Thursday, 30 January 2014

My Most Used Brushes

I have many make-up brushes, but there are those few (or, ahem, 11) that I reach for more than the others. I thought for todays post I would run through all of my favourites and tell you why I like them so much. So, here goes…

Base brushes: and by this I mean foundation and concealer, everything I need to create a flawless canvass.

1. This is the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. Your going to hear this brand come up a lot in this post as they are by far my favourite brush brand. Not only are they the most affordable but they really do the best job, and they're so adaptable, just because the brush is an 'eyeshadow' brush doesn't mean you just have to use it for eyeshadow. Anyway their Buffing Brush is my go-to when applying foundation, its big enough for it not to take a long time, yet small enough to get in all those nooks and crannies! This brush blends like a dream.
2. This is the Real Techniques Contour Brush. Like the name suggests I use this for contouring if I'm using a cream or liquid, but it's also a dab hand at applying foundation, especially around the nose/ eye area where larger brushes can't quite cope with.
3. This is the (yep you guessed it!) Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush. You know when I was saying you don't have to use an eyeshadow brush as an eyeshadow brush, well I was talking about this one! I actually love using this for concealer, under the eye or on blemishes. It's just the right size and it's   fluffy so great for blending it out!

Powder brushes: these are the brushes I love to use for bronzer, powder and blush.

4. This is the Bare Minerals Full Flawless Face Brush (try saying that 10 times really fast). This is my favourite for bronzing up, its great for picking up a lot of product, so really good if you want an all over bronze look.
5. This is the Real Techniques Blush Brush. This is the perfect blusher brush and I also like to use it for contouring when using a powder. The tapered shape allows you to blend the colour perfectly.

Eye brushes: for shadow, liner, brows…

6. This is the Mac 209 and this is my go-to when applying gel or liquid liner. This was the first make-up brush I ever bought and I still absolutely love it! It's just the perfect thickness for a winged liner.
7. This is the Urban Decay Shadow Brush. I got this when I bought the first Naked palette. Just look at it, isn't it pretty! Thats not the reason it's in my favourites though, this brush is great for applying shadow before you go to blend it. I use this mainly when I'm doing a darker colour on my eyes or when doing a smokey eye.
8. I had to include this one in the eye section too! The RT Base Shadow Brush, this is just great for applying eyeshadow if your going for a colour wash rather than a deep colour. Also good for applying shadow under the eye if you want a thicker line under there.
9. You've probably all heard of this one before and are not surprised at all that it's in this post. Yep this is the Mac 217 brush. This is the daddy when it come to blending. and not just eyeshadow, this will blend anything!
10. This little cutie is the Arbonne Slant/Angle Brush and I got this in a travel sized set. This is the best brush for applying eyeliner, whether it's powder, liquid or gel, this is the one to use! Because of it's very thin bristles it creates the slimmest line and this means you can get really close to the lash line, and you can create a really sharp flick. I'm yet to find a brush to match this one.
11. Lastly this is another favourite angled brush, this is the Mac 266. Great for brows, I use this with eyeshadow to fill in my brows, this is also great for liner and applying colour just under your bottom lash line.

So there we have it! All my favourite brushes wrapped up in one little blog post. Let me know what your favourites are, do any of them match up with mine?

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Review | Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara

When it comes to brows, we may not all be able to look like Cara Delevingne, but hey, we're going to give it a good try, am I right? The Maybelline Brow Drama promises 'brows that wow' however after trying this product I wouldn't say I was particularly blown away by my brows. I don't have the worlds most sparse brows, but a little filling-in is often needed. Although I guess you could say my brows are somewhat unruly and have a mind of their own sometimes, so any product which is going to hold them in place is fine by me.

The Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara comes in three shades, deep blonde, medium brown and dark brown. I went for the middle shade, medium brown as my brows are already quite dark and I don't necessarily want to make them any darker. I just want to fill in the bits which are missing. It actually comes with a really good brush, the rounded head makes it easy to get to any part of your brow. For me, I just didn't see a lot of difference. Yes they look a little better groomed, but I can achieve that with a spoolie. I actually used a spoolie to brush them through afterwards as they looked a little clumpy. You can see from the before and after photos below that there isn't much difference to the colour, maybe I should have gone for the darker shade, but I fear that they would just be too dark. They did stay put though, and zero fly-away hairs are a big plus.

