Monday, 24 November 2014

#2 Makeup Crush Monday | Makeup Revolution Liquid Eyeliner.

The second installemt in my new series of #MakeupCrushMonday introduces the Makeup Revolution 'Awesome Double flick liner'*. This was sent to me a couple of weeks ago and I really love using it. It is a double-ended pen with a more typical pointed (thick to thin) liner on one end and then a slightly thinner, strighter nib on the other.

 The application is easy, I have been using the thinner end on top of my lashline to get precision and a natural line, and then the thicker end, I find really easy to get a sharp, point feline flick. I know some people may find the other way around easier but it's just finding out what works for you.
It's a nice deep black and stays on well enough to see me through the day. It isn't waterproof, maybe smudgeproof, but it is great for day-to-day. It costs just £3.50 which is a fab price and there aren't many liquid liners which are cheaper than this.

EYELINER TIP: Follow where the lower lashine would go up to get that perfect lift and shape for your eyeliner - a lot of people draw across the top lashline and kind of follow this line down, this will create a droopy-eye look. I personally draw the line across the top, then follow an *imaginary invisible line* where I think my lower lashline would go up : Give it a try! It will usually aim towards the end of your brow.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Handpicked Christmas Gifts | £25 and under.

Following my handpicked Christmas gifts under £10, here is the next tier up, £25 and under. I think this is probably the most common pricepoint/bracket for giving to the majority of your friends. You can get some great little sets and products for under £25 plus often in limited edition Christmas sets you get some great savings and one-off products and sizes.

[1] Rodial Stemcell Glam balm tree decoration (£14) A rose-scented and verrry slightly tinted lip balm for a hydrated, plump pout. [2] Too Faced Pink leopard bronzer (£25) I don't really care about how this bronzer even performs ; LOOK at that packaging!! [3] Benefit Bathina 'Just Confess your Obsessed' body mist (£24.50) I have been in love with the original Bathina fragrance since way back and I am really happy to see it being re-introduced (they used to have loads of products in this range). This lightly fragranced spray can be used on hair & body. Bathina fragrance is a delicate combination of golden peach, sicilian lemon, white blossoms and velvet plum. [4] Space NK mini Christmas candle (£15) One of the best Christmas candles around and cheaper than Diptyque [5] The Body Shop Frosted Cranberry sparkler (£15) The frosted cranberry scent with pink shimmer in a spray that can be used on body or hair to give a gorgeous glow. [6] Purminerals 'You Better not Pout' 7-piece lip set (£22) glosses, lipsticks, tinted balms ;  this set has all your party lip looks sorted! [7] Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers (£20) The classic lash curler every makeup-artists' secret weapon - I don't go anywhere without mine.[8] Rococo Spellbound nail polish trio (£25) Eye-catching seasonal tones that will work on through the year [9] Aromatherapy Associates 'The Star' (£10) The 3-useage size of the Inner Strength shower & Bath oil [10] Weleda soap trio (£11.95) x3 luxurious hand & body soaps ; rose, calendula & lavender. [11] Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat lashes mascara (£22) A great all-round mascara to give length, volume and a sultry flutter. [12] BLEACH London Spin the Bottle set (£12) 6 mini bottles of the BLEACH London hair colours ; I have used these and they are great, LOVE the Rose shade. [13] Jurlique Precious Rose duo (£25) Their signature hand cream combined with a travel-size rosewater spray = heaven!  [14] H&M Metal clutch bag (£14.99) I love this small clutch for Christmas parties and events - nothing will get squished in this & would look great with your LBD. [15] KIKO Lip seduction set (£11.90) A gorgeous pot of lip scrub with an accompanying tinted kiss balm. x3 shades to choose from  [16] Melvita L'Or Bio Extraordinary shower gel (£14) Packed with 5 organic oils, this body wash leaves skin nourished and smelling GORGEOUS! [17] Makeup Revolution Awesome 100 eyeshadow palette (£12) This would be a welcome gift for any makeup enthusiast - a fantastic bargain and all the colours you need. [18] Personalised 'Little Miss/Mr' pictures @ Selfridges. (from £14.99) I love my Little Miss Laura picture and it hangs proudly in my makeup room - a quirky gift for maybe someone who has everything. [19] Balance Me Super protecting hand cream set (£15) A gorgeous aromatic duo for hard-working hands.[20] Antipodes Manuka Honey mask (£22) Cure someone's winter skin woes with this beautiful, manuka honey-infused face mask [21] Crownbrush travel brush set  (£19.99) 5 essential brushes ; great for makeup newcomers or just for handbag and travel. Comes in either a purple colourway or red. [22] New Look leather/leopard gloves (£14.99) Perfect to add a touch of *jujj* to any winter outfit.[23] Illamasqua lipstick 'Flare' (£18.50) This is such a stunning bright orange/red shade and every girl needs one in her collection. Long-wearing, show-stopping and great all year round in my opinion.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Nails of the Week | Festive hues.

