Friday 25 December 2015

Thursday 24 December 2015

Beauty Favourites Roundup

 I've not written a favourites post in forever, so today I'm doing a roundup of everything I've been loving throughout October, November and December. There could have been triple what I have here, but I limited myself to my top 10 favourites so I don't bore you to sleep. In these three months, I have accumulated a LOT of products; I had my birthday at the beginning of October, and since then I have been a-hauling quiiiite a lot.

My contour game has completely changed since I got my hands on the Real Techniques Sculpting Set. My favourite of the three brushes in the set is the sculpting brush, which by the way is soooo soft, and I use it to add shadow and/or warmth to my face. I use powder products to do so, but it's such a dense brush that you could easily use it to buff in cream contour.

Staying with the Real Techniques theme, I recently invested in their Miracle Complexion Sponge. I cannot recommend this enough! I've been using this to blend in my concealer for about a month and a half now, and now I can't imagine not using it. I use the sponge damp, so less product is wasted due to being absorbed by the sponge itself, and the dampness allows the product to 'merge more' with my skin, rather than create dry or uneven patches.

Moving on to what is currently the first step in my makeup, I've been using the Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm in the place of my Body Shop Instablur primer. It sounds stupid, but this is such a good product for keeping your makeup on all day, as it contains an ingredient called glycerin that makes things stick. I, like everyone else, first heard this from NikkieTutorials. Her opinion is not one to doubt, so I tried it out for myself, and I am so impressed with the wear time of my makeup! I am planning to write a post soon focused on solely this product, so look out for that over the next few weeks.

For my face also, the MUA Undress Me Too palette has been a staple for me, purely for the shade shy. I've actually been using it as a highlighter as it's sooo bright. It's a beautiful champagne shade, and creates a gorgeous glow when applied to the tops of my cheekbones, down my nose and on my cupids bow, brow bone and tearduct. I was really impressed, as for such a cheap price I didn't expect the shadow to have such an intense pigmentation.

Another eyeshadow palette has made itself into this favourites post, and this time, I have been loving applying it to my eyes. It's the Lightly Toasted palette by W7, particularly the shade twister. It's a brilliant palette for creating warm and bronzy gold eyeshadow looks, and is largely dominated by shimmers, although I'm very happy that it has a couple of mattes suitable for buffing in the crease, too.

On the topic of W7, I have recently fallen head over heels for their Argan Eyes mascara. I've mentioned this in a couple of posts very recently, so if you're up to date, my next few sentences may be very predictable. For such a small price tag, it's sooo good at lengthening and voluminising my lashes, as well as bringing separation, too. Plus, my lower lashes have never looked longer when this is applied; can you tell I love it? 

Clearly I've been mascara crazy this season, as I've also been obsessing over Rollerlash by Benefit. This is obviously a much more expensive product than Argan Eyes, but if you want a mascara that will hold your lashes lengthened and in a curl ALL. DAY. LONG, Rollerlash is perfect. I have currently been using Argan Eyes more, but Rollerlash I do still believe is better.

Lastly for eyes, I'm so happy I purchased the Loreal Super Liner Perfect Slim. I usually don't get on with pen liners, but I feel like this is a liquid liner in a pen form. It's easy to use as it has a fine point, and the colour is also really black, not a weak grey that you sometimes find with the pen liners. It's long wearing, too, and an eyeliner I will definitely repurchase when it eventually runs dry. 

The final step in my makeup routine is always to apply a lipstick, liner or crayon. For my birthday, I received the famous nude-brown Velvet Teddy lipstick by Mac. Personally, I think that different shades of brown and nude really suit my skin tone - and pretty much all skin tones. I've worn this lipstick almost everyday since I got it, and again, it will be a repurchase when I run out. It's now a necessity for me!

Nails wise, my favourite polish is currently Barry M's paprika. I mentioned this in a recent post - it's one from their Gelly Hi-Shine range, and is a beautiful orange-brown rust shade as the name would suggest.

