Friday, 28 October 2011

My birthday face - upside down smoky eye

I celebrated my birthday last weekend, I had a really lovely few days celebrating with various family and friends.

On Saturday night, me and my girlfriends all headed to Shaka Zulu in Camden, which is easily the best decorated venue I have ever visited.

I planned to use my FashionistA cosmetics to reproduce the blue look I had done at TOWIB, but I left myself with little time and ended up doing something new but a bit simpler.

I was inspired by MakeupGeek, one of my favourite makeup gurus on YouTube, and tried to replicate her upside down smokey eye look.

I used my Urban Decay palette, with the colour “sin” all over the lid, I lined both waterlines and my bottom lash lined quite heavily and used “dark horse" to smudge and blend out the black liner. It did look odd to me to start off with, especially since the top lid was so bare but I really liked the final look.

It is actually far more subtle than I was expecting, so I probably could have gone for something with a bit more drama! That being said I don’t think it is subtle enough for an everyday/day look.

On the rest of my face I used Revlon Photofinish foundation, Bella Bamba blush my Benefit, Smahbox photo-op under eye brightner and a mixture of ELF bare brown and Rimmel Nude delight on my lips.


Thursday, 27 October 2011

Quick review: Witch anti-blemish skin clearing primer

I have been using this for a couple of months now and really am at a loss of how to write this review.

The Witch anti-blemish skin clearing primer is meant to act as a base for your foundation/makeup, smoothing the skin and acting as a barrier. It contains witch-hazel and has a slightly thick consistency but spreads on the skin well and leaves a slightly matte finish. It has a slight scent to it but nothing too unpleasant or overbearing.

At least for me, this product doesn’t work. I used this in the run up to the time I expected to get a breakout, hoping that it would either stop the breakout or at least help me recover from it quicker, but unfortunately it did neither.

I also did not find that this made my makeup last any longer. Although to be fair to Witch, nowhere on the bottle does it claim to do this, that is just something I associate with primers in general.

I can’t imagine that anyone with more spot prone skin that I would have a benefit from using this, so it is not something I would recommend, although if any of you have seen positive effects I would be keen to hear about it.


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

I am iFabbo endorsed!

I was really excited last week to find out I had been accepted to be a member of iFabbo, an international organisation for Beauty, Fashion, and Lifestyle Bloggers.

As a member you agree to their blogger commitments and expectations, and in return you get advice on how to be a better blogger. I have just had their first newsletter and it is was really interesting, especially since they had a section about blog competitions and I am in the middle of my first.

I feel really honoured to be a member and look forward to hopefully becoming a better blog because of it.


Saturday, 22 October 2011

TOWIB winter warmer

Last Saturday I went along to "The Only Way is Blogging,” an event organised by LondonBeautyQueen who did an amazing job of getting beauty bloggers and brands together for a really fun afternoon. This was the second event, I chickened out of the first so this time teamed up with Jennifer from the blog CurvesColourSparkle so we could head down together.

Jennifer and I 

The day was excellent, there were makeup demonstrations by cosmetics brands Fashionista and Vivo as well as workshops, the HTML workshop in particular was really interesting and I learnt so many things I didn’t know about how google works.

Unfortunately my phone just wasn’t up to the task of the low light conditions so I don’t have any good photos of the actual event. I decided since there are so many bloggers who also went to the event and wrote a bit more detail about what the brands did that I will link a few of my favourites at the bottom for those of you interested in the actual day. 

We also all came away with some new makeup to try from each of the brands present. I am looking forward to trying all these out and will do a full review in a separate post. Vivo cosmetics did three looks; Winter Bold, Eyes of Gold and Twilight. We were then allowed to pick our favourite look and have been invited to recreate it for a competition they are running. I went for the 'eyes of gold’ pack, I love the look of the bronzer which is what swayed me.

I was also lucky enough to get a little bit of a makeover with Katie, the makeup artist for Fashionista, who convinced me that I can in fact pull off blue eyeshadow. The real test will be if I can actually recreate the look!

