Aces Of Bases - Rimmel London's Base Products

Thursday, 7 May 2015

It's been a while since I blogged about make-up, or even bought new make-up but recently my entire stash seems to be running out all at once and my trip to the US to re-stock is a little too far away not to pick up some new products. While I have enough lipsticks and eyeshadows to start my own shop, my everyday essentials were looking rather sad and Rimmel had a 3-for-2 offer in Boots so I've still got plenty of dollar left for a big Sephora spree in a couple of weeks!

Rimmel Radiance BB Cream Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer Rimmel Lasting Finish Powder
Radiance BB Cream, Lasting Finish Powder and Wake Me Up Concealer
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer
The Wake Me Up concealer is good for both under-eye shadows and blemishes. The Ivory shade is perfect for my pale skin (without being too white that it gives those weird reverse panda-eyes). The concealer is super blendable and lasts all day - no fading or flaking. I can't believe I spent years buying Touche Eclat when there are so many cheaper alternatives that actually offer better coverage.
Rimmel Radiance BB Cream
BB Creams are a new love of mine. I've never used foundation as it makes me feel like my skin is suffocating but BB Creams are awesome if you don't want or need high coverage but want to look fresh and glowy. A small amount is all that's needed and it definitely perks up my skin when it's feeling dull as well - perfect for lazy days when I just use this instead of powder and concealer or for a more made-up look when worn with powder on top. It has SPF 20 but with the amount of this I use I'd definitely wear a separate SPF underneath.
Rimmel Lasting Finish Powder
Since my teens pressed powder has been my make-up essential. While my skin is nowhere near as shiny as it was a dusting of powder is still an essential step in my make-up routine and is perfect for midday touch-ups. This has a mirror underneath the powder (unlike a lot of drugstore powders which while great products are useless for on the go). This stops the dreaded shine without the equally dreaded flat, powdery look. It claims that it lasts for 25 hours but I haven't had a chance to test that out yet - I'm still waiting to rediscover my inner party girl after doing the marathon last month!

What are your favourite base products?

Sheep Hunt - Shaun In The City London

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Long-term readers will know that I love these sorts of things so when Hannah told me about the Shaun in the City statutes I couldn't resist going on a sheep hunt for a couple...which turned into finding all 50 of the London sheep (until the marathon this definitely counted as my achievement of 2015 so far).

The sheep are around until 25 May so there's still time to go on a sheep chase and find the flock. There's an app to tick them off (with proceeds going to supporting children in hospitals - a baa-rilliant idea) and most of the sheep are grouped into zones around London so it's a fun way to explore the city for free.

shaun in the city

Have you seen any of these?


April Round-Up

Sunday, 3 May 2015

April meant only one thing. The London Marathon took over pretty much all of my conscious and sub-conscious thoughts (dreams of arriving at the starting line sans trainers, anyone?) so the rest of the month was pretty chilled.

1. New hair - I'm currently torn between growing it long again (miss my swishy pony tail) or going shorter. Sigh.

2. Vegan sushi at Planet Organic for lunch.

3. The Forensics exhibition at The Wellcome Collection was perfect for channelling my inner Sherlock.

4. Boris bikes started turning red.

5. Easter weekend selfie in my Lulu Guinness x Uniqlo sweatshirt.

6. More sushi - this time from the Japan Centre.

7. Finally got a Mac book and its actually been life changing.

8. Candlelit desserts at Chicken Shop. The apple pie is amazing (and totally allowed when running 20 miles).

9. Visiting the Sky Garden with my parents - the views are pretty sweet and its free to have a look around.

1. Shoe biscuits at Next's Shoebox Jukebox event.

2. Awesome nails c/o The Painted Lady at the Next event.

3. The best falafel wrap from the wonderfully named Absolutely Starving in London Bridge.

4. Pre-work breakfast from Caterina 55.

5. Dinner with the parents at Drift Bar (check out the aquarium when going upstairs) - Mummy Lipstick and I had salads but Daddy Lipstick's dinner was more photogenic. 

