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Sunday, 31 March 2013

POP Beauty | Lid 'Amethyst' Eyeshadow Palette

Happy Easter to all of my lovely readers - I do hope that Mr Easter bunny has hopped over to your neck of the woods and bought you some wonderful edible goodies! For most of you, I'm sure the day will consist mainly of chocolate-egg devouring - maybe with a cheeky Sunday roast thrown into the mix, all together with a little dose of crappy telly. Easter has got to be the one day of the year that you can eat all the chocolate you could ever want, purely guilt free. What's a girl not to love about that?! Anyway, chocolate aside, I thought I'd type up a little post today on one of my newest additions to my eyeshadow drawer - the POP lid eyeshadow palette in 'Amethyst'. I've wanted one of these palettes for yonks now, but never ordered myself one simply because I swear by my Urban Decay Naked Palettes so much - I just couldn't justify my need for another palette. However, justification flew out of the window well and truly when I spotted one in the lovely Gemma's blogsale. I simply had to get my mitts on it.

The palette contains 6 eye shadows which progress from the darker 'smoky' end of the scale to light neutrals. The shades are described on the website as 'cocoa and maroon' tones - and contain a selection of browns, pale pastels and pretty lilacs. I have green eyes, so I find lilac toned shadows bring out the colour of my eyes very well - and make a lovely change from the golds and taupes I usually opt for.  I'd heard through the bloggery-grapevine that these shadows were really buttery and soft to the touch - and I can indeed confirm that the blogger-grapevine was correct.  I don't find these shadows powdery at all - the darker shades inparticularly are unbelievably creamy and the pigmentation is fantastic. They smooth onto the lid perfectly, and are amazingly blendable.  I find that the 2 lightest shades need a little more building up, but that might just be my skin tone. I find all 6 of really great quality, and the subtle shimmer in a select few of them just gives that extra bit of something special.  I'm all for a little bit of shimmer in my shadows - I find it makes them show up a little more.

What I love most about this palette though, is the size.  I wish so much I'd taken a photograph of the sides (sorry..bad blogger..but let's be honest it wouldn't have made for a very interesting bit of photography would it?) The palette is wafer thin - at not even a centimetre tall it's practical for travel and storage, and above all else it's strangely satisfying. It almost feels as if you're gripping a little credit card in your hands! For someone who travels a lot, these little palettes are fantastic. It's almost weightless (hello extra room in your luggage!)

The palette also has little handy hints for eye-looks you can create on the inside - giving you a starting point for any smoky eye looks you might wish to create. I find the middle two shades perfect for a daytime bit of colour - it's subtle without being too dramatic. The lighter shades are lovely base colours, and are perfect for highlighting the brow bone or inner corners of the eyes. It also comes with a little handy applicator - I hardly ever use these to be honest but it's a nice little finishing touch for on the go. Wear time is up there with my beloved Urban Decay palettes - I use a primer beforehand but the stronger shades of the bunch will probably stay put regardless! Overall, a massive thumbs up for me. I love this palette more than I expected to. So much so that I have my eye on there other ones in the range (typical me.. I can't just stop at one) which include 'Monochrome' - perfect for smoky eyes, 'Nude' - a possible mini Naked Palette dupe?, 'Bronzer' (i reckon this will be my next one!) and 'Neon' - for the colour loving ladies amongst you. They also do other variations of palettes - some being stocked on ASOS here, alternatively you can have a nosey at the website for a bigger range.

Have you tried the POP lid palettes? Which one have you got your eye on?

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Mini Egg Nails | Illamasqua Nail Varnish in 'Fragile'

Illamasqua I'mperfection Nail Varnish in 'Fragile' | £14.50 | Link

Evening birdlings! Bit of a change of photography-scenery for me tonight (must be feeling a little rebellious!) I placed an order on Illamasqua's website last week as I had been lusting after their I'mperfction nail polishes for quite some time. When the shade I had my beady eyes on went out of stock on ASOS, I decided it was about time I put an order in.  As some of you may know, I'm a sucker for blue nails - so 'Fragile' just had to be mine. I must say, I was superly-duperly impressed with delivery. It arrived safe and sound within a couple of days, packaged beautifully and above all, delivery didn't cost me a penny. Yippee! 

I'm never really one for gimmicky polishes. Fur-effect, bobbly or 'caviar' nails really don't float my boat if i'm honest (#sorrynotsorry) and I'm much more of a painted nail art or classic glossy-nail look kind of girl. The furthest I go when it comes to any kind of effect in a polish is Model's Own Beetlejuice or glitter gradients, hardly daring! So, when I first saw these polishes online I was sold. They're interesting without being 'over the top'. Inspired by natural speckled patterns on bird's eggs, the polish contain little flecks of darker colour, giving a different, unique pattern and finish every time. The whole I'mperfection line aims to celebrate the little quirks that make us unique - a fabulous concept for a make-up line if I don't say so myself.  You're probably all aware by now that I have a teensy-weensy obsession for all things bird-related.. so I thought it was about time I treated myself to a polish that was just a little bit out of the ordinary for me!  Forgive me for my slightly experimental photography with the Mini-eggs (had to be done.. it's Easter soon don't you know?!) - but this polish really is such a fun little addition to have in my collection - and the finish reminds me of the famous Cadbury easter treats - making this polish perfect for the time of year (spend-age justified).