One of the things I took away from the photography workshop was that I should play with my camera more. With a white wall, good lighting, and someone else taking the photographs for me I managed to get this photograph which I think show the colours of the makeup so well. I’m hoping I will be able to control at least two of those things from now on.

One of the interesting things I learnt in the HTML workshop is that if you have a lot of photos in your blog posts, google loads these pages slower. Because I literally took about a hundred pictures testing out different lighting conditions I have added a few of these to my new facebook page so please follow the link and take a peek if you would like to see more.

The event inspired me to slowly make design changes to the blog, so over the coming months watch out! Any suggestions/tips are welcome, I would like to design a nice banner and as for the layout I actually quite like it at the moment but I might just try and organise it a bit more.

Finally a huge thank you to LondonBeautyQueen who organised the event. I had a lot of fun and already looking forward to the next event in February!

I’ve linked a few great reviews, as well as a link to the TOWIB blog for any other beauty bloggers who want to join in next time.


Sunday, 16 October 2011

Hair waving tools review - deep waver and boho waver

I have two hair wavers which I love. I purchased both nearly new on eBay after not being able to find any stockists in the UK. Now the trend for loose, beachy waves has really taken off and I feel I can finally post a review of my favourite hair tools, which make the look so effortless.

I know I have shown this picture many times before but this is the look that can be achieved with the Tony and Guy deep waver. For a while I could not find this anywhere in the UK, but I am really excited to see that it is on sale in Argos for around £35. I am assuming it is a similar model and I have no doubt eventually I will be going out and repurchasing one of these as a spare.

The deep waver differs from other wavers that are on the market which have three barrels, resulting in two waves in the hair for each section. The Toni and Guy model has one deep continuous groove which covers all the hair within a section.

It features a temperature dial so that you can adjust the heat depending on your hair type, having thick curly hair I always use any hair tool at the maximum setting. The waver is comfortable to hold and not to heavy, and the on/off mechanism is on the top of the tool so no risk of accidentally knocking it off, which I have done with other hair tools.

The second waver I own is by Vidal Sassoon. I don’t believe this particular model is available anymore but it is more like a traditional three barrell waver. The barallels on this are different sizes but I have not noticed a difference in the look of my hair compared to other three-barell wavers I have tried.

It is worth noting that I always use these on my curly hair. I feel it would be redundant to straighten my hair for the purpose of waving it! In my case it works well to revive my curls once they have fallen out in between washes, and to give a different look to my traditional curls.

In the case of both of these tools I can do my whole head of hair in 10 minutes if I am in a hurry by waving thick sections of hair at once. For nights out or when I have more time, I wave smaller sections at a time which gives a more defined look.

Finishing the style with hairspray the waves last all day, and if I tie my hair up at night correctly I might even be able to carry it over to the next day.


Friday, 14 October 2011

Liebster blog award

I am feeling very privileged with the blog awards coming my way recently. I had never heard of the Liebster blog award before being awarded it by Polished Criminails. It is for bloggers with less than 200 followers, helping them get a little more recognition, which I think is such a lovely idea.

So a big big thank you to Polished Criminals. The only condition of this award is to pass it on to 5 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.

My nominees are:

I love these blogs for lots of different reasons, so check them out yourselves. 

Sunday, 9 October 2011

100 follower giveaway CLOSED

WOW! When I first started my blog I was never sure how well it would go, if anyone would want to read and comment on my posts and more than that if people would want to come back for more. So it makes me really happy to see that I have reached over 100 GFC followers!

I wanted to give a HUGE THANK YOU to all who have followed and continue to support my blog, and in return I want to give back a small token of my appreciation to two lucky followers, which means there are two prizes up for grabs!

The first is the complete Sleek nude collection which I have reviewed previously and is my everyday makeup at the moment. I wanted to pick something that can suit everyone so this seemed perfect, is there anyone who doesn’t love nudes?

The second prize is a set of nail products from OPI including Nail Envy, cuticle oil and a selection of mini polishes from the Pirates of the Caribbean collection.

