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Monday 31 December 2012

How To: My Everyday Hairstyle | Casual Waves

Products used / Loreal Elnett Heat Protecting Styling Spray in 'Curls' / Tresemme Keratin Smooth Protecting Spray / John Frieda Frizz Ease Shape & Shine Hairspray / Loreal Elnett Volume Hairspray / Batiste Blonde Dry Shampoo / Tigi Bed Head Dumb Blonde Smoothing Stuff / Schwarzkopf Got2B Powder'ful Voumising Styling Powder

Firstly, apologies about the lack of my face in this post.. I do hope you can forgive me. I'd got up early, hadn't applied a great deal of eye-makeup and didn't feel at all spritely this morning to say the least. Nevertheless, because I love you all so much, I thought I would take the chance to take a few photos of my daily hair routine since I had some spare time on my hands. Quite a lot of you asked me about my hairstyle in my Christmas Face of the Day post (here) and so I thought I'd give you a little run through of how I achieved it and the products I use to style my hair everyday. This has been one of my 'signature' styles since I was at school - and I find making my hair wavy this way is very quick if you're in a rush, or are just lounging around the house but want your hair to look half-decent. The beauty about it is that it turns out slightly different every time you do it, and the longer you spend on it the more control you have over what it turns out like. Personally, I like my hair to look a little 'undone' and a little dishevelled, so if i'm being completely honest I don't often take too much time or care in doing it! It's a very versatile little method and one that I will continue to use until i'm old and grey and resisting temptation to get a perm...

Step 1 | This step is optional, but being a massive fan of volume I take my teasing comb and backcomb at the roots lightly. My hair often gets quite dull in the winter months so I also tend to spray some Batiste dry shampoo in 'Blonde' at the roots to lift the colour slightly. This is also a fabulous way to add texture to 'just washed' hair - it takes away the fly-away feeling and helps to achieve volume. I just generally give my hair a bit of a tousle and a fluff up to prep for the further steps.. (you may notice one side of my hair is already curly - I decided half way through my hair-routine to start this tutorial so concentrate on my other half of my head)

Step 2 | To make my hair wavy, I use my trusty Remington straighteners. Yes, you may gasp in horror that I don't use GHD's but my trusty age-old ceramic Remingtons do the job perfectly fine (and until they run out of juice i refuse to throw money at more heat appliances as I have a drawer full of them - eek!). I either use the Elnett Styling Spray or the Tresemme Keratin Smooth for my heat protectant. For daily use I find the Tresemme works wonders on my hair as it keeps it soft and manageable and doesn't weigh it down. If I need my style to last for a night out I will use the Elnett Styling Spray. This is a little heavier and feels a bit more like a hairspray when applied - it has a slight sticky feel to it that helps to keep the style in your hair for longer.

I take 1-2 inch sections, varying as I go around my head but I never go smaller than this. The bigger the sections the looser the curl. This step is a little difficult to explain (definitely need to start YouTube!) but I place the straightener where I want the wave to begin - usually about 3 inches down from the root. After this you need to move fairly swiftly to avoid lines in the hair. I turn the straightener as shown so that the hair is wrapped around the 'barrel' bit. I turn it just under 180degrees (the further you twist the straightener the tighter the curl).

Step 3 | I then move the straightener down to the ends of my hair as smoothly as I can. If you aren't used to curling your hair with straighteners then I will warn you this bit takes a bit of getting used to (especially if yours are square edged like mine - but don't worry if they are, you can't tell at all if you do it correctly). I repeat the process all around my head - I dont section it off - I just do as I please as it adds to the 'undone' look I'm going for. But I do concentrate more on the two front sections.

Step 4 | I then take John Frieda's Frizz Ease Hairspray. If you're after a really good setting spray then this is wonderful. You don't need much at all. I spray 2-3 sprays on each side and lightly tousle the waves I've made. I don't scrunch it! This will make it frizzy and ruins the smooth shape you've created.

Step 5 | Again this step is optional. I don't always do this but I find it helps if I'm having a flat hair day. I take Schwarzkopf's Volumising Powder and use a small bit rubbed into the palm of my hands to lightly mess up the lengths. This adds volume to the lengths of the hair - if your hair is like mine and all the layers have grown out (my hair is mostly one length), it can be difficult to achieve volume - especially if it's long as it weighs the curls down. This gives the style texture and plumps up the hair. Again, I do this lightly and use more of a 'lifting' motion as opposed to scrunching the hair.

Step 6 | After all of that styling and 'plumping' sometimes some hairs can get out of place and if I'm having a bad hair day it can sometimes look a little frizzy (damn you, wintery weather!) If this is the case I take a pea sized amount of Tigi's Dumb Blonde Smoothing Stuff and very lightly smooth down the frizzy bits. I do this bit so lightly that I almost don't touch the majority of my hair - just the flyaways!

Step 7 | This step is just general shifting and perfecting. I use my fingers for this. I pull my fringe down properly and lift up the roots to bring back the volume I added at the start of the process. I sometimes give it a quick once over with Elnett's hairspray - it's really light and just seals in the style without making it crispy and overdone.

