I’m a Tarteist, pleased to meet you.



I first heard about the brand Tarte through some of the American beauty bloggers that I follow. I heard many enthusiastic reviews and saw many posts of bloggers fervently awaiting  the latest product releases so, of course I was intrigued. Intrigue quickly becomes want especially when you realise that Tarte is not readily available in the UK. As I couldn’t get hold of Tarte I carried on skipping my way around other beauty treats and put Tarte to the back of my mind. So I was pleasantly surprised to see Tarte popping up on QVC UK.  I don’t know how long they’ve been available on QVC but I’m so glad I’ve found them now..

I love QVC beauty so I am bamboozled at how I missed Tarte’s entrance but at least now I can find out what all the fuss is about. I watched a few shows and the more I saw the more I wanted. I was unsure what to try first but opted in the end for the Tarteist Contour Pallette. I have avoided the contouring craze as, to be honest, I never really understood it and  I also doubted the use of dark powder on my very pale skin but the Tarte palette looked so gorgeous I just wanted to give it a go.

The demonstrations by Tarte on QVC are fantastic and they showed how easy the palette was to apply. The powders in the palette are numbered and a paper diagram comes with it to show where to use each powder so it’s totally fool proof – thankfully! The powders are so soft and feel as if they are creamy when they are blended seamlessly onto the skin. The palette is also huge and comes with an amazing double-ended brush that is super-soft and effective. Great value for £31.20from QVC. http://www.qvcuk.com/tarte-tarteist-Contour-Palette-with-Double-Ended-Brush.product.212128.html?cm_sp=VIEWPOSITION-_-7-_-212128

I gravitate towards brands that use pure, natural ingredients and with Tarte’s products it’s all about the natural, using as its base Amazonian clay. After trying the Tarteist Contouring palette and its techniques, especially the tip of putting concealer on in a ‘v’ formation under the eye and then smoothing it in and up, I am now a contouring convert. This one product from the Tarte range has made me feel more like a makeup artist and has completely demystified contouring for me. The Tarteist does make you an artiste. Tarte is fastly becoming a fave and I love watching the demos on QVC as I’m learning so much. I now want more much more from this brand.

I’m a Tarteist, pleased to meet you.



One Year On

I have had a very bad year – the worst one, certainly health-wise. Due to several flares of my various conditions I had lost my part-time education job, was unable to take up a Masters course that I have wanted to do for years, lost my car that I had also waited years for and there were also family struggles to contend with. My pain increased and became unbearable. Due to last years tsunami of events I developed depression and anxiety. I know that, sadly, depression and anxiety are quite common amongst those of us with Chronic Illnesses and Chronic Pain but this was the first time I had suffered them on a severe and clinical level. Despite my rational brain telling me that it is a common experience and diagnosis and that there is no shame in having those conditions I still felt too uneasy about mentioning it on my blog, of saying it out loud.

I have not posted for almost half a year due being uncomfortable about what to say. I wanted this blog to be a positive and light-hearted space that I, and hopefully a few others, could escape to that focused on the ‘lovely’ side of things. However, I found that I couldn’t face writing as my mood was so far from what I wanted to create and nurture on my blog that I felt I would’ve been a fraud if I tried to carry on as before. I also felt ashamed about cowardly avoiding the topic of depression and anxiety, especially as many on WordPress and other platforms speak powerfully and openly about their experiences in order to support each other and break the stigma attached to those conditions.

I became annoyed at myself as I was happy to talk about my Lupus etc. but when it came to my mental health conditions my reaction was to hide to feel embarrassed. The addition of the word ‘mental’ with regards to illness should make no fundamental difference to the tone of the chronic illness/disability debate, Chronic Illness is just that a chronic illness, but it left me uneasy as I didn’t want to make a ‘drama’ out of it but I felt a bit of a fraud about not recognising these new aspects of my health. In ‘hiding’ I was hindering the great work that many on here have done in educating and de-stigmatizing Mental Health issues and denying to chronicle my ‘true’ experience of Chronic Illness that I hoped would help understanding of our hidden and complex lives. So, my name is Lore and I have Depression and Anxiety, nice to meet you.

