NcInc – Beauty Review

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, you beauty queens out there will know that Distribeauty have stopped working with Elf cosmetics and that the UK website is more or less empty of products until Elf USA get the new site up in a couple of months. Well, I needed new mineral supplies….and they had none. This is what led me to discover the brand ncinc on ebay.

For around £24 I got a large foundation, the Miracle Veil, Finishing powder, blush and an eye shadow. My order arrived in cute black organza bags, with a free mini foundation thrown in too.

So, the first plus about this company – good sized products, affordable & good value, great packaging and excellent customer service. Very fast delivery too.

First up…the foundation. Available in various sizes and various combo deals, this also comes in a really good selection of shades.

A handy leaflet comes with you order…and on it, it does say less is more. Build up your coverage gradually, it should be barely visible on the brush. It goes on nicely and gives pretty satisfactory results. At this point I made the wrong choice and applied the miracle veil (which can go on under or over the foundation), followed by the finishing powder. All of this is too much and made my face looked caked up. I’d say choose to use either the Miracle Veil or the Finishing powder, but maybe not both unless your application is very, very light.

The Miracle Veil helps your skin to feel soft and ready for more make up. It also absorbs excess oil to keep your skin matte and fresh. A lovely product.

The Finishing powder sets your foundation nicely. Again, it helps to keep the shine at bay and offers a flawless finishing touch.

Here’s where things fall down a little. The blush comes in one shade only, is difficult to blend and does not give a blush effect. I would expect to see some pinks and plums here…..this blush just looks like a darker foundation and doesn’t do anything for me. More colours and choice, please.

All in all, I was impressed. I like the eye shadow too and will be trying more colours. I’d also like to try a few more of their other products and see what their brushes are like.

you can buy starter kits, foundation & brush kits, single products and lots more. Why not check out this new, affordable brand today?

8/10

The Dirty Dirt….

Okay, so I may be reviewing books that have been out for a long, long time…..but as I’ve only just discovered them, so maybe some readers out there are the same. In any case, this book is part of my trip back in time to the 80s rock scene. You can see other related posts here and here.

So here’s my latest review….

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The Dirt – Motley Crue
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Having recently read the excellent Dirty Rocker boys by Bobbie brown, I thought I’d spend some of my Amazon Kindle vouchers on purchasing The Dirt by Motley Crue. It’s always good to get the other side of the story where possible, and after reading Bobbie’s book, I was intrigued to learn more about the guys from the Crue. I’d already read the Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx and the truth was, I ended up quite liking the guy. His chapters were easily the best ones in this book, however the others didn’t fare that well…..so where do I begin?

Let’s begin with Vince Neil.  This book makes him come across as total dirt. He’s cheated on every woman he’s ever had, betrayed ever person he could ever call a friend, killed someone (and then bitched about how badly off he was afterwards…..whining on for sentences about how hard his life was in the aftermath, without ever mentioning the other people in the other car again), let down his family, his friends, himself; all while trying to justify his actions. He called the car crash an accident. How is it an accident when you’re off your face on booze and drugs? Or driving like an idiot and doing 70 in a 25 zone? He literally comes across as the most self-centred, spoiled, egotistical brat on the face of the earth. The only time I felt any sympathy whatsoever for him was when his little 4 year old girl died (very, very sad story). He could have taken something utterly tragic and it could have made him a better person; made him take stock of his life and turn his ass around but I don’t think he did, I don’t think he ever will.  He may be an outstanding front man, but he is one selfish, self-important shit. Safe to say, his chapters in the book and the way others spoke about him did not endear him to me. At all.

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Tommy Lee doesn’t come off looking much better. He’s not an arrogant prick like Vince Neil and I can see that he has a good personality and maybe a good heart from what I read, but seriously this guy’s favourite line is something about “…..never in my life would it have occurred to me to hit a chick..” just before he hits chicks. I’m not saying it’s okay that Pamela Anderson hit him (it really wasn’t), but to kick her when she was carrying their son? And then push her? Nice guy! This is after what I’d read in Bobbie’s book about how he attacker her in front of her daughter. Then he complains about being perceived as a wife beater. Hmmm.

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Mick Mars comes across as mostly okay although he seems to consider himself enlightened and everyone else pretty much stupid because they don’t have the secret cool knowledge that he does. But that’s okay, he’s also one of the sanest guys in the band and his battle against his illness is talked about candidly and the ‘grey ghost’ concept done really well. His chapters are few and far between though, almost as though he thought it beneath him or just couldn’t be bothered.

