Wednesday 29 July 2015

July Favourites

How has July come to an end already?! Time honestly feels like it's flying at the moment; I can't believe summer is here already, it still feels like May. My six weeks of no school has arrived, and actually, as you're reading this, I'm on holiday in Norfolk as this post is pre-written and scheduled.

My first favourite is a shower gel from Lush. I am ashamed to say that it's from the Christmas range;  I can be quite bad when it comes to saving products. Anyway, I knew I loved it, and so I decided to just use it - Lush is always better when used fresh. The shower gel is from the So White range, which has a gorgeous apple scent, and whenever I use it, it leaves such a fresh and lovely smell lingering in the bathroom. The product is creamy and iridescent; it's so luxuriant, lathering up into so much bubble.

I potted a new plant to go in my room the other week! It's a succulent and looks so attractive sitting there on my desk. The pot also goes with the colour theme I have tried to create on my desk of a silver/grey/metal/glass, as I have new curtains which are grey.

Talking of new curtains, I have recently had a lot of new things in my room which are definite favourites this month: a new desk, chest of drawers, chair and light shade. I'm not finished as I'd still like to paint the walls, and change some of the furniture (I'm going from wood to white), but I was thinking of maybe doing some posts about that in the future, maybe featuring bits and bobs of the changes I've made, or a full on room tour.

My fourth favourite featured in my Summer Makeup blogpost, and is the 24hr Colour Tattoo by Maybelline in Vintage Plum. It's eyeshadow of a creamy formula, and this one in particular is a leather effect. I'm not sure what the leather effect means, although I have noticed that it doesn't apply as evenly as On And On Bronze. It feels dryer, so I'm not sure if it's meant to be a matte shadow. But none of that matters! It's a beautiful lilac shade that I feel can be used all year round when blended with the right products; in summer I like to blend a warm golden colour into my crease, and for that I lately have been using Trick from Urban Decay.

Last Wednesday's post featured a new set of brushes. Now, I do love all of them, but in particular the buffing brush. It's made such a massive difference to the finished result of my foundation. I'm not going to ramble now as I've already done an entire post featuring the Core Collection, so go and have read of that for more details.

I've got a fashion favourite now, and that's crop tops. The weather is warming up slightly in England, and so the summery tops have come into play. I think they look super cute with high waisted jeans; you see just a little bit of midriff peeping out. I love the ribbed ones from New Look, especially, and I have worn them tons lately.

My final favourite is a concealer, the Maybelline Instant Anti Age Eye Eraser. It's so so good at covering blemishes and under eye circles, and has replaced completely my love of Lasting Perfection by Collection. One of the things I love about it is the spongy applicator. It's like a pom pom ball where the liquid seeps out, and it kind of massages the product in as you apply. I'd highly recommend it!

What would you recommend this month?


Sunday 26 July 2015

Summer Makeup | Lilac & Gold

The look I am about to blog now is one I have been wearing pretty consistently lately. It's not a quick, hassle-free one; there are quite a lot of steps involved, but I do love it. It focuses strongly on dramatic eyes of a muted lilac, blended with a beautiful pinky gold, which deepens into the outer parts of the crease.

To start my makeup, I conceal my under eye circles (and also my lids for an even eyeshadow base) using the Instant Anti-Age Eye Eraser by Maybelline. This product has definitely been one of my favourites this month; I find to be so much more effective in doing its job than any other concealer I have previously tried.
For foundation I am using Rimmel's Match Perfection for a decent but light and natural coverage that evens my skin tone and hides redness. I also like to dab a couple of spots of the Lasting Perfection concealer from Collection under my eyes, purely for highlighting and brightening purposes rather than to conceal.
I use only a light amount of powder, simply to stop my face from feeling sticky, and to set under my eyes. As usual, I use Stay Matte by Rimmel.

The first step in my brow routine is to comb through and shape them with a clear gel,and then leave that to set whilst I do my eyes.

My favourite part of makeup is always the eyes - shadow particularly. I feel that without eyeshadow, no look is complete. To begin with, I apply one of Maybelline's 24hr Colour Tattoos, which are creamy shadows, in the colour Vintage Plum, which is more of a muted, grey-toned lilac than a plum. It may sound unseasonal using purple, but I promise you, the colours I add later will add so much warmth and summer to the eyes. It's a gorgeous look that isn't just your regular bronze eye.
I apply the creamy product over the entirety of my lid and no higher; it can't go above the socket or there may be a risk of the cream transferring.
With a fluffy brush, I blend the product out to eliminate lines. 
Here comes the warmth: I sweep Urban Decay's Trick into the whole of my crease so it surrounds the purple, and also onto my lower lash line. I really love applying shadows to my lower lash line, as it makes the eyes so much more dramatic.
You know the drill, blend.
Next, I use the tiniest amount of Factory by Urban Decay in my outer corners to deepen the look. Blend.