6. Celebrating a year of living in my flat with this pineapple lamp.

7. Snacking on pink bananas (freeze dried raspberry powder makes all snacks better)

8. Pink oats for breakfast - post-marathon I'm looking forward to not seeing bananas and porridge for a while. Carb-loading is so much less fun than it sounds.

9. Tower Bridge in action - seen from the Walkie Talkie.

How was your April?


London Marathon 2015

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Sunday morning. It's 10.10am and supposedly the 2015 London Marathon mass start has begun. I'm pushing my way into the start pen, having stood for 30 minutes in a drizzly porta-loo queue and checked 20 times that yes, I have my iPod Shuffle, energy gels and that my timing tag is fastened to my shoe. I'm not sure if I'm shivering because it's cold and wet or because I'm just about to willingly run 26.2 miles and yes, I'm terrified. Despite the long weekend runs, the turning down of the second G&Ts and the enforced (and actually less enjoyable than imagined) carb-eating on Saturday there's nothing that can prepare you for this actual moment. The crowd of people pushes forward, I worry that the man next to me can hear my teeth chattering and wonder if I need the porta-loo again but its definitely too late for that. Suddenly we turn a corner and the start line is there - this is it.

london marathon 2015
Pre-race mirror selfie. Just because.
I run past a camel, Nigel Farage, what I later find out is a testicle and a man in a pink dress (all here). At mile 3 the clock shows that one hour has passed since the official start time and I decide to start timing my miles from this point, thinking of the first 3 miles as "freebies". A small girl sees my name on my top and shouts "LILY LILY LILY" in excitement (I think it might have been her name, too) and I start smiling and allow myself to enjoy this marathon running thing. The drizzle stops and we're running past the Cutty Sark although I barely even notice the giant ship as we pass it around mile 7. All my prepared thoughts (think of people who cannot run, who are not allowed to run, of the women who fought for the right to be able to run marathons, think of people you dislike and imagine the road is paved with their genitalia, think of your training and how you know you can do this, think of the three slices of cake you have eaten in the last few days and how they are giving you energy, think how lucky you are to be alive and don't you dare even complain) are not yet needed. I can't even think of anything, my legs seem to be running of their own accord. I overtake the five hour pacer but force myself to not run any faster than this because there is still so far to go. I spot my parents at mile 7 and am relieved that I'm running fast and smiling because 19 miles is a long time for them to be worrying about me!

london marathon 2015
Pre-race team photo with the runners from Leonard Cheshire Disability
Tower Bridge appears far quicker than I was expecting it to. Despite running over it countless times in my own runs on marathon day it feels like being in a film. I pause my playlist to savour the noise and on the other side of the bridge my Pineapple Crew (Hannah, Sarah, Sarah and more - such a lovely surprise!) are smiling and waving and I hope that I look like I'm enjoying myself (the pictures confirm that I was - I felt like an actual super woman at this point) as mile 13 (halfway!) approaches ahead of the long stretch in the Docklands. More friends appear at Limehouse (twice) and 20 miles comes and goes and still the thoughts are not needed despite the fact that I'm now officially running my longest run ever. I've been running for over 4 hours but the previous miles are a blur and the shouts of the crowds get louder and louder, peaking at mile 21 for Run Dem Crew's cheer spot. Still the thoughts do not surface as Tower Bridge appears again and I scan the crowd for the Pineapple Crew a second time.

london marathon 2015
At this point I let myself think that even if I walk from here, it's ok. I'll definitely finish whatever. I lost the 5 hour pacer at mile 16 but I'm still on track for coming in at less than my anticipated finish time of 5:30. People around me are walking, hobbling, crying but as much as I'd like to walk I don't need to - I dodge around them and running through the 25 mile marker to the finish the final 1.2 miles feel like the longest as The Mall approaches. I'm definitely still in the zone as I don't even see or hear one of my friends cheering for me and suddenly I'm crossing the line and it's over. I'VE RUN A MARATHON!

