Thursday, 26 September 2013

Apocalips by Rimmel: Review

Apocalips: Stellar

I've never been a big fan of the red lip trend, reminded me too much of my nan, but I have been hearing that wearing a bright colour on your lips can help the deathly pale (i.e me a.k.a the walking dead) not look so ill. I wasn't too sure but thought hey I'll give it a try. I didn't want lipstick though. Lipstick really does remind me of my nan routing around the bottom of her leather handbag and smothering it over her lips and the surrounding skin, getting it on her teeth and me when she kissed my cheek ignoring my grimace. That was when I saw this lovely item advertised. I've always been a fan of gloss and this seemed to fit my criteria.

Apocalips Lip Lacquer by Rimmel is described as being the intense colour of a lipstick but having a satin smooth shine. A bonus was that it was only £5.99. I was sold. It seemed right up my alley so I decided to buy it. I grabbed the colour known as Stellar as it seemed a lovely mix between red and a vibrant pink.

Above picture: Just one stroke

Bottom Picture: After being smudged.

First of let me list the pros of this item.
  • Very Bright colour.
  • Long Lasting
  • Easily Applied
  • Nice shine

Now For the cons.
  • Can rub off onto teeth.
  • When it starts to fade finds every crack in lips
  • Lips need moisturising first.
I was very impressed with this product. The colour was lovely and bright, making my lips pop and I'm always getting complimented when I wear it. Its also long lasting. I drink quite a lot of caffeine through the day and though there always seems to be the heavy lip ring on the edge/lid of my drink my lips always look coloured.

However, it is not without its bad points, when it starts to fade and it does, the colour is heavier in the cracks and finds every fine line on your lips making it seem patchy. It can also rub off onto your teeth quite easily, something to be mindful off. Another con that I found was that when putting it on without lip balm first it really does dry out your lips so do moisturise first.

Overall I'm impressed and I continuously use it. I prefer it much more then lipsticks and my glosses and with the cheap price you can't go wrong. I'm mindful of the cons and when you do so, it doesn't cause anything more then a minor annoyance. I would highly recommend this product for anyone, who like me is very busy and on the go and do not have the time or patience to put on lipstick then a gloss and all that hassle. Its easily put on with the nice vibrant colour and it really does suit pale skin. I don't look so much like death anymore.

It's easily accessible, you can buy it from any store that stocks Rimmel, so Superdrug or Boots. Plus the price is also a nice incentive.

So my rating which is not gods word of makeup is: 4/5

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Brief Photo Diary

Left to right; an old sixties style pub, a human body study book, my freshly painted room (i did it all myself) an old train station, me work style, me by an old ford police car and more studying.

A brief look at my life recently. Not been up to much just studying for university as I shall soon start my nursing and visiting old country villages, as you do. Soon though maybe in a couple of weeks I might be going to the south of france high in the mountains so keep your eyes peeled.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Kunchi Matsuri -a very long post with a few pictures-

The Kunchi Matsuri
 In October I and my volunteering partner were invited by our supervisor to the Kunchi Matsuri. Now having seen a Matsuri (festival) when I was last in japan. I was expecting a crazy parade. The Kunchi is a lot more formal then that. Whilst it did have a small parade, it was mainly loved because of the three hour long show to start the tiny parade.

What is “Kunchi”?
“Kunchi comes from the ancient custom of holding a celebration on the ninth day of the ninth month of the lunar calendar, which was considered a lucky day. The ninth day is pronounced”ku-ni-chi”, which gradually changed into “Kunchi” in Nagasaki and came to mean a celebration holiday. Suwa Shrine was built in 1624. The Nagasaki Kunchi Festival began ten years later, and now has a history of more than 370 years.” (Nagasaki Kunchi English Language Guide; 2011; Nagasaki Minami Senior High School)

So now you know the history behind it let me explain my day. Yes this is posthumous.

We were to meet our supervisor at 6:20 am on the Sunday 9th October. Waking at 5:30 bleary eyed and exhausted after a night of bad sleep due to a noisy building and alley cats fighting, or it could have been a bad singer who knows. The day before I had received my package of jeans from home and as the morning was misty and slightly cool I thought it a good idea to wear my jeans a floaty, chiffon white shirt. I also wore my extensions. Back then I did not like going out in public without them. More about the change in me in a later post.

