FOTD: everything has changed

Wednesday, 31 October 2012



The days feel like they're getting shorter and I find myself cherishing every minute of sleep that I can get. My make-up lately has been something quite bog standard and really encapsulates the phrase 'lazy girl's make-up'. I literally wear this every day that I'm at work or out and about. 

My Garnier roll-on is no longer doing the job for my dark circles so I just look ghoulish at work and end up getting the 'oh, you look tired' comments thrown at me. That's just a nicer way of saying you look rubbish isn't it? Any recommendations for a great under eye concealer?

P.S...HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I shall be doing my traditional pumpkin carving in my fairy wings and trying to avoid answering the door to hyperactive kids!

Vanessa

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project no jeans month

Thursday, 25 October 2012

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Have you ever had one of those moments in your life where you're just not happy with whatever you're wearing? I do, all the time. I figured it might be because I always look like a hippo in jeans. I have a mahoosive voluptuous derriere that isn't in proportion with my thighs which makes buying and wearing jeans a big chore. As said jeans don't fit right, I get what is known as the dreaded 'muffin top'. A girl's worst nightmare. 

I decided that I've had enough of feeling this way and have concocted a little plan in my head where I will not wear jeans. For the whole month of November. Despite my grumblings, wearing jeans is easy and practical to throw on when I need to run errands or meet friends for a quick coffee so this could be tough!

THE RULES!
(yes, there are even rules!)
  • The project will take place between 1st November to 30th November.
  • I am not permitted to wear any form of denim jeans. Denim shorts included.
  • Any work related trousers are exempt from this project as I am required to wear a uniform to work so I can't get out of this!
  • I am allowed to wear leggings.
  • For every week I complete without wearing jeans, I will put a total of £4.00 into a 'kitty' where by the end of the month I will be rewarded with MAC Woodwinked eyeshadow (a little self indulgent, I know!)
That should be it! I think it'll be a challenge at first but I love wearing pretty dresses and hopefully it'll give me a confidence boost!

Have you ever tried a challenge like this before? 

Vanessa

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r uv ugly?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012



We live in a world where being tanned and bronze equals beauty. To get this result, we use sun beds to create a lasting impression of beauty and it does something that makes us feel good. But have you ever considered what it's actually doing to your skin?

I was having a little walk around my local shopping centre where I got stopped by someone asking if I wanted to take part in a UV scan where you can see if your skin has been affected by natural sun or sun bed damage. 

I automatically said yes because I was intrigued by what state my skin is in. I have to stress here that I have never used, seen or stepped foot near a sun bed. I know people who have and do use sun beds regularly and I am known to be very vocal about my opinion of them.

 I filled in a quick form and I stood in a booth where they took a quick picture of my face.

RESULT; aren't I a dashing lady?

I was told that the small dark areas on my upper lip and the edge of my forehead is where I had caught the sun a bit but everything was fine and to carry on with what I was using to protect my skin. It was quite surprising to see how visible my freckles were but how amazing is that? Imagine what your skin would look like if you were a regular user of sun beds? You may look tanned, bronzed and ready to hit the beach on your holiday but is it worth the risk of getting skin cancer? One trip is enough to get you hooked to sun beds and enough to cause long lasting damage that can't be reversed no matter how much you spend on skincare creams. 

I use SPF on a regular basis, either in my moisturiser or in any makeup that I use. I try to stay out of the mid-day sun as much as possible (easy enough task in Scotland!) and I slather on sunscreen like it's no-one's business when I'm on holiday anywhere hot. It's the little things that make a big difference to your skin, whether you are conscious of the damage or not. 

If you notice any changes to your skin whether it be a mole, freckle or a patch of skin. It's recommended that you see your GP.

Do you use sun beds? Have you ever thought about the underlying damage to your skin?

Vanessa

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sunday summary #15: a glasgow edition

Sunday, 21 October 2012


I'm hoping to start merging my 'life updates' and 'sunday summaries' together to create one super post just to keep things tidy and succinct. Plus, it will give me an incentive to start blogging more regularly, even if it is only on a Sunday every now and then.

This was the first full weekend I've had off work in a while so I had pencilled in a trip to Glasgow in my diary weeks ago! Me and the family drive down on Saturday morning and had a lovely day shopping and buying lots of food. The chinese bakery there is especially amazing. Homemade egg tarts are one of my favourite things in the world! Shopping was a little bit of a fail as I wanted the ALDO Mandina boots but when I tried them on, they were tight in the front and perfect in the back. My purse breathed a sigh of relief and I left disappointed. My only purchase of the day was a new face cream from Kiehls which I will blog about soon as I found I didn't enjoy the shopping experience entirely.

Today, Sunday, my best old uni friend was up from Kirkcaldy so we had a lovely few hours eating sushi and having a mooch around the shops. I forget how much I miss her when she's not here but it was lovely having a good old gossip over food. Our favourite past time!

I have another day off tomorrow in which I need to nip into town to get a small birthday present but thereafter I plan to watch movies and eat Tyrell crisps. Heaven.

