Wednesday, 15 September 2010

by the skin of my teeth

This is going to be a seriously (and I mean seriously) narcissistic and freakin' demanding post but I do need your help, for you are wise and beautiful.

So this be me, I am not entirely sure how old I am here but from the scars on my face (I have always been clumsy as my last post explains), the fact I am wearing earrings and where I am I would guess I am about 11.

The ravages of time have changed a "few" things but we shall be using this for as our canvas!


Brutal honesty time.

I still have the five head (large forehead) although it is somewhat masked by a fringe occasionally. I still have the big eyebrows, thin eyebrows don't really look good on me and I also have an old scar from an altercation between myself, my slippers, a dog and a chair. Unfortunately my eyes are no longer so big and blue. I still have my weird chin and jawline and my neck is not swan like nor delicate! However I would say my lips are still big and juicy. Body - bleurgh.  Boobs are good when supported but otherwise bleurgh.

So I am bowing before the font of your knowledge. I now feel like I am speaking like I am on Crime Watch, but can you help?

Now this is pretty good still although it has lost it's glow over time. I shamefully use no products to maintain a glow so cannot really have expected it to have prospered. However I have normal to oily skin so I find most moisturisers cause my naughty nose to erupt. Are any others of you "sufferers" of oily skin? How do you control yet conquer?

Eyes and brows
I do like my eyes despite being rather small.  Not much to be done but I do suffer from late nights and dark circles. Hmmm. A touch of touche eclat? Although not so good for photographs?

The brows need to stay relatively large, mainly because I usually wear glasses. However I did to perfect their shape. I like a little arch. Do you have a fail safe method for taming your beasts?

I seem to either be suffering from chronic dehydration, chappiness or general old lips.  However whilst they are large they never seem fabulous. I am usually just a lip balm girl (if that). I have literally at least two balms on my person at anyone time. From the cheapest chapstick to the rather more expensive and everything in between. What are your top tips, how about plumpers? Do they actually work?

Brownish, with a curl when left to dry naturally. My hair will be greasy by the end of a day. I do need to wash it once a day. I am slightly scared by the idea of washing it the night before! Do you have clever shampoo and conditioner ideas? Any "miracle" balms or serums for taming those naughty wispy bits?

Lower arms - Currently covered in cat scratches (a more detailed explanation to come soon!). My regenerative powers are working on it!

Upper arms - Two words - Keratosis pilaris. Not so noticeable, for me it mostly colour change - which maybe helped by a slight tan - but if anyone knows a great tip do let us all know!

A little British! Know of any decent whitening toothpaste? I like my gap and she is not budging - despite the old Madonna connotations!

Ahhh, still my inertia stops me. I need to that simple switch the every moving inertia. Tell me your secrets. How do you get your trainers on?

My diet is improving but can always do with tinkering. Indeed just eating less is good (not bad less, just smaller portion size less). What are your clever lifestyle choices?

Blissfully hidden by the dress but anything to tone these bad boys would not be a bad thing.

In conclusion 
(I feel like I have just written my first scientific report in a while!)

I need you my beautiful clever ladies. I'm not looking for an ugly duckling transformation. I'm looking for perfection. Te hee, only kidding, could you imagine after all this time me turning into a perfection maniac? I just need a little buff and polish. Feel free to comment here or drop me an email. I truly need your help. Any nugget will be very much appreciated!

*I say improve, I do want to be myself but the most okay version I can be for life and co-incidentally for the wedding.


  1. Lots to reply with:

    I have exactly the same size forehead, I never have my hair taken off my fivehead, always ensure there's a sweeping fringe. However do bear in mind that all top models have large foreheads, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, oh and don't forget Angelina Jolie. So it can't be a bad thing, can it?

    Again I'm the same with normal to oily skin. I'm still trying to find a decent mattifying lotion and loose powder which can reduce my oil slick. I drink lots of water, I use Liz Earle for cleanse, tone & moisturising and it has helped. Dermalogica do a range which helps with oily skin - might be worth investing in.

    Eyebrows, get them threaded, it's definitely the best method for taming the beasts. But please don't have tadpoles.

