Sunday's Stuff | 16th Feb

2/16/2014 03:42:00 pm
Hola Munchkins!
Here is all the bits and pieces I have been up to this week!
Row One: Sabrina, Grimm Legacy finished!, Quote from Bitter Greens, Bitter Greens finished!
Row Two: New dining room light, Pooh, Want this Soap & Glory SPF, Red Velvet Cake.
Row Three: Bambi, Landing and stairs painted Chocolate Milkshake, My eyes, Believe.
Row Four: My wonderful jewels, Drinking Water, A pic, Roses!
Much love,
Ani x

From me to me | Valentine's Day

2/15/2014 07:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Yesterday was apparently the day of love - Valday as I like to call it.  I am single, therefore haven't received anything from a member of the opposite sex, however, I treated myself to a few shiny bits and pieces whilst on holiday, and in honour of Valday I have decided to share them with you.
From left-right: 
Smokey topaz (my birthstone) and white topaz in silver
Amethyst in silver
Blue Sapphire in silver
Pink Sapphire and tiny diamonds in gold.
I am luck enough to have an uncle as a gem dealer, and I think that gems may just be my new obsession - I shall start a collection!
Much love,
Ani x

Valentine's | Nails

2/14/2014 01:37:00 pm
Hola Munchkins!
Technically these aren't Valentine's nails - technically they are my favourite ever nails.  I'm sure you know my love for No7 Temptress - I adore and have been using it since I was probably about 18, but lately, like the fickle beauty blogger that I am, my poor Temptress has been completely and utterly pushed aside.  But never fear!  The classic beauty is back! With a top coat of my beloved Seche Vite, Temptress is the ultimate in super shiny elegance!
Much Love,
Ani x

Troublesome Skin | Heroes

2/13/2014 07:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
I'm sure I am not the only one who's skin is constantly playing up due to the weather.  Up until now I have had well-behaved skin for approximately the last 3 months - I had the luxury of a whole lot of Vitamin D thanks to my holiday and that always helps.  But back to reality with a bang and the last 2 weeks my skin has progressively turned from having eczema to just being troublesome.  So I've rediscovered some old faves and brought out the big guns.  Enter my troublesome skin heroes:
First of all, it appears I have remembered my wonderful Clarisonic: it always happens that it runs out of charge and I forget about it, or that my skin behaves and I don't think I need it.  But guess what - I do!  Just one use and I saw my skin just glowing like it hasn't since my holiday - soft and smooth and just brilliant.  I'm currently using it with the Adrien Arpel Papaya Enzyme Cleanser that I picked up in Sri Lanka.  It is a wonderful cleanser - has a slightly clinical smell that reminds me of the aesthetic clinic I used to work at, and a watery texture that turns into foam as you pump.  I definitely feel the chemical exfoliation of the papaya enzyme - it leaves my skin so soft and smooth and is even suitable for use on the eye area.  Now, to a product I haven't needed to use for a while, but one that never fails me - La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo.  This stuff is my go-to for when my skin plays up.  In all honesty I am pining for the new Effaclar Duo+, but one must finish up what one has before buying!  But the Duo is quite the brilliant little tube for treating skin when problematic. I find it to soothe and treat the skin fairly quickly, and due to my oily skin it provides enough moisture to use as a moisturiser.  For those times where I feel more moisture is needed - aka the winter - I use the Kiko Purifying Fluid.  Kiko is one of those brands I have loved for years - I have both make up and skincare from them, and they never seem to disappoint.  The purifying fluid is a light fluid as the name suggests, that moisturises without adding excess oil, and acts to help control oil production, which is perfect for my skin.
I hope you like my little edit of troublesome skincare products.
Much love,
Ani x

A Review | Sanctuary Hot Cloth Cleanser

2/12/2014 01:26:00 pm
Hola Munchkins!
I always love a good cleanse in the evening - granted I am lazy and leave it until the last possible moment, and then upon the actual act of cleansing ask myself why on earth didn't I do this earlier?!  But I love cleansing.  I recently tried to use up as many of my numerous cleansers as possible, and this ended rather too successful, leaving me with my coconut oil and a more foamy, enzyme-based cleanser.  These together generally do cover a lot of my most practical cleansing needs, but I missed my real balm and creamy cleansers.  Of course, as usual, money is an issue, so when browsing the aisles of Boots (when am I not doing this?!) 
I came across the Sanctuary Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser on offer, and thought why on earth not?! So off I toodled to the checkout, and haven't looked back.  Needless to say, I love this cleanser: it is thick and rich and luxurious a la Liz Earle, with a scent that I find utterly relaxing and a pleasure to use.  I squeeze a splodge into my dry hands, and work it into the face in small massage-y motions, then use a hot-water-squeezed-flannel to take it all off, and I find that my skin is super clean, but in a nourished way. 
Cleanse with this Sanctuary brightening facial favourite. This cleanser opens pores to deep cleanse, while also acting as a gentle exfoliator to help stimulate circulation. Leaves your complexion glowing with the radiance of a spa facial.
This, depending on my mood, makes it a versatile cleanser that I can use for either a first or second cleanse.  As a first cleanser, it takes off all my make up very, very gently but highly effectively.  As a second cleanser, it removes all traces of oils and dirt, leaving the skin nourished and softened.
All in all a superb cleanser that I think I would buy again, even at full price!
Much love,
Ani x

Books of | January

2/11/2014 07:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
This month I have managed to rekindle properly my oldest loves: reading.  I love to read.  I love letters.  I love words.  I particularly love words on a page - they are amazing.  And finally, I have made the time to get back to my reading-like-ridiculous-amounts ways.  This month's reading has been the ultimate success, and has helped me through many a life nightmare.  So, I thought I'd try and do a little "Books of..." post every month just in case you were a little bookworm like me.