Happy Christmas Eve! Enjoy your evening, wherever you are, whatever you're doing


Wednesday 23 December 2015

Camel Suedette



 Camel colours and a-line skirts are two of the biggest trends this season. Marry the two together, and you have the ultimate staple. The skirt I have featured is a fairly new addition to my wardrobe, and what I love about it is its' versatility. You can really dress it down with a slouchy jumper, or a plain top like I have, but on the other hand, you can easily smarten it up with a sleeveless jacket, some knee high boots and a floppy fedora.
As you can see from the photos, I've also paired my skirt with some chelsea boots and a biker jacket for a casual, 'going to lunch look', which surprise surprise, I did.
The detailing on this skirt really completes it: the look of the running stitches, the zip that travels from top to bottom with a silver coloured circular pull. The pockets add a laid back vibe, as well as dimension to the item, which I love love love. Texture is key too! Fake suede 'suedette' is nice and cosy and autumnal, and also makes the skirt feel heavy and really good quality.
Staying casual, I opted for simple jewellery. However, to add some colour to the the outfit, I went for a bright pinky purple lipstick and rusty orange nails.


Tuesday 22 December 2015

Christmas Makeup // 2 Lip Options

the camera flash washed me out & I had no more photos :((

 I began by priming my face with the Instablur primer from The Bodyshop to smooth out my skin and prolong the wear of my makeup. After dampening my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, I blended in a small amount of Maybelline's Fit Me concealer under my eyes and around my nose, and then I used the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation to create an even base and improve the look of my skin. I like to buff this in with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, and then use the damp sponge again to make sure the foundation is completely blended, as well as get rid of any brush strokes or patches. To highlight and provide extra coverage, I dotted the famous Lasting Perfection concealer by Collection under my eyes in a triangle, and down my nose. I then set all the creams with the Rimmel Stay Matte powder.

I moved onto eyes next and, using the W7 Lightly Toasted palette, applied the shade cracker lightly through my socket. All over my lid, I put down the Maybelline 24hr Colour Tattoo in on and on bronze. As this is a cream shadow, any powder shadow applied on top will stick. To define the shape of my eye further, I blended lady luck from Lightly Toasted into my crease. And to further deepen, I applied a small amount of espresso from the Collection Eyes Uncovered palette. For the Christmas touch, I dusted twister from the W7 palette to the first two thirds of my lid. Twister is a beautiful, warm and glittery gold, and is so pigmented! To finish the eyes, I used the W7 Argan Eyes mascara, which is currently my favourite! It's so lengthening and black, and just brilliant. I didn't do any winged liner, although I think it would go really nicely with this festive look.

In the hollows of my cheeks, I applied the contour powder of the Maybelline Master Sculpt contouring duo. For blush, I used icing sugar from the Sleek Blush By 3 Pink Lemonade trio, and to highlight, I used shy from the MUA Undress Me Too eyeshadow palette down and on the tip of nose, on my cupids bow, and along the tops of my cheekbones.

Now for lips, I have two options; one is a red lip, and for that I used the Elizabeth Arden Smooth Line Lip Pencil in 01 crimson to of course, line my lips, and the Rimmel Kate lipstick in 01 red nose red to fill in. Or for a softer look, I lined my lips with Rimmel's Lasting Finish lip liner in 050 tiramisu, and then, again to fill in, I used the No7 60 chic lipstick.

Let me know which one was your favourite!


Monday 21 December 2015

First Impressions | Smoky Eyes & Glowy Skin

 My makeup first thing in the morning

My makeup 7 hours later

As I mentioned in my previous post, a couple of weekends ago I visited Clothes Show Live, where I picked up so many beauty items and a couple of clothing pieces; you can see HERE what I bought, as this post doesn't cover every item.
I've been really wanting to do a tutorial using new products that I can review with my first impressions, but I've never accumulated such an amount of makeup in one go before, so I thought now would be the perfect time, so if you want to see yesterday's haul put into action, please keep reading!

