Beauty Buddies… Birchbox vs. Glossybox?

Following on from my last post around trying new make-up and skincare routines, I decided to subscribe to Glossybox and Birchbox. I find myself fluctuating between loving the idea of the subscription box to absolutely hating ‘wasting’ my money on things I’d never use. I could just spend my £15 (or thereabouts) on a product I’d actually use.

With the wedding in six months(ish) and having made the decision not to spend a fortune on a make-up artist who won’t let me keep any of her magical tools, but to just find some products I like, go to one of their concessions in House of Fraser and get them to show me what I need and how to use it, it’s about time I had a test of some of the leading lights.

Anyway, in a moment of absolute madness, I decided to sign up for both for a month or two and then bin the ‘worst’ suited to me off after that time. If neither works, I’m going back to Bloom and Wild in order to boost my inner-beauty by looking at pretty flowers.

Both boxes arrived today, and on the face of it (haha) it looks as though the Birchbox is just that little bit ahead in terms of suitability and price. I haven’t used anything yet, so I may be totally wrong, but here’s what I have garnered from poking around in the box.

 

Glossybox

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Still my favourite in terms of the presentation and packaging, each layer of the box – from the cardboard outer ‘envelope’ with it’s pretty polka dots – to the cute pink box which conceals all your goodies.  There’s that sense of excitement as you lift the lid and see the tissue paper tied with a black bow, ready to be unwrapped.

Delving in, the first thing that caught my eye was the Sleek Eye and Cheek Palette. I have a YSL palette that I use every day. Now, I’m not namedropping here, I use the YSL products because they were a gift. They don’t really suit me at all, but they were free so I’m sure as hell going to wear them rather than buy something else. Now I’ve got this though, I can replace the slightly unloved eyeshadows with this much more suitable selection and pop the expensive collection in my gym bag to make me look ‘well posh’ when I’m in the changing rooms after a sweat session.

Dr PawPaw’s multi-purpose balm was straight on my hair, which is slightly fizzy from a morning spent in the swimming pool. It immediately smells a whole lot better and brings what was a bit of a birds nest back under control and looking rather nice.

The blusher is just a little too on the coral side for me, so I’ve palmed that off onto a girl who likes a good fake tan session. She’s already splashed it on her cheekbones and she looks alright. Still a bit orange, but at least her blusher is on point.

I also received a charcoal body scrub and some foot cream. I don’t think the office would take too kindly to me stripping off and scrubbing myself, nor to whacking my feet on the desk for a pamper, so I will give these the once over when I’m at home and let you know.

To sign up yourself, click here.

 

Birchbox

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Although the ‘box opening ceremony’ isn’t quite as exciting as that of a Glossybox, I was thrilled to see what was waiting for me inside my little beauty box. My ‘new member’ prize as a Benefit box set of tinted primer, mascara and eye makeup remover. Now, I already own all three of these (I love Benefit) but it’s always handy to have travel-sized products as I fly away a lot with work these days.

They say a girl can never have too much make up, and that’s just as well as I received another mascara courtesy of Doucce. This is the first time I’ve ever seen / heard of this brand, so I’m looking forward to trialling them tomorrow morning. I’m also in love with the Laura Mercier product. This is a brand I’ve been meaning to try for SO long, but scared to delve in because of the price tag. I’d say this was the gift I was most excited for, as it gives me a chance to trial the product before heading out to buy a collection.

Finally, I’ve got my paws on Beauty Protector’s Volume Spray. Firstly, I LOVE this brand, but as someone with the thickest hair known to man, I don’t really fancy any additional volume. I’m planning to keep it in my hair armoury in case I ever decide to rock a big bouffant on a night out in the future.

The Marsk eye powder looks interesting. I went for a dark colour because I love a good smokey eye. Now it’s arrived though, I feel a bit scared and wish I’d ordered the light colour as I know I’ll probably end up looking like a middle-aged goth the first time I try to apply it.

The Whish body cream smells delicious when I gave it a bit of a test on my hands. Although I can’t give this a run test until I jump out of the shower tonight, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a winner.

To sign up yourself, click here.

