Friday, 31 July 2015

It's Almost Time: Stanmore Pain Management and Rehabilitation Programme, Part Five

I can't quite believe how fast this has come around. Three more sleeps and I'm off into hospital for my three week in-patient stay for Pain Management. I'm so anxious just writing this. It's such a good job that I booked a hotel for the night before because I know on Monday morning the last thing I will want to do is to be driving, alone for over an hour.
I'm so scared. What if nobody likes me? What if other patients annoy me? What if I'm too sore/tired/emotional to take part? What if I cry during the psychology sessions? Oh god.
Let's look at the positives shall we?
  • This is going to help me manage my agonising pain better
  • I'm going to learn relaxation techniques - which this little ball of fury definitely needs
  • I'll think about things differently
  • My communication skills will improve - I'll hopefully be able to explain my pain better to my boyfriend and not bite his head off when I really don't mean to
  • I'll get stronger with physiotherapy, meaning less pain in the long-run
  • I will learn to pace myself and listen to my body
  • I'll meet new people
There's probably many more skills I'll learn/gain from my time at Stanmore and I need to focus on the good rather than the bad. 

You can see the beginning of my story here | Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four |

This is going to change my life. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Blush Addict Tag

The above picture is a handful of the blushers I have, I tried to take a picture with them all in but it was getting slightly overcrowded. I also realised that I only have one high street/drugstore blush, recommendations are more than welcome.

What colour blush suits you the most?
I tend to gravitate towards light pinks and corals. I think they suit my porcelain skin the best. You can never have too many pink blushers - EVER.

Pressed, cream or loose blush?
I love a pressed blusher. Cream is great for a natural flush and I use a cream blush as a base for my powder blush if I'm going to be wearing makeup all day. Pressed always wins.

Favourite shimmery blush?
I don't do shimmery blush, I just can't, I like matte or satin. I love to glow and highlighters are my weakness lately but I dislike shimmer on my cheeks.

Favourite matte blush?
Mac - Harmony. It's just perfection.

Favourite cream blush?
Benefit Majorette - everything about this product is amazing, the formula, the colour, the packaging, it's amazing.

Favourite drug-store blush?
Well, I only have that Rimmel Stay Blushed and it's bloody marvellous.

Favourite high-end blush?
Either, Illamasqua - Naked Rose; Nars - Madly; Clinique - Peach Pop; or Mac - Lovecloud - DON'T MAKE ME CHOOSE!

Biggest blush disappointment?
I haven't really been disappointed. I do wish Benefit would do more like Rockateur as I love that and all their other boxes (other than Hoola, obviously) have shimmer and this girl isn't a fan.

Best blush packaging?
Clinique Cheek Pop, they're so cute and they have flowers on, how can you not love them?

What's on your blush wish-list?
Becca Mineral Blush - Gypsy and Sweetpea
Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick - Las Salinas
Clinique Cheek Pop - Ginger Pop and Melon Pop
Illamasqua - Katie, Nymph and  Tremble
Mac - Well Dressed, Cubic, Peaches and Prism
Nars - Deep Throat, Sex Appeal and Sex Fantasy
Stila Aqua Glow Water Colour Blush - Rosewater
Tarte Amazonian Clay - Captivating and Dollface
Too Faced Love Flush- Baby Love
Urban Decay Afterglow - Video and Quickie

Holy grail blush?
Illamasqua - Naked Rose, I freakin' love it.

I tag any blush addict to give this a go.

Do we have any similarities? Do you love a blush that I don't? Tell me all.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Head Case: Mobile Phone Cases

I'm a little obsessed with phone cases; I probably had around 15 for my old phone. When I upgraded a few months ago, I instantly hit up eBay to see what pretty accessories I could introduce to my iPhone 6.

Head Case Designs | £4.95 | Link | Seller: e_cell |

I've bought from this particular seller on numerous occasions as they have a wide selection of designs, are always adding newer ones, have discounts (buy one, get one half price), fast free delivery and are excellent quality. Could you ask for anything more?