After priming my face with a not new product, I moved on to foundation. For this, I used the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation which I got from Clothes Show, and right off the bat, I can easily say that I love this foundation. 
I have mine in the shade 51 light vanilla, which is the lightest shade. I have a really pale complexion, and I'm so thrilled that it's not too dark. If you're pale skinned too, then you should be fine with this foundation. If you're suuuper pale, however, it could still be a tad dark. It's also a slightly yellow based foundation, but not enough to look wrong on pink toned skin, which I'm fairly certain I have. 
I would say it's of a medium coverage, perfect for everyday natural wear, but still thick enough to cover discolouration and the appearance of spots. The consistency is also quite runny, compared to say,  Rimmel's Match Perfection, and fairly buildable without looking cakey. 
On a downside, I find the lid doesn't click into place as well as could. I'm being reaaally picky, but if the lid were to come off in your makeup bag during travel, it could end really badly should the pump be pressed. Also, I don't believe in the 'flawless complexion' claim on the front of the bottle. This suggests an air-brushed, high coverage result, but as I previously mentioned, it's more of a medium coverage. I don't actually mind this anyway, because it feels light and almost unnoticeable, more of a second skin than a thick layer of product. Similarly, the bottle claims to have 16hr wear, but I would still call it long wearing, roughly 9hrs. That's a day at work/school, and in my opinion, that's a really decent amount of wear time. It faded first on my around my nose and on my cheeks, which are always the first places to fade on my face.
Despite the few negative points, I couldn't recommend this product enough - I just want to be completely honest in my in-depth reviews. This leaves my face with a healthy glow just like the bottle says, which I love. I also love how the foundation applies; I use it with the Real Techniques buffing brush, and am always impressed with the result. Finally, the smell is so good, really fruity, and just very pleasant to apply. I would definitely repurchase!

Next, I bought the W7 Light Diffusing concealer as part of a 5 products for £10 deal. I'm going to start with the negative points. This concealer is a clicking, wind up brightening pen concealer, as the name would suggest, in the style of the famous YSL Touche Eclat. It took several clicks to get the first lot of product out, and my first thoughts when I applied it under my eyes were 'eeurrgh', because the pen applies it quite unevenly. It's of a similar thickness to the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer, and so as you can imagine, it looked like a thick and blobby streak. However, when blended with my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge, damp, it works sooo much better. 
This concealer comes in just one shade purely because it is a brightening rather than concealing product, and because of that, it's quite light coverage. I did make the mistake of not applying a corrector or real concealer under my foundation first, so my dark circles weren't covered all that well (but I used it the next day and I made sure I followed that step; the end result of the concealer was so much better, and it did do the desired job of brightening when applied in a triangle under my eyes). 
It also didn't crease as much as I thought it would; Lasting Perfection creases more on me, but Lasting Perfection does wear for longer. The W7 wear was decent, but I would want it to be longer. 
I wouldn't make an effort to repurchase this; I do like it, but I wouldn't be lost without it. I would maybe pick it up if I saw it, as it's so cheap. I'll see how I continue to get on with it, and how long the one pen will last me.

Then I quickly powdered and filled in my brows, as I had no new products for those areas.
One of my favourite parts of doing my makeup each day is experimenting with my eyeshadow. At the W7 counter, they were selling their 12 pan palettes at 3 for £10, rather than £10 each, so naturally, I caved in and bought the three I didn't have. One of them was their Up In Smoke palette, which I think is a response to Urban Decay's Naked Smoky palette which was new out this year. W7 have changed their packaging to mimic Urban Decay's with the less bulky style of palette, now made of plastic rather than tin. The lid also has a large mirror, and the brush and click shut is more like Urban Decay, too. I much prefer this new packaging and brush!
I don't own Naked Smoky myself, but from photos and videos, it does appear more wearable than Up In Smoke; Up In Smoke doesn't have a suitable crease or transition colour, and the only matte is black, meaning it would be difficult to travel with that only. Around two thirds of the W7 palette is made up of blue/grey/smoky shades with four other similar, light, champagne neutral shades, whereas there is more diversity in the shades of Urban Decay's. Naked Smoky is roughly one third blue/silver, with browns, a gold, and some champagne colours as well as pinky/purple neutrals, which includes matte crease colours. However, you would expect that with the price tag of Urban Decay, and I thoroughly enjoyed playing with Up In Smoke, nonetheless. I came out with a really nice look in the end!
I began this smoky look using limit from the Naked 3 palette purely because Up In Smoke doesn't have a crease colour as I mentioned. Limit is a cool toned mauvey pink, and I just buffed it into my crease. Then I used, from now on the W7 palette only, bunny all over my lid for a shimmery, neutral base. Now, straight in with the dark colours, I mixed the shades diesel and arty and applied them to the outer third of my eye. With a fluffy brush, I blended the shadows in the direction of the middle of my eye and with limit so there were no patches or strong lines. To add a bit more of a blue tone to the grey, I applied a small amount of another mix of colours, thunder and Barry M 10, to the middle of my lid. To highlight my tear duct and brighten my eyes, I used jive, a shimmery champagne shade.
I was really impressed with the quality of these shadows! They're not as pigmented as I would like, but for the price, you can't really complain. However, they are buildable and blendable, and definitely not chalky! All I noticed after a seven hour wear was that there was a bit of fading, and some of the colours had 'merged' a little.
The Barry M 10 eyeshadow is fairly pigmented and a gorgeous shimmery blue/grey colour. It was really lovely to apply as it's so smooth, but unfortunately it didn't last as long as I would like. However, that definitely won't stop me from wearing it.

