Saturday, 31 August 2013

August Favourites

This past month I have been even more beauty obsessed than normal, so this is a big month for favourites! I have also included one non beauty favourite this month, because I love it that much.

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray - I bought this for my holiday, no I haven't been on holiday yet I've just used it all up before I've even left for the airport (brilliant Laura). This would have to be the favourite of the beauty favourites. Its a gazillion times better than any salt spray I have ever used and I think I have developed a very expensive new addiction. I spray it all over my hair when its wet and leave it to dry naturally. It leaves me with textured slightly wavy hair, which looks even better the next day. The best thing is that it doesn't leave my hair feeling matted or sticky, it feels like there's nothing in it which I like. At £18.00 for this small bottle *holds head in hands* its not cheap but for me its worth it. And yes I have already ordered a new bottle! - Available from Space NK £18.00

Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish in "Sunny Pink" - My friend at work had this on her nails and it looked so nice that I had to ask her what it was and then go out and buy it! Its a shade I would never have chosen myself but I just love how it looks. The trick is to do 3 coats, 3 is the perfect number! 
- Available from Boots/Superdrug £3.99

L'oreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution - Full review here but I love this makeup remover. If you have never tried a micellar water before you must, it will completely change your opinion of cleansers and may even tempt you away from those pesky makeup wipes! 
- Available from Boots/Superdrug £4.99

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Neroli Firming Intense Facial Serum - I have used this serum a lot this month, with it being so warm I couldn't bear a sticky moisturiser on my sweaty face so have just been wearing this and not much else. I actually love how this feels when I apply it and it smells lovely too. I can't really judge it on its firming benefits but I will definitely be trying more things from this range now.
- Available from Boots £14.99

OPI Alpine Snow - Judging by the amount of 'humerous' tipp ex jokes I have been getting recently, white nail polish is clearly in the "things men don't get" category, along with Uggs and fake eyelashes.
Well I don't care, I love a bit of white nail polish. Even my nan commented that it made my hands look brown, plus it always brings back memories of season 1 Buffy ahh. 
- Available from Beauty Bay £11.00

NARS The Happening Palette - Full review here sadly this palette is no longer available but I am obsessed with one particular eyeshadow in it. Gstaad is described as a shimmering taupe and I have been slapping this on all over and under my eyes. 

MAC 217 Eyeshadow Blending Brush - The only eyeshadow brush you need. Throw those sponge tip applicators away and invest in one of these. It applies a good level of colour but blends it out beautifully. I would go as far as saying its a life changer.
- Available from MAC  £18.00

Illamasqua Brow and Lash Gel - The best eyebrow gel, because unlike other gels and clear mascaras this keeps your brows in place all day. You brush your brows upwards and they stay up! I have converted 2 of my best friends to this and I wont stop there!
- Available from Illamasqua £11.50

Hourglass Brow Sculpting Pencil in Soft Brunette - Another obsession and another life changer
- Available from Space NK £26.00

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - My skin hates me at the moment, so concealer is an absolute necessity. This budget buy from Collection is brilliant, really good coverage, long lasting without being cakey.
- Availabe from Boots/Superdrug £4.19

Jouer Mattifying Powder Bronzer in Sunswept - Full review here me and this bronzer, its love. I love the warm tone of it just as much as I love the diddy packaging. The only thing I don't love, the fact I have used it so much it already has a hole in it :'(
- Available from Cult Beauty £22.00

Real Techniques Buffing Brush - If you are not an avid YouTube viewer or beauty blogger you may have never heard of these brushes. Long story short, the Pixiwoo sisters Sam and Nic are makeup artists who do tutorials on YouTube. Sam has created her own range of makeup brushes which you can buy from Boots/Superdrug and they are bloody amazing. Trust me after using these you will never want to apply foundation with your fingers again. The Buffing Brush and Expert Face Brush are the ones to get for foundation.
- Available from Boots/Superdrug prices vary

Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry - I waited literally years for these to come out in the UK and Cherry is by far my favourite. I do love a sheer red lip!
- Available from Boots/Superdrug £2.99

DIOR Lip Glow - This is a new addition and since buying it, its barely left my lips! This is a lip balm, which depending on the temperature of your lips changes colour. We aren't talking crazy colours here, just a different shade of pink. On me it turns a slightly darker pink, it looks very natural but just gives me a lovely bit of colour. I would highly recommend this, feels lovely and nourishing on the lips and you can throw it on without a mirror.
- Available from John Lewis £22.50

And onto my last non beauty related favourite, my phone case! I am in love with it for 2 reasons:

1) Just look at it! The colour (blue I love you), the design. Its a thing of beauty. 
2) The designer is my beautiful friend Amelia and I am super proud. I think I'm going to have to buy an iPad just so I can get a cover for that too.

All her designs are beautiful but my design, Miss Havisham is definitely my favourite. 

And that was just a few of my favourite things ;)

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

OPI Alpine Snow

I'm having a Buffy Summers season 1 moment and OPI Alpine Snow is the best white nail polish.
Like all white nail polishes this is a streaky bitch on the first coat but with 2 coats its opaque and shiny.

Now where did I put my claddagh ring.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Inside My Nans Makeup Bag

I love snooping inside peoples makeup bags, seeing what they use everyday and hearing about the products they swear by. I thought I would share my snoopings on my blog, of course with their owners permission!

First up my Nan.

My Nan is 89 (do not tell her I told you that!) and the contents of her makeup bag has been known to fill me with amusement.

Max Factor Creme Puff - The staple item in any self respecting Nans make up bag. My Nan calls this her pancake and I don't think she has ever used anything else. I love the smell of this, it brings to mind 1950's movie stars and old Grannies!

Maybelline Blue Blaze Eyeshadow - I cant remember when Maybelline had their eye shadows in packaging like this, so I'm assuming this is old. My Nan doesn't wear this on a day to day basis but it comes out for all the special occasions!

Boots Eyeshadow Trio Peridot, Aqua and Jade - Again dread to think how old this is, another special occasion only palette!

Lacura Eyeshadow - Like any Nan, my Nan loves a bargain and she has a couple of makeup items from Aldi/Lidl in her makeup bag. This eyeshadow is so cracked I don't even know why its in there and apparently she never wears it!

Chanel Brown Mascara - I bought this mascara for my Nan about 3 years joke. There is absolutely nothing left on it, a bit like applying charcoal to your eyelashes and letting all the grit and dust collect in your eyes. Now, a brown mascara is a staple in my Nans makeup bag, but she doesn't use it on her eyelashes, she uses it on her eyebrows. See she knows whats she's doing! I really need to get her a new one!

Rimmel Volume Mascara Flash Brown - This was meant to be the replacement to her beloved Chanel!

Lacura Lipstick - Last but not least lipstick. I don't think my Nan is too fussy on lipstick colours and this Aldi bargain is her current favourite. My other Nan on the other hand doesn't wear any makeup except lipstick and I know the exact pink shade she likes. Her favourite is 17 Poncho Pink!

And that's it, my Nan is certainly a lot more low maintenance than me!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

My Favourite Red Lipstick: Revlon Strawberry Suede

Revlon Strawberry Suede - You can't beat a matte red lip and Revlon's Strawberry Suede is my favourite. Sadly discontinued but still available on eBay where I bought mine.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Concealer Pens

Highlighting concealer pens are a staple in my make up bag. Late nights watching The Soprano's and YouTube videos (party animal I know) really take their toll and I'm sure my under eye circles are getting darker with every passing day!

Dior Skinflash £26.00

The most expensive of the 4 and definitely a luxury purchase. The flashy packaging is nice but its whats inside that counts. I noticed a visible difference when using this and was really impressed with the highlighting effect. Out of the 4 highlighters this definitely gave the most dramatic effect but I would recommend MAC's highlighter over this, due to the high price tag.

Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch £6.99

One of my favourite beauty products and it costs less than £10.00. This provides a good amount of coverage so if your under eye circles are particularly bad this would be my pick of the bunch.

Collection Illuminating Touch £4.99

The cheapest of the 4 and my least favourite. This concealer is very thick and cakey, it looks almost powdery on my skin. Its also extremely pink toned, not the most flattering of colours. Opt for Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer over this.

MAC Prep & Prime Highlighter "Light Boost" £18.00

My favourite of the bunch and my current highlighting concealer of choice. Light Boost is yellow toned rather than pink toned and I love the brightening effect this has. It blends easily and does not crease, if you have a bit more money to spend try this out.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Face Of The Day With Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry

At the moment I am all about fast makeup, I'm talking makeup that takes 10 minutes max to apply. I think I've got it down to a fine art now and these are some of my secret weapons.

Diorskin Nude BB Creme applied with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush - When I'm in a rush I always reach for a BB cream. I prefer applying this with a brush as it gives me a bit more coverage.

MAC Prep & Prime Highlighter in Light Boost - This is one of the best under eye concealers I've tried. Its much more yellow toned than most, which I like and really does brighten up my dark circles!

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - I have really been enjoying this budget buy concealer. It gives a good amount of coverage and I just dab it anywhere I feel I need extra coverage and blend out with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush.

Jouer Sunswept Mattifying Powder Bronzer - I love this bronzer and have used it everyday since I got it. I apply it with my Bobbi Brown bronzer brush in a "3" shape either side of my face. 

Stila Convertible Colour in Petunia - This cream blusher adds a subtle pink glow to my cheeks. I always use my Real Techniques Stippling Brush to apply cream blush as its stops me being too heavy handed!

Hourglass Brow Sculpting Pencil in Soft Brunette and Illamasqua Brow and Lash Gel - This is my perfect eyebrow combination. The Hourglass pencil is double ended, on one end a soft angled wax pencil which keeps your brows looking natural and not too heavy. The other end has a handy brush, perfect for brushing through your brows in case you have gone a bit heavy handed. The Illamasqua gel is heavy duty stuff, I use it to brush my bushy brows up and it keeps them in place all day.

Jouer Sunswept Mattifying Powder Bronzer - I have been skipping eyeshadow lately in favour of bronzer. I use a MAC 217 eyeshadow brush (but any fluffy blending brush will do) and run the bronzer through my crease. It gives a natural contoured effect and the orangey tone of the bronzer makes blue eyes "pop".

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers - Simply the best eyelash curlers out there. Curling your lashes makes the biggest difference and really opens up your eyes, I would never skip this step!

Benefit They're Real Mascara - My current mascara of choice, I slap this on my top and bottom lashes.

Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry - After what feels like an eternity, Maybelline Baby Lips are finally available in the UK (WOOHOO). After 3 unsuccessful Boots and Superdrug trips I ended up ordering mine from Boots online. Cherry is by far my favourite, its a very sheer red (my fave) and gives you just the right amount of colour and shine. Its love!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Sunday Manicure

I'm not a fan of Sunday traditions, roast dinners and The Antiques Roadshow, followed by cheese and crackers. Its all a bit depressing, although I am partial to a bit of Countryfile, hello Matt Baker ;)

I do have my own Sunday tradition though, which is the manicure. I change my nail polish all the time (every 2-3 days) but on a Sunday I go the whole hog. Nail painting is an art and badly painted nails are my biggest pet peeve. I studied Beauty Therapy and learning how to paint nails was the best thing about that year! 

Follow my step by step manicure and never flood your cuticles again!

First up, gather your equipment. You will need:

Cotton wool - Pads are the best
Nail Polish Remover
4 Sided Nail Buffer
Nail File
Cuticle Remover
Orange Stick
Base Coat
Nail Polish - Any colour!
Top Coat
Cuticle Oil

1. Remove your nail polish - The most obvious step, but I know some people (Chloe) are guilty of painting over their chipped polish! This will also prep your nails and remove the natural oils from your nails, which will extend the wear of your polish. My favourite nail polish remover is the Zoya Remove +

 2. Cuticle time - Cuticles are a pain, if yours are overgrown your nail polish wont go on smoothly and it will shorten the length of your nail bed. I like the Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover, apply a small amount to each of your nails and leave on for around 2 minutes. After 2 minutes use an orange stick to push back the cuticle and remove the excess.