Drinking my third cup of coffee I met up with partner and we made our way down the twenty concrete stairs and met up with our supervisor at the convenience store. It was perfect timing that as soon as we reached the convenience store; called coco, that she pulled up in the taxi. She motioned for us to get in whilst she ran into the convenience store to get something. I don’t know what she was buying maybe something for her daughter when she got home later that day. We made it to Dejima with the sky a lovely blue but still quite cool as it was still early.

(Later on that same day quite busy)We made our way past the closed stalls, that later on will be teaming with customers trying to buy the food that cooks on open grills, or game stalls where the prize is a tiny turtle or a fish, and even stalls selling j-pop memorabilia or one piece which is huge over there at the minute. We passed members of the festival standing around. Little children in their best kimonos, parade floats and women holding their children as they spoke to their smartly dressed husbands.
(The members/performers standing around)
Our supervisor didn’t seem to know where she was going. She had a piece of paper which were our tickets apparently. The crowd was getting bigger, the amount of people bustling around was phenomenal and the large amount of voices talking in a language that was not English sounded like an annoying, incessant buzzing. We were shown to another part of the stage. Where again our supervisor was told that was not the right place. Finally we were shown to the correct gentlemen who showed us to our seats. Hard back plastic chairs out in the open, no cover and mainly there for the disabled. I was glad that we got the chairs though the only other seating area was tatami which you had to sit on the floor with crossed legs or on your knees which I was in no way able to do.
 (That was one side of the other type of sitting) The show opened with the high priests, or that was what they were representing sat in their special places at the front. The show was about to begin. There is a set order to the show and performances and behind every performance there is a story. So let begin.

Higashi-Furukawa-machi ( 東古川町 ) 
“Higashi-furukawa-machi is a town that had been lost for 41 years but was re-established in 2007. Twelve children ride in kawafune boat and sixteen people tow the boat. The Kawafune performance of Higashi Furukawa-machi is famous for its funa-uta (sailor’s songs). Halfway through the performance, Nebiki-syu (men who tow a boat) sing five songs, which are said to represent the scenery of Higashi Furukawa-machi.” (English guide.)

Before every boat scene, there is a short period where a man in a costume, although very intricate and beautiful twirls around whilst four other men, pretty much just watch. When I first saw it, the first one it was beautiful and I liked it. I didn’t really that it would be repeated before every ‘town’ performance although it with different costumes.  When the boat came out. The basic gist of the next few performances, which I will not go into detail about again because they were all the same, is pretty much they run up and down, and swing the boat around. That is it.
It’s interesting but when all of them are doing the same it gets pretty monotonous.

Daikoku-Machi ( 大黒町 )
“Daikoku machi was always bustling as a wharf for Chinese ships. The performance of this town is Tojinbune which shows what the town was like in those days. Tojinbune has been performed since 1882. It’s exciting to see 18 men moving a big wooden boat back and forth and rotating it left and right. Daikoku machi’s Hon-odori dance is Ukare Tojin which is about the friendship between the girls of Nagasaki and Tojin (Chinese people). 

I liked this performance. Maybe because it was still cool and only about 45 minutes in. The ‘Chinese’ men who pushed the boat were highly energetic and constantly smiling and seemed to have so much life in them. Watching the dance of the Japanese girls and the Chinese woman was mesmerising even if the music scraped through my head other than that I loved it.

Kogawa Machi (小川町
“Kogawa machi was named after the Iwahara River, commonly called Kogawa which ran through the town.Karakoshishi odori is a combination of the children’s dance in Kogawa machi and the lion’s dance from the Nakao area in Higashi Nagasaki.”
I really liked this performance. It felt that I was not in Japan. The acrobats were amazing and one of the lions was actually two young boys. It was funny and it showed their amazing skill.

Kouya Machi (紺屋町)
Hon odori dance is the first dance to be performed during Kunchi. Hon odori is the original dance of Kunchi and it is a Japanese dance. Hon odori dance by Kouya machi represents a dyers life because Kouya machi prospered in dye works a long time ago.”
I liked seeing the small dance. It was interesting. It showed talent and you can see partly where the dance form Para Para came from. Whilst it may be a modern dance, the hands are similar. They kept their hands straight in a set position. It was good. However when this performance happened the sun arrived. The heat started to bare down on me. I was sweating and there was no cover. However after every performance they would throw bandanas out to the crowd. Sadly I never got one but the woman in front of me got three!!!! Not fair she could have shared. However like everyone who caught one that was thrown it was instantly placed on their heads in protection from the sun.