The application is fantastic. I was really impressed at how easy it was to achieve the finish I wanted. It only takes 2 coats to make the design fully opaque, and I love that each time the finish is slightly different. Illamasqua definitely haven't skimped on the little 'flecks' of colour either - you get a nice even coverage of speckles for every nail, as you can see from my swatches above! The polish dries quite glossy, but I prefer using a top coat anyway. The far right swatch on the nail wheel shows how the polish looks with the top coat applied - It blends the whole look together a little more and 'seals' in the little flecks at the same time as adding a glossy effect on top.  The polishes are chip resistant and lasted well on my nails. I got about 3 days wear without any chipping and removing it was also a doddle.  I'm now dabbling with the idea of grabbing myself the purple version too (after all, if you like something you should grab it in every colour, right?)... They really are like little Mini Eggs for your talons. Genius (who says your nails shouldn't get a piece of Easter action anyway?!...)

What are your thoughts on the Im'Perfection polishes? Are they a yay or a ney?

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

My Hair Growth Miracle | Hair Oils & How I Use Them

I've been growing my hair for quite a considerable amount of time now.  I'm a big lover of long hair and have been ever since I was a little nipper. I used to hate going to the hair dressers. Actually, thinking about it, I must have been a rather strange child - you could sit me in any dentist's chair, wave a tonne of drills and toothpaste tubes in my face and it wouldn't fuss me an ounce, but sit me in a hairdressers chair and flippin'eck - you'd certainly know about it! This little obsession with keeping my hair long has followed me into my twenties and believe me I've tried my fair share of nourishing treatments and products.. I thought I'd share with you my little miracles that have made a massive difference to my hair.

The time it takes people's hair to grow varies, but it's said that when it reaches a certain length (again this length varies from person to person) it can be very difficult to get it to grow past that point.  My hair got to that point about a year ago. I just couldn't seem to get it to budge. However, for the past 6-8 months I have been using hair oils - religiously. And when I say religiously I mean every single time I have washed my hair since I opened my first bottle. Honestly, I 'Brownie promise' you I've never missed an application since (those of you who were in the Brownies when you were younger will be aware that when a girl Brownie promises you - they're not messing about..)  So many of my friends and family have commented on the length of my hair, particularly in the last 2 months or so. It has grown a good inch and a half, so much so that my once 'just below boob lenth' hair is now just above my belly button when straight (please forgive me for the slightly immature description there..) 

If you read my blog back you will see I tried all sorts, Lee Stafford's growth treatment being one of them. Whilst this was good, If I'm honest I found it such a faff and I'm not one for spending ages washing product out of my hair - as it takes long enough as it is to shampoo and condition! Although I liked it, and my review is of it is a good one, I genuinely think using hair oils have made the difference in my hair - it's grown miraculously faster than it ever has before (family and friends have commented so it's not just my wishful thinking!), and also feels in much better condition.  Hair oils can be a fabulous quick fix for split ends, but continue to use them as part of your hair routine each time you wash your hair and you will certainly notice a difference. I simply towel dry my hair after using my tangle teezer, and before I switch to the hair-dryer I apply my mousse at the roots, before applying a little bit of my oil of choice through the ends of my hair, and over any 'frizzy' bits I've noticed in the mid-lengths. Here's my little run down of my current stash...

| Vo5 Miracle Concentrate |
This is the first oil I used. It's cheap. It's cheerful. And I think it works a treat. It comes with a little 'tear-dropper/pipette' that you simply use to gather the oil, place in your hands and run through the ends of your hair.  If you're new to hair oils I'd really suggest grabbing one of these. I'm on my second bottle now but the first one lasted me ages! I find that my hair feels amazingly soft to the touch after drying, and leaves the ends smelling lovely. It seems to seal split ends very well. 

| Macadamia Oil Healing Oil Spray |
This is another one of my faves and I just love the smell of the Macadamia products.  I use this when I want a slightly less 'heavy' application than the Vo5.  I find it very easy to use - fool proof almost - as there's no danger of applying too much. If your ends are very dry though you might find this isn't enough for you. It's really good for a general 'spruce up' and I find when sprayed through the mid-lengths and ends it seals in any frizzy-ness. Hooray!

| Macadamia Oil Healing Oil Treatment |
I actually haven't used this yet. I've been wanting to grab it for ages and found it in TKMaxx for a bargainous price! I shall be using this the same way as my Vo5 - when I want a more thorough application as I can imagine it will be much more nourishing than the oil spray. All Macadamia products smell amazingly good - they smell very 'salon-like' (very technical descriptions here..) They're a little pricier but I really do recommend them for those of you looking for more luxurious hair oil treatments. I shall let you know how I get on with this version!

