Trying Out A New Look

I’ve been trying out a few new looks for the A/W 2011 season. What do you think?

Ha, don’t worry, I don’t think it does anything for me either. Not a bad get up with Halloween on the horizon though, is it? Anyway, it’s not real, the chances of me succumbing to zombiefication are small, I’m well prepared! These four fetching looks were achieved with the magic of ZombieBooth , an app I downloaded for my Samsung Galaxy Pro.

I think it says a lot about my personality that one of the first things I searched for on Android Market was ‘things to do with zombies’ (that’s ‘stuff pertaining to’, as opposed to ‘ways of entertaining’ the walking dead). This is one of the best I’ve found. And it’s not just still images either, the transformation is quite impressively animated and complemented with suitably creepy groaning.

If you touch the screen your zombie will leap upon the opportunity to punish your lack of care and chomp on the offending digit, complete with blood splatters and squelchy noises. Awww, cute! And, speaking of cute, you can even zombify your pets. Though I actually find the results a lot more scary than ‘normal’ zombies. My cat already takes great delight in biting me for no apparent reason and seems to be plotting to kill me as it is (why else would he sleep on the stairs?), so zombie kitties might be a step too far for me. See what I mean?

This is a great app to have on your device, especially as we are now in the month of all things spooky. It’s incredibly easy to use, you can quickly snap photos of all your mates, store them on your phone and turn them into your army of undead before you can say “George A. Romero!”.

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To strip or not to strip?

I swim at least once a week – it’s the only exercise/sport I’ve found so far that I really enjoy and that I’m any good at (unless you count snooker or Wii golf, which I don’t). I’ve been going to the same pool for a few years now and get to see the same faces most weeks. However, much to my consternation, it’s sometimes a lot more than faces that I end up seeing.

I’m far from an exhibitionist, but I’m no prude either. The human body is a wonderful, beautiful, natural thing and I’m not ashamed of mine or anyone else’s. That said, I draw the line at whipping my bits out at the slightest provocation. My post-swim showers (which, at this pool, are communal with no option otherwise) involve soaping up under my cossie and a quick rinse down with a scrunchie sponge. Not so for one of my fellow regular pool goers, who likes to bare all and wander around, without so much as a reddened cheek (on her face, you mucky lot!), often while trying to engage you in pleasant chit-chat about the weather or holidays. The fact that this lady is well into her 70s makes it all the more….. well, I don’t know if it makes it more shocking or more worthy of admiration. She clearly doesn’t give a damn, so why should anyone else I suppose. Part of me admires her unabashed disposition and thinks “More power to her!”, but the other part of me, the part with eyes that don’t quite know where to look thinks, “Arrrghh, old lady muff, make it stop, make it stop!”.

What say you? Fair play or no way? Do you wave your bits in the air like you just don’t care or do you go for the stealth option like me? And does the sight of a fully naked OAP send your brain into momentary spasm while it convinces itself everything is fine but FOR THE LOVE OF PETE don’t look below the neck?!

As an aside – at some point last year a sign went up in the changing rooms saying something to the effect that ‘Proper swimming attire must be worn in the pool. If customers are unsure, please consult a member of staff’. It had me scratching my head as to what exactly constitutes ‘improper’ attire and what event had transpired to warrant the sign being put up. I’ve seen women swimming in leggings and t-shirts, ill-fitting bikinis and even half wetsuits along with elderly gentlemen in horrendously snug  ‘budgie-smugglers’ and they’ve all been left alone, so the mind boggles as to what someone must have sashayed down the poolside in to cause such a kerfuffle that it required a sign. A Borat mankini maybe? Or perhaps someone went the full monty to save on washing. If they’re happy to throw caution (and everything else) to the wind in the showers, why not the pool itself? Most pools already do ‘Ladies Only’ sessions, perhaps ‘Naked Only’ ones would catch on too.

You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

First off, I’m not a beauty junkie, I don’t have a bathroom littered with a myriad of half empty bottles of lotions and potions and I don’t spend hours discussing, deliberating or caring about them either. I’m pretty low maintenance (read ‘lazy’) in that department. I have my tried and tested favourites which I occasionally mix up with the odd speculative purchase or little treat. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the benefits of the right product, I’ll happily pay the price for something that works, but once I’ve found something that does, you basically have to prise it from my cold dead hands.

I do the basics – cleanse, tone and moisturise daily, exfoliate once or twice a week, the odd facemask and sometimes a professional facial. I must be doing something right because I’m knocking on the door of 30 and I still get ID’d with alarming regularity. More than likely it’s actually because I still dress (and act?) like a gawky teenager but I’d prefer to think it’s my, relatively, youthful looks.

One product I’ve been using for a couple of years is Biore’s Shine Control Moisturiser . I was so pleased to have discovered this as it works great for me. I apply it once in a morning, bung on the slap and I’m done for the rest of the day – whereas other moisturisers have left me with an oilslick face, eyeliner sliding down my cheek and a nose so shiny, even Rudolph would be jealous.

I’ve noticed that the product has been showing as ‘out-of-stock’ on Boots.com for some months. Having stocked up a while back (that’s the Zompocalypse training) I wasn’t too worried, hoping it’d come back into stock before I ran out. But last week I realised it was situation critical so I emailed Biore themselves who responded thusly –

“For your information the Bioré Shine Control product line has been discontinued due to sales decisions, and we can only apologise for taking away your favourite products. However, we offer a wide range of Biore products that are suitable for different skin types.”

“Discontinued”?!?!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The word that strikes fear and panic into product-loyal women’s (and, no doubt, some men’s) hearts. I’m sure you’ve all been there, be it a lipstick shade or a favourite foundation. When the news reaches us that a faithful old friend will no longer be there for us, it’s a shock to the system. And it doesn’t just happen with beauty products. I was fair gutted when they stopped making ‘Secret’ chocolate bars too. And don’t even get me started on the special packs of Quavers shaped like ghosts that would come out around Halloween a few years back but have since disappeared for good (They did exist, honest!). I’d mount a campaign to bring back my favourite Biore product if I could be bothered or thought it would do any good, but I can’t and it won’t, so I’m not. Pick your battles people, pick your battles.

It is then, with a heavy heart and a pocketful of regret for not buying more bottles of Biore than I could feasibly fit into my bathroom cupboard (and under the bed and in the loft) that I begin the, frankly chuffin’ annoying, search for another suitable moisturiser – suggestions are very welcome (please no-one say a paper bag or a mask!).