This week I've opted for something autumnal, dark and festive. It's time to embrace these wintery things, and a perfect time of year for 30yr old + bitches such as myself to embrace glitter and shimmer without feeling (too) ashamed.

 Beauty Bay is a great beauty shopping website that stocks a HUGE selection of brands such as Urban Decay, Anastasia, Too Faced, EOS, Cane & Austin, Philip B and so much more, and aside from this they also have their own line of beauty bits. This week I have been wearing a new colour from their line, 'Its a Starry sky on wall street'(longest name for a polish ever?)It's quite a festive colour ; black shot through with chunks of gold, copper and green glitter for a multi-faceted finish. As with any glitter-based shades, a few layers always looks good and for a high gloss finish & longgevity, use a topcoat. I use either Seche Vite or the Models Own Hypergel topcoat which give a gel-like finish.

The champagne colour from this range would look great on darker skintones, I think on me it makes my nails look like fingers look like nails if you get me?! The application brush on these polishes are pretty good, I've used better but for the price they are really decent polishes. So far I'm 3 days in and it's still looking good.

These are available to buy online for £5 each but you may as well spend £10 and then you get FIVE of these polishes in a gorgeous set.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Recycle & Re-Love your Candle Jars.

 I love my posh candles. It's an expensive habit I gained from when I used to work at Space NK and my obsession with Diptyque, Jo Malone, Aromatherapy Associates candles is never-ending. (The Ambre Diptyque candle is LIFE btw). Aside from the hours of gorgeous-smelling indulgence you get from burning these aromatic candles, they also work wonders for little storage jars after you have burned them down. They are easy to clean and de-wax , all you need is boiling water, some washing up liquid and some window/glass polish.

[1] Get your dead candle jar. There will usually be burn marks up the side of the glass, buts of dried wax and then maybe a pool of dried wax and the burnt-down wick at the bottom. All you need to do is boil your kettle and then fill the glass with hot water.
 [2] This will melt the wax, and then after a few minutes, pour away the water, get a knife and scrape out the reamining wax inside ; The metal base of the wick will just slide away too if your candle has that.

[3] It will still look a little dirty & waxy; this is when you get a good dollop of washing up liquid, a sponge and then just give it a good clean all over and this will remove any residue left.
[4] Dry the glass out and then give them an all-over and inside spritz with a glass/window cleaner, get a bit of kitchen roll or even better, a microfibre cloth and then polish all over. TA-DAH a lovely sparkling jar.
NOTE: I avoid putting them in the dishwasher, especially Diptyque/ Jo Malone as it may take off the sticker, which for me, is the beauty of this jar. So be careful about that. Rinsing them out manually takes minutes. 
 Ideas for use:
I usually use them for putting 'stick-like' things in them - makeup brushes, my toothbrush & paste in the bathroom, pens, cotton buds etc. I've seen some people grow herbs, put flowers in them and do more fancy things with them too ; just go onto Pinterest and you can get so many brilliant and creative ideas.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Handpicked Christmas Gifts | £10 & Under

Let's open our arms and embrace what is inevitably coming.....CHRISTMAS! I am yet to divulge any Christmas chat on here yet but it's mid-November so it's officially legal and the supermarkets have tins of Quality Street stacked up. 

I love Christmas, not maybe for the traditional reasons....I love the colder weather, the hope of snow, the buying of gifts, the supermarket party snacks (for real), wearing knitwear ruthlessly, drinking mulled wine next to logfires and the amazing social times and friends that come with it. 

I'm going to introduce a series of posts all about Christmas giving, and some hopefully good gift ideas for those looking for mainly beauty-related things. We are overloaded with sets/xmas things and deals at this time of year so I'm going to whittle it down into basic price ranges. First up the £10 and under: Great for those last minute sh*t I forgot about you presents (buy a few and have them ready-wrapped in case!), small tokens when you are invited for drinks/dinner over the festive period, stocking fillers and budget secret santas.