I line my eyes with a brown eyeliner from No7, and then add lots of mascara: Sumptuous Extreme by Estee Lauder to my top lashes, and Maybelline's Great Lash to my bottom lashes. Then I quickly finish my brows with Soap & Glory's Archery, of course.

A recent purchase of mine is the Master Sculpt by Maybelline after hearing so many great things about it. I have been eager to try contouring for a long time now, but there are so little products in Boots that are good for pale people as many are way too warm toned.
I am very new to using contour products, but even so, I will use the tiniest amount under my cheekbones and around my temples to shape my face. Contouring is one of those things you have to start small with; if you've never done it before it can be quite daunting, not like highlighting when you can kinda just go for it. Talking of highlighting, I use the highlight from the Master Sculpt across my cheekbones, under my brows... you know the places.

I finish of the makeup with a neutral lip, a lipstick by Kate Moss for Rimmel in the colour 03, which is a beautiful pinky nude. This colour is perfect, as it's pretty, yet doesn't draw attention from the eyes, which are certainly the feature.

Look out for my next post coming on Wednesday


Wednesday 22 July 2015

My New Favourite Brushes | Real Techniques

For years now I have been using the same Barbara Daley and 17 brush sets to apply my makeup. The eye brushes from the sets are quite good, but the face ones don't quite cut it. The cheeks brush from 17 probably would be okay for blush (although I previously used it for foundation), but it just sheds fibres everywhere, and I can easily pull out large chunks of bristles. It's probably half the size now compared to when I first got it.
I felt that new makeup brushes were not only necessary, but verrrry overdue, and so I decided to invest in the ever popular brand that is Real Techniques by Sam and Nic Chapman. I bought their Core Collection, which includes four brushes all specifically designed to do a different job on the face, and I must say, they do their jobs well.

Let's start with appearances and quality. All brushes in the range that were created to give a flawless base (so the brushes you would use to apply foundation, concealer, powder etc.) have a coppery-bronze handle, which not only looks really pretty, but I think is an excellent code to help you pick out and distinguish between the different brush uses. The eye brushes are purple, and the finishing 'touches' (bronzing, blushing) are pink.
One of the things I like most about these brushes are their density. They are really light when holding, but there are so many bristles packed in that you can really buff in foundation, or allow you to pick up a good amount of product if you want to. There is nothing flimsy about them at all.
They also are super soft! None of the brushes scratch or prickle your face, they're gentle and lovely to use on your skin; amazing quality.

The Core Collection is a face/base set and comes with a travel case to protect the brushes from damage. I love, love, love the buffing brush so, so, so much. It was the brush I was most excited to use, and rightly so. It's very dense and satisfying to use when buffing, and it applies my foundation so much better than the 17 cheek brush used to. 
The contour brush intrigued me; the name is quite deceitful, as it actually is supposed to be used for applying highlight to the tops of the cheekbones. I suppose highlight is a part of contouring! The  brush is very light and gentle and gives a beautiful application of powder highlight, because it's not too firm, if you know what I mean.
For me, the pointed foundation brush is too small to apply foundation; it would make the job tediously long. I think it's better suited to either blending concealer under the eyes and on blemishes, or setting those areas with powder. 
Finally the detailer brush has to be the diddiest, cutest brush I've ever seen. I think it's perfect for adding an inner corner or brow bone highlight!

Get your hands on these brushes if you can; they're absolutely wonderful


Sunday 19 July 2015

Journey Essentials | Road Trip/Holiday Travels

This summer, me and my family are driving to Norfolk for a holiday, and then two weeks later, to Wales. There are certain things that I just have to always take with me (except from my suitcase holding clothes, washbag and makeup etc).

My first essential would of course be a big bag! Then I can start packing:

It's important for me to have something to read on a super long journey, to help the time pass. I like to read a good book, but if that's not really what you're into, you could take magazines, or even a book of puzzles and games, or a Wreck This Journal which has little unique activities on each page.

On the other hand, you could take a Kindle which gives you not only the benefit of reading, but the benefit of games to play. I don't have a Kindle, but my phone comes with me everywhere, and I always make sure I have some good apps to play, and plenty of saved internet data. That then also means that as long as I have earphones, I have music too, which is a must for me.