The night-time fairy case I bought when I ordered my phone in March so it was protected, and I got the mandala and monogrammed cases last week. The fairy and monogram designs are both hard plastic shells that easily snap onto the back of your phone and the mandala case is made of a durable gel silicone. They're really high quality and look

E_cell has a buy one, get another for half price promotion on at the moment, so if you're looking for a phone case, go take a look. They stock cases for lots of different models and even iPad covers. I've got three more sat in my 'watch' list. If you're not a fan of the ones I've chosen, there's hundreds of different options.

Where do you buy your phone cases from?

Friday, 24 July 2015


#SpoonieSpeak is a Twitter chat that takes place on a Friday evening at 7pm BST (UK time), 'because not everyone can go out on a Friday night.' 

A Spoonie is someone living with a chronic condition - and you can read all about it here | Link |

I always make sure I have a reserve spoon to take part in #SpoonieSpeak

The absolutely marvellous Tania, over at When Tania Talks founded the chat, and since we became acquainted over the Twittersphere we have become really close friends. She's so supportive, easy to talk to and I really value her friendship. 

I've 'met' so many lovely Spoonies through the chat and no matter how bad I'm feeling someone will always offer a kind word to show their support and that means everything.

I've been lucky enough to guest host #SpoonieSpeak twice and it's always such a good chat to be involved in. I often wonder how my phone hasn't exploded with all the notifications.

Last week, when I hosted we discussed the Online Community and how Twitter is such a great way for Spoonies to communicate and gain/offer encouragement/advice, a shoulder to cry on, have a giggle, just make friends with those who understand what it's like to live with a chronic condition. When the chat finished, I felt so uplifted and lucky to have such awesome people in my life. Yes, it's rubbish being in pain but it's comforting to know that there's others out there that know exactly how you're feeling and genuinely wish you well. 

To all my Spoonie pals, I salute you, you're fighters, you're amazing and I really appreciate you all.

If you fancy joining the chat, follow SpoonieSpeak for the questions and use the hashtag #SpoonieSpeak so everyone can see your answers. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Sephora Haul: Becca and Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop, Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs, Too Faced

In my last Sephora haul, I said I don't buy from Sephora often as the shipping is expensive, but and that's a big BUT I had to get the Jaclyn Hill highlighter, I just had to. I love her, I love Becca and it's limited edition.

Becca Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed - Champagne Pop | $38 | Link |

Too Faced Love Flush Long-Lasting 16-Hour Blush - Love Hangover | $26 | Link |

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon - Blacquer | $25 | Link |

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner - Trooper | $19 | Link |

Reviews coming soon.

Previous Sephora Haul | Link |

Have you tried any of these products? Did you manage to nab Champagne Pop?

Monday, 20 July 2015

Sarah in Wonderland had a Makeover: Blog redesign

Do you notice anything different?

My darling little blog has undergone a huge transformation and I absolutely love it. Let me first of all thank the absolutely amazing Serena at Pretty Wild Things for all her hard work and putting my crazily long emails into action, she deserves a medal for handling my control-freak ways. I knew I wanted muted, pastel colours and a Victorian-esque theme but what Serena designed was better than I imagined. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Serena. Go check her out.

Seriously, how gorgeous is that damask header?

I still need to add content to my Directory, but the majority of my books are at my parents house, I'll update that as soon as I can. 

I also have a Grab Button, feel free to do with it as you please!

In the meantime, stay a while, enjoy the new surroundings and do let me know your thoughts on my pretty new Wonderland.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Kat Von D Beauty - Shade Light Contour and Eye Contour Palettes: Review

I jumped on these palettes when they were released at Sephora online. If there was a Sephora in the UK I'd definitely set up camp outside. I picked the palettes up months apart as the Eye Contour Palette came out at a later date. Everything about them is perfection; Kat Von D does packaging like no other, it's alternative and cool, just like the lady herself. I've been a huge fan of Kat since Miami Ink and when I heard she was starting a make up line, I'm pretty sure I heard angels (or perhaps devils) sing.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton: Book Review

The Miniaturist is Jessie Burton's debut novel; it is a international bestseller and has been published in over thirty languages.