I decided to pair this look with a winged eyeliner, and for this I used the L'Oreal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim in intense black, which isn't a new product, but definitely one I would recommend. And for the best part, I drew a thin line of silvery blue Metallic Liquid Liner in the shade 2 by Barry M over the top of the black. It was an experiment that turned out SO well! It was so easy to use the product as the nib is quite thin and pointed. It wasn't streaky or patchy; the colour payoff was excellent and complimented the eyeshadow so well. Plus, it lasted for as long as I took my makeup off, so I would really recommend it for a fun twist to your everyday liner.

I used a different mascara on my bottom lashes, but for my top lashes I used the Rimmel 24hr Supercurler mascara, which claims that it will replace your lash curlers as it's designed to create a 'lasting perm effect'. I don't know if this really does work, because my lashes are naturally curled, but I can imagine that it would from the results it gave me. After the Benefit Rollerlash hype, loads of brands have released a curling mascara of some sort, with a curved wand. Unlike Rollerlash, the brush isn't a plastic applicator, and the brush is also much thicker and fatter, and the curve doesn't 'happen' till the end of the brush, as it's meant to fit perfectly the shape of your eye - yesterday's photos will show it better. To see that, click HERE. I love, love, love this mascara! The 'fixing polymer' formulation is quite wet, and super black, and really long wearing. It's decently voluminising, but even better, my lashes stayed curled and lengthened throughout the day, and there was no clumping, no transferring to my brow bone, and no crumbling away. I would seriously recommend this product!

Next I used the Natural Bronzer by Rimmel to warm up and add a glow to my face. (In the 7 hours later photo, you can't really see it, but I promise you the bronzer was there; for some reason the bright lights meant the camera didn't pick the colour up very well). It's very warm toned and ever so slightly shimmery, so it's not meant for contouring or chiseling your face. I dusted this product around my temples and over my cheeks, and I was really impressed with the final result, and the wear is honestly incredible. I don't know if that's because it claims to be waterproof, but it didn't go patchy, it pretty much lasted the whole day and was just lovely. I also think the sun print adds to the loveliness! I just hope the packaging doesn't break; it's the same as the Rimmel Stay Matte powder, and mine always seems to crack. Apart from that, I have nothing negative to say.

Finally, I was going to try out the Barry M lipgloss, which doesn't actually have a shade name on it. It's a bright, corally pink colour, and smells strongly of pineapples. I took this off pretty much as soon as I put it on - it felt heavy and sticky, and I just didn't really like the colour. I do need to find the 'right' gloss. I changed my lip colour to Rimmel Kate lipstick in 03, a beautiful light pinky nude shade, which flattered the eye makeup so much more.

For photographs of the products themselves, see my Clothes Show Live haul post HERE

I hope you enjoyed this very in depth, first impressions tutorial - see you tomorrow!


Sunday 20 December 2015

Clothes Show Live Haul

I've recently been to The Clothes Show in Birmingham, where there were loads and loads of stands selling and advertising makeup, clothes, hair products and more. So many brands were selling cheap goody bags with generous amounts of product inside, and today I'm going to share it all with you!
Tomorrow I'm going to post a first impressions face with lots of these new items, so I won't be going into details now as I don't want to repeat myself.

It can be quite overwhelming there when shopping for clothes at the Clothes Show, as there aren't the usual high street stores that you're used to, just little individual shops or pop up boutiques. Lots of them are quite vintage and retro, and are either really expensive or really cheap. MinkPink (which I believe is sold at ASOS and Urban Outfitters) had a rail of £5 items. I bought a grey, ribbed, turtle neck crop top. These are really popular at the moment, but most other places are selling them for twice the price.
I also picked up more of a summery top, embroidered with blue, green and red flowers. I can't wait to wear it next summer!

