Friday, 20 January 2012

Sunday, 3 October 2010

'She makes my heart beat in the same way as in the start of Blue Monday'

So, on Friday I saw Neil Hannon AKA The Divine Comedy in the Ardhowen Theatre in Enniskillen and I have to say, it was the best concert I have ever been to. You can keep your Oxegens and your Aviva Stadiums (can't believe that name is actually sticking...), I far prefer one little whimsical man in a bowler hat and a briefcase, just on a piano not but 2 metres away from me.

I have to say that The Divine Comedy are my favourite band artist act ever. No one has ever come close to the perfection of those melodies with those lyrics. I also love the fact that he too is from Fermanagh and his songs about teenage fumblings and angst (see Songs of Love) are so so familiar to me. My family are driven demented by my playing his songs over and over again on a loop.

I really loved his crowd interaction, this was a homecoming gig of sorts for him which he acknowledged by saying things like 'Scans crowd for recognisable faces, it's too dark to see, goes back to playing piano', telling stories about how he got in trouble in Paris for spilling his pint of Guinness all over his piano and giving a really touching tribute to his parents who were both in the audience.

When I heard it was just going to be him on piano and guitar, without the lush orchestral arrangements, I had my doubts and misgivings but I was so wrong. Hannon's musicianship and skill was mesmerising and his voice is just so rich and beautiful. He played all the songs I wanted to hear (except for 'Come Home Billy Bird' and 'Down In The Street Below') including older ones I was surprised to hear like 'Tonight We Fly'.
Lads, it was just fantastic, from the opening of 'My Lovely Horse', to the middle with an amazing cover of 'Don't You Want Me Baby' by Human League where he transformed it into one of the tragic songs I have heard and to the end, closing with 'National Express'.

I know this has gone all very fangirl but he makes me feel the way I imagine Justin Beiber makes a 12 year old girl feel. My sister actually met him, Neil Hannon I mean, not Justin Beiber, in the local youth club a couple of hours before the concert where he was giving a talk on 'You too can get out of Fermanagh and make a success of yourself'. She went up to him and said 'Oh my god, my sister loves you, all she ever plays in her car is your albums!' and he was all 'Cool, tell her I said hi'. SCREAM!!! I am so jealous of her.

As you can tell by reading this, the NME and Pitchfork (is that still cool?...) aren't exactly banging down my door demanding I write for them. If you want to see a good review and a very similar setlist, go here for a review of his sellout gig in the Olympia in Dublin the previous night.

If you've been sitting here the whole time thinking 'The Divine Who?' may I refer you to these. Pure Perfection.

I hope that worked and there isn't just a page of HTML code.

I was all set to do a post on my new brogues with a heel AKA my 'Witch going tap dancing' shoes from Penneys but I left my camera in my Dublin house. Coming soon, I promise!

xx polkadot

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Polkadot is Away

Lads, I'm not gonna be around for a while (cue massive non-response from entire web) because I'm moving back down to Dublin tomorrow and the new house isn't sorted out for internet yet. I'll probably be mega-busy anyway what with all the going-out and catching-up with everyone!
I promise that I'll be back soon though and even better than ever because I have been feeling kinda uninspired this week.

I just want to say that every follower, comment and page view is so appreciated. I'm really loving this blogging lark and I just can't get over how kind and welcoming people have been. Thank you so much.

Aww, I'm getting all 'motional now!

xx polkadot

Monday, 20 September 2010

Urban Decay Surreal Skin Cream to Powder Foundation

I'm currently sorting things out to go back to college and I keep coming across things I forgot I had. I found this lost amongst the clutter of my beloved Mulberry bag and thought I'd do a little review of it cos it's quite different to all my other foundations.

The Urban Decay website blurb claims: 'Smooth skin to satiny perfection! This ultra-lightweight formula transforms from a decadent cream to a micro-fine powder upon contact with skin for a naturally flawless finish.'

This comes in a gorgeous Cadbury-purple weighty plastic compact which I love. Its quite thick and solid, about 2 inches, with the product in a pan on top and space for the natural-hair brush underneath. The size of the compact is a little unnecessary as you only get 8g of product but I like it because it feels durable and I have no worries about flinging it into a bag.

The brush, like most brushes that come free with cosmetics, is fairly rubbish but by no means the worst I have ever come across. I like the fact that its bristles are natural and they feel firm but not scratchy. However it picks up too much product. 
As you can see, I have already 'hit pan' and I have only used this a couple of times and never on my whole face. As I said before, this only has 8g and as it transforms from a cream to a powder, it really doesn't go that far.

The powdery formulation means that the coverage is much like what you would get from a mineral foundation. I actually really like the 'cream to powder' concept as it really suits my combination skin but if yours is anyway dry, run far far away! I actually don't use this as a foundation as such, but more as a powder to touch up my T-zone when during the day to remove shine and conceal where needed. It's really handy to have in your bag as you don't have to worry about carrying around foundation, concealer and powder. This has such a small amount of product in it that it would be gone after a couple of uses if I used this as a base anyway.

