Saturday, 31 January 2015

Downsizing my Makeup Collection

'You can never have too much of a good thing'

I am a self confessed makeup addict. I've studied it, have a blog dedicated to it and spend many a waking hour thinking about it. Our love affair started young. When I was 14 I got my first job mopping the floors in a Bakery after school (the glamour!) I used to save my weekly pay cheques to buy these Versace lip glosses (a line that has long been discontinued). I think I had almost every colour and they were my pride and joy. 

Every morning I do my makeup, its my favourite and most relaxing part of my day. I think about the look I want to achieve and the colours I want to use and then I get to work. Its my safety blanket and my war paint.

However, this addiction has resulted in a makeup collection that is frankly embarrassing! Its difficult having a blog dedicated to makeup because there's always this pressure to buy and review the latest products. I have found some holy grail products through blogging but what happens to the products that were just ok, they sit in my drawer gathering dust. 

I still love makeup as much as ever but for the last few years makeup was my crutch. I feel like I'm starting a new chapter in my life, there is so much I want to do this year and girl just can't be spending all her money on makeup no more!

Downsizing my makeup collection has been something I have been considering doing for a while. Seeking inspiration I turned to YouTube and have discovered some amazing ladies who are also on a similar mission. 

Pinksofoxy - I have been watching Pinksofoxy's videos for over a year and she is a PRO at decluttering. She has gradually reduced her makeup and belongings over the last two years and documented it along the way.

PrettyPistol86 - Is my current fave and the Queen of 'Project Panning'. Project panning is a blogger term, where you pick a certain number of products to finish or 'hit pan' on before you allow yourself to buy anything new. 'Hitting pan' refers to that satisfying moment you see the silver bottom of your makeup packaging peeking through. PrettyPistol86 just completed a project 20 pan and I think her latest project is to finish 7 items by Spring. I've said it before but I honestly think using up a piece of makeup is just as satisfying as buying one, so I am addicted to her videos and they really make me motivated to use up my makeup.

Amber F - Although I wasn't new to the concept of 'Project Panning' I had never heard of 'Pan that Palette' until I watched Ambers video. Pan that Palette is a new tag with loads of lovely ladies who are trying to completely use up an entire eyeshadow palette over the space of one year. Amber completely finished her Urban Decay Naked palette last year and the video she made when she finished it, is just brilliant. I haven't decided if I'm going to join in with this challenge just yet but it is definitely something I want to do at some point.

After too many hours procrastinating on YouTube, I was feeling thoroughly inspired and started by taking an inventory of all my makeup. I categorised and counted everything and not gonna lie....pretty much filled up an entire notebook! Seeing the numbers written down is pretty embarrassing, lets just say no one needs 106 lipsticks! 

After I had thoroughly shamed myself, I decided I was putting myself on a makeup ban and I am very proud to say that for the whole of January I haven't bought any makeup (A real First World achievement I know!) I have to give a shout out to my friend Lucy though who hooked me up with some freebies from work to test and try. I don't know how I would have got through January without her!

Now I'm kind of umming and ahhing whether to keep up a strict ban or just reduce it to a 'low buy' meaning I can only buy one makeup item a month or something. Realistically I know I wont be able to buy no makeup at all and I don't want to set myself up to fail, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with the low buy option. At the moment though, I have to admit that I'm really enjoying using up my makeup so don't really have an urge to buy any! 

I am giving myself two exceptions where I can purchase makeup without self judgement and that is, if they do a beauty sale at work and hopefully when I go to American in October. These two events are monumental for me and no, I wont give them up! 

As well as dramatically reducing the amount of makeup I buy, I'm also making a conscious effort to use up the makeup I have. I have a little clear acrylic drawer unit on top of my makeup storage that I keep the products I use everyday in. The only thing I am changing on a daily basis is my eyeshadow, everything else stays the same until I finish it and replace it with something different from my collection.

Since November last year I have been keeping all the makeup I have finished in a bag (Sephora of course!) When we get to November this year I am going to count up everything up and see how much makeup I managed to use up in a whole year. I will also update my makeup inventory and pray that its dramatically reduced! 

As January is now over, I thought I would share the items I managed to use up this month and I think I might do this each month going forward to spur me on!

Dior Star Foundation £32.00

I really grew to love this foundation and its definitely one I would repurchase, once I get through the other 14 foundations I own! This gives a medium coverage but with a very natural finish. It doesn't feel heavy or look cakey on the skin and really does look like your skin but better.

Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie £7.99

A few years ago I was obsessed with these Revlon Lip Butters and I think I own almost every shade! Whilst I love this colour, the consistency is horrible and nothing like any of the other lip butters in the range. For some reason this particular shade is really thick and almost gloopy. Every time I applied it, someone would tell me I had lipstick on my teeth or I would smear a bit on my chin. For that reason I would not buy this again and I'm so happy its finally finished!

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Montego Bay £19.50

I LOVE this lipstick and I was so close to putting it in my 14 Makeup Favourites of 2014. Firstly its matte, which is my favourite finish. Secondly, although its matte it doesn't feel at all drying on the lips and thirdly the rose pink shade is just a beautiful everyday colour. 
I miss it already.

Shell Lip Balm £14.99

If you have been watching YouTube videos for a while, I'm sure you will remember these shell lip balms! Housed in a real sea shell, these organic lip balms are really pretty and the lip balm isn't bad either!

Total used up makeup = £74.48!

It's pretty scary how quickly that adds up, I plan on adding up everything I have used at the end of the year so god knows how much that will be! I have to say I am really, really enjoying using up the makeup I have and its definitely becoming a bit of an addiction. I think February will be good because I have a lot of products that I'm really close to finishing!

If you are in a similar position to me and thinking of downsizing your makeup collection let me know and we can support one another!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in 'Exposure'

I'm not really one for New Years resolutions, but at the beginning of the year I did decide to put myself on a makeup ban. Now this was probably doomed to fail from the start but when I saw these new Hourglass Modernist palettes, I knew my no buy would have to change to a 'low buy!'

The new Modernist palettes come in seven different shades and will be available from early February. Although I would recommend keeping an eye on Space NK's website in case they launch earlier.

These palettes are really beautiful. I love the rippled wave design and the seamless transition from shade to shade. Sometimes beauty comes at the price of practicality, but each shade is big enough for you to dip your brush in, so you can get to each individual colour. 

The palette I have is in the shade 'Exposure' which contains four neutral, mauve tones and one bronzey gold shade. If you are a fan of Charlotte Tilbury's Vintage Vamp palette or Urban Decay's Naked 3, I think you will like this. 

The shimmers in this palette are my favourite as they aren't over the top. I love a shimmery, metallic eyeshadow but sometimes you want something a bit more subtle. 

I was a bit disappointed by the matte shades in the palette however, as the texture was kind of crumbly and not particular smooth. I have definitely used better matte shadows than these. 

At £56.00 these palettes ain't cheap! If you are a makeup addict like myself, they are worth it purely for the uniqueness and beauty of their design. However, if we are talking value for money, Urban Decay's Naked palettes would still win. 

I was extremely lucky to get this palette as a freebie from my friend at work so I haven't actually broken my makeup ban yet....but I will definitely be splashing the case and buying the 'Infinity' shade (for research of course!) 

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette available end of Jan/early Feb Space NK £56.00

Sunday, 4 January 2015

14 Makeup Favourites of 2014

Yesterday I shared my 14 beauty favourites of 2014 and today its time for the fun stuff, makeup. I actually find it really hard to pick my top makeup picks for the year because things like eyeshadow and lipstick I change all the time. I want my end of year favourites to really be the things that I have used the most.

There are no foundations in my favourites this year because I have actually been trying to reduce my foundation collection! Last year I went through quite a few and although some stand out, once I used them up I went onto something different. 

There are so many products I could have put in this post but these are the products I have used the most throughout the whole year. You can also compare this years list to lasts years 13 Makeup Favourites of 2013.

1. Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
Out of all three Naked palettes, this is the only one I really use. I love the rose gold tones of this palette and I always love my eyeshadow whenever I use it. For that reason this was the eyeshadow palette I used on myself when I was a bridesmaid at my Sister's wedding. My favourite look with this palette is 'Dust' over the lid with 'Trick' applied over the top.

2. Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in 'Soft Brunette'
Featured in my 2013 favourites
This year I dabbled with a few other eyebrow pencils to see if there was anything better out there, but I always come back to this. I love the texture and size of the pencil, its waxy and gives a very soft look. I have fuller brows so I don't like a really small, defined pencil. 
No more dabbling, I will stick with this now!

