Sunday, 31 March 2013

Sheer Red Lips

I cannot wear your typical 'nude lip'. Colours like MAC's Myth, Creme De Nude and god forbid Fleshpot are strict no no's for me. Honestly, they make me look like the life has been drained out of me! For a long time I really envied people who could rock a smoky eye and a nude lip but now I wouldn't swap my sheer red lips for anything.

I pretty much wear a sheer red lip everyday, I know for some people a red lip might seem too bright for everyday, even if it is sheer but I love the colour and warmth it gives my face. Last year I did a post on how I have been embracing a more natural look and I am so happy I made that change. I still love makeup just as much as I always have, but I have embraced my features and colourings instead of covering them up. Now I like to keep my eye makeup minimal but wear bright blushes and lip colours. I actually can't even remember the last time I wore eyeliner which is quite a miracle for someone who used to wear a winged eyeliner every single day.

Anyway onto the lips!

So my sheer red lips are quite an obsession and I have accumulated a nice little collection. If I want something more subtle or my lips are feeling dry I like to use a red tinted lip balm like Benefit's Benetint. I have just bought a new one of these as my other one was on its last legs, this is definitely a favourite for me. Elizabeth Arden's Lip Protectant in Berry is another great tinted balm, but for some reason I always forget I have this!

If I want a brighter red I use Revlon's Lip Butter in Candy Apple. I love Revlon's Lip Butters and have decided I would pick one of these over a MAC lipstick any day. My newest addition to the collection is Burberry's Lip Mist in Rosy Red which I am wearing in the picture below. I love this lipstick and really want to try more of Burberry's Lip Mists. 
Most recently though I have been using Stila's Convertible Lip and Cheek Colour in Poppy. This is quite pigmented so you only need a little bit and I tend to wear my Benetint lip balm over it, as it can be quite drying.

In the winter I tend to reach for a darker, more cherry red. Clinique's Almost Lipstick in the cult shade Black Honey is perfect for this and feels lovely on your lips. Miners Tin O Tint in Cherry and Korres Wild Rose are two great cherry stained lip balms which I love equally.

So if like me you too don't suit a nude lip then I encourage you to explore your inner English Rose ;)

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A Week In Nails Part 4

After my rather girly nail polish choices last week, I am back in more "me" colours! These Week in Nails post's are really making me venture deeper in my nail polish collection then I normally would. For me that's a good thing as I have an obscene amount of nail polish (secret shame) and I tend to reach for the same shades and leave others neglected.

Nails Inc "Baker Street" is a brilliant, bright electric blue. I love this colour and it graced my nails a lot last year. I'm not normally a big fan of Nails Inc as I do think they are overpriced, but Baker Street is definitely worth the money.

Next we have an oldie but a goodie, Revlon's "Minted". I have said it before but Revlon's nail polishes are amazing, they last for ages both on the nails and in shelf life. I must have had Minted for about 4 years and its still good as new. Minted is the perfect colour for Spring, a really pretty mint green. The only thing is I'm starting to think mint green really doesn't suit my skin tone, but I wont give up just yet!

And lastly we have Zoya's "Caitlin" this is a new eBay purchase and I love it. I would describe it as a dusky blue, mixed with a bit of purple and grey....hmmm! Zoya is quite hard to get over here in the UK but its fast becoming one of my favourite nail polish brands.

Bare Minerals Loud & Clear Berry Remix Lip Sheer

Meet the new lip product from Bare Minerals, Loud & Clear Lip Sheer. I haven't tried many things from Bare Minerals but these peaked my interest as I'm an absolute sucker for sheer lipsticks.

There are three colours available and I picked the darkest, "Berry Remix" I was hoping this would be along the lines of Clinique's Black Honey but I have to say I'm not very impressed.

Now I know these are meant to be sheer, but there's sheer and then there's sheer! As I said I got the darkest colour and there's hardly any pigment in it at all. If you have particularly pigmented lips you won't get any colour pay of at all, it will just look like a lip balm. A very expensive lip balm at £15.00!

Like I said I love sheer lipsticks but you have to have the balance of colour and shine, otherwise like I said you may as well just stick with a pot of vaselline for 99p!

The other unpleasant surprise was the smell, if you don't like strong scents be warned! This smells exactly like one of The Body Shop's scents, I think it's the orange one. I hate strongly scented lip products, your lips are far too close to your nose to have to put up with that all day. I also think the strong, artificial smell makes the Lip Sheers feel like a very cheap product, when in reality at £15.00 they are anything but.

