may know, I had the 2nd sitting on my latest tattoo at the beginning of January.  With so much work going into this piece, just under 6 hours, with another 2 or 3 left to go, I obviously want to make sure I use good aftercare to heal it properly and make sure it looks as good as it can for as long as possible.

Now, When it comes to tattoo aftercare, many of the artists I've been to have recommended using Bepanthen, a nappy rash cream, for the duration of the healing process.  While I had no problems using the stuff on some of my tattoos, on others, and particularly those that were larger, I found myself having problems.  Essentially the Bepanthen was great in the first few days (it soothed, stopped any itching and acted as barrier) but thereafter I felt it was actually hindering the healing process, making my newly tattooed skin feel overly hot, swollen and generally uncomfortable.

Since then I've used a couple of different types of aftercare on my tattoos, but I've still been on the search for that something special, which leads me on to my latest find, Missy LePink's Tattoo Tonic.

Miss LePink's Tattoo Tonic

I'm almost ashamed to say that when I first saw this balm on display at Tattoo Jam last year I didn't pay very much attention, except to notice the very glamorous pink-haired lovely (who I now realise must have been Missy LePink herself) talking to a few people at the booth.  Something obviously stayed with me though as when I was looking for some aftercare at the beginning of this month for my latest sitting I remembered the name of Missy LePink and came across the tattoo tonic site almost immediately.

I placed my order on a Sunday night and was very pleased that my balm got delivered by the following Tuesday, safely transported in a shiny pink foiled padded envelope.  The first thing to note about this balm was the quality of the packaging, the dark glass jar is dual purpose in that it feels luxurious, but more importantly protects the ingredients it contains from the damaging effects of sunlight.  The second thing I noted was the lovely herbal (but not medicinal) smell of the balm, the ingredients are 100% natural and vegan and include Wheat Germ Oil (high in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids) Neroli Oil (a natural antiseptic that also improves the tone and texture of skin) and Rosemary Oil (a wonderful skin softener).  The rest of the ingredients, on a wonderfully short list, all have similarly restorative properties that have to be respected.

Like many natural balms the texture of the Tattoo Tonic is quite thick so to apply I warmed it between my fingers for a little while before smoothing over my cleansed and dried tattoo.  I used it from the 3rd day after being tattooed and for the remainder of my healing and found that as well as making my skin smell very nice indeed, it kept the tattoo feeling comfortable, moisturised and looking bright and beautiful.  I also applied a little to my older tattoos and found it made the colour fresher and more vibrant.  All in all I adore Missy LePink's Tattoo Tonic and will definitely be repurchasing for future tattoos, I still have half a jar left though so it might be a while yet!

Missy LePink's Tattoo Tonic is £12 for 30ml and can be found here

What aftercare do you like to use on your tattoos?

Find me on: Twitter - Pinterest - She Said Beauty
 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

100 Day Spending Ban

I had planned to do start the 100 day spending ban back in October, but with Christmas around the corner, it didn't really seem the best time to do it.  Now we're in a New Year however, I'm feeling up to the challenge!  Like a lot of people I imagine, I've had a December where my bank account has taken a bit of a hit, and I'd like to build up a small 'cushion' of cash so I'm safe in the knowledge I can deal with life's little emergencies.

Like lots of bloggers doing the challenge I've adapted the rules to my personal situation. Mine are as follows:

When I'm starting:
I'm setting out on this challenge tomorrow, 16th January 2013!

For 100 days I WILL NOT buy any of the following:
- books or magazines
- music or blu-rays
- clothes or accessories
- beauty products/toiletries
- bottled water/drinks or takeaway coffee
- unnecessary snacks or sweets at work

A few exceptions to the rules:
Food shopping is the obvious exception to the ban, but if (and only if) I run out of an essential, like deodorant, shampoo etc I can repurchase.  I can also repurchase essential skincare if I run out, i.e. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, or my usual moisturisers (I don't have a stash of extra skincare at home).

It's very unlikely I'll run out of any makeup in the next 100 days since I've got such a huge stash, but for hygiene reasons I can replace my current mascara once it's passed its' best, I'll only need to do this once in the 100 days.

Now I'm going to check out some other blogs doing the challenge; if you decide to do the challenge too, I'd love to hear about it.

Until the next update... :-)

Find me on: Twitter - Pinterest - She Said Beauty

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Winter Skincare: Figs & Rouge 100% Organic Balm

When it comes to winter skincare, a good petroleum-free balm will always have a space in my skincare collection; and while I've tried many different brands, the 100% organic balms by Figs & Rouge (more info here and available here) are an easy favourite for me.

I first got my mitts on one of these little tins of goodness in a beauty box in March or April this year.  The Rambling Rose flavour/scent I received wasn't really for me but I still loved the balm and so went ahead and bought a couple of other varieties.


Figs & Rouge Coco Vanilla 100% Organic balm

The stand-outs for me in this range are definitely the Coco Vanilla and the Wild Cherry; I love foodie scents and both of these smell beautiful, with a hint of sweetness, but no fake sugary scent.

As the Figs & Rouge balms have been certified organic by the Soil Association, the ingredients are obviously very good quality and it really shows.  I use whichever flavour I'm in the mood for not only on my lips, but also on my cuticles, my elbows and knees, and any other patches of dry/flaky skin.  The texture of the balm feels almost grainy at first but quickly melts into the skin leaving it very soothed and moisturised, but without any greasy residue.

I already keep one of these little tins, in my makeup bag, in my handbag, in my bathroom and in my bedside table, but depending on which flavour I try next, I might very well have to find a spot for another one!

Have you tried Figs & Rouge?  Which one is your favourite?

Find me on: Twitter - Pinterest - She Said Beauty

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Where did last year go?

Happy New Year!!

I hope all of you had a wonderful time over the festive season and got to spend plenty of time with your loved ones, I know I did!

Now that Christmas and New Year are done though, it's time for a bit of reflection and also time to re-energise and plan for everything I want to do in 2013.

While I don't have too many goals set in stone as yet, I do have a few more general resolutions...

Make those decisions...
I have a terrible habit of dithering for an age over making decisions, whether big or small.  It's really not helpful, especially when I want to change certain aspects of my life, so in 2013 I have decided, no more!  I will weigh up my options, make decisions and I will stick with those and I make things happen.

Get healthier...
My health has taken a serious nosedive in the last few months of 2012, meaning my exercise routine has come to a grinding halt and my energy levels have plummeted.  I'm determined to change that in 2013; I don't know yet if that means I will move back to an omnivorous diet (as opposed to the pescetarian diet I currently eat) but I will do whatever feels best for me, and make sure I do it with a clear conscience.

Work harder for what I want...
Since I haven't been feeling so good it's been very easy to rest on my laurels and not keep working for everything I want to achieve (and that includes keeping this blog regularly updated).  While I work on getting my health back I think the easiest way to keep going will be to create to-do lists galore!  That might be a huge turn off for a lot of people, but for me, and particularly at this time in my life, I think it will be a very good thing to be able to tick off everything I've achieved as the year goes on.  My Mam even bought me a cute little notebook and diary for Christmas which will suit my new purpose perfectly!

I feel as if I've got a renewed focus for 2013, and I'm determined to make it a great year!

What are your plans for 2013?

Find me on: Twitter - Pinterest - She Said Beauty

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