Oils have most definitely become my 'go-to' hair saviour for any kind of hair problem! They've reduced my split ends, encouraged hair growth by quite a considerable amount and my hair feels more conditioned and soft than it ever has. If you've never used hair oil, I urge you to try one. You'll be amazed at how silky soft your hair is afterwards and frizzyness is most certainly reduced by a mile.  When your split ends are sealed, or even better - prevented, it stops the breakage from travelling up the hair shaft and making your hair strand thicker - which is what can prevent hair growth. Taking care of the ends of your hair really can make a difference to how it grows - the better the condition, the better the growth.

Have you tried any hair oils recently? What are your favourites?

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Enrapture Extremity Heated Rollers | A Review

Enrapture Extremity Heated Rollers | £59.99 - Boots | For stockists see here |

Before Christmas, I spent a great deal of time researching the Enrapture Extremity Heated Rollers but never quite took the plunge with them.  I've always loved big, bouncy hair but the furthest I'd ever ventured into the whole world of hair rollers and such-like was a pack of yer' average velcro ones from Boots. So, imagine how happy I was on Christmas morning when I discovered that Santa had very kindly treated me to these beauties. After using them a great deal over the past 3 months, I thought it was about time I give you all a run-down of my new favourites.. Apologies if this review is a little lengthy - but I've split the review into sections so you can pick and choose as you please depending on what you want to know..

Set Contents & Packaging
The packaging is the first thing that struck me with these rollers.. Call me a marketer's dream but the purple irridescent-y box just screams luxury (not pictured but trust me on this one, it's mesmerising!) In the box, you get a little leaflet which outlines how best to use the rollers depending on what you're after - volume, or curls, or even both. The set contains 10 large rollers, and 10 smaller 'medium' rollers - all with their own butterfly clip used to secure them onto your barnet. I have fairly long, thick hair and this amount is more than enough for me; I often have a couple of each left over once I've covered my whole head.

So how do the rollers work?
Enrapture rollers emit their heat from the core. As you can see from the photographs above, the rollers 'sit' on little bands of heated strips, which heat the roller from the inside. Once on your head, they emit heat from the core. The little butterfly clips also have a small metal plate on them, meaning your hair wrapped around the roller is surrounded with an even amount of heat - locking the style into your hair as the roller and clip heat up simultaneously. They don't take long to warm up at all - it takes all of 2 minutes, if that, for the little LED panel on the front to show that they're ready to use. Fear not, the rollers will not burn your hands - they slowly emit heat and even when on your head, they don't feel uncomfortably hot. I must admit it's lovely and toasty on these cold snowy mornings!

How I use the rollers
It took a little getting used to at first. I recommend trying them on a day where you have time to experiment as I found I had to work out my own little 'routine' with the rollers before I had it completely mastered.  The 10 larger rollers are meant for volume, and bouncy waves, so I tend to place these around my roots and the top sections of my hair. The smaller medium rollers are used for more defined curls, and I place these towards the bottom layers as this is where I like my curls to stay tighter. The velvet on the outside of the rollers helps to keep the hair in place, whilst avoiding snagging or breakage. I find it best to begin in the middle of the strand of hair, wrapping the ends around before rolling the roller up to the root. Using them in the same way as velcro rollers is very fiddly indeed - but once you've got the 'knack' it's superly-duperly easy peasy and you'll be able to do it with your peepers closed. 

I usually pop them in before I do my make-up of a morning, just to get the most out of the setting time.  If you're in a rush then you're fine to take them out after 20 minutes or so, but I leave them as long as I possibly can. If I'm going out for the night then I'll pop them in for a good hour or so whilst I'm eating my dinner! They sit very comfortably on the head and don't feel too weighty - I find the warmth very relaxing! I take strands no smaller than an inch or so and vary the sizes slightly to give a more natural look, and spray them lightly with a heat protectant and a quick spritz of Elnett hairspray before rolling the hair into the roller. The moisture helps to create the curl and 'set' the style a little more. When I take them out, I simply spray each curl lightly with the hairspray again, before general 'tousling' to make the waves look more natural. 

Finishing Touches
The hairstyle shown above was created using purely the heated rollers. You can see the volume and root lift it creates along with the smoothness of the curl.  One thing I find through curling my hair with straighteners and other appliances, is that my hair can feel a little dry - these rollers help to keep your hair soft, smooth and touchable and look effortlessly natural.  I do find some sections can drop slightly, but setting with hairspray really helps keep them in for longer. If I accidentally leave any ends or small pieces of hair out of the roller (as you can see in the photograph above), I just tidy them up by curling them with the straighteners to blend in - it's such a quick and easy way of styling. Definitely a lazy-girl's go-to method for wavy-princess hair!

Are they worth it?
I adore these rollers so much and have been so impressed with them. They really are worth every penny (can you gather how much I love them yet?.. I sound like a broken record!). I love the fact you can alter the style you wish to go for depending on the size of the rollers you use - making them so versatile for day or night.  I love popping them in, doing my make-up for the day and not having to worry about spending ages on styling my hair, as as soon as I take them out the rollers have already done the work for me. All that's left to do is general finishing and touching up.  You do need to find a good hairspray to use - as on days where there's a bit of moisture in the air (typical English silly weather) I tend to find they drop a little bit quicker.  Overall, they are a staple in my hair routine that I genuinely couldn't live without now - they have changed my perception of rollers and give my hair that extra 'oomph' that I haven't been able to achieve before.  All of you fellow big hair fanatics - I urge you to give these a whirl! You can find them on their website here.