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These guys were real asshole in the day – beating up men, women and cops just because. Knocking a woman’s teeth out and leaving her bleeding on the sidewalk. Making babies all over the place but never being straight or sober enough to raise them. Drink, drugs, parties, fights, arrests, rape, violence, theft, guns, killings, vandalism, cheating, lying, jail…….for a long time, this was the world of the guys in Motley Crue.  They thought they were rock gods, but they were just overgrown kids with parent issues and insecurities and no place to call home.

I still have a soft spot for Nikki though.

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I wish I could say I liked this book, after all, I’ve always liked the music. The truth is though, I rolled my eyes at when they talked about how many drugs they did how often, or which musical instrument they inserted into which woman’s body part….they seem to think that their wild lifestyles were what made them cool and ‘legendary’. They’d be wrong. It was what made them thoughtless, selfish, inconsiderate assholes who people didn’t want to be around. They used people, they abused their partners, wives and girlfriends, they abused themselves and each other and all in the name of being one of the coolest rock bands to rule the sunset strip.  It made for very entertaining reading indeed, it just left a sour taste in my mouth…..they did some seriously questionable, illegal, horrible immoral things and then seemed pleased with themselves about it. They’re unapologetic, still full of shit and the only redeeming quality is that now they’re mostly clean and have maybe (hopefully) seen the errors of their ways.

Unbelievable tales of debauchery await you if you fancy giving this a read.

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I support the #WeAreTheThey movement and here’s why….

Social media has been taken by storm recently by the hashtag #WeAreTheThey. If you don’t know what this is, let me explain.

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UK has-been pop-star and television presenter/personality Jamelia recently said during a discussion on the TV show Loose Women:

I think everyone should have access to lovely clothes, BUT I do not think it’s right to facilitate people living an unhealthy lifestyle.  I don’t believe stores should stock clothes below or above a certain weight. They should be made to feel uncomfortable when they go in and can’t find a size.

After an outcry on social media, she ‘apologised’ on breakfast television:

I didn’t make it clear on the show that I was talking about extremes … above a size 20 and below a size 6. Everyone has a right to feel wonderful and feel beautiful and it was never my intention to make people feel any less than what they are.

 I would just like to say in response to that – too late, Jamelia. Too late. You offended me and definitely upset me. Here’s why.

They should be made to feel uncomfortable when they go in and can’t find a size”
I already feel very uncomfortable. Sometimes just getting the bravado up to step outside and out into the world takes everything I’ve got. Especially on a night out when people I’ve never met in my life (usually drunken men) should things like “You fat cow, I’d go home now if I were you!” or “You fat fucking bitch!”

Yes, I am fat. Not sure I deserve pure abuse from people who don’t know me in the street though. So yes, Jamelia. I feel uncomfortable. I shop online with Yours Clothing or Evans or New Look plus size. Recently I just started going into the actual stores (Yours have an online and store presence now and their clothes really are amazing).  So some of the discomfort and shame has gone out of my shopping for clothes experience. But you, you’d have that put back into my life because I don’t fit in with what you consider to be a ‘normal’ range of 6-20.

Are you right? No. People come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some of them could probably do something to change it, some not. But it’s not your call and if they don’t want to – what has that got to do with you?

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“I was talking about extremes … above a size 20 and below a size 6”
Who are you to set the boundaries of what is, or isn’t acceptable? So a petite woman of 5 ft 1 who is naturally slender and takes a size 4 shouldn’t be able to get clothes easily? What control has she over the shape and size of her body?? I have a cousin who eats like a horse but was so thin at one point she had to shop at Tammy Girl for 12-13 year old clothes. She couldn’t do a damn thing about her high metabolism and weight, no matter what she tried. Why shouldn’t she have access to clothes? It isn’t a health issue; it’s just the way she is.

Above a size 20 isn’t abnormal or extreme. Who died and let you set the limits of acceptability? You are talking about real people, and you aren’t facilitating an unhealthy lifestyle! An example of extreme might be someone who weight 40 stones and hasn’t moved in years and is slowly dying….that’s extreme. But guess what? That person still deserves fucking clothes! Because for all their faults, failings and issues – they’re still a person. It’s still someone’s beloved family member, wife, husband, daughter, son, best friend…..not everyone can be perfect like you, Jamelia. Some people are just born to battle their weight their whole life. They don’t need a judgemental person like you making it worse.

“It was never my intention to make people feel any less than what they are”
Yes it was. You haven’t properly apologised or admitted that you’re wrong. You truly think that people who fit into your ‘extremes’ category don’t deserve the same rights are ‘normal’ people. Tell me, how would you feel if the world went back to one entrance for white people and one entrance round the back for people of colour? Exactly. You are promoting segregation.

At this point, I would like to make it abundantly clear that I am not racist, although I was accused of being jealous and racist towards Jamelia because I disagreed with her on Twitter and had the cheek to post this photo with the hastag #WeAreTheThey.

