Beauty Review: Rimmel I Love Lasting Finish in Your Majesty

Hello again lovely people, and welcome to what I hope will become a regular feature of this much-neglected blog. It's inspired by the web forum of a very famous money-saving website, or more specifically a thread on that forum designed to encourage those taking part in the thread to use up their toiletries and cosmetics stashes. One of the regular features on the thread is the 'Friday Pamper', which is, as the name suggests, where the thread members use any products in their stashes which they might not necessarily use on a regular basis in order to reduce the amount of stuff they have. As I have a fairly hefty nail polish stash, I thought I would use this as an excuse to work through my various different polishes by trying a different colour or design every week. Doing my nails on a Friday night also has the advantage that I can get two full days of wearing polish before I have to take it off for potential interviews on Monday morning.

However, I'm kicking this post off on a four day weekend, so no having to take the polish off until Monday night, yay! And, seeing as this Friday is the day of the royal wedding, could I have picked any other polish? (Well maybe OPI Dating A Royal would have been slightly more appropriate, but I don't own that one - yet. Perhaps I'll buy it for Zara Phillips' wedding.) Rimmel I Love Lasting Finish in Your Majesty is a beautiful sparkly shade of silver, with some glitter in it, but slightly finer and not as much as the glitter in Andrea Fulerton Annie which I used in a previous manicure. You can see the difference in the picture below:

Although this shot is giving me an idea for a new uber-sparkly silver manicure, but we'll save that for another day...

The application was really good, I didn't find the polish too thick or gloopy and it gave a nice level of coverage. Rimmel's own website claims that the polish offers 'hardwearing, chip resistant, long lasting colours for a great colour finish'. I can definitely vouch for the latter statement - the finish on this manicure is absolutely brilliant, like molten silver - but will let you know how it goes on with the other claims over the next few days. So far it seems to be holding up pretty well, there are a couple of little bubbles but no major chips around 36 hours later.

For the picture below, I used two coats of Your Majesty on top of Nails Inc Hyde Park base coat and topped that with Seche Vite.

Overall, I really like this manicure - I think it's funky, edgy, a little bit rock chick and links in well with the current metallic trend going on in fashion, but is also a colour you could wear at Christmas or for nights out all year round. It's also got potential to be a good base for 'accent' polishes like China Glaze Fairy Dust or Barry M black crackle as you could amp it up a bit and give it a more blingy or punky feel to it. Definitely a keeper.

You can find Your Majesty and the rest of Rimmel's I Love Lasting Finish shades, as well as their other ranges, in Boots, Superdrug and your local independent pharmacy, where they retail at a very reasonable £2.99 for an 8ml bottle. They're quite often on 3 for 2 as well.

(And yes, I know I'm writing this on a Saturday, but yesterday was a bt too manic to update so I'm posting this today.)

TV Review: True Blood Seasons 1 and 2

I am notorious for showing up late to the party on all those 'in' TV shows - partly because I don't have Sky, and partly because I just never seem to get round to it. However, one of my goals for this year was to watch more TV box sets, and the first one I've managed to finish is the first two series of True Blood. For those of you who haven't heard of it, it follows Sookie Stackhouse, a mind-reading waitress in a small Louisiana town who meets vampire Bill Compton one night in the bar where she works and gets increasingly drawn into his world.

I have to admit I came to the series after having read all of Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire Mysteries books on which it's based (if you haven't read them, I strongly advise you do - although they will put certain things from the show in a very different light, they're very well written and a good quick read) so I was very keen to see what they'd do with the series and how true they'd stay to the books. Thankfully I wasn't disappointed - each season pretty much sticks to one of the novels, with season 1 covering Dead Until Dark and season 2 focussing on Living Dead in Dallas, although a couple of characters introduced in the second series don't turn up until the later novels and there have been a few changes to the plot.

One of the great things about the series is how much it immerses in its setting of the American Deep South. Having never been to that part of the world (well unless Florida counts) but having lived in small towns, I felt that it portrayed brilliantly the environment in terms of the closeness of the heat and the community - more so in the second series for the latter, with the attitude that everyone knows each other and that gossip gets round fast, as well as a secondary narrative that encapsulates that small town mentality. The use of music is also brilliant; as well as the bluesy edgy theme tune, the soundtrack perfectly encapsulates the dark, slightly sinister atmosphere of the series.