Have you tried Enrapture Heated Rollers or other Enrapture hair tools? What were your thoughts?

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Latest Drugstore Beauty Purchases

Sometimes, in one's life, a trip to Boots or Superdrug for a mere shampoo or two turns into a little indulge-fest ending in a basket full of goods you never really set out to purchase but realise you simply must have. This is exactly what happened on a recent jolly-outing with my motherbear.  Of course, I thought it was only right I showed you what I threw in my basket that day and give you a little run through of what my first impressions of some of them have been...

Seche Vite | Dry Fast Top Coat | £9 | This is a repurchase for me and is something I will continue to buy forever and ever. And ever.  If, like me, you love painting your nails but hate waiting for them to dry then you need this in your life. It's very much worth the price tag and it lasts an age. I use this about 3 times a week and my first bottle lasted a good 6 months. I honestly cannot recommend this top coat enough and those of you sat wafting your hands in the air like you're at a boy-band concert of some sort waiting patiently for your nails to dry - take note!

Orly Polish in 'Purple Crush' | £5 | I bought this a while back now but decided to throw it in with this post anyway. I've had my eye on this for ages but never quite fancied parting with a fiver for a teensy-tiny bottle. I finally gave into temptation and my goodness me, it's such a pretty colour.  It's a really deep fucshia pink with warm purple hints and it looks utterly fabulous on the nails.

Barry M | Nail Paint in 'Mushroom' | £2.99 | I've wanted this in my collection for yonks. I've worn it already and I just think it's a beautiful understated shade of nudey-brown that goes with anything.

Eyelure False Lashes in 'Natural Volume' 020 | £5.35 | I often grab a pair of these. They're certainly not you're typical false eyelashes that you'd wear on a night out and they're incredibly subtle - but I keep these by me in case I ever need a bit of an eyelash boost on a day out somewhere nice, or if i'm going out for lunch. If, like me, you don't like full on glamour for daytime and you can be a little bit 'iffy' with false lashes, then i'd really recommend these. They're so light you can't even feel them on your peepers. Perfect.

John Frieda | Full Repair Deep Conditioner | £6.29 | I desperately needed an intense conditioner. My hair has gone crazy recently and i've had a bad hair month, let alone a bad hair day! I popped this on the other night and my mother commented straight after i'd dryed it how shiny my hair looked. Thumbs up so far John! ;) I must admit, I really do love John Frieda products and it's my go-to brand for all things hair care.

Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in '101' | £5.49 | After loving the infamous '107' shade over the festive period (review & FOTD here) , I figured it was about time I picked up another one of these beauties. I opted for the lovely nude pink shade. So wearable and a fabulous daytime colour I will get tonnes of wear out of.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in '010 Rouge Buzz' | £7.99 | I bloomin' love this lipsticks and did a little review not long ago that you can read here. This one is amazingly bright and is a lovely orangey red. Similar to Mac's Lady Danger but a little bit more creamy in formulation.

Samy | Fat Hair Amplifying Mousse & Hairspray | I've been wanting to try this range for ages and finally gave in when I saw they were on offer. I shall do a review soon once I've given them a good whirl! I'm still not sure if they've taken over my trusty Mark Hill 'Va Va Voom' mousse/Elnet Volume Spray combo. But I shall let you know if they cut the mustard!

Revlon | Nearly Naked Foundation in 'Nude' | £8.99 | I gave into the rumours i've heard about this foundation being amazing and decided to try it for myself. I've never actually tried any Revlon foundations but being a fan of a sheer daytime base I thought I'd try this one out!

Rimmel | Match Perfection Foundation in 'Soft Beige' | £6.99 | Ok. So i've only used this for about 4 days but I'm really enjoying using this one. It's definitely medium coverage and covers the majority of imperfections - it looks flawless once applied and I find the colour range works for me as the lighter shades seem to have more available options if you have cooler yellow tones in your skin like me! Yippee! I have a feeling this will knock 'Wake Me Up' out of the water for me - I love that this one seems to have a more satin finish and doesn't look overly dewy. Watch this space ladies..

And so there we have it! Another trip to Boots/Superdrug and another little collection has gathered on my beauty shelves. I'd also just like to apologise for my past two posts having to be duplicated - I'm having such a 'mare with my HTML on some blog posts at the moment, and although the posts read fine it seems to stop any other blog posts showing up on my home page. If any of you are also getting this really annoying little devil of a problem, please do tell me if you've managed to shed any light on it.  I'm really not getting much joy out of typing my blog posts out twice every time to correct it!  I do hope this won't be a regular thing but something has really began to go a little pear-shaped over on Bird's Words the past few days.