'Haunting, magical and full of surprises.' S.J. Watson
'Fabulously gripping.' Observer
'Powerful and richly imagined.' Sunday Times

After reading reviews online, I decided to purchase The Miniaturist and see if it lived up to the hype.

Monday, 13 July 2015

23 Pale Girl Problems: Girls with Porcelain Skin

1. There is NEVER a matching foundation. You will search forever and then it'll be discontinued because there's only you buying it.

2. A make up brand brings out a new foundation with thousands of shades and the lightest one is too dark.

3. Foundation is always named 'Ivory' or 'Porcelain' - and they're too dark.

4. You'll never find a foundation that is TOO light. If you do, you'll die on the spot!

5. You find an almost-matching foundation shade but it doesn't suit your skin type.

6. Highlighting with a concealer lighter than your skin tone - you're having a laugh aren't you? Tip-Ex.

Friday, 10 July 2015

8 Photos of Happiness Tag

The darling Tarnya | Sweet Allure | tagged me in this 8 Photos of Happiness tag | Thank you, lovely. I highly encourage you to go and check out her gorgeous blog.

Rules and explanations of this tag
Thank your nominator/s and link them in your post.
Post your 8 photos of happiness (the photos can be anything that represents a moment, object, place or feeling that makes you happy).
Pop in a brief description of the photo, why you chose it or let the photos do the talking.
Spread the happiness and tag up to 10 other bloggers.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Luxury High-End Beauty Haul: Charlotte Tilbury, Laura Mercier, Becca and Tom Ford

The Selfridges in Manchester City Centre has a Charlotte Tilbury counter; I don't own anything by Charlotte Tilbury; I had a cardiology appointment in Manchester; I had to go shopping afterwards, obviously. I also decided I would treat myself to a Tom Ford lipstick.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Sephora Haul: Kat Von D, Tarte, Bite Beauty, Josie Maran

Once in a while I make a Sephora order to treat myself (as if I need treating) as they stock some amazing brands that we can't get in the UK. These are the latest products that I picked up.

Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation - Light 42 | $35 | Link |

Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette | $46 | Link |

Josie Maran Argan Skincare Ritual Set | $24 | Link |

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara | $21 | Link |

Bite Beauty Matte Lip Crayon - Leche | $24 | Link |

Sephora Collection Dry Clean: Solid Brush Cleaner | $14 | Link |

I wish there was a Sephora in the UK!

Have you tried any of these products?

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Blame it on Nars Collection

NARS - Blame it on Nars Ultimate Lip Pencil Set | £29 | Link |


I eagerly anticipated the limited edition Blame it on Nars collection as (as you well know) I'm a huge lover of all things beauty and especially all things Nars. I simply can't get enough. As soon as I saw this packaging, I knew it had to be mine.

The collection is exclusive to Selfridges in the UK so snap it up quickly as you won't want to miss out. They also released a cheek palette and another lip pencil set.

I was drawn to the Ultimate Lip Set as the colours are neutral everyday colours and I knew I'd love them.

Stourhead - Satin milky pink
Biscayne Park - Satin peach
Sex Machine - Matte pink mauve

L-R Stourhead, Biscayne Park, Sex Machine

L-R Stourhead, Sex Machine, Biscayne Park

The case comes with a large mirror on the inside and a small, black pencil sharpener.

Can we just talk about the great value of this set? For the gorgeous packaging and all three pencils it costs £29, just £ Nars pencil is £19. I definitely couldn't skip that.

I've worn Sex Machine all day and even though it is matte, it feels lovely on the lips; I honestly didn't think it was a matte pencil as it was so comfortable to wear.

Did you get anything from the Blame it on Nars collection?

Sarah x

Monday, 6 July 2015

I've Got a Date: Stanmore Pain Management and Rehabilitation Programme, Part Four

My in-patient date for Stanmore, RNOH, came and I felt sick as soon as I opened the letter. My initial thought - 'I don't want to go', my stomach churned and anxiety kicked in. It was real now, I was actually going into hospital for three weeks. THREE WEEKS!