It goes without saying I use volumising shampoos and mousses when I blow-dry my hair (John Frieda's Volume Shampoo and Mark Hill's VaVaVoom Mousse to be precise) so I give my hair as much help as I can to achieve the volume. And there we have it! Simples! If I ever start YouTube I shall definitely do a little tutorial on this in video form. I'm also planning on doing some more in-depth photograph tutorials on my blog over the next few months using my waving wand (my favourite for nights out) and various curling tongs - I often switch up the heated appliance I use and each provide slightly different looks. So keep your eyes peeled for those!

What is your everyday hairstyle?


Sunday 30 December 2012

Best of Makeup 2012 | This Year's Favourites

With the New Year almost upon us and not much to do today other than scoff the remainders at the bottom of the Quality Street tin, I thought it would be a fabulous idea to spend my Sunday completely raiding my makeup drawers!  I thought I would pick out a few items that have been 'can't live without' makeup products for the past 12 months of my life... 

Best Lipstick
Ok I just HAD to cheat with this one. There's no other way around this and I hold my hands up and admit that I am an absolute lipstick addict. It was impossible to pick a winner and a runner up simply because I wear different colours and shades depending on the time of year. So I picked 4 of the best additions to my collection this year.. (it's the only time I cheat throughout my whole post..promise!)

YSL | Rouge Volupte Perle in '114' - 2012 saw me purchase my first ever YSL lipstick. And the second. And the third..  Wonderfully pigmented and deliciously soft, these lipsticks simply melt onto the lips with ease. This one was gifted to me for my 22nd birthday and it's the most beautiful fuchsia pink complete with teeny tiny shimmers. If you wish to see a swatch click here.
Mac | Costa Chic - My most worn lipstick throughout the summer months and a must-have for trips abroad. Looks fabulous with a tan and is amazingly pigmented.
Mac | Shy Girl - The newest addition to my lipstick collection. I will wear this all year round without a shadow of a doubt as it's the most perfect everyday lip colour for me - a wonderful muted peachy nude (click here for a review).
Maxfactor | Ruby Tuesday - The perfect red for me. These lipsticks provide just the right amount of moisture yet don't compromise on pigmentation or wear time. (click here for a swatch and similar shades)

Best Everyday Lip Product
Winner: Burt's Bee's | Replenishing Lip Balm - I won this in the lovely Jodie's giveaway and it's been my go-to lip balm everyday since. I apply this in the morning before my makeup alongside my moisturiser and carry it in my bag for top ups throughout the day. (review here)
Runner-up: Revlon | Lip Butter in 'Creme Brulee' - A very wearable everyday lip shade that's moisturising enough to feel like a lip balm but pigmented enough to look like a lipstick. The best of both worlds. (to see my collection click here)
Best Powder
Winner: Mac | Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in 'Medium' - I'm sure this will be top of the list for a lot of you. Sets my makeup without dulling my foundation and provides a natural finish which lasts all day long (review here)
Runner up: No7 | Pressed Powder in 'Medium' - A very good powder for taking away any shine and I found this came in very handy on holiday when humid nights sometimes get the better of your makeup!

Best Blush
Winner: Illamasqua | Powder Blush in 'Lover' - I would place bets on this being in my next year's favourites too. It's just my all-time favourite blush and I wear it all year round. Amazing pigment, soft to the touch and brightens up my complexion in an instant. (for similar shades click here)
Runner Up: Revlon | Photoready Cream Blush in 'Pinched Peaches' - This was my go-to blush for the summertime and holidays abroad this year. It's quite sheer but buildable, and the consistency for a cream blush was just right for me. Not too sticky or greasy, and easily applied.

Best Bronzing Product
Winner: Nars | Powder Bronzer in 'Laguna' - Predictable? Yes. Fed up of seeing it? Maybe. But there is no denying that this little beauty is the gem in a lot of blogger's makeup bags around the world. It's natural, versatile and lasts an age.
Runner Up: Chanel Bronze Universal - A fairly new addition, but one that I cannot wait to get more use out of this summertime. I use this as a cream contour for my cheekbones. It buffs into the skin like a dream and still looks freshly applied at the end of the day. If you wish to see the product in more depth I did a post a little while back here.

Best Priming Product
Winner: Loreal | Studio Secrets Professional Smoothing Resurfacing Primer - The best primer I have used - I even preferred it to Benefit's Porefessional. It just seems to work for me and is the only primer I've found that doesn't feel greasy on me.
Runner Up: Urban Decay | Eyeshadow Primer Potion - I don't use this everyday but I use it on a regular basis. If I'm going on a night out or need my eyeshadow to last longer I won't apply my eyeshadow without it - it works amazingly well and makes your shadow apply smoother.