I think this product is great for those 'no-makeup days' when you just want that little summin' to avoid the naked face feeling. Although I think when using this in the future I'll be using something first to create a better shape and do a bit of filling, then use this at the end to bring it all together. So in my opinion, not a bad product, but I'm glad I bought it at half price!

The Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpring Mascara is £4.99.

Have you tried this product? Dis you achieve 'brows that wow'?


Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Liebster Award

So I've been nominated by a few bloggers including Lily from Lily Ann Loves, Katie from Chasing The Impossible and Auralia from AureliaDiesel.

The idea behind this award is to help new bloggers find other new bloggers in the blogging community.  Below are the rules…

1. You must link back to the person (people in my case!) who nominated you.
2. You must answer the 11 questions given to you. I'm going to pick 4 questions from each blogger who nominated me, I feel this is the fairest way and I'm sure you guys don't want to read through 33 questions! 
3. You cannot nominate the person who nominated you.
4. You must pick nominees with under 200 followers to answer your questions.
5. You must tell the nominees they have been nominated by you.

So here goes, these are the 12 questions from my 3 nominees! 

1. What made you want to start a blog?
I wanted to start a blog as my own little hobby as I didn't really have one! I've always loved writing but haven't properly done any since my English A Level so I thought this was a great way to get back into it.

2. What is your favourite high street shop? 
I have to say Zara. Every time I go in that place I see so much that I want! I think their clothes are stylish but classic, if I buy something from Zara I know it'll be in my wardrobe for years to come. Shame my nearest one is 70 miles away!

3. Coffee or tea?
Tea every time.

4. Product you couldn't live without?
Concealer for sure, I honestly don't think I could live without concealer!

5. What kind of blogs do you like to read?
I like to read beauty and fashion blogs, I've also been getting into reading travel blogs which is very dangerous as they make me want to go on holiday!

6. What has been your favourite blogpost to write? 
My favourite has actually been writing about my trip to florida, I think it's because it brought back lots of happy memories while writing it! 

7. Would you encourage others to start a blog?
Yes definitely! It's a really fun thing to do and watching your blog grow is a great reward!

8. If you could write for any magazine which would you choose and why?
Probably Vogue, then I could be like Carrie Bradshaw haha! 

And the nominees are…

My questions to you…

1. How long have you been blogging?
2. What's would you like to achieve in 2014?
3. What is your all time favourite beauty product?
4. Who is your biggest fashion/beauty inspiration?
5. Where is your favourite place in the world?
6. What are your favourite blogposts to read?
7.What is your guilty pleasure?
8. Can you describe your make-up style?
9. What is your favourite movie?
10. Cat or dog?
11. What advice would you give to your 12-year-old self? 

Cant wait to see your responses, make sure you let me know! :) 


Friday, 24 January 2014

Waxperts Ingrown Hair Pads

I was lucky enough to sample these Ingrown Hair Pads* from Waxperts. Being someone who suffers from pesky ingrown hairs I was looking forward to trying these out. This little pot contains 40 pads which are infused with salicylic acid, rosemary and panthenol. These are a daily treatment for those of us who shave or wax and end up with unsightly ingrown hairs.

Salicylic acid is well know for it's use in acne treatments so it make sense for it to appear in these pads, it works by causing the skin cells to shed more rapidly so preventing the pores from getting clogged up. Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties and panthenol moisturises, reduces itching and speeds up the healing process.

I have been using these for a week now and I have seen an amazing difference! I literally have no ingrown hairs, where usually I would have more than a few. I really don't have a bad word to say about this product, it just works, they do exactly what they say they do. I've tried other ingrown hair treatments in the past and all of the products I've tried have been drying on the skin and very harsh, one even made the skin on my fingers peel! These are so gentle, you can even use them on your face so their great for men too. They also don't have a strong, nasty smell like other treatments I've tried either, they're just a dream to use.

I can see theses being a staple product in my hair removal routine and I'm so glad that I've discovered them. Thank you Waxperts!