If you were thinking of trying one of these, I really would save your money I know I have been left disappointed *sad face*

Monday, 18 March 2013

Face of the Day with Stila Poppy

I am terrible for finding a makeup look I love, then about two weeks later I find myself changing all my products round and forgetting about my previous routine entirely. I think its because I am so easily influenced when it comes to makeup. One minute I'm looking at pictures of Kat Von D ready to bust out the Estee Lauder Double Wear, the bright red lipstick and my blackest of eye shadows. The next I'm admiring Emma Watson's barely there, girl next door look and using double the amount of products to try and look as natural as possible!

Now my routine has changed again and my inspiration is quite unique! I know I am about eight years behind, but I have just discovered Prison Break.....don't laugh! I am a little embarrassed to say it out loud myself but I am obsessed and just finished season one! (Next I'll be telling you about this really great show about a plane crash on an island).

But anyway, I have fallen in love with the character Dr Sara Tancredi's make up! I love it, its so warm, that's the best way I can think of describing it. Think Bella in New Moon! Her cheeks and lips have that flushed look, and there's a hint of a bronzed/coppery eyeshadow which looks like it could just be a shadow, but its just the right amount and colour to make her eyes really stand out. I mean, I'm sure if I was that close to Wentworth Miller I would have that warm flushed look too, but I'm not so I have to make do with what Ive got! 

I start off by spritzing Urban Decay De Slick all over my face. This is a makeup setting spray which you spray before and after your makeup, this stuff really works. I'm no longer scared to look in the mirror mid afternoon and find all my makeup has magically disappeared from the centre of my face!

For foundation I have been loving Lancome's Teint Miracle (for some reason I cannot say this without putting on a terrible Jamaican accent!) This is is a really beautiful foundation which gives a lovely glow to the skin. A grown up "glow" mind, not shimmery. Rimmel's Wake Me Up foundation would be its obnoxious bratty little sister.

Powder Wise I stuck to my beloved Laura Mercier Mineral Powder, this shade is Real Sand which is lighter then natural beige, better for these endless Winter months!

My bronzer, is Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer, I swear its the never ending bronzer. I just cant seem to finish it!

Then we have my star product, Stila's Convertible Colour in "Poppy". Stila's Convertible Colours can be used on the lips and cheeks and I used Poppy for both. Poppy is a gorgeous sheer red which is perfect for my "warm, flushed, I'm standing next to Wentworth Miller look" I really love it as a blush and I like that on my lips it leaves a natural looking stain. If you like Benefit's Benetint but hate the fact its like a paint thinner and removes any makeup underneath it, then try this I'm sure you will love it too! One thing though, if you are wearing this on your lips make sure you put on a lip balm first, as with most multi functional lip/cheek products this can be quite drying on the lips. I just used the first lip balm which came to hand, The Body Shops Shea Lip Butter.

As it was Monday morning, I made sure I used a truck load of the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer under my eyes, love this stuff for brightening up the face!

Finally for face I finish off with a good dousing of Mac Fix + this is a life saver if you have over powdered. 

If it ain't broke don't fix it, is a motto that I strongly believe in, so for brows I stuck with MAC's Lingering and Illamasqua's brow gel.

For eyeshadow I used a pro longwear eyeshadow from MAC in the colour "One To Watch". This was another rediscovery that Ive had a while but I dug out as it was perfect for my "look". Its a very warm tan colour, there is some shimmer in it, but its very natural and once its on the eyes you cant notice it, which I like. I also used MAC's "Ricepaper" for my tear duct highlight and used what was left on my brush to go along the brow bone. One of my pet peeves is a bright, white shimmering brow bone, so go easy ladies! I also used Ricepaper as a highlight on my face and I have to say its something I will be doing more often!

Then finally, the most important step of all....mascara! I used Dior's Diorshow Maximiser, which is like a primer for your lashes. I was dubious of this at first but I really have noticed a difference when I use this, my lashes seem longer and also my mascara seems to stay on longer. 