Kabashima  machi ( 樺島町)
Kokodesyo shaped like a portable shrine with Japanese cushions piled on the top of it, represents a treasure ship sailing across the mighty ocean. It has been 212 years since it first appeared in Kunchi. The highlight of the performance is when the ship is thrown high into the air and caught with the rallying cry Kokodesyo.”

I LOVED THIS PERFORMANCE. I had heard from everyone that this was the best part of the show. They were all true. The rallying cry, the strength in the young men, who the crowd was told were all single “insert wink and crude comment here” and very strong. This performance was loved so much that the usual 20 minute performance extended to 45 minutes.

Motofurukawa machi (本古川町)
Motofurukawa machi is said to be the oldest town in the area along the Nakashima River. The boat used to be a battleship, but was changed into Gozabune made of cypress in 1954. The active boat turning is its distinctive feature. The boat weights 2.5 tons”.
This was made all the more interesting, because face it after the first couple of times seeing a float be spun around really fast it gets monotonous, when the commentator stated that the guy in orange, you can see him in the photo, has broken his nose every time he does it. Seeing the bad control they have over the ship compared to the others a strange morbid fascination comes over you. You really want to see him break his nose.

Dejima Machi (出島町)
“Dejima is the only place that was allowed to trade with foreign countries during Japan’s isolation. Dejima was associated with Holland because Dutch ships went there. There are 14 children on the Dutch ship.”

To be honest I wasn’t paying much attention. I was hot; I was feeling ill and just wanted a drink of water. We were on the three hour mark when this was shown and although it was magnificent it had started to drag. The crowd constantly called for encore. I constantly called for a drink. Finally though after three and a half hours it was over and I quickly got a drink. I was feeling ill and light headed. Heat stroke had struck and yet I still had to walk around the area, walking past hot stalls and weird panda shaped ghost houses with our supervisor. Having okonomiyaki we then parted ways. She went into you-me-saito mall whilst we went into Starbucks. I instantly having a Frappuccino and a cake to get my sugar levels back up. I get the shakes quite easily.

I soon went home to rest. It was fun and a fascinating insight into the celebratory side of Japanese life. I am happy and thankful I got to go and have such a wonderful seat. I just wished that I had taken a hat.
Sorry for the long post but I hope you liked it.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Drinking In Nagasaki -from my time in japan-

I noticed that whilst I mentioned briefly in my main catch up post what I had been up to I never went into full detail about my time in Japan. I shall be doing a series of posts about certain aspects of my time living there. More so just for me to remember them. The writing might not make sense nor be interesting but stay with me. Also just to cover myself everything written about Japan is my own opinion. The opinion has come after three different stays, in three different cities at three different points of my life. Now that has been cleared up let me begin.

Night Life in Nagasaki

Like any party loving Brit I was looking forward to having good nights out. To meet the typical Japanese person who wasn’t someone I worked with and to just get away from the stress of having to deal on a daily and hourly basis of being treated like a moron. I think the Japanese do not understand what clubbing actually is, at least not in Nagasaki. It was almost impossible to find anywhere other than hostess and host bars, many more of the former then the latter, and anywhere we did find was usually just a long bar with a few tables and a couple of staff, one being the master drinks maker. In England we have an already set idea on what is cheap, what is expensive and how a pint of beer should be. The Japanese do not understand nor know what a pint should look like. They find it perfectly acceptable if not better that the beer be half head and half liquid…

 (This is actually how it looks.)

I have done beer pulling training with the guys who own Heineken. The head must be no more than 1% of the pint. In England a punter will complain if there’s not the right amount of head…insert sexual innuendo here… I know I would. Yet all you see on the adverts is nearly all head. The bar that I became a regular in poured the beer so badly I asked if I could pull it myself. It was Carlsberg which is one of the more difficult pints to pull, I think it’s the pump, yet it didn’t bother them. They instead stirred the beer hoping that would flatten the head. A STIRRED LAGER. It was all wrong to me plus the fact that more often than not the beer would be costing me at least 500 yen. Expensive.