3. MAC Eye Kohl in 'Teddy'
I realised how much I loved this pencil when I went on holiday and couldn't find it. I ended up having to buy another one in the airport. I never wear black eyeliner because I find it looks too harsh but this bronzed brown is perfect for adding subtle definition and enhancing blue eyes.

4. Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
I always thought the concept of a mascara purely for your bottom eye lashes was utterly ridiculous. I still think its utterly ridiculous but after trying it, I can understand the appeal! The main reason I love this is because it doesn't smudge at all. Every single mascara I have tried smudged on my bottom lashes, this is the only one that hasn't. I also love that it defines every lash with no clumpiness or smudging. 

5. Illamasqua Brow and Lash Gel 
Featured in my 2013 favourites
Although I have been using the L'oreal Brow Artist Plumper these last few months, this was the brow gel I used every single day before that. This gives amazing hold and gives you that Cara Delevigne full but groomed brow look that I love.

6. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage
Featured in my 2013 Favourites
My favourite ever concealer and its all used up *cries*
I call this my industrial strength concealer because it covers anything and it lasts all day, there is a reason that so many makeup artists have this in their kits. I will definitely repurchase this once I have used up my other concealers.

7. NARS Illuminator in 'Copacabana'
When mixed with foundation, this gives your skin the most beautiful glow. It just has the most ethereal sheen to it, with zero glitter. I can't wait to start mixing this with my foundation again in the Spring and Summer. 

8. Milani Illuminating Face Powder in 'Beauty's Touch' and 'Amber Nectar'
One thing I discovered about myself last year, is that I don't like really strong, pigmented blushers. I haven't touched any of my NARS blushers in over a year and instead always reach for these or my Physicians Formula Happy Boosters. I love that these are light, so its impossible to go heavy handed. I also love that they have a slight highlight to them as they really give a youthful glow. 

9. By Terry Ombre Blackstar in 'Misty Rock'
These Ombre Blackstars are my favourite cream shadows, the stick form makes them so easy to apply and they last all day. I actually think they look even better after a few hours as they look almost glossy on the lid. Misty Rock is a sparkly taupe/purple shade and I often get compliments when I wear this, must be a winner!

10. NARS Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
The best eyeshadow primer, makes any eyeshadow last all day and I love the thin consistency of this compared to other, heavier eye primers.

11. Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in 'Candlelight'
Featured in my 2013 favourites
One of my all time favourite makeup discoveries. I think I actually might be addicted to this highlighter! Its very subtle, with no glitter so looks much more natural than most highlighters. I wear this every single day.

12. Charlotte Tilbury Air-Brush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro Powder
A pressed powder isn't usually much to get excited about but this pressed powder is like something made by Angels and sent from the heavens. Before I digress anymore and start sharing my love for David Boreanaz, let me tell you why. First of all it feels like velvet on the skin, its so finely milled and soft that it is a genuine pleasure to apply. Second of all, it keeps my skin shine free all day without any touch ups and thirdly the rose gold compact is to die for. 

13. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in 'Dolce Vita'
I have to admit that I am a little upset right now because whilst googling a link for this pencil I have discovered that NARS have discontinued it! Whilst crying into my pillow, let me tell you why it is amazing and why NARS are absolute fools! 
So you know the film The Notebook, of course you do! Well I became obsessed with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams lipstick, it was this muted rosy, matte red and just looked generally amazing. Dolce Vita is that colour, the colour I was dreaming about all that time! I love the formula of the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils as they don't feel drying at all and I personally much prefer a matte finish when it comes to lipstick. So, although no man has refurbished a house for me, at least I have a fabulous lipstick collection to cuddle at night!

 As I cannot find this online anywhere, try a NARS counter in store as they might still have it (I think I might have to do that tomorrow!) 

14. Tarte Lights Camera Flashes Mascara
This mascara has really spoilt me because now every other mascara disappoints me. Not only does this give a ton load of volume, it also gives length and separation and I have never come across a mascara that has done all three before. I can't imagine going back to any other mascara now!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

14 Beauty Favourites of 2014

End of year beauty favourites are my favourite posts to both read and write. Being a beauty addict, I try a lot of products, so these really are the best of the best. 

As of last year, I split my favourites into two posts, beauty and makeup favourites. I find my beauty favourites a hell of a lot easier to pick than my makeup favourites. Mainly because I change my makeup so often, but with beauty products once I find something I love, I'm pretty loyal. As testament to that, half of these products were also in my 13 Beauty Favourites of 2013.