Next, I’ll move on to the pretty stuff – beauty boxes!

Oh, strangely,the day I felt able to blog again is the same day exactly one year ago that I started the blog!

Twiddlemuff for dementia patients

This is a cheeky re-blog from my other blog but I wanted to share it here as Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are chronic illnesses that are often suffered in silence and marginalised (something many of us can relate to) and it is a disease and not an inevitable part of ‘old age’. It can be difficult to ‘reach’ Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients so anything that helps them to ‘connect’ such as these twiddlemuffs or activity quilts can only be a good thing.

Sew Ellie's Imaginary Friend

A friend of mine alerted me to a call that an English hospital has made for people to knit twiddlemuffs for dementia patients. These muffs contain items and textures that people with advanced dementia can feel and play with which can stimulate cognitive functions and help with anxiety. Unfortunately I can’t knit but my mum who works with dementia patients said that the wards sometimes use activity blankets/quilts that have a similar effect so I’ve decided to make a quilt for my mum’s ward. I’m going to do some research as to what the quilt should contain but I’m so excited about it. My Nan has Alzheimer’s disease and as she was the one that encouraged my crafty life it would be nice if I could use those skills she taught me to help others with her condition and those with dementia.

Below is a link to the knitting pattern for…

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Masking your Woes

I think if there is one thing that unites all of us with chronic illness(es) it is disturbed sleep: too much, too little, too heavy, too light – we can rarely get it right. Poor sleep is synonamous with poor skin, which is unfortunate. Beauty brands capitalise on masking a bad nights sleep with various ‘anti-fatigue’ related products and test their products on a sympathetic pool of volunteers. Well, if a brand really wants to claim to be ‘anti-fatigue’ they should try it on us! If it works on us it truly is a miracle cream. It seems, however, no brand has been brave enough to take that test which is a shame, as if there ever is a group of people that would appreciate a great product it would be us. And if it works on us it would work on anyone! I guess we’re too big a challenge.

Whilst waiting for the miracle products to take away any sign on our skin of the suffering we feel there are some products out there that can and do make a difference. And sometimes, just the promise of a skin benefit can lift the spirit (a beauty placebo). So whilst this blog may never discover the dream cream it plans to share those small comforts and joys to be found in taking the time to care for your outside, to distract from what cannot be controlled in the inside.

I hope this makes some sense. I haven’t slept.

Rolling my Eyes

I have been in quite a bit pain the past few days (the cold definitely does not help!) but managed to get to the local corner shop today. Even that short trip was quite painful but it was worth it as on the magazine rack was the March 15 issue of Elle Magazine (UK) and free with that addition was the ‘Global Exclusive’ of Benefit’s new mascara Roller Lash. I love Benefit’s products so was super excited – it’s always fun trying something new.

At this point I think I might explain one of the few hurdles I have to wearing make-up. One of my chronic conditions is Sjogren’s syndrome, it is probably not as widely known as the others I have (only one person I have met has ever heard of it before I had it). It’s an auto-immune condition that attacks the body’s ability to provide moisture to parts of the body, e.g. saliva and tears. It is tear production that affects me the most in that I have zero tear production – I have no tears. When I cry I look ridiculous, I make all the sounds and go through all the motions except that I can’t shed one single tear. Whilst the no tears crying is bizarre lack of water in the eyes is incredibly irritating, makes my eyes vulnerable to infection and incredibly sore. This makes my eyes really sensitive. So far I have only managed to find two make-up brand’s mascara’s that I can use without irritation, one is BareMinerals and the other is Benefit.