Best Eyebrow Product
Winner: Sleek | Brow Kit - I've just had to grab myself a new one of these hence why it looks a!? I use the light or the dark version depending on how defined I want to go with my brows. Does the job and provides a very good colour pay off. I sometimes just use the powder on it's own. (I have a review of the light kit here)
Runner Up: Mac | Brow Set in 'Beguiled' - This is a fabulous product but one that took a lot of getting used to. I know for a fact a lot of people don't like the coloured brow sets (you can get a clear version) but i personally like how this one defines the eyebrows at the same time as setting any wax or powder I've applied previously. I have an in-depth review of it here.

Best Concealer
Winner: Estee Lauder | Double Wear Concealer -  Provides a heavier coverage without looking cakey, even when reapplied and lasts me all day. Fabulous for under-eyes and blemishes. My all time favourite concealer.
Runner Up: Estee Lauder | Disappear Smoothing Creme Concealer - My summer concealer for all-round concealing goodness. It's slightly lighter than the double wear but lasts just as long and smooths out areas of unevenness as well as covering blemishes (review here)

Best Foundation
Winner: YSL | Touche Eclat Foundation - Smooths out my skin and feels light and fresh on the skin. I have a review of this foundation along with swatches here.
Runner up: Maybelline | Fit Me Foundation - Never have I found such a perfect match in a drugstore foundation and I have been so impressed with the Fit Me foundation. I have a review of it here if you wish to have a read about it.

Best Powder Highlighter
Winner: Nars | Highlighting Powder in Albatross - Slightly controversial since I received this for Christmas. But I've wanted it for ages and own lots of the Nars powder products and they're just such good quality. Look out for a review and swatches coming soon!
Runner-up: Sleek | Contour Kit - I've used this for a couple of years now and it's always served me well. It's not the most long lasting highlight and I always have to build it up on my cheekbones but a very flattering and natural shade and one that I will continue to go back to I'm sure.

Best Singular Eyeshadow 
 Winner: Nars | Eyeshadow in 'Mekong' - My first Nars eyeshadow and it certainly shall not be my last. This has to be the most pigmented shadow I own and you only need the tiniest touch of a brush to provide amazing colour. This one is fabulous for smokey eyes but also can be used for a slightly more defined daytime look.
Runner-up: Maybelline | 24 Hour Colour Tattoo - SHAMAZING! Pigmented eyeshadow that last all day and all night without fail yet also acts as a base underneath powder shadows. A wonderful versatile little pot of product and one that has been used constantly throughout 2012.

Best Palette
Winner: Urban Decay | Naked2
Runner-Up: Urban Decay| Naked
Both palettes have been a staple in my makeup collection ever since they were first released and will continue to be a daily necessity for me. The Naked 2 just tops the mark slightly as I find it has a wider range of shades suitable for both day and night. You can see my comparison of the two in this post here if you wish to view the shades in greater detail.

What has been your favourite product of 2012?

Friday 28 December 2012

Christmas Goodies

| Items featured in photographs above |

Mac Blush in 'Blushbaby' / Topshop Nail Varnish in 'Rising Star' / Ciate Nail Varnish in 'Cupcake Queen' / Chanel Rouge Coco in 'Rose Comete' / Nail Art Selection Wheel / Nars Highlighting Powder in 'Albatross' / Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish set / Mac Brush Cleanser / The Body Shop 'Indian Night Jasmine' Fragrance Mist / Diesel 'Loverdose' perfume / Hugo Boss 'Orange' perfume / Urban Decay eyeshadow in 'Naked' / Paperchase Novelty bird stickers / Ted Baker iPhone Case / Ted Baker Shopper Bag / Sony Nex5R Compact System camera /

Everyone on my reading list seems to be doing Christmas hauls just recently, and like the nosey little elf I am, I decided to do one too. I also thought it would be nice to give you all a little taster of what to expect in the near future on my blog! Of course, being a beauty blogger means that loved ones know that any form of beauty related items are a winner for me, hence the copious amount of beauty related goods!  As soon as a birthday or Christmas comes around then friends and family can rest assured I have a whole word document saved to my computer's desktop full of beauty products I would like to try - I'm sure most of you are the exact same with this. My wishlist is endless and I'm constantly adding new things to it!

I've been wanting to try Liz Earle's Hot Cloth Cleanser for absolutely ages now, and my mum got my the set complete with muslin cloth so I can give it a whirl. She uses it and swears by it so I'm sure I'm going to love it too, along with the endless list of bloggers who also adore and cherish its very existence! The Urban Decay eyeshadow is a replacement for one of my much loved Naked palette shades which I've just ran out of (the shade is called 'Naked' and i use it for blending and everyday use and even to fill in my brows at times - I've written a post on the palette here). Of course, if in doubt, any items that are bird related go down a storm with me, and my mum wrapped up the novelty stickers in my stocking for me. They're definitely going to be popping up on all my sketchbooks and files at uni! And of course, my most prized possession right now is my new camera! I'd been saving for a while to buy myself a new one for blogging and general use, and the 'rents very kindly said they would help towards the rest of it as they've realised how much work I actually put into this little space on the interwebs. I'm so chuffed to bits with it! It has taken a bit of getting used to but I'm so excited to finally have a 'posh' camera. And who knows, maybe it means I might even delve into the scary, terrifying world that is YouTube in 2013... watch this space!

