Friday, 30 September 2011

It's October?!

(Technically it's still September but I won't have time to post this tomorrow!)

I really don't know where the time has gone this past month, it seems that everyone thinks the same. However, I am totally ready for one of my favourite months! So, I'll give you a round up of some things I'm hoping to talk about.

Last Samhain was when I properly dedicated myself to the pagan path, none in particular, but just to recognise the God & Goddess and all the other energies that exist. I thought it was fitting then to do a post on how I landed into paganism and why I even started looking into it in the first place. It will probably take me a while to write this post up, it's quite a long story (I went through a lot to get here) so I might not have it up until nearer the end of the month. There will most likely be quite a bit of Samhain related posts; recipes, rituals, how death has affected me etc. the usual things associated with this time of year.

Depending on how my school work and health goes I might not get to post as many things as I want, or I may post some random things that have nothing to do with this month at all (such as reviews or random thoughts that pop into my head which I find interesting enough to post.) Anyhow, I hope everyone's September was great and you have a fabulous weekend! xx

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

OPI Shimmer Swatches

Lena White has a section on their site called "Last Chance To Buy" with polishes that have been either just reduced or reduced to clear so I, of course, had to get some nail polishes I've had my eye on before they're gone! (The swatches are taken indoors under sunlight.)

L-R: Copper Mountain Copper, Bronzed To Perfection & Berry Berry Broadway.
If you've seen any of my latest swatches which I've done you'll notice how bad the condition of the skin around my nails is lately with me starting my habit of biting it (& a leighton denny nail polish not wanting to come off which resulted it me ripping off a chunk of skin!) So I've decided just to show the swatches on nail art display wheels, it also makes it easier to take pictures.

Copper Mountain Copper
I've wanted this polish for agesssssss! I kept putting it off as it wasn't included in the "Huge Savings when you create your own collection" but when I saw it was going I knew this was my last chance. It's a beautiful coppery-wine shade packed with shimmer that screams autumn. As with most of OPI's shimmery polishes the sparkle is only visible in sunlight, however unlike these polishes it looks metallic in dim lighting instead of a flat block colour. A favourite already!

Bronzed To Perfection
This is a gorgeous caramel-brown colour packed with gold shimmer and possibly very fine glitter which is actually visible in dim light. A summer-to-autumn transition colour if you're not quite ready to say bye bye to the sun.

Berry Berry Broadway
I'm usually not drawn to pinks but I liked this shade as it's quite similar to Copper Mountain Copper except more berry toned (obviously.) It reminds me of Conquistadorable Color but it's darker and less bright yet has lots of shimmer. I think my mummy will like this for her toes :)

As it's a sunny day I thought I should add in the other shimmery OPI polishes I own as previous photos in ambient lighting doesn't show their full potential!

Black Cherry Chutney
OPI Ink / Nevermore
Royal Rajah Ruby / Sanguine
I hope you are having a wonderful day! Hannah xx

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Leighton Denny The Atmospheric Collection A/W 2011 Swatches

So if you follow me on twitter you're probably aware that I won the Bath & Unwind autumn manicure competition to get the new Leighton Denny nail polish collection. All but Your Planet Or Mine arrived in the post today, (it's currently only available on pre-order) but I have the rest to swatch for you :)

L-R: Astronaughty, Big Bang, Meet Me On Venus, Meteor Match, Purely Plutonic.

Thumb - little finger; Meet Me On Venus, Meteor Match, Big Bang, Astronaughty & Purely Plutonic. (All with two coats on top of a clear base coat.)
Meet Me On Venus "A new take on nude, this creamy mink has an indulgent satin finish and a subtle shimmer. Flirty lilac undertones adds a new twist to your everyday nude." It is a paler lilac colour than in the picture but other than that it's described pretty well. I wouldn't really call it a nude though, not for my skin tone anyway. A pretty shade none the less.

Meteor Match "Shimmering pale marine is injected with delicate glitter. Inspired by the a cosmic meteor trail, this metallic shifting silver is truly out of this world." I can't really describe it better myself, a lovely angelic colour which I'll be wearing in winter so I'll always have the frost outside on my nails.

Big Bang "This black and silver glitter polish is guaranteed to make an explosive impact." This is a very sheer blue base packed with black and silver glitter, it's is a bit chunky but not unpleasantly so. The black glitter looks purple in the bottle but is black when painted on the nails. One of my favourites.

Astronaughty "Intense plum is injected with sizzling red shimmer for serious glam factor." This polish has an almost duo-chrome look to it, as it has a green undertone when moved around. It is more noticeable with one coat as it goes on very sheer so two coats are recommended.

Purely Plutonic "This cool gunmetal polish is the understated shade of the season. A molten silver shade that suits every skin tone and adds a hint of sophisticated sparkle to your look." On the nails it looks just like the lead of a pencil or the layer on metals that tarnish when they cut. I don't have anything like this is my collection. A great alternative rock chick colour than black.

Finally I'll show you the nail polish that won me the collection...

None other than O.P.I. Ginger Bells! with a matte top coat!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Chocolate Guinness Cake

So, two day's ago it was Arthur's Day, (23rd of September every year which celebrates the anniversary of the brewing of Guinness which started in 1759,.) No one in my family drinks Guinness but we do like it in our food and we had some bottles in the house so I thought we might as well join in with the celebrations. This recipe is from the April 2011 issue of delicious. magazine.


