Monday, 11 December 2017

A Festive Makeup Look♥*

For me, Christmas makeup is just glitter, glitter and more glitter. Could I be any more right? Alongside this, I love dark lips - berry shades and reds, come at me! I also like to make my makeup a bit more defined by rocking a stronger contour and sharper brows. Some people go all out on Christmas Day with their makeup (aka me) whereas others knock about wearing none, and both are totally cool. I've created a rather festive makeup look and decided to share it with you.

Primer is an absolute essential for me any time I wear foundation. I've opted for the Primark Primer Water which is a steal and a half at £2 if you ask me. It's incredible as it does work. At first, I did worry it would be a gimmick product but my foundation is kept in tact so well. I find it exceptional at this time of year because my skin can become dull and lack hydration so this provides hydration to my skin whilst keeping my makeup in place. 

I tend to choose a foundation over BB cream during the festive periods because I like the whole "high coverage" idea, especially if I'm going for a full face of makeup, and this is why the Vichy Dermablend Corrective Fluid Foundation* is your friend. Whilst it delivers a high coverage finish, it also feels lightweight and won't clog your pores. It has such a perfect finish and blends out so effortlessly. I have the shade 05 Porcelain (the lightest shade) and it is quite a good match for me. I find that I only need to use one layer of this foundation however if you do require extra coverage, it doesn't become cakey at all. It works really well with the above primer.

Dark under eye circles or spots ruining your look? No need to worry. Although the Vichy foundation has quite a high coverage, sometimes you just feel the need for a little extra coverage. MUA Hide & Conceal Stick works perfect for concealing those little imperfections. It is creamy which makes blending so effortless you don't even realise that you're doing it. I don't require a lot of this product though because it conceals so well for the price.

Of course you got to set it all in place. Instead of your regular setting powder, I've went for this Vichy Dermablend Translucent Setting Powder* which is a loose powder. Yes, it is VERY messy but the results are definitely worth it. I always have the fear that my concealer will crease so I like to use this to "bake" beneath my eyes. I find that using a loose powder looks nicer as a setting powder rather than pressed powder because it doesn't look "packed" or "cakey", instead it leaves you with a flawless, air brushed base.

How pretty is this palette? It's the Makeup Revolution "Flawless" Palette which comes with a whopping 32 shadows - so many pretty colours to "ooh" and "aah" over, and so many makeup looks to create! To start, I quickly dusted a light brown shade through my crease (first row, second shade from the top). Following this, I went for my usual - gold - all over my lid (fifth row, second shade from the top) as my first sort of "base" colour. I started to make the outer corner darker and deeper and to do this, I combined two different shades (fifth row, bottom shade and third row, bottom shade) to darken the eye look. I also used a highlight shade (second row, first shade) to make my eye pop and appear more awake. Using the same shade as earlier for my outer corner (third row, bottom shade), I smudged this along my lower lash line just to bring the whole look together and give some colour to this part of my eye.

If I'm going all out with my makeup, OF COURSE I've got to do eyeliner. For liquid liner, I've been loving the Miss Sporty The Miaow Liquid Liner. I personally prefer to use a felt tip liner therefore I feel I can use this liner pretty easily (I say the word easily lightly because I still struggle to do my eyeliner haha). I went for a simple flick for this look as I felt it worked well with the eye look. It leaves a true black line which doesn't smudge and isn't watery or weak in the slightest. I used some kohl pencil on my waterline and just used the MUA Kohl Pencil which even though it's just a black eyeliner, it does have hints of glitter throughout it.

I combined two mascaras because I wanted ultimate definition, plus I didn't have any false eyelashes and a gal had to improvise. For length, I use the L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes Mascara* because it really lengthens my lashes. It's not too wet nor dry and doesn't clump my lashes together, meaning it's perfect to use as a layer mascara. As for my second mascara, I chose the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara* because it delivers A LOT of volume, seriously. It doesn't make my lashes appear clumpy in the slightest, and makes them look SUPER dark!