Have you done a Christmas Haul post? If so, let me know! I'll hop on over!

Thursday 27 December 2012

My Christmas Face of the Day

Swatches L-R | Urban Decay Naked2 'Bootycall' /  Urban Decay Naked2 'YDK' / Illamasqua Blush in 'Lover' / Nars Highligher in 'Albatross' / Revlon 'Red Laquer

Evenin' my little birdlings! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed a few days of guilt free chocolate scoffing and alcoholic beverage consuming like myself. I thought I'd post a little 'face of the day' for you all today... As some of you may know, Mr Claus rather generously popped a new camera under my tree this year, and no member of my family has managed to escape my snap-happy-ness let me tell you! Today has been the first chance I've had to sit down and log on to Blogger, and I'm so looking forward to reading through all of your Christmas related offerings! 

Christmas Day is not like any other day when it comes to makeup. It has to last through present opening, family dinners and afternoon naps on the sofa, and above all it has to look a little bit more 'spesh' than the usual everyday slap! My family and I always go out for Christmas dinner at a local restaurant near us - it gives us all an excuse to get a bit dressed up! (and out of our pj's!). It's beautiful - it's a really traditional little building with low ceilings and wooden floors, complete with log fires and burning candles - and the staff always decorate it amazingly well. I usually go all out with the eye makeup on Christmas Day but this year I decided to go really natural and neutral on my eyes - and paired it with a sheer red/coral lip and simple blush. I also took it as an excuse to use my new Nars highlighter (there's a post coming soon)... and i'm also proud to inform you all I have been fake tan free for a whole month! After being a bit poorly, I decided it would be a good excuse to cut it out of my routine for a while and my skin has thanked me no end (aside from looking a little pale) - I really recommend doing it if your pores are feeling a little bit clogged!

Urban Decay | Naked 2 Palette | 'Bootycall' (lid) & 'YDK' (outer lid)
Loreal | Super Liner Carbon Gloss in 'Black' (top lash line)
Maybelline | The Falsies mascara
Barry M | Eyeliner in 'white' (waterline and inner corner)

Loreal | Studio Secrets Professional Primer
YSL | Touche Eclat Foundation in 'B40' (review here)
Estee Lauder | Double Wear Concealer in 'Light Medium 02' (featured in this post)
Mac | Mineralise Skinfinish Natural in 'medium' (review here)
Illamasqua | Powder blush in 'Lover' (post here)
Nars |  Highlighting Powder in 'Albatross'

Revlon | Lipstick in 'Red Laquer'

My Dress
Oh My Love at Topshop | £36 

How was your Christmas? What did Santa bring you this year?

Monday 24 December 2012

Festive Makeup | Eyes, Lips, Cheeks - 11 Festive Items

I can't believe it's Christmas Eve already! December has absoloutely flown by! The party season is well and truly upon us and for me, that means getting festive with the makeup...glitter, golds, deep wines and smokey eyes - anything goes for the Christmas period and it's the one time of year that we can all be experimental with our makeup, and above all it gives us a jolly good excuse to go glitter crazy! I thought i'd put together a post of some makeup items I've been using, or plan to use for Christmas partys and New Year celebrations...

| Eyes |

Look Beauty | 'Statement Eyes' eyeshadow | 'Shade 13' - A gold eyeshadow is a must-have item in my festive makeup bag! This one is perfect - it's so pigmented and has little glittery chunks all the way through it.  I love the consistency of these eyeshadows - I've been so impressed and really recommend them. They're really soft and creamy - they don't feel at all 'powdery' and apply really smoothly.

Illamasqua Eyeshadow | 'Obisidian' - A matte black shadow is a must in everyone's makeup collection. I tend to see them crop up more in my makeup application around this time of year though, and complete the look to any smokey, dramatic eye.

Mac Eyeshadow | 'Cranberry' - Eeeeek how much do I love this little beauty?! It's been a firm favourite all the way through Autumn for me and it's creeping back into my makeup routine recently. It looks amazing when blended with deep browns and purple-y tones, and adds a bit of festive cheer to your peepers.

Collection 2000 | Glam Crystals in 'Rock Chick' - These little glitter eyeliners come in rather handy around this time of year! I did a post on them earlier this year (click here to have a look if you want to see some other shades). They just add a little twist to any makeup look and look really nice applied under the lash line for a pop of colour or instead of your usual liquid liner.