How to turn thirty and into a Mrs without going stir crazy

I’m sat here writing this blog looking down at my hands and wondering “When did they go from glowing, silky paws into something which resembles the outside of a tree?” Yesterday I looked at my make-up application and thought, “Have I done this in the dark?”

Granted, our bodies change slowly as we get older, but my problem is, I think I missed keeping track of these changes, and now I’m in a position where I look at myself in the mirror and wonder what happened. I’m getting married in November (did I mention that before?!) and I won’t want to shell out hundreds of pounds for someone to slap some make up on my face, I’d rather by the products and learn how to use them so I can make myself look (and feel) beautiful each and ever day, not just on November 17.

Not only that, but I prepare to turn thirty (52 days and counting) I thought I’d have a look online for some skincare products to help with the transition from a young and spritely twenty something, into a thirty year old wife. I want to do everything I can to look after my skin, and make the most of the face I am given. Look at some of those Hollywood starlets, they look better than I do at twice my age!

I’ve been feeling this way for around a year now (the curse of the 29’s). My best buddy is an expert with make-up and when we share hotel rooms on a race weekend, within an hour she can go from waking up to looking like an absolute glamour puss. She has every single make up product under the sun, a plethora of brushes and sponges and a knowledge of application tips in her head that I want in mine. She cites investing in products she has seen in YouTube videos as the key to her regime, but for me, I’m in turmoil… I’m afraid of investing £100’s on products without trialling them first but I want to look as amazing as she does at 7am.

With just six months to go until my wedding, I’m feeling panicked over not knowing what make up and skincare to invest in during the run up, on the day, and for the rest of my life. I took a look on House Of Fraser and Boots.com to see what taster make up and skincare packs were on offer to allow me to ‘try before I buy’.

Then I decided to look at some of the product boxes you can buy, such as the Glossybox and Birchbox (both of which I tried before) as well as Cohorted, which looks immense but I’m a bit of a chicken when it comes to spending my hard-earned cash on unknown products. Have any of you wonderful readers tried any of these, or can you suggest any brands I should be checking out?

With SO much on the market, I am feeling swamped with promises of products which can stop the signs of ageing, foundation which looks like I’m not wearing any make up, and illuminator which promises a ‘healthy glow’. My make-up bag currently consists of moisturiser, BB cream, eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara. I think it’s about time to up my game… but where do I even begin?

Going topless, breaking the lockers and blagging our way into the baths. Swim 22 is go…

The Swim 22 Challenge is well and truly go for the Mirfield Massive (that’s Clare and I). Day one was a complete and utter nightmare, firstly no one at the sports centre knew anything of our challenge so we’re stood there in our swimming costumes trying to convince this poor lad we didn’t get up at 6am to try and get a free swim. Once we had blagged our way inside, I managed to break the locker and get my ‘born to shop’ token wedged inside the £1 slot and had to call for help. Then, in all the drama, I forgot to take all of my clothes off and proceeded to climb into the pool with my t-shirt (that I was planning to wear for work) still on. Great.

Despite the mishaps, I managed to plug in 30 lengths on day one whilst Clare – who does that fancy swim with your arms over your head (front crawl she’s shouted) – managed a handful more. Thursday saw us notch up the same again, minus the pre-swim drama. Today, after a weekend of prosecco, cocktails and naughty food, we were in the pool 15 minutes early and notched up 86 lengths between us. Not bad huh?

So, in total, over the first three days of the challenge, we’ve managed a total of 4.39 miles and we’re feeling great. Seen as though I am facing the hell which will become ‘wedding dress shopping’ on Saturday, I’m determined to do well at this challenge and look ‘proper hot’ by the time I get married. I know I might have to stop eating and drinking in the meantime, but swimming counts as exercise right? I think I might even keep this up once the challenge ends, I’m enjoying it that much.

We’ve had a handful of donations already and we’re super grateful to those folks, plus we must say thanks to those legends at Kirklees Active Leisure (and the staff at Dewsbury Sports Centre) for allowing us to swim free of charge for the duration of the challenge.

If you want to donate, there’s a JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clare-davies32

 

 

A 22 Mile Swim. Three Months. Two Women. One Charity.