london marathon 2015
Hannah with the pineapple poster!
I'm massively pleased with my time of 5:23 but time aside, I'm overjoyed that I achieved my main goal which was to enjoy the day and run with a smile on my face and for pretty much all of the 26.2 miles I can say I did just that. Unless you are a professional then the only person you are racing against is yourself and while I'm never going to be the fastest runner I enjoyed every minute and never once regretted signing up or clearing my schedule for all those long training runs. The crowd were amazing, hearing total strangers shout your name is an incredible feeling (like being a celebrity without seeing pictures of yourself in Heat magazine with your spots and sweaty armpits circled in red pen). The marathon is over but it's also not over. I love running more than ever, I love how it makes me feel and how I've learned so much in the process - beyond what trainers are best and that a sports bra really is an essential and that energy gels do not taste nice.

london marathon 2015
Um, YAY!
Running has changed my life - back when I went for my first run in 2011 I never dreamed that I could even run for a mile, let along 26.2. If you're even thinking about entering the ballot on May 4 or taking up a charity place then do it. Respect the distance and your body (because some of the runners did not look like they were enjoying themselves - it's a bloody long way). Train hard, prepare well and it'll be awesome. Running has made me realise that I am strong(er than I look), that even though I still doubt myself I shouldn't, that the world is beautiful and that my problems are small in comparison. That what I did wasn't a "sacrifice". What I lost in drunken nights out and lie-ins I gained in feeling fitter and happier and just better than I have for ages. Seeing some of the t-shirts of the other runners around me was truly humbling and really makes you realise what "sacrifice" and hardship are and choosing to run a marathon isn't either, it's a privilege and despite over 35,000 running on Sunday something that few people will ever be able to say that they have done.

london marathon 2015

Thanks, London, for a fucking brilliant day that I will never forget. Even the weather played nicely and was perfect for running if a bit chilly for the crowd. Walking home (yeah, I ran a marathon and walked home afterwards) wearing my medal and having strangers say "well done!" in the street was pretty sweet and more than made up for the fact that despite running so far I didn't even feel that hungry for a crazy post-marathon meal!

I ran for Leonard Cheshire Disability who had a brilliant support team and do amazing work to support disabled people, you can sponsor me here or sign up for one of their 2016 places here.


What's In My Bag - Marathon Edition!

Saturday, 25 April 2015

A bit of a different "what's in my bag" post today - here's what's in my marathon bag for tomorrow morning although it's pretty similar for all the races I've done in the past:

what to pack for a marathon


Race number and safety pins - essentials! I always take a few extra safety pins as someone else is bound to need one and they're so easy to lose.

Timing tag and ties - essential if you want a time and for others to be able to track you around the course.

Pre-race snacks - Nakd bars are my favourite pre-race snack and I'll take a banana and some water too. Most organised races provide water en-route so there's no need to bring loads of water with you.

Tissues and hand sanitiser - because porta-loos are disgusting even when people are stone cold sober.

Blister stick and vaseline - feet saviours for last minute top-ups!

Phone, Oyster card and cash - for last minute texts / Instagrams and for post-race meet-ups. Some cash just in case - some races will have water and snacks for sale at the start but leave the rest of your wallet at home.

Old clothes for the start - the start might be cold so pack some layers which you don't mind discarding at the start.

Cap and sunglasses - these probably won't be coming with me tomorrow but I dug them out just in case it was going to be a sunny day!


iPod - my iPod shuffle is loaded with my favourite running songs.

Suncream stick - I'm an optimist and a huge huge SPF devotee. Although depending on how grim it is at the start this may be checked in.

Hairbands and lipbalm - these hairbands double as bracelets so perfect for mid race hair adjustments and SPF lip balm will be popped in my race belt too.

Energy Gels - always always the ones you have trained with to avoid and race day disasters...

