Monday, 31 March 2014

Monday Motivation

On a Monday, it can be a struggle sometimes to keep yourself motivated for the rest of the week in regards to sticking to your own goals. I personally am trying hard every day to stick to my healthy eating and exercise regime (I'll blog about it and my progress at some point!) and it's so hard resist chocolate bar or not do my sit-ups at night but it's made that bit easier thinking that if I do something today I'm proud of, tomorrow will be that much better and I'll be that bit happier with myself.

Hope everyone's well this Monday morning and have an amazing week!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Top Tips- Perfect Looking Skin: Part 1

Hello everyone! Sorry about the delay- been so busy with deadlines this week I've had literally no time to sit down and blog, but now it's the Easter holidays (yaaay)
Here's a post I've decided to write on the top-tips I've discovered myself and read from makeup artist books etc all around creating perfect looking skin, we all want to achieve that flawless finish don't we? 

1) Remove your makeup at night well, and in winter use more moisturing products, or the 'Simple' brightening range to cheer up dull skin.

2) Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise. Seriously, whether your skin is oily or dry moisturising really is the key to achieving a flawless finish. You can get face moisturisers for sensitive skin and there's so many oil free ones which won't cause you to break out. Moisturising the skin first thing in the morning not only helps to prep and prime it but it gives it a bit of brightness to your skin after you've slept. Ones with SPF's in are also great for avoiding premature wrinkles but don't wear SPF if you're planning to have a photoshoot! (you'll get a white face) I love the Simple moisturisers with a hint of gradual tan, or the Bare Minerals skincare range.

3) Primer is your best friend! For years I didn't wear a primer and now I do I notice such an improvement in my skin, and the length of time my foundation actually stays on. A good primer will slightly colour correct your skin and disguise pores while creating a smooth surface. I've experiemtned with a few primers now (the GOSH one broke me out horrendously, beware!) but have settled on the Benefit Porefessional now, and on days when my skin needs a little pick me up love the brightening primer by Bare Minerals. 

4) Wear the best foundation for your skin type- Harpers Bazaar explains in greater detail here. But basically BB cream is an amazing and very popular product at the moment. Any skin type suits it and it can be build-able. It's my favourite choice as we head into spring. 

5) Match your foundation exactly with your skin tone! Match this with your neck and most importantly your chest. Nothing is worse than any sort of foundation line and if you want to look flawless then you want to have a consistent skin tone. If your face is a bit paler because you like to fake tan (like me) then it's worth investing in a product like the Chanel Sol De Bronze, (Bourjois do a great dupe of this) and apply it to your face as a primer- which adds a bit of a bronzed base to your foundation, perfect for summer. To match your chest it can be worth getting a large fluffy brush and sweeping the brush along the collar bone with bronzer and just below that with loose powder. 


6) As you can see there are SO many different types of face makeup brushes, and this can be confusing. Apply foundation with a good quality brush, the real techniques are my absolute faves as they are good quality and inexpensive, same goes to the Body Shop ones! To be honest, on a weekly basis I switch it up, sometimes using my foundation brush and others using a stippling brush or a buffing brush for applying foundation and think that what you use is a matter of personal preference. However, use a brush even when applying concealer as the tapered bristles can get into the crevices of your skin and blemishes better than your fingers can.

7) When you apply your foundation, REALLY press it into the skin with your brush. Apply the desired amount but be sure to work it into the skin to really well to get the perfect looking finish. 

8) Powder. Apply everything in place with a translucent powder- Mineral Vale from Bare Minerals is one of the best around, same goes for ones by Laura Mercier, but there's loads out there. Powder keeps your makeup on for longer and also slightly mattifies, meaning you look a bit more airbrushed. Be careful when using a cheap pressed powder as they do give the tendency to make you look cakey, the opposite of what we're trying to achieve. 

Remember- we want to minimise pores- that's primer, the correct foundation (consistency and colour), and translucent loose powder! The photo above on the right is just some examples of these products. 

See you soon for part 2, where I'll talk contouring and the best foundations known for creating a glowy, airbrushed and flawless finish! 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Top Tips- Bigger, Brighter Eyes

Hi everyone, hope you're well! Today I decided to start a series of posts on the top tips and tricks I've learnt from reading various make up books written by artists such as Bobbi Brown and Jemma Kidd. I'm in no way a makeup artist, but these tips have really helped me and I figured I'd like to share them.

