Monday, 30 December 2013

My Top 5 Products of 2013

So that's another year gone, can you believe it? I can't! I'm not usually one for new year resolutions as I rarely stick to them and their usually completely forgotten about by the 2nd of January. So rather than writing a post in that direction I thought I'd share my top 5 products of the year. So in no particular order, lets see who made the cut...

First up is a palette that I must have used nearly every day this year, whether it's a quick line of 'Crave' or a little of 'Naked 2' in the crease, this has been my go-to. If you haven't tried the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette yet then I definitely recommend it. This handy sized, handbag friendly product consists of 6 versatile and easy to blend shades, 5 matte and 1 shimmer. This is totally worth the £20 price tag thats for sure!

Next up is a foundation from a brand that I was introduced to this year. I firmly believe that this brand is the beauty industries best kept secret as I hadn't even heard of Arbonne before this year. Arbonne are a Swiss based skincare/health and wellness brand who offer the most beautiful products, especially their make up. All of their products are botanically based and are free from a lot of nasties that you find in a lot of other brands today. I could go on for pages raving good things about this company, but lets save that for another post! This is their Perfecting Liquid Foundation which is without a doubt the best foundation I have EVER used! I don't know how it works but it stays on all day, it has skin firming properties and it totally perfects your skin. I think this is one where you have to try it to believe it. It does come with a pretty hefty price tag but as it's so good you wont probably mind!

These Real Techniques brushes definitely had to feature as they are probably my most used products from this year! Real Techniques have had the most amazing year and I'm really glad they have. You can just tell that a make-up artist has designed these (if you didn't know Sam Chapman from Pixiwoo created them).  I especially love the buffing brush and the contour brush for applying my foundation. They're just amazing, that is all.

Now I have a skincare item for you, this is the Blue Green Algae Toner from Michael Todd True Organics. If you haven't heard of the brand they are US based but you can get hold of the products via the Michael Todd website. I have tried out a few of their products this year and this one is my favourite. This is an antibacterial toner which is great if you have a combination skin type or are prone to getting a few blemishes. I didn't really think much of toners before I tried this one, I didn't think they did much! But this you can really feel working as soon as you swipe it on your skin.

Lastly I've picked these little pots of wonder. Yes they're the Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadows! These are just a lifesaver on days when you cant be bothered to get lots of brushes out and spend ages blending and contouring, just a quick swipe and your good to go. They have some gorgeous colours too if your brave enough to pull them off, but I just stick to these neutral shades because I'm boring like that! The shades I have below are 'On and On Bronze' and 'Pink Gold'. Oh and they're a bargain at £4.99 a pop!  

So there we have it my top picks from 2013, I'd love to know what yours are! I wonder what 2014 will bring..?


Thursday, 26 December 2013

My Pick Of The Sales!

I've spent the morning scanning the best of the beauty and fashion sales and these are what I've selected as my top picks. So, get your fingers to the ready and snap them up before everyone else does!

The Lush sale is just amazing, I had to start with this one. Most of their Christmas bath bombs and melts are down to a bargain £1.25, including one of my favourites the Star Light, Star Bright bath melt.

Truly one of the best beauty sites for sales, and one of the best beauty sites in general. They have an up to 50% off sale right now. One of their best offers at the moment has to be these GHD hair straightners at £79.20, this is a great price for GHD's they really are the best you can get. Perfect if santa didn't bring them for you!

I also think the Real Techniques Sam's Picks Collection is at a bargain price, you get 6 brushes for£20.99! The Real Techniques brushes are a staple in my make up bag. I urge you to try these out, you won't be turning back!

I spotted this cute Lancome Time to Dramat'Eyes Make Up Clutch which I thought was a perfect little sales treat to yourself at £23. This is a complete steal as the value of all the products together comes to a whopping £58! The colours in the eye palette are gorgeous, check this one out!

Lastly from Feel Unique is this YSL Lipstick. I've wanted one of these for a long time and I might just have to treat myself now as they're down to £19.97. They have some lovely colours and the packaging is oh so pretty!

I would shop fast on this one girls as they are selling out quickly! I've been sadly watching items slowly disappear from the sale section for the last couple of days. But my pick from what's left is this Creme Brûlée Body and Bath Duet from Laura Mercier. The ultimate in body pampering these high end treats are half price at only £15, a winner for your skin and your purse.

Moving on to fashion sales now Topshop have a lot to offer. I've been eyeing up this Knitted Cable Jumper in store for the last couple of months but I'm going to have to go and get in now it's down to £18 from £38. This is what the sales are all about! They have more colours in this too if pink isn't your colour. 

