Wednesday, 29 May 2013

may favourites

Another month is over! May really did fly by, I think it's down to study leave and not doing the one thing that I'm supposed to do during it (whoops) and instead doing many other things, including sleeping, eating, lots of have done absolutely nothing)


17 Liquid Liner - I think that has been discontinued since 17's rebrand (they've changed their name to Seventeen, real game-changer there) but no doubt one of their newer products will be quite similar if you want to get your hands on it. I like this, not because it's pigmented, not because it stays in place all day, but because the brush is so goddamn thin. This eyeliner is the only one I own that allows me to do all these experimental flicks and wings and whathaveyou, which I've been doing quite a bit this month (did a proper smokey eye last week, well proud). Not wearing them outside of course, don't be ridiculous.

Fyrinnae Lip Lustre in Dragon's Blood - Felt tip lip stains eat your heart out, you aren't half as good as this guy. As amazing as the Lip Lustres look when they're opaque, I'm not going to lie and say I wear a bright red lip daily, no no. Instead I dot the tiniest bit on my lips and blend it out to give a stain that is oh so natural (hence why no lip swatch) but still a billion times better than my natural lip colour. The trail sizes are so cheap as well, even with delivery. I think I need to build up my collection...

NYX Eyeshadow Trio in In The Woods - I could sing the praises of NYX eyeshadows all day, they apply like a dream and are so soft and buttery. The lightest shade in this trio is so perfect for all over the lid, and the taupe shade is very similar to NYX's Single Eyeshadow in Iced Mocha, which in turn is a dead ringer for MAC's Satin Taupe. Give me a matte brown and I have all the eyeshadows I ever need.

Daniel Sandler Eye Delight in Ice - Looking for the most beautiful pigment ever? This is it.
This loose eyeshadow has been in my collection for eons and yet I've never really given it a proper look, but now that I have I can confirm that this is the most gorgeous inner corner highlight money can buy. Now the role of inner corner highlight doesn't sound like a particularly important one, and I used to let any old eyeshadow do the job but when I use this my eyes look far more alert and awake. Oooh it's brilliant, and the 3g pot will last for ages too.

Real Techniques Brushes - Specifically the Expert Face Brush and Deluxe Crease Brush. They just make applying makeup - especially foundation - so much easier and give a much more flawless finish; I've been using the Deluxe Crease Brush for my under-eye concealer and it's working a treat. The stands that come with the brush sets also double up as great drying racks for when I've just cleaned my brushes, I just pop the brushes in upside down and leave them to dry overnight! I wish I'd bought them sooner.

Also, new profile photo. Yay? Nay?