Have you tried any of these products? What were your thoughts?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

How To Follow Bird's Words & Info On The GFC Hoo-Ha

With the whole GFC 'hoo-ha' (or so I like to call it) on Twitter the past week or so, it seems that GFC is no longer the favoured method of following a blog. I've done more than enough research into this and I have somewhat fathomed out that it isn't actually GFC that's getting the boot. It's just google reader - which in no way shape or form effects how you read blogs on your blogger dashboard. So, if like me, you often log on to Blogger and like to have your reading list pop up for you - this won't be changing whatsoever as they're completely different things. Rest assured, your list isn't going anywhere July 1st. GFC isn't going July 1st.

This said, even though there's no solid proof or written word that 'GFC will definitely be going' - it's really sad everyone has stopped clicking the little 'Join this site' button. I urge you all to continue using it as if useage goes down it's going to get heave-ho regardless! Let's fight for the GFC, people! Bloglovin' has now stepped forward as many blogger's main form of following - and I am now making sure to follow on both GFC and Bloglovin - it's better to be safe than to be sorry after all! If you haven't got Bloglovin' - it's majorly easy to set up and you don't even need a blog to do so. So if you're a follower of my blog but don't write one yourself, fear not. Get your Bloglovin' socks on and sign up (it's also fan-dabby-doozily-free and won't cost you a penny).

So - if you've just stumbled upon my little corner of the interwebs and fancy reading more of my rambles, then here's how to follow me:

You can still follow me via GFC over in my sidebar..
  It's not going anywhere and it won't be for some time. Don't let the Twitter panic of last week fool you! But if you do, it's probably a wise idea to invest an extra second of your day in clicking 'follow' on the Bloglovin' button too. This is what i've been doing ever since the 'hoo-ha' and I feel muchos better and safe in the knowledge my lovely reading list won't be dropping off the face of the Earth.

 If you're a Bloglovin' fan - my link is here
Or you can click the 'follow this blog' button over in my sidebar. (I'm missing a few hundred of you off there :( Oh noeees..)


Want to suscribe to my mailing list and receive my posts straight to your mailbox? There's a 'follow by email' option over in my sidebar

 All of these methods of following can be found in my sidebar, but if you want to contact me directly for any reason please send me over an email to Apologlies this isn't a very exciting post - and dare I say a little bit of a cheeky plug for my bloggle. But we must all club together in this and remember we are all in the same wobbly little blogger boat. 

 What have you been doing since the 'GFC hoo-ha? Has it changed the way you follow your favourite blogs? Or do you follow via both platforms like myself?

Monday, 18 March 2013

Meet My Advertisers | March

Evening ladies. I do hope you've all had a fabulous weekend. It's that time of month again where I introduce to you my monthly advertisers and their fabulous blogs.  Sunday is a perfect excuse to sit down, grab a cuppa and find some new reads to add to the blog list and I must say there's some fabulous reads this month!  Without further ado, I shall hand you over to the lovely ladies over in my sidebar...Do stop by and say hello! They're a wonderful bunch.

My exclusive advertiser this month is the lovely Becky from Beauty Becky  

My name is Becky and I started my blog, Beauty Becky, in March 2012 (nearly one year ago now!) I first started watching Youtube beauty videos about five years ago and through them I discovered beauty blogs which became a huge hobby of mine to read.  I love finding new brands and products to try, which my bank balance probably doesn't love so much!

I thought it would be really fun to start my own beauty blog and be a part of the lovely beauty community. My blog mainly consists of reviews on beauty products, with monthly favourites and a couple of outfit posts too!

At the end of December I posted my first YouTube video! I had wanted to make videos for a while and I am so glad I finally filmed and uploaded one. So far I have filmed hauls, monthly favourites and I am planning to film tutorials soon too!

I am planning to train as a makeup artist in the next couple of years which I am so excited about! Another hobby of mine is photography which I have always enjoyed and constantly taking photos for my blog is making me love it even more!

Very recently I redesigned my blog so if you do have a look at it then please let me know what you think - I would love to know! I have also just opened up a design shop which is very exciting!

I absolutely love it when a follower sends me a message if they want a chat so please feel free to contact me!

Twitter - @beautybeckyblog
Facebook – beautybeckyblog
Instagram - @beautybeckyblog
Email –

Beca from BecaBooksMakeup


Becaboosmakeup is the place for rambles from a 20-something girl from the West Midlands (or the Black Country if you're familiar with these parts). In October 2011, after reading various beauty blogs and watching numerous Youtube videos for a few years, I decided to join in and "becaboosmakeup" was created.

 I love make-up! I love trying out new products and so I wanted to share my views on them all with you. I like to give my honest opinions on things I have bought so you can see them before you go and spend your hard earned pennies on them.

I am still quite new to all of this but I'm having a go and I hope you enjoy reading my blog and watching my Youtube videos. You can expect to see lots more of my make-up ramblings, a little dabble in fashion and a bit of whatever else takes my fancy along the way lol.

Thank you to everyone who takes the time out to comment and show an interest in what I have to say. And I look forward to getting to know you all so please come and say hello.

Hello Cotton - becaboosmakeup
Youtube - Becaboosmakeup
Twitter - @Becaboosmakeup
Facebook - becaboosmakeup
BlogLovin' - becaboosmakeup
She Said Beauty - becaboos
Instagram becaboosmakeup
Pinterest - becaboosmakeup

Danielle from The Imperfect Beauty

Hello Everyone! My name is Danielle and my blog is The Imperfect Beauty. I started blogging over a year ago because I really wanted to make some more friends with similar interests to mine and I haven't looked back since! 