Have you done anything exciting this weekend?

Vanessa

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weekly wishlist #5: midseason sales edition

Friday, 19 October 2012


We all love a sale don't we? I'm all about getting a bargain to the point where I'll wait right to the end of the sale season to get the severely discounted items. There is a risk that you won't get what you want, but I know I've discovered many a gem using this method!

I'm a bit obsessed with dresses at the moment, especially during the Autumn time, I love layering up my clothes. As I have to wear a uniform to work, whenever I'm wearing my 'regular' clothes I like to make a bit more of an effort. The first dress is from Republic, I saw it today and although it's nothing extraordinary, it'll be great for during the day with a lovely chunky knit cardigan. 

I'm not usually a big 'blouses' sort of person but how cute is this bow blouse? I must admit, it was the mint colour that drew me to this!

I've never really gotten into the whole Monki craze but I was surfing their website the other day and came across this. It looks a little bit too short for me to be a dress but it'll look great with black skinny jeans or leggings. Been loving branching out and trying different fashion trends. 

I was reading Temporary Secretary's blog the other day and loved the dress she was wearing I just had to click the link to see where she got it from! Navy is my favourite colour ever so I wouldn't mind this little addition in my wardrobe.

Last but not least, I thought it might be nice to include something not clothing related. I truly believe that I single-handedly brought back the hairband craze! I'd love to wear hairbands at work but along with a headset I already have to wear, it's just not practicable. Oh and how fitting is it that the hairband has got orchids on it. So cute!

I wish payday would come quicker so I can pick up some bargains!

What have you been loving in the mid-season sales? What's been your thriftiest purchase recently?

Vanessa

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life updates #2

Saturday, 13 October 2012

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I'm really aware that probably no-one really cares reads these life updates but I love having an online outlet where I can vent my feelings about the world, life and basically everything in between! Humour me a little bit in this post and let's see how we get on.

It's been well over a month since I started my new job and although I really enjoyed the training process, however exhausting, I'm finding the actual job very challenging. No two days are ever the same and I find myself learning new things everyday, which is bloomin' great! I'm still trying to find my way with my colleagues, hence the statement above. I find myself dividing my personality between work and at home. I like to keep a professional head at work and keep myself to myself and at home I'm just the same old goofy self that still enjoys watching Power Rangers on a weekend morning, drinking my weight in coffee and being a bookworm. My grumpiness, tiredness and basically lack of a social life could contribute to this but hopefully one day it will all click into perfect place and I can finally find that balance between the two.

It may be possible that I'm not quite in 'full time employment mode' and yearning to be a student again but if you have any pearls of wisdom, be sure to shoot them this way!

Still awake? Gold stars all round!

Vanessa

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my 100th post

Friday, 12 October 2012

You better believe that I own this t-shirt! It puts a smile on people's faces.
You. Are reading my 100th post! 100!! Dang nabit! That is a lot of waffling that I've written for the entire interweb to feast their eyes on. For that, I thank you for facilitating my madness and for coming along this journey with me. It may sound cliche, but I never imagined I would have lasted this long. *Snaps for me* and major big snaps for you! Let's all hug it out!

Here's to 100 more!

Vanessa

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recipe: banana caramel layered cake

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

I don't eat bananas very often. Very seldom actually. But when you put them in a cake, I'm all over it like a rash! I thought I'd share with you my latest culinary delight. A banana caramel layered cake.

*beware. bananas feature heavily in this post!*

Recipe
200g butter
150g caster sugar
50g light brown sugar
4 eggs
200g self raising flour
*a dash of vanilla extract*
1tbsp milk
2 small very ripe bananas

1. Cream the butter and both types of sugar together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
2. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together and add to the butter and sugar a little at a time.
3. Sieve the flour in and gently fold until all incorporated.
4. Mush the bananas in a separate bowl with a fork and add to the cake mix along with the milk. Mix.
5. Bake in three separate tins and bake in the oven at 180 degrees celsius for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked.

Make a caramel buttercream with either shop bought caramel or make your own. Layer with the buttercream and slices of banana between each layer. Top with a drizzle of caramel or a topping of your choice. 

Excuse my very sparse and sporadic instructions. It's tough to remember what you did when you're in banana caramel cake and coffee heaven!

An alternative to buttercream would be whipped cream and you can omit the additional slices of banana between the layers if you wish. Enjoy as your afternoon tea, with some ice cream for desert, coffee or tea, or any time in between!

Bon app├ętit!

Vanessa

review: benefit the POREfessional

Monday, 8 October 2012

I like to think that I keep my blog a 'bad review' free place but there comes a time in a blogger's life where there is a 'not my kind of product' post. This is mine.

I got a small sample of the POREfessional when Glamour magazine were doing their summer freebies. Like every other girl on the planet, I jumped at the chance to try this out as I had heard so many good things about it. The POREfessional is a balm that you apply as a primer to your face that is meant to minimise the appearance of your pores. Sounds pretty good huh?


