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31 May 2011

Attack of the B movie Blondes!

Despite my post HERE about keeping my hair at my natural dark blonde until the condition had improved, I have lightened my hair on pursuit of last years perfect whitey blonde hair, but I do vow, to lay off the heat, air dry where possible, condition condition condition and learn to only dye my roots and not re-dye my whole head. This is something I've been guilty of for best part of 10yrs but in my head, I've never seen the point of mixing up all that dye, just for the roots! Ha, some mental conditioning is what I need! I'm also an at-home dyer as I can't bring myself to pay £40 in a salon for something I do brilliantly for £8, and have done so since I was a teenager.

Anyways, I'm digressing! I only realised this week that I have found the perfect light root coverage for us light blondies!

While doing my make up, I'd given my fringe area a healthy dose of dry shampoo to give it a bit of oomph. I forgot all about spraying it on 'til I got to the bathroom and realised I hadnt teased the powder out but what's that I see? With gentle light coaxing, the weird powder look has gone and in its place is a subtle but effective root blender for my 2mm dark blonde roots!

I had my hair up in a messy top knot today so I gave my crown a spritz of the dry shampoo too. Lo and behold, with a quick ruffle they too have blended in without any nasty white glaringly obvious patches! Now whenever I have used dry shampoo before, Its mostly been on the underside of layers and then dilligently rubbed in as directed, with such precision, I've never been left with this powdery halo before!

I am over the moon with this! Obviously, it's why the likes of Batiste have since brought out coloured sprays for the darker haired lovelies out there but for the time being, I'm overjoyed with my new root blending, grease munching holy grail product!

So far I have tried Batiste's Tropical (very effective, not keen on the smell) and Mark Hills version (better smell, not as effective) so I might have to go and try and do a sniff test on a few more of the Batistes, as I'm not keen on overpowering cloying, flowery 'girl' scents.

29 May 2011

Review : Sienna X express yourself tanning mist

I am a bit of a tan addict, and I openly admit to having been a sunbed fiend in  yesteryear but I am now loving spray tans and gradual tanners.

I struggle to find products that are actually dark enough to show up on my normally quite tanned skin, so my store cupboard is full of discarded light spray tans!I was kindly sent some Sienna X tan to try out and it has taken me a little while to get round to using it. Fake tan + chlorine don't mix and I've been swimming of late.

I used the Sienna X Express yourself tanning mist in their generic shade. This retails for £15.95




As a trial run, I used it on my arms, chest and face so I looked (hopefully) glowy when I went out for my birthday. I prepped in the usual way and began the application.

The can was a nice slender size which made it very easy to maneouvre around and it continued to spray while upside down. There was a little residual drippage from the nozzle but a tissue on hand fixed this so that I didn't end up with dark blebs.

I sprayed from the recommended distance but I found the mist disappated far to quickly and didn’t feel like it came in to contact with my skin. I went back over my arms at a slightly closer distance and the application felt much better.

The smell was pleasant and my skin dried ultra quickly meaning I could re-dress in record time, without stains on my clothes (white pj top as it happens!).

The tan gradually developed over the 2-4hrs recommended time to a very very light golden tint. It is a beautiful colour but no where near as deep as I'd personally like. No one has noticed I looked any different but have commented that it has tanned my hands and inner arms beautifully and naturally to match my arms on the top. Now this might not sound very good, but I always suffer white hands and inner arms, even after a week long holiday, so to have a nice evened out glow is fab.

The only real downside for me was it did start to stink after a few hours and even after a shower I had that horrid fake tan smell on my arms, despite it not smelling like that after the initial application! A variety of colours would be great too, if you can tailor a spray tan to suit the depth you want, the choice of a dark tan as well as the generic can, would really appeal to me and make me re-purchase. It is also quite a small can for the price, but it is on par with other brands on the market.

I think this product will be amazing for all you lighter lovelies or for everyone in the winter months for a quick perk. I would rate it higher than St Troper and Garnier (I have used both several times without much joy).