Last but by no means least Zara never seem to disappoint when it come to their sale. This time I'm eyeing up their boots and bags. I think these TRF Flat Boots are down to a bargain price at £29.99. I've picked them out because I think they'll go with any outfit you put together and truly will be a staple in anyones wardrobe. 

I also love Zara bags, they're such great quality and are always bang on trend. This Basic Shopping Bag in black is down to a fantastic £19.99! Like the boots this is a wardrobe staple and as it's a classic your going to be putting it to good use for years to come. I think thats the best way to shop the sales, don't waste your money buying 'just because it's half price'. Spend your hard earned cash on something you've been eyeing up for a while or on a classic you know your going to get a lot of wear out of.

Well I hope you like my picks from the sales, this is only a tiny selection of all the fantastic offers out there at the moment. So, ready, steady, GO! 


Tuesday, 24 December 2013


Hi everyone! I just wanted to post a quick little note to wish you all a very merry Christmas. I hope you all have a fabulous day and get everything you wish for. I've only been blogging for a few short weeks but I'd like to thank each and every one of you that has paid a visit to makeupbykate, no matter how long, I really appreciate it. I have lots of plans for 2014, I think it's going to be a good year and can't wait to see what it will bring! Have an amazing day tomorrow guys, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Kate x

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Festive Penguin Nails

Time for another festive nail tutorial! This is probably my favourite yet and it's so easy to do, you might just be able to do it with your left hand!

So to start off I filed down my nails to desired shape and used my all time favourite hand cream Soap and Glory Hand Food. I have been using this since I discovered the brand about 3 years ago and it's all I've used since, its going to take something really amazing to get me off this stuff! The you can use any base coat you like, I went for the Rimmel London Lycra Pro one.

Next choose your base colour, I went for a festive red. You could also go for blue to look like the sky, or you don't have to use a base colour if you don't want. I went for nails inc in St James as its a really vibrant christmassy red, and I applied two coats.

Now we can start on the penguin! To start with you need to choose a black polish to create his body, I went for a mini Max Factor one in the colour Onyx. The reason I chose this particular one is because it's got quite a small brush, this is handy as we're only painting a little part of the nail as below.

So once you've painted the black part of his body you need to paint a smaller white version inside to create his chest. I used the nail varnish that I received in my december Glossy box for this which was Blanc 11 by Seche.

Now we can see he's taking shape, so all thats left to do is give him some eyes and a beak, I used the white and black as before, then you need to use a orange or yellow colour to do the beak. And viola! 

I've just done the one to keep things simple but you could have a whole family of 10 if you wanted! Isn't he cute! 

Christmas December Glossy Box

I was pretty impressed with this months Glossybox so I thought I'd share my thoughts with you. Firstly look at the box itself, its so festive! I really like the design, I don't know about you but I keep most of the boxes, especially the limited edition ones, in anticipation of using them to store things in. Obviously I will be putting christmassy items in this one!

So on to what I received this month, there's a sneak peek above! I'm going to start with my favourite and that's the Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24hr eyeshadow in the colour On and on bronze. I'm a huge fan of these eyeshadows, especially at this time of year because some of them are very glittery. They are so easy to use and they're the type of product you can just pop on in the morning and not have to worry about all day as it won't budge! This colour is perfect for me, I would have chosen this if I had gone to buy one in a store. It's a bronze, obviously as the name suggests, but it has almost golden flecks of glitter running through it. Its beautiful and looks great on blue eyes. I like to wear these as a quick colour wash over my eyelids and then run a little under the outside corner of the eyes. These are available at boots for £4.99.

Next up is another product I was really excited to receive, it was really nice to get some quality make up items this month. This is a nude lipgloss from Beautiful Movements Cosmetics, which if you didn't know is Kimberly Wyatt from the Pussycat Dolls's make up line. I think this is just the perfect nude and it's a non sticky formula which is a big plus. I just really liked this, perfect colour if your going for something a bit heavier on your eyes and want to tone your look down on the lips. This has gone straight into my handbag! You can grab this little beauty at for £12, and I must say I love Kimberly's make up on the homepage :)

I always seem to get a nail varnish, like every month! But I'm not complaining I do love a good nail polish. This one is from a brand called Seche, I have heard of their topcoat before but didn't realise they did loads of different colours. I got a white colour called Blanc 11, not the most exciting name! I think this will be good for doing french tips but I have tried and it takes a few coats to build it up to a nice bright white. You can buy these at and they retail at £9.95.

The largest item in my box this month was a Wilkinson Sword Intuition Naturals Razor. Hmmm. Does anyone else feel like getting a razor in your Glossybox is kind of like getting socks and pants for Christmas? I mean it's practical and everything and I'm sure it's very nice, but it's not what I was expecting! I've actually used these in the past and they are pretty good razors, so yeah, umm, thanks Glossybox! You can get these from any good supermarket or for £6.49.