Barry M | Dazzle Dusts | Silver '4' Grey '91' Gold '41' - Ohh come on.. who doesn't have at least one of these babies lurking at the bottom of their makeup drawer?! These little pots of glittery-dust have been around since I can remember (in fact I think the first 'proper' makeup product I ever owned was one of these!) Yes, they're messy. Yes, they're a little bit tacky but oh my goodness how they do come in handy for creating amazing eye looks. They also come in handy for creating glittery festive nail art... 

| Cheeks |

MUA | Blush | Shade 2 - I'm a massive blush fan - I have such a collection of them but one that I'm wearing just recently is this little plum coloured offering by MUA. It adds a lovely flush of wintery colour to my skin and doesn't look too 'overdone' with statement eyes or lips. Perfect understated wintery christmassy blush-goodness!

| Lips |

Rimmel | Kate Moss lipstick in shade '107' - This was sent to me by the lovely Sophia when I was lucky enough to win her recent giveaway! I was so excited to try this lipstick as I'd seen it in so many posts. It's the most perfect wine colour, and applies really well. It's becoming a new favourite of mine and I shall definitely be wearing it on Christmas day!

Maxfactor | Lipstick in 'Ruby Tuesday' - I included this in a recent post on my 'Top 5 Berry Lipsticks' (seen here), and it's still a firm favourite. It has to be one of my most favourite reds I've ever owned. It's so pigmented and feels moisturising on the lips at the same time as having some impressive staying power! It's such a good little all-rounder.

Barry M | Lipgloss | 'Glitter Red' - This lipgloss smells of cherries. Enough said. As well as smelling good enough to eat it also looks lovely applied on it's own - but I prefer it over a red lipstick because it adds so much depth and a bit of much needed sparkle for this time of year! The glitter can get a little annoying but Barry M lipglosses aren't sticky in the slightest and feel lovely and light on the lips.

Revlon | Lipstick | 'Cherries in the Snow' - If the name itself isn't enough to get you in the festive mood, then the beautiful berry colour surely will! If you aren't a red lipstick kind of girl then this is such a good option. It's a gorgeous berry pink shade. It applies like a dream and lasts all day (I've worn it for uni on a couple of occasions!) it looks lovely for day or night.

Estee Lauder | Lipstick in 'Tiger Eye' - I know what you're thinking. Bronze glittery lipstick, Beth are you actually a nutter?! I kid you not, this is the loveliest shade of lipstick for this season - it puts a little twist on a 'dark nude'. It applies fairly sheerly and gives a wonderful wash of bronze-y nude to the lips - it looks ridiculously glittery in the bullet but gives more of a frosted finish once it's on.  It's not everyone's cup of tea but it's a little bit different to anything else I own and it looks really nice applied in the middle of the lips over another colour if I'm not feeling brave enough to wear it full-on.

So there you have it girls. A selection of some of my festive makeup choices this season. I can't wait for Christmas now - I've finally finished wrapping all my presents and all that's left to do now is settle down on the sofa and indulge in some chocolate biscuits and Glitter Berry J20's (let me know if you're also addicted to these amazing thirst-quenching beverages!) 

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope the bearded chappy leaves you lots of lovely presents under your tree tomorrow morning! I'm sure I'll speak to some of you on Twitter at some stage.

What's in your Christmas Day makeup bag this year?!

Friday 21 December 2012

Tag: You're It!

image:weheartit (edited)

Ohhh how I love a little tag post when I'm at a complete loss of what to write. I have Natalie over at youralmostalice to thank for this one, and I thought I'd take the chance to have a little ramble.

- Every tagged person has to tell 11 things about themselves
- The person who tagged you asked 11 questions, answer them
- Ask 11 questions for the 11 blogs you're going to tag
- Mention the blog that tagged you but don't tag back

11 things about me:
1. I once kept a diary every day for a whole year
2. I love going on holiday and a massive chunk of my wages goes on trips abroad, and clothes to go in my suitcase! There's always a holiday brochure lying around my bedroom somewhere.
3. I can be very competitive..never in a nasty way though. I'm definitely not the vicious type...
4. I absoloutely adore elephants.
5. I'd rather eat a pack of crisps than a chocolate bar. Smokey bacon is preference.
6. I'm terrified of being sick. And cockroaches. And i'm not keen on flying either...
7. I'm very arty. I love drawing and making things. I can forget my troubles in an instant as soon as I pick up a paintbrush. I find it all very theraputic.
8. I once dyed my hair black and hated it. 
9. I love driving at night. It makes me feel relaxed.
10. I love chinese food. 
11. I paint my nails up to 3 times a week - I feel naked without any colour on my talons.

1. If you were stranded on a desert island with one other person, who would you want it to be and why?
My best friend. We have been friend's since we were 11, have essentially grown up together, share the same sense of humour and she strolls into my house as if it's her own home. I could imagine being stuck on a desert island with her would be side-splittingly hilarious and together we are just the ultimate dream team.

2. What is your most embarrassing moment?
oh I have wayyy too many to mention. I'm so clumsy and there's so many embarrassing moments involving me falling over that I'd be here forever trying to pick one. So I shall go for one that instantly pops into my mind. I was once on a school trip in Germany and we had all just arrived at the hotel and settled in our rooms. Being a typical group of girls, we went to see some of the boys in their room as it had a cooker and we were slightly amazed that their room was so much better than ours. I can't remember what happened but it involved us all being chased back into our room by one of the boys, and I dashed through my bedroom door only to be greeted by one of my school teachers, in the middle of getting changed, staring back at me with her jumper half over her head screaming at me to get out. Obviously i'd ran back into the wrong room in the excitement. She mentioned it the next day in front of everyone at breakfast and needless to say she hated me ever since. To be fair though, she could have locked the door?...