I want to make the process as simple as possible but also fun. To enter all you need to do is state which prize you would like and give me your favourite beauty tip or fact (which must be true!). For example:

GFC follower: Discovering Beauty 
Prize entry: OPI nails
Fact: Your lips are red because there are many blood vessels around the lip area and because the skin on your top and bottom lip is very thin the color from these blood vessels is seen through to the surface of the lips, making them appear red.

The rules are simple, you must be a public GFC follower (I will be checking) so anyone who is shy should come out now! Leave your entry below this post. I will allow two entries per person, one for each prize.

I will keep the giveaway open for three weeks making the final closing date Sunday October 30th 2011 at midnight (GMT) and I will choose the winners soon after. This giveaway will be open internationally. I look forward to reading your entries!


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Every day make-up look

I have changed my every day makeup look quite a lot since attending the Marie Clare Inspire and Mentor event and getting some great tips from Alan Wan. All the methods mentioned are the ones I learnt at the event.

I have recently been trying out a liquid foundation (I know - a shock for my regular readers who know how obsessed I am with mineral foundation). Mixing in the liquid foundation with a little serum and using a duo-fibre brush I buff the foundation into the skin. Not only is this quick (less than 30 seconds) but the finish is amazing. The foundation blends flawlessly into the skin, and only needs a little translucent powder on the T-zone to set.

I use the Sleek suede blush on my cheeks, loading up the brush the same as you would load up a mineral foundation. I apply starting at the hairline and lightly brushing inwards, stopping at the height of your cheekbone, parallel with the outside corner of the eye.

For the eyes, drawing from the inner eye outwards use light strokes of eyeliner to line the eyes only three-quarters across, this builds up a thicker and darker line in the outside corner, getting thinner going in. Although it still looks odd to me he recommended using liner on the outer third of the lower lash line. To finish off the look using a dark eyeshadow, press the colour over the liner and use a light colour over the rest of the lid. 

The whole look takes about five minutes including my eyebrow routine. I am surprised what a difference it can make to the finish of your makeup just by changing the brushes you use and the way you use them. 

Please share with me your top tips for makeup application. 


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

ELF brow kit review

My eyebrows are naturally very sparse and fair for my skin and hair colour. I didn't appreciate until recently how filling in eyebrows really frames my face and compliments the rest of my makeup. Along with concealing and foundation, filling in my brows is the thing that I have to do every day as a bare minimum. Looking back at photos before brows I can really tell what was missing!

My favourite eyebrow product used to be a powder I got from the ideal home show about two years ago, I have found the brand online since (cresty cosmetics) and was gutted when I dropped and shattered it all over the bathroom floor!

I purchased the ELF eyebrow kit, in the shade medium, as a replacement, which is a gel and powder combined. The colours are very subtle but defining at the same time which is perfect as I have always avoided pencil products, fearing that my brows will look too drawn in.

I use the brush provided to apply, which has a stiff angled end for applying the gel and a softer brush to apply the powder. I apply the gel first using that to fill in the most sparse areas and define the shape. From my experience the gel alone does not give a lot of colour and only once I apply the powder on top do I see any real definition happening. The colour then lasts the majority of the day, but if I were to go out in the evening I would re-apply.



The kit is from the Studio range and is £3.50. I have been using this since August and barely made a dent in either the gel or the powder so I see this lasting me a very long time!

Generally, I find everything about eyebrow maintenance very tedious! I would like to try dying them myself but I am a bit worried about the potential for that to go very wrong! If anyone does have experience with at-home eyebrow dying I would love to hear about it.


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

What’s in my dump bag

I love my ELF dump bag, which I managed to purchase for half price in their 50% off sale. I needed something that was bigger than the makeup bags I currently owned but was still small enough to carry in a small weekend bag.

This works perfectly and fits a surprising amount of makeup with room to spare. Can you believe all this fit into that on bag?

This is what I took with me on my recent weekend away:

Sleek Nude pallete, 
ELF concealer palette, 
Sleek contour kit, 
ELF eyebrow kit, 
Sleek nude collection blush, 
Nutrogena 2 in 1 fight and clear spot treatment, 
ELF lipgloss in candlelight,
Garnier eye roll on, 
ELF cream liner x2 (copper and black)
Sleek lipstick in liquor, 
Sample of Lancome foundation, 
Estee Lauder illusionist mascara
Bourjois rose blush, 
Urban Decay primer potion, 
Garnier BB cream

I also had a selection of eye and face brushes, and my ELF concealer stick.