I absolutely adore blogging, I mainly tend to blog about beauty products, my opinions, my favourites and sometimes I do lifestyle posts too! I love getting feedback and ideas from the lovely people who read my blog and it always makes my day when someone comments on a post to say they enjoyed it!

If you want to come over for a visit my links are all below, I'd love to see you over on my blog!

Twitter- @danielleom19
Instagram- @_danielleom
Pinterest- @danielle232

Hannah from Cosmetic Crave  

Hi! I'm Hannah from Cosmetic Crave. 

Born in the summer of 2012, Cosmetic Crave has grown from a little hobby to a huge passion with lots of beautiful friends being made along the way. Forever being sucked into the aisles of Boots and Superdrug to fill a basket full of hair products and pampering bath time treats, I'm your typical 20 year old beauty lover with a passion for writing and cosmetics (the clue is in the blog name!) so be sure to pop on over to see a variety of product reviews and favourites with a few other bits thrown into the mix too.

My iPhone is pretty much glued to my hand 24/7 as I'm hooked on Twitter and Instagram, so don't hesitate to throw me a quick hello somewhere on the web - here's a list of where you can find me:

Bloglovin: Cosmetic Crave
SheSaid Beauty: hannahr1
Twitter: @HannahRipley
Instagram: @Hannahripley1

Sarah from Modern Damsel 

Hello there! My name is Sarah, a twenty-something American beauty blogger with an obsession for beauty, fashion and all things girly. Modern Damsel has become my oasis for blabbering about the things I am passionate about, which happens to be beauty products!

 I adore meeting and chatting with other self-confessed beauty addicts so if you fancy a chat, pop over and say hello!

Instagram: @Sarbearrrr28

 Emily from Love-X-Beauty 

 Love Beauty -x- is a blog written by a student living in the midlands. It will feature regular updates and honest reviews about beauty products, exciting trends and general chat. Follow my journey!!

Twitter - @LovexBeauty91 
Bloglovin - LovexBeauty 

Jemma from Bamboozle Beauty 

I'm 20 years old,  from the Midlands in the UK and my blog has been going for 3 years now. I focus mainly on beauty with a little bit of fashion thrown in - even though I'm not fashionable in the slightest. I've suffered with bad skin for a number of years and a lot of my readers have too so join our little "blemished skin gang" if you like! I'm obsessed with make up, cats and Britney Spears.

Twitter - @bamboozlebeauty
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I hope you've managed to find some new blogs to read - pop on over to my sidebar and say hello to these fabulous ladies and do let me know if you've found yourself a new favourite! If you'd like to be featured here next month then you can view my advertising packages here. All you need to do is send me a little email and I shall reply as soon as possibley!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

How to Maintain a Blog/Life/Work Balance | My Tips

When you've lost your blogging mojo, it's very hard to find it again. Especially when you have a deadline looming or a week of late shifts at the office.  One of the things I have found whilst running and writing my blog, is how the flippin'eck to fit everything in to my time! Being a blogger means a lot of your spare time is spent taking photographs, planning and writing posts and tweaking every last inch of your little corner of the interwebs until your hears content.  I love blogging - I wouldn't change my little hobby for the world and I'd quite happily spend all my time tapping away on my little laptop - for me, it's something I jolly well enjoy and I see it as a big part of my life - but sometimes, other things can get in the way of my precious blogging time.

When I started my blog I had a full-time job. A few months down the line and I decided to go to university - which meant balancing writing my blog with deadlines, essays, coursework and all that jazz.. also having a part time job on top of all of that became a massive juggling act. Sound familiar? You aren't alone! I'm certainly no expert with this, but managing my time around my blog, uni work, jobs and actually managing to have a life has been something I've had to discover along the way - and I thought I'd share some hints and tips with those of you who might be going through a 'tough spot' - we've all been there, I'm sure. Think of this post as a way of having a natter about our time management woes.. after all, juggling the blog/life/work balance is pretty impressive. We must be super humans, us bloggers...

1. Photograph your stuff 'in bulk' 
Whenever the 'I really fancy making a mess and photographing some products' feeling arrives, I jolly well make the most of it! I take my photographs in bulk - if there's a few things I've been wanting to review for a while - I simply take the photographs all in one go.  I'm very fussy with my photos and I take hundreds in one sitting, so doing it 'here and there' doesn't work well for me. If you load them all onto your computer and place them in some sort of organised folder, then it's a weight off your mind knowing that should the urge to write a post crops up, you already have a library full of products rearing to go.

2. Schedule/plan your posts 
If you have a particular tough time at work coming up (in my case it was the summer holidays - manic isn't even the word!) or an exam or important deadline looming, schedule your posts!  It makes life so much easier and means that your readers will still be able to keep up with your blog and what you've been loving (or loathing) just recently.  Sometimes, it's hard to sit and write posts in one sitting but if the moment strikes you, or if you feel particularly 'chatty' one day - make the most of it and schedule a few for the next week or so. This way, your blog won't be neglected, and you have time to concentrate on other things for a week or so. Of course, your loyal readers will forgive you should you not schedule posts anyway - but if you're like me and are a massive routine freak - the option is there to get some posts in the bank!