Because journeys can be sooo long, the majority of the time I will end up running down my phone battery, and so I always make sure I'm prepared with my portable charger.

Sometimes I take my camera with me, or just use the camera on my phone. I love taking photos, and will never miss an opportunity to capture the amazing scenery we pass, or just to photograph and remember the experience.

Snacks and plenty of water are a definite necessity for long car journeys for obvious reasons; you have to stay hydrated (and are at more risk in the summer time) and you never know when hunger will strike!

You have to wear comfy clothes for long trips - one of the worst feelings is when you're in really uncomfortable jeans that are digging in the crook of your knee, or a top that just makes you feel suffocated. I like to wear jeans that are of jegging material, leggings or soft shorts. It's usually leggings or shorts. I pair them with a slouchy tshirt and hoodie if its cold, and a comfy pair of slip ons or trainers.

Lip balm is something I have have have to take with me on a journey; another awful feeling is stinging, cracked lips and no balm to hand. Palmer's cocoa butter formula goes with me everywhere.
I also like to carry hand sanitiser - germs are all around, and you're going to want to have clean hands before you tuck into your snacks!
My penultimate essential is a pair of sunglasses. Sometimes, the sun's glare is so strong through the window that you just need sunglasses. You just do.

Finally, I like to take a scrunchie with me, as that way, I can chose to scrape my hair off my face if it starts to itch or stick to my neck if it's a hot day, or if it simply gets in the way (hopefully some of you know the feeling I'm on about!)

Are you going anywhere this summer? Let me know your essentials in the comments


Wednesday 15 July 2015

STROBING (vs contouring)

image source: via google images

Strobing is a new makeup technique that has recently come into play as oppose to contouring. Contouring involves using cool grey/brown (generally, although I understand it depends on the skintone) powders to create shadows that will change or enhance certain facial features, whether that's slimming down the nose, hollowing out and therefore pronouncing the cheekbones, or carving out the jawline and temples. The idea is then that you'd use a highlighting powder to emphasise the high points of your face, focusing on the features you carved out when contouring.

Strobing, however, means you have to ditch the contour, and go all out with the highlight, to the point where your face simply glows all over. The idea is to cast a healthy, almost wet-look, natural radiance that 'comes from within'. I suppose the term comes from the fact that your face kind of turns into a strobe light when the highlighting powder catches the light. When highlighting, you'd dust the powder over the tops of your cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose (and fan that out above the bridge into the forehead slightly), along the brow bone just above the socket of your eye, in the inner corners of the eye to brighten and finally on the cupid's bow to make the lips appear fuller. 

All these steps would still be carried out, but the highlighting doesn't stop there in strobing. Highlight in a V shape your under eyes (once you have concealed, so as not to draw attention to any dark rings), highlight just above the jawline, all the way along the bone and including the chin. Finally, highlight broadly across your entire forehead, paying close attention to the arch above your eyebrows. If you are going to use a blush, make it as shimmery and glowy as possible, and to emphasise the radiant look even further, you could mix a liquid highlighter into your moisturiser, or use something like MAC strobe cream.

But stop. Something I must mention is that before you attempt any kind of strobing, you must make sure you have a good base, and more importantly, a decent highlighter. Don't use one that only draws attention to any pores or spots; this technique will work better with a more flawless base, whether that's naturally or with a good coverage foundation.

My thoughts on strobing are that I can't see it taking the makeup world by as much storm as contouring has - contouring is such a widely used technique that I definitely think it will stick around for a lot longer than strobing will, and I can't see it fizzling away anytime soon. Strobing is new, and fun to play around with, but in my opinion, I just don't think it's as good of a technique, and I really don't think it's as flattering. That is, when contouring is done right.


image source: via google images

useful for slightly changing your face shape by slimming it down or carving out desirable features, and raising those points with a subtle highlighting powder

the line between a bronzer (generally a shimmery, warmer toned product that bronzes and warms the skin) and a contouring product (usually a matte, cool toned powder) is so thin it almost doesn't exist anymore. If contouring is done wrong, it can look like a muddy wotsit streak across the face 


image source: via google images
can give the face a gorgeous, glowing and naturally radiant look if done correctly

it can make the face appear oily and excessively shiny. It's probably a technique that people with oily skin should steer clear of.

So, those are my thoughts on strobing, and how it compares with contouring.
What are your opinions?