The first post will be dedicated to achieving bigger and brighter eyes. There is no question that the right eye makeup can really transform your face, and so many looks can be created just with some eyeshadow, liner and mascara. Hope some of these tips inspire or help you like they did me!

Eyes- Top Tips

1) I personally love eyeliner to define my eyes for more of a striking 'cat eye' look, which I pair with winged eyeliner on my upper lid (like the 'Feline' in the photo above). This makes your eyes look larger and more feminine instantly as it gives the illusion of a thicker lash line. Any of the looks above illustrate what a difference in liner application can make though!

2)  Celebrity makeup artist Carmindy states that for a less intense day time look, black can act like an LBD- narrowing your shape, so an off-black colour like slate or brown (especially if blonde or blue-eyed) can be more eye-opening.

3) Swipe a shimmery white shadow onto the inner corners of your eyes in a sideways V to catch the light, widening your eyes. I actually personally love a gold coloured shimmer like Half-Baked by Urban Decay in the day time. If you take this underneath the lash line it can instantly open up your eyes and create more of a 'glam' look, great for night time.
4) Use eyeshadow that compliments your eye colour. The chart above simplifies this, but basically whatever your eye colour- you just want to use shadows that are the opposite on the spectrum.
For blue eyes, anything with orangey undertones like apricot or peach will make them stand out more, and for green eyes, deep purple shades or even a more intense green will intensify your eyes. Brown eyes are neutral so do tend to suit any colour, however rose-gold colours (hiiii Naked 3 Palette) with purple undertones or even blues can do wonders.

5) Layer makeup for longer wear. Layering your eye-makeup supposedly makes it last through the day and the night. For example, after you've gone over your eyeshadow routine, line your upper lash line with a liquid liner and go over it in gel liner later, setting your eyeshadow with a similar colour shadow using a dome-shaped brush.

6) Another way to ensure longer lasting colour is by prepping your eyelids with eyeshadow primer- if your eyelids are dry you can use concealer, however, getting a proper primer is useful and reduces fallout and dreaded panda eyes.


Add Some Shimmer

“A neutral smoky eye is all about playing with dark and light,” says Linter, who used the shimmering ivory-pink shade from Lancôme’s Color Design palette in Coral Crush on lids. “Having darker tones surround a lighter one gives shape and definition—the light on the eye makes it pop.”

Lancôme Color Design Eye Brightening All-in-One 5 Shadow & Liner Palette in Coral Crush, $49;

7) Use the right tools! To be honest I don't think you need every single brush ever, and I cope just fine with about 3 or 4 eyeshadow brushes- just a flatliner to 'pat' on the colour, a basic fluffy brush to add colour to the outer lid, and then a blending brush to blend it all together. If you use a gel eyeliner like I do then a flat liner is great too. 

8) Makeup Artist Felicia Alva says that if you improve the quality of your brushes and use richer pigmented products, the application would be better immediately even without improving your technique. So I really would invest in some well pigmented eyeshadow to achieve professional looking results!

9) White eyeliner is a must for tired looking eyes! One of the older tips in the book is using white eyeliner in the waterline, and bringing it into the inner corners of the eye. Not only does this make you look more awake but it also makes your eyes look noticeably bigger. 

10) And finally, don't forget to curl those lashes! James Vincent does a great 'How to' post on eyelash curling which can be found here, and I personally think it is worth buying the right eyelash curlers- the Shu Uemera ones being the favourite of so many makeup artist professionals. 
Curled eyelashes can really open up the eyes if done correctly with the right mascara- and another tip here is to use the tip of the mascara wand to really separate and fan out the lashes, something which the Benefit They're Real mascara brush really lets you do.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any eye-makeup tips that you swear by :)
*All photos from Pinterest

Friday, 7 March 2014

I Spent Too Much Money- A Haul.

Hi lovelies! So I popped into town today just to run a few errands and pick up some nude coloured nail vanish (to look all sophisticated for my job interview..) and next thing you know, Boots has lured me in again with their 3for2 offers. Damn it. To be fair, it's been ages since I've actually spent a bit of money, and I've been at home all this week spending every day doing uni work (-a girl needs a break). Anyway, I obviously couldn't help myself and picked up a few goodies, and they're things i've wanted my hands on for a little while now...