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A guy started sending tweets to me that were generally abusive and insulting. He then went on to insult other people backing the cause because he agrees with Jamelia:

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I honestly believe that nobody in this world has the right to judge another human being unless it’s in a court of law. If you don’t like what you see, that’s your problem, your issue and if you want to voice your opinion, fine. But to attack one individual on social media and insult them because of the way they look? That just smacks of narrow mindedness and intolerance.

I know that to some extent, we all judge. I know I’ve written an article on here about how 80s rockers have aged and how they look now. But those are just my observations, not an open attack and barrage of name calling and insults.

So there you go, Sean from Enderby, your 15 minutes of fame. I wonder if any female in your family is overweight and what she would think if she knew about the hateful bile you spout on Twitter and Youtube? I’m willing to bet you wouldn’t admit to running the toxic accounts you run and which actually  has inspired this account:

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Anyway, not long after all of this happened, I noticed I was getting new followers; fellow women of plus size. I followed back and started looking through all the beautiful photos under the #WeAreTheThey hasgtag. I was stunned by how many beautiful women there are out there who are carrying some extra weight and getting labelled as an ‘extreme’ because of it. They aren’t extreme – they’re just different to you. We’re different to you; we are The They.

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This social media campaign is the brainchild of the hugely inspirational Debz from The Non-So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess. Quite Frankly, she’s my hero at the moment. She’s fearless, outspoken, confident, secure, happy, gorgeous, glamorous and fat. She won’t be offended that I said that, because she is.  She knows she is. I’m fat and I know it too, but guess what? It’s not hurting any of you. It’s none of your damned business.

So the next time you decide to get on your high horse, Jamelia and judge people based on their body shape or appearance, I suggest you stop and look in a mirror. Take a good long look at yourself.

Are you perfect? No, thought not. You’re just human….like the rest of us. The only difference is, us ‘extreme’ fatties spend our time building other women up and trying to be supportive and encouraging without passing judgement.  You should try it sometime.

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Book Review: The Road Through Wonderland by Dawn Schiller

45Stars

 

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Dawn Schiller is a survivor.

It’s so easy to just casually drop the line that Dawn was the product of a ‘broken home’ and ‘tough neighbourhood’, but what does that really mean? For Dawn, it meant living in fear with feelings of isolation and loneliness. It meant the loss of beloved family members and with that, the security and love they gave her. It meant being propelled into the unknown with no support and the realisation that she didn’t seem to matter to anyone. Living this way in an increasingly violent neighbourhood with a mother who struggled and became desperate and took her frustrations out on Dawn is what was primarily responsible for Dawn leaving Florida for LA. There, she met John Holmes, the legendary porn star who was as famous for his movies as he was being involved in the Wonderland killings, and later famous for dying of AIDS.

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Dawn was just 15 years old when John took a shine to her and offered her all the things she was lacking in life – safety, security, affection and love. This book is a love story in the beginning. At the start, John was upbeat, fun, happy – all the things that had been lacking in dawn’s life. Further down the line however, drugs entered into the equation and he became something else entirely, dragging Dawn along with him. She endured physical and mental abuse so severe that it’s a marvel she made it out at all. But she did, and the result it this compelling, inspirational story.

I found this book impossible to put down. For a tale where one of the main characters is a porn star, there is a surprising lack of sex in these pages, which is a good thing as there is a darker tale to tell. At one point, Dawn is fleeing for her life as contract killers are out gunning for her – none of this is her doing and all to do with the dark path that John takes (drags??) her down.

She has to fight for her life again and again but she never did give up and is here today to tell her story.

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With a foreword by Val Kilmer and Kate Bosworth (Johnny & Dawn in the move Wonderland), this book is written in a truly engaging way. Dawn is honest, open and owns up to her own flaws and weaknesses. She doesn’t place blame solely at John’s feet but instead owns up to where she went wrong. She wasn’t perfect but the fact of the matter is that Holmes took advantage of her and mad her feel she has no choice but to stay with him. The Wonderland killings changed everything. To this day, the extent of John’s involvement remains a mystery. Read the book and see what your take is on everything. Even though this book is uplifting towards the end, get your tissues at the ready.

Hard-hitting, disturbing, inspirational – this book is all of those things and more. I challenge you to read it and not be moved.

More Dawn:

Marie Claire Interview – click here.
Dawn’s website – click here.
E.S.T.E.A.M. Dawn’s non-profit organisation, click here.
Dawn on Facebook, click here.

