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Tarteist Pro Custom Magnetic Palette

Despite the fact that I started wearing makeup when I was 13 (very subtly so as to avoid detection by my mum or teachers), a couple of decades later I remain a newbie to the world of eyeshadow. Until now the only eyeshadow I use regularly is a slightly-lighter-than-my-skin shade just beneath the arches when I do my brows.

I’m now working on getting a little collection of eyeshadows together and developing my application skills. So when I was indulging in my beauty birthday haul (Part 1 and Part 2),  I snapped up this palette from Tarte to store my pan eyeshadows in.

I’m really glad that I went for this palette. Firstly – it’s so gorgeous to look at! The animal print design will never go out of style as far as I’m concerned! The the little metallic plate with the brand name is a nice touch too.

The palette has a pleasing sturdy feel to it. It feels like it will last a long time and while it is s little heavy, I’d still put it in a suitcase to travel without a second thought. In my opinion the extra weight is worth it for the durability pay off.

On the inside, the palette sports a lovely big mirror, the size of the entire lid. I really like this, in fact it’s one of the things that drew me to the palette. I know that professional makeup artists like to be able to see the shadows through the lid, which makes sense since they’re applying makeup to other people rather than to themselves, so a mirror isn’t top priority. Also people who always sit at a beauty table to apply makeup might not need another mirror. I personally don’t always sit in the same spot when applying makeup so I love this mirror as it’s big enough to use while doing my entire face. The mirror could easily be the only one a person takes with them when travelling. I haven’t as yet tested the magnetic hold by traveling with this  palette but all the pans stay put when it is turned upside down. 

I own a large Z palette which cost more than this Tarte offering; the Tarte one is in another league in my opinion. I recommend keeping an eye out for any more custom palettes Tarte release – if they’re anything like this one, they are well worth the money. {At time of posting the palette discussed in this review is actually still available on Tarte’s website}. 

Do you have a favourite custom palette?

Kindra x

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Note: this is not a sponsored post. All items discussed were purchased with my own money.

Body Shop Shea Body Scrub

I love a good body scrub. They help me to feel squeaky clean after hours/days stranded in bed by my broken brain. So when Body Shop had one of their 40% off everything sales (including items that were already discounted, yay!) I took the opportunity to stock up on a few essentials, including the Shea Body Scrub.

I like everything about this scrub. The sugar formula is rough enough to feel effective but not so scratchy that it puts me off using it; I’m able to use it on freshly shaved legs without any uncomfortable stinging.

The Shea fragrance is always a winner for me – it’s pleasant without being overwhelming and most importantly doesn’t upset my fragrance sensitive brain.

The sugar scrub itself sits in an oil type liquid base. When you’re in the shower/bath it feels greasy but I found that as soon as I dried off, it had all been absorbed into my skin. I actually found that I didn’t need to reach for my in-shower moisturiser – this scrub left my skin feeling soft and moisturised without that extra step.

I could waffle on for several more paragraphs but there’s really no need; this is a great body scrub and not too expensive (grab it during one of Body Shop’s sales/offers and it’s even better value for money!). It doesn’t sting like similar salt versions I’ve tried and leaves my skin feeling and smelling lovely. It’s worth grabbing a tub every time there’s a sale – sign up for Body Shop emails so you never miss one!

What’s your favourite body scrub?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

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Note – this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my money.

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Review: ABH Liquid Lipstick 

If you’ve read my recent post on theBalm’s Meet Matte Hughes Liquid Lipstick, you’ll already know that I resisted the liquid lipstick trend for a loooong time. I was perfectly happy with Mac lipliners and matte or satin finish lipstick and more recently fell in love with Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick in the comfort matte finish and 24/7 Glide On Lipliner. But I now own a few liquid lipsticks from the theBalm and I must confess, I’m largely neglecting the rest of my lipstick collection in favour of them.

So I decided to include a liquid lipstick from Anastasia Beverly Hills in my recent birthday beauty haul, to see if it would become a instant hit with me as well.

ABH has become wildly popular of late – between their brow products, their liquid lipstick and their Glow Kits (my birthday haul included Moon Child), their products are all over Instagram. So when I ordered this lipstick in the shade Dusty Rose, I was fairly confident that it would turn out to be a decent product at the very least. 

The first thing to say is that I LOVE the shade. ABH describes it on their website as a nude mauve. As ever, such mauve shades are a favourite of mine but on my very fair skin (Mac NW10) they are by no means a true nude shade. Dusty Rose is so easy to wear and would work on a range of different skin tones and with many different makeup looks.

The formula is long wearing and can be touched up when you’re out and about without it turning into a crumbling mess – a vital characteristic in a good liquid lipstick!

I have one issue with this product – the somewhat parched feel of it once it has dried down. It feels far more dry on my lips after an hour or so of wear than the Meet Matte Hughes liquid lipsticks from the theBalm. In my opinion it also looks more dry and therefore excentuates the natural lines on the lip itself. This is a shame as I do really love the shade but am more likely to reach for theBalm’s Charming instead as it looks and feels more comfortable.