Of course I didn’t end up using half of this, but it’s always nice to have more…..just incase! 


Monday, 3 October 2011

FOTD - Late summer sun

I wanted to do something bright to go with the beautiful weather we have had. I can’t believe it’s October and I am wearing a summer dress! 

For this look I used the Manly palette. The pinks and purple shades in the palette immediately caught my attention. A few of the colours have a two-dimensional quality, which I think work really well on there own for day time looks if you don’t have time/want to do anything more. 

I used the two shades of pink, the first (5th row, first colour) in the inner two-thirds of the lid and the second (5th row, third colour) in on the remaining third. I then used a combination of the two lilac/purple shades(3rd row, third and fourth colour) in the crease just to add a light bit of definition. 

I used the black ELF cream eyeliner to line my lids and set using a black matte eyeshadow, which I have found makes the eyeliner a few hours longer than usual, particularly on the waterline. 

For the rest of the face I used the lightest touch of Bourgeois blush in the shade rose and the highlight of the Sleek highlight/contour kit above the blush. On my lips I used ELF liquid lipstick in the shade babylips and then lightly dabbed a bright pick shade (unknown brand) to act as a light stain on top.

Was your makeup inspired by the sunshine this weekend? If so, please leave me your links below so I can check it out.


Sunday, 2 October 2011

Sleek Nude collection

I know there are already lots of posts with reviews and swatches of this palette and this is my take. When I first saw it both on blogs and in store I didn’t have a ‘got to have it’ moment the way I have with previous collections released this year.

I have too many nudes if anything so I didn’t really need to add this to the collection. What eventually swayed me was the number of matte shades there are available. Those of you who have read my blog for a while will know that for a period my go to palette was the NYX One night in Morocco, which contains matte smoky shades. I like to use a mix of matte and shimmer shades, particularly for daytime/work looks which are more subtle.

First Row:
L-R: Nougat (matte beige), Nubuck (light matte grey), Cappucino (matte cream), Honeycomb (matte yellow-beige), Toast (matte peach-beige), Taupe (light shimmery beige-brown-pink)

Second Row:
L-R: Conker (shimmery purple), Moss (shimmery olive green), Bark (matte dark grey-brown), Mineral Earth (deep shimmery brown), Regal (matte deep purple), Noir (matte black)

Lets get the Urban Decay Naked comparison out of the way since I remember seeing posts suggesting this may be a dupe. It's not! The Naked palette contains fewer nudes and the colours are much more pigmented.

The lighter shades in this palette aren’t very pigmented which is a shame considering the pigmentation in the other palettes has been flawless. That being said I predominantly use the top two shades on the right hand side and although they are subtle they are great for work and day looks since they are so natural.

The selection of dark colours means that it is really easy to turn a day look into a night time look really quickly if you are in a hurry. I took this with me for a business trip recently and it was perfect for exactly that reason. My only criticism is some shades translate very similarly on the eye as can see in the swatches.

I think the colours in the palette will lend themselves well to all skin tones, I think it is always good to have a selection of naturals, even to aid with looks containing brighter colours for blending purposes.

The suede blush of the collection has quickly become my favourite. It is a warm taupe matte shade which translates onto the cheeks to give a nice glow. The blush is not very pigmented, but being my first Sleek blush I am not sure if this is an exception since I seem to remember on swatching the last two collection colours, that they were very pigmented.

Completing the collection is a pout polish in the shade ‘bare minimum’. I feel it is very redundant to do reviews of these pout polishes since they are always the same: sheer colour, great moisturising feel. I do think this particular colour will work well on top of other nude/pink lipsticks. 

I will be posting some looks with this soon. What do you think of the collection? If you are still undecided weather to pick it up, keep an eye out on my blog this week and might have something special for you ;-)

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