3. Three things that you would consider your biggest pet peeves?
Customers - the really rude ones that speak to you as if they're realms above you. I hate stereotypical men, and I also hate it when I can hear people eating or chewing.. or indeed even just rustling a pack of crisps...

4. Your favourite place in the world?
Home. I am the biggest home-bird you will ever meet and as much as I love travelling and going away to lovely places, nothing beats the feeling of coming home after you've been away for so long.

5. What's your dream job?
Anything to do with illustration or graphic design. I've always been a creative person and I'd love to do something with it. Hence why i quit going down the 'retail' path and decided to go to uni. I really want to be able to say 'i love my job'. I'd love to wake up in the morning and not dread going into work. That would be fabulous.

6. Your favourite thing about blogging?
Without a doubt the social side of it all. I think most bloggers would say the same. I also love coming home after a long day and reading through every single post on my reading list (does anyone else do this or is it just me?!)

7. One thing that is on your Christmas wishlist?
A new camera. I've been saving for one for ages but the 'rents have said they will chip in and help me. And of course a couple of beauty bits! What Christmas wouldn't be complete without a new lipstick or two?!

8. What is your most proudest achievement?
I'm proud of everything i've done to get me to where I am now.

9. Favourite lip colour?
As much as I adore bright reds and pinks for nights out, I love a good nude lip, me! They're just so wearable for everyday and it means I can be a bit more experimental with my eye makeup. I love muted pinks and peach tones.

10. A saying/motto that you live by?
My life goes by my star sign in the Metro. If the Metro says it's going to be a good day - then by heck it's going to be a jolly good day!

11. An unusual fact about yourself?
I really cannot think of anything unusual about me! I struggle to say the word 'squirrel'...?

My 11 Questions:
- What is your ultimate holy grail item?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, alive or dead, who would it be?
- Your most treasured/favourite item in your wardrobe?
- What scares you?
- Your favourite childhood memory?
- What is the worst product you have ever used?
- What was your first makeup item?
- If you could have anyone's hairstyle, who would it be?
- What was your favourite subject in school?
- Who/what inspires you?

I Tag:

Thursday 20 December 2012

A Big Thankyou | 1K Followers & Chit-Chat


I'm so excited that my little blog has reached 1000 followers. As some of you may know, I've been in hospital this week and nothing cheered me up more than seeing I'd finally reached such a big blogger milestone. I'm planning on doing a giveaway in the new year to say thankyou to all of you for being such a wonderful bunch - so keep your eyes peeled for that! I have lots of plans for my little slice of the interwebs in the coming year, and really can't wait to get back into the blogging swing of things!

I know some of you were wondering why I've been in hospital. I tried to reply to you all but I've been so sleepy! I can honestly say I most definitely didn't look very 'beauty bloggery' the past couple of days, that's for sure. I haven't had a scrap of makeup on my face for about a week now and I cannot wait to be back to my normal self. It's made me realise how important having my health is - I'll never take it for granted ever again. I'll keep it short and sweet but I basically had a severe reaction to some antibiotics I had been taking, it started on Saturday lunchtime but I took a massive turn for the worst on Tuesday lunchtime and ended up in an ambulance in my leopard-print pyjamas! I've never been so terrified in my life and although I'm getting better now and in the end it wasn't life threatening, it wasn't a very pleasant experience - at one stage I couldn't even walk! Apparently it was quite a rare reaction, and I was so scared of what was happening to me - i felt so out of control. Of course, suffering from panic attacks made it 10 times worse and I lost count of the amount of times I had one - I think my heart rate was over twice what it should be when I arrived at hospital...eek! I was hooked up to a machine all night, had oxygen masks placed on my face countless times and lost count of the amount of injections and drips I was given. I feel so lucky to be healthy and that it was just a little 'blip' - you see some awful things in hospital and it just makes you realise how lucky you are. The nurses are all rushed off their feet but are so caring and lovely, the paramedics instantly calmed me down and had a little joke with me and kept me talking; we are so lucky to have such a wonderful health service.  Luckily I'm on the mend now, aside from some rather swollen hands which resemble bear paws.. opening a tin of Vaseline has never been such a challenge!

Thankyou for all of your well wishes on Twitter - I'm sorry if I haven't replied to them all but I can honestly say they have perked me up no end! Call me cliche, but blogging is such a big part of my life and I'm so happy I have all of you there to have a natter with. The social side of blogging is honestly the best part of being a blogger and I will continue to be amazed by our wonderful little online community - I sometimes wish we could all just move to a little beauty-blogger town on a little beauty-blogger island and we could all share cocktails and swap lipsticks and beauty tips til our heart's content... That would be just fabulous..