I am going to re-spray myself tonight to see if a 2nd application will allow the colour to deepen down and spray it a little closer to my skin. I will update you once it's developed but I had to let you all know about Sienna X as I genuinely do love it, so far! The only reason I'm writing this now is because I can't stop admiring my tanned hands and inner arms, set off by my lovely salmon pink nail varnish! I'm distracted!!

If there is any demand, I will ask Mr Tramp to test the tan out for me as he is very very VERY pale so any difference in tone will show up much more on his skin.

This product was sent to me to try out for free. It does not sway my judgement and my verdict is 100% honest

28 May 2011

Review : China Glaze Ruby Slippers

Check out ma pimp slippaz yo!





Ok ok so I don't actually talk like that, I was just feeling a little bit gangster! I did a NOTD with the red glittery Ruby Pumps.

I was expecting red glitter suspended in a clear gel but this polish had a red tone to it to give good coverage as well as glitter.

For this NOTD I used the obligatory basecoat followed by 1 coat of Nails Inc red just to boost the red tones of the China Glaze. Once dry I applied 2 good coats of the China Glaze to build glitter coverage. This polish is SO amazing. The depth and quality of the glitter is out of this world - I'm in love! The China Glaze does dry to a slightly gritty finish so I applied a coat of the free China Glaze top coat to finish my manicure off.




I am mesmerized by the depth and tones of this polish. In some lights it just looks like a flat metallic ruby red then in others it springs to life like a big red disco on my fingers!

This was my first venture in to China Glaze and I was so impressed I've since went on a bit of a CG purchasing rampage! What's a girl to do, I neeeed more China Glaze in my life ladies!

27 May 2011

Power Plates - Fact or fiction


As part of my Fat not Fit challenge I have been reading up on Power Plates (Vibro Step and many other names but all essentially the same thing) and their efficiency as a weight loss aid.




Now I'm not naïve enough to assume that just by using the Power Plates as instructed 3 times a week for 3 weeks (90 mins in total) that I will suddenly be a size 10 hotty but I am interested to find out that if, along side my calorie controlled diet + other gentle exercise, I do indeed lose the dress size they promise within the 3 weeks.

What attracted me to the Power Plates in the first place was the grounds that for 10 jiggly minutes you could perform a series of exercises on the plate and it would be akin to doing a longer work out. I'm very short on time, and despite actually enjoying spending an hour in the gym, I just don't have the time to dedicate to it. I know there's no such thing as a quick fix or miracle cure but I'm willing to give anything a try once!

There's lots of websites, youtube videos and tutorials on which are the best moves to perform to target your areas of concern as well as posters usually found around the machines acting as a reminder of the moves. As a point of comparison, I have mainly been focusing on my upper thighs / hips and my waist (obliques?) to see what changes develop in these areas for my £21.

I am currently 3 sessions in to my block booking, so a third of the way though and I can hand on heart say I do 'feel the burn' after a session, mostly in my tummy and thighs and that the shape of my upper thighs do seem to have become a little more streamlined.

I'd say its quite a positive outcome so far but I realise I'll need to complete the full course before I can make an overall verdict.

I just wish it wasn't so expensive to hire / buy the machines themselves as this would be an amazing piece of kit to add to a home gym, or as the base of new home gym as, if the literature is to be believed, you can get a very good all round work out from the one piece of kit!

Most Power Plates are found in beauty salons + sunbed shops so it makes their availability and accessability very good, although the shop workers aren't quite as knowledgable on the moves as they probably could be but as a bonus,  you don't need any special equipment or clothing, you just use the machine in whatever you have on!

All in all, very pleased I have tried them and I am looking forward to continuing with the course. I tell you what though, I am VERY excited to try one of the new Power Plates bikes, just need to find somewhere 'up t'north' that will have them.

Look out for my next Fit not Fat post… it's going to be all about exercise computer games!

Post Birthday Blues?

I forgot to do a little update on my birthday goodies! Deary me!

I mostly asked for money to pay for some kick ass excursions in Havana but my lovely husband did send me off to an amazing spa last month for my birthday, he got me some little bits and bobs as well as buying me this beautiful necklace all on his own. No hints required!!