Sunday, 26 May 2013

some retail therapy

With it being exam season, I've been feeling quite sorry for myself which has lead to a fair amount of midnight online shopping. At that time of night I'm usually in a tired, almost delirious state, and if I do stumble across something pretty on the internets my first thought is "oh go on then, treat yourself".
Hence the reason why over the past month I've ended up buying far more than is justifiable.
Jenning Floral Vest Top | Cream Munford Knitted Jumper | Aztec Knitted Jumper
I've come to the conclusion that it's almost impossible to take decent photos of clothes on the hanger, they never sit right and are just a bit too much hassle. Hopefully you can make out the pattern from my photos and get an idea of what the cut and fit is like from the stock images.
ARK had a 50% off sale items offer floating around at the start of May, so I took advantage of that voucher and got myself a few new tops - a beautiful floral sleeveless tshirt that is going to be perfect with a pair of shorts for summer, and two knitted jumpers because let's face it, we're nowhere near summer. Yes I do realized that I've just contradicted myself.
Blue Galaxy Print Leggings | Cosmic Tie Dye Print Leggings
Somehow I've winded up with two pairs of cosmic print leggings as I added a pair to my cart when I placed my order at ARK (just so I could get free shipping, shh) and a couple of days later saw the other pair on sale on ASOS and I couldn't pass them up. I do prefer the ASOS leggings, they're more flattering and are better quality. They're also three times the price, so make up your own minds.
Colourblocked Floral Shirt
I popped into the brand spanking new Forever 21 in Glasgow (I guess it's been there for a while now, but I go to Glasgow so rarely that it's the first time I've seen it), and this shirt caught my eye on the sale rack. It's literally my perfect shirt, right down to the floral pattern with my favourite colours and the black sleeves. It doesn't seem to be on the UK website, the closest I can find is this which is only available in plus size.
Rimmel Apocalips in 501 Stellar | Alpha-H Liquid Gold | Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in 51 Vanille Clair | Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner 24H in 01 Intense Black | L'Oreal Super Liner Black Lacquer in Black Vinyl
The Alpha-H Liquid Gold has been right at the top of my wishlist ever since I tried a sample of it, and I finally caved and bought it - I've been using it for the past few weeks and so far the results are promising, I may even write up a review once I've used it for a bit longer. And I may be the last person in the world to buy one, but I now own one of the Rimmel Apocalips! I haven't swatched it yet, but the colour is absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait to give it a whirl.
 I went into Superdrug with the aim of buying the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, but all makeup was on 3 for 2 and I got a little carried away. As well as getting the Maybelline Gel Eyeliner which I've been wanting to try for ages, I picked up a backup of the L'Oreal Super Liner as the one I have has dried up. Although the Super Liner isn't the best for doing winged eyeliner, it's perfect if you struggle with liquid eyeliner or if you want a liner that you can put on in a hurry without worrying that you'll mess it up. Right when I was first getting into makeup, this was the first liquid eyeliner that I could put on with no difficulty (after a little practice).
Real Techniques Core Collection | Starter Set | Expert Face Brush
Boy am I glad to finally get my hands on some Real Techniques brushes. I've had a Sigma brush kit for about a year and a half now, and although I've taken good care of them, they were in dire need of replacing. The brushes I used daily were shedding so much, and made applying makeup such a chore as I was constantly having to brush away the stray bristles.
iHerb also had 20% off all RT brushes at the time, coupled with $5 off my first order and guess how much I paid for both brush collections and the Expert Face Brush including delivery...
£23. Guess who's a happy bunny.
If you're ordering from the UK please be aware that you may have to pay customs when your order arrives, when mine got delivered there was a sticker on the box stating that my customs tax was around £12 (I think that my postman may have just forgot to ask me to pay!).
And of course with all this online ordering there's bound to be some samples thrown in somewhere. If you're ordering from BeautyBay I'd highly recommend that you pay the £1.50 extra for the premier service at the checkout, which means you get a few deluxe samples with your order to try out - hello Egyptian Magic cream (I've wanted to try this out for ages) and Mario Badescu cleansing soaps!
* Stock images are not my own.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

empties #4

Another month, another empties post. When I started this series I thought that I'd only manage to do a post once every three or four months, but I've really been motivated to use up all the half-finished products in my stash. It's so nice to see the amount of stuff in my beauty drawers decreasing and the amount of space for lovely shiny new things getting larger!

Maybelline Pure Mineral Foundation - I've been using this every day for over a year now, and I honestly started to think that this pot is neverending. So erm.. luckily that theory was proven wrong, as I'm glad to see the back of this pot. Don't get me wrong, it's a great powder that gives a lovely natural finish but I got bored of it and I need to try something new.
Repurchase? Nope.

Weleda Iris Hydrating Night Cream - This got used up really quickly! It is a good night cream, but I don't think it was quite right for my skin type and I'd be better suited to one that wasn't quite so rich. I mentioned in a post that I prefer the Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Night Cream, and I stand by that so when next winter rolls around and I'm in need of a night cream, the Wild Rose version probably is the one I'll go for.
Repurchase? No.

When I first laid my hands on this sample tube (I use the ointment as a lip balm FYI) about five months ago, I used it, loved it, and then promptly forgot about it. Fast forward a few months and my lips are in an awful state with Carmex doing nothing to fix them, so I turned to this tiny little tube for help and oh boy did it do the trick. Bepanthen seems to be the only lip treatment that, when it wears off, my lips actually feel hydrated and I don't have to constantly reapply lip balm; which in itself is a miracle.
Repurchase? Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes. Am I gushing? I think I'm gushing.