Madame Tussaud - Michelle Moran
Madame Tussaud was in fact, the sculptor who's creations are now in the wonderful Madame Tussaud.  Set in France at the time of Marie Antoinette and the French court, this is a lovely tale that combines history, war and art.  

The Second Empress - Michelle Moran
Another Historical fiction book that centres around Bonaparte this time, and tells of family quarrels and wars.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
A wonderful little story that starts at the end: it starts at the end of the protagonist's life, taking him on a journey through 5 other people's heavens in order to understand the impact of his life.  Wonderful, truly enlightening, and makes you think.

The Suicide Shop - Jean Teule
Now, this sounds utterly depressing but it may be my fave of this month's books.  Set in a world where everyone wants to commit suicide, the family in this book own the suicide shop, and are just as you think suicide shop owners would be.  But there is a problem - their youngest son: full of life, angelic-looking, always seeing the bright side.  His life gives huge insight into how the world works.  Absolutely worth reading, a very dark comedy!

Death Comes to Pemberley - P. D. James
I actually read this before I watched the BBC adaptation, and quite enjoyed both.  Not amazing, but fitting with the original Pride and Prejudice style, a good read for a lazy afternoon.

The Red Queen - Philippa Gregory
Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres, and this is a wonderful book that runs alongside The White Queen by Philippa Gregory in terms of events and times, but is told from the viewpoint of Margaret Beaufort.  If you have seen or read The White Queen then you need to read this to complete the picture.  
I hope this might have given you some reading food for thought!
Much love,
Ani x

January | Faves

2/09/2014 11:09:00 pm
Hola Munchkins,
I hope you are well!  It feels like forever since I've sat down to write - but as I sit down and type this up, I can tell you all kinds of ideas are winging their way into my little brain, to keep the blog active and happy for a while yet =).
This month has been an odd one - I came back from the most wonderful holiday with my family on the 10th, worked a bit, fell ill a bit, met some celebs, did some good PR and Editorial work, and am now looking for a new work challenge - a change is sometimes the perfect thing.
January's faves consist of quite a few new products (some acquired from duty free!), and a few old faves - so let's have a little peek and see what made this month's picks!
First up - a complexion life-saving combination: Givenchy's Teint Couture and Revlon's Colorstay Powder.  The Teint Couture is a beautiful product, both to look at, and how it performs.  It glides on effortlessly, and has a little natural glow about it that helps the skin to look alive and kicking!  The Colorstay is buildable, from sheer to very heavy, and is perfect for setting make up and then also for top ups throughout the day.  Also, my Revlon Lash Potion is THE perfect mascara for dark, black volume.
Weird weather, and the transition from extremely hot and a little humid back to this cold, biting wind, means that my eczema has played up a treat!  Of course, as anyone with eczema knows, it can be pretty painful and get one down a little - mine is over my eyelids, under my lower lash line and then on my lips!  The hero products are Neutrogena's Norwegian Formula Dermatological Cream,  and Dr Lipp Nipple Balm.  The hero of these is the Norwegian Formula - I just feel like Neutrogena gets eczema, and this is non-steroid and can be used all over the face and body, doesn't sting, and doesn't lead to further skin dehydration!
Last of all, L'oreal's Ever Riche shampoo, sulphate-free and leaves my hair so much softer and nourished than most other shampoos - I've been using them for around 2 months now, and my hair loves this range, along with the other sulphate-free L'oreal shampoos.  Additionally, I have re-ombred the bottom of my hair using L'oreal's Extreme Platinum, which I love!
I hope that was enough of a selection for you!
Much Love,
Ani x

February Lifestyle | Objectives

2/04/2014 11:42:00 pm
Hola Munchkins, 

It has again been quite a little while since I last let my words flow on this old blog of mine.  You may have seen we've had a little makeover =).
So, the objectives posts: a new way of me setting attainable targets throughout the year.  You know the drill - when you set targets that are too big, you often don't achieve them, and can feel disappointed in yourself.  So I'm taking action!  Small goals, bigger chance of achievement!  So here goes February's goals:
Find the positives every day: As you may know, I've been going through a few things, and life seems to often not let up!  But, when you think about it, something good happens every day.
  • Eat better: Along with going through the mill, often comes unhealthy eating - I need to eat healthier just so I feel well.  Lots of carbs are definitely not my wellness friend!
  • DRINK WATER.  Normally I'm amazing at this - I love water.  But I've been lazy and this has now led to the worst bout of eye eczema that I've ever had - it has lasted over a month!
  • Do a short juice cleanse.  I love juicing.  We have had a juicer for a few months, and almost without fail I make a different juice for my whole family every day.  I feel like my whole system just needs a rest, and a juice cleanse will be just the thing!
  • Blog again! Life gets in the way, but I adore writing, so I need to make the time to blog, safe in the knowledge that it leaves me feeling relaxed.

So, those are this month's goals.  I will write a little note at the bottom of each blog post will a tiny update - hopefully it will keep me on track!
Much love,

Ani x