The Waxperts Ingrown Hair Pads are £7.99 for 40 pads and are available on their website.

*this product has been sent to me as a sample to review.


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Sensationail Gel Deluxe Starter Kit | Review and Demo

So you've had your gel nails done at the salon, but what if I told you you can do them yourself at home? This is something I've been wanting to share with you guys for a while now, but I wanted to perfect the art before I did this post! This is Sensationail, if you haven't heard of them before this brand can provide you with all of the kit and colours to create beautiful gel nails in the comfort of your own home. They claim you'll have two weeks of chip-free, damage proof nails, and I can confirm that it does work!  You have to put in a bit of practice, it took me a few goes at making them look perfect, but I guess that also depends on how good you are at doing your own nails!

I got this kit for Christmas, it's the Deluxe Starter Kit and it includes two colours, a top coat, nail primer, cleanser, your all important professional LED lamp and a few handy nail tools. I was so excited to get this, I'm the kind of person who loves changing the colour of their nails, but I HATE chips. As soon as my nails chip I have to re-paint them. And I find it such a chore to paint my nails, especially as I seem to have to do it so much! So being able to wear a colour for two whole weeks without chipping is amazing.

The first thing you need to do is file and shape your nails as you like, then you need to buff over them with the file provided. Next with the gel cleanser just wipe over your nails to clean them with a lint-free wipe which you'll also find in the pack.

The next step is to paint your nails with the primer and let them air dry, this really doesn't take long and it helps the gel adhere to your nail.

Once your nails are dry you can apply a thin coat of the gel base and top coat. Make sure you avoid any skin around the nail and the cuticle as this is going to turn very hard once it's been under the lamp and it will stick to your skin! You really do only need a very thin coat as its quite a thick gel! 

Next is the fun part, using the lamp! You need to cure the base and top coat under the lamp for 30 seconds, once the lamp has beeped thats 30 seconds gone and you need to change to the other hand.

Now it's time to choose the colour, today I'm going for the nude colour called 'taupe tulips' (cute name alert!) and this is included in the starter pack. You can buy extra colours but I'll explain that later.

So you just need to repeat what we did with the base coat, however this time you need to cure for 60 seconds instead of 30, and don't forget thin layers! Below is the colour after one coat.

This nude definitely needs a second coat, however the other colour you get 'sugar plum' I only needed one, so I guess the colours vary a little. This is the finished look after another coat and the final top coat.

I am so impressed with Sensationail, I'm so glad I have discovered it! No more chipped nails for me! As I mentioned before you can buy more shades either from their website or from Boots. There are so many different colours available and they are available from £12.50. However if you don't want to spend that much on the gel varnish I've actually tried this with normal nail varnish and it works pretty well. Obviously it's better to use the gel, it's stronger and does last longer. But just using the top coat on top of your usual polish does make it last a lot longer than normal!

The Sensatuonail kits are available on their website from £69.99.

Has anyone else tried Sensationail? Would love to know your thoughts!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Review | Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

First we had Baby Lips from Maybelline, and now we have Baby Skin! I must admit, I wasn't the biggest fan of the Baby Lips range, I mean they were alright, but I have better lipbalms/ tints that do a nicer job. I think high-end brands have got it covered but high street or drugstore primers are hard to come by, so I was eager to try this one out. For £7.99 it's not a bad size and the packaging is cute, nice and bright to spot in my makeup bag!

I think this product had been compared to the Benefit Porefessional a bit too much, I was expecting it to pretty much be a dupe when I first heard about it's release. For me this is not like the Porefessional, for a start its transparent, however it does have some similar qualities.

I like to apply this using my fingers, just so you can really smooth it out across your skin and fill in anywhere that needs a little extra help. But also so you can feel where you've put it, with a brush I just found I was wasting loads and putting way to much on, a little goes a long way with this product! This is definitely a silicone primer so if thats not your thing I would stay clear of this one. I didn't find I noticed a different to the appearance of my pores straight away, unlike the Porfessional, but this is a clear gel after all, with Benefit's offering you get a little coverage in there too. However when I applied my foundation I did find that my skin looked smoother than it would without.

