30 January 2014

Monthly Favourites // January 2014



It's been quite a while since I've posted my monthly favourites and I felt a bit un organised when deciding what to include but after about 3000 years I narrowed it down to this. I've included a few random favourites too because I always enjoy seeing randoms being included.

27 January 2014

Valentine's Day // Makeup Tutorial





ILLAMASQUA SKIN BASE FOUNDATION // COLLECTION 2000 LASTING PERFECTION CONCEALER // SLEEK CONTOUR KIT // BOOTS NATURAL COLLECTION BLUSH // LANCOME HYPNOSE MASCARA // NAKED ORIGINAL PALLETTE // MAC MINERALIZE SKINFINISH NATURAL // NO7 LIQUID LINER // RIMMEL KHOL LINER // MAYBELLINE BABY LIPS

Whenever I think of Valentine's Day I think of a statement red lip (and also the episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch where Harvey gets turned into a frog). Valentine's Day also tends to include romance and romance is likely to have kissing somewhere on the agenda…Or a big tub of ice cream but either way the thought of covering my date or my huge tub of ice cream in bright red lipstick makes me shudder a bit! Here is a little make up look I put together with a neutral lip so as to avoid covering somebody or your tub of cookie dough (which I think would be worse) in lipstick.

I started this look with my usual base, a nice peachy blush and filled in my brows which I won't go into depth about as the main concentration here is the eyes, nothing dramatic, just a nice neutral shimmer.

I started by grabbing my original Naked Palette and sweeping the shade Sin (a lovely shimmery champagne with a hint of rose) as a base to even things out a bit. Next I took the shade Half Baked (a coppery bronze with a frosty shimmer) and swept it over my lid taking just a little up into the crease. I then blended the shade Naked (a matte medium to light brown) into my crease and popped a bit of Virgin (a pale shimmery champagne) on my brown bone as a highlight. 

Next move is eyeliner, for this look I chose to use a liquid liner for an ever so slight winged look. I first took a small angled brush and lined the top of my eye with the Shade Creep (a shimmery charcoal) staying as close to the top lashes as possible. I then took my No7 Amazing Eyes Liner and went over that line. You can skip the eyeshadow liner and go straight in with the liquid if, unlike me, you are good at applying winged liner. 

I then applied mascara, eyeliner and lastly blended Half Baked into my bottle lash line with a small brush, quick lip balm application and Voila! A pretty Valentine's Day look that leaves no risk of second hand lipstick transference. 

Happy Val Day Sab! (I should really stop watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch box sets…)

25 January 2014

Close-ups // The Chaos That Is My Makeup Bag


Just in case you are wondering what a makeup bag looks like if you don't go through it in over a year,  the above photograph will give you a pretty good idea of the chaos that is a disorganised makeup bag.

I did you all a favour by not including the watch strap links, bobby pins, ear plugs, toy ladybird (Eloise's input) and various receipts (who keeps receipts in their make up bag anyway). As you can see I appear to have about twenty million blushes and not a lot else! Truth is i've been stuck in a bit of a make up rut and probably actually use eight of these products and haven't touched the rest in a good 6 months.

So here is a little insight into the main products I've been putting on my face for the last goodness knows how long now:

ILLAMASQUA SKIN BASE FOUNDATION 

I love this foundation ridiculous amounts. I have reviewed this here so I won't go on and on about it but I have loved this since I bought it and it's the only foundation that seems to be able to cope with the various extremes my skin goes to throughout the year. The shade range is the best I have ever come across and I will forever go back to this. Did I also mention I love it?

You can buy it  for £27 here.


BENEFIT THEY'RE REAL MASCARA

I'm sure you've probably heard everyone and their cat rave about this mascara and rightly so because it is one of the best mascaras i've used. I don't normally get on with plastic wands as they tend to cause my lashes to lose their curl as soon as they touch them but as long as I don't go and slap a load on at once then I have no problems. The bristles on the tip make getting those corner lashes a doddle. I currently have the sample size but I will be buying the full once I run out.

You can buy it for £19.50 here.


COLLECTION 2000 LASTING PERFECTION CONCEALER

Again, another beauty blogger favourite! I've been using this for the last 2 years and I love it. It covers dark circles, scarring, blemishes, redness, the lot.

You can buy it for £4.19 here.


MAC MINERALIZE SKINFINISH NATURAL

I'm not really a massive fan of MAC face products because the Studio Fix foundation kind of put me off a bit when it made my face smell like a bonfire. That being said, everyone does deserve a second chance and I'm really glad I went ahead and bought this powder because it's amaze. It doesn't look caky, even after touch ups, sets my makeup and controls any oils whilst still looking natural. No bonfire scent either luckily.

You can buy it for £22 here.


SHU UEMURA EYELASH CURLERS

These are the King, Queen and the entire royal family of all eyelash curlers. I cannot fault them in the slightest, I have long, straight lashes that take quite a lot to get a curl to hold but these curlers can keep them perfect until the morning even without mascara.

You can buy them for £20 here.


SLEEK CONTOUR KIT

I have this in the shade light and it's the first actual contour powder i've owned (I used to use Benefit Hoola Bronzer before) and I like it. Nothing particularly special, doesn't break me out and just does the job really. It comes with a highlight too which I don't really like because I feel like it's not even noticeable so I don't tend to use it.

You can but it for £6.49 here.