One thing I never thought I’d say was “I’m going to attempt to swim the English Channel.” But I was also adamant I’d never like sprouts or worry about going grey, and look at how that turned out…

 

Anyway, the point is, for the past two years, my soon-to-be sister-in-law Clare Davies has swum 22 Miles (or the equivalent of the English Channel) to raise money for Diabetes UK, and this year – help me God – I’ve decided to get involved.

 

The annual challenge runs between 22 Feb and 22 May 2017 and is the charity’s version of ‘Dry January’ or ‘Movember’. The reason behind her mammoth undertaking is that Clare was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes on 6 January 1994 and has been dedicated to raising money for the charity ever since. She hopes that her challenge will help raise funds and awareness on behalf of everyone in the Mirfield (where we live) and wider Kirklees area who has, or knows someone with the condition.

 

Seen as though I’ve got a wedding dress to get into and Clare and I car share to work, I’m going to be joining her down at Dewsbury Sports Centre as she front crawls her way to another fantastic achievement. The only drawback? I’m, not a very good swimmer. I mean, I can manage the breast stroke combined with some questionable frogs legs, but everyone loves a trier right?

 

Together, we’ll be attempting to complete the 22 Miles as a team, meaning we’ll be up at 6am and in the pool for 6.30am as we chip away the miles before we’ve even done a day’s work! We’ll keep you updated on our progress over the next three months, but if you want to make a donation to spur us on, Clare’s Just Giving page can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clare-davies32.

I also need a swimming cap and some goggles with glasses built in – if anyone wants to help…

What to do when you’re expecting… A wedding.

Dear married friends.

How on earth did you do it? I mean, going from engaged to married? This diamond ring has been on my finger for just over a month now and I’ve done the following:

  • Downloaded Pintrest.
  • Made a spreadsheet with various headings

That’s it.

Where on EARTH do you begin? I know I want a church wedding, and I know I want a party with my nearest and dearest, but I went to look at a couple of venues at the weekend and people were asking me about colour schemes and what kind of bows I’d want on a chair.

Then they said your napkins and table linen is included. Well yeah, I wouldn’t expect to go to a restaurant and pay extra for a knife, fork and napkin. Are you supposed to be like; “wow, thank you wedding venue, I’ll pay around £2k more than I would for a general party here and you’re throwing in the napkins too. Oh, but these bows, if I want them on my chair it’s £1 per chair.”

I mean come on, charging £1 per chair for a bow. Is this for real?

In my mind I feel like I need to decide on the below – although any kind of progress is, well, slow to say the least.

  • Sending out invitations
  • Guest list
  • Church
  • Dress and tux
  • Party venue
  • Bridesmates (not having girls)
  • Ushers
  • How much can we get away with spending on prosecco

After browsing one wedding magazine, I am starting to panic that I have no idea what I have ahead of me… I just want to marry my best friend, have a nice meal with my nearest and dearest then have a party where if people can make it, that’s just great.

I started to think of a guest list and could already feel the hate mail and conversations behind my back because people were only invited to the ‘night do’ – look man, I want my closest friends and immediate family at my wedding, just back off. And no, I won’t be bothered if I only come to your night do…

Is it REALLY necessary to spend as much money as you can on your wedding day? People are asking what flowers I’m having at the church, at the venue, who my make-up artist will be, who’s doing my hair, what wedding dress designers I like.

Please, someone, help me. And not a wedding planner. I don’t want to pay for you as well.

Love, Best Friends and Marketing Campaigns

The end of the 2016 race season is almost here and what a year it’s been. I don’t think any of my five years as part of the Ginetta Family has been as eventful as this one, what with blossoming romances, rediscovered friendships and being let loose on developing a new brand image for Ginetta.

The year kicked off in fabulous style as we launched our brand new Ginetta G57 at the Autosport International Show, to what (rumour has it) was one of the biggest crowds the show ever had for a new car launch. (Journalists words, not mine, but I’m rolling with it).