3. Repeat step 1 - After using the cuticle gel make sure you go over each nail again with nail polish remover, just a quick swipe is needed! This will remove the excess gel and make your nail polish last longer. Its like applying foundation, if you apply your foundation immediately after you've moisturised it wont last as long. Same applies to your nails, make sure they are prepped!

4. File - Choose your preferred shape, if you have short, chubby fingers like me, go for an oval shape it will make your fingers appear longer!

5. Buff - My nail buffer is my secret weapon and will make your nail polish last all week. I always use the Models Own buffer which you can buy from Boots. The buffer has 4 sides, side 1 is a really rubbish file which I never use, so I start with step 2. buff, followed by step 3. smooth and step 4. shine.
Not only does buffing your nails make your polish last longer, it also helps reduce ridges in your nails and if you have stained your nails it will help take the stain out.

 6. Base - You must, must, must use a base coat. Think of it like a primer, smoothing out the surface of your nail making your polish apply evenly. It also prevents staining and increases your polish wear. Any base coat will do, I'm currently using this OPI Natural Nail Base Coat which I really like, I would also recommend the Essie Nourish Me base coat. If you have bad ridges in your nails use a ridge filling base coat, these are thicker and will fill in the ridges.

7. Paint - I'm currently having a Buffy Summers season 1 moment and loving white nail polish. OPI Alpine Snow is my favourite white but I only have it in this diddy bottle and its basically all gone now :'( Always do 2 coats, I very, very rarely do three coats. Paint in three stripes, one in the middle and 2 either side. Remember you are painting your nails, not your cuticles or skin. The more you practise the better you will get!

8. Shine - Top coat, please don't skip it! It makes all the difference and adds shine. Its like the perfect sandwich, base coat, 2 coats of polish and top coat. The top coat seals everything in and is the final step in increasing your polish wear time. The only top coat I use is the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. A life changing product, my nails are dry within 5 minutes. I would never be without this!

9. Oil -  Cuticle oil stops your cuticles becoming dry and ragged. I love Solar Oil but have just finished my bottle so picked this Almond Nail and Cuticle Oil up from The Body Shop. It comes in a handy clicky pen, so you can chuck it in your bag and apply it anytime.

Taaa Daaaaa!

And not a flooded cuticle in sight!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Nails Inc Queen Victoria Street

I love this bright green, reminds me of The Wizard of Oz. Make sure you use a good base coat to avoid stained nails!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

L'oreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution

Now I'm not the most frugal person when it comes to make up. I remember when I was about 14/15 years old, Versace used to have a makeup line. I used to save up the money I earned sweeping the floor in the local bakers (FYI this was the year 2000, not 1952) and buy these Versace lip glosses from Allders in Croydon, they were my pride and joy. Sadly both Allders and my beloved Versace lip glosses no longer exist, but my expensive taste in beauty products has remained.

Now, as much as I love my expensive makeup and beauty items, I do love finding cheaper high quality alternatives and the L'oreal Micellar Solution is my latest discovery.

Micella waters are makeup removers, which look and feel just like water. They are so gentle on your skin and you don't need to wash your face after using them. Just pour some on a cotton pad, and your good to go. They are so quick and easy and so much better for your skin than wipes, which strip your skin and leave your face looking red and blotchy after use. Bioderma is the most famous of the micellar waters and since discovering this last year I have not used makeup wipes at all.