[1] Liz Earle Christmas Star nail colour (£7.50) x4 shades to choose from ; a perfect stocking filler.[2] Antipodes skincare mini's (£9.95) This is a newly-discovered organic skincare range for me. If you have a skincare lover who is a bit fussy about ingredients then this is the one! (two) [3] M&S Cableknit slipper socks (£9.50) I have so many pairs of fleecey socks/ slippers/ loungewear things. These are super cute and you can never have enough pairs! [4] Collection 'All About eyes' palette (£3.19)What a bargain and the shades in this 6-shade palette are suitable for anyone and everyone. Subtle golden hues and warm browns that can be used for a daytime sheen or full-on evening smoky eye. [5] The Body Shop Glazed Apple treat box (£7) This delicious new scent from The Body Shop is fresh, seasonal and this small duo is a perfect small token. [6] Nuxe Reve de Miel lipbalm (£9.50) One of my favourite lipbalms for my kit and myself and have featured this so many times. It is super nourishing and thick yet leaves the lips matte-looking which is rare for a balm. Great for really chapped lips.  [7] KIKO mascara-eyeliner duo (£9.90) Really handy to have this duo in your makeup bag. KIKO can't do any wrong in my eyes. A great multi-use space saving product. [8] Makeup Revolution Vivid blusher(£3) I could have kept going with products from this uber-budget brand. If you go online or into select superdrug stores, this place could be your one-stop=shop for budget makeup gifts and stoking fillers. You can get a whole bunch of makeup glory for under £10. [9] Monty & Mabel Penguin Mug (£5) Our most loved Christmas advert has a plethora of merch - YAAAAS! I will be getting stocked up with my penguin goods for sure this Christmas. This mug (comes in a tin) is is currently sold  out but I think/they had better get more in stock. [10] Caudalie Divine Oil miniature (£8) An indulgent multi-purpose oil that smells edible and most people I think would appreciate this treat in their stocking. Comes as a tree decoration which is what quite a few brands are doing. (now dreaming of a xmas tree full with beauty decoarions....) [11] Weleda Sea Buckthorn handcream (£9.95) This is a lightweight, quickly absorbed handcream containing organic sesame oil, essential fatty acids, mandarin & orange oils. Smells beaut!  [12] Makeup Revolution 'One Blush Stick' (£5) Any makeup junkie would have heard of these: A NARS multiple dupe for a snip of the price, and come in a huge array of shades.      [13] The Body Shop Lip & cheek Doll (£10) I just LOVE the packaging on this limited edition lip & cheek stain. Gives a natural-looking and longwearing flush of colour. All skintones. [14] MeMeMe Dewpots (currently £2 off @ £5.25) These are cute little cream eyeshadows and come in an array of beautiful shades. My must-have colour is the slightly burgundy purple 'Autumn Smoulder' : a green/blue-eyed girls' dream. [15] Soap & Glory Flake Away body polish (£7.50) I always think body scrubs are a nice gift as they are a pampering treat. This one from Soap & Glory contains peach seed powder & sea salt & sugar for utlimate exfoliation. [16] Barry M Loudmoth lip colour (£3.99) These are matte longwear lip cream, super pigmented and all-day wear. I love colours 'Diva' (dark red) and 'Goss Raspberry'(bright fuschia). [17] GOSH nail polish (£3.99 /each) I love shades Stardust & Night sky for Christmas shimmer shades. Grab both for under a tenner.   [18] Compagnie De Provence Wild Rose hand soap (£10) It was my mum who introduced me to this and I remember being curious about the simple looking packaging ; I think it's really chic and subtle and looks good anywhere in the house. The wild rose scent is on the go in my bathroom at the moment & it's glorious! [19] Personalise a jar of Nutella £ exclusive @ Selfridges (£3.99 in-store only) This is a bit different and will put a smile on pretty much anyone's face. Get yourself down to Selfridges where they can customise your jar with any name you wish as you wait. [20] Lanolips Lemonaid lip aid (£9.18) I've raved and raved about Lanolips since I discovered it in Waitrose around this time last year. This is a *no-nasty* lipbalm, infused with lemon oil and shimmer to give a plump, hydrated glistening finish.  

Next up will be the £20 & under Christmas picks.

Monday, 17 November 2014

#1 Makeup Crush Monday : MUA Undress Your skin highlighter.

This is *hopefully* going to be a new blog series for me. '#Makeup Crush Monday' will be a short & sweet intro to one makeup product of some description, that I have newly discovered or re-discovered in that week. I say 'hopefully' as with my work commitments and schedule it sometimes isn't too easy to get something out on the regs but I will try my upmost hardest.