Sunday 12 July 2015

To The Max




Trends and style are something I've been making an effort to incorporate into my posts, as fashion is something I really enjoy. The photos above show how I style three different maxi skirts. Shop my post further down...

Maxi skirts are an essential for the summer months; they're great for covering up and can look either very elegant or casual, depending on how you style it. I like wearing maxi skirts when going for meals, going to town, going to the beach. A bold patterned skirt with a simpler top will immediately change your outfit than if you were to wear it with jeans, say.

To me, I associate maxi skirts with being slightly dressier, and so in previous years I haven't worn them as much. This year, I've decided I'm going to make sure I get as much use out of them as possible; something's only formal if you make it formal, and it's so easy to make a maxi skirt an every day item, when paired with the right shoes and (few) accessories. 


Outfit 1 - Minty & Beachy (take away the ring and bracelets to be more beach appropriate) 

maxi skirt - FatFace (last year, no longer on site)
ring - accessorize (no longer on site)
bracelets - gift and bought on a holiday

Outfit 2 - Elephantastic Festival

maxi skirt
white crop top
elephant necklace - new look (years old)
watch - red herring

Outfit 3 - Red-y For Town

skirt similar on amazon/eBay
top - New Look (of their basics range)
bag - River Island
flip flops - I have no idea

Wear a maxi skirt this year! Wear one even if you do regularly anyway, wear one if you never have before.
Life is too short to wear boring clothes


Wednesday 8 July 2015

Love The Skin You're In

Today I'm going to chat to you all about something quite different to what I normally do, and that is the topic of sun and the effects it has on the skin, especially cancer and aging. Writing a post like this is a good way to raise awareness about the topics I'm going to cover, so please do keep reading; it may make you think and it may interest you too.
I promise you now, this isn't a naggy post about suncream and hats - I'm not trying to be your mother - it's just a topic that I feel strongly about and has affected a few close relatives in my family.
As the height of summer draws near every year, I always see tons of posts promoting tanning. By all means, post a 'fake tanning routine' if your viewers/readers are in need of a few pointers, but what niggles me is how people are now obsessed with being an un-natural 5 foundation shades darker. What's wrong with being fair skinned? Pale is beautiful. If you're naturally pale, then you're naturally pale. You have a beautiful creamy complexion that looks gorgeous and striking with a red lippie and brunette/blonde hair, you don't need to turn yourself into a wotsit just because your friends have olive toned skin in their DNA.
If you absolutely feel the need to be tanned, YES DO IT WITH A BOTTLE. Don't dowse yourself in oil and lie in the midday sun, as your skin will literally fry - the sun is a carcinogen, like smoking. Definitely don't use a sunbed; that's actually worse than sunbathing! If you want to find out more about sunbeds, read here, but basically, sunbeds give out massive amounts of UV (ultraviolet) rays.

A common misconception is that people that 'don't burn. Ever.' (which yes, you will, you'll just eventually go a hot pinky brown that will flake), think that nothing bad will ever happen to them. Skin cancer, burning, wrinkles and just damage can happen to ANYONE. Without getting too sciency, 5% of the sun's rays are UVB, which are the ones that burn you, and the other 95% are the UVA, tanning causing, wrinkle causing and skin cancer causing rays. That obviously is a massive majority to the UVA! You may tan easily, but a tan is the body's final attempt to protect itself from damage. You can still get a melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer that has occurred in my family. My family are fair haired, fair skinned, and hyper-moley. Melanoma grows in pigmented skin cells - for example, moles - and being covered with a few hundred of them certainly means we are more at risk, but we have checkups with a consultant to make sure none have turned cancerous. If you have an area of skin or a mole that you are particularly worried about, then do go and see a doctor. It may be because it's become an irregular shape, or a 'fried egg' (meaning it's a different colour in the middle), or grown very dark or suddenly expanded out of proportion to the rest of your body.

UVA also causes your skin to wrinkle and age. Believe me, if you take care now, you'll be grateful in ten years when you're looking younger than your orange and leathery peers! Don't shrug off the fact that you've burnt because it will turn brown - it's still really harmful. Tans are becoming less and less popular; many A-list celebrities have spoken out about raising skin damage awareness, and are now embracing a pale complexion.