I think this a great everyday primer, probably the best one I've used from the high street, and you can't argue with the price!  I think Maybelline are really stepping it up at the moment, releasing some different products that we don't expect to find at the drugstore. I can't wait to see what they're going to do next with the 'baby' line!

Have you tried Baby Skin? What did you think?

Saturday, 18 January 2014

A Sugar Crush

I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I saw this Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Gift Set on sale at Boots for a bargain £9! The body moisturiser is £10.50 to buy on its own! That was it, straight into my hands and I wasn't letting go! The Sugar Crush range is one of my favourites, it has a really fresh lime scent and I think it's a great one if your having a daytime bath or shower. In this gift set you get the full size body moisturiser, which, as I mentioned before is £10.50 on it's own. You also get a 250ml body wash which is half the of the full size (still a pretty decent size!). And finally you get a mini 50ml sized body scrub which completes the set.

Firstly on to the body moisturiser, if you haven't tried a Soap and Glory moisturiser before then you need to go out and get one! You will never turn back. Personally I prefer 'The Righteous Butter' scent which I see as the classic S&G scent but this is a close second. Its super creamy, has a fresh lime scent and leaves your skin feeling so soft. It's one of those where if you put it on before bed you can still smell it when you wake up.

Next is the body wash, Soap and Glory say it's a wake up call for the mind and body and I agree! Use this in your morning shower and you'll be ready for the day. This also doubles up as bath bubbles, just a few pumps of the stuff will leave you with a fruity bubbly bath.

This body scrub is probably one of my favourite scrubs of all time. It's a luxurious brown sugar scrub with the same citrus scent. This is a great one for in the bath, when you've got a little more time to have a good old scrub. Great for dry legs, knees and elbows, and everywhere else really! I think it's quite moisturising too so it's a great all rounder, it's the scrub which all the other scrubs probably hate. 

You can find the Sugar Crush range in most Boots stores, or click here to shop online! Which is your favourite?


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Barry M Magnetic Nail Paint

I love finding something new to paint my nails with, whether its a new trend of varnish or a new brand altogether. I'm a big fan of nail art and have been wanting to try out the magnetic polishes for a while now. When I received this one by Barry M for Christmas I couldn't wait to try it out. The idea of magnetic nail varnishes is that when you hold the magnet supplied over the wet paint, the magnetic particles which are contained within the varnish will create a pattern. Barry M do lots of different colours and they all come with a different magnetic pattern, so the idea is you can collect different colours and then mix and match the different magnets! I have the colour Magnetic Blue which creates a sort of Union Jack shaped design.

So I gave my nails one coat of the colour, and let dry. This is actually a really nice colour, I don't usually go for a metallic or shimmery shade but I do really like this one. Below is one coat of the polish.

Next you need to apply another coat and immediately after hold the magnet (which is on the lid of the bottle) over the wet pain and like magic the pattern will appear!

Heres the finished look! The only thing I did next was seal with a clear top coat, and your done!

I think this is such a simple and easy way to do nail art, so If you haven't got the steadiest hand to do intricate designs this might be for you!

Have you tried any magnetic nail polishes? Which colour should I try next?!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Review | Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

This product as we all know has been causing a storm over the beauty blogging world this past year or so, and for good reason too. I've been eyeing this up on blogs and feeling so jealous that I hadn't tried it. However I snapped this up in the Feel Unique Sale after Christmas and I couldn't wait for it to arrive. I had high hopes for this product, I hadn't tried a cleansing balm before so I was hoping it would help to clear up my skin which had a hissy fit after the festive season! And if I'm being honest, I think my heart would have broken just a little if I hadn't liked it.

I've been using this for two weeks now and I can clearly see an improvement in my skin, everything has just calmed down, so thats ticked box number one! This balm really is a dream to use, I feel like I'm giving myself a mini facial every night. The smell is lovely, not too overpowering, but like nothing I've smelt before. I know that might sound weird but I kind of like how the scent is unique to the product, anyone else?!

I always take my make-up off before using this, as my first cleanse. See what I've been using to do this in this earlier post. Then I'll take a little of the cleansing balm in my hands, you don't need much, with a drop of water and massage over my face. I like to take a while to do this, especially in the evening, it's so good for your skin to do a long cleanse rather than a slap on slap off job! Then you need to use a muslin cloth or a flannel to gently remove, personally I prefer a flannel. Your skin is left feeling tingly clean and so refreshed.