It's really nicely weighted and the royal purple on the heart really pops.

With all the pennies I got from family, I'm using it for a 6hr chauffeured sight seeing tour round Havana in a vintage in 1950s yank tank car! You get to pick your style of car before you go and I'm going for one like this....  not surprising really is it?!



I keep a copy of that picture pinned to my notice board at work just as a reminder than in.. ooooo 107 days I'll be sitting in the back of that bad boy!


I'll try not to be a holiday bore, I'm just so very excited!

I'm quite liking being 28, age doesn't bother me so roll on 30!

26 May 2011

Feeling the burn?

After my quite traumatic experience with a Lush product and having a nasty reaction / burn to my face I was rather devastated to have to endure the pain and discomfort again.

I am a long time, and very regular user of the Blue Herbal Essence shampoo and for the last 9 month an almost daily user of the Pink Herbal Essence too.

So while out perusing new shampoos, I decided to give the new Green 'Shine' shampoo and conditioner a try. Whilst they were 1/2 price in Sainsburys I thought it was a sign!



I got home and promptly washed and conditioned my hair. I was greeted by a lovely smell and a rich conditioner that left my hair feeling slinky as I was rinsing it. I was feeling positive this was going to join my multi coloured HE family living on the side of my bath!

Within an hour of shampooing, with no further products or attention on my hair leaving it to air dry, my face started to flush up and burn. Where my fringe had rested on my forehead I was sprouting angry sore purple lumps. They were springing up at a rate of knots.. Very very sore knots I must say! My forehead and eyebrow area started to swell and my eyes became so puffy, I looked like I'd been punched. The sides of my face were turning red and itchy from where the hair had touched it too.

I was concerned that if I re-wash my hair now while my skin is so angry and sore the additional products might make it even worse so I had to just tie my hair back and endure the pain.

I layered on a very thick layer of calamine lotion to try to take the heat and itch out of my face to no avail. It was stinging so much and more lumps appeared.

From feedback I've received via Twitter, it seems like I am not the only one to have suffered at the hands of Herbal Essence, with the most worrying complaints being bleeding scalp. That's just SCARY!

Today, I am currently sporting a forehead that looks like it's War & Peace wrote in Braille… big red angry Braille. Thankfully make up has mostly covered it but I do still have very visible sweeling to my brow / brow bone area. It's really distressed me and it hurt like hell!
 

22 May 2011

NOTD - Hot pink shatter

This look is using Barielle's Elated which is a blue toned hot pink with OPI black shatter over the top and then a layer of China Glaze's No Chip top coat, which is my all time favourite.

And yes, i took these pictures before the infils!

21 May 2011

Review : Naked Thirst Aid 12 Hour Moisturiser


The official blurb
Like all oils, starflower, neroli and argan are hydrating and they smell amazing too. We have a bit of a crush on shea butter as it’s so good at helping keep our skin soft and smooth; much more rewarding than those crushes we had in school!

Clinically tested for sensitive skin. Dermatologically tested. Fragrance free. Alcohol free


I'm one of those naughty bad people that don't use moisturisers (or body lotions!). I keep buying them with the very best of intentions but then always forget about them or have an unpleasant reaction to them. I think I ususally last about a week of using them then they go in to the big beauty scrapyard in the sky (aka the cupboard under the sink).

I wasn't particularly expecting much from this tiny unassuming beige pot but I gave it a whirl anyway seeing as I like the other skincare products.

I applied the moisturiser not that long before bed at about 9.30pm (yes I go to bed early like a nanna) and I did experience a few itchy bumps come up along my cheek bone and chin but they didn't flare up too badly. I have to say, I can't pinpoint if this is from the product or just a culmination of a very VERY stressful day / taking my make up off / running round at home / putting too much product on. I can however report that they haven't increased or worsened in the almost 24hrs since I put it in.


Now the product is billed as a 12hr moisturiser and I think this is totally wrong! Almost 24hrs later I can still feel my skin is moisturised and plump, but not in an overly greasy way. On waking up this morning, I used a cleansing wipe to freshen up my face and I skipped my make up, to see if I really could tell if there was 12hr moisture. My plan was to have a proper deep wash mid morning and then apply my make up but I haven't felt the need.