Chewing gum - I like chewing gum while running - it's a nice change from the sickly energy gels.


Face wipes - because sweaty face is not a good look.

Change of clothes - pack a change of clothes of give a bag to someone you're meeting at the end - there are too many post-marathon free food deals to waste time going home to shower!

Snacks - a lot of big races give you snacks in the goodie bag but if you know you'll want a specific snack then pack it!

Flip-flops - again, weather dependent but for hot races I always swap trainers for flip flops straight after.


Book Worm - What's on my Kindle?

Friday, 24 April 2015

One of my main goals for 2015 (other than run marathon, eat less rubbish etc etc) was to read more. Easier said that done - while it might not involve lacing up a pair of trainers or turning down a slice of cake, in an increasingly connected world it's sometimes hard to find a spare ten minutes to read a book. I've always loved reading (I'm sure every student who signs up to do a law degree does only to find that three years of reading law books only makes you want to read Grazia in your downtime) and wanted to reconnect with the girl who used to love nothing more than a good book. It also turns out that half an hour of pre-bed reading is far more conducive to a good night's sleep than continually dropping your phone on your face while WhatsApping in bed...

I don't have a particular "type" when it comes to books other than a "no chick lit rule". I guiltily download everything to my Kindle which I love as it's never not in my bag (the paperback of Cloud Atlas is pretty chunky) but really do need to start using my local library more books! Continuing the theme of 2015 goals, I've recently joined a new bookclub (new hobby - tick!) so hopefully that will motivate me even further to continue reading.

1. Margaret Atwood - MaddAddam

My first book of 2015. This is actually the third in a trilogy so it was bittersweet to finish it (Oryx and Crake and Year of The Flood are parts one and two). Set in a future world which sometimes seems all-too-familiar, this trilogy combines speculative fiction with a strong female voice. I loved the dark humour and that the characters don't get lost along with the underlying message.

2. David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas

This book requires some work. The first 100 pages were quite difficult to get through but I'm so glad I persevered. There's really nothing I can compare this book to - interlinked stories flow through the novel set in different places, historical periods and told from different character's points of view. Parts are laugh out loud hilarious, parts are tragic and parts are just downright confusing but this book is like nothing else I've ever read. Reading it feels like an epic journey, appropriately enough for the title.

3. Haruki Murakami - A Wild Sheep Chase and Dance Dance Dance

So these books are part 3 and 4 in Murakami's "The Rat" series. Unfortunately, the first two books (Hear The Wind Sing and Pinball 1973) are not available in English but that doesn't detract from the enjoyment of these two. I actually read Dance Dance Dance first without realising that there was a prequel. The nameless author is flawed but likeable in his quest to find a nameless girlfriend from his past. As a lover of Japanese culture, this made me want to book a flight to Tokyo (and made me wonder whether "ear model" is an actual career...).

4. Haruki Murakami - Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years of Pilgrimage

The most recent Murakami novel, this obviously came up on my "recommended for you" page after reading the above two books. The central character is colourless in pretty much every meaning of the word as he looks to his past to discover why his high school friends abandoned him. Without giving anything away, I found the ending a bit of a let down and didn't love this as much as "The Rat" books but it was still a nice mental visit to Japan.

4. Paula Hawkins - The Girl on the Train

Just like the post-Twilight vampire novel explosion, the female-main-character-Gone-Girl-esque book seems to be the current literary trend. This changed the way I think about train journeys and featured a very different female lead to Gone Girl. I speed through this in a few days and while the book slipped from my brain pretty quickly afterwards it would make a great holiday or, appropriately, long train journey read.

5. Gillian Flynn - Sharp Objects 

The author of Gone Girl was always going to have a tough act to follow but this is just as, if not more, disturbing. The crime story develops throughout the novel but just how Gone Girl put marriage under the microscope this explores family relationships, communities and (without giving anything away) tackles some pretty hard-hitting subjects.

What have you read recently?