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Benefit Cosmetic Dupes – by Maybelline

We all love high end cosmetics with their sleek packaging, fabulous branding and innovative ideas. Normally the only thing we don’t like is the price tag. It would seem that budget high street cosmetic brands agree with us and so they seem to be focusing on bringing affordable versions of high end cosmetics to the market. Does it work? Sometimes – check out this post from Nina’s bargain beauty, which features a dupe of Urban Decay’s Naked palette that is priced at £4.00. Amazing!

So it seems that other beauty brands have realised that Benefit Cosmetics are the forerunner when it comes to amazing, ingenious, new and clever products that are different to the regular mascara, foundation, blush, eyeshadow and lipstick staples (not that they don’t sell these too). What Benefit does best is fix your face with targeted, specifically designed products. Maybelline now offer 2 items that are pretty much Benefit dupes. Let’s take a look.

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Baby Skin costs £7.99, whilst The Porefessional will set you back around £22-£25, depending where you shop. So you save around £13-15. Pretty impressive! Except…..I’m guessing you pay the bigger bucks for something. Is it superior ingredients? Is it the packaging or the brand? Let’s see how these two products measured up when I tried and tested them.

The Benefit formula is tinted and when applied, pores visibly reduce and in some cases, completely vanish. This stuff is so good it even reduces lines around the eyes and leaves the skin feeling silky, matte, and more than ready for make up. It’s a fantastic blackhead concealer but also an amazing base. This product is expensive, but it works.

The Maybelline formula is clear and upon application, I saw NO visible reduction in my pores. Still feeling hopeful though, I tried it in other areas and ended up with slightly greasy skin. I tried blending it and pretty much ended up with something resembling a mini oil slick on my face. It didn’t reduce pores, it didn’t give me baby soft skin. It was okay as a base, but by lunchtime my skin was so shiny and oily that it was difficult to tell I was wearing my normal make up because this stuff seeped through and took over everything.

Benefit : 9½/10
Maybelline : 3/10

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I’m afraid things don’t get much better. The Smoother is Maybelline’s answer to Benefit’s Cult Classic Dr Feelgood.

Benefit’s Dr Feelgood is a silky balm that smoothes lines, wrinkles, blemishes and generally mattifies your face, while packing on tons of vitamins and good stuff. Polyfilla for the face!! It works wonders, especially on slightly older skin. It carries a price tag of around £24.50 but unlike some of Benefits products, it lasts for ages. And it really works and you can also use it over make up for a top up that removes shine and makes you even prettier!

Maybelline’s The Smoother is like a pink version of the stuff in the Baby Skin tube, just a little thicker! It’s quite greasy, takes ages of patting and gentle rubbing to absorb in and then sits on the face until you look shiny and worn out. I really didn’t like it and even the £6.99 price tag doesn’t make things any better. At a push I would use the Maybelline stuff (sparingly), but if you want pore reduction, wrinkle coverage, lasting results and cosmetics that really work and are a pleasure to use, stick with Benefit.

Benefit :8/10
Maybelline : 3/10

Nice try Maybelline, but ultimately a fail for me.

What’s sad about it all, is that when Maybelline stick to producing their own ideas, the stuff they come up with is wonderful and works a treat! I LOVE their ‘Dream’ range – the foundation, dream mousse eyeshadow and blush – all amazing. Stick to what you know.

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Charlaine Harris : Sookie Stackhouse Series

Beware! There are spoilers below!

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If you’ve never read the books before, stop – and read them. If you have read them all, it’s safe to read on!

Before the HBO TV show, there was Sookie Stackhouse in book form, namely the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris.

Long before Kindles and tablets existed, I was a member of WorldBooks (The Sci-Fi and Fantasy division). I had signed up and got something like 6 books for 1p each and then you just had to commit to buying more books throughout the year. Well, the magazine came one month and I was in a situation where I had to order something to fulfill my membership deal. I scanned the magazine over and over again and then thought I would give this set of 3 books for £15 a whirl. The covers intrigued me. It looked like the best I was going to get out of the magazine. These 3 books were:

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When the books arrived, I started reading without much enthusiasm. However, from the first page, I was hooked. I have relations from Tennessee and I’ve travelled to Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida etc….it wasn’t too hard for me to picture Sookie’s town, her house, the bar…..I was fully immersed from page 1 of book 1. When I came up for air a few days later after reading all 3 books, I wanted more. These first books are definitely the best of the series – I am just re-reading them now for the 5th or 6th time (I’m up to Dead to the World). So I started looking and found out there were about 2 more books out. I ordered them – one I had to get from the states – and then quickly got up to date. From then on, I picked up a new novel every time I went on vacation to the US to see my family. The last few novels I bought I had to get the tacky HBO TV series covers (booooo!) and were bought from Amazon.co.uk, right up until the series concluded with book 13. By then, I was ready for Sookie’s tales to come to an end. There was a lack of originality, nothing new to add to the mix and little remaining of the Sookie from book 1. I know that character development means people change, but thinking about the last book I read…..it didn’t have me hooked as the first ones did, as the re-read is proving!