Enough rambling, here are my 14 favourite beauty products of 2014. Makeup favourites to come tomorrow! 

1. La Roche-Posay Serozinc
Like most people, I discovered this through Caroline Hirons, who I'm sure you know is amazing for skin care recommendations. This is a spray toner with zinc sulphate which targets blemishes and marks.  I use this after cleansing, spray on a cotton pad and wipe all over my face. This, in conjunction with their Effaclar Duo + has improved my skin no end and you can now finally get this in the UK! (Chloe you need to try this!)

2. Moroccanoil 
(Featured in my 2013 favourites)
Along with Seche Vite, this is one of my all time favourite makeup discoveries. I rub 1-2 drops of this into the ends of my towel dried hair, every time I wash it. I can't really remember what life was like before Moroccanoil, frizzier!

3. Babyliss Waving Wand
I had picked out my favourites and photographed them, then realised that I hadn't included this and had to redo the whole thing! Pretty much the only hair tool I used all year, if I curl my hair this is the only thing I use. Its quick, easy to use and gives me the big, loose vintage waves I crave. I shared my technique in this post back in 2013 and it hasn't changed.

4. Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel
Oh I love this stuff. I originally discovered this back in 2013, loved it but then went on to try other cleansers. This year I have gone back to it and now I'm not straying. I take my makeup off every night religiously and this makes that process enjoyable. I just rub a blob all over my face and rinse of with a cloth. It feels really luxurious, doesn't sting my eyes and works well with my skin. 

5. Bumble and Bumble Surf Foam Wash Shampoo and Creme Rinse Conditioner
This shampoo and conditioner leave my hair feeling so soft and super bouncy. They also leave my hair feeling really clean and gives me some natural movement and wave. Plus the smell reminds me of holidays :)

6. Kate Somerville Goat Milk 
(Featured in my 2013 favourites)
When it comes to moisturisers I hate to admit but I am a bit of a diva. I hate the feeling of heavy moisturisers and having combination skin, I have to be careful that they don't break me out. Goat Milk sounds unappealing but its light, doesn't irritate my skin and calms any sensitivity. You can only get this in America but Sephora does now ship to the UK.

7. COLAB Dry Shampoo London Classic Fragrance
A late entry but I cannot put into words my joy at finally finding a dry shampoo that doesn't leave my hair looking like an ash cloud and doesn't feel disgusting in my hair. This is so light you can barely feel it in your hair, its pretty much invisible apart from if you spray too much, or too close and it really cleans my hair. This has saved me from having to wash my hair everyday and for that, I cannot thank it enough.

8. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
For me, Micellar Water is a life saviour. I don't use makeup wipes as they irritate my skin but Micellar Water is so gentle and removes everything. Most brands seem to have released their own versions and to be honest I don't really notice a difference from brand to brand, but the Garnier wins for me as you get the most for your money.

9. Bobbi Brown Almost Bare Perfume 
(Featured in my 2013 Favourites)
This is my signature scent and I have got through countless bottles. This is a very fresh smelling perfume and the name describes it perfectly. I always get a lot of compliments on this scent, particularly from men. I have even had two strangers (both men) ask me what my perfume was, which I don't imagine is a very common occurrence. I have no shame in admitting that I live in fear of Bobbi Brown discontinuing this!

10. Tangle Teezer Salon Elite
I take my Tangle Teezer for granted, until I use a different hairbrush and wince as I brush through those knots. This makes hair brushing a dream. 

11. Seche Vite 
(Featured in my 2013 Favourites)
If I had to pick my greatest makeup discovery of all time, including both makeup and beauty, Seche Vite would be it. In the most shallow of ways, this top coat is life changing. Your nails are dry in minutes. I can paint my nails, go to bed five minutes later and I won't wake up with a single smudge. As well as fast drying, this is also the glossiest top coat in the world and people regularly ask me if my nails are gel, no, no its Seche Vite. I would never use another top coat.

12. Real Techniques Buffing Brush 
(Featured in my 2013 Favourites)
This has to be the most popular makeup brush in the YouTube and blogging community. I really dislike traditional, flat foundation brushes. I always found they left streaks and because of this never used a brush to apply my foundation. The Buffing Brush changed that completely and since discovering this, I haven't used my fingers to apply my foundation. This really gives you a flawless, airbrushed finish and I recommend it to everyone. The only annoying thing is that you cant buy it separately, its only available as part of their core collection but well worth the money.