I know two weeks isn't long time to have been using a new skincare product, but my skin has felt so much better in this short time I just had to do this post and let everyone know! Unfortunately this is no longer in the Feel Unique sale and I'm still wondering if I'll repurchase it as it's more than I would normally spend on skincare. Although I suppose I would be willing to spend £30 on a pair of shoes that I wouldn't wear half as much as I would use this. And your skin is so important, you have it for life so you have to look after it. Can you tell I'm trying to convince myself here!

What are your thoughts on this cleansing balm? Any others that are just as good?

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Lush Dreamtime Bath Melt

If I've had a long day at work or I've been on my feet all day, then this is what I turn to to relax before I go to bed. This is the Lush Dreamtime Luxury Bath Melt and relax is this little guys middle name. If you've read my blog before or you follow me on twitter you probably would have noticed that I am a big lush fan! I love that place, and most of the products that I've tried so far (which is quite a few) I have loved too.

This one calls for the hottest bath you can handle, a few candles, and a dimmed light. I like to just unwind and soak, it's great for when you don't need to wash your hair, exfoliate etc. Just relax! The bland of chamomile and lavender oils are supposed to help induce sleep, I'm not convinced with this, I know lavender is supposed to help you sleep but I think it's more about the whole relaxing mood you create and this melt certainly helps with that.

Dreamtime contains moisturising butters and warming ingredients such as ginger and sandalwood to soften the skin and help to ease tired muscles, I think this works, skin definitely feels soft post bath and the heat of the water will help make your muscles feel better too.

Have you tried Dreamtime? What do you think? Let me know what your favourite Lush products are, I'd love to know!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Inglot Freedom System Palette

Inglot have been one of those brands I've been interested in for a few years now, I must have spent hours browsing their website looking through all the different shades and putting together countless palettes in my head. A few months ago I bit the bullet and ordered a Freedom System Palette, this is a palette which, like Mac, you buy the eyeshadows separately creating your own masterpiece. If you've been on the Inglot site you'll know what I mean by saying there's an overwhelmingly large amount of shades to choose from! You won't know where to start, or you'll take a year to choose (I literally did).
It's fairly difficult to choose as you don't know how the colours on the website match the actual colours. Although now I've been through the process I can confirm that they are very accurate! Below are the eyeshadows that I chose.

All neutrals, mostly matte and one shimmer. I wanted to create an everyday wearable palette, and I only really wear neutral colours. I picked two highlight colours, one shimmery and one matte. Two mid-tones, a plum and a brown. And then a crease/ darker tone. I'm really happy with the shades I chose, I was worried they weren't going to match what they looked like on the site but I really didn't have anything to worry about! Here's a shade breakdown and swatches.

395 Pearl: A lovely and very bright highlight colour, great for a fresh all over the lid look, or I like to use this in the tear duct area. I would say the closest Mac shade to this was Nylon.

355 Matte: A soft creamy colour which is similar to my natural skin tone. Great for just evening out the eyelid or to use as a base and blending colour. Similar to Mac Blanc Type. 

344 Matte: A nice all over the lid colour, this one has a plum tone to it but still keeping it very natural. I would say this is a similar colour to Mac Satin Taupe but in a matte form.

360 Matte: This is a great contour shade, looks really good with 355 as just a simple look. I can also use this through my brows. I would say Mac Charcoal Brown was a pretty close comparison.

329 Matte: The darkest shade in my palette, I probably wouldn't wear this all over the lid like I have below as it doesn't suit my eye shape, thats just to show you guys the colour! A great darker crease colour, or you could even use this as a powder eyeliner. 

The eyeshadows are very nice to work with, really blendable and pigmented, actually much like Mac! They are £4.50 each and the palette on it's own is £7. I think they are such great value and I loved the whole experience via the website. Also the packaging is really sleek looking and hard wearing, so much better than I was expecting for the money. Inglot do have a store in the UK at Westfield (I think thats the only one!). However ordering online was super easy and I would do it again! 

Let me know if you've ordered a palette from Inglot, does it look anything like mine? 

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