    Have you tried to not wash your hair everyday? Try to leave it every other day and you might find it won't be as greasy after one day. Or try dry shampoo, that's meant to help with removing greasy hair look.

  2. Hi Anna! First of all - believe in yourself, cause you are beautiful! Second - I'm not really an expert in all these things, but here is what I know/do. For the skin - you have to look after it from inside, if you know what I mean. Take daily vitamis like Centrum or by a special vitamin E complex - makes wonders for nails, skin and hair. Eat a lot of fish, salmon in particular, it's rich in healthy oils, Omega3 and again vitamin E. I only use a green tea lotion for my face after shower. I have to wash my hair everyday as well, boo for that. But what I found is - my hair always stay fresh longer after a haircut in saloon + my hair smell nice :-) so try and buy the shampoo and conditioner they use. Now, I'm not an exercise girl, noone can drag me out of my bed and make me go running or smth, but I do go swimming once a week (sauna and steam room as well - purifies your skin) and that day is also my 'healthy' day and 'loosing an extra gram' day, I eat a lot of fruit, and something light like fish or pasta after the session. Substitute sweets for fruit! I do love cakes and stuff, so I devoted 2 days a weeks as my sweet treat days. The rest is fruit!
    I hope that helps in some way! :-)

  3. Hello dear! I hope I can contribute a bit.

    Lips- I'm a balm girl too but sometimes just not licking them (thus drying them) and putting on some lip stain (e.g. Tarte) brings at least that bright edge.

    Teeth - I wore Crest whitestrips maybe for 2 sessions and they totally worked for me. I always buy toothpaste with whitening as well too.

    Diet - We infrequently eat meat now or a chicken breast or something once or twice a week and it really feels great. I ate a ton of meat during our trip to CA and needed a serious detox. Fresh produce, tofu, white fish, and roasted vegetables are a staple in our house.

    Hair - I wash it every other day. Though naturally slightly greasy my hair has now gotten used to it. I use Bumble & Bumble Sunday shampoo (gets ride of build up and chemicals) weekly and Garnier dandruff shampoo otherwise.

  4. Hi Anna, first of all I really have to say I think that picture is lovely and if you look remotely like that now then you're really OK huni. The problem is we all see our flaws 10 fold because we're oh so critical of ourselves. But if someone else had your 'flaws' I bet you wouldn't even notice! Anyway, back to the question, advice!

    I'm no expert, but do love a beauty product or two so here are my top tips:

    Skin - I absolutely swear by Dermalogica products. I've used them for years and think they're the best thing since sliced bread. To give your skin a glow why don't you try their Multivitamin Power Recovery masque. You can get it cheaper from '' than in the shops. But the trained therapists in shops will do a thing they call skin mapping, where they will prescribe you with the right products. So save a bit of money by popping into a salon to get their advice and some freebie samples, write down the products and get them from JBC!

    Another tip for a glowing complexion is to exfoliate. I use that Apricot (or it might be called Apri) scrub you can get from boots. It gets rid of the dead skin cells that make your skin look dull.

    Brows - I love big brows, think they look much better than thin skinnies! :0) Have you tried getting them waxed? I've had that done in the past. Go somewhere recommended by people you trust and tell them you don't want to lose the shape or thickness, just a tidy up. (or do like I do and get a thick fringe cut to hide a five head and bushy eyebrows!)

    Lips - by the look of the photo I don't think you need any plumping products huni. You've got a fab shape and the fullness most of us strive to achieve! All you need to do is put the moisture back in them - try Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream. Easy to use and works a treat. You'll be surprised how much fuller your lips look. It's also a miracle cream - I use it for everything from dry spots and zits, to the lips and cuticles! Can't live without it!

    Hair - I also have to wash my hair every day and by the end of the day it also looks oily. I sometimes use dry shampoo (you can get it from boots and there's lots of brands!) to refresh the roots. Ideal for your wedding day to freshen up your look. But I can't use it every day as it makes my scalp dry! (So not a good look!) Handy to keep in your handbag though!

    Arms - I get really patchy dry and bumpy skin on my upper arms which I hate. It tends to go in summer months, but during winter it is awful and I'm really paranoid about it. I find that regular, gentle exfoliation works well (I use Soap and Glory scrub of your life with one of those big scrub things) and body butter (again soap and glory) and when I have to show my arms I use Rimmel instant tan (from boots). It just gives a bit of colour and the patchyness doesn't show up as much.