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Still, I would much rather be in Sookie’s world than most other novels, these days. It’s familiar and fun. There’s humour, action, great writing and fantastic characters. Sometimes, there’s genuinely heartbreaking moments such as Bill confessing to Sookie why they really met and how it was engineered. That scene still reduces me to tears, even now, after many reads. The betrayal and hurt that Sookie feels leaps off the page and thumps into your chest with a boom! Fine writing.

For me, where things started to get tangled and a bit blurry was when the fairies appeared. I think there was just a little too much of them, too much betrayal and double crossing (when you think Sookie has found some kin and happiness at last, but tons of people still want her dead). I liked the back story to Sookie’s Grandmother. I liked the Cluviel Dor. I liked a lot, but there was a lot I could take or  leave. Sookie getting almost tortured/beat to death lost its impact after 9, 10, 11 books……we always know she’s going to make it. In the beginning, the attacks and injuries were shocking and upsetting, but later it’s just like yup – Sookie is almost dead again. The Supes will save her. Again.

Having said that, it’s easy to feel Sookie’s pain and frustration at being dragged into that whole world. Like when she’s been through so much but just can’t seem to find a way out of always being caught up in their wars and fights for power and domination. Also sad is the way Sookie’s own mother treated her – again, piognant, well-written and heartbreaking. Thank goodness for Grandmother Adele!

I was so excited that there was going to be a TV show of my beloved book series. The books had been getting more and more popular in the UK and I was delighted other readers were discovering Sookie and her universe. Let it be said that I love the show – mostly. I love elements of it. I didn’t particularly enjoy when it went off canon, or when characters who should have been long dead by book 1 were still parading around in series 5. I liked the introduction of new characters like Jessica and some of the casting was utterly inspired. Having said that, I didn’t let the TV show affect the mental pictures I had imagined about characters and locations. They got Merlotte’s spot on though – I definitely saw that one in my mind!

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The series was due to end at book 10. But Charlaine’s publishing house managed to squeeze her for another 3 books, and it shows. I do utterly agree with the way the series ended though – that Sookie was more than likely going to end up in a relationship with Sam. No neat, parcelled up ending. Why would there be? Charlaine knows her readers are intelligent enough to not need to be spoonfed a sugary sweet ending. Sookie was never going to end up as a vampire – she loves the sun too much, and she was never going to be the other woman on the side for Eric. Likewise, Bill never stood a chance because she could never fully trust him again.

There was a huge outcry when she didn’t end up with Eric or Bill, but I just can’t understand why. From book 1, Charlaine Harris lets you know that Sam has feelings for Sookie and she has them too for Sam. They go on a date. There’s love, understanding, friendship, warmth, and genuine affection in this relationship from the very start. Sam was always there for Sookie, was a rock for her in many ways. He helped her whenever he could and he saved her life more than once. Unlike the vamps who betrayed, lied to, used and abused Sookie. From the very beginning I could see where Sookie would go; it was inevitable really. Sookie loved to sunbathe – she likes warm, sunny, bright things. The vampires may have brought silence in her head, but they also took her to dark places where she never belonged. At the end of the series, you get the feeling that she really will get to step out into the light and live happily there.

Here are some of my favourite bits of Sookie art (aside from the Lisa Desimini covers which I love):

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Book Review: Dirty Rocker Boys by Bobbie Brown

Dirty Rocker Boys – Bobbie Brown & Caroline Ryder, Gallery Books.
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Following on from this post, you might have correctly guessed that my music genre of choice is rock and that I have more than a passing interest in the bands and musicians of that era. The book has been out for quite a while but I only just discovered and read it recently.

Bobbie Jean Brown was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and her stunning natural beauty helped her to win beauty pageants and become a model. She ended up in LA during the height of the Glam Rock/Rock movement (think back to Motley Crue crusing the Sunset strip in a limo. With a pool in the back. Surrounded by women. And champagne and drugs….yeah, you’ve got the idea!). Bobbie did modelling and also found fame by starring in rock music videos (most famous for Warrant’s Cherry Pie). All of Hollywood was teeming with gorgeous, successful long haired rock gods during this time and Bobbie Brown was the woman who many of these rock stars wanted to get with. It’s really not difficult to see why.