I'm the biggest brow amateur around, so I don't do anything too fancy with them. Simply, all I do is fill them in with this Collection Instant Brow Pomade which couldn't be any easier to use. It's so pigmented that a small amount goes a long way. It helps me to create strong, defined brows in a sake of a few minutes.

If I wear a full face of makeup, I tend to contour then - I don't contour on a day to day basis cause ain't nobody got time for that! - but when I do contour my face to the max, I always cream contour. I like this Primark Cream Contour Kit which I managed to pick up for a cheap £3. It contains a wide variety of shades to use as you please, and whatever suits your skintone. It's so creamy meaning that blending is a dream, and there's no tugging and pulling at your skin. The results are amazing. My cheekbones are instantly defined in a chiseled way, and it's almost subtle in the way that you cannot see I have contoured as the product blends out that much.

As I have already said, Christmas for me is all about glitter, so you can imagine that I probably go mad, or perhaps overboard, with the highlight (nothing new there). The Makeup Revolution Highlight Palette in Highlight is one of the best options available on the high street. Personally, I like the first white shade because it's blinding and sure to make a statement. Because I'm pale too, it works so well with my skin. It's also extremely pigmented too so go MAD with the highlight. I tend to highlight the tops of my cheekbones and the cupids bow.

HELLO BERRY LIPS. As you could probably guess, I have quite a stash of red/berry lipsticks, but the one I settled for is Mac Diva which is a beautiful, matte lipstick. It's so striking and bold, and is sure to make a statement, regardless. If I was to pick a lipstick that summed up Christmas/Winter, it would be this one. The staying power is phenomenal; I can eat and it stays put.

Have you got a festive go-to makeup look?

*PR Samples

Monday, 4 December 2017

A Gift For That "Tricky" Someone♥*

Candles are my weakness. I don't know how many of them I have lying around and stored in boxes, and if I'm honest, I don't want to know either. Why do I own so many? Because they're pretty, smell nice and make such good blog props. When it comes to gifts, I find that candles are a good idea. People may bash them around and say that they're the "easy" option, however, more thought goes into them than you'd think - you get personalised ones, and also need to take the scent into consideration. I don't know about you, but every Christmas, there is always a "tricky" person to buy for - admit it. 

Crabtree and Evelyn have my heart when it comes to their body products. I didn't actually realise that they did homeware items such as candles, mainly because I get majority of my candles in Primark etc. They very generously sent me out their Mini Red Berry & Fir Candle* to feature on my blog and when I saw the packaging, I instantly loved it. A copper candle? Could I be any more cliché? It came packaged in an adorable red box which screamed festive at me, and when I opened the box, the scent of this candle hit me right in the face. Literally. If I were to pick a candle that summed up Christmas, it would have to be this one. I could just imagine being curled up on a cold, Winters day watching Christmas movies with a hot chocolate and this candle burning in the room. Ah, bliss.

Personally, I just keep this sitting on my bedside table because it's just so pretty! I feel guilty for burning candles, especially when they're really pretty. For this miniature size, the average burn time is 16 hours (the large version available here for £42 has an average burn time of 40 hours), meaning that even the miniature will burn for quite a long time. Even Crabtree themselves state under the product specification that this candle would be the perfect gift or stocking filler. 

I cannot imagine how anyone could not be happy to receive this as a present. I was hooked with the packaging, but the scent itself seriously has won me over. 

Have you ever tried this candle? What's your favourite candle (or candles!)?

*PR Samples

Monday, 27 November 2017

Lee Stafford Blow Dry♥*

I do slack when it comes to hair. Sometimes I just simply cannot be bothered, and there's just no excuse for it. I have quite thick hair and the drying process can be lengthy. I need to blow dry it or else it just WON'T dry, literally. I'm always up for trying out new products, and if they claim to help blow drying time, then sign me up ASAP. When the PR from Lee Stafford contacted me about trying out their Air (or Blast) Dry range, my answer was pretty obvious to say the least.

