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whentaniatalks: June 2014

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Dior Diorshow New Look Mascara - Review

Hi All!

I purchased Dior's Diorshow New Look mascara just before Christmas in a gift set containing a mini 5 colour eyeshadow (I've wanting to be trying Dior's eyeshadow for a while but it is sooooo expensive!!!) for £23. Now, for a mascara this is expensive but for a Dior product I think it is reasonable, especially with the addition of the eyeshadow.

One thing I have found is that mascaras are a very personal thing, as everyone has different types of eyelashes and has a different idea of how they want their lashes to look - I think all too often this gets forgotten. My sister, for example, can rock almost any mascara. I struggle to do this as my lashes are dead straight. Even when curled, they want to revert back to their naturally straight form. What is more frustrating is that I have curly hair that won't straighten! Bizarre & now slightly off topic!

This mascara is supposed to have "lash multiplying effect, volume & care" and contains 10ml of product. I purchased my Dior Diorshow New Look mascara in 090 New Look Black.

Dior Diorshow New Look Mascara & box

The wand of this mascara is not like one I have come across before. It is almost like two separate brushes! It is a rubber brush, the base of which contains what I would call standard sized bristles similar to those of the MaxFactor mascaras (which don't do a great deal for me). The tip of the brush contains smaller bristles, spaced closer together than those at the base of the brush. I can only guess that having these two types of bristles on one brush will act in the same way as if you were using two mascaras with different brushes to create a specific effect. It took me a few days to get used to this brush but I find that every time I change mascaras.

Dior Diorshow New Look Mascara & wand

Back to what I was saying about how mascaras are a personal thing...

I have straight lashes :-( As a result of this, my mascaras need to hold a curl without dropping through the day. This product does a good job with this. Not only that, but I wear dark green tinted lenses for a variety of medical conditions. Because of this I want my eyes to stand out as much as possible so I prefer the dark, full lash look. Here are the three steps I take to put on this mascara. The intensity is such that even though I like stand out lashes, I would happily go out to work with just one coat of mascara on my top lashes.

1 coat of mascara on my top lashes                                           1 coat on my top & bottom lashes

2 coats of mascara on my top lashes, 1 coat on my bottom lashes

The mini eyeshadow palette that came as part of the set contains 2.2g & is in the colour 734 Grege. As this post is about my 'product of the month' I am not going to go in to detail about the eyeshadow palette here. As it was part of a set I did want to pay lip service to it & show you some pics! :)

For those of you who this is important to (me included), here are the ingredients for the Dior Diorshow New Look mascara

I'd love to know what mascaras you would recommend (and your eyelash type!).

Tania Xx

Ingredients: Aqua (water), Cera Alba (Beeswax), Parafin, Polybutene, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Palmitic Acid, Steric Acid, Triethanolamine, Shellac, Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Silica, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Aminomethyl Propanediol, Tetrasodium Edta, Caprylyl Glycol, Decyloxazolidinone, Royal Jelly, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butylene Glycol, Laureth-21, Sodium Laureth-12 Sulfate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Caster Oil, Artemia Extract, Sodium Polyacrylate, Potassium Sorbate, Oleth-7, Sodium Dehydroacetate, BHT. [May Contain: CI 19140 (Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 77000 (Aluminium Powder), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77266 (Black 2), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), CI 77491, CI 77493, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide), CI 77742 (Magnesium Violet), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).

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Friday, 27 June 2014

My Current Situation With Hypermobility Type Symptoms

Hi Everyone!

So I haven't yet written a post about what Hypermobility Syndrome & Ehlers-Danlos are. Part of that is because I'm finding it difficult to find information myself! So what I'm going to do is take you on my journey to get a diagnosis.

This past week has been a tough one for me. I was cleared to go back to work by a Dr at my GP surgery (not my own GP as she is on holiday). I work as an instrumental music teacher & in a retail store. I went back to my retail job on Monday. In the three hours I was there my ankles gave way three times. Then my left hip gave way for the second time. Work called an ambulance & I spent the evening in A&E. The Dr in A&E was very good. She sent me for an x-ray & when she was happy that there was no damage done to my bones, she discharged me with additional pain medication.

I had an arthroscopy on my knee & while they were in the knee some debris was removed. I had spent a physio session in the gym to rehabilitate the knee & was pushed too hard, though I was very verbal about how each of the exercises were making my body feel. The following evening my hip gave way for the first time. As a result, a priority appointment was made with a different physio for an assessment. So Tuesday I spend my day at physio. I have to say that, after two injuries to my hip, I was finally listened to & a plan has been made to incorporate my suspected HMS/EDS. The physio paired down the knee exercises, gave me some for my hip &, at my request, some exercises for my core. I'm much happier about the direction of physio now.