Sunday 16 December 2012

What Your Blemishes Mean | What is Your Skin Trying To Tell You?

The past 4 weeks, I've been struggling somewhat with my skin. I always kind of expect it around this time of year - my skin really doesn't agree with cold, dull weather (a bit like me!) and as soon as the weather changes, I notice changes in my skin. However, this time around, my skin has been all over the place - and after a few weeks of trying everything in my power to get rid of any blemishes with no real results, I came across a really interesting online article that helped me no end to understand my skin - and I thought would be of interest to some of you.

I have never suffered with acne. My skin is fairly good, and although I'd still class it as 'sensitive' and 'spot-prone', it's mostly quite clear and I only ever get the odd one on my chin (I'm lucky, i know - but i suffered with spots very early on in my teenage years so it's had plenty of time to settle!). However, over the past 4 weeks or so I'd started to notice the skin on my cheeks starting to look a little worse for wear. It started off with patches of redness and visible pores, and gradually began to get worse - I ended up with little raised red bumps under my skin, and although it was manageable and was easily hid underneath makeup, I knew something was wrong. I know my skin and I'd never ever had problems before with blemishes on my cheeks - not even in my teenage years. I went through the usual routine of stopping using anything new to my skincare regime (which was nothing but a simple change in brands - i do this every winter to help with my slightly dryer skin and never had problems before)..  I also went back to basics with my makeup and cleansing routine, and switched back to my summer tinted moisturiser thinking it might be my foundation. But nothing seemed to work. I had ruled out reactions to products which was the most obvious cause - and if i'm honest I was at a complete loss of what to do.  That was until I found this article on Company's website, discussing what spots can mean, and how blemishes on different areas of your face are linked with your health and diet...

The idea stems from Chinese medicine - which suggests each part of the face indicates how well different organs of your body are functioning.  About 4 weeks prior to suffering with the spots on my cheeks, I'd suffered with a particularly bad cold/cough, and had found the symptoms of the cough had been hanging around and that I was getting out of breath very quickly. I went through spells of having little attacks where i'd struggle to intake a full breath of air and just put it down to the cold weather. The article stated that 'in Chinese medicine the cheeks are related to the lungs, so if you suffer with regular colds, flu and asthma you may get outbreaks or irregularities in skin tone texture here'. After reading this, I went to visit the doctor and discovered I'd had a chest infection for about 3 weeks - and was given a prescription to help clear it. I've now started to feel much better, and all symptoms of breathlessness have now been cleared - as well as the skin on my cheeks. In fact, it's almost completely back to normal and the uneven skin tone is beginning to clear once again.

Now, I'm not completely gullible with things like this, and I'm fully aware this might be a big fat dose of coincidence. But surely there has to be some truth in the whole concept of chinese medicine and skin blemishes and how my skin began to clear as soon as I began using the inhaler and taking the antibiotics for my chest infection. As fellow females, I'm sure you'll all sympathise with the fact that any blemishes on the chin start to worsen at certain times of the month - and it's a proven fact that spots are linked to hormonal imbalances. I think it's fair to say that if you're feeling under the weather, your skin will feel a little sorry for itself too. I just found it very interesting to read up on what different parts of the face link to, and how my skin cleared up within the space of a couple of days as soon as my airways started to feel less clogged! Coincidence?.. I'm not so sure.

What are your thoughts on this?

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Mac - Mineralize Skinfinish Natural | A New 'Holy Grail' item?

Mac | Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in 'Medium' | £21.00

Why, oh why, did I never make a purchase on Mac's MSF before now?! I know a lot of you will be gasping in horror at the information I've just divulged - but it's always been a product I have overlooked. I'm not a 'powdery' person - yes, I'm aware that sounds a little silly but I've always been wary of the feeling of powder on my face, and the fact that powders I've tried in the past have zapped any form of dewyness away from my face and made me look absolutely awful. I've only been using this for a couple of weeks, so I won't jump in and scream 'holy grail' just yet - but I'm almost certain this is going to become one of my firm favourites.

Before using this, I've always felt the need to top up my makeup now and again, but this literally keeps everything in place all day, and even manages to help maintain that 'freshly applied' look for longer. I actually look forward to applying this in the morning - I pop on my primer and base as usual, and dust/buff this into the skin using the Real Techniques Powder Brush (seen in my previous post here). Unlike other powders I've tried in the past, this doesn't instantly dull my face or make me look 'chalky' whatsoever - it doesn't darken the foundation and it doesn't completely mattify the skin. It leaves just the right amount of 'dewyness' and provides you with an even, fresh looking base that makes your skin appear flawless. It has slightly more coverage than other powders too - it adds the perfect finishing touch to any parts of my skin that appear uneven in tone. 

I'm sure you'll see this product popping up in future posts of mine - so far I'm completely in love and am getting on like a house on fire with it! Yes, it's pricey, and I guess this is why it has put me off in the past - but it works a treat and I feel completely and utterly stupid that I've never bought it before. I can honestly say I've never been more instantly impressed with a powder - it's something I used to dread applying - but now I feel like I've met my match and fingers crossed my opinion will remain the same! I shall let you know either way..

