Friday, 21 September 2012

Hair we go again: L'Oreal Recital Preference in Paris [4.01]

I used another Recital Preference shade [Havana] on my hair a few moths ago and found that the resulting shade was nothing like the model's on the box and when it came time to touch up the roots, the colour was very uneven. However I did like the Recital Preference formula, so I picked a darker shade, took a deep breath and redyed my hair...

Success! This shade does seem to be almost black at first, but slightly lightens to almost exactly the same dark, cool brown shade as that on the box's model after a week or so. From there on out, any colour fade is minimal, I can go over two months between top ups, as the formula is so fade resistant. And my roots [ash blonde/brown] dye the same shade as the rest of my hair. L'Oreal - you have redeemed yourselves.

I started to go grey in my teens and this has perfectly blended them away, which is a first; I've found that dyes typically colour the grey hairs slightly lighter. Overall; I'm very impressed with the new formula.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Ebook review: Dead Case in Deadwood by Ann Charles

The first book in the Deadwood Mysteries series is Nearly Departed in Deadwood, and the second is Optical Delusions in Deadwood.

Characters and events from the previous books are mentioned casually thoughout DEAD CASE, so it is best to read the books in order. 

Cornelius, a rather eccentric man from Las Vegas, comes into Calamity Jane's Reality and asks to see Violet Parker. He is looking to buy property in Deadwood - and by property I mean that he wants to buy a local hotel.

Needless to say this is a huge coup, so huge that Violet's colleague Ray immediately asks their boss Jane if he can take over. Since Violet can't stand Ray, she digs in her heels and reminds everyone that Cornelius specifically requested her for the job. Baring that in mind, Jane has to allow Violet to continue. However she does warn Violet that if she refuses the help and then loses the huge sale, then Jane won't be able to afford to keep her employed.

This being Violet, naturally means that things won't be as simple as viewing the hotel with Cornelius and then collecting the money. Cornelius is a ghost hunter and wants to to buy the hotel only if it's proven to be haunted. And since Violet is widely (but incorrectly) rumoured to be able to communicate with ghosts, she had better be able to rustle some up somehow, if she wants Cornelius to sign on the dotted line. Deceive a customer or lose her job and be unable to provide for her children?

Also on Violet's plate; she has long suspected Ray and the local undertakers of selling body parts on the black market and she is now determined to get to the bottom of the mystery once and for all, in the hope that Ray will end up in jail and out of her way forever.

Elsewhere; Violet's friend Harvey finds a dead body on his property - and it is holding one of Violet's business cards. Who is the dead man and how/why does he apparently know her?

Ebook review: Optical Delusions in Deadwood by Ann Charles


Violet Parker has more or less settled into her realtor job at Calamity Jane's Realty, but is keen to prove that her recent sale wasn't just a one off, or is because of her personal friendship with Doc. So when a woman and her daughter ask for Violet to sell their family home in nearby town Lead, she is eager to jump in and get started. The house is large, beautifully decorated and her prospective clients are willing to sell cheaply to get rid of the house quickly. Violet's luck is about to change for the better...

Or not. The reason that her would-be clients have approached a out-of-town realtor is because the four other companies they've already gone to in won't sign them on. The reason? The house was the scene of a murder-suicide of the home owner and his adult son just months before. Calamity Jane's Star realtor Ray tells Violet not to take the clients on as no-one will buy the house, and having it on their books will look bad for the company as a whole. Violet's mentor Mona agrees with Ray, which is unsettling for Violet.

Violet is going to turn the women away, but feels sorry for them and their predicament. And with no other houses on her books ready to sell anytime soon, her uninsured daughter suddenly needing glasses, a desire to prove Ray wrong and with her stressed boss being dragged through the divorce court by her money grabbing, cheating ex, Violet soon weakens and takes on the new challenge.

The widow claims to communicate with the ghost of the original homeowner, a claim which Doc backs up by also claiming to see the same ghost when Violet asks him to look around the house. Violet doesn't believe in ghosts, but as her nerves are already stretched, she is little bit freaked. Then top everything off, the mayor of Lead takes a sudden interest in her and the house, she meets the shady and bullying former daughter-in-law of the widow whose house house Violet is trying to sell, someone is spreading rumours that Violet speaks to ghosts, Violet finds herself with a demon worshipping stalker and she has to pluck up the courage to tell her lifelong friend that she is sleeping with said friends dream man...

Ebook review: Nearly Departed in Deadwood -by Ann Charles


Violet Parker - single mother to nine year old Fraternal twins Adelynn and Layne - has just returned to her home town of Deadwood, staying with her aunt Zoe, for her new job as a realtor at Calamity Jane's Realty. Her new boss, Jane Grimes, and Violet's acting mentor Mona are both really nice and helpful, as she finds her feet and tries to find a balance between her new professional life and her home life.