Yesterday (Thursday), I received a letter in the post from the Hypermobility Clinic at UCLH. My neurologist (at UCLH) had referred me to them but the referral was rejected. The reason that was given was that, because of the high volume of referrals the clinic receive they are only able to accept patients from rhematology clinicians with a full report. The problem that I have is that I have been seen by my local rhematology team who have diagnosed me as having 'Chronic Widespread Multiple Skeletal Pain With Aspects of Fibromyalgia, Caused by Childhood Hypermobility'. I was given a leaflet for HMS & Fibro, told I didn't have either but that the leaflets might help & was discharged. My neologist was unimpressed with this, which is why he wanted me to be seen at the UCLH clinic.

So I'm in a bit of a pickle really! I've contacted my neurologist but don't know where else to turn to! 

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

Tania x


Thursday, 26 June 2014

Medication Related Weight Loss/Gain

So this is a post I have been wanting to write for a long time and concerns the weight issues surrounding medications.

I feel I am in a good position to talk about this as I have experienced both weight loss & weight gain as a result of different tablets & can hopefully provide some useful tips & tricks no matter what your situation.

Lets start with my story. I was taking Sodium Valporate for my migraines but it caused my platelet count to drop to a dangerous level. I needed to reduce the amount I was taking while staying protected against my migraines. Here would be a good time to give you my stats - I am 5" 3', my 'normal' weight is 8st 7lb & clothing size is an 8 (sometimes a 10 to take in to consideration my larger thighs & boobs!).

I can't remember the name of the medication that was introduced to my cocktail at this point, not only did it affect my weight but also my cognitive functioning - great for my second year at university! I went from 8st 7lb down to 7st. 7lb of that I lost in a month! I was never hungry, having to force the last half of my bowl of cereal down. I could easily go until 3 or 4pm before realising I hadn't eaten lunch! Dinner was the worst though as, if I hadn't planned what I was going to eat, I would spend the the whole evening trying to work out what I could force myself to eat! :-( My stomach shrunk & gurgled because I needed to eat & was swallowing air in place of food. There was very little taste to what I was eating. I went down to a size 6 & found shopping for clothes very difficult.

I then changed to Gabapentin & went from 7st to 11st 9lb!!!! Here, instead of my brain quashing my ability to feel hunger (along with other things!), the Gabapentin stopped me from feeling full. As a result my portion sizes got bigger & bigger & I snacked more & more just because I fancied something. I ate an awful lot of sugary products (no wonder I put on so much weight!). Food tasted great, it was like experiencing new flavours all over again. As my dose increased so did my taste buds & weight. I was thrilled that I could finally taste food & fit into clothes again (size 12)!

So here are my tips & tricks to help if you find yourself in one (or both) of these positions:

For Those Affected by Weight Loss

  • Plan your meals. If you know what you are going to be eating during the day it takes the guess work out of meal times so you can get on with eating rather than thinking about what you want to eat (when in actual fact you don't want to eat anything).
  • If you find yourself missing meals, set an alarm on your phone or similar to remind you when to eat.
  • Check out Complan, it's a drink that can be mixed with water or milk to create a shake that contains a number or nutrients & can help with maintaining or putting on weight. Have one to hand at all times & sip between meals.
  • Be realistic about your weight gain - It may be difficult, but don't allow yourself to think you are getting fat. This is counter productive. Remind yourself that you are becoming healthy

For Those Affected by Weight Gain

  • Become comfortable in your body.
  • If you are wanting to loose weight set yourself a main goal with smaller goals along the way.
  • Treat yourself when you reach your goals. This can provide extra motivation. This works best when you know what you're working towards so pick something at the beginning of each step.
  • With exercise, find an activity you really enjoy, so you will be motivated to keep it up.
  • Don't be too hard on yourself - loosing weight gained by medication is harder than 'normal' weight loss!
A really great aid to weight gain, loss & keeping your weight stable is MyFitnessPal. This is a website & app where you set your height, weight and how active you are in your day to day life. You then put in whether you want to gain, loose or maintain your weight & how quickly you want to do it. You are then given a set number of calories per day. You can 'buy back' calories with exercise. There is a whole community providing support for each other available or you can go it alone, whatever works for you! You can visit MyFitnessPal here.