I just have to say how impressed I have been with MAC's Opulash. This is the Bad Bad Black version from the Archie's Girls collection but it is in their permanent line. I normally always have to wear waterproof mascara but this stuff lasts on me all day, does not smudge at all and its not even waterproof! I have to confess to even sleeping in this and when I woke up the next day, still hadn't smudged. This Friday I put it through its biggest test, a wisdom tooth removal! One breakdown and lots of tears later, I was expecting a panda eyed massacre but no, not a smudge in sight! Its true love!

So now I just need to find something to occupy myself with until my Prison Break box set arrives from eBay......I wonder if its dispatched yet  hmmmmmmm *refreshes emails*

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A Week In Nails Part 3

My nail colour choices this week were particularly girly, which is unlike me but you know what they say, a change is as good as a rest ;)

First up, OPI's "Panda-Monium Pink" (I do love the OPI names!) In this picture it looks very pink but in real life its actually more of a pinky purple shade. If you like OPI's Mod About You but find it too stark on the nails or just don't have the patience to work with that streaky m***** f***** then I would recommend this colour as a more grown up option. 

I only have two colours to show you this week, slacking I know! I finished the week with another one of the Barry M Gelly's, this time in "Prickly Pear". Now I am going to confess being a little bit disappointed in this colour. After the brightness of Green Berry I was expecting an equally bright pastel purple (along the lines of Illamasqua's "Jo'mina" which I love) but alas it was not to be. Now I'm not saying this isn't a pretty colour, it is a very nice pastel purple but there is nothing special about it. I didn't find it particularly shiny either, so if you already have a pastel purple colour in your collection you do not need this one. Dont pretend I didnt warn you, fellow nail polish hoarders! 

Tara Smith Shine On Shampoo and Conditioner

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been trying to use more natural and cruelty free beauty products.
I was in the Marks and Spencer on Oxford Street recently and found myself in their newly revamped beauty department.
Marks and Spencer revamped their beauty department last year and now sell lots of different, hard to find beauty brands. I would describe it as a Beauty Emporium and there were a lot of things I found in there which I didn't even know you could get in the UK, including the Sud Pacifique perfumes.

There was one display I was immediately drawn to though and knew I had to get something, anything! I had not heard of Tara Smith's haircare range before and I'm so happy I discovered it.

Tara Smith is a celebrity hairstylist with a very impressive CV. Tara has now designed her own range of products based on her philosophy of "What you put on to your body is as important as what you put into it". All of her products are natural, 100% vegan and cruelty free.

OK I can go no further without mentioning the packaging! These are undoubtedly the most beautiful bottles of shampoo and conditioner I have ever owned. There are different ranges in the line and each range has the most beautiful picture of a tropical bird on it. Honestly I practically ran at this display! Once I had calmed down and got over my initial reaction to BUY THEM ALL! I opted for the shampoo and conditioner from the 'Shine On' range.

The 'Shine On' range is designed to hydrate, moisturise and restore gloss to damaged, thirsty or coloured hair-naturally.

I have used the shampoo and conditioner a few times now and I am very pleased with the results. I have very oily hair so I hate products that leave any kind of residue in my hair, these don't and I have to say my hair feels very 'clean' after using them, which I love. I also love that the conditioner feels very nourishing and leaves my hair feeling lovely and silky without weighing it down. I cant say I have noticed a dramatic difference shine wise but as I have only used these a few times it may be too early to notice a difference.

I would really recommend checking these out, I will definitely be trying something else when these are done and I've got my eyes on the Gorgeously Gentle shampoo and conditioner. I love Tara's philosophy of natural and cruelty free products and I am so happy I discovered her range. You can buy the Tara Smith range from Marks and Spencers online and the shampoo and conditioners are priced at £10.00 each for 250ml.

If like me you are interested in discovering more about cruelty free brands then check out

Monday, 11 March 2013

February Favourites

I don't often do monthly favourites post, so I dont know why I started with February, as its the hardest month to spell and I am now extremely paranoid about the 'ru'ary bit.

I find I love certain products, then halfway through the month find something else and love it even more. Then I never know what to include! Ahh the trouble of a fickle mind! So here is my highly edited favourites post. I have cut it down to only the products I have used and loved all month long.

Yes to Carrots Hydrating Shower Gel - I know shower gel is not the most exciting of things, so for me to mention one in a favourites post it has to be pretty special. My love for the Yes to brand is no secret and this is easily my favourite product I have tried by them so far. It feels lovely on the skin, doesn't dry my skin out or leave it feeling tight and I love that its made from natural ingredients. This will definitely be a staple for me.