Orhis Nourishing Face Cream - This is a pretty average moisturiser, but there are three big negatives that put me off it. First off, it's hard to get hold of in the UK. Orhis is a French brand, and the only website I can find that sells it is the Betrousse website that offers a kit with the cream as one of the products.
Also, the moisturiser takes a while to sink in and I'd have to apply it, wait half a minute and then rub it in to get my skin to absorb it, and it'll have only properly sunk in after about three minutes. So not the best if you're in a hurry.
My last point is that the packaging is really bad. After I'd used up about a third of the product the squeezy tube became very difficult to get anything out of as the plastic was so thick, and after a while no product at all was coming out. I thought I'd finished it and was about to throw it out, but when I cut the tube open so if there was anything left there was an awful lot of the face cream still inside, I'd say about half the tube was still in there - very deceiving.
Repurchase? No.
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil - There's no denying it, this gets off makeup very well. Even waterproof mascara wasn't difficult to remove but as silly as it sounds, I can't get over the feel of an oil cleanser on my skin. I ended up using it as a makeup remover and applying a cream cleanser afterwards just to make my skin feel clean.
Repurchase? No.

Elemis FreshSkin Make-Up Away Face Cleansing Wipes - Makeup removing wipes only serve one purpose to me, and that's to get rid of excess foundation and eyeshadow when I'm wearing heavy makeup, before going in with a cream cleanser and micellar water to remove all the stubborn mascara and whatnot. I'll be blunt, I didn't like these wipes. They didn't perform nearly as well as the Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes, which are the best I've tried.
Any attempt at removing eye makeup with the Elemis wipes would result in my eye getting irritated as the wipes are so harsh, combined with me having to scrub hard as they can't even take off my liquid eyeliner. And they're overpriced.
Repurchase? Nope.

Biore Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips - Jeez these are far too expensive for what they are. For £8 there's only six strips are in a box and they didn't even work for me at all. I do have blackheads on my nose that aren't prominent enough to be noticeable, but are still prominent enough for me to care about them so these strips are most likely supposed to cater to more severe blackheads. I've heard that the Biore Pore Strips work great for other people, so I guess it's the kind of thing you need to try out for yourself, but personally I feel like I've been ripped off.
Repurchase? No.

Monday, 20 May 2013

may birchbox

Doctor Duve Anti-Ageing & Firming Eye Cream | Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator | B/Attitude Body Souffle
Kusmi Tea Detox Tea | OPI Nail Lacquer | Makebelieve Enhance Luminize Skin Highlighter

Two Birchbox posts in one week, oh how I spoil you. I'm still undecided as to whether I'm going to stay subscribed to Birchbox, I do love receiving them in the mail but the stingy side of me is very unhappy about parting with £13 per month. Oh well. Better find myself a job, eh?

I'm not a fan of sachet samples so I was slightly disappointed when I saw the Doctor Duve eye cream samples, as I really need to test a skincare product out for a while before I decide whether I like it or not. However, the sachets are rather large and will hopefully last more than one use each, so I'm going to try and depot the cream into a small jar or something so I can actually use it.
Personally I'm always happy to see tea - or any kind of food or drink - in a beauty box, the flavour I have seems to be some kind of fancy green tea and I'm actually a bit excited (is that sad?) to see what it tastes like. The tea is loose leaf which may present a problem for some people, but luckily my house is abundant with tea strainers so I'll have no problem brewing this up.
Usually the sight of another body lotion in a beauty box would make me groan inwardly, but I have to say that the Body Souffle feels amazingly luxurious - this is one body lotion that I won't mind using up. I'm in love with the scent, I can't quite put my finger exactly on what it reminds me of but it definitely smells familiar.
The mini OPI nail polish was a welcome surprise but gawd I wish OPI would start putting the names of the polishes on their mini bottles, from what I can tell from the Birchbox website the shade I have is called The Thrill Of Brazil - but don't quote me on that! I have to say the shade looks very similar to OPI's Big Apple Red but a lovely colour nonetheless.
I'm also pleased to see a decent-sized sample of the Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator in the box, I've tried this before and really liked it but the price is so high that I can't justify buying the full size. I'm looking forward to trying out the highlighter too, I swatched it on my hand and it looks promising!