I’ve had a quick try of the Roller Lash but I haven’t worn it all day yet. It seems to focus on curling the lashes, according to the description on the box, and it certainly does! There would be no need for eyelash curlers when using this mascara. It managed to curl my lashes up high enough for my lashes to touch my eyebrow when my eyes were open. The curl on the lashes when using this product is amazing but unfortunately it does little to thicken them. I have problems with the volume in my lashes as due to the irritation I rub my eye lots and with they’ve been thinner since the conditions started (could be coincidence?) so this wouldn’t address that problem of mine. The Roller Lash is also not waterproof which means I can’t use my eye-drops when wearing it, I should be using them at least four times a day…but it’s just so inconvenient that I often fall short of that target. However, there is certainly no denying that the mascara curls like a ‘good’n’ (sorry, English vernacular – ‘good one’)!

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Liebster Nomination










So chuffed to be nominated for the Liebster Award by the lovely medwards1714 at BeautyByMel. As I understand it I now have 11 questions to answer that have been set by medwards1714 and nominate 11 blogs that have under 200 followers  – like I need another excuse to go blog hunting! there are so many great blogs and bloggers out there. So here are my questions and answers:

What is your favorite candy?

Flying Saucers – sherbet jigging on the tongue.

What is your OTP?

So sorry don’t know what this means – feeling stupid x

If you were given one million dollars, what would you buy?

A house by the sea with a massive walk-in-wardrobe.

Who is your hero and why?

My mum – sorry to be corny.

What is your favorite makeup brand?

Oooh a hard one…Benefit I suppose as I have more from that brand than any other.

Brad Pitt or Zac Efron?

Brad Pitt.

What are your biggest goals in life?

To travel as being sick has made that difficult and to establish a career in an area that I’m passionate about.

What is your favorite tv show?

A British comedy called Father Ted – never fails to cheer me up.

If you could meet one person, who would it be?

Aung Sun Suu Kyi

Favorite color?


Top 3 places you want to visit?

Paris, Venice and Antarctica


Thanks again medwards1714. My nominations are:












Here are my questions to the nominees:

1. Why did you start blogging?

2. What are you most proud of?

3. What’s your favourite animal?

4. What’s your favourite book?

5. What three things could you not live without?

6. What food do you dislike the most?

7. What was the first record/cd you bought?

8. What is your favourite time of the year and why?

9. If you could go back to anytime in history which time period would you choose?

10. What is your favourite film genre?

11. What do you consider to be the greatest beauty product of all time?

I hope I have done this alright. xx






It’s all about the base

I’m a firm believer that the best base for make-up is good skin but good skin is so hard to achieve when you’re sick, tired and being pumped with various medications, which for a quite a few of us is a daily occurrence. I had no real interest in skin care, no routine other than soap and water (soap? – I know!) but that changed when my symptoms started when I was 20 years old. My skin came out in rashes and became super-sensitive to even the lightest of touch. My skin was extremely dry and very flaky especially on my face. Make-up only accentuated the dryness and my confidence was punctured by it all. Suddenly I cared about skincare because I had to.

Being a practitioner in the belief that knowledge is power I set about to find help. I tried different things, from premium beauty to high-street chemists but nothing worked they either stung the skin, dried it out or made it too greasy. I researched what I could online but only became more confused. I could never work out what type of skin I had as my skin had multiple personalities so finding the right products was nigh impossible. Then I came across QVC and Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish, a product that literally saved my skin. I was ambivalent about trying it at first as being a newbie to the beauty world I hadn’t heard of Liz Earle but feeling secure in QVC’s incredible 30 day money back guarantee (even if you’ve used it!) I took a chance.

Cleanse and Polish suits all skin types so whatever mood my skin happened to be in it adapted to it. It was gorgeous and so gentle to use and because you use a damp cloth it was something I could even use myself if I was stuck in bed provided my Mum had wet it for me in the first place. When I went into hospital it was the first thing I asked Mum to bring in from home when I was taken in as an emergency admission (at 11 pm) and it was comforting to know that I had it with me to soothe my skin (a bit of calm amidst the turmoil of hospital).

Cleanse and polish made and continues to make my skin clear and stable which makes the use of serums and moisturisers more effective, it also made it possible for me to wear makeup again. So whilst I still get some Lupus rash it doesn’t show or feel anything like it was. Good skin like many things starts with a clean slate.