So, I've mentioned lots of risks, but not actually how to prevent them. There are lots of ways:
  • An obvious one: just because the sun is there, doesn't mean you have to sit in it! 
  • However, if you do, make sure you're protected with a sun screen of at least spf 30, even if you 'DON'T BURN'. This means you can stay in the sun 30 times longer than you usually would without burning. It must also have a high UVA rating to protect from damage.
  • Seeking shade will mean that you not only reduce your risk of burning and damage, but you will stay cooler and avoid dehydration and sun stroke.
  • Find a hat you like! Hats don't have to be frumpy; find a trendy, stylish one of whichever style suits you - floppy, straw, fedora, whatever you will feel comfortable wearing. This is definitely something I struggle with!
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Own lightweight cardigans or kimonos that you can cover up with during the hottest parts of the day. It could even get chilly - weather can be unpredictable, especially in England!
  • Buy sunglasses that have UV protection to protect your eyes and the skin around them. This will also mean that your skin won't age and wrinkle as soon.
    Remember to embrace and love the skin you're in!

Sunday 5 July 2015

Try On Summer Clothing Haul

My wardrobe was lacking in a few essentials for the warm weather, and so over the last few weeks I have been shopping for some new summery items. Everything in this haul is fairly new, so most of it will still be in stores, and what I could find is linked down below.
The majority of my new things are from New Look as it's so local to me and they have some really pretty things in there at the moment! 

So this isn't really an essential, but my height means that beautiful playsuits that are actually long enough (like this one) don't come along often. I mentioned in my previous haul that I really like V necks; I think this V neck wrap is flattering and pretty. It's cut off by a tie in a bow at the back, and I love it!

I live in skinny jeans, especially in the colder weather. This makes it a very unseasonal buy, but when your legs are as long as mine, you gotta buy when you see :) They look almost shiny in the photographs, but they're not, I think it's the glare from my mirror.
One of the only purchases not from New Look was this striped top. I love the black hem along the sleeves and bottom of the top - it adds something else and gives it a slight girly and bohemian feel, too.
I bought the same top but in a floral green print as well. I think it's absolutely gorgeous!
I love ribbed detailing on clothing; the ribs make the crop top so much more interesting with added texture, and the black is a staple that will go with absolutely everything. I think crop tops look super flattering with high-waisted bottoms, which leads me on to... Navy denim shorts that also go with everything. These are really comfy and stretchy like jegging material, and I know I'll be wearing them tons this summer!
I decided to buy the crop top in white too, as it was on sale and is such a basic item.
I am so in love with this last tee - also a V neck - the pattern is so vibrant and bold; this kind of tile/tribal print is quite popular this year. The tassels also make a great feature, to be worn in a bow or hanging loose. As this is quite a loose fit, it looks really nice with skinny jeans or shorts.
One of my favourite things from this haul is definitely this gem. Kimonos became really popular last year, and I finally have one now. The pattern is so bold and striking, and I think the V down the back is so cool. I'm in love.
I've recently joined a netball team and begun running in the mornings, so I needed some new gear to get started, including these black and white tile runner shorts with black edging. They are really comfortable and lightweight, and they go with pretty much anything being monochrome.
Sticking with shorts, these were a bargain at a fiver in the New Look sale. These will be really handy for sport too, and I really, really love grey.
{the shoes aren't included in the haul} When I saw this maxi skirt in store, I couldn't believe how long it was. It's the perfect length for me, but must trail along the floor for many others. I love the blue and orange contrast in this skirt, and the slit makes it breezy and easy to wear. Another of my favourites!
{I sincerely apologise for the mess on my bed} Navy jogging bottoms are such an essential, so I snapped them up from New Look's Tall section. As you can see from the top photo, they are so thickly and fluffily lined, which will be super snug in winter!
{the black top and ditsy shorts also aren't included} I bought these sunglasses from Camden Market in London last month. They are quite crazy, but that's why I like them. They're different, and odd, and I love purple. Me and my friends all bought sunglasses, and it was so much fun!

Shop my haul:

Black crop top - New Look, here
White crop top - New Look, here
Striped top with black hem - Dorothy Perkins (no longer online)
Green floral top with black hem - Dorothy Perkins (no longer online)
Black top with square tribal/tile V neck and tassels - New Look (can't find online but is still in store)

Black and green kimono - New Look, here
Floral playsuit - New Look Tall (no longer online)
Purple sunglasses - Camden Market

Tile print maxi skirt - New Look, here
High-waisted skinny black jeans - New Look Tall, here
Navy Joggers - New Look Tall, here
Blue denim high-waisted shorts - New Look Tall, here
Black and white tile print runner shorts - New Look, here
Grey runner shorts - New Look, here

Let me know what your favourite item was and how you would style it!
Also, feel free to comment post suggestions; I'm always open to new ideas :)

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