Face Mask Fandom | Passion Peel Off

Montange Jeunesse

So it’s safe to say that I have a fair few face masks saved up. In a bid to stop being a hoarder I thought I would start a mini-series reviewing them. As the above photo suggests, it’ll mostly be the Montagne Jeunesse masks, although there will be a few other kinds thrown in there too. I’m hoping that this series will also help me identify which one works best for my skin, instead of what I just like the smell of.

Passion Peel off

First up is Montagne Jeunesse’s Passion Peel Off Face Masque. This is the £1 sachet that is readily available in Boots and Superdrug as well as most supermarkets. You only need a thin layer so I find that there is enough product in this sachet for two faces – I recommend sharing with a pal at the same time over saving it as there’s no way to re-seal these.

The mask is a very thin, runny red gel (not purple like the packaging suggests) which is very messy. Be warned! Once on the face, you leave it to dry and then peel off. A thin layer is very important otherwise you might end up with it dripping off your face and not drying. I also don’t recommend using peel off masks in a hot bath as the steam will stop it from drying (learnt that one the hard way!).

I don’t think that peel off masks are suited to my face. They peel away dead skin but don’t replace it with any moisture and as I have dry skin this is a bit of a problem. Also, as satisfying as it is to peel the mask away, it can get a bit sore when it’s also pulling out downy-like hair, which I have. Ouch!

On the plus side, this smells incredible – a fruity combination of pomegranate and passion flower. If you’re a fan of peel-off masks and you have normal or oily skin this would be great for you, although I’m not a fan. Boo, no snake-like shedding fun for me!

I hope you’ll enjoy this series. Which face mask do you recommend I try next?

Book Review | The Girl with All the Gifts

The Girl with all the Gifts

The reason that I was drawn to The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey is the mystery. It has a striking cover and a blurb that gives nothing away, other than that there is a reason that people are scared of our heroine, 10-year-old Melanie:

“Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks that they don’t like her. she jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh.”

So if that is enough to make you read this book, please don’t read on as this review does contain spoilers… still with me? OK, let’s get into it.

Melanie is locked up in some kind of military compound. She is taken daily to a classroom with other children who are all strapped to chairs, barely able to move and muzzled. Here they learn about a world they have never seen and can never hope to see. This is post-apocalyptic Britain and the children are already dead.

The apocalypse came in the form of a blood borne virus. A new take on the zombie myth, the monsters of TGWATGs are known as ‘hungries’. They are people who have been taken over by the Ophiocordyceps fungus which turns them into brain-dead cells, waiting for human prey to pass their way so that they can transfer the fungus. This is actually not as far-fetched as it might seem. This is a real fungus that is known to infect ants and other insects and forces them to climb to a high point before exploding out of their head. Honest, I saw a David Attenborough documentary on it. Scary stuff! Knowing this lends a level of legitimacy to TGWATG that other novels from the genre just don’t have.

As you might have realised, Melanie is different. Not a hungry, but not a normal child either. She is extraordinarily intelligent and has an intrinsic feeling of what is going on in her life even though the adults have always shielded her (or themselves) from the truth. She knows that they think she is dangerous and that they do not want a relationship with her. Despite this, she slowly forms a bond with Miss Justineau, one of the teachers. A raid on the compound means that find themselves displaced and Justineau feels that she must protect Melanie from the military personnel, while it comes down to Melanie to protect them all from the hungries.

TGWATG creates a believable post-apocalyptic setting for some really fantastic characters. The five core characters (Melanie, a teacher, two army personnel and a scientist) are perhaps the standard line-up but they are all well realised and well-developed. Their motivations are clear, even if you disagree with their stance.

In short, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I really recommend it for thriller fans and zombie fans. It brings something new and fresh to the genre and introduces a remarkable new anti-heroine in the form of young Melanie.

Models Own | Polish for Tans

Models Own polish for tans

The sunny weather may long since have departed the Scottish skies but I’m still holding on to the belief that it’s still summer. Or at least my nails are. I’m late to the Models Own Polish for Tans party but I’m so not ready for the muted shades of A/W. The USP of Polish for Tans is that the bright neon colours flatter and accentuate tanned skin. Tanned skin is not for me, but luckily it also works on pale hands. I found that actually it did give the illusion of slightly bronzed skin.

Polish for tans beach bag

This is ‘Beach Bag’ and is a bright peach colour. To me, it’s a pretty unique colour, I certainly don’t have anything like it in my collection.

Polish for tans Shades

This is ‘Shades’ a gorgeous coral pink. The formula of both of these are the same – slightly thick but easy to apply if you take your time to apply three thin coats. They dry to a semi-matte finish like most neons. This does expose imperfections on your nails but if you’re using a base and topcoat this shouldn’t be a problem. The colours are definitely worth it!

There is another paler pink available in the collection as well as a neon green and a highlighter yellow. The whole collection is pretty impressive but these two are for sure the best. Available at http://www.modelsownit.com/

What do you think of Polish for Tans? How far into the autumn do you think I could get away with these shades?