 The first time I tried this, I wasn't too over the moon with it and it has quite a greasy consistency as it was a flesh coloured putty and I wasn't quite sure how I was going to apply it onto my skin. I persevered but I didn't notice a big difference on my skin once I applied my foundation over it. 

Skip forward a few months and I made a mental commitment to really test this out before forming an opinion. Yeah...it's really not for me. I made a big effort to use it properly after reading some more reviews and once I applied my foundation over it, I found that it highlighted severe dry and flaky areas of my skin. I cleanse, tone and moisturise EVERY single night/day and I'm always really meticulous so I have no idea how POREfessional managed to bring out the dryness in my skin.

 When swatching a little of this on a piece of paper for the purposes of this post, I noticed that a gradual layer of oil or grease started forming around it. Is that what I have been putting onto my face? That just does not look appealing.

(Sorry for the scary face!)

I managed to capture the area of severe flaky skin after I took my makeup off. It was quite prominent between my eyes and it put me in a blind panic that I ended up using my Origins Overnight Intensive Mask in an effort to put the moisture back into my skin. How scary?

It pains me to write this because I LOVE Benefit's products and I find that you do get a great quality product for what you pay for. But this really did not fare well with me. 

I'm sorry Benefit, still love you, just not your POREfesional!

Vanessa

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make-up brush storage

Friday, 5 October 2012




I'm definitely not one of those girls who has about a million make-up brushes. I tend to stick to the essential ones and make do. Everyone has a different way of storing their make-up brushes...in a brush roll, in their make-up bag or scattered everywhere on their dressing table! This is how I store mine. 

I got this container thingy from a storage store and I believe it was about £3 and then I tied an old Glossybox ribbon around to make it more girly. To make them stand up, I just poured in some uncooked rice into the container and now they stand up! Believe me when I say that they're not always as tidy or clean  as shown in the photos! I try to keep my large face brushes at the back and then my eye brushes in some form of neat fashion at the front. Pretty simple huh?

How do you store your make-up brushes? 

Vanessa

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products i've used up #3

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Is it time for another empties post? Yes-sir-ee it is!

I've been hoarding these products for a while and I think I've got nice collection here to show you all!



001. Simple Facial Wipes (x2) 
I don't think these really need an additional explanation. Favourite face wipes ever. I may have cheated on them a few times but now I have remained faithful!
Would I re-purchase?: Yes.

002. Clarins Daily Energizer Wake-Up Booster
This is the second one that I've used up. Go me! I do love this toner like product as it has a great fresh smell and feeling but I've branched out and tried a different toner.
Would I re-purchase?: Yes, I would. Probably not right now but I now know that this is a great toner!

003. Skin 79 Super+BB Cream
I've finally finished it! I was at that state of 'oh is it finished, is it not?' for a while but I'm surprisingly glad that I have. One of my favourite BB creams ever (I have a spare back up one so I'm not without!). I've not actually tried any of the 'Western' versions of the BB cream yet. In my mind I would love to (probably the blogger in me!) but I know it won't compare to the Asian ones and I'll just end up disappointed. 
Would I re-purchase?: Yes.

004. Cutex Nail Polish Remover
I'm old school and still use the traditional nail polish remover from a bottle as opposed to those fancy 'stick your finger in this tub of sponge and it'll magically remove your nail polish' thingamigiggies. I'm in that nail painting phase just now so it won't be long until I finish another bottle!
Would I re-purchase?: Yes.

005. Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub
I've been loving using a daily scrub in my morning skincare routine and this is a great product! I used it with my Soap & Glory face mitt and it gently exfoliated as opposed to a harsh grating of the face feeling. It also had a gentle foaming effect which I was quite surprised with. 
Would I re-purchase?: Yes, but not right now. Currently giving my skin a rest with all that daily scrubbing!

006. Soap & Glory Hand Food
Such a great hand cream! This is the second one that I've finished and it never fails to save my dry hands! Apologies for the cut tube, I'm quite thrifty and wanted to get all that lovely hand cream out of the tube! It has that sweet scent that most of the Soap & Glory products are known for. I sometimes think that it's marshmallow in hand cream form! Weird, I know! I apply this every night before bed and sometimes during the day as well as required.
Would I re-purchase?: Yes.

So that's it for another empties post! I'm looking forward to starting afresh again and discovering new products!

What have you been using up lately? Any new products you'd recommend me to try?

Vanessa

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band rave: kodaline

Monday, 1 October 2012


When I discover an amazing band or singer, I can become quite obsessed to the point where their music will take over my life! I thought it would be great if I 'raved' about a band or a singer once a while and that way, you can discover new music and help share the love!

Today's band is Kodaline. If you follow me on Twitter (@ParisianOrchid), then you'd know that they're my current obsession...I mean, as we speak, their EP is playing on repeat! They are a 4 piece band from Dublin and their song 'All I Want' is poignantly beautiful. Folksy guitars, mind-numbingly amazing lyrics, foot stomping and head swaying music. *sigh* can't explain much more. 

Lyrics laced with break ups, lost loves and painful heartaches, this band is right up my street!

Check them out on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

What bands have you recently discovered?

Vanessa

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