Makeup is a good 95% of this haul, and I really enjoyed organising this in my drawers, as pathetic as that sounds. I'm an organisation freak.
From a stall selling a variety of brands at discount prices, I bought the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation, after borrowing my friend's and loving it, for £7 rather than £9.99.

The first goody bag I purchased was Barry M's for £10, which held 13 items. Everything came in a good quality, pink makeup bag which I can see myself keeping in my school bag. It came with 6 nail polishes in a mix of glitters, gellies, a silk and a matte, in the shades paprika, red black, forest, miami, jingle bells and rockstar - what else would you expect from Barry M?
 I got a couple of shimmery eyeshadows, one a gold and one a silver, in the shades 9 and 10, a couple of lipglosses (without shade names), and a couple of eyeliners. One is a metallic silver liquid, and the other a metallic lime kohl.

I completed my W7 12 shadow palette collection after buying into their goody bag of 3 palettes for £10 deal, rather than £10 each. At what was essentially buy one get two free, I COULD NOT RESIST. I bought In The Buff, In The Nude and Up In Smoke, and I'm thrilled with them.
Also at the W7 counter, offering a 5 for £10 on their smaller products, so my friend and I split it, and I bought the Light Diffusing concealer, a twist up product following the YSL Touche Eclat craze, and the Argan Eyes mascara. I haven't used this in tomorrow's post, so I thought I would quickly mention that I LOVE this mascara. I wasn't sure how well it would work, but I was intrigued by the idea of it being infused with argan oil for 'healthier looking lashes'. I've not been using this mascara for long enough to see if that claim is true, but I am SO impressed with the results. It really lengthens, blackens and fans out my lashes; I will be repurchasing when this runs out.

After the catwalk show itself, I bought the Mistletoe Mischief goody bag from Rimmel for £10, which held a mix of full size products, and samples. Firstly, I got the 24hr Super Curler mascara - I reviewed this mascara in tomorrow's post, so look out for that tomorrow.
I also received in the goody bag the red nose day limited edition Rimmel Kate lipstick in 01 red nose red. I've never really worn red lipstick; it's quite an adventurous colour for me, but maybe I'll experiment and use it in a post. A favourite of mine is the Natural Bronzer in the shade 025 sun glow, it's absolutely brilliant.
The first mini is 8ml of the Matte BB Cream in light, and so far so good! Another sample I got in the package is 1.5ml of both the Lasting Finish primer and the Lasting Finish foundation in 100 ivory. I love receiving samples and minis as it's a great way to try a product and see if you like it before spending the money on a whim.
There's a real variety of products in this goody bag; I also got a Rita Ora nail polish in 400 tangerine tent, which will be perfect for the summer, and the Sun Shimmer Instant Tan in medium matte. I'm not sure if I will use this; I've never fake tanned and not in a hurry to change my pale skin, but maybe I'll try it out sometime.

It can be difficult to make 'listy' posts flow, but all the same, I hope you all enjoyed a nosy into what I bought at the Clothes Show! Be sure to come back tomorrow to see my true first impressions of the products


Saturday 19 December 2015

Top 3 A/W Nail Polishes

Barry M have, in my opinion, the best nail polishes on the high street. I'm in no way working with them for this post; it's purely a coincidence that all of my favourites are made by them. Apart from nude colours which I think can be worn all year round, my favourite 'nail season' is definitely the autumn winter time when we are hit by the jewel tones and deep colours - I just think they're so gorgeous and flattering.

'Red Black'

From the name, the colour itself is very explanatory, just a vampy red with purple undertones. It's not a Gelly formulation, although it looks just as glossy as the other two. I can't wait to wear it more this season.

This is the ultimate rusty, orange, brown in some lights, leaf colour - I'm so in love with the colour and I've had so many compliments on it. The Gelly formula is my favourite; the glossy, shining coat is beautiful and really chip-resistant, too.

The previous two colours are new to my collection, but this colour I crack out every year. I love teal shades and think they really suit me! I would really recommend this nail polish to everyone, and I think it's lovely and festive.

As I've not been so active lately, I'm going to try and join in with the last week of Blogmas. I've got loads I want to put up before Christmas, including hauls and tutorials, so look out for hopefully 7 posts coming up from today to Christmas day.


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