My face still feels clean and fresh with a deep down moisture that the wipe hadn't eradicated. I am absolutely blown away by this moisturiser.

On application, a little goes a very long way. Maybe this was my initial problem, I applied the amount I would have for a less effective lotion. It is cooling and leaves the skin nice and fresh once applied.

I was worried that after a while it would be too cloying and feel like a mask but this definitely isnt the case, I forgot I had it on!

I have had a quick trial of applying foundation over the top and it feels great. I apply my MAC liquid with a brush and it gave a perfect smooth finish with no obvious dry patches and it just had a sheen to the skin, a nice natural glow and no caking of blush / powder. I do think on a hot summer day it might be a little bit too full on to have this moisturiser on + face make up and I also wouldn't recommend this for any of you beautiful but oily ladies out there… but then again, I suppose if you suffer oily skin you wouldn’t be looking for the deep nourishment of a 12hr moisturiser!

I can see a pot of this little bad boy will be living on my bedside table for quite some time. I think, given my track record of forgetting to apply lotions, if I can atleast manage a couple of nights a week to use this over night, my skin will be massively different. 

Personally I think it might be a little bit too full on to wear twice a day, unless I use the bare minimum. 
 
Great moisturiser, long last effects, designed for sensitive skin and cheap on the high street - who want's anything more?!

Go buy it! You can buy this Thirst Aid 12 Hour Moisturiser directly from Naked for £7.49

20 May 2011

Review : Naked Uptone Girl Toner



The official blurb....
Witch hazel is nothing like a nut, or an old crone, it’s an awesome natural ingredient that helps makes our toner so good at well... toning. This magic product also helps to condition the skin, plus we’ve also added calendula to the brew. Mirror, mirror on the wall, you are the fairest of them all!

Clinically tested for sensitive skin. Dermatologically tested. Fragrance free. Alcohol free.

 
I think after the cleanser, I decided to split the reviews out for these 3 skin care items apart so each one gets it's own 15 minutes in the spot light.

Like the cleanser (and ultimately the moisturiser too) it has the same fresh orangey fragrance and large sized bottle.

I absolutely love this toner! FACT!

I had felt clean after using the cleanser but I was amazed at how much make up residue this toner pulled out of my skin after a few light sweeps! I felt very clean and refreshed and my skin felt nicely tight. Not in an irritated way, but a nice healthy brightness.

There was no stinging to this product, which is 97% natural, and even though it's not recommended, I had no adverse reaction to lightly running it over my eye area. It gave me the feeling of having used an astringent toner, without any of the stingy tingle.
 
Like the cleanser, I will definitely re-buy this toner when it runs out. I have such a love-hate relationship with the skin on my face that I'm always a bit scared to introduce new products but this is very kind to sensitive skin, like the bottle says!

You can buy the Uptone Girl Toner directly from Naked for £4.49

19 May 2011

Review : Naked Perfect Getaway Cream Cleanser





The official blurb....
Our gentle cream cleanser is full of famous faces: aloe vera is well known for soothing and hydrating. It’s joined on the red carpet by cocoa butter which helps soften the skin and ginseng is all about the radiance darling!

Clinically tested for sensitive skin. Dermatologically tested. Fragrance free. Alcohol free.

This cream cleanser smells divine. All the skin care products I have tried all smell the same which is a gorgeous fresh, almost orangey smell. Which if you read my blog, you'll know reminds me of the 4711 cologne my late grandad wore. It gets a thumbs up from me on that front!

The cleanser has a great consistency, thick enough to pour out of the bottle and stay on your palm but with enough slip to be easily spread across your face. You only need a small amount, I'd say a flat 5p amount, to get full face coverage which means the huge 200ml bottle will last you a long time.

I have been using this face cleanser for almost a week now, twice a day and it is lovely. I apply a small amount to my finger tips and then do a double handed rub to spread the product over my face. You can almost see it dissolving the make up as you work, similar to the Elemis melting cleaner gel.