The total worth of the box comes to roughly £50 - this is just an estimate as the sachets of eye cream don't have a weight on them.
If you're planning to sign up with Birchbox, now is the month to do it as they will be donating £5 from the sale of every May box to Fashion Targets Breast Cancer - a damn good cause if you ask me. Annoyingly the fiver will only be donated if you sign up through a referral link, so if you're interested here's mine.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

life in colour #1

 I'd love to explore derelict buildings | having a play around with cameras and lights and Illamasqua logos | sunset 
ain't revision fun | the view from the living room when it momentarily stops raining | because washing lines are interesting

I think not having a usable Instagram account is getting to me. I haven't gotten round to buying myself a smartphone (there are so many other things that are crying out for me to spend money on) and the only way I can use the app is on my camera-less iPod. Not ideal.
Fear not, I'm not going to overload you with these kind of posts as more often than not I don't venture outside and instead play video games all day forget to take my camera with me when I go anywhere, and the camera on my phone is crap to say the least.
So here we go, a start at doing lifey posts. Baby steps.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

notd | dusty rose

Say hello to my new nail polish purchases, fresh outta Superdrug. Initially I was thinking of applying just the Collection 2000 shade (yes I am still refusing to call them Collection, and apparently the Superdrug website is too), but I get bored of wearing plain nail polish so quickly that in order for me to be able to keep any colour on my nails for more than two days, I have to jazz it up a little. And a little bit of ombre never hurt anyone.

I have *attempted* ombre nails before, but the process of getting the colour opaque enough took so long that I thought there must be a quicker way to do things. Sure enough, after a spot of Googling I decided on applying a white base coat (I used Nails Inc Floral Street - the best white nail polish I own) which enabled me to only have to sponge on two layers of the colours to get them looking nice and opaque.
The actual sponging application is easy, if not a little messy. I painted the nail polishes thickly onto a makeup sponge (these ones) - one colour on the top, one on the bottom. It's pretty important that when dabbing the sponge onto the nail that you move the sponge up and down a little so the colours merge, and I'd also recommend applying a top coat to even everything out and blend the colours together a bit more.
I've just realised that, and I hope you don't mind that I do this, I never talk about the actual colours of the polishes in my nail posts. Hopefully the photos do the talking for me.

While I'm here I might as well mention a few websites that I've been enjoying lately - PS Beauty is a website that finds you your perfect foundation from completing a profile, and on what you thought of foundations you've tried already. It's certainly put some extra products on my ever-growing wishlist! It's still in beta at the moment, and I've been told that some pretty amazing updates are coming including the site branching out into all areas of makeup instead of just foundation, so if you're interested definitely keep a lookout for that.
I've also joined another site called Amazine, which is a slightly different take on blogging websites - I'd say it's most akin to Tumblr but minus the fandoms. I love browsing the site as it's just so pretty, the gorgeous layout and photo-based articles make for a very lovely website that has an almost editorial look to it. You can find my profile here.

Monday, 13 May 2013

editor's pick birchbox

Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Plump 'N Thick Leave-In Thickening Mist | Birchbox Eyelash Curler | EBOOST Pink Lemonade | Jason Lips Bee Healthier Lip Balm | Nail Girls Silver Polish | L'Occitane Angelica Hydration Cream 

In my last Birchbox post I mentioned that I had a voucher code for a free Editor's Pick box as a perk of subscribing. Well, it's finally arrived and I'll be honest here and say that this box seems like more of a box of leftover samples that needed to be got rid of, rather than the "editor's picks". Nevertheless, a freebie is a freebie and here's a run-down of what's inside.

The Thickening Mist and the L'Occitane moisturiser for me are the stars of the box and I'm looking forward to trying both of them out, however I don't have any need for the lip balm or the eyelash curler as I already own both so they'll be passed on to friends.
I'm guessing that the pink lemonade sachet is some sort of powder that you add to water, and according to the website it's an energy supplement. I'm planning on taking this with me to the biology exam I have in two days time along with a bottle of water, so I have some caffeine in me. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I can't function without caffeine. Especially when I've been up all night cramming.
Usually I'm all over nail polish like a rash, but metallic shades just don't appeal to me that much - they're a bit too streaky for my liking. I'm imagining this would look lovely with some kind of nail art though, and the mini bottle is the perfect size for some like me who never ever manages to get through a whole bottle of nail polish.