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Unsung hero product – Nails

When it comes to the wonderful world of nail’s nearly all the focus is on the polish. This hardly surprising as you would rightly say that the polish was the whole point, it’s what we see and others admire but inevitably there comes a time when what goes on must come off. It is this removal stage that often gets neglected yet it’s a quite important part of the process as a good remover can help nourish your nails and take off the polish without causing any damage or staining which keeps your nails looking good when you go for a new colour or finish, they clean up mistakes with an aid of a cotton bud and a remover that works quickly and without mess means we can enjoy different looks easily. By making anything easy and fuss free means we keep enjoying the process and as such do it more. A good remover enables our nail polish addiction to be fed.

I was asked through a friend how I managed doing my nails even though I have Lupus. A girl had told my friend that she used to love having her nails done but due to touch sensitivities she couldn’t bear or manage the scrubbing action to remove the polish. My answer was nail remover pots. They are not a new product, they’ve been around sometime, but it seems some people don’t know that they exist. Remover pots take the fuss and effort out of removal and Nails Inc.’s and Leighton Denny’s in particular have essential oils that are kind on sensitive skins and Bourjois’s, though not as gentle in the smell department, does both toes and fingers. Remover pots may just turn out to enable some people to come back to the wonderful world of nail polish. They may just be someone’s beauty hero.

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The little things that add up

I started my nail collection when I first got sick and had to move back home. I was housebound for 90 per cent of the time and I didn’t have the strength to do anything with my hair and my skin was to sensitive for makeup so I focused on my nails cheering myself up with colours and textures and its something you can take your time over and do in bed. Also the one plus point about not being able to do anything is that there is nothing you can break a nail on. I think it’s testament to how long I’ve been sick to how many polishes I have but sick or not there’s many a harmless joy to be had in those colourful bottles.

Too many bottles?… Never!

Nails Inc.


Leighton Denny


A new year still brings forward challenges from the last but as is most things in life they can be endured with a heavy dose of attitude. My name is Lore and I love to create. I love to create almost anything – even the odd argument [but shush!]. I love to write and adore my pets (Elliot, Keats and Bronte). I also have three chronic conditions; Lupus (SLE), Sjogren’s Syndrome, Fibromyalgia. My conditions make a ‘normal’ life impossible but I still foolishly and with much pain try to keep up with the ‘normals’. But why am I struggling to accept that I am ‘different’? Probably because the weird stuff I do is not cute, kooky or gloriously eccentric but just plain weird.

The ‘grey fog’ that broods in my brain and takes over my body makes me look  like an extra from the Dawn of the Dead and causes me to have panic attacks in a supermarket as I cannot process choices and follow the procedures of basic everyday tasks. Supermarkets are particularly distressing, as in an absolutely unfathomable way, I cannot face the freezer aisles. As I approach the chilled section I can feel my bones tighten and muscles twitch as the stark change in temperature convinces my freak of a body that it is not in Morrisons, England but base camp in the Antarctic and by the time I make it to the freezer aisle I am in agony. The freezer aisle makes me physically sick! Weird huh? That damn ‘fibro fog’ also makes this girl not understand left from right, unable even to follow the simplest form of conversation that polite society is formed on – the weather! “Horrible weather isn’t it? “Is it?” “Rain again” “Rain? It’s raining?…Why am I at a bus stop? I’m sure I came in a car…didn’t I?.. What did I come out for?.. Rain! You were saying…?”.

The fog (at least I hope it’s the fog) makes me think that my bedroom is the kitchen and that the bedside cabinet is the fridge. The fog is also why some people look at me agog as I’m struggling to join up the words that are scattered in my head. People look as tortured as I feel as my responses to them are laboured and have a long delay. I may as well be on another planet, messages take a long time in arriving and meanings get lost in translation and I already feel that I wasn’t quite built for this world. So if I cannot fit myself to this world I will set about creating a new one.

I have got a little carried away. Apologies. I hope not to take up too much space moaning and share more frivolous things such as my  beauty product hoarding and all those pretty things in life that I cling to to brighten up the fog and distract from the thunder and lightening of the other symptoms.