What are your thoughts on Mac's MSFs?

Saturday 8 December 2012

My Real Techniques Brushes Collection

L-R Top to Bottom | Powder Brush - £12.99 / Blush Brush - £9.99 / Stippling Brush - £9.99 / Buffing Brush (Core Collection - £21.99) / Contour Brush (Core Collection - £21.99) / Expert Face Brush - £9.99 / Foundation Brush (Core Collection - £21.99) / Shading Brush - £7.99

Okay..first off, please do excuse the fact I haven't washed my brushes for the sole purpose of this post. I know. Slap my wrist and call me a bad blogger but I cleaned them just the other day and I really didn't want to go through the whole process again unnecessarily! Those of you who use brushes on a regular basis will know that cleaning them once a week is a chore enough! Anyway, shoddy excuses aside - when Real Techniques were first launched, I was like a fat kid in a sweet shop around Boot's 'brush' aisle, let me tell you! I bought myself the Stippling Brush quicker than you can say the word 'hype' - since that very moment, my collection has grown quite a bit - at such an affordable price, they have fulfilled that gap in the market for affordable, quality makeup brushes. I thought I'd give you a run through of my collection, give you a little information on each and what I use them for, and hopefully inspire some of you to give them a whirl (if you haven't already!)...

Powder Brush - The most recent addition to my collection, the Powder Brush can be used for loose or pressed powders, bronzers, and mineral foundations. I use it with Mac's Mineralise Skinfinish Natural to set my makeup, and I also use it for dusting a light coverage of bronzer onto my face and neck if I ever feel as if I need more colour!

Blush Brush - This has to be one of my favourite brushes I own by Real Techniques. I use it with all of my powder blushes, and it's the softest brush I've ever used (you can read a little more in about this one in a recent favourites post here) - it picks up just the right amount of product and applies it perfectly.

Stippling Brush - Another firm favourite and I'm sure a lot of Real-Technique-aholics started with this little gem like myself! I find this one perfect for applying my tinted moisturisers, BB Creams and lighter foundations for a flawless look - the bristles are very soft and the shape of the brush means a sheer application of product. To get the product applied evenly I first apply a small amount to the face in circular motions, before using a 'stippling' motion to finish off. It provides a really lovely finish and your make-up doesn't look heavily applied. I also use it with cream blushes to apply colour into the cheeks after I've applied my base, as it won't disturb the finish of your freshly applied makeup underneath.

Buffing Brush -  I use this with powders to set my makeup and to 'buff' product into the skin.  I've also used it with my BB Creams for a slightly heavier coverage than the Stippling Brush. It's just a nice little all rounder to have in my collection. I find it works best for foundation when you want a really smooth, even coverage and it gives high definition results for your base (the YSL Touche Eclat foundation works perfectly with this)!

Contour Brush - Another one of my favourites. I use this every day without fail. I use this to apply my Sleek Contour Kit to my cheekbones and along my jawline. It's changed the way I contour my face and allows for precision in application.

Expert Face Brush - I LOVE this brush. I've been wanting a slightly heavier coverage now that winter has crept around the corner and I use this to apply my foundation. I use it in strokes from the centre of my face working outwards, and I find it provides such a flawless finish to the skin. I use this when I want to achieve a more 'perfected' look as it allows for a slightly heavier, more controlled coverage. I've also used it to contour using my Chanel Bronze Universal (seen here) - it's a great little multi-purpose brush.

Shading Brush (eyes) - I use this with all of my eyeshadows and it's fabulous for applying product to the crease of the eye, and also for blending and general application. It works exceptionally well with my Nars 'Mekong' eyeshadow (seen here), and just the tiniest touch picks up so much pigment. 

Flat Foundation Brush - I've only used this brush a few times. I think I just personally prefer a bigger brush for applying my foundations. I did speak with a girl at the Chanel counter a while back, and she suggested I could use something like this for applying my Bronze Universal and it works a treat. It's also fabulous for precision application of foundation around the nose and under the eyes and working it into any 'tricky bits'.

All Real Techniques brushes are cruelty free, and have 'ultra-plush taklon bristles for high definition results'. They really are some of the softest brushes I've used, and I use them every day. The Core Collection is a fabulous kit to start out with (it also comes with a Detailer Brush and a travel case which I forgot to photograph) and the case is muchos handy for holidays and preventing your brushes from damage. If you're after one to start with - then i'd recommend the Expert Face Brush - as it is such a great all rounder! They're pretty chunky, which I personally like as they stand on my dressing table with ease. Each one is colour coded and has it's name written on the side, which goes down a treat with the beauty blogger in me (don't we all just love stuff with names?...) In my opinion they are worth every penny.

You can find the Real Techniques brushes at Boots, or you can read more about them and watch a few online tutorials here.

What are you favourite brushes to use right now? Have you also got a few Real Techniques faves like me?