3. Have a routine 
Notice when you have free time, and set aside that day to concentrate on your blog. I take all of my photographs on Sunday morning so I have a stash of content ready for the week ahead.

4. Don't get stressed over it! 
Blogging is a hobby, not a chore. It isn't work. It isn't the be all and end all and at the end of the day, if you prioritise realistically there are a few things that should come before it. Your readers will forgive you if you go a few days without posting or if there's a dip in your normal routine. Just think - when your next post pops up on their reading list they will be as happy as larry!

5. Keep a notebook or blogging journal 
The best blogging ideas strike us at the most inconvenient of times. That amazing idea you get will most certainly pop into your head when you're half way around Tesco doing your weekly shop. Fear not - I always have a trusty little notebook handy. Or if you can't find a suitable place to scribble any notes (leaning on a shelf on the 'frozen meats' section isn't exactly the best of ideas, is it?)- simply jot it down in your phone's notes or text it to yourself.. I'm the most forgetful person ever - so trust me on this one. It works. I also place post-it notes on my bathroom mirror if there's something I need to do so I will see it in the morning when I go to do my makeup.

6. Make the most of your lunch hour 
I used to sit and do uni work on my lunch hour - or make notes for posts. If you're feeling creative, don't waste it staring at the walls of your tea room - as much as that poster on company fire-safety policies is fascinating - use your noggin and use your spare time effectively! I've been known to jot an idea down on a paper towel before! (JK Rowling dreamt up Harry Potter on a napkin, don't you know?!)

7. Get your work done first
In other words, prioritise.  I will hold my hands up and openly admit I don't always do this - but I do try to.  If there's something that needs doing - if you're behind on your work or need to phone some chap about your car insurance - just get it done. Then you have all the time in the world to sit down and enjoy your blog related things rather than having that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that you aren't doing what you should be doing!  I sometimes say to myself 'i'll do some work up to this time, then have an hour doing this' - stick to those promises to yourself. If you don't you're on a slippery slope to getting in a right kerfuffle!

8. When you don't 'feel like it' - accept it
Sometimes a lack of 'inspo' ruins all of this. If you're not feeling particularly chipper, or if you've had a bad week or if you aren't too happy with your layout - sometimes you just don't feel like blogging. Accept it. I've made the mistake of trying to post when I'm not feeling like it before and I ended up never clicking publish. If you just haven't got the 'blogging feeling' - don't blog. Simple as that. Your readers will pick it up in an instant and it won't solve the problem. Just sit back, twiddle your thumbs and wait for your 'oomph' to come back - i find reading blogs and switching up my cosmetic routine works wonders! If you're lacking inspiration - bloody well find some! :)

9. Sit somewhere else to the norm
I usually just sit on my sofa when I blog - slippers on, cuppa tea, feet up - the lot. But if you find you're getting distracted then sit somewhere else.  I find if I sit at the kitchen table or at some form of desk - it's easier to concentrate on what I'm doing and what I'm writing.

10. Realise that hobbies are important
I hate calling blogging a hobby. A hobby is something prospective employers ask you to determine what kind of person you really are or something you have to explain in 'show and tell' at primary school - but blogging is a hobby nonetheless and one that shouldn't be ignored. If you love doing it, then don't give up! Work shouldn't take over your life so much that there is no time for the things you enjoy doing - and if blogging fulfils your life like it does mine (ahh cue the tears and inspirational blogger 'quotes') then it should stay as part of your life.  If you feel overworked, give yourself a break - you should never feel the need to have to 'give up' what you love for a your job.

Truth is, there isn't a 'how to'. There's no rulebook to how your manage your time as a blogger or as to how often you write. Just do what works for you and allow yourself time to step away if you ever need it. When your hobby becomes a chore, you need to re-asses. I'm sure these are tips most bloggers will tell you - but hopefully something in there has helped you in some way if you're going through a bit of a cruddy time with the whole 'life balance' thing.  Blogging around the 9-5 isn't easy, and blogging when you have a tonne of uni or college work on your shoulders isn't fabulous either - but set yourself aside some 'me' time and you'll find you can slot it in somewhere or somehow! Just remember most bloggers have been there, and will forgive you if your normal bloggery-habits slide a little. Give yourself a pat on the back and realise that being a blogger shouldn't mean 'stress'. Stress shouldn't be part of your blogging vocabulary...

How do you maintain your blog/life/work balance?

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

How I Contour | Feat. Chanel Bronze Universal & Swatches

Chanel | Soleil Tan De Chanel - 'Bronze Universal' - £31 | Link

It was an exciting day when I first purchased Chanel's ever so famous 'Bronze Universal' let me tell you! I took it home, placed it delicately on my bathroom counter and cherished its very existence in my makeup collection, but there was one problem - I was at a complete loss of how best to use it. I googled it, I tweeted about it, and I googled it some more - but each time I'd receive a multitude of different answers of how best to apply it. The lady at the Chanel counter suggested I used a flat foundation brush to work it into the skin for contouring - and for a while that was the method I used. Although it worked, the method just didn't float my boat - it may have been the brush I was using but I felt as if I needed to test a slightly different approach. So, I took it upon myself to test and try all kinds of different ways of working with it until I settled upon one that worked for me and one that provided me with the best results. Mission accomplished. 