I got this in the shade 'Fate' which Urban Decay describe as 'very fair with gold undertones' which personally I cannot see. Shown above is it in both its cream (top) and blended powder (bottom) forms. It's hard to see the powder swatch which just shows how easily it blends and matches with my skin.

I actually got this in a swap from the marvelous Swap Siopa which is the part of which allows users to swap unused make-up and other beauty bits. ('Siopa' is the Irish for 'Shop' for those who don't know!)
This costs £18/€28 which is hugely expensive for 8g. To put this in perspective, this is around what you would pay for your MAC and Bobbi Brown etc, and you'd get 30ml of product. If Urban Decay doubled this amount, it wouldn't seem like such an unfair deal.

Would I buy this again? No. For the price of an unwanted MAC pigment pot that never suited me, this is a great product. For the prices listed above, it would be a huge disappointment and rip-off. Think again, Urban Decay!

Weekend Photos

Sorry for the disappearance over the weekend, I didn't even have any phone signal, let alone internet access.
 My family and I had to bring our boat down from where we keep it on Lough Erne down to Leitrim Village by going down the Shannon-Erne Waterway. (Note that it is referred to as Leitrim Village and not Leitrim Town...).
The first evening as we went past Devenish Island (ancient monastery island) and through Enniskillen was lovely and I took a few pictures because the evening light was really nice. Lets just gloss over the fact that it then proceeded to rain for the following 48 hours and I have severe doubts that I will ever feel warm again...

I love how the light and sky are different in every single picture, it really shows how changeable the Fermanagh weather is. I reckon Discover Ireland should be giving me commission! I hope you like this kind of post, I will be returning back to Dublin this week so it was a great way to spend my last weekend at home.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Post Break-Up Makeover - Kelly Shows Us How To Do It

Think of Kelly Osbourne and you probably think of that stroppy teenager, screaming at Ozzy whilst tripping over Sharon's hundreds of little yappy dogs. Looking something like this, no?:

Well, No. Since breaking up with that lying cheating scumbag, Kelly has been looking haaawt. No weeping and wailing of 'Ben and Jerry are the only men who will ever love me!' (We've all been there) and getting ill-advised hair-cuts here, she's showing that 'model' exactly what he's missing. This is how to do it girls.

all pictures via

Of course, her team of stylists, hair and make-up people, publicists, all the free designer clothes and her skinnifying stint on Dancing With The Stars (I keep typing 'Dancing On the Stars'...) all help. Still, Fair Play!

Just one thing Kell, you look great and all, but don't lose any more weight. The size of your head in ratio to the size of your body is heading in the 'lollipop' direction.

xx polkadot

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

John Frieda Root Awakening Shampoo & Conditioner

I bought this new range of shampoo and conditioner from John Frieda as I have been variably impressed by the rest of the John Frieda stable (Well, I didn't try the Blonde range obviously!) and I'm always searching for the new next big thing! I'm a bit of a hair slut to be honest, I rarely repurchase the same products twice in a row.

This claims to 'improve hair health from root to tip. Containing Eucalyptus, it invigorates for bouncy, shiny and strong hair'.
Now, I have very thick black hair. I haven't noticed it being especially weak but as I'm trying to grow it longer I want it to be in peak condition. Being so dark, it usually is quite shiny and I find that its shininess level depends more on my physical and mental well-being, such as being run-down and having a cold or times of stress, rather than whatever hair products I use. 

This shampoo and conditioner fairly impressed me. They have a fresh, sweet minty smell, rather like mint aeros and the eucalyptus extracts give the scalp a wonderful tingly feeling that is great for waking you up first thing in the morning. The shampoo lathers up well and leaves my hair feeling squeaky clean and the conditioner is creamy and rinses out without too much fuss.
This leaves my hair very shiny and I find that it is much easier to style and that it stays straight and smooth all day. (I do not use any styling products.) I haven't noticed my hair being any 'stronger' but it feels in very good condition and much healthier (well, as healthy as something that is dead can be anyway!). In line with the other John Frieda products, I don't notice any build up of silicones.

The only downside of this product is the price. I think that they are about £6 each in Boots which is a lot compared to other drugstore brands. I got this in Tescos in a '2 for £7' deal which they have quite frequently and makes it much more reasonable.
When you compare the results of this, however, with the results and price of high-end products such as Keratasé and MorrocanOil (which I will be reviewing soon), it really is quite worth it. Although many other brands attempt it, John Frieda is the best range for achieving high-end results from a mid-market price.

Have you been impressed with any drugstore/supermarket haircare brands lately? Despite my fear and hatred of all Pantene products, I've heard their new Aqua range is quite good. I think I might give it a go next as I haven't heard any horror stories yet!

xx polkadot