HAUL ITEMS: // VO5 Plump It Up blow-dry spray // L'Oreal Privee Signature Nudes Polish // Jemma Kid Make-Up Masterclass // Dior Addict Lip Glow Colour Awakening Lipbalm // Ardel Lashes- Demi Wispies // L'Oreal Miss Manga mascara // L'Oreal Double Extension Renewal System mascara // Bourjous CC Cream // Eyelure Cheryl Lashes.

Vo5 Plump It Up- This is a repurchase as i've used up my last bottle, and for good reason. For someone who tries anything to get some volume into her hair, this is a bit of a necessity. When I come out the shower, I just spritz some of this on my hair and ruffle it in before I blow dry it. It creates volume but I also don't find it makes my hair greasy like some mousses do (I am a fan of volumising mousse for a night out, but I find they can weigh my hair down on second day hair). It's also a heat protectant as well which is great for those who are trying to get their hair into better condition or grow it like me! Next time I pop to Boots I want to pick up some of the L'Oreal Studio Line #TXT spray as I've heard amazing things about the volume it gives your hair.

L'Oreal Privee Signature Nail Polish- So I have a job interview this afternoon (might do a blog post on interviews) and I basically was on a mission to find the perfect nude polish. Nude nail polish elongates your hands and fingers, making you appear more elegant and chic, not to mention it's quite a spring colour and they go with everything. When I went over to the Model's Own counter to try one of their new gel polish lines, the nude to me looked a bit grey and dreary, and not the peach tone nude I has pictured in my head. Over at the L'Oreal section however, they had a full on nude colours nail bar going on, with about 20 different types of 'nude'. The premise is that they are endorsed by celebrities with different skin tones such as Eva Longoria or Freida Pinto and whatever skin tone you have that most closely matches the celebrity, is the nude that will suit you the best. (does that make sense?) Probably made that more confusing that it needed to be didn't I. Long story short, they're lovely polishes and are around £4. The packaging is VERY basic, but the colour range is great and they're nice and long lasting if you apply two coats. Interview nails = check. 

Jemma Kidd Make-up Masterclass- Literally did not need to buy this...but I'm so glad I did. Now anytime I have any makeup queries or want tips or even different makeup looks, I can refer to this beauty bible. It was £22.50 which is a liiittle steep and probably could have got it a lot cheaper off Amazon (where I plan to get the Rae Morris book), but it's huuuuge and beautiful and I've already learnt loads of tips I can't wait to share with you guys. 

Lashes- I can't help it, I have an eyelash addiction and I buy too many. I think that big fluttery eyelashes really make you look more girly and glamourous. So I bought 2 pairs, the all time faves of many beauty bloggers- Ardell's Demi Wispies, and then I also grabbed the Eyelure Cheryl lashes. The Demi Wispies look so natural as they blend in with your own lashes amazingly, but they also create a really flirty look. I love wearing these for going out in the evening or maybe for a date? Secondly, the Cheryl lashes. I just love Cheryl, I could do a whole blog post about her (I probably will), and the fact she's designed them means I'm drawn to them instantly. I used to always buy Kimberley's lashes but recently they seem a bit tame now i've discovered some really good mascaras. Cheryl's are definitely a bit more dramatic,  and I can't wait to wear these on my night out this Saturday for my housemates birthday! 

Dior Lip Glow- While I didn't officially get this this week, I needed to mention it and squeeze it in this post. I got it as a gift from my mum when the Dior lady at the make-up counter did a makeover on me. I thought it was so cool how it goes a different colour on everybody dependent on the undertones in their lips, so it just enhances them and there is no chance that the colour won't suit you. It tastes minty too and is super moisturising which is great for the cold weather we've been having. At £22.50 it's not cheap but I'd definitely ask to try it out if you happen to be browsing the counter to see what colour it goes on you! It goes a peachy pink on me but on my mum it went more red. A glossy moisturised finish is a winner though. 