    Sorry, I've gone on a bit here, but I hope at least one of these tips will help you like it helps me!

    Lots of love xx

  5. I saw that picture and thought you looked like a really pretty young girl! Truly!

    I think the key is to look after yourself from the inside - keep well hydrated, keep moving, lots of veg, fish, pulses... maybe you could consider the graze boxes for snacking? - I haven't tried them but they look really good! Imho the key to getting moving is to cheat. Unless you enjoy it, why flog yourslef running or at the gym? Go to a class, aerobics, dance, whatever. I vote dance, but I'm bossy like that.

    I have fine, greasy hair too. On the morning of the wedding I washed it and worked volumising mousse in (golf ball sized amount, overdo it and it starts looking greasy again from product overload) - the mousse helped the updo hold and stopped it being greasy by the end of the day. Or your hairdresser might love you more if you wash, condition, mousse the night before and maybe spray a little (not too much again) dry shampoo on the roots on the morning. It'll help the style stick and stop the grease. And between that, backcombing and dozens of pins it's going to take a while to wash your hair after the wedding!

    As for the rest, fuck it, if you can afford it, go to a salon and get yourself pampered to within an inch of your life the week or a few days before the big day. With the eyebrows though it's worth finding someone to do them now and giving them a trial. I had mine waxed a few days before the wedding, I asked her to keep them thick but I don't think it was in her nature!! She took off more than I was really happy with. So I'd say have an eyebrow trial, silly though it sounds.

    The only fake tan I've ever seen looking decent is the stuff that's really moisturiser cut with a little of the fake stuff, applied over a period of weeks before. Imho life's too short for that and a November wedding is the ideal excuse for a sheer shrug, sparkly bolero or other delicious jacket or wrap. And Palmer's do a body gloss for under a fiver, you could try that? Pale and beautiful.

    Eat food; not too much, mostly plants. move about, enjoy being pampered. I should take my own advice... achem. Time for a walk.


  6. Lips
    The best one for me is Carmex - tingly and actually hydrates lips. I bought some Lush lip balm once and it actually made my chapped lips worse, sad face. Can safely say that Carmex is a much more giving friend.

    Upper arms
    My guy has this pretty darn badly- means he hates showing his arms or swimming or anything like that. If you hear tips, pass em' this way!

    I get my trainers on very rarely, but when I do it's because I know I'm going to be doing something I actually enjoy. Running, not enjoyable. Gym, rarely enjoyable. For me, badminton is good, swimming is good and dancing is good.

    Re: smaller diet - we bought smaller plates. Makes you feel like you've eaten a full plate :)

    Loving your flower print top btw :D


  7. Lips
    The best one for me is Carmex - tingly and actually hydrates lips. I bought some Lush lip balm once and it actually made my chapped lips worse, sad face. Can safely say that Carmex is a much more giving friend.

    Upper arms
    My guy has this pretty darn badly- means he hates showing his arms or swimming or anything like that. If you hear tips, pass em' this way!

    I get my trainers on very rarely, but when I do it's because I know I'm going to be doing something I actually enjoy. Running, not enjoyable. Gym, rarely enjoyable. For me, badminton is good, swimming is good and dancing is good.

    Re: smaller diet - we bought smaller plates. Makes you feel like you've eaten a full plate :)

    Loving your flower print top btw :D


  8. Skin – TONER. use a toner to even out skin tone and get rid of the oil. Just because you’re oily doesn’t mean don’t use moisturiser. I think when i get oily my skin is calling out for moisture because it over produces oil. i have super sensitive skin so all I use is Simple’s cream cleanser, Lush’s breath of freash air toner, some nutrogena spot treatment , then Simple’s moisturiser.
    Eyes and brows – just pluck stray brows but i hear that the threading is good.
    Lips – plumpers hurt me so just put some gloss on. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. I’ll scrub my lips with an old toothbrush or something then put on tons of lip balm before i go to bed and it works wonders.
    Hair – i do not wash my hair every day or even anything close to that – gross i guess but my hair gets way too greasy too fast. I washed mine the morning before we got married. Hair dressers can always use dry shampoo on you. I just started using it and it’s a good quick fix. I use aussies long hair shampoo mixed with heads and shoulders.
    Arms – scrub/exfoliate your arms every bath or shower and moisturise up until the wedding and it should be gone.
    Teeth – ryan and i use that Hollywood smile polish – says use twice a day. And just rinse with a whitening mouth wash.
    Body – i am a couch potato. So i thought i’d run around the flat during ever commercial.

    yay i love hearing everyone's tips.