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Front of that queue was Warrant’s lead singer, Jani Lane who was already head over heels with Bobbie after seeing her in another video. Jani Lane and Tommy Lee of Motley Crue were both after Bobbie and it was a contest to see who got there first. Jani did after getting Bobbie to star in one of Warrant’s videos, and he sealed the deal by marrying Bobbie and getting her pregnant with their daughter, Taylar Lane. However, Jani soon succumbed to drink and also cheated on his wife, so next in line was Tommy Lee. He and Bobbie seemed to genuinely have a good time together and were engaged to be married. But whenever they argued, Tommy Lee went running to Bobbie’s rival Pamela Anderson, to make Bobbie jealous. This worked several times until he was violent towards Bobbie in front of her daughter Taylar. Bobbie left him this time and meant it. He paid her back by marrying Pamela Anderson mere days later on a beach.

Pamela Anderson was on the scene at the same time as Bobbie. They had much in common and might even look inter-changeable to some people. BUT, that’s where the similarity ends. Bobbie was still open, friendly and warm at a time when Pamela was guarded, cunning and smart. Pamela made an open play for Tommy Lee, right in front of Bobbie when she was all too aware of Bobbie & Tommy Lee’s relationship status. There are 2 sides to every story, sure…..but the facts speak loud and clear. Pamela married a man she hadn’t had a relationship with and barely knew. The same man who 4 days earlier had just come out of a long term relationship. I know which lady comes off looking better in this scenario – and it isn’t Pamela.

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Pamela – already with painted on eyebrows and immaculate make up, Bobbie – natural and stunning.

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2013-2014: Bobbie, proving her natural beauty. Pamela? Not so much.

I don’t want to give too much of the book away but what I am trying to highlight is that yes, Bobbie has been around. Is it her fault? Yes, some of it. BUT whenever she has been with a guy, she has been a one guy woman and hasn’t slept around. She wanted her marriage to work, she wanted to have a secure, loving relationship with Tommy Lee. The men in her life always seemed to have other ideas.

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She was approached by so many rockers of the day – Vince Neil, Sebastian Bach, Dave Navarro, Bret Michaels – they all wanted a piece of Cherry Pie. Most of them had girlfriends and wives at the time but seemed to think that they had a god given right to sleep around and treat women like Bobbie as trophies. What they didn’t bank on was her unbreakable spirit, strength and street smarts. Bobbie had to learn quickly what an unforgiving town Hollywood is. Sometimes she didn’t do so well when she found herself homeless and addicted to drugs, but she always managed to do what was best for herself and her daughter in the end and get herself back on her feet.

The book contains many tales about the sordid, dark side of Hollywood. There are chapters featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kevin Costner. Bobbie doesn’t pull any punches. The book is written in a sincere voice though and is completely uncensored, making it highly entertaining. I did feel that the ending didn’t tell us where Bobbie is now, but I hear rumours of another book so maybe she was saving some of her story for that. I hope so. My only criticism of this book is that it was too short and I didn’t want it to end. I ended up really liking Bobbie and being glad that she’s still around in the entertainment industry now. I hope we hear a lot more from her.

Awesome links:

Bobbie Jean Brown on Twitter
Bobbie on Facebook
Bobbie’s online clothing store
Ex-wives of Rock official Fuse page

Bobbie Gallery:

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An open letter to Virgin Atlantic

Dear Virgin Atlantic,

My family and I travelled from Manchester to Orlando with you and back again this month.  We almost booked with British Airways but they were £200 dearer so we booked with you. I can’t say that our experience was horrific or warrants a viral internet reaction. It was just…..crappy. I walked away feeling like I probably will never fly with you again.

Where do I begin? Okay how about waiting to board the plane? I am so used to hearing first and premium class invited to board first, then the disabled, then parents travelling with small children – I know that the last 2 need more time to get on board and get organised. Except the children part never happened. We were called up by row numbers meaning that we were one of the last families on board. We had already cleared security but as we walked down the tunnel to get on the plane, my family and I (husband and 20 month old toddler) were pulled aside as we struggled with 3 flight bags, blankets, coats and the baby. We were told to take everything electrical out of our luggage again – after already having done so. I was subjected to a search, despite having already passed through the metal detector. My husband and I had to pass the baby back and forth while we were asked to repeat procedures performed less than an hour before. By the time we FINALLY made it onto the aircraft, we were flustered, had things all over the place in wrong bags etc and we had very little time or space to get the 3 of us organised into our seats. The flight was okay – nothing special.

The return flight was dreadful. We had just got settled on board when someone came to us and we had to get out of our seats to get the boarding pass out as a staff member failed to scan it correctly and didn’t have one of us showing as being on board.