I really hope this post has helped you. Please let me know if you have any questions & feel free to share your stories below.

Tania x


Coping Strategies For Chronic Pain & Fatigue Conditions

I have been planning this in my mind for a while but think I have enough material to create an initial post. I will add to this sporadically as I come up against & find solutions to every day difficulties.

So, there are a number of difficulties that can be faced by those suffering from chronic pain and fatigue conditions including Hyper Mobility Syndrome, ME/CFS, Arthritis, etc. With many of these there are simple steps that can be taken to make life easier. I have compiled a list of the things I do with the hope that they may help you too.


  • If you are like me, you will have a long list of things you want to get & places you want to go. To pace yourself, plan in coffee & lunch breaks (if I don't plan them in, I overdo it & regret it the next day!).
  • Know or research the area you are visiting. This will help you plan the shops you wish to visit around your breaks.
  • If you are planning to try on clothes, wear items that are easy to get on & off.
  • Where possible, and if you feel comfortable doing so, go shopping with a friend or relative of the same sex when shopping for clothes. Have them come in to the changing room area to help if you need buttons to be done up or undone.
  • If you are shopping on your own/with a male, don't be afraid to ask the sales assistant on the fitting room for help getting clothes done up/undone. You can explain to them that you have a medical condition if it makes you feel more comfortable asking for help.
  • Don't forget, many things can now be purchased on the internet from the comfort of your own home & tried on at home too. Check the returns policy before ordering - you don't want to be stuck with something because you were unable to return it!
For those (extra) poorly days
  • If you're having an extra poorly day and need to sleep, try putting the washing machine or dishwasher on before you go to bed. By the time you wake up the cycle will have finished & you will feel you have been productive even though you have been asleep!
I hope this helps!

Tania x


Migraines - Causes & Triggers

Hi Everyone!

So this post is going to focus on the causes and triggers of migraines. Let me begin by defining these two terms. Causes refers to the physical process that takes place in the body. Triggers meanwhile, referes to influences outside of the body that can result in (or cause) a migraine.

Lets begin with the causes of migraines. It is strongly believed that changes in the chemical serotonin (or 5HT) in the bloodstream may be to blame for producing migraines. When this happens, the neurotransmitters and blood vessels in the brain change and begin to mis-fire. Unfortunately, the reason for the change in serotonin levels is not yet certain.

Migraine triggers vary from person to person. Most migraineurs will not have a single trigger and will be able to cope with individual triggers in isolation. However, they will reach a point when their triggers have overloaded their brain, causing a migraine. 

As I am writing this, a black spot is appearing over the screen - indicating that a migraine attack is imminent, and making it difficult to continue this post!

There are a number of triggers. Migraineurs may be affected by any number of these, with varying severity. These triggers include, but are not limited to:

Emotional stress
Changes in sleep pattern
Tension in neck and/or shoulder(s)
Lack of food
Alcohol (especially red wine)
Food (chocolate, cheese, caffein)
Bright light
Flickering or flashing light
Certain smells (especially potent ones)
Loud noise
Certain sounds (usually high pitches)
HRT and the contraception pill
Eye strain
High blood pressure
Viral infection

This list is by no means comprehensive. Additional triggers can be found at www.migraine.org.uk.

Tania Xx


Migraines - What Are They? (Symptoms)

What is a Migraine? Let me start by saying that a migraine is not 'just a headache' as many people seem to think. Let's look first at the symptoms of a migraine, before considering possible causes and triggers in the next post.

Whilst a migraine does, like a headache, include pain in the head it is usually confined to a specific area (not necessarily the left or right side though). Migraineurs (people who suffer from migraines) also experience a range of other symptoms. These can appear very distressing to the sufferer and/or those around them. There are two main types of migraines, those with and without aura. Symptoms vary accordingly.

Migraine without Aura/'Common' Migraine
This is the the basic form of migraine and includes the following symptoms:
Sensitivity to light, noise and/or movement