I’ll still use this lipstick, maybe with a little lip balm underneath, but sadly it fell just short of the high standards theBalm have set for me re. liquid lipsticks.

What’s your favourite liquid lipstick?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x 

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This blog is also available via Bloglovin.

Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

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Mac Lipstick Review: Twig

There are some shades of lipstick that you can reach for with complete confidence, knowing that it will work with your skin tone and with a variety of makeup looks. For me, Mac’s Twig  is one such lipstick. 

Mac describes the shade as ‘soft muted brownish-pink’. This shade comes in a Satin finish, which is a nice change from the matte formulas we all seem to have become obsessed with in recent years. It works well with Mac’s lipliners in Soar, Whirl or Dervish depending on your preference. Layering this lipstick over lips that are completely filled-in with one of these liners will really increase wear time. I feel that this shade has a bit of a 90s vibe going on but is easier to wear that some of the darker Browns that were all the range then.

As you can see, I’m very fair-skinned so while Twig is a relatively deep looking shade on me, it would make a lovely nude shade for ladies (or indeed gentleman) with dark skin. I actually can’t think of a skin tone this shade wouldn’t look pretty against. Along with Brave & Mehr, this is a shade I can always count on to help me look put together, even when I’m in a lot of pain and trying to mask it by wearing my shades…which is most of the time to be honest!

There are drugstore alternatives to this colour, but personally I’d rather buy one Mac lipstick than a couple of cheaper ones. They apply so smoothly and smell delicious.

If you’re relatively new to Mac products, I highly recommend checking out this shade. Regardless of current makeup trends, this is a lipstick you can always depend on to look lovely all year around.

Do you have a favourite Mac lipstick?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

Follow me on Instagram.

Tweet me @chroniccockney

Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

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What My Migraine Was Hiding

{As ever with the Chronic Life series, I must point out that I’m not a doctor or medical expert, just a patient like any other. My thoughts and feelings are just that; medical advice should be sought from your specialist.}

Getting new additional diagnoses when you’ve lived with Migraine for most of your life is a strange and disorienting thing. Finding myself dealing with Neurosurgeons and having a hole drilled in my head to assess the pressure in there (see my ICP Monitoring post here) has been a dizzying experience both literally and figuratively.

Since the MRI I had back in January 2016, I’ve had to get to grips with two diagnoses that were completely new to me. The MRI itself showed that I have a Chiari Malformation Type 1 (click here for a brief explanation of what this type of Chiari is). I had no clue what that meant so had to spend some time finding reliable sources of information to educate myself before meeting with my Neurosurgeon…it’s now September and I feel like I’ve been to the surgeon’s clinic, the surgical ward and MRI department so often that the particular part of West London has become a familiar stamping ground for me & my husband. Fortunately it’s quite a pretty square so we’ve managed to do a little outdoors coffee drinking, in a busy part of London yet surrounded by trees, before/after appointments; you’ve got to take your little relaxing moments wherever you can find them when living  this Chronic Life! 

The next step was meeting with my Neurosurgeon. He recommended that I have ICP Monitoring rather than going straight for the decompression surgery that is the treatment (but sadly not a  cure) for Chiari. He wanted to know what the pressure inside my head was like.

As it turns out this was a good call on his part, as the pressure is high. Having analysed the readings from the monitoring procedure, the Neurosurgical team believe that what they’re seeing on my results is high pressure that isn’t being caused by the Chiari but is a problem in it’s own right. This raised pressure (the term they’re using for it is Benign Intracranial Hypertension or IIH) needs to be addressed, as the team have advised me that leaving it as it is would pose a risk to my sight, memory and cognitive function. They expect that addressing the pressure will be of benefit in terms of the daily pain, but how much remains to be seen. It will also cut down some of the risk involved in the decompression surgery in the future, should I decide to have it.

Here’s the part that’s a little scary for me – they have strongly recommended that I have a shunt placed in my brain to drain the excess CSF fluid down to my tummy. The hospital I’m seen at it is well known for excellent standards of Neurosurgical care and I know that my surgeon does far more complicated surgeries than this but still, I’m a little anxious at the prospect of brain surgery (I was proud of myself for getting through the ICP monitoring!). The shunt procedure has risks attached and is something I’ll live with for the rest of my life, so I’m learning as much about it as I can while I’m on the waiting list.


(Me with the pressure bolt monitoring thing attached)

But lurking behind all this in my mind are other questions – how long have the Chiari and IIH been there? If I didn’t have a history of Chronic Migraine in my own life and in the family, would these disorders have been picked up sooner? SHOULD they have been picked up sooner, despite my Migraine? 