I found out about the beer situation pretty early. That unless I was buying a can of beer, often cheaper than fruit or vegetables, it was best to avoid the golden nectar. I decided to stick with spirits. After all back in England when I go out that is what I stick to. Again another shock. There were no sours to start off the night, there was no Sambuca to have with lemonade and there wasn’t even any lemonade. Instead the choice was vodka, whiskey, rum, Tequila or shochu. I could never afford Malibu rum and vodka is usually the one drink I avoid like the plague, it has the habit of making me extremely aggressive. I did try shochu which gave me my first ever hangover and made me paralytic. In the end I realised that the cheapest drinks, which is important as I was only on a volunteers wage, were tequila a drink that I have learned makes me vomit like I’m possessed and vodka which makes me loud, aggressive and in the words of an Irishman incredibly more chav like. 

 (My first night out with a screwdriver.)

Also unlike England there is no designated clubbing spot. The clubs are not one building but instead could be a room on the third floor. You would be well advised to walk up the random staircases you see dotted around the town and know that you will come across another bar or more likely a hostess bar. There are many different views on hostesses. My idea and again this is my own opinion high class escorts that get the men incredibly drunk for more money and where dresses look like tacky prom dresses….. My own opinion. They also seem to have nails that make me wonder how they do anything with them and maybe the reason why they have to drink so much is because they are tense from not being able to masturbate… ahem my idea of a joke. Sorry…

 (See what I mean though there are different styles some are not as bad as this. This picture is for dramatic effect)

So on the first night out, me and partner decided we should celebrate in style. We wanted one drink and then go home. Now we are typical English girls who decided that one drink is never enough and decided to go and get pissed, go to a club and pull some random men. THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN HERE...much

I have written earlier about our escapades. We could not find a club but different bars. 

The one that we became a regular in was called Dindi with the swastika sign. The staff were lovely if a little useless when it got busy. I mean one night when it was packed because it was some gaijin party, full of obnoxious Americans, one who asked why, when saying no to my friend who was asking if I wanted to go home, I was saying no to him. Um I just met you mate plus you look like a skeleton with skin with a crappy baseball cap and misjudged arrogance….
Like I was saying it was packed and it ended up that my 1000yen for 90 minutes paid for only two drinks though I had ordered ten. They kept forgetting and were not able to handle being busy. Are you wondering why it was 1000yen for 90 minutes?

It is common in japan for a thing called のみひょうだい (nomi hyoudai). It’s a set amount of time where you can drink anything. It can work out cheaper if you are a borderline alcoholic like me. Yet like always it’s only designated drinks, tequila, vodka, crappy beer and whisky. Not the best choice but I’m not going to moan. 

Dindi is a room on the 3rd floor of a random building by a tram stop. It has a bar and a bit of a dance floor with some couches. Compared to the clubs I’m used to working in, and partying it I could not comprehend how they could deal with busy periods. They don’t get busy.

(See tiny.)
It mainly played hip hop and r&b. I like heavy club/dance music or heavy rock/metal. So not my cup of tea. Luckily the bar man became a friend of mine so the only reason I ended up going was because he let my 1000yen nomi hyoudai last till 6am when the bar shut. 

That is the one strange thing. Bars either shut incredibly early at 12 or incredibly well early at 6am. Though do not worry McDonalds is open 24 hours so there is always somewhere to wait for the trams/trains to start and taxis are ridiculously expensive. 

Like everywhere in Japan it is legal, if not easier to smoke inside. So every bar, club, restaurant, café etc. is smoky and dark. You will be sat there smelling of smoke. My lungs are probably black tar.

  (That is my friend but that is the amount of smoke I was constantly surrounded by)

SO for now that is it. Japanese bars are a strange breed. Where you relax and unwind and lose all your money. Whilst it was nice to get out and mingle, mainly it seemed with Americans there were also many Japanese who wanted to talk to us and feel if my breasts were real. Yes they are naturally large…It’s strange I was touched up more by woman then men. Like everywhere enjoy yourself and the strangeness and you may be lucky you may pull a bloke that looks like this.

Yes this did happen. Don’t have nightmares.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Picture post.

My flat

Dejima the local night spot and near starbucks

Entrance to Peace park

Yokai. Yakitori with work mates

Shimabara castle

The ocean by shimabara castle...oh yea and me

A shrine in shimabara

Stalls for okunchi matsuri

On the way to the shopping arcade

Right near where I live just over the road and down the stairs.

Okunchi float

Geisha dance for okunchi

The main event where they throw this damn heavy thing in the air. Little fact all the blokes are single booya

Our black russians

The first night in dejima

On the way to shimabara

Shimabara castle

The very nice and very funny staff at the castle.

My disgusting uniform where I am not even allowed to wear any make-up.