Mascara- I really needed some new mascara, and I feel like I go through it like nothing else. Due to the true blogger inside me, I do tend to 'collect' makeup and love trying new ones out, so I had to try the new L'Oreal Miss Manga mascara. This promises volumised lashes like those of a japanese doll/anime/manga character know the one. I'd read good things about it so I decided to pick it up and give it a go. I'm quite impressed with it so far but not an all time favourite due to it's lack of lengthening properties, a good second coat mascara! I also have decided that the second mascara that I picked up, the L'Oreal Double Extension Renewal System, is so underrated. I remember I loved this mascara so much when it came out a few years ago- back when fibre mascaras like this were all the rage. I loved how one of the ends added so much length as well as conditioning my lashes to enable growth, and the other side blackened them and added volume. NO ONE uses this anymore I swear, and I don't get why. I guess it can be more of a faff and it's not a quick application, but either way I remembered I loved this and repurchased. 

Bourjois CC Cream- This has to be the new 'it' product of Feb/March doesn't it. Every blogger seems to have it and love it. The whole BB/CC Cream thing generally does go over my head (although love Garniers BB Cream for combination skin- absolute winner for the summer) but Bourjois foundations are usually lovely and I like how they're usually yellow undertoned like Bobbi Brown ones. I apply this with my Body Shop foundation brush and use the Jemma Kidd recommended technique (see, the book is useful already!!) of really pressing the foundation into moisturised and primed skin to create a more flawless finish. It's lovely and creamy- the only thing I would say is there is only 3 colour options which is really limiting, and I found that I was probably a mix between the fairest and second shade, but I opted with the second shade, I'll just have to keep on top of my fake tanning! I really recommend this to anyone, especially as the coverage is still light so you can look really natural. 

Michael Kors Watch MK-5676. Featuring Fossil Bracelet and my Pandora.
Ah and finally, I have something to tick off the wishlist, and this watch has been on it for about 3 years I swear! Not a lot to say about it except I'm in love with it, I know i've become one of those girls now who has one- I went into a watch shop to get some links removed so it wouldn't slide off my wrist, and the a lady called Tanya who served me said 'I've seen so many of these watches recently, they're lovely aren't they!' Yes Tanya. Yes. In the picture I'm wearing it with my pandora charm bracelet (it's a bit of a faux pas to mix silver and gold together I know, but it's hard to commit to one!) and my goody-coloured Fossil bracelet that I got from my Mum for Christmas, and I think they go really well together.

So that's it, thanks for reading and let me know if you've tried and like/dislike any of the products mentioned! 

Monday, 3 March 2014

Spring Wishlist #1

As a full time student, relying on loans doesn't leave me with a lot of money for the finer things in life, but I know I'm not alone. I do have two part time jobs and try to save as much as I can, but now and again it is nice to have a little splurge, and a wishlist is just a wishlist right? So here's my first 'luxury' Spring wishlist... now just to pray for that lottery win!

From Left: // Pandora Rings // Michael Kors Watch // Michael Kors Laptop Case // YSL Babydoll Mascara // Flora by Gucci perfume // Panasonic Nanoe Hairdryer // Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

Pandora Rings/Charms - I literally love Pandora as I think they're everything that represents girly and chic in a jewellery brand. I don't think their pieces are so expensive that you couldn't realistically afford to buy something, as their prices do range from £20-£100s. This spring however, it's their rings and especially the birthstone range like pictured above which i'm loving. I seem to have seen them everywhere and I think they're so cute, perfect for day and night, and recognisably Pandora!

Michael Kors Watch - I'm one of those girls. I have to admit it, Christmas Day and even Valentines Day this year my Twitter and Instagram seemed to be full of lucky ladies with Michael Kors watches. I know I should want to be different but I want one so much, I think they're gorgeous, and a really eye-catching piece. My friend Holly has one and always gets comments on it. The gold ones are particular favourites of mine and think they're timeless, and I love the ones with a tiny bit of glitz such as the MK5676 .

Michael Kors Macbook CaseI've wanted one of these ever since I broke my right arm a year ago, and needed to get a new laptop (one that didn't turn off once unplugged...) to keep up with university notes as I couldn't hand write. They looked so pretty in the corner of Sheffield Meadowhall's Apple Store but at over £84 it was nothing I could justify sadly. I'd still love to get one for my Macbook Air when I can afford it one day, preferably in that gorgeous Raspberry colour.

YSL Babydoll Mascara - I actually am in a massive need of a new mascara, and I also seem to go through them like no other makeup item. I'm obsessed with Benefit's They're Real one minute, then the next i'm thinkng maaaan does it dry up quickly. I also love Lancome's Hypnose Star (it's amazing, trust me!). Sadly I don't have the longest natural eyelashes in the world and also find they're quite straight; this means I have tried a LOT of mascara. Drug store wise, I really do want to try Miss Manga, but my housemate Katie swears by her YSL Babydoll mascara, and I just can't wait to try it (and YSL Shocking mascara, too!)