The best thing? When our promo girl dropped out at the last minute, I decided to draft in a pretty blonde I knew from university who I’d not seen in a while, Lo Parsons. From the moment she arrived, it was like we’d never been apart. Over the past nine months, we have grown to become the best of friends. She brings sunshine to even the rainiest of days (even during the monsoon at Rockingham last month) and I am so happy she’s found her way back into my life.

The one bad thing is, having to share her. As an only child, I’m not a fan of sharing, and now I have to compete with none other than real-life BTCC driver Adam Morgan when it comes to Lo-time. The relevance? Well, I set them up. I fancy myself as a bit of a Cilla Black from time to time (I just like meddling in other peoples business really) and now Lo has found herself head over heels with her very own superstar. I still love her most though. Okay?

comms

So that’s it, the season is closing and this weekend could well be my last as part of the British GT support paddock. As Ginetta has grown so wonderfully over these past few years, I’m looking at focusing now on the continued support of the BTCC as well as the promotion of the awesome prototypes we build here at Ginetta HQ – there’s only so much of me to go around guys – and as a result this means TRAVEL! Yippee!! Although, anyone who knows me knows how hideously afraid of flying I am, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

What a fabulous year it’s been. Looking back through my Instagram selfies, as well as the adverts which are starting to emerge promoting the We Are Ginetta campaign is fantastic. To think I’ve come from blagging my way into a job here after meeting Lawrence at the Autosport Show, to now being trusted enough to launch a whole PR and Marketing campaign simply blows my mind. Not only that but having been a fan; watching the likes of Louise Goodman presenting BTCC coverage, Paul O’Neil racing, Richard John Neil commentating and Titch and Hydey on circuit commentary, to now be able to work alongside them and feel confident enough in my own ability to speak to them, I feel so very lucky.

Yes, of course I look at other PR people who cross my path and I dream of being as good as they are (Rebecca Jones, I’m looking at you girl) but really, I think I just need to take a step back and appreciate how far I’ve come, and look forward to the continued journey of growth. Not many folks can get up every single day and love what they do. I am one of the very privileged few.

Happy days.

#weareginetta

 

 

That Day Boris Johnson Enjoyed Doughnuts In A Ginetta

Anyone who follows my social media accounts (or just watched the news last night) may have seen that Boris Johnson made a visit t’North yesterday and only went and pencilled in a visit to Ginetta on his sightseeing tour of Yorkshire.

Now, who wouldn’t want to see our factory if they were in the vicinity, it really is a sight to behold? Yet, probably the real reason Boris popped over was to meet with the Gaffer himself and to chat about all things Brexit (the stickers on the Ginetta G60 they took out for a spin gave that bit away).

I’m one of those really terrible people who knows not a lot about politics. I’ve been brought up reading the Daily Express (blame the parents) so a lot of my personal opinions are based upon a frustration with healthy people preferring to claim benefits rather than going out and earning a wage and of course, the growing threat from migrants trying to jump on a train (literally), whizz on through the Channel Tunnel, get a few free treatments from the NHS and, worst case scenario, forming an ISIS terror cell in the next village.

So when it comes to Brexit vs. Bremain I really didn’t have a clue. I’d listen to what my dad / Lawrence / my mentor Fiona had to say and change my mind with every conversation. I even did a quiz on the Daily Mirror to determine which way I should vote, and after answering 10 questions I didn’t really understand it told me; “You are Nigel Farage” which even I know isn’t true. So that left me even more confused. Never believe what you read in the tabloids kids.

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To cut what is turning into a long story, short, Boris ended up having an impromptu Q & A session with some of the LNT Group employees where he shared with us his reasoning’s for wanting to leave the EU and commented on some of the burning issues we ‘the people’ wanted to know about.

There’s no denying he’s a passionate bloke. His delivery of the ‘facts’ are done in such a way that make people like me – ie. The Uninformed – really think he’s right. Plus he let Lawrence do doughnuts with him on the Helipad and posed for photos with my good self (any excuse for a few Instagram likes). However, I wonder if I had a conversation with Bremain spokesperson, then I’d be feeling the complete opposite.

I’m really confused, and I don’t want to make the wrong decision. What do you all think is the right thing to do and what will be the key benefits to either vote? I genuinely feel that everything I read online is skewed one way or the other.  Help….