  9. Right Anna, brutal honesty as you say - I think i have a few tips for you but an important thing to note is that you need to stress less about all this. as some of the other comments have said, you are very likely focussing in in too much on some of these issues, so please try not to worry. You will be so happy on your wedding day that i doubt that any of this stuff will matter at all. Having said all of that, I do understand your woes as i have the odd day where i worry (probably too much) about little things - which no doubt, nobody else has even noticed!

    I think that you do need to try to see yourself as a whole rather than looking at one feature at a time - but i know that if you feel like you look good, it does give you a real confidence boost - so there are a few things you can try which might make you feel a lot better. There have been some great suggestions already, but here are a few more....

    skin - i also have the oil slick issue. still struggling to fix the cause but facial blotting papers (little papers with powder) which you can get from Boots will help keep you shine free

    teeth - mine are fairly white but i do like tea and red wine so regular hygienist trips keep them nice and white

    Lips - gloss, gloss, gloss! it makes lips look lovely and healthy! also beware of balms which contain petroleum jelly as ythey dry your skin out in the long run.

    Hair: I agree with some of the others - dry shampoo! it is fantastic stuff, i use it all the time!

    Body: the tough one! someone else mentioned them but Graze boxes are great - i have them everyday for lunch. just add a healthy breakfast and dinner! on the exercise front, you need to find something you like, but just going for a walk will help. i was great at going to the gym for years but had a blip of a few months where i hardly went. only just getting back into it now. i had to make myself go! my tip is to just tell yourself you will only do 10 mins, then you will probably end up doing more.

    good luck and do keep us posted - stay positive and you will be fine!

  10. I've been thinking about this since I read it this morning - and pondering what to say.

    I came to the conclusion that rather than me doing my usual 'you're wonderful as you are' that you'd probably rather I dished out my (somewhat) limited advice so here goes...

    – I get a shiny nose so I use benefit's dr feel good on it to keep the shine down.

    – For glowiness, a couple of drops of benefit's high beam (or a cheaper substitute) mixed in with your regular moisturiser adds glow :)

    – Dark circles... I use touche eclat but then sometimes put some glowy stuff along the eye socket line for a bit more lightness...

    – Lips... I like lip stains for practicality (they stay on!) and for poutiness :}

    - Hair... I have wash every day hair which is why I go through cans and cans of dry shampoo! I love it so!! Also it makes your hair big too ;)

    Makeup Savvy is a good blog to check out for 'appearance' stuff... Fee who writes it is v lovely and has lots of opinions on what's worked for her, what hasn't...

    As for sticking on trainers/eating...

    If you can, walk to work. It gets you into the habitat of wearing your trainers (just remember to pack your work shoes!) Or cycle if you can. I always think if there's a 'reason' for the exercise it's easier to do.

    On the food, I drink peppermint tea when I fancy something sweet after dinner (it also helps your tummy digest stuff which means less bloat)...

    Also the old classic of smaller bowls is very true... you can fill the bowl up with food and because your eyes have seen how full the bowl is you don't feel like you're eating less. Sounds stupid but works for me! (The same amount of food in a bigger bowl always leaves me hungry!)

    Hope that helps... feel free to email me if you need any explanation on my babbling!

  11. The only advice I have is for the little KP bumps on your arms - I have them too, and got rid of them in about a month using lotion with Glycolic Acid (I ordered mine from, called Glytone Body Lotion).

    Also, I just read another bride's glowing review of DermaDoctor's KP Duty (her words here: - looks like it's available at Sephora.

    She said that worked in only one use! I'm off to buy some of that today for my guy who refuses to use lotion but also has KP. AND it's genetic, so our poor, poor kids LOL.