I also think that the casting is utterly perfect. They have gone for a 'name' of sorts by picking Anna Paquin - she of The Piano back when she was a kid - to play Sookie, but when you watch her  you can see that she's been cast wholly for her performance due to hitting that ideal balance between sweet and vulnerable yet tough as nails and willing to kick ass when necessary. The supporting characters are also very well cast, particularly Rutina Wesley as Sookie's sassy best friend Tara Thornton, Ryan Kwanten (formerly of Home and Away) as Jason, Sookie's womanising brother, Nelsan Ellis as Tara's flamboyant cousin Lafayette and Alexander Skarsgard as mean and moody vampire Eric Northman, the thousand-year-old Sherriff of Area 5.

All in all, it's a brilliant series - darkly funny, sexy, gory and an excellent way to spend a few hours. There is a slightly trashy edge to it, but it's so well done that I guarantee you'll get hooked within a couple of episodes. Highly recommended and I can't wait for series 3.

Beauty Review: Soap & Glory The Scrub Of Your Life

Seeing as how I have a huuuge toiletry stash (and because job hunting is driving me crazy), I figured that I should probably review some of it! And where better to start with than the product I started on yesterday, Soap & Glory's The Scrub Of Your Life...

I've got to admit that Soap & Glory is one of my 'things' - if I had to only use one toiletry brand for the rest of my life this would definitely be in the running. The products do what they say they will, smell fantastic and have the most gorgeous funky retro packaging. And I say that as someone who doesn't like pink! I've got a fair few of their products on the go at the moment, but as a lot of them are currently in the study at my parents' house waiting to be delivered to the flat tomorrow and I needed scrub yesterday I figured I'd break out The Scrub Of Your Life (as I've mentioned before I'm a sucker for a good pun).

As you can see it contains tiny little pink scrubby beads which help exfoliate, and goes into a nice creamy lather:

The scent, as with all Soap & Glory products, is beautiful - kind of floral, a bit powdery and generally a nice 'clean' smell. I also thought there was a stronger note of rose in the blend this time, more so than usual, which is great for me as I love rose fragrances.

In terms of how well it worked, I found that whilst it was nicely scrubby and got the job done, it wasn't as abrasive as Soap & Glory FlakeAway which I was using before. This is because of the 'moisture-foam formula', which translated from fancy product-speak seems to mean that it's more like a moisturising body wash with scrubby bits in it than a pure body scrub. I didn't feel like I needed to use body lotion after this so it's ideal for those mornings when you don't have time to moisturise or you're simply in a lazy mood.

All in all, I'd say this is a pretty great product as it's multi-functional and also does what it says on the tin by being exfoliating but without being too harsh, and is fantastic for everyday use or when you're a bit pressed for time. It's also very reasonably priced at £6.50 for 200ml, seeing as a little goes a long way - especially in comparison to FlakeAway which has a bit of a tendency to end up going down the plughole. Highly recommended.

Copy and Post: CBS Londoner

What can I say - I am a sucker for a good pun.

Seeing as I would eventually like to get into copywriting, I've decided to start including a regular trend on this blog of ads I like (and, presumably, those I don't) and why. So to kick things off, I'm beginning with the advert that inspired me to do this - CBS's The Londoner campaign.

Things I like about this ad
I should start off by saying this isn't the one I originally saw and liked - that one was something about carrying a coffee and walking quickly down Oxford Street (something I've become a bit of an expert at since I've been coming down here), and sadly I can't remember where it was other than a Tube station somewhere on the Northern line. - curse my photographic memory! But this is the only version of the long copy one I could find - I'm not so keen on the short electronic ones on the escalators - so needs must and all that.