The admission date is August 3rd, if the picture at the top isn't obvious enough, so not long now. I'm not feeling half as bad as I was but I'm still apprehensive. I just need to focus on the positives and how much this rehab programme will benefit my health. If I only learn how to pace, that's a bloody good positive in my book. I'll always be in pain but if I learn how to manage it better, I can't complain. Let's do this!

Things I Need to Take:

  • Medication
  • Medication Passport - Booklet that was sent out listing my meds
  • Towels
  • Comfortable ankle-supporting trainers (I bought some cute Reebok gym trainers)
  • Comfy clothes for physio (new joggers are ready and waiting in my wardrobe)
  • Pyjamas and slippers
  • Underwear, socks and all that
  • Skincare
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo and conditioner, brushes, hair dryer etc.
  • Dry shampoo
  • Baseball cap (for bad hair days)
  • Shower stuff, including shower cap
  • Make up - obviously.
  • iPad
  • Laptop (yes, I need both)
  • Books - lots of books
  • Colouring book and pencils
  • Notebook
  • Holdall - There's some waiting around during the day so need to take meds and things to do during the wait
  • Bottles of water
  • Cash
  • Splints and braces
  • Crutches and walking stick
  • Heat/ice packs
  • V-pillow, knee pillow
  • Headphones
  • Ear plugs
  • Fan (heat regulation with PoTS is a nightmare)

Since my way of getting to the hospital requires an hour long drive down the M1 and I have to be there at 8:30 on a Monday morning, I've booked a hotel ten minutes away for the Sunday night. I really don't fancy fighting rush-hour traffic on one of the busiest motorways in the UK. During my last RNOH visit there was a huge accident on the motorway and the one hour journey home took four hours. I think booking a hotel is very wise as I'll avoid any jams and won't have to set off in the early hours of the morning.

You can catch up with the rest of my Stanmore series | Part One | Part Two | Part Three |

Sarah x

Friday, 3 July 2015

Bronzers for Fair/Porcelain Skin: Body Shop, Too Faced, Mac, Benefit, Kat Von D, Anastasia Beverly Hills

Pale ladies and gents, I got you.
I don't want to tan or sunbathe to only go bright red for a few days and then straight back to white, so I cheat the sun-kissed glow with bronzer. Let's not get it twisted, people won't think you've been on holiday after you've applied some bronzer but it will add dimension to your face and make it look glowing for the warmer months.
I'm really fair, porcelain, ivory, whatever you want to call it; imagine Snow White had Tip-Ex poured over her, that's me.
I tend to stay away for warm/orange based bronzers as they're too harsh against my complexion. Instead, I lean towards colours that I can contour with, more ashy hues with grey undertones that can chisel my cheekbones and not look too severe. I'm not a huge fan of shimmery bronzers either so every product mentioned either has a matte or satin finish.
The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder 01 | £13 | Link |
This little gem was the first bronzer I bought and loved. It is the perfect shade for pale skin, comes in a handy mirrored compact and has a matte finish. There are six colours but 01 Light Matte is the lightest and what I'd highly recommend if you're of a similar skin tone to me. The Honey Bronze blends effortlessly into the skin and has great staying power. I use it on the highest parts of my face, wherever the sun would naturally hit. If you're looking for a bronzer, check this one out.
Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer | £25 | Link |
First of all, it smells of chocolate - I don't know how I've not licked it out of the compact. Too Faced have a wide selection of excellent bronzing powders but this is my favourite by far. Milk Chocolate Soleil is very creamy for a powder and blends into the skin seamlessly without disturbing foundation underneath. The pigmentation is buildable and although it is warm, it does not come off orange on the skin.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Java | £15 | Link |
I picked up the Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Series Contour Kit last year and instantly became addicted to Java, a warm neutral matte brown. The pans are available to purchase individually if you didn't want to splash out for the complete contour kit but Java and Fawn are excellent shades for fair skin. Java adds warmth to the face, is pigmented but has a bit of fall-out; I suggest tapping the excess off your brush before applying the product to your face. However, even if you add too much, it is very easy to blend.
Benefit Hoola Bronzer | £23.50 | Link |
The famous Hoola bronzing powder is a best-seller in the UK and rightly so as it's bloody marvellous. It's a universal matte shade that can be used for contouring or adding a warmth to the face, I even use it as an eye shadow as it's a lovely transitional crease colour. The pigmentation is incredible, you only need the smallest amount of product to bronze up and there's not an Oompa Loompa in sight. I was weary that it might be too dark for my milk bottle skin but it's perfection. Get this. I repeat, get it!