Then, my husband’s seat did not recline on a night flight when we had a toddler on our lap. The air hostess gave us some generic answer but couldn’t have actually cared less. We lay our son across us both and he fell to sleep. The family in front reclined their seats all the way and were the most fidgety family in Britain – each time they moved and bounced around (very frequent) they bashed my son with their seats because we had so little room for him to begin with. We could have booked an extra seat I guess….except he is under 2 and we couldn’t afford it. What we SHOULD have done was find the additional £200 from somewhere to fly with British Airways who strive to help families with little ones. Who, when you call to book, confirm that you AND your partner can sit together at the carrycot location – unlike you who said that my husband and I might not be seated together. On a 9 hour flight. With a baby. Genius.

In fact, all your ‘helpline’ wanted to do was sell us seats with extra legroom, instead of offering them outright. Virgin seemingly have no interest in helping families travelling with small children or making the experience any easier. The only saving grace was an air stewardess who let me sit in the jump seat for half an hour after I gave up my seat to my poor son so he could sleep without having a seat back smacked into his forehead. That air hostess was an absolute angel who took one look at me and our cramped area and knew I was having a nightmare. I didn’t sleep one wink during that night flight.

Your helpline was useless. There was no meal for our baby on the return flight, despite me having requested it via the same helpline who tried to sell me extras. I understand that everyone has a job to do and I understand that security is a serious issue, but we had already undergone substantial scrutiny previously. All of our electric devices were checked, our bags scanned, our buggy swabbed down. Why we were subjected to an additional check seconds before we stepped onto the plane is beyond me. No effort was made to help us get out stuff together afterwards.

See? Nothing too serious. Nothing dreadful. Just niggly little things that add up to a bad experience overall. We plan to go to Florida again some time in the future. This time, my son will be over 2 so we’ll need to find that extra money for the additional seat. And we will and I can guarantee one thing – it won’t be on a Virgin plane.

80s Rock Star crushes….now and then

First off, this isn’t an article designed to point and laugh at people who have simply aged. It happens to us all – the wrinkles, laughter lines, ageing skin….it’s part of life and not a reason to mock people. This article is about who has weathered the rock n’ roll lifestyle best….I mean, c’mon some of these guys have taken more drugs than I’ve had hot dinners, drank their livers to almost bursting point and done what any self respecting 80’s rock star would do – lived fast and partied hard. But, who’s living to regret that decision now? Who looks older than their years? Let’s take a look.

Jon Bon Jovi (Age 52) Lead Singer – BON JOVI
JBJ

The long, flowing locks, the dimpled chin, the bright blue eyes and the Italian Stallion tan complexion….Jon Bon Jovi was one of the hottest stars of 80’s rock and the band continue making music to this day. But how has the man himself held up?
Verdict: Looking good! We know that Jon had his fair share of wild times but he calmed down quite early, raised a large family and lived a little cleaner than most rock stars. He might be grey haired but he’s growing old gracefully and looks pretty amazing for 52. Plus, those bright blue peepers are as piercing as ever, and he’s even managed to retain that famous jawline.
8/10

Bret Michaels (Age 51) Lead Singer – POISON
bret michaels

Famous for his pouty mouth and ‘Blue Steel’ poses, Bret Michaels is also famous for outrageous outfits, his relationship with Pamela Anderson (Every rose has its thorn) and being the inspiration for Stacee Jaxx (Rock of Ages Broadway/West end show). But how has he aged?
Verdict: Considering he was in a band who sang songs about getting utterly wasted, threesomes (Look what the cat dragged in) and generally living a life of debauchery, he hasn’t aged too badly. However, I can’t help but notice that he’s still wearing a ton of make up, and that the rocker headscarf is still in place. He removed it recently to reveal what looked very much like a wig. He admitted to having hair extensions but not to maybe being bald….The jury is still out on that one. He looks okay though for 51! He could certainly look worse.
7/10

Joe Elliott (Age 55) Lead Singer – DEF LEPPARD
JEThe blonde haired rocker from the North of England with the raspy vocals comes from a band famous for catchy lyrics and tunes, as well as being much talked about for having a one armed drummer! Less likely to cruise Sunset Boulevard in a limo with a pool and more likely to be having a skinful of beer at some club, Def Leppard might not have had the glamorous glam rock lifestyle, but it’s fair to say they did their share of partying. Original guitarist Steve Clarke partied too hard and died of an overdose. How did Joe do?
Verdict: Pretty good I’d say! The hair is shorter, the skin is more lined and wrinkled (what do you expect for 55?), but overall, he looks good. Time hasn’t taken its toll too badly on Joe!
8/10