Lush Big Shampoo - I am trying to use more natural, cruelty free products. Animal testing is something that I know a lot of us don't want to think about, but it does upset me to think a lot of the products I use probably have been tested on animals. Hence why I am trying to find and explore more natural brands. Now I am not a Lush fan, the smell of a Lush shop is pretty repulsive to me and I'm not a bath bomb kinda gal! But I had read some great things about this shampoo, so held my nose and in I went. Big Shampoo is a shampoo packed with sea salt. Don't let that put you off, I find it does an amazing job at making my hair feel really light and clean and it has quickly become one of my favourite shampoos. This is my second pot and I have already braved it back into lush and bought two more. If you are like me and suffer from the dreaded 'greezy' hair you should definitely try this. One thing I will say though, the price of this stuff is extortionate, £11.00! I wish I didn't like it so much!  Oh Lush you are yet to win me over.

Urban Decay De Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray - Not only is my hair prone to the 'greezies', my face is too! I work in an office (dream job I tell you....) and there is nothing worse then going to the bathroom in the afternoon, looking in the mirror and finding your makeup has completely disappeared from the centre of your face (goodness knows where it goes!) Well not anymore! De Slick is amazing, you spray it on your face before you apply your makeup and again when you are finished. My makeup lasts the whole day at work and doesn't go wandering off, brilliant stuff.

Jack Wills English Velvet Perfume - One of my favourite perfumes, I got through this in record timing (I got this bottle for Christmas). I find English Velvet to be a very distinctive but still very feminine scent. I have to confess I have already purchased another bottle of this, I just couldn't wait!

Maybelline Full 'N Soft Waterproof Mascara - Ahh my beloved £3.99 eBay bargain. Since I bought this I have barely touched another mascara. I love that this looks and feels natural-ish ;) on my lashes but still gives me the effect I want. I think I'm addicted, but for £3.99 I don't care!

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Liner in 'Nude' - I have been using this in my waterline to make myself look a bit more bright eyed and bushy tailed! The colour is very flattering, I cannot stand white eyeliner in the waterline, it looks freaky to me but this natural colour really softly brightens your eyes without making you look mega creepy!

MAC Eyebrows in 'Lingering' - I caved, I just cant be without this eyebrow pencil in my life. Slightly dramatic I know, but I have been through about 8 pencils now so maybe not an exaggeration ;) A universally flattering colour and because the pencil is so small it allows you to fill your eyebrows in but keep them looking natural. The downside, it runs out ridiculously quick (hence my self imposed ban) I get through about one of these a month!

MAC Blush in 'Dainty' - Pretty much the only blush I have used all month because a) its a really pretty, pink shimmery colour and b) pretty, pink shimmery blushes go with everything and February has been a lazy month makeup wise!

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer - I have been slapping this on under my eyes ala Kim Kardashian and I am not ashamed to admit that. I have also been putting this on all those essential highlight areas, centre of the nose, brow bone, cheekbone, basically I pretty much colour the centre of my face in with this ;) It really is brightening, and doesn't crease at all. You really don't need to spend the money on a YSL touche eclat these days, as the drugstore options are far better and cheaper!

So there you have it, as I mentioned February has been a bit of a lazy makeup month. What can I say, I'm turning into a right old natural beauty..........*guffaw*

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A Week In Nails Part 2

Left to right: Zoya "Skylar", Revlon "Elegant", Revlon "Dreamer", Models Own "Blizzard", Models Own "Disco Heaven", Orly "Shine On Crazy Diamond", Barry M "Indigo"

My week in nails was a bit of a disaster this past week, as all my nails broke :( I hate to be the stereotypical girl but there really is nothing worse, well obviously there is, but you know what I mean! So I have tried to make up for this by using 5 nail polishes in one manicure! Its true, glitter does makes everything better!

First up, "Skylar" by Zoya. I had forgotten all about this colour, but I'm glad I dug this out because I really do like it. Its quite a unique colour and reminds me of Chanel's "Boy" but with gold and silver glitter.

Next up, the 5 colour manicure! I used Revlon's "Elegant" which is a really lovely natural brown toned nude. Another colour I had completely forgotten I owned! For the blue I used another polish my Revlon, "Dreamer" this is a beautiful dusky blue, both of these would look lovely on their own. I really recommend Revlon nail varnishes, they do some great on trend colours and the formula is amazing.