Mac Tenderling Blush | £18.50 | Link |

Okay, so Tenderling technically isn't a bronzer but it's ideal for adding a little something to even the fairest of cheeks. It's a sheertone light nude beige/pink and has great longevity. Tenderling gives the most subtle hint of warmth that is noticeable on fair skin and great for everyday wear. If you're scared of bronzer, try this.

Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette | $46 | Link |

The bottom three L-R: Sombre, Shadowplay and Subconscious | I adore this palette, but I am a palette hoarder so it was inevitable really. It has everything you need to contour, bronze and highlight; I much prefer it to the Anastasia Beverly Hills kit but that's just my opinion. I use Sombre (medium cool taupe/brown with a satin-matte finish) on a daily basis to contour my cheekbones, forehead and jaw, then Shadowplay (warm medium brown with satin-matte finish) to warm up my cheeks. Subconscious is too dark for my pale skin but I use it as an eye shadow; I find a use for all the colours. They're very highly pigmented, easy to apply and blend like a dream.

L-R Mac Tenderling, ABH Java, KVD Shadowplay, Body Shop Honey Bronze, Too Faced Milk Chocolate, Benefit Hoola

I applied all the above swatches lightly with a brush and they are buildable and easy to blend.
Mac Tenderling is much pinker than the others but still works as an alternative for warm/orange-based bronzers.

Have you tried any of these bronzers? What is your favourite bronzer? 
Sarah x


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Love/Hate Tag

The gorgeous Danielle | A Shi...pload Of Polish | tagged me in the  Love/Hate Tag |

The Rules
The tagged person must share a total of 20 things; 10 things they love, and 10 things they hate.
They must nominate 10 bloggers to complete the tag.

10 Things that I Love:

My family | My Mum is an absolute wonder woman and I owe her so much. My two year old nephew, Kaine (KP) is everything, he makes my heart smile.

Ian | My beardy boy is amazing, I have no idea how he puts up with my rants, my tantrums, my disability. I love him more every day.

John | The male equivalent of me, my best friend for fourteen years, my absolute babe. Our friendship is hilarious and everlasting. We'll end up in jail together.

Writing | Ever since I can remember I wrote shitty little poems and stories to my Nan and Mum. It's got me through some tough times and I express myself better through writing.

Make Up | If you know me, or regularly read my blog, I'm obsessed, okay? I can't help it. It makes me look pretty.

Books | Forever a bookworm.

Driving | I love getting in the car and having no destination, just driving aimlessly, killing time and seeing some new places.

Chocolate | Why must it taste so good?

Stationery | Cute notebooks, pens, all the pens, Paperchase. Everything.

Winter | Although my joints don't like the cold, I love the Winter months. I'm a January baby after all. There's something about being wrapped up indoors, watching telly when it's freezing outside that I take pleasure in.

10 Things that I Hate:

Pain | To be more specific - the pain I'm in on a daily basis, could happily live without that.

People that don't indicate | Indicators are on the car for a reason, USE THEM! I have bad road rage.

Sharks | It's ridiculous, I'll never come in contact with a shark but they terrify me.

Letting people down | Happens all the time, especially with my disability.

Moths | Nope. Just no. I can't deal with them.

Liars | Don't do it, you'll get found out in the end.

Confrontation | It gives me mad anxiety, I can't even think about it without wanting to throw up.

When there's no disabled access | Like, seriously, we're in 2015, sort it out people.

Manipulation/Blackmailing | I hate this in a person. I haven't got any time for people with these traits.

Waiting | I don't like waiting for anything; in a queue, for parcels, at a restaurant...I'm really impatient.


Shona - Shona Louise
Tarnya - Sweet Allure 
Gillian - Eyeliner Flicks 
Claire - Hey Claire Bear
Tina - Tina L0ves
Hannah - Hanna Talks

Sarah x