Thursday, 27 November 2014

A Bit of Retail Therapy & Selfish Shopping.

Composing all these Christmas gift guides, reading all these Christmas gift guides and being E-MAILED daily about Christmas gift guides has got me thinking, yes you guessed it, about Christmas gifts . For Myself. Yes, I am selfish, but I do love to give myself a few Chrissy presents during the festive season and I have not been shopping for myself for months and I've been feeling a little blue.

 Earlier this week I met up with blogging and makeup friend Vanessa , for a peruse around the shops and a catch up. We went to Liberty's as I needed to stock-up on my one and only fragrance = Molecule 01. Liberty's at Christmas is just a candy land of all things beauty ; In their beauty department they have a really cool little stocking-filler section with glasses of unique and niche products - I saw so many little products and brands I had never even heard of, a must-see for those who like discovering new brands! We also go drawn into coo-ing over their Christmas beauty advent for a good 15-minutes, deciding if it was worth it (yes, it really is) and both of us walked away thinking 'We'll think on it but most likely buy it' as it's quite self-indulgent for oneself. Shock, horror, it had sold out the next day. 

A quick nip into the KIKO store to pick up one of my favourite ever eyeliners and then we headed up to Selfridges for Sushi and a bit of shopping. En route we slipped into John Lewis so I could get some Monty merch...a mug (I featured this here in a Christmas gift post) pretty good for a fiver plus the tin it comes in is great for storage. Once up to Selfridges, I picked up the Charlotte Tilbury 'Pillow Talk' lipliner all because of Zoe so have big hopes for this. Then a few necessary Primark and New look things. If you are in London or visiting London there is not time like the present (no pun intended) to get down to Oxford Street to visit all the beauty havens and stores at your fingertips - plus I would say from this weekend onwards, including the 'BLACK FRIDAY' tomorrow, it's going to start getting really busy with frenzied shoppers, pavement slugs, lost families looking for Hamley's and lost men looking for any *smellies* to buy the mother-in-law.

My favourite destinations for beauty shopping in central London: Selfridges, Liberty's, KIKO, Illamasqua beak st, MAC pro store Soho /covent garden, Screenface, and these all can be done within a half a day if planned well. Get yourself to HIX in Selfridges if you fancy a nice lunch & people watch.

What are your favourite shopping destinations in London? Where are you planning to do your Christmas shopping this year?

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Liberty's Beauty Advent Calender.

This will be going in my luxe Christmas gift guide when I get round to doing it , but I wanted to quickly introduce you to/remind you about it before it sells out, which I am told it will soon. 
*UPDATE 27.11.14* I believe these sold out yesterday....but they are getting in like a hundred more TODAY!

The Liberty's Beauty Advent Calender caught my eye yesterday when I was in-store shopping with Vanessa. It's a biggish solid card stand up box thing, maybe just under a meter in height, with 25 quite large drawers inside where your daily pressie lies within a bit of tissue or similar. I didn't want to pull out ALL the drawers as was thinking, if I buy it, I DO want it to be a suprise...but lets' say out of 6 drawers I pulled out, I pretty much had the £149 Pricetag already covered. I then enquired how much the RRP value of all the products inside was and it was £400 and something. WANT! They are now into low stock of this calender, I think they said they had maybe 700 left, I think I am going to go back this week to buy one....for myself.Natch.

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! Products I saw within this box of treasures were a 30ml Molecule 01 fragrance (this is MY fragrance and I had literally just purchased the large size of this...), a small Diptyque Baies candle, A REN 50ml makeup remover/cleansing milk, Some kind of mini Hourglass lip colour, A 20 or 30ml size of Dr Sebagh Serum Repair - that's £69, just for that. We are already over the £149 or near enough, so I'll stop.

Any Beauty fiend will be over the moon with this, just go and have a look if you are near the store or check online if you want to know more about the exact products inside.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

FOTD | Berry Lips & Golden Smokey Eyes.

I love a dark lip and there is not time like the present to experiment with the slightly deeper hues of red, as it's very seasonal and there are lots of shades within everyone's budget. 

There are lots of ways to wear a berry lip, here I've opted for a golden brown smokey eye teamed with quite a deep berry lip. This is quite a strong look, so delete bits as appropriate to you. I used my Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette* for the golden smokey eyes ; these shadows are lovely and soft and perfect for this kind of look. I used all the shadows dry but you can use them wet too if you want to really amp up the colour and staying power.
 For the eyes, I used just 4 of the shades from this palette : Purr, Tigers Eye, Leopard & Panther. The lip colour I mixed NARS velvet matte pencil in 'Train Bleu' as a lipliner, then blended this in with a slightly lighter berry lipcolour which is Cargo 'Napa'. I love this lipstick because it's very buttery and hydrating and the colour is not too dark. A good berry tone for all.
Products Used:
BASE: Illamasqua Hydra veil, Illamasqua Skin Base foundation SB10, Dermablend concealer, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer   EYES: Eylure brow pencil dark brown, Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette, Collection Extreme black eyeliner, Shu Uemura Lash Curlers, DIOR Extase mascara  LIPS: NARS Train Bleu velvet matte lip colour, CARGO 'Napa' lipstick

 If the thought of a lip this dark puts the fear of God in you, then a) start with a budget brand  (THIS from Makeup Rev costs just £1, and so does this one from MUA) and then at least you can try this out without dropping £18 for a lippie you will unhappily wear once or twice. Try applying it, then blotting it back off with a tissue ; this will leave a light natural stain on the lips. You can also try applying darker lip tones with your fingertip, this will also give a more muted finish.

Is this something you would wear?

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.

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