Lee Stafford Air (Or Blast) Dry Foam* || £7.99 - When it comes to using hair products, I look for three things - A) They smell good, B) They don't make my hair greasy and C) They actually work. When it came to using this foam, I was unsure at first as to how much to use, so I used one pump. It turns out that due to how long and thick my hair is, I can get away with using two pumps. It's a lightweight formula that doesn't weigh my hair down nor does it feel sticky. My hair soaks up the product well and doesn't tangle it at all. It has the exact same scent as all of the other Lee Stafford products, making it a recognisable, distinct smell which I cannot help but love. It claims to reduce frizz but I cannot comment on this because I don't tend to experience this but I can tell you that my hair looks lush and shiny after blow drying; plus, it smells amazing and feels super soft. I believe that it makes my hair feel quite hydrated after using too!

Lee Stafford Air (Or Blow) Dry Cream Lite* || £7.99 - I find it hard judging how much product to use when it comes to a tube - with a pump I know how many pumps to use, and with a spray, I know that the product is dispersed anyways and that I don't need that many pumps. I've figured that I only need a small amount, like a 10 pence piece. I just rub it on my hands and run it through my hair using my fingers. Much like the previous product, it leaves my hair so shiny and soft post blow drying. It acts as a heat protector so that's a bonus in my books. It claims to moisturise, soften, smoothen and enhance shine, and I think that it has achieved all of these. It has the same scent as the foam, so does it get much better?

Typically it takes me between 5-10 minutes to properly dry my hair, but I think that using these maybe cuts it down by 2-3 minutes. Although it's not drastic, every minute counts - because drying your hair seriously is a chore.

I love numerous things about Lee Stafford products, including their pink packaging (I'm a girly girl at heart), the divine scent and how affordable they are compared to some high end products yet work incredibly well. There are a few ranges available meaning there is always something available for someone.

Have you tried this range from Lee Stafford? What was your experience like?

*PR Samples

Monday, 20 November 2017

Fashion Faux Pas♥

Oh haven't we all been there? A massive makeup error? Or a fashion boo-boo? No, we might not ever live it down, but we sure as hell can learn from it. I've been there with regards to makeup, wearing lipsticks that I wouldn't even give a second look at today. Goodness knows what possessed me at the time, but now I know what I like but also suits me too. I do love a good nude lipstick, but I'm always careful not to end up with "concealer lips". I had £16 left on my Mac voucher, and I had to spend it before it expired, so I figured what else would one spend their leftover money on rather than a new lippy?

 "Don't you already own that shade?" No, no I don't. I may own similar but I do not own this exact shade. Just look at the shade - it's called Faux, and it's so beautiful. It's on the slightly deeper, darker side for a nude lipstick, but you know, it works. It's a satin finish meaning it's not drying whatsoever and is uber creamy. Comparing it to Mehr for example, it has a warmer undertone which is more on the pink side, whereas Mehr has a cooler undertone with a red/brown side. How it looks swatched on my hand compared to my lips are two very, very different things. Although it can look gorgeous on the back of my hand (alongside the 20 other lipstick swatches, may I add), I was worried that it may not compliment my skintone. I guess I was wrong this time. It looks stunning against my pale skin, and it looks brilliant paired with a natural makeup look as it adds a little something to the completed look, but also works so well with a bold look as it completes the overall look without being "too much".

The lipstick comes in the usual Mac packaging, which I can't help but adore. I don't know if it's just because it's Mac's signature trade, or if it's because I love simplicity and minimalism. Maybe both. Much like my other lipsticks, it has a beautiful scent, which I can't quite pin point but it does remind me of sweets. Due to the classic finish, this lipstick looks fantastic sitting in my lipstick holder, sitting alongside my other two (I've got a miniature collection, but everyone's got to start somewhere, right?)

Once again, I have not been let down by Mac - you are the real MVP.

Any Mac lipstick (or product!) recommendations?