First of all I like that it picks up on things that aren't stereotypically associated with Britishness - as in, the sorts of things that only Londoners would do and know that they do (and that tourists generally dismiss as rudeness) which by default sidesteps the traditional image of straight-laced, pinstripe suits and bowler hats, everything stops for tea-ness that has been link with the city for decades. I also like the colour scheme - whilst dark blue and green wouldn't have been my first choice, on reflection I really like it as it lets the copy speak for itself. It's only since I started getting interested in copywriting as a career, as shameful as this is to admit, that I started noticing how few long copy ads there seem to be in relation to the short copy ads, and I don't know if that's because a lot of the ads I see don't lend themselves to long copy, but to see one that I enjoy and feel like I can identify with (as an unofficial Londoner) is always a bonus. They've also just started doing versions of the short ads with comments from Facebook and Twitter - as seen at Oxford Circus earlier today - which I quite like too.

Things I don't like about this ad
With this particular one, I think the percentages make it seem a bit, well, uppity. Whereas the 'maybe it's because...' bits feel authentic, the stats are going back to that perception of the snooty Londoner. I don't think they're that accurate either - to take the theatre example, whilst I'm sure that many Londoners do visit the theatre regularly, an awful lot of that box office, especially in the West End (which presumably we're taking to be mainstream theatres churning out musicals rather than the likes of the National on the South Bank, which has always struck me as more of a 'local's' theatre), is likely to be tourists, but equally it's impossible to tell how much of that box office is tourists, so it's not an entirely accurate statistic. I should add though that on some of the other advertising for the campaign the statistics are a lot better and feel more relevant rather than this slightly strange mishmash. I'd also have liked a very subtle city skyline to the bottom of the ad or in the background, because whilst I do like the simplicity of the artwork I also think it's too easily transferable to other cities - even though you don't want to stereotype you still want your ad to say 'London'.

So, all in all, I'd give this campaign a 8.5 out of 10 - there are a few minor fiddly things I'd like to see but sort of accept that they're pretty impossible to solve, and the quality of the copy for me cancels a lot of those niggles out.

Admin and domesticity: my first few days in London

Apologies for the lack of blogging, but what with interviews and moving it's all been a bit crazy here!

So, on Saturday I finally packed up all my stuff, got on a train and waved goodbye to my old life in Lancashire to head down to London. It was a sad moment, I'll admit, because it brought it home that I'm an adult now and have to make my own way in the world, as well as the fact I felt guilty because my mum cried, but at the same time once I was on my way then all the stress seemed to go and the excitement kicked in. The journey wasn't particularly great as I had to stand up the whole way, which is partly my own fault (I didn't know you could ) and partly a lack of luggage space on the train, but we did get a cab from Euston to the flat which was quicker and cheaper than expected.

This weekend has been mostly settling in and chilling out- we went for dinner with my boyfriend's mum and grandparents and then for a few drinks for Mother's Day yesterday, but that was about the busiest it got. (The restaurant was great, by the way - best swordfish I've ever had. I'll review it later this week.) I am however falling into the bad habit of not going to bed before midnight, which won't be great when I actually have a job, especially if it's up in town, so I need to start getting out of that routine sooner rather than later.

Today I have been mostly ringing round recruitment agencies to try and sort myself out with a job now I'm here - response so far seems to have been pretty good and I've managed to send my CV off to a few places and put in for a few things, and have registration meetings with two of them in the next couple of days. I've also been working on my application to a job similar to my previous role which closes on Wednesday and for a grad scheme with a publisher that would start in six months, so there are a fair few things in the pipeline, and have spoken to one of the directors at the advertising agency I interviewed with last month for more work experience just to keep my hand in on that front. I have also been a bit of a domestic goddess - as well as finally sorting out the mountain of stuff I had left to unpack I've done a load of washing up, washed my boyfriend's shirts (oh the glamour) and got stuff for tea tomorrow from Tesco.

As well as my registration meeting, the plan for tomorrow is to go out and get a feel for my new area, plus I need to call the college I interviewed at last week to see what's happening with my application - I suspect that considering they were supposed to tell people the outcome on Friday it's a no, but if you don't ask you don't get... I also need to get the wheels in motion for claiming JSA, which is something I didn't particularly want to do but equally I'm not going to turn my nose up at £60 a week or whatever it is now, and to register with my new doctor and dentist.

So that's my first few days in London. Obviously it would have been nice to have spent it working if I'd got one of the jobs I went for a few weeks ago, but hey ho - it just wasn't meant to be I guess. As always, onwards and upwards.