Flora by Gucci (Gardenia) - I actually fell in love with this perfume about 6 months ago when I was browsing the boots perfume section with my mum. I've always worn CKIN2U for day to day and my beloved Chanel Mademoiselle at night, ever since my 18th birthday. I really would love another perfume, and as spring/summer is approaching, a floral one like this would be perfect.  

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette - I feel like I should have this already... LOVE the first Naked Palette, wear it every single day, but I am obsessed with warm toned eyeshadows and I need to get my hands on this at some point soon (especially as it's 10% off in Debenhams at the moment!)

Panasonic Nanoe Hairdryer - I actually first heard about this hairdryer from my lovely cousin Alex. I am on a mission to grow my hair long, get it healthy, with volume and shine. I don't ask for a lot do I? haha. So when I heard about this hairdryer which promises to use
"superior nanoe technology which supplements the hair and scalp with additional moisture, preventing dryness and maintaining smooth, shiny hair and a healthy scalp" How can I not be tempted?! It's also got 5* reviews on the Boots website. At £109.99 it's not cheap so I may have to wait until this goes on offer...or keep it on the wishlist!

 What's on your wishlist this month if money was no object?

Would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading :)

Saturday, 1 March 2014

An Insight Into My Blogging Inspiration.

Ahhh I actually have some nerves writing this blog post- feels like the start of a very addictive hobby! Probably safe to say I have spent the last 2 days trying to make my very own blog header and re-learn html (used to know all about it in the Bebo days *cringe* haha) but it really made me appreciate the blogging community even more than I already do. So, I took a look back on loads of my favourite blogs to their very first posts. Most of them had jumped straight in with a haul or a monthly favourites, but I decided before I did aaaany of that, I'd like to share the my blogging inspirations and give anyone reading an idea as to why I started this blog...

1) Let's go back to...2007? Youtube lead me to discover Laura, going under the name Lollipop26. She was like a cool beauty-guru older sister, and the first video I ever watched of hers was about the fake tan, St Moriz. This 14 year old was hooked, as I chucked my arguably more 'age-appropriate' Dove Summer Glow out the window. Now blogging under buynowbloglater, she is still one of my favourites and get really inspired by her- especially her choice of GREAT handbags.
2) Tamara from glamandglitter. This girl who has been called a 'Fashionista'  is literally my fashion idol. When I am no longer on a student budget and have 'proper' job, I need to steal some of her pieces! Bags, coats, shoes...whatever she puts together looks flawless and chic which is the style I'll always aim for. Her blog is so great with such a wide variety of looks, you can't not be inspired.
3) Emily from prettyplease. I actually am friends with Emily, and we were in the same year at school. I remember back in sixth form chatting to her about makeup tips and beauty things in the common room at lunch time, and this girl knows everything about makeup- she's read the books, got the t-shirt and knows all the theory behind it, she's a very smart cookie! When I started reading her blog it made me want to start up my own too: her dedication, natural beauty and range of beauty/lifestyle blog topics inspires me.
4) Corrie aka DizzyBrunette3 is a successful youtuber and blogger. I started watching Corrie about a year ago and loved how we both share a passion for Cheryl Cole! She comes across really warm and personable, and as I think we have similar hair colour eye colour and skin tone I often buy what she says she's loving and suits her. I know that she started her blog as a university student like I am now and I've watched her blog evolve. She has really cute style too- oh, and just give me her hair please?!
5) Lastly, we have Em Sheldon from I'd say reading her blog was what really made it 'click' in my head that I'd love to do this. Firstly, she's from Leeds and goes to Leeds Uni (yay), and without sounding like an absolute stalker (I have told her about this) I've seen her a few times around campus and always think her style is lovely, even asked her where her gorgeous baby blue coat was from (Topshop). She seems like a really genuine, lovely and down to earth person deserving every success her blog has lead her to- winning Cosmopolitans Newcomer Award in 2012 and covering the Baftas being amongst many admirable achievements. A really big inspiration to me and an example of what hard work and dedicated blogging can achieve, I'd love to interview her myself one day!

*All images from each bloggers website*

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