Migraine with Aura/'Classical' Migraine
Migraine auras come in different forms. They last for about half an hour and are usually followed by other migraine symptoms (but not always). In 'Migraine: The Natural Way,' Eileen Herzberg gives a loose definition of migraine auras as being hallucinations. I prefer to think of them as distortions of reality, as I will explain when discussing my own experiences in a later post.
The aura part of a migraine can affect any of the senses - sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing, as well as consciousness.
Auras can be classed as either positive or negative. A positive aura is when one or more of the senses experience something additional. The addition of zigzags, patterns, stars and similar to the vision is an example of this. Loosing ones sense of smell, or seeing a head without a face are examples of negative auras.
There are a wide range of aura symptoms including (but not exclusively):
Seeing bright lights, stars, spots, swirling patterns and experiencing smells that are not actually there may occur. Auras can also be experienced as sounds that are either very loud or appear ver distant. Hemiplegic Migraine can be included under the umbrella of Migraine with Aura, the temporary partial weakness being a distortion of the feelings down one side. At its most extreme, this weakness can be to the point of paralysis -  very distressing due to the similarities with a stroke. It is important to remember that this is temporary. If a stroke is suspected, seek emergency assistance immediately. Speech is another area that can be affected, either by not being able to vocalise your thoughts (even though you may have the  words in your head) or being slurred. Memory, perception and consciousness can also be found in those who suffer from Migraine with Aura.

Abdominal Migraine
This type of migraine is much more common in the 'younger generation'. I have a recollection of reading somewhere that children do not suffer with 'standard' migraines, but Abdominal Migraines instead. My earliest memory of migraines isn't actually of my own. I remember waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of my younger sister by two years being sick (we shared a room) while my Mum held her hair back and tried to sooth her. I had no idea at the time that this was an Abdominal Migraine, I was just really scared. I thought there was something seriously wrong with her she was so poorly. I digress. Abdominal Migraines can be contained within the stomach, or they can precede the onset of the head pain associated with migraine (essentially a cross between Abdominal Migraine and Migraine with Aura).

This is by no means a comprehensive list and is intended as a guideline and basis for my future blog posts. If you suspect that you may suffer from migraines, please consult your GP.

Tania x

Useful resources -
Migraine: The Natural Way, Eileen Herzberg. Element, 1994. 123 pages. ISBN 1852304952
Migraine and Epilepsy, Jan de Vries. Mainstream Publishing, 1987. 122 pages. ISBN 1851588205
Migraine Action Association. www.migraine.org.uk/. © 2004-2012 Migraine Action.


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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Concealer Chronicles - Estee Lauder Disappear Smoothing Creme Concealer

Hi everyone!

I am in the process of trying to find my holy grail under eye concealer & thought the best way to keep track and compare my thoughts would be to do it on my blog. I have inherited my Grandad's darkness under the eyes, which are also dry. I use the La Roche-Posay hydrating eye cream at night which I have found really helps this.

So the first concealer I will be looking at is Estee Lauder's Disappear Smoothing Creme Concealer in the shade 02-Light, which I purchased from Debenhams for £17.50.

This concealer comes in three shades, light, medium & dark and claims to 'disguise dark circles, lines and shadows. Soothes, moisturises and protects.' It has a creamy consistency with good coverage & staying power.

Using the Real Techniques Deleux Crease Brush, I apply by placing two dots either side of my eye, followed by a third at the corner of my nose. I blend these to create a triangle. I have found this to be the most effective method of application as it blends the concealer nicely into foundation (I'm currently using the Bourjor Healthy Mix Serum in 51 and find the colour matches well). I avoid setting with powder as I find this causes the concealer to cake throughout the day & makes fine lines more noticeable.

Here are some pictures to show the concealers wear throughout the day:

Initial application: natural light                      Initial application: artificial light

4 hours wear: natural light                             4 hours wear: artificial light

8 hours wear: natural light                          8 hours wear: artificial light

12 hours wear: artificial light

With this concealer, I have found that you do need to be careful with how much you use - it can stay well without creasing, as can be seen in the photos above but apply too much & it will crease! Application is smooth, giving time to blend before it sets.

My husband took a photo of me for my work ID badge & didn't turn the flash off...

Concealer in action under flash photography conditions

I'm not sure whether I would class the effect as brightness or flash back so will leave it to you to make your own minds up on that score!

So, I would give this concealer a 4/5:
The price is steep, but it goes on nicely & blends well, is a good colour match for me and, when it happens, creasing is minimal.

I hope you have found this helpful & I look forward to the next instalment of 'Concealer Chronicles'. Is there a particular concealer you would like to see me review?

Tania Xx


Monday, 9 June 2014

My Journey To Find My Lip Product Allergen – e.l.f. Glossy Gloss

Hi Everyone!

Being a beauty blog with emphasis on allergens & ingredients, I thought I would take you on my journey to find what it is in lip products I am reacting to. I can read the ingredients in lip products & not see anything I know to be a problem, yet still react! So enough is enough!