As some of you may know, I'm a massive fan of contouring. I naturally have quite defined cheekbones and they're something I like to accentuate more when I can - simply because they give my face definition and shape and they're a feature I feel I need to make the best of! I've been contouring for a few years now - ever since I first learnt 'the secret' (ooo 'the secret'..) of how to make your face appear more sculpted - my makeup collection is full of all sorts of highlighters, base products and sculpting essentials. Chanel's Bronze Universal provides the most natural looking 'skin-like' finish and works very well with my skin tone. Here's my step by step for my current contouring routine I use for my cheekbones..

1. Apply your base | I use Yves Saint Laurent's 'Touche Eclat' foundation in 'B40' and buff this into the skin using my Real Techniques Buffing Brush.  This is the only brush I find works with this foundation and together they are an absolute cosmetic dream team! This stage provides a flawless looking 'blank canvas' ready for sculpting (I apply a primer beforehand too - just to make sure my makeup is being applied on a clean, smooth base).

2 & 3. Chanel Bronze Universal | If you're unsure how or where to place the line of contour, a good way to find your natural cheekbone 'shape' is to simply pull a fish face. Not at all attractive but suck in your cheeks for a second and you'll notice where your natural line is (google this method if you're unsure!) You can see where I've placed my line of contour - I always begin near my hairline and apply most of the product here, as this is where I want my contour to be strongest and where there is naturally more shadow on the face. I then take the product down near to wear my inner cheek is - making sure that the line there is slightly thinner than it is near to my hairline. 

I do this using my fingers or a flat foundation brush - but if I'm honest I find using my fingers to apply this works better than a brush - as the product is warmed up and can be moulded into the skin more (of course if you're going to do it this way then it goes without saying to make sure you're hands are squeaky clean before doing this step..)

4. Buffing using Real Techniques Buffing Brush | Buff the line you have just made into the skin using a buffing brush - making sure the movements you use are along the same 'line'. You don't want to be swirling the brush all over your cheeks as this will ruin the whole effect!

5. Mac Mineralise Skinfinsh Natural in 'Medium' | I then apply my Mac MSF using my Real Techinques powder brush. This sets the base I have just applied.  As a general rule, any 'wet' product you apply to your face should be applied before your powder - and any powder products applied afterwards. You know it makes sense... ;)

6. Optional Step - Sleek Contour Kit in 'Light' | Sometimes, the contour I created with the Chanel is enough for me. On other occasions, I want a little bit more 'oomph' (nights out for example) - this is when I apply the matte bronzing powder from this palette. I use my Real Techniques Contouring brush to do this as i find it works well with my powder products, and simply go over the line I've just created, being careful to blend it in properly. It can sometimes look a little 'muddy' if you over apply so paler skin tones - take heed! I then apply the highlighting powder across the top of my cheekbones (just underneath the eye area) and sweep this up to my hairline. 

7. Blush | I apply my blush of choice on the apples of my cheeks and take it up slightly near my hairline - this way I have the highlight, blush and contour all merged together and running the same way.  I used Benefit's Coralista blush in this example - if you're wondering!

8. Contouring complete! If you're still unsure, it helps to look at your face from different angles in a mirror and realise where light naturally hits, and where shadow naturally falls (looking up into a mirror highlights the lighter areas, and vice versa). I then usually take my contouring underneath my jawline and onto my forehead using the same method (again, google this as there's tonnes of images of where to place contour & highlight - it's generally made in a '3' shape around the side of the face)

The way you work with this product depends on what kind of look you want to go for. A flat kabuki brush will work wonders for an all over bronzing base, but when it comes to contouring, the softness of the line you use is key to creating a natural looking, flawless finish. The texture of the Bronze Universal is very blendable - almost like a hybrid of a mousse and a cream. It's also very buildable and is a product that can be used in a multitude of ways. This is just how I contour my cheekbones - you might find another way works better for you but this gets the best results for me personally! Kim Kardashian - eat yer heart out, petal!

Here's a rundown of products used in this post:

YSL Touche Eclat foundation in 'B40' (review here)
Chanel 'Bronze Universal' (first impressions post here)
Real Techniques brushes - Buffing, Contour, Powder, Blush (collection post/review here)
Mac Mineralise Skinfinish Natural in 'Medium'
Benefit Coralista blush (review here)
Sleek Contour Kit in 'Light'
Benefit 'They're Real' mascara (review here)
Sleek Eyebrow kit in 'Light'
HD Brows palette in 'Bombshell'
Mac Smolder eye kohl
Mac 'Plink!' lipstick.

I also used this method of contouring in my FOTD post here - which was used for a night out! You can see the definition and line of contour more clearly!

Have you tried Chanel's Bronze Universal? Are you a fan of contouring like me?