Dance | MurleyDance Object of My Affection


One of the shows I’ve seen at this year’s Festival Fringe is MurleyDance Object of My Affection. Featuring the only professional ballet company at this year’s Fringe, I was really keen to experience something different to the usual line-up of stand-up shows I usually attend.

Made up of three acts, Object of My Affection  explores our relationship with material objects and our connections to people we haven’t even met. The first act, Seated, is based around 5 pieces of furniture from different eras and the connotations that they embody. A love seat divides a passionate but fractious couple; a pair of thrones invoke a power struggle; a 1950s bar stool is flirtatious and rebellious; an armchair forms the central part of a family home and a piece of flat pack IKEA furniture conquers all. For me, this was delightfully and unexpectedly humorous – who knew that ballet could be funny?!

The second act, A Une Passante, took a more serious turn. Focussing on two people who pass but don’t meet, they imagine a passionate affair with sadness that this will never be. The dancers really capture and communicate the emotion of this glancing moment even to a dance novice like me. The last act, Into Decay, featured projected images, electro music and quick choreography that makes for a high-energy finale. As it explored people’s reliance on technology I would have liked to see more interaction with the projections but this is probably my affinity to the moving image showing itself!

I’m a newbie to the world of dance, only having attended a few shows previously but I do know that I really enjoyed this one. It felt accessible, engaging and emotive and I really connected to each of the stories that were being told.

The show takes place at Greenside at Nicholson Square which is a fantastically intimate space for a show like this and a rare chance to see professional ballet up close. It is on until the 23rd of the month and tickets are available here. The company will also be doing a UK tour later in the year.

Drinks | Nola Vodka Spritz

Nola Vodka Spritz

Hi Ladies! If you had seen me last Saturday night you will have quickly realised that I love a cheeky vodka or 10. However, necking cheap vodka ain’t so classy so when I spotted Nola Vodka Spritz on the supermarket shelves I knew it would help me up my vodka game.

Nola is a new, pre-mixed, low-calorie vodka based drink aimed at women looking for a lighter, fruitier alternative to wine. They come in both slim 25cl cans and  70cl bottles which look like wine bottles. The packaging is certainly very attractive and stands out on the busy supermarket shelves.

I tried both the watermelon and strawberry and the raspberry and elderflower flavours, two quite trendy flavour combinations. The strawberry and watermelon one was fruity and crisp, but I preferred the lightly floral flavour of the raspberry and elderflower. Neither were overly strong or sweet, so also a good alternative to fruity ciders which can be a bit sickly after half a bottle. I really enjoyed Nola and would buy it again for a Saturday night blogging on the sofa (like tonight!). At £2 a can or £6 a bottle it’s not too bad a price either.

P.S. This isn’t a sponsored post, just thought these would appeal to my fellow blogging ladies.


Book Review | The Lemon Grove

The Lemon rove Helen Walsh

You can tell just from the cover of this book that The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh is the ultimate summer read. I’m currently off work on a staycation but my other half is working crazy hours so mostly I’ve been at home, reading. Living vicariously through fictional characters is my thing!

Every summer, Jenn and her husband Greg holiday in the stylish Deia, Mallorca. This year Jenn feels anxious over the arrival of Emma, her 15-year-old stepdaughter and for the first time, Emma’s boyfriend. Since Emma has entered her teenage years, Jenn feels increasing pushed out by her. She struggles to rise above her teenage strops and the way that she seems to be able to easily manipulate her father. Equally, Greg is hesitant to welcome the boyfriend, 17-year-old Nathan. His presence brings into stark reality that Emma is no longer a child.

However, Jenn’s keeness to bring herself into Emma’s affections are overshadowed when she meets Nathan for the first time. Her desire for her daughter’s boyfriend overtakes her and makes her reckless. Her pursuit of him is at first tacit, quickly becoming reciprocated and she embarks on a torrid affair with him under her husband and step-daughter’s noses.

As unbelievable as Jenn’s willingness to throw caution (and her already fragile relationships) to the wind seems, Walsh creates a sun-dazed world in which fantasy and reality are tantalisingly mixed. It’s true that the character of Nathan does not ring true at all – he is not like any 17-year-old I have ever come across, but this adds to the sense of wild abandonment of reality.  Despite the well-worn tale of inappropriate dalliances, The Lemon Grove is an intelligent critique of the bored middle-classes abroad and strained family dynamics. It’s a sultry summer read that will surely top the poolside best seller’s list.

Animal Banners

Shark Banner

Shark banner – really wish I had made the banner a gas cannister!

Narwhal Banner

Narwhal banner – the fabric banner works better here.

Nowadays whenever I draw or paint anything I feel like I’ve made a massive accomplishment, even if it’s a silly drawing like the ones above. The will to draw strikes me often but I never have the crucial spark of inspiration. I love having the pencil in my hand, but no lines will flow. It’s a bit frustrating, you can imagine.

I wanted to make myself a banner for this here blog and on Twitter, so the shark is a starting point. I love sharks but it’s not exactly relevant to anything I write about. Also, I didn’t take into account the dimensions – oops. But I enjoyed painting it, and I think it looks OK. David asked me to do a narwhal for him so I duly obliged.

Send me some inspiration, tell me an animal to paint. They don’t have to be water-dwelling, though they’re my faves!