However; Violet better not get too comfy as Calamity Jane's star realtor, Ray Underhill, hasn't taken to Violet or her non-existent sales tally, so is pushing for her to be fired. He wants her job to be given to his nephew and if Violet doesn't make a sale within a month, he may indeed get to work alongside his nephew. But how far will Ray go to get rid of Violet?

Violet does have two clients with houses to sell and also lands someone wanting to buy a house. The bad news is that both the old ranch belonging to the gun-toting, wrinkly Casanova Willis Harvey and the old family home of jewellery store owner Wolfgang Hessler are neglected and need renovating. Even if they were in tip top condition it isn't going to be easy to land a sale. Violet's buyer, Dane 'Doc' Nyce, doesn't actually seem to be in a rush to buy a house and he acts generally weird.

Violet hasn't just got the future of her job on her mind; there have also been several cases of young girls being snatched in the area. And wouldn't you know it? Little Addy is a perfect match to the kidnapper's preferred type and a strange man has made multiple visits to the girl as she plays in her front yard. And then there is the puzzle of a mystery admirer sending Violet little poems, which suggest that her mystery man is closely watching her.

So now we have a pressure cooker containing a child snatcher, a stalker, the fact that the two houses in her book aren't ready to be sold in the time frame she has, her only client who may buy a house is wasting time, Ray is looking forward to clearing her desk out, lonely Harvey is forcing his way into Violet's life as a unlikely friend and Wolfgang is making his romantic interest in her clear...

Violet is soon left wishing that she hadn't moved to Deadwood.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Meet inchy; when lacking inches is good...

Yankee Candles bring out various limited edition holiday accessory ranges every year, with each collection featuring new designs - no repeats. Halloween gets a whopping seven ranges; Boney Bunch, Skeleton Crew, Black Cats & Witch's Spell, Haunted Happenings, Pumpkin Patch, Pumpkin Crackle and Creepy Crawlies.

This particular design is from Yankee's 2011 'Creepy Crawlies' Halloween collection - as the Yankee accessories aren't as widely available in the UK, you can still find certain designs for sale on selected websites.

Monday, 3 September 2012

I desire to be brighter...

I'm trying to drag everything out of the final days of summer. One of my favourite skin brighteners over the past few months has been NARS Desire powder blush, which I got in my NARS Danmari palette last year. So lets take a longer look...

I'd been secretly lusting after DESIRE for years, but always shied away after seeing how shockingly bright it is in the pan. However I recently bought the Danmari All About Cheeks palette by NARS and this is one of the featured shades, so I finally gave it a go.

DESIRE can no longer be bought on it's own [at least in the UK], so that alone is enough to prevent me from regretting splurging on this palette. DESIRE looks fluorescent in the pan, but it applies sheer and matt, and is lovely and cheerful on my skin. I surprised by how surprisingly easy DESIRE is for me to pull off; It is a naturally 'flushed' tone on my n10 skin.

Most importantly, it wears well - I'll apply it in the morning and it will last until I take it off at the end of the day. NARS is a pricey brand, but the quality is unbeatable.

The only thing to watch out for is that almost every other blush by NARS goes with any makeup look, so you don't really need to think twice picking one up out of your makeup bag in the mornings. However, you do have to be careful with which eye and lip shades you wear this brighter blush with. I prefer to play it safe, by pairing it with shimmery nude eye shadows and glossy pink lips.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Fragrance (sort of) review: Fame EDP by Lady Gaga...

I've not had my bottle of FAME long enough for a detailed review yet, but I do have a few initial observations and notes. I want to share these now as there are already tons of reviews online, which are just knee jerk reactions of people, who are basing them on whether they love or hate Lady Gaga herself, rather then actually describing the perfume in any detail...

First; I don't get why this is being described as a fruity/floral - on me there is only the tiniest hint of apricot, but it so very short lived that it doesn't really make an lasting impression on me. I think some people may be confusing the honey accord as apricot/peach, or similar. The belladonna, incense and honey are the main notes on me, so FAME is definitely something that I would describe as a floriental fragrance.

Second; I don't really get the whole push-pull malarkey, but the fragrance is not linear. It even seems a bit different every time I wear it, so a detailed review is going to take a little while to write.

Third; No FAME doesn't stain skin or clothes. I've even sprayed it directly onto my pyjamas, and the liquid does indeed spray clear, despite being black in the bottle.

Forth; FAME does go close to the skin after a couple of hours, but I catch lingering wisps throughout the day. When I wore it to bed, it was still detectable the next day.

I can't believe that FAME is a Coty release!!

I'm ready for Halloween...

I bought my Yankee candles for this Halloween from Amazon in August, as the remaining stock is low and who can be sure that they'll be restocked? The boxes of tealights cost £6.25 each.