Monday, 13 November 2017

Ted Baker Makeup♥

Ted Baker beauty is kinda of incredible, and I'm referring to both the beauty range and makeup range. I adore both, and the packaging is of such a high standard. I hadn't really tried much of their makeup range before now, and this box I received for Christmas is a beauty lovers definition of heaven - makeup brushes and makeup, an ideal box full of goodies for someone who wishes to try out Ted Baker. I adore the packaging theme which the set follows - gold and white (a beauty bloggers dream!) - and looks beautiful in a collection.

Two absolutely stunning lipsticks were in the set - a pink nude and a nude brown. The pink lipstick is such a beautiful shade which is versatile enough to wear on a daily basis. It's girly and feminine, but it pulls together a whole makeup look. The formula is smooth and creamy, and glides on your lips as easy as pie. The nude lipstick is not as brown toned as it appears, in fact, it's more a "your lips but better" with a hint of brown shimmer throughout. I wasn't sure how it'd look with my skin tone, but it looks quite nice actually.

I was delighted to see it was a straight wand and a lengthening mascara. It doesn't seem to clump and the formula is one which I adore as it applies really easily. I normally curl my lashes beforehand, and the mascara looks incredible on my lashes - they look long and full. It's even that good that I use it alone without layering other mascaras on top.

Let's take a moment to appreciate how beautiful the packaging is of both of these products - Insta-worthy or what? The bronzer and blush duo is amazing. Both do have a slight shimmer to them, however, it doesn't ruin the product. The bronzer is more ideal for bronzing rather than contouring, and the blush makes the cheeks appear naturally flushed and healthy without looking too over the top. The trio of shadows is just stunning. I adore all three of the shades as a combination, and the gold is my favourite shade of course. The pigmentation is insanely crazy, but fallout is always at a minimum.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about blush sticks. I don't like them that much as I feel like I'm tugging at my cheeks too much. But, they work a lot better as lipsticks. They blend easier and the colour appears so natural. I know already that this is going to be an ideal Spring/Summer lip colour because of it's warm tones.

Not only is the makeup range a winner to me because of it's high quality, but because the packaging is sure to catch anyone's eyes. The products feel extremely luxurious and I adore using them, and due to my organised personality, I like using the Ted Baker brushes with the makeup because they match.

Have you tried the Ted Baker makeup range?

Monday, 6 November 2017

Bargain Makeup || A Makeup Look♥

Sometimes I look at my makeup and think "How can I change up my every day routine without spending a fortune?" Sometimes you just get bored using the same products or just fancy buying a new foundation. When I was in Superdrug during the Summer, browsing, as you do, I came up with a blog post idea - I'd attempt to do a makeup look on a budget. It was especially fitting because I was stood in a "drugstore" and there was quite a few special offers on too.

Miss Sporty So Matte Perfect Stay Foundation || £3.49 - I don't want to ramble on too much about this foundation because I've already reviewed it (read here) but I thought I'd give a quick over view. I wasn't initially sure what this foundation would be like, mainly because it cost me less than £5, but I decided to pick it up as a) I hadn't bought a new foundation in ages and b) I liked the matte aspect to it. Of course, I never use it without a primer, because having oily skin like mine, it's just not possible to wear a foundation without one. The coverage is low yet you could build up a few layers and it wouldn't look cakey. It doesn't feel drying nor heavy on the skin too, and looks natural too. 

MUA Translucent Pressed Powder || This was one of the first ever makeup products I bought, what a throwback! It's just a simple pressed powder that does the trick. It doesn't necessarily have much colour to it, but it still locks my foundation in place and keeps shine to a minimum. I mean, for £1, it does it's job so I cannot complain.

Miss Sporty Studio Colour Quattro Burberry Eyeshadow Quad || £2.99 - Sticking with the Miss Sporty theme (there was a 3 for £5 offer on, would be rude not to!), I went for an eyeshadow quad. There were quite a few available, all of which contained pretty shades, but I opted for this one - the warm tones were calling my name, as were the pretty shades. It's just a shame about the pigmentation. After I bought it, I decided to google the palette. The reviews were saying how pigmented the shadows were, however, for me, this wasn't the case. For some reason, I felt they weren't overly pigmented, and were quite hard to build up too, which is a shame because some of the colours are beautiful. Perhaps for a beginners this quad would be more suitable as it's not as intense. I might need to try again with this quad and see if I can get any further with it.