First up, is going to be the MUA Undress your skin highlighting powder. I purchased this a few weeks ago, just before my wedding. I have used it EVERY day since and also in my wedding day makeup. It gives a beautiful pink hint of highlight which perks up my skin perfectly.

I have the shade 'Pink Shimmer' which is a iridescent cool pink tone. It's not pink enough to wear as a blusher, it has very soft hues to it, and the pressed powder formula allows for a easy application AKA you have to really apply a LOAD for it to look overkill. They have recently launched a sister shade to this one which is 'Iridescent Gold' ; I am yet to try is but I can assume it's a golden, more warmer highlight, probably better on asian-darker skintones.

MAKEUP TIP: As with any highlighters/glow, always apply in good lighting and keep moving your face around to see where the natural light is hitting the skin and how the product looks.
How to / Application : 
I apply this with a small fluffy blusher/powder brush after I have applied my blush and/or bronzer. As it has a hint of pink in it, it's fine to use directly over blusher to add a depth of glow, and also bring this up lightly onto cheek bones, done the nose and across forehead to give that all over glow.

You can't go wrong for £3. Next time you venture into your local Superdrug, be sure to check these powders out.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

My Wedding day makeup.

 On a day- to-day basis,  my makeup is reasonably basic and boring. I flick between a handful of bases depending on my skin and the coverage I want, but the rest of my makeup tends to be the same colourway and I don't tend to divert from my 'colour palette' unless I'm going out or a special occasion....WHY?.. Because I know what colours work for my blue eyes (warm browns, coppers, golds) and I really don't have time to diverse from my daily 5-minute makeup routine!
However, the true makeup ME ME ME diva comes out a bit more when you need to look your best, so on my wedding day I used all my best and most loved makeup products......of all time. So the following bits are my absolute go-to makeup HERO PRODUCTS. I opened all my treasured makeup items I had been hoarding for ages and thought if I don't use it on my wedding day, I never bloody will!

I custom-made my own Z-Palette with all my favourite shades. The makeup look still was based around the warm brown tones that suit me but I just went a little bit more glam and self-indulgent than I would normally. I went for my usual feline flick to make my eyes look bigger, lashes on the top and bottom to add that extra bit of oomph. I think the key to good wedding makeup for your big day is to go a touch heavier than you think, you don't want to look *caked* for the eyes of your guests but you need that little bit extra for the makeup to pick up nicely on camera. The key is getting that perfect balance.

 I spent around 30 minutes on the day doing my makeup. I made sure I had a nice table & lighting in my hotel room, along with a good mirror (bring your own in case!), and I set up all my products in order to make it quick and stress-free for application. Leave a bit of extra time for any hiccups you may have. Also, do your eyes FIRST, then follow with the base so any pigment/shadow droppage doesn't ruin your perfectly applied base.
Base / Foundation:
My skin is open-pored/combination and I have areas of acne scarring and uneven skintone. My dream skin is even, dewy, glowing, not shiny, smooth and not cakey looking! Anything near to this is good for me. Over the years I have tried and tested so many products to give me this ultimate finish and the products below give me near-perfect skin. 
I already had my skincare on but I like to give it a quick burast of hydration with my Melvita plumping rose duo spray before makeup.

(1.) Primer/ Base: Becca shimmering skin perfector 'Opal' & Urban Decay Bronzing BB cream mixed 50/50. This combination gives a great matte-satin base but with a nice glow.
(2.) Foundation: Chanel Prolumiere 5 (discontinued, best foundation ever created) followed by a combination of x2 Laura Mercier mineral powders (Classic Beige & Highlighter 'Candlelight' now disc. mixed 80/20%)  Sounds really finickity but this is the best tried and tested combination of foundation I have used over the years - it comes out for special occasions only!
(3.) Concealer: Estee Lauder Doublewear (under eyes) & Dermablend corrective concealer(face)
(4.) Bronzer: Too Faced chocolate soleil 'medium deep matte bronzer'
(5.) Contour: Illamasqua Sculpting powder duo used with the Charlotte Tilbury brush.
(6.) Highlight: MUA undress your skin 'pink shimmer' (LOVE this newly discovered product!)
(7.) Blush: Shu Uemura (from Z palette - see below)
(8.) Setting/finishing Powder & for all-day de-shining: Urban Decay Naked Skin HD powder
Brushes: Shu Uemura natural 18 brush, Charlotte Tilbury powder & sculpt brush, Crownbrush Powder Dome (I got this at this year's IMATS, it has a short-handle but can't see it online currently).