 

Rocking The Knockers

Nice headline huh? Well, that’s because recently I’ve been at Rockingham and Knockhill with work.

You’ve got to find things to brighten up the rainy days at track, and a particular highlight of the past month was encouraging our lovely Grid Girl / Front of House doris Lauren to bring Euros to the  Scottish circuit.

Although she has had the absolute p*ss ripped out of her, mainly due to the below Whatsapp conversation, it’s probably about time to confess it was all a bit of a wind up. Being the absolute nutcase that she is, Redders managed to convince the people at Currency Exchange to let her pose with a wad of notes in order to trick us all into thinking she had actually been dippy enough to buy Euros.

Poor Lauren

It’s not often you find someone who can make you laugh so much that your face hurts, but Lauren really is one of those people, and when she jets off to Australia for a year to fend off killer spiders and snakes (not that they climb up to top floor apartments) we are going to miss her loads.

I’ve also been making lots of lovely new ‘proper’ friends in the BTCC media room (although not proper enough to be a part of their secret whatsapp group) who are an absolute blast, “Boobs with nipples?” and I am sad that we only have two weekends of excitement remaining.

Apparently we’re all going Go-Karting at Brands. Considering I have never been in a kart and can hardly drive a real car, I don’t think this is going to go well. I may have to just be the flag waver or a marshal for the night. They can drink Gin right?

Speaking of Gin (or lack of) in fat club news, I’ve somehow managed to lose a stone and three pounds now, with just four of the bloody LBS to go before I become a ‘target member’ and get to go to the classes for free. I really need to drop another half a stone to be honest, but I also REALLY need a night in with cheese and Prosecco.

Time to get this blog back on track. Literally

So, it’s been a while since I last blogged, and when I say a while, I mean an unforgivable, insanely rude amount that by rights WordPress should have probably deleted me…

Thankfully though, my racy adventures are still here, just waiting for the latest instalment from my life in the fast lane. That said, I haven’t really thought of anything interesting to write about in a while. I didn’t want to come across as some pretentious bird, bleating on about working weekends and how fantastic it is.

I’ve been stuck. I couldn’t think of a suitable topic to reignite the flame of blogging, but I knew I wanted to. So, to revisit the origins of this blog, it was to talk about life at a race track. Predominantly being a female at a race track, trying to gain acceptance in a ‘man’s world’.

Before a plethora of females get their Emily Pankhurst knickers in a twist, I’m not advocating the idea of men ‘ruling’ the race track, just merely pointing out the obvious.

If we were talking dating terms, the women would have around 10 men for every one of them – not that many of us would have much luck, with the lycra clad size 8’s bumping up the number of female workers at a race track. Frankly, no matter how long I stay on Slimming World, I’m never going to look acceptable in a skin tight catsuit, so will stick to what I know and put pen to paper, or rather, finger to keyboard.

I think it’s safe to say that with four years of Ginetta PR-ing under my belt, I’ve established myself as a credible entity, although some people may still question that fact. Whilst I don’t need to justify my existence, there’s still plenty of fun stories to tell, so that’s where we’re going with this….

Already this season I’ve witnessed the design, build and debut of the mega Ginetta Prototype, tried (and failed) to stay up during a 24 hour race, toasted marshmallows on a screwdriver in front of a space heater, missed the Ginetta Minibus to circuit twice, had shampoo and conditioner spill over all my clothes inside my suitcase on the way to a circuit, laughed at folk saying ‘Welcome to the paddock’ to a lovely lady who has been around motorsport all her life, before adding further salt to the wounds with ‘I am sure we can find you a nice racing driver boyfriend’.

You may wonder why anyone would want to work Monday to Friday, then spend their weekend’s getting up even earlier to work longer hours and then travel around five hours to get back home at 1am on a Monday morning, just to do it all again. But it’s infectious.

The people you work with in house, those crazy nutcases in the media room – including those who only turn up to take photos of the aforementioned girls in lycra – and your drivers (and their dads!) make it the best job in the world – if you like cars, obviously.

Here we go again….

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