A little Latest in Beauty sample box also arrived today, and I'm still debating as to whether they're value for money or not - sure, they only cost £1.50 but the samples are so small...

Friday, 10 May 2013

oh look, another wishlist

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Lately I've been lusting after far too many beauty related products than can be considered healthy. And for some reason, putting them all in a collage and sharing them with the internet seems like a good idea.

1. I've stopped wearing foundation recently, and the sole cause of it is that every single one I own isn't very forgiving on my dry patches, so I've been going without and hoping that no-one decides to look at my face too closely. I've been reading up on good foundations for dry skin and the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum ticks all the boxes. It's also far more affordable than splashing out on some high end foundation - £30 for a small bottle of skin-coloured liquid is a bit over the top.

2. This has to be most beautiful light blue nail polish I've ever seen, but the frustrating thing is that it's not available anywhere that ships to the UK. It's name is Simply Aqua and it's from Lancome's recently released SS13 collection, so I guess I'm just going to have to play the waiting game until the collection lands in Britain.

3. We've all heard of the little tubes of goodness that are the Revlon Colourburst Lip Butters, and a few new shades have been released this year and I want them - more specifically the shade Wild Watermelon. Go Google some swatches and try to tell me that I don't need it.

4. I have heard far too many rave reviews of the Nars Creamy Concealer to not buy it. It may just be the miracle my undereye circles have been waiting for, as although I've lusted after the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer for eons, I'm slightly apprehensive about using a cream concealer under my eyes as I'm so used to using a liquid one.

5. Over the past week I've been searching online for dungarees like nobody's business, and I think I've found the perfect pair. They're cheaper than something from the likes of Topshop and I'm in love with the details - everything from the three buttons on the side and little rip to the crossover back and double pocket on the front.

6. So many people love the NUXE Lip Balm that I'm desperate to give it a go (also EssieButton can convince me to buy anything) and I'm making an effort to stop using Carmex, I think my lips have got addicted to it and as a result if I stop applying it my lips get withdrawal symptoms and turn into a horrible cracked mess. Plus I will always welcome a new lip balm into my stash with open arms.

7. And last of all, I'm attempting to resist Fragrance Direct's £4 OPI nail polishes. I need a new nail polish like I need a hole in the head but I'll be damned if I ever stop buying them. The shades I'm eyeing up are Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh? and I Have A Herring Problem, and I'm amazed that I've managed to narrow it down to two as there are so. many. colours.

What are you currently coveting?
*Stock images are not my own.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

uk magazine freebies - may 2013

I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that this month has been one of the best ever for magazine freebies. I might be biased as one of the free gifts is a Nails Inc one, which are by far my favourite nail polish brand and coupled with a Benefit freebie what's not to love?
So yes, I did mention Benefit and here it is - a mini 4g They're Real mascara with Elle magazine (£4). The wand is full sized and the mascara is apparently worth £9.50, I've been wanting to try it for such long time and I'm a bit too excited now that I've finally got my hand on it.
In the mag is a sachet of the Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream and a sniff of Thierry Mugler's Alien.
Marie Claire (£2.50) has a choice of three Avon products that together are worth £20.50, the Smitten Red Lipstick, Supershock Gel Eyeliner or a Brow Definer - I think the shade is Dark Brown -  as well as a sachet of their BB Cream. I picked up the eyeliner as it's been on my wishlist for such a long time, but Avon's delivery costs have always put me off.
Also in the magazine is a sniff of Calvin Klein's Euphoria, and as well as Marie Claire having some free Ciate gifts last month there's the promise of Ciate goodies in next month's issue too. 
InStyle (£3.90) is the bringer of the Nails Inc freebies - 10ml full size, no less and worth £11 each. The colours are You're A Peach, Totes Pink or It's Red, Babez (don't the names make you want to cringe?). My local newsagents only had the peach and red colours when I popped in, so I grabbed the red and restrained myself from buying any of the other colours as they didn't look particularly special. Actually, scratch that. I want the pink too. Might as well get the peach while I'm at it.
The samples in the mag were exactly the same as Elle's - a sniff of Thierry Mugler Alien and a sachet of the Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream.