Miss Sporty Studio Lash The Miaoww Eye Liner || £2.99 - I am not at all fussy with my eyeliners, I tend to choose inexpensive ones simply because I don't see the point in spending a lot of money on something that I know will eventually dry up. Personally, I like the felt tip pens for eyeliner as I find them easier to use and hold, hence why I went for this one. It's actually pretty decent for the price! It's a true black, matte liner which doesn't smudge whatsoever. It's guaranteed to give a classy cat eye, whether you match it with bold makeup or go for a simple look.

Natural Collection Mascara || The range has been updated since I last bought a mascara, and they now sell a mascara for length, volume and a waterproof too. The one I have is their original mascara and it actually works well for the job. It lengthens and makes your eyes appear bigger and more awake. Just be wary though, it can dry up quite fast meaning the mascara may flake off your lashes, however, I can look upon this as I like the appearance of it on my lashes.

Natural Collection Brow Kit || I frigging love this brow kit. It comes with a tinted brow wax, a powder, a miniature brush and brow spoolie. Although mine is a slight mess, I believe that it clearly illustrates to you how much I love this little set. It helps to define the brows; using only the powder provides a softer, more subtle brow look whereas combining it with the wax gives a stronger, bolder brow look.

Makeup Revolution Amazing Lipstick - The One || £1 - Makeup Revolution are remotely known for their inexpensive yet high quality makeup, and one product I've heard about loads is their lipsticks - they have a whole range at a whopping £1! I picked up a nude lipstick because a nude lipstick goes with every makeup look, and at the end of the day, it was only £1. The formula is quite creamy - the first time I tried it, it felt quite drying but this is often the case when you first try makeup for some odd reason - but after that, it's been fine. I can't quite decide whether or not it compliments my skin tone; being pale, it can be hard to find a nude that suits me. The colour itself is really pretty, and if I was wanting to buy a new lipstick, I'd considering MUR to see if they had any other exciting shades!

Here are two quick shots of the makeup look. I didn't want to do anything too extreme, and the most of the attention is definitely the eyes due to the eyeliner and the slightly smokey eye look. 

My final point to make here is that budget makeup is most certainly worth looking into testing because some drugstore makeup works just as well as highend makeup!!

Monday, 30 October 2017

How I Clean My Makeup Brushes♥

No matter what, I hate washing makeup brushes, as do many other people. It's just so time consuming and quite frankly, I find it boring. The only amusing part is when you wash a really, really dirty brush and all the makeup runs out, apart from when you see all the wasted foundation that ended up in your brush rather than on your face. I've seen people using fancy gadgets to wash their brushes, but of course they come with a pretty big price tag. I previously used a flannel, however, once day on a whim in Primark (stalking the beauty section because it's what I do best), I came across this absolute gem - a facial pad.

Yes, a facial pad. Who would have thought it's the best thing since sliced bread? As soon as I saw it, I immediately thought of my makeup brushes - the perfect item for washing them. I thought perhaps the bristles would be ideal for ensuring that every last drop of makeup is removed. It was an absolute bargain as well, at only £1.50. I was afraid in case it would ruin my brushes, however, it hasn't caused them any damage at all because it's made of thin plastic.

The surface area of the pad is large enough for "fluffier" brushes, including my foundation brush, powder brush and kabuki brush. Personally, I wash my brushes with soap (some people prefer shampoo) and I find the bubbles lather up with no problem at all. Must I admit, it is rather satisfying after you've washed your makeup brushes as they are clean, but the process itself is boring. I do find that this little pad helps make things a tad faster though!

Facial pads are brilliant for two reasons; a) for the reason they're designed for (your face, duhh!) and b) washing your makeup brushes. If you don't own one, go get one - they are incredible, and ever so affordable! At the end of the day, who doesn't love a product which has multiple uses?

How do you wash your makeup brushes?