250g softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
200g soft dark brown sugar
100g good quality dark chocolate, melted in a bowl over simmering water
2 large free-range eggs
200ml Guinness
275g self-raising flour
30g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the Icing
200g tub cream cheese
75g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp soured cream
125g white chocolate, melted


Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Grease and line a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

Beat the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy (will take around 5mins.) Gradually beat in the melted chocolate until smooth, then beat in the eggs one at a time.

Gradually whisk in the Guinness. You will have a smooth batter at this point (don't worry if it curdles.) Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then fold carefully into the chocolate mixture.

Pour into the the tin and bake for 35-40mins until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin then turn out onto a cake plate. (You can wrap the un-iced cake in baking paper then cling flim and freeze for up to 3 months.)

For the icing, beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth, then mix in the soured cream and melted chocolate. Spread over the cake and serve... TO ARTHUR!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Where Has The Time Gone?

Can you believe it's almost October?! Although it does feel a bit more like October with the Practical Magic Blog Party today. I'm not participating, but I am going to watch one of my all time favourite movies so I feel like like I'm joining in :)

Sorry I'm a bit lacking on posts lately, I've been busy trying to stay on top of school work as I've been ill so have a lot of catching up to do, and haven't been very inspired to post anything. Let me know if there is anything you want me to review/talk about, but, for now I'm going to enjoy a cup of Earl Grey, flick through my encyclopedia of spells and relax with Practical Magic. Have a fabulous day!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Now On Twitter!

Yup, I've rediscovered the twitter account that I forgot I even had so feel free to follow me there, my user names is : @__AfterMidnight. I hope you are having a fabulous weekend :) xx

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Random Buys & Mini Reviews

I came home to two packages after school the other day which I had completely forgotten about even ordering (school is seriously messing with my head!) One is from Trim & Polish, a UK O.P.I stockist that sells permanent and retired polishes as well as having other beauty products from a few different brands. The next one is from Naturisimo, a site much like Love Lula that stocks only natural & organic products. So... on to the purchases!

Trim & Polish: Couture Minis - Halloween 2010 Collection
Dark nail polishes combined with Halloween... what more could you want? The polishes were put in the wrong place in the box though, (hence they are wrong in the picture.)

L-R: Nevermore, Obscurity, Sanguine & Unripened

And here's the swatches! p.s. sorry for the sloppy painting & seriously bitten fingers... I blame tiredness and school bringing back the habit! Also I probably won't be doing Nails of the Day very often because of school rules on nail polish, so I'm more likely to just swatch the colours as I buy them.

Thumb - ring finger: Unripened, Nevermore, Sanguine & Obscurity.
Unripened "A glittering green so dark it's dangerous" I haven't really noticed the "green" in this polish but it is a very unique shade, a glossy black with lots of aqua/teal sparkle. This is probably my favourite!

Nevermore "You'll be c-raven this blackened purple" It's not very dark for a blackened purple, more of a blue/purple with loads of sparkle. It is pretty much identical to OPI Ink.

Sanguine "Deep, dark blood red-maroon" Well, I couldn't really describe it any better myself, it's just Royal Rajah Ruby renamed, which is one of my favourites! (I have a thing for dark red/burgundy polishes.) Looks best in sunlight to show the shimmer/sparkle, otherwise it looks like a plain dark red.

Obscurity "A matte black that's never dull" I quite like OPI's suede polishes and I have a matte topcoat to make any polish matte that I've used a few times, so I'm a fan of the matte look. It is really just as described.

I got a Butter London Nail Polish from Naturisimo as well as some Pai skin cream samples.

Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer in Chancer.
Clockwise from top; Pai Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream, Pai Macadamia & Rose Dry Skin Cream & Pai Geranium & Thistle Combination Skin Cream.
 I am currently using the avocado & jojoba cream as my daily moisturiser and the macadamia & rose dry skin cream at night. The pacakaging of these samples is much better than that of the last samples I got, the tubs are smaller (but the same quantaty) and less deep meaning less products gets under your nails when you are scooping it out. So far I'm liking both creams.

To finish here are some swatches of a few of the new nail polishes I got. Excuse the terrible painting attempt, (and the seriously bitten off skin,) but I'm not left handed.

Middle finger - thumb; Deborah Lippmann Bitches Brew Nail Lacquer, Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer in Chancer & Essie Mink Muffs Nail Polish.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

It's Autumn!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! My favourite season has finally arrived! I would have done a post sooner but I just started back to school on Thursday and wanted to get the first two days out of the way and get settled in. Anyway I started the season off by making some new purchases and here they are:

The first arrived on Thursday while I was at school and are from Bath & Unwind. Like Love Lula they have a points system so you earn 5 reward points for every £1 spent.

Essie Mink Muffs Nail Polish & Butter London Powder Room Nail Polish Remover.
 These next things arrived this morning and are from House of Fraser.

Deborah Lippmann Bitches Brew Nail Lacquer, Burberry BODY Perfume Sample, Shavata Black Heart Tweezer & Shavata Soothing After Care Gel.
The Burberry Body perfume sample isn't actually from House of Fraser but I just put it in this photo. I got it free from Burberry's facebook page as the first couple of thousand people to order a sample got one, (it smells amazing!) I also got the Shavata Soothing Gel free with a purchase of £20 or more on Shavata products, (the Black Heart Tweezers are £21.) Seems like a lot for a pair of tweezers but I first saw them on the QVC channel a few weeks ago and they looked like a good investment.