And last is the only offer that I didn't get - a free 50ml REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Cream with Harpers Bazaar (£4.20).

Have you picked any of this month's magazines up yet?

Monday, 6 May 2013

notd | bring on the neons

Well ain't this summer-y.
These may just be the first neon nail colours to grace my nails this year, and I have to say it feels good to take a break from darker nail polishes and switch to some brighter ones.
I used China Glaze's Papaya Punch for the orange base, which was rather streaky and took three coats to even the colour out. For the pink I used the easily dupable Nails Inc Shoreditch, which applied slightly better and was opaque in two thin coats.
I also tried experimenting with other orange and coral shades, on the left in the photo below is Nails Inc Brook St. and in the middle is Rimmel Apricot Punch. I ended up going with China Glaze Papaya Punch as the other two didn't contrast enough with the pink for my liking.
I've never really been one for neon nail polish and most of the time have stuck to pastel colours, but I feel that the highlighter pen look is beginning to grow on me and I'm looking to expand my neon polish collection.The Model's Own Ice Neon collection has been on my radar recently, the shade Pink Punch in particular looks stunning.

P.S I've finally made this 'ere blog more friendly to mobile users - so if you've tried to visit here before on your mobile and thought it was ridiculously awful, it's fixed now. Hopefully.
P.P.S Click here for some breathtaking photos.

Friday, 3 May 2013


I've mentioned before that Weleda is one of my favourite skincare brands, but I've never done a proper review of their products mainly as I'm a complete newbie when it comes to reviewing skincare. But I might as well plunge in at the deep end, so here's my thoughts on all the Weleda products that I've been using regularly.

The One-Step Cleanser & Toner has to be the most gentle cleanser I've ever used and has been a lifesaver for my combination skin. Somehow it's made both my dry patches and my oily skin (you wouldn't think it was possible to have both, would you?) even out and my skin is much more "balanced", if that makes sense?
 It's not the best for removing makeup and as it contains citrus essential oils it stings when it gets in your eyes, so I've taken to using my Bioderma to remove all my eye makeup and the majority of my face makeup before using this and the pair work so well together. Although it's branded as both a cleanser and a toner, I still like to use a separate toner afterwards to make sure every scrap of makeup is gone.

My Purifying Lotion has almost run out, so you'd be forgiven for thinking that I've formed a proper opinion of it by now but I'm still undecided as to whether I like it or not. The lotion is very thin and runny, and markets itself as "intensive care for problem skin" which I'd have to disagree with. It's nowhere near as intensive as the likes of the Origins Super Spot Remover, and I doubt that it would help much in sending a big ol' nasty blemish crying for it's mummy.
However, the Purifying Lotion is great for preventing spots and for dealing with those tiny little bumps that just won't piss off, and it's far less drying on the skin than the heavy-duty spot treatments out there.

The Skin Food is probably the product that Weleda is most known for, and for a good reason. It's an all-purpose cream that works wonders on dry skin, but don't let the full tube in the photos fool you - lately it's been getting a lot of love from me. I've taken to slathering it on my elbows and lips before I go to sleep and always wake up to lovely soft skin! Skin Food definitely isn't the only cream of it's kind out there, but the all-natural aspect and the low price makes this a winner in my book.

Night cream is the sort of thing that I'm not fussed about, most of the time I just use my daily moisturiser but a few months ago my skin was starting to get very dry as the effects of winter started to set in. I had tried a sample of the Wild Rose Smoothing Night Cream and loved it, but when it came to buying the full size I saw the word "hydrating" and pounced on the purple tube of Iris Hydrating Night Cream as I thought that was more suited to my skin type.
I do like it, but it leaves a greasy residue on the skin afterwards that takes a while to sink in. I'm guessing this is just from the almond oil but it does feel as if it's slightly clogging my pores. I think out of all the products this is the one I'm most likely not going to repurchase, and go for the Wild Rose Smoothing Night Cream instead.

Do you like the change of scenery for the background?