Last but by no means least is a perfume sample from Lipsy called Glam. I never get too excited about these little scent samples (they usually disappear into my handbag never to be seen again). This one smells surprisingly nice, I would say fresh and sweet at the same time, too sweet for me! This is available on the Lipsy website and comes in at £25.

I hope you liked that little overview of my December Glossybox, did you receive any of the same items?

Thursday, 19 December 2013

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo

I wanted to do a little review of this product as it's been a complete life saver (or skin saver) for me over these last few weeks. I seem to suffer with more breakouts and stubborn spots now I'm in my twenties than I did when I was in my teens, and I've been searching for what seems like forever to find the perfect treatment to sort my skin out. I had used Effaclar Duo once before, it was actually this time last year before Christmas. My skin wasn't quite as bad as it's been this year...yet bad enough for me to search through blogs for hours on end to find 'the best spot treatment out there'. I was also going on holiday straight after Christmas so I kind of thought that being in the sunshine probably contributed to clearing my skin up. So yeah it did clear up, and it cleared up very well! And thinking back I really enjoyed using the product. However it hasn't been until these last few weeks that I've realised quite how good this wonder product is...

So I got BAD spots a few weeks ago, right before Christmas, yeah typical! And I'm talking those painful, under-the-skin type ones. I've been using Effaclar Duo in place of my moisturiser every morning and night, and my blemishes have pretty much completely vanished, and this is the only part of my skincare routine I've changed! There's nothing about this product that I don't like. It feels silky smooth when applied and is enough moisture for me to use without using another moisturiser on top. I have oily/combination skin so those of you with a dryer skin type might want to apply this under your current moisturiser, like a serum. It works great under makeup, some people I've spoken to use it as a primer as it dries to a matte effect, and It's also paraben free which is a big plus. 

I think it's safe to say that this little tube of brilliance is going to be a staple in my skincare stash. If you have problem skin I urge you to check this out! Oh, I haven't mentioned the price yet have I...£13! I don't know about you but I think thats a pretty good deal. And it's often on offer at boots and too! 

I would love to hear your stories and experiences with La Roche-Posay, what other products would you recommend? 


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Little Lush Haul

I've never been given Lush samples before, so this excited me very much. But not only because they were free samples, but because it turned my measly two item shop into a better-sounding four item shop, which is acceptable to call a haul (just). 

I ventured into my local Lush store in search of a face mask to sort out my badly behaving skin. I've heard great things about the cupcake face mask so thought i'd give it a try. Also the man that served me said it was an 'amazing choice' so I thought I did well. The mask says its for oily and teenage skin, which sounds like mine even though I'm 23. It helps calm breakouts and absorb excess oil. I'll let you know how I get on with this one.

There is never a time that I go into Lush and leave without a bath bomb. This time a little shining star caught my eye from the corner of the store, literally! This little beauty is the Star Light, Shine Bright bath melt. I think I might save this one for Christmas Eve!


So I got to the till ready to purchase my chosen two items and the very friendly shop assistant threw in two samples! This put the biggest smile on my face, it's the little things! The samples I got were 'Jungle' Solid conditioner which features tropical fruits, this is the first one pictured below. I also received 'Ponche' shower gel, which i've actually been wanting to try, result!

I really enjoy the whole shopping experience when going into Lush, especially at this time of year when they have all of their Christmas offerings available. I might just have to go back before the season ends! If you've never adventured into a store before I recommend you give it a try! The sales assistants are always super friendly and willing to answer any questions you have as sometimes its hard to choose what's right for you.

Let me know what's your favourite Lush product, I would love recommendations on new things to try!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Glitter Festive Fingertips.

Hello everyone and first of all welcome to my blog! Expect to see all things makeup and beauty related, maybe with a few fashion and random posts thrown in too for good measure. But for today I am focusing on nails, and not just any old nails, festive nails!
I think this is my favourite time of year to paint my fingertips as there are so many different things you can do, but the first thing that comes to mind is GLITTER!
So this my christmassy creation. The polishes I used to do this were Barry M Pink Silver Glitter and an Urban Outfitters nail polish in Spicy which I picked up when over in the states. 
 So to create this super sparkly effect I applied two coats of the Barry M polish. This is probably one of my favourite glitter nail polishes, the colour is gorgeous and great to wear all year round. It just looks amazing on its own as a simple glitter effect.
Next I layered the Urban Outfitters polish over the top. I also used two coats of this one but you could keep going to make it as spangly as you like! 

So this is probably the first of a couple festive nail posts to come your way before the big day, let me know what you think. Or if you recreate it please tweet me a pic!
Lots of love

© Kate Dickson. All rights reserved.