    Good luck!

  12. enjoyed reading everyone's advice/comments!

  13. I say listen to Gemma, she is very wise about these things. I'm considering stalking her for beauty tips :)

    But it all relies on you and you feeling good about yourself. Its much easier, I find, to see the bad and not the good.

    But on your wedding day you will be surrounded by people who love you and think you always look perfect. You need to see what they see.

  14. Skin - exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate and actually invest in some products it will make a difference.

    Brows get a professional to shape them - but only someone who has been recommended. Dark circles - a better diet, more water and more sleep (seriously sweetie you are awake all hours).

    Lips - up your Omega oils and go for lip stains.

    Hair - I have curly/frizzy hair which I wash everyday. Before the wedding I tried to only wash every other day. Listen to the hairdresser and wash it the day before - the secret is not to use conditioner - which is what makes it greasy (terrified me!) give it two good shampoos the night before and let it dry.

    Think that is all I can help with.

  15. i think the photo is beautiful, like all your others. and juicy lips! girl, you can totally work with those. and i'm jealous of your big eyebrows. mine are thin due to an obsessive tweezing thing i have going on. but bleh... anyways.

    i use aquaphor for EVERYTHING - burns, cuts, scrapes, blemishes, to soften my skin, to heal tattoos. shit works wonders, seriously. read on the internet it can be hard to find in the UK, but most folks get it on eBay. i used to use it for my cat scratches, too. well, that and mederma. i went through a puffy eye period and soaked tea bags (green or black) in warm water and then put them on my eyes. it felt like it helped.

    other than that, all i can say is that you are beautiful and you are loved. that should give you a natural, happy glow. :)

  16. here are tips from me aka a person who should not give tips:

    skin- toner works really well for me because my skin can get oily too. i use that then light lotion with spf. i also use face scrub (st ives or whatevers on sale)

    eyebrows- mine are ridiculous. i have nothing to offer here

    lips- use some kind of gloss or chapstick with oil. it tingles and works wonders

    hair- get someone to do an updo and hairspray the hell out of it! thats what i did

    arms- not too much to offer. my sister i think has this, i will check and get back to you

    teeth- i used white strips. they seemed good but i drink a ton of coffee (normally i have cut since the wedding) and my teeth are not very white

    body- once i get inspiration, i will let you know, otherwise we are in the same boat

    legs- cute shoes. that is all

    good luck my dear! i know you will be ravishing!

  17. what up five head/big eyebrow twin :)

    i keep myself some fringe (like you said) and i recently started to get my brows waxed every few weeks, and it's amazing!

    some gals look at other chicks' legs and boobs but i'm all like "OMG look at her BROWS! so awesome!" lol

    and yeah, sorry for no real advice :/

  18. Anna

    if you want any diet or exercise tips DM me on twitter as my other half is a bit of a health and fitness nut and may be able to offer some advice.


  19. anna, how i've missed you! you look so pretty in this photo, by the way. so i don't have any real advice, because i'm not big on products, but i randomly went on a sephora shopping spree last week, so i can share my finds with you. so as for skin, i tend to be really oily in my t-zone especially during the warmer months, but i've found that origins has some great products for all types of skin. there's this facial wash called skin brightener with papaya in it and it feels really good on. i think they have a moisturizer to go along with it. i use a facial wash lately from there called checks and balances and i love it. lips- i have the same problem. i've been alternating between burt's bees lip balm in cherry and rosewood salve, also at sephora. skin - i have the worst case of keratosis pilaris you have ever seen on my arms. other people have mentioned kp duty by dermadoctor. i tried it years ago and it didn't work for me, but i may try it again. the only thing that works for me is getting a tan, but yours sounds mild, so i'd try the kp duty. as for hair, if you can find someone to do your hair/makeup and not charge you millions of dollars (or pounds, in your case) i'd do that so you don't have to worry about it. i'm not good with my own's always frizzy and unruly, and i don't wear makeup so i don't know how to apply it. anyway, i'm sure you'll look absolutely beautiful either way, because you'll be so happy!