Skincare Favourites

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

When I first started this blog my approach to skincare basically involved a pack of face wipes and "Clean & Clear" foaming face scrub. My skin didn't complain about this one (RIP youthful glow even after 2 hours sleep) because that's the joy of being 22 but now that my 28th birthday is on the horizon my skin needs a bit more than a Boots Cucumber face wipe to look its best.

In my teens and early twenties my biggest skin concern was being "shiny". These days I still expect to see that my make-up has slid off of my face by lunchtime but instead working in an office with erratic too-hot-or-too-cold air conditioning, running outside and being, er, older means that my once shiny skin is now in need of moisturiser and that putting oil on my face rather than trying to get rid of it is now a thing. My 22 year-old self would be recoiling in horror at the thought and reaching for a face wipe...

These are some of the products I've added to my routine lately which will hopefully stop me resembling a prune by age 30 (along with drinking more water, avoiding refined sugar and wearing SPF every damn day). I like to use natural products where possible and do believe that less is often more with skincare but Korean women use 11 steps in their skincare routines so adding a couple more products isn't that much of a chore!

best skincare for late 20s skin

best skincare for late 20s skin

best skincare for late 20s skin

best skincare for late 20s skin

best skincare for late 20s skin

best skincare for late 20s skin

1. Bare Biology Lionheart Omega 3 Oil - I first read about these on Caroline Hirons' blog. Despite never eating oily fish (sorry, mom) I'd neither thought of taking a supplement or that doing so could help my skin. These aren't cheap but the literally glowing reviews and reassurance that they don't taste fishy was enough to convince me to add them to my skincare routine. Sadly they're not suitable for vegetarians or vegans (or if you have an allergy) as they do contain fish - I try not to think of what's in them and dutifully swallow 4 before dinner. Available here.

2. Pai Rosehip Oil - Apparently rosehip oil sold out when a Daily Fail article alleged that K-Middy was using it during her pregnancy but whether royalty approved or not rosehip oil is amazing for our skin due to it containing pro-vitamin A (a proven wrinkle-reducer). Sadly this oil doesn't smell of roses, it has quite a woody smell but it disappears quickly and despite being a bright orange it has not made me look any less pale! 1-2 drops is plenty and used twice a week this bottle will last a long time - I've already noticed a difference in my skin (especially on acne scars) and love that this is organic and natural. Available here and at Planet Organic.

3. Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate - I love Kiehls products - everything I've tried so far has been great for my skin and the sales assistants are so helpful and always happy to provide samples. This night treatment is now one that I can't do without - I love the smell (unlike the Pai oil this does smell absolutely lovely) and taking a few minutes each evening to massage a few drops of this into my skin definitely helps me feel more relaxed too. This stops that awful dull look that comes about from not enough sleep and too much time in front of computer screens.

4. Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 - this product really helped me get over my fear of moisturiser - I used to think that moisturiser would make my shiny and block my pores but this product is amazing, it feels like it's just pure moisture (hydrolauric acid is the magic ingredient) without the grease, fragrance and other rubbish that your skin doesn't need. This was my saviour during the winter when I was running outdoors in freezing weather. 1-2 drops are all that are needed and its perfect for under make-up as my skin just drinks it in. More information here and find stockists here.

5. Lush Imperialis - this moisturiser is perfect for combination skins. It's light but nourishing and full of lovely natural ingredients. I use this at night if my skin needs a bit more moisture. As well as being packed with natural ingredients, Lush products are cruelty free and the packaging can be recycled (and 3 empties gets you a free face mask!).

6. Balance Me Skin Bright Hydrating Face Mist - like the Hydrating B5, this also contains hydrolauric acid to moisturise. I love the rosewater smell of this and it's super refreshing while also being moisturising unlike the harsh "toners" I used as a teen which were basically just scented alcohol! I can't find this online - I hope it hasn't been discontinued as mine is half empty (/half full!).

What are your latest skincare discoveries?