I always remove my cleansers with a cellulose sponge or muslin cloth to really make sure my make up is off and have a gentle exfoliation. This product works well with both the cellulose and the cloths. It does remove the majority of light make up but I have to say I didn't feel fully "clean" until I had followed it up with the (also wonderful) toner from the range too.

I was quite surprised at home much make up remained on my face after cleansing, even though it looked like it was make up free. I was slightly disappointed by this, but for a morning wash / v.light make up day then this would be fab! Even a summer cleanser when we are all less likely to wear less 'slap'.

I have mentioned it before but I suffer from crazy sensitive skin at present and I can truly say this didn't aggrevate any tenderness or cause any flare ups. I noticed my redness wasn't toned down / soothed as much as it would be from using Cold Cream but that's no big deal, I put make up on don't I!

For a highstreet brand, that I wouldn't automatically associate with skin care, I am blown away. The cleanser is 97% natural which is fab and is chock full of natural products so for such a low price & large bottle I'd be tempted to buy another … and I recommend you all to do the same!!


You can buy the Perfect Getaway Cream Cleanser directly from Naked for £4.49

 

New! Superdrug Beauty Card


So, after years of musing amongst us ladies, they have finally launched a loyalty bonus card!
There is lots of furore amongst the beauty blogging network about this, so there isn't much more I can add really!

The lovely Joanna Page has been involved with the launch, and you can find all the info on the Beauty Card HERE 
 
I am very disappointed about the rates at which you collect the points. It doesn't seem like a great enough incentive to ditch my Boots Advantage Card in favour of theirs, BUT, I will definitely be buying more of my make up there from now on, not only do I prefer their offered lines, if I can now collect points on them then there's no reason not to buy buy buy!

They do offer 10 points per £1 for shopping online, and lots of 'spot incentives' with extra points, for example, I earned an extra 25 points for buying a new can of Batiste,so it's not all bad in practice, but just poor on paper

The highlight of the card does seem to be that one side of the card is a mirror. How genius is that! If you never use it to redeem points, a handy card sized mirror should be in every ladies purse, or even in a clutch on a night out!

Cards can be collected in store so go and grab yours now!!

18 May 2011

A bloggy birthday!




No, the website isn't celebrating a birthday but I am!
 
Today I am 28. Eeep.. How old is that?! Especially when I'm reading blogs and sites belonging to people I feel on a parr with are only 21/22/23!


I still have the mental age of a smutty 12yr old but it's only when I count things out on my fingers, major milestones & achievements do I realise that I'm old and pushing for 30.

  1. I have been with my husband almost 10yr
  2. I have been married for over 5
  3. I bought my house 6yr ago
  4. I have worked for the same company for 8yr
These durations just don't feel like they should be right for a "young'un" and it's hitting home today. Age has never bothered me and I have no issues getting old, I don't care about wrinkles + crinkles but I do feel like I'm in a bit of an age limbo.. Too old to stay out for 48hrs clubbing… too young to be talking about kids + ISAs!

This means I'm also 1yr closer to my ladyfromatramp transformation deadline too! EEEP! Best get cracking then!!!


Will update later on in the day with what I have done and what goodies I got!


And as a parting shot... while googling pictures of '28th birthday' I saw this and had to post it... of course I'm not that egotistical to post it in seriousness... but it is damn funny!!




Katie xxx

16 May 2011

A weighty issue?



Well, I've always been what we could call, a 'big girl' or plus size. I was  skinnier once, but at a size 14 I looked ill, being 5ft 9 and broad  shouldered, I just truly looked ill. My dad is 6ft 4, my mam is 5ft 8 and  both are broad shouldered so I don’t stand a chance of being tiny!
 
I lost a whopping 6 stone for my wedding in 2006 and the majority has crept  back on. But enough's enough.
 
I'm actually happy with how I look, most of the time and have found it  hasn’t inhibited me at all in my life. I don't follow current fashion so I'm  not fussed the tat in Primark doesn’t fit, or that I can't wear a string bikini. I go to the gym so I'm reasonably healthy.
 