As much as I love Bioderma its hard to get hold of in the UK as the brand is French. You can only buy online and it costs around £15.00 for a 500ml bottle. L'oreal's Micellar Solution is widely available and only costs £4.99 for 200ml. I cant tell any difference between the two, they both remove my face makeup easily and are very gentle on my skin. I will definitely be purchasing L'oreal's verson from now on.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Face of the Day with Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm - I got a free sample of this and have been trying it out recently. Use it as you would a primer, before your foundation but the trick it not to rub it in. You have to try and smoothe it on your skin, with as few strokes as possible. I'm not sure what I think of this yet, can't say I have noticed a real difference but I still need some time to experiment with it!

Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation - You can read my full review on this here but its a foundation I always go back to, especially in Summer due to the high SPF.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - Ah the cult status concealer in the beauty blogging and YouTube world. Its a good concealer, covers really well and blends in nicely. Not bad for £4.19

Jouer Mattifying Powder Bronzer in Sunswept - Again I have done a full review of this bronzer here but I have quickly fallen in love with this little guy and am now eager to try more Jouer products in order to build my very own lego makeup tower!

Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder in Transparent - This is a good powder for controlling shine but be careful as it can look cakey if you use too much. I use the duo fibre powder brush from Real Techniques with this.

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base - By far my favourite eyeshadow base, blends into nothing and keeps my eyeshadow on all day.

Hourglass Brow Sculpting Pencil in Soft Brunette - I think I can officially say this has overtaken my love for MAC's Lingering. This pencil is so easy to use and gives a really soft natural finish to your brows. No felt tipped brows here people.

Illamasqua Brow and Lash Gel - The BEST eyebrow gel, clear mascara just doesn't compare. I use this to brush my brows up, it keeps them in place and makes them look a little groomed. If Julia Roberts is your brow hero too then try this!

Revlon Lash Potion - Full review here but in summary, don't be fooled by the pretty packaging!

Smashbox Bronze Lights in Suntan Matte - When I discovered that my local Boots now stocks Smashbox I knew it was going to be a problem! I have wanted to try this bronzer for a long time, its been on my radar for years as I remember Kim Kardashian's makeup artist listing it as the perfect matte bronzer. He was right, there is no shimmer in it at all. It blends seamlessly as the texture is so soft, like butter! I still cant stop wearing bronzer as an eyeshadow and I like using this on my eyes instead of the Jouer as its more red toned, so looks a little more natural.

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in Golden Pink - A couple of years ago I was definitely a MAC girl, you know the false lashes, the winged liner, changing your hair colour every other week. Well maybe its because I'm going to be 27 this year (gulp) or the fact that I haven't dyed my hair in over a year but I think I'm a Bobbi Brown girl now. I just love the woman, I love what her brand stands for, I love what she promotes. Natural beauty, makeup that emphasises the features you already have, doesn't alter them. 
My Mum is a big Bobbi Brown fan and always has been, but now we enable each other! My mum had  heard about the new Bobbi Brown cream shadow sticks and wanted to try them. I tagged along and it was love at first swatch. 

I wasted no time and grabbed the nearest Assistant "Can we have two of the Golden Pink". If you like MAC's All That Glitters eyeshadow you will love this. As this is a cream shadow in a stick format its so easy to use, you don't need a brush and can just blend out with your fingers. Its also perfect for an inner corner highlight, I love that it looks pretty and natural.  I was seriously impressed at how long lasting this was. That swatch on my wrist, would not come off without some serious rubbing from a baby wipe and it stays on my eyes all day without a primer and doesn't crease at all. I really can't recommend these enough, infact my Mum called me from her holiday, to tell me she bought another shade at the airport! (So proud!)

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in Bloom - Again with the Smashbox and the Boots (argh) I love the colour of this blush, its a bright coral red colour (my two favourite colours combined how wonderful!) It gives a really natural flush to the cheeks and again I was impressed by how long it lasted on my skin. My only gripe is the packaging, you have to twist the lid and it kind of grates off the blush. Its just fiddly and I never grate off the right amount, plus it always leaks in my makeup bag. The only thing I like grating is parmesan!

Dior Addict Lipstick in 864 - My kind of lipstick, bright but sheer. Makes me look alive and looks good with the Halo blush!