  20. oh, here's one i forgot. i bought oscar blandi dry shampoo from sephora last week. they had a small one for 12 bucks at the counter so i got it and haven't tried it yet. i'll keep you posted. it's a spray that you can use the morning of to revive your hair if you decide to wash it the night before.

  21. I really don't have anything to add to all the wonderful tips above except above all believe in yourself and know that you are beautiful. As for motivation to move and lose some weight, I love to walk. It is wonderful way to just get outside for fresh air, spend time walking with a friend or just enjoy a walk through a park on your own as you listen to music or just the sounds of nature.

  22. The ladies at Blink Brow Bar in Selfridges do the best eyebrow threading in the world - you must go there if you do nothing else!

  23. Fake lashes are the BEST thing I did on our wedding day. And I too suffer from the dark undereyes (it runs in my family). The makeup girl used MAC concealer and it's the first time EVER that you couldn't see them.

    Also I got my teeth whitened - awesome! Makes your smile look so much better.

  24. I just gotta say that the above picture of you is adorable and I hope that you still bare as much resemblance to this beautiful creature as possible.

    My beauty secret is Olive oil. I put it in my hair as a leave in treatment (you may not wish to leave the house while it's still in your hair, I tried this out and spent the whole night explaining it, but the next day after I washed it out my hair was really really really happy and stayed that way for weeks) I too have oily skin. I've stopped using soap on my face and just use olive oil and moisturizer and then rince with water. My complexion is the best it's ever been. Raw Olive Oil is also very good for you and I always have a since of well being after downing a spoonful.

    I'm sticking with YOGA as the solution to all other of life's predicaments. Or a bike ride is always nice. I should really do both of these things more.

    I realize that this makes me sound like a total hippie... the jury is still out on that one.

  25. Hi Anna, great blog ;0)
    For your skin you should try Multani Matti with fresh lemon juice. It will add a glow to your skin, naturally cleanse it and even fade blemishes. Your skin will look better almost instantly. This can be found at your local Indian grocer, perhaps an Indian threading salon or at Amazon for 2 bucks. I've been using it for a month in prep for my wedding and my skin looks 100 times better. Also try eating flaxseeds and wheat germ everyday for breakfast with yorgurt or something like that. They are packed with all the vitamins you need for a beautiful mane and skin to boot ;0)

    Also for your hair use natural oils like jojoba, olive or grapeseed. You can also use these all on your skin as oil cleansers and makeup removers. Works wonders!

    For teeth whitening try the Target brand of strips they are less expensive and just as effective.

    For your lips try drinking LOTS more water and use brown sugar mixed with honey & olive oil, apply to the lip, rub gently with your wash cloth and lick off the rest. A cheap at home exfoliation for your lips that tastes great.

    For your brows I would go to an Indian threading salon, they are the gurus at eyebrow design and it looks much more natural and perfect than waxing.

    check out my blog at for more tips and tricks.


  26. Some awesome tips there!! Here are mine:

    skin- i have oily skin too. i used to use foaming cleansers because i love how it foams and make your face feel squeaky clean but someone said that it strips your skin off the everything and your face gets even more oilier (or something like that). So i started using cream cleansers... took a long time to get used to no foam but they're the best thing ever! i used a cheapo ones from the drugstore.. clearasil daily cream face wash. i also exfoliate two to three times a week with a scrub. i didn't bring any exfoliant with me on my solo trip and my face looked awful when i came back!! so yeah, exfoliant is an important step to smooth skin!! :)

    eyebrows- i painstakingly tweeze mine and then those ones that are in place but a lil long, i trim them with a scissors.

    lips- no tips here. i get chapped lips too all the time but i just use whatever lip balms i have like you.

    hair- i don't do anything to my hair too except wash and condition it and occasionally, put a hair mask. i have too little hair as it is to risk doing something cool to it and losing more hair. :(

    body- i'm still working on this but a good tip is to find an activity you enjoy. it makes it easier to don on those trainers when it's something you look forward to.

    Hopefully it helps!! :)


So, I really love all the sweet and/or informative comments that you lovelies leave. Yet if you feel the need to be unnecessarily rude or offensive I will delete your comment and not feel bad about it. So just be constructive alright! Hugs to all you wondrous others.


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