Axl Rose (Age 52) Lead Singer – GUNS N’ ROSES
AXL

Famous for his unique voice, his red locks, and his beautiful model girlfriends and turbulent relationships, Axl Rose once had it all, including the hottest band in the world. Then it all started to go wrong. His much publicized split from his wife painted him as an abusive, wife beating control freak, while the acrimonious split with the original GN’R line up did little to dispel the rumours of his controlling ways. He kept up with the band in the beginning in terms of drink, but was never one for drugs. While the rest of GN’R battled their demons, Axl went clean – and mean.
Verdict: Once a beautiful man, Axl became reclusive, un-trusting and…..well, a bit strange. He abused his own good looks – first with the awful braids hairdo, which was followed very quickly by a dreadful display of unnecessary plastic surgery which all but eradicated his good looks. Now he is bloated looking with pale skin and very little of the gorgeous 80s rock god remains….such a shame.
3/10

T (Age 51) Lead Singer – EUROPE
JTSwedish hunk Joey Tempest from the band Europe (The final countdown) is more famous for clean living and steering clear of scandal and excess. The music did the talking, the big fluffy hair and good looks no doubt produced a ton of groupies but it’s easier to believe that Joey & Co didn’t take them back to hotels and do drink, drugs and other stuff with them😉
VERDICT: Joey looks hot! there’s signs of ageing, sure, but he looks much less than his 51 years. He’s in great shape, from head to toe and still manages to retain rock star looks without looking old or desperate – and without plastic surgery and hair extensions. Clean living really does pay off!
10/10

Jani Lane (Age 47 when he died in 2011) Lead Singer – WARRANT
JLThis one is a sad one. Jani had a beautiful voice, the fluffy blonde hair and the big blue eyes…not to mention that cheeky smile. He was also in a pretty successful band and that led to him being able to get his hands on pretty much anything he wanted. Jani died of acute alcohol poisoning in August 2011. Before then, the drink had already taken its toll on his looks and ultimately took his life.
VERDICT: Sometimes, sadly….you can’t beat your demons.

Duff McKagan (Age 50) Bass player – GUNS N’ ROSES
DMSpeaking of beating your demons….Duff McKagan of GN’R has succeeded. In 1994 he became gravely ill due to acute alcohol-induced pancreatitis, which caused his pancreas to swell to the size of a football and leak digestive enzymes into his body, causing third-degree burns. He was taken to hospital in Seattle, where he was monitored until the swelling went down. He was told by his doctors that he would be dead within a month if he did not stop drinking.
VERDICT: Duff literally came back from the grave. At one point, he was pretty much dead but he hung on. Once he recovered he took up martial arts and cycling and took part in competitive events. He’s found health again, but drinking more than a bottle of vodka a day has definitely taken its toll on Duff. But he’s still here, and that’s the main thing! He’s still a pretty good looking guy too.
7/10

Richie Sambora (Age 55) Lead Guitarist – BON JOVI
RS

Richie has been in and out of rehab for substance abuse (painkillers, alcohol) and he’s been missing from several Bon Jovi tours in the past as he battles against his addictions. Once the sultry looking, brown eyed guitar god with a voice that sometimes overshadowed Jon Bon Jovi’s, Richie Sambora now looks……haggard.
VERDICT: Richie looks like he’s had some work done. I dread to think what he looked like before the work. Actually, if you’d like to see, just Google his DUI arrest photo. He has really abused his body and it sounds like he’s still getting up to the same old tricks. He looks like someone’s grandpa in the photo above (red jacket) and any trace of that rock god is long gone.
2/10

Sebastian Bach (Age 46) Lead Singer – SKID ROW
SB

Bar brawls, drugs, drink….this pretty boy has done it all and seen it all. Once the owner of one of the hottest faces and bods in the business, this bad boy has lived the true rock n’ roll lifestyle. Discovered by Jon Bon Jovi, Skid Row became one of the hottest bands out there – helped along no doubt by their prestigious rock connection and that gorgeous frontman!
VERDICT: A bit squishy around the edges……still wearing a smidge of eyeliner and probably colouring his hair….but Sebastian doesn’t look half bad.  He’ll never have that pretty boy face again and he does look older than some of the guys on here who are older than him, but he hasn’t done too badly.
6/10

So there you have it, 9 Rock & Roll legends in all their past and current glory. Those who have drank, done drugs and lived a real rock & roll lifestyle are definitely showing that history on their faces. Sadly, we’ve lost more than just Jani Lane to drink, drugs & excess. At least some of these hugely talented musicians are still around to tell their tales.

Recommended reading:

It’s so easty (and other lies): The autobiography – Duff McKagan
Dirty Rocker Boys: Bobbie Brown
Jon Bon Jovi: The Biography – Laura Jackson
Def Leppard: The definitive visual history – Joe Elliott
Welcome to My Jungle – Craig Duswalt

Further reading:

The Heroin Diaries – Nikki Sixx
My appetite for destruction – Steven Adler
The Dirt – Motley Crue
Slash: The autobiography – Slash