I realise that it would probably be wise to put these questions aside, as definitive answers to them are very unlikely to be forthcoming! But still, I think they are entitled to exist and talking them out with my family and blogging about them may help me to process them. I can’t prove anything in relation to these questions, but here’s what I think/feel: I think that my long standing Migraine diagnosis caused the people treating me to attribute ALL neurological symptoms to Migraine. The specialist I had for over a decade was well-respected with good cause and often went beyond the call of duty to support me and my family, so I don’t feel angry that these conditions weren’t picked up – indeed, I believe that the Chiari may have been less of a problem at that time as my condition has deteriorated since the birth of my daughter (her delivery was hard and I suspect worsened the Chiari, though I can’t prove it). As for the pressure – was my pressure high 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago? Does the steady and devastating increase in debilitating daily pain & symptoms over recent years mean that my pressure has been climbing during  time period? 

These questions have the potential to be the kind that circle around in your head at night but never really get answered. One thing I do firmly believe is this – it is well worth discussing with your specialist such tests as an MRI and if need be an LP to check for neurological abnormalities or pressure problems, if you’re living with Migraine that fails to respond to treatment or worsens compared to what you’re used to. Of course most of the time the outcome will be results that are all clear, but I feel that my newer diagnoses were masked by the Migraine. My specialists and I have no doubt that I personally do in fact have Migraine that I’ve inherited genetically but it is not unheard of for people with Chiari, for example, to be misdiagnosed as having Migraine and/or Fibromyalgia (check out the Mayfield Clinic Website for more details on Chiari symptoms). Of course, there may well be many others out there who, like me, have Migraine AND another neurological condition. I’m left feeling that I should have asked for tests back when my condition first deteriorated to the point where I had to stop teaching and became largely housebound (as I still am). 

Having gotten all that off my chest, it’s time to go back to my research on what to expect from life with a VP shunt.

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

Follow me on Instagram.

Tweet me @chroniccockney

Posts you might enjoy:

Everybody’s An Expert On Migraine.

Migraine and Coping With Hospital Stays.

Making Medical Appointments Work For You.

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Birthday Beauty Haul Pt 2

If you’ve read my last post, you’ll know that I get super excited for my birthday in August and super excited again at Christmas; they are the times of year I tend to get beauty gifts and gift cards from the lovely people close to me. The Chronic Life I’m living right now means that I really wouldn’t feel right spending money on higher end beauty hauls while I’m too sick to work. But twice a year I get to indulge myself guilt-free and I don’t mind admitting that I really enjoy it. If you haven’t checked out my Birthday Beauty Haul Pt 1  post yet, you should (it includes my first ever purchases from Anastasia Beverly Hills😍).


As you can tell, part 2 of my birthday haul is made up of 4 products from Tarte. I’ve wanted to try out the brand for a long time but couldn’t justify the increased total spend when postage to the UK & taxes were factored in. When I saw the Blush Book 2, I decided that this birthday was the time to get my Tarte on!

In addition to the Blush Book 2, I ordered the animal print eyeshadow palette (empty like a Z Palette), the Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in the shade Honey and the Airbuki Brush that’s designed to be used with the foundation.

I haven’t tested these products yet (the daily pain limits the amount of time I am well enough to sit up & apply makeup…oh how I miss working and putting my face on every day!) but as ever I couldn’t wait any longer to show you what I’ll be reviewing in upcoming posts.

It will of course get a separate post but here’s a peek inside the Blush Book 2….just look at that blushy goodness😍.

I’ll be back soon with reviews of these products and the ones from part 1 of my birthday haul. I’m so excited to try them all!

Have you hauled anything that you’re really excited about lately? 

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

Follow me on Instagram.

Tweet me – @chroniccockney

Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

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Birthday Beauty Haul Pt 1

I don’t often get the chance to buy multiple beauty products in one go; it’s a sad fact that being chronically ill does bad things to your disposable income! But on my birthday and at Christmas I tend to get beauty gifts and gift cards from the people close to me so I’m able to indulge in some beauty hauling. 

I’m still waiting for some goodies from Tarte but in the meantime I thought I’d share some pics of the products that have arrived and cheered up my Chronic Life. I’ll be reviewing everything individually but if there’s a shade of eyeshadow you need to know the name of right now, feel free to ask in the comments 😊.

From Makeup Geek I ordered 5 shadows to go in my palette, one of which is a foiled formula, as well as two blushes. From Clinique I repurchased a Quickliner for Eyes in Brown Black.

From Too Faced I opted for (after much deliberation & with advice from my spoonie beauty blogger buddies) the Natural Eyes palette and from Spectrum brushes I got a fan brush to use with highlight.

From Anastasia Beverly Hills I very excitedly went for the Moon Child Glow Kit and also threw in my first ABH liquid lipstick in Dusty Rose.

I’m just started to play with these products now but I couldn’t wait another minute to share these pics – swatches and full reviews coming soon!

What product have you hauled lately that you absolutely love? 

Wishing you good luck & happy days,

Kindra x

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Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.