Now onto the glitter! I used three different glitters to get just the right level of camp sparkliness! First a coat of Models Own "Blizzard" then a coat of Models Own "Disco Heaven" followed by TWO coats of Orly's "Shine on Crazy Diamond" annnnnnnnd we're done!

And finally I finished off the week with Barry M's Indigo (Please excuse the smudge!)

If you have any tips on making your nails grow fast, please send them my way!

Monday, 4 March 2013

The Beauty Graveyard

 I was quite shocked to see I hadn't done a Beauty Graveyard post since October, poor show! I had actually used up a lot of products since then but I got so fed up of them lying around, that I recycled them and didn't post, kind of regretting that now!

So without further adieu may I present to you my empties! Oh and the "*" represent how many times a product has appeared in my Beauty Graveyard posts. Basically, the more *'s the more I love it!

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation (Shade B10)
I got this when it was first released, I was that excited. Got to my nearest Chanel counter and surprise, surprise there was no on there to serve me. As this foundation was new out it was on display but there were only four shades. With no one around to help me I assumed this was the paltry shade range on offer and picked the lightest B10. Let me tell you I hated this foundation, the colour was so chalky, I could not understand why everyone kept banging on about it. Then I discovered there were a lot more than 4 shades on offer and made the brave (or extremely stupid) decision to buy another bottle, this time in a colour that matched my skin (B20) and I'm glad I did. I ended up loving this foundation (still not this colour though!) it really is a lovely, natural, lightweight foundation. Just goes to show how important it is to get a good colour match with your foundation!

Laura Mercier Mineral Powder (Shade Natural Beige) **
I am now on my third pot of this powder and its definitely one of the products I would never be without. I still have not found a liquid foundation I like half as much as this powder. This gives my skin the glowy finish that I just cant seem to get from other liquid foundations.

Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer
One of my favourite discoveries from 2012, don't waste your money on YSL's Touche Eclat. This little beauty does a much better job at a quarter of the price!

L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara (Waterproof) **
This is one of the reasons I love doing my Beauty Graveyard posts, you really get to see the products you love and regularly use. Again another 2012 favourite, a bloody brilliant mascara.

Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Daily Balancing Moisturiser
I love the Yes to brand philosophy of cruelty free and natural ingredients. I would love all the products I use to be like this. This moisturiser wasn't particularly amazing, it wasn't bad but just so, so. Can't say I noticed my skin being clearer, but this hasn't put me off the brand at all. In fact I have fallen in love with another of their products which will be in my February favourites (whenever I manage to get that up!)

O.P.I Acetone Free Polish Remover
I noticed a real improvement in my nails after using this. I had been using a cheap remover and because I paint my nails so often they were weak, peeling and just generally ugh! As soon as I started using this my nails improved, the only thing I really hate about this is the smell. Now I know nail varnish remover never smells good, but this stuff is so strong. I have to wash my hands after using it, its that bad!

Aveda Pure Abundance Volumising Clay Conditioner
I was really disappointed in this conditioner, I had such high hopes *sigh* Not particularly volumising, or conditioning. Definitely not worth the money.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair **
I got through another of these little sample bottles. This is a serum which you apply to your face at night (funnily enough). In the morning I find my skin is smooth and has a certain "glow" to it. I doubt I would buy the full size bottle of this though as its a lot of money and I don't know if I like it that much to fork out £40.00!

L'Occitane Hand Cream
This was a freebie in a magazine, Marie Claire I believe. I didn't use this for ages because I thought it would be really thick and sticky on the hands. Now I cant say its not at all sticky, because honestly who has ever found a hand cream that isn't! But it did actually sink in really nicely and the smell is divine, your hands will smell like babies! This is definitely something I would purchase myself. Way better then the Soap and Glory hand cream which I am currently using and not liking at all (ridiculously sticky!)

E45 Moisturising Lotion ****
You know I like to keep things simple with my body moisturiser and for a fiver you cannot go wrong with E45!

Jack Wills English Velvet Body Wash
English Velvet by Jack Wills is actually one of my favourite perfumes, and no I'm not 15 (sadly). I got the English Velvet Body Wash for Christmas and it really was a lovely stocking filler. I love this scent so it was nice to layer it and this didn't leave my skin feeling dry at all. Lets hope I find it at the bottom of my stocking this year!