NARS BLUSH IN ORGASM

I bought this a while ago and reviewed it here expecting it to be as amazing as everyone said but I found it a bit "meh". It's a peachy pink with a golden shimmer which I do like but I feel it's a bit too shimmery for my skin tone at times. I put this in here just so I would use it as it wasn't cheap!

You can buy it for £21.50 here


So that's pretty much all i've been using! I occasionally dig out my original Naked palette which I have rekindled my love for over the past few months. I think it's time for a mix up!

What products do you always go back to?



23 January 2014

REAL TECHNIQUES FACE BRUSHES





I think most people have heard of these award winning brushes from Real Techniques Brushes by now! And if you haven't, you're really missing out! All of the brushes featured in this post I use on a daily basis (as you can probably tell, they're a bit grubby and in need of a deep clean).

POWDER BRUSH

This is your standard big fluffy powder brush really, what I love about it is that it's just so soft! I've gone through a fair few different powder brushes in my time and nothing has been as soft as this one.

BLUSH BRUSH

This is a little multiple wonder which I use as a blush brush and occasionally a contour brush. All you have to do is pinch the bristles and voila! The perfect shape for contouring your cheeks!

CONTOUR BRUSH

For contouring funnily enough, perfect size for everywhere on the face that you could ever wish to contour and I don't know what I'd do without it now!

BUFFING BRUSH

My number one favourite of the bunch. Lovely thick and soft bristles which buff in my foundation perfectly, once you try this you will not know how you managed without it I promise.

STIPPLING BRUSH

Now I used to use this to apply my base (before I purchased the Core Collection which includes the Buffing Brush) and I loved it but since getting the Buffing Brush I feel the shorter bristles to this one feel a bit "stiff" when applying my foundation. These days I use it mostly if I'm wanting to use a cream blush or highlight and it works a treat, the perfect size for the job.


What are your favourite face brushes?




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21 January 2014

DIY // Banana And Oat Facemask




Let us just stop for a moment and admire how fabulous I look….Ha ha! I jest. The things I do for you guys. Now I'm over the fact I have just uploaded a photograph with what looks like baby food all over my face for the entire Internet to see I shall explain myself.

My skin does not like winter, it doesn't like central heating, it doesn't like the cold wind in fact, it doesn't like anything about the cold full stop. It looks dull, dry and generally very sorry for itself and I am yet to find a moisturiser that can completely combat the dryness and not clog up my pores in the process. Usually I only go for face masks during the summer when I need something to control the opposite end of the skin type spectrum and mop up excess oil. Anyway, here is what I did:

What you'll need is half a ripe banana and a tablespoon of rolled oats or oatmeal. You can also add olive oil if your skin is really dry or lemon juice if you want a bit more of a brightening treatment or go crazy and add both.

All you have to do is mash the banana up so it forms a paste, mix in the oats and slap on your face that's really all there is to it! I left it on for 20 minutes the used a flannel to buff it in a bit as I removed it to exfoliate my skin a little.

To say I was surprised with the results would be an understatement and I've tried pretty high end moisturising masks in the past with little or no effect but my skin looked brighter, felt moisturised and even my pores were dramatically reduced (they weren't big to begin with but I could still see a difference) all from putting a bit of banana and a few oats on my face which are as cheap as chips (or cheaper in fact!)

Have you got any other DIY face mask recommendations you'd like to share?

19 January 2014

Zara TRAFALUC Parka





Everybody loves a parka right? I remember having one when I was about 12 that drowned me but I loved it. I don't know about you but I always have a tough time trying to find a coat I love that ticks all the right boxes and initially I wanted the Topshop Borg Parka but after seeing it on I didn't love it as much as I first thought so on went the search until I came across this beautiful number. It wasn't too long, has a removable fluffy faux sheepskin inside so I can wear it into the spring without baking, plenty of pockets (which are always useful as I always have my 3.5 year old in tow), a fluffy trim around the hood (detachable also) which is a must with a parka in my eyes and just wonderful quality all round as with all Zara items. It came in at £89.99 which is cheaper than the Topshop Borg and that is what I have been telling myself every time I remember I spent that much on a coat! Ha!

I saw it in the Zara sale not too long ago down from £89.99 to £49.99 so may be worth checking out if you love it too.


14 January 2014

Molecule 01 // Escentric Molecules



After reading countless reviews on this little bottle of goodness where pretty much everybody was raving about how amazing it is and that every man, woman and child was pleading with them to reveal their scent secret I finally caved and bought it.

I was a bit dubious initially and was half expecting not to like it as I hadn't even so much as sniffed it before! I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't hate it but was also a bit "meh" when I first sprayed it. Don't get me wrong I did like it but after all the hype I was expecting magical angels tears or something.

Straight out the bottle it has a nice warm, relaxing woody scent. I find sometimes I can't wear my other perfumes because on some days they are just too sweet or too floral and so on this, on the other hand, is light enough for me to be able to wear whenever.

Now the magic (or science really) to this is that it contains just one molecule which adjusts itself to your natural scent to create a unique tailor made fragrance just for you that everyone and their cat will love. I tested it on my sister who initially said it reminded her of old people and she wasn't keen at all but half an hour later she was asking me where she could buy it because it was "the best smell ever".

For me it goes on as quite a distinct woody scent which disappears and turned into a very subtle but amazing fruity kind of scent.

I got the travel size refill one which was £27 from here.

Has anyone tried this? What does it smell like on you?
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