13. La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +
Hands down, my best discovery of 2014. The beginning of the year I found that my skin kept breaking out, particularly around my chin area. It was really starting to get me down as nothing was working and then I heard about this new release from La Roche Posay and thought I had nothing to lose by trying it. Effaclar Duo + is for people with blemish prone skin and it is designed to help with blemishes and fight against the appearance of marks. This stuff is amazing and has genuinely transformed my skin, I now rarely suffer from spots and if I do its the odd one and it goes very quickly. I can also vouch for this improving marks on the skin, as my chin area which I previously struggled with, is now clear. This is my 5th bottle and I would not be without this!

14. Zoya Remove + 
(Featured in my 2013 Favourites)
Pricey, but my favourite nail polish remover. I have tried to use your standard, cheap removers but this has spoilt me and now I cant go back. Gets rid of all polish quickly and doesn't dry out my nails at all, which is the thing I cant stand with those cheapo removers. This actually leaves my nails feeling nourished.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

December Favourites

Happy New Year!

I have finally narrowed down my 14 favourite makeup and beauty products of 2014 but before I reveal all, I thought I would share my favourites for the month of December.

Some of these items I haven't had for very long at all but I have been wearing them everyday and I am completely smitten with them, so of course they had to be included!

Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow and Mood Boosting Blush in Natural
I think this was included in last months favourites as well but this and MAC's The Perfect Cheek are the only two blushes I have been wearing consistently. 

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight
Spoiler, this will be in my 2014 favourites as it is one of my all time favourite makeup discoveries. The most beautiful but subtle highlight.

Bobbi Brown Sparkle Eyeshadow in Cement
If you want to see what this looks like on the eyes, I used it in my second NYE makeup inspiration post. This is what I like to call grown up glitter and it actually looks like more of a gloss than a glitter once its applied to the lid.

Sally Hansen Nail Polish in 'Pennies for Heaven'
I have worn this rose gold polish on my nails pretty much all month long and the best thing is, it only cost me £1.50 from a catalogue clearance shop! BOOM.

Charlotte Tilbury Fallen Angel Eyeshadow Palette
Probably the most beautiful piece of makeup I own, even the outer packaging is engraved with hand drawn gold stars! I have one other Charlotte Tilbury palette, The Vintage Vamp and the quality of Fallen Angel is just as good. This palette is limited edition so if you have your eyes on it, grab it while you can! 

MAC Rose Pigment
Texture wise, this isn't the best MAC pigment but if you can bear with the chunky texture, you will be rewarded with a beautiful golden pink. I like to wear this with MAC's Tan pigment over the top, together they make the perfect rose gold colour.

Guerlain Maxi Shine Lip gloss in '467 Cherry Swing'
I'm not normally a lip gloss girl, but this sparkly cherry red gloss has changed all that this month. This feels lovely on the lips, not sticky and very moisturising. If like me, you aren't a lip gloss girl, this formula could convert you and if you are a lip gloss, fan then you would love these.

Burberry Lip Definer in 'Brick Red'
This was one of my Christmas presents and its already one of my favourite reds. You can see what it looks like on, in this post.

Dior Star Foundation
I have mentioned before that this foundation is a grower, not a shower. This gives medium coverage but leaves a very natural, skin like finish. 

Cheryl Lashes by Eylure in 'Sexy Senorita'
These lashes are beauts and they actually look quite natural on the eyes. You can see me wearing them in this post and I have already bought a replacement pair! I am not a Cheryl fan but these new line of lashes all look really good, I have my eye on Girls Night next.

December was a fun but exhausting month and I am thoroughly enjoying my Christmas break! As well as my beauty favourites, I thought I would share a few of my highlights from the month.

The first being the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Awards. This was my first time attending the awards since starting my new job and it was such an amazing experience. To see the result of everyone's hard work was so inspiring and made me so proud to be a part of the Cosmo team.

Highlight of the night, McBusted!

Me and my friends had a lovely pre Christmas get together, where we all exchanged our Secret Santa presents and then had one too many in the pub! 

Best Secret Santa present of all time?

And finally Christmas! My favourite time of year, I am sad that its almost over but already looking forward to next year! I had a pretty quiet Christmas at home with my family. Many, many pigs in blankets were consumed but to balance it all out I have had lots of long country walks! I don't think its exactly an even balance though ;)

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year. I'm avoiding all the New Year, New Me bull s*** for now!