If you're having a reaction to something but don't know what, you might find this method of elimination helpful.

So recently I purchased the e.l.f. Studio line Glossy Gloss in Ballet Slippers.

The ingredients are as follows:

Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Polyisobutene, Octyl Palmitate, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Methlyparaben, Propylparaben. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Mica (CI 77019), Red No. 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red No. 27 Lake (CI 45410), Red No. 6 Lake (CI 15850), Blue No. 1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow No. 5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow No. 6 Lake (CI 15985)

What I'm going to do is take this list as a starting point. When I use a new lip product I'll add or take away ingredients depending on whether I react or not & hopefully end up with the culprit at the end!

Do you have sensitive lips? Are there any ingredients you are allergic to? Are you struggling to find out what you are allergic to in a particular product or product type?

Tania Xx

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My MAC Eyeshadow Palette (& Weight Loss)

Hi Everyone!

As a lover of Urban Decay eyeshadows, I have never owned a MAC eyeshadow! I felt that now was the time to rectify this. So I decided to purchase an empty MAC quad & fill it with my chosen shadows. I decided to incorporate my weight loss with creating this palette. You can read my medicated weight issue story here.

I am 5" 3'. My 'normal' weight is 8st 7lb, size 8 (sometimes 10 to allow for my large thighs & boobs) and a 30E. At my heaviest, I was 11st 9lb, size 12-14 and a 32FF.

So I decided that each 7lb (1/2st) I lost, I would treat myself to a MAC eyeshadow. As well as being a incentive, my palette will provide a visual aid to my weight loss, allowing me to see how much I have lost & how far I have got to go (2st splits nicely in to 4!).

At the moment I'm not doing well because of a lack of mobility due to a knee operation & complications with my joints (11st 7.5lb). My first eyeshadow is going to be orb when I reach 11st.

What MAC eyeshadows would you recommend I get for my quad (not the Velux Pearl finish as they contain wheat)? 

Tania Xx


List Of Main Allergens Found In Cosmetics

Hi Everyone!

So as promised in my Hypoallergenic - What Does It Actually Mean? post, here is my compiled list of allergens to help you in your purchases. I have listed products under the allergens they contain, further grouping them by type. I have done this in order to make your hunt for a particular product easier.

Eye Products
MAC - Eyeshadow in Velux Pearl Finish (03/2013)
Clarins Gentle Day Cream for Sensitive Skin (05/2013)
MAC - Brush Cleanser (03/2013)
Clinique - Brush Cleanser (03/2013)
Estee Lauder - Brush Cleanser (03/2013)

Face Products
Maybelline - BB Cream (03/2013)
Sleek - BB Cream (03/2013)
Urban Decay - BB Cream (03/2013)
Revlon - Nearly Naked Makeup (03/2013)
MAC - Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation (03/2013)
MAC - Pro Longwear Paint Pots (04/2013)
Eye Products
Revlon - 16 Hour Eyeshadow Quad (03/2013)
Cheek Products
Bobbi Brown - Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks (04/2013)
Lancome - Hydra Zen Neurocalm SPF15 Day Cream (05/2013)
SHEA BUTTER (Butyrospermum parkii)
Face Products
MAC - Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation (03/2013)
Lip Products
Revlon - Colour Burst Lip Butter (03/2013)
Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick (05/2015)
Clarins Hydraquench Cream SPF15 (05/2013)

NUTS (General)
Face Products
17 - BB Cream (Almond Glycerides) (03/2013)
L’Oreal Paris - Skin Perfection Nourishing Cleansing Wipes (11/2014)
Clarins - Gentle Day Cream for Sensitive Skin (05/2013)
No. 7 Instant Radiance Highlighter (04/2015)
No.7 Pop & Glow Cream Blush Stick (04/2015)
No. 7 Pop & Glow Duo Blush & Shimmer (04/2015)
Clarins - Gentle Eye Makeup Remover (05/2013)
Clarins - Instant Eye Makeup Remover(05/2013)
Clarins - Vital Light Day Illuminating Anti-aging Comfort Cream (05/2013)
Lancome - Genefique Youth Activating Concentrate (05/2013)
L’Oreal Paris - Skin Perfection Nourishing Cleansing Wipes (11/2014)
Clarins - Gentle Day Cream for Sensitive Skin (05/2013)

*Please note, I am not a medical professional & all information is correct at time of going to press (this is denoted by the month & year in brackets next to the product).

Hope this helps! If there are any products/allergens you would like me to include, please let me know.

Tania Xx