My biggest issue is portion size. I don’t eat loads of chocolate, fried  foods and other stereotypical fatty food. I do however eat too much of the  good stuff. Do you get me? I'll have a nice healthy pasta, but I'll have far  too much.
 
This does come from force of habit from being a chef in my early career. It's hard to swap from restaurant service to 2 person!
 
For the majority of 2010, I lived away from home in a hotel, alone, for  work. Being a woman on my own in a different city over the darker winter  months I found myself living solely on hotel room service, which let me tell  you is not the most healthy thing going. But needs and musts and by the time I returned home in February I found myself porkier than usual, up a couple of dress sizes and just generally feeling grotty. I am a classic apple  shape. Tall and leggy but carry all my weight around my middle!
 
Now I do have personal reasons this time for losing weight, which to be  honest I'm not in the mood for sharing, but as part of my 'lady from a  tramp' ethos I want to be a streamlined Katie by my 30th birthday. I'm being  realistic here and for my frame I'm aiming for a 16/18 dress size… rather  than an ideal weight - Which reminds me, does anyone else find those  pictures of Vanessa Feltz when she was still big claiming to be a slimmed  down size 10? If that’s the case I must only be a 12 ;) tee hee!
 
Until my work load and most recent illness has settled I can't really attack  the gym and weight watchers with the ferver that I would like to, so for the  last 2 month I have been making healthy packed lunches, introducing more  fruit and veg in to my meals at home and trying to monitor portion size to the recommendations on the back of the packet. I have already noticed a  change in my clothes and I've dropped 1/2 sizes in just a short time so I  hope that maintains over the summer months!
 
My husband, Mr Tramp, is along for the ride. When we met almost 10yr ago he  was a mere slip of a boy with a 28-30" waist and I must say, I do prefer him  more now with his 'manly' physique befitting a 28yr old adult and not a  young boy, he is quite keen to support and join in. Not so much to lose  weight but to increase health and vitality.
 
I'm giving myself 'til my birthday to follow this make shift diet (Middle of  May FYI) and then I am going to crack on and really knuckle down. I have  introduced some general vitamin & mineral supplements. I also retain water  like nobodies business which doesn't help the bloat so I'd really like to look at a more natural cure / aid to this without taking something like  Adios. I'm also keen to give the C25K concept a proper go once I'm back  gymming it. I've been following Charlotte of Lipglossiping.com's progress and  she's been doing really well so it's convincing me to give it a whirl!
 
I'm calling my challenge 'Fit not Fat' and I would like to welcome aboard my  new support buddy, the gorgeous Kat from Kats Beauty review. We're both turning 30 at nigh on the same time and after catching her tweet about her  own journey, it's going to be good to have some moral support outside my  family & friend circle. Seeing as I've mentioned Kat, why not mooch over and  check out her blog. It reminds me of my kitty Lola!
 
From now on, I'm going to stamp all my 'Fit not Fat' posts with this little  icon and tag them so everyone can follow my progress and more so, so I can follow my own progress!

 


 
Sorry for the waffle... I feel better for venting so early on a Monday morning!

13 May 2011

Guess who's back....

 


Ok I'm not a zombie, despite looking like one at 6am.. but as it's creepy cursed Friday 13th, what better picture to use than one of a zombie hand right? Right? Yeah I know!

Lots of new things have occurred... most importantly, Tramp Towers has moved... we have now shuffled over to our own domain - www.ladyfromatramp.co.uk . How exciting is that eh? You probably already noticed we'd moved though, considering you'd have had to type it in to be reading this and I know all my loyal readers are super duper smart too!

Now I'm fighting fit and well again, I have a back log of reviews and rambles to get posted so I will be bombarding your eye-holes very soon!!

I am so so grateful to all my readers and those on Twitter who have taken the time to follow my tweets and rambles while I have been poorly, and a massive thank you to all of you who have wished me well!

All my love

Katie
x

OOTD - 13.05.11

13-05-11

As always, brands not exact but all styles & colours represented