For an more in-depth step-by step of how I perfect my brows, then check out my old post here. I wanted a natural, defined yet fluffy finish to my brows. I'm kind of over that *perfect brow* look as can end up looking scouse-brow like, so I am wearing a little less on my brows nowadays and these are my favourite products to achieve that.
 (1.) Benefit High Brow (2.) KIKO eyebrow marker 04 (3.)Eyelure brow pencil (4.) Eyeko brow gel
The main event. I didn't do a run through before the day I just kind of went with the flow on the day, knowing the rough look I wanted. I didn't want to go all out dark smokey, I wanted to keep the eyes still open and fresh looking so kept a lot of the lid nude-looking with an exaggerated feline flick. Lashes are really important and I would always recommend some kind of help on your big day, be it a few individuals on the outer corners or full on strip lashes for ultimate glamour!
Eye Primer: Too Faced Shadow insurance
Eyeshadows: MAC 'Naked' pigment, I put all my favourites into my custom Z-palette. Full shade list below.
Pencils / liners: Makeup Revolution inner eye brightener (this is a flesh coloured pencil to get rid of redness on inner rim, makes eyes look fresh and open), Collection Extreme black liquid liner, Too Faced Bulletproof eyeliner 'blackout', Armani Smooth silk eyeliner '12 Brown'
Lashes: Shu Uemura lash curler ,Diorshow Extase mascara, Shu Uemura Farfallina lashes (my favourite ever!), MAC individual lashes on lower lashes
Brushes: The all important trio for perfect eye application and blending : Crownbrush deluxe oval shadow, Laura Mercier Eye Crease brush, MAC 224.
[1] Shu Uemura M soft beige [2] Shu Uemura M medium brown 852 [3] Chantecaille Rose Gold [4] Chantecaille Opal [5] MAC Malt [6] NARS Blondie [7] Chantecaille Patchouli [8] MAC Antiqued [9] MAC Coppering [10] MAC Haux [11] MAC Sketch [12] NARS Lola Lola [13] Shu Uemura ME medium brown 862 [14] NARS Yamal [15] NARS Galapagos [16] NARS Coconut Grove [17] Shu Uemura M dark brown 896 [18] Shu Uemura blusher M soft coral 345
I didn't actually use ALL of the colours from my dream custom palette, shades I used and you may be able to work it out a bit better from the (basic) step-by-step above. 

(1.) Eye primer all over followed by MAC  'Naked' pigment as a base colour ; naked is a great colour for fresh-looking 'nude' eyes. Line inner rims with Makeup Revolution Eye brightener.

(2.) Shade [1] which is a creamy matte shade was applied under the brow to give a touch more lift. [3] on the inner to middle of lid which is a wash of gold shimmer. [2],[6] & [7] (all matte fleshy tones) were mixed and used to add a natural socketline/ crease. All blended softly out with the MAC 224 brush.

(3.) I added more depth the the socketline with [17] mixed with [12]

(4.) To get the perfect feline flick I used my collection liquid liner (cheap and great!) and applied it all the way from the inner corner to the outer corner of the lashes, getting slightly thicker as you reach the outside.

(5.) I follow the lower lashline and UP to the brow to get that cat-eye flick and make sure the point is really sharp. CURL LASHES. Here, I started to use [16] & [8] to give some warmth all around the eyes. This coppering shade from MAC is really good to bring out the colour in both blue and green eyes. MAC 224 is your best friend here. Keep blending that sh*t.

(6.) Apply lots of layers of mascara top & bottom lashes / Soften the feline flick with Armani brown eyeliner on top and smudge / Bring eyeshadows [2] [10] & [17] under the lower lash line and smoke. / Add Bulletproof black liner into lower lashes to give depth / Apply Falsies top & bottom.

Lips :
I always hydrate my lips with my favourite Lanolips 101 ointment, I then used a longwear base colour which was the Too Faced Melted lipstick in 'Peony', followed by a touch of gloss and plump with the DuWop Lip venom in 'hot pink shimmer' (think this particular shade is exclusive to BeautyBay). The combination of these products gave me a longwear natural pink pout. I just topped up with the LipVenom during the day. Later on in the PM, I added a bright coral/orange lip with Illamasqua 'flare'.
I hope you found this interesting and a bit useful....maybe? I know a lot of people who follow my blog/twitter were keen to hear about my makeup on the big day, if you are more interested to see my dress/shoes and a abit about my big day then go here.

 Let me know if you have  any questions or comments below about my makeup, wedding makeup in general, products I used etc etc.
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