Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Years Makeup: Sugarplum Fairy Tutorial

A Christmas Kiss is one of my favourite films. Wendy Walton (Laura Beckenridge), formally a stage designer leaves the theatre and ballet behind her to work for a famous interior decorator. Her new boss is so demanding her flatmates complain that they never see her anymore. They finally persuade her to go on a night out with them. Her flatmate Tressa, also a makeup artist decides to do Wendy's makeup completely differently to encourage her to be freer and live a little if she is out of her makeup comfort zone and 'incognito.' She makes her up as the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker using plenty of 'Be Wild' glitter. And it works, she ends up kissing a mysterious stranger in lift. Unfortunately when she next sees him wearing glasses and without all the glitter he fails to recognise her.
Anyway I thought that this all out glitter look would suit New Year parties too. While Sugar Plum fairy makeup is usually associated with purple shades for some reason the makeup artst in the film uses a light baby blue as well as silver.  
Here are the products I used. First off I did my eyes so that any fallout will be covered by foundation.
1. Apply Collection Glam Crystal eye liner in Glitz on the whole lid and a bit in the crease.
I didn't prime my eyelids as Collection's glitter eyeliner has great staying power, if you have oily lids or don't want to take a chance use a smooth eye primer cream or Elf glitter glue.
2. Apply Collection Glam Crystal eye liner in POW! above the crease.
3. Because the colour is more of a baby blue in the film I used a small flat eye shadow brush like Primark's double ended eye shadow and concealer brush or Sigma's F70 concealer brush to dab Natural Collection eye shadow in Mermaid to lighten the blue colour from turquoise to baby blue.
4. Apply a little Collection Glam Crystal eyeliner in Glitz and silver glitter eye shadow above the blue all the way to  the eye brow. (I used the silver 'Revolt' from Urban Decays Anarchy Palette which was limited edition but Barry M Fine Glitter Dust in Silver would do nicely as well.)
Optional-  You can neaten the brow with gel if you have thin brows. Mine are thick so I left them alone as they need to be thin and light for the look.
5. With a Flat Definer brush such as MAC's 212 or a slanted eye liner brush push black eye shadow onto the lash line. This gives a subtle definition to the eyes without an obvious eyeliner line.
I used the black shadow in The darkest Body Shop Brow kit- but any matte black shadow will do.
6. Curl Lashes and apply black mascara and false eyelashes if you wish.
I used Bourjois 1 Second Volume Mascara in Waterproof and Primark lash curlers.
Face and Lips
1.Apply foundation and concealer
 I used Sleek foundation and the tester palette for concealer.
2. Apply a browny peach blush such as MUA blusher in Shade 5 (now called Lollyfrom ear to cheekbone using a slanted contour brush.
3  Apply Collection Glam crystals at the top of your cheek bones under your eye for highlighter. Not subtle but it's the look for the film
Any colour that's pinky red a my lips but better look will do as well. Apply with a lip brush for a neat, precise finish.
Finish with a silver or pearl hair decoration curl hair if you wish.


Saturday, 26 December 2015

Boxing Day Beauty Sales

I think the best value for money is buying gift sets- often the set is cheaper than buying the items separately, come the Boxing Day sales shops want to shift all the holiday / non permanent gift sets. Department stores Debenhams and House of Fraser had massive discounts. At Space NK the bargains are at Kevyn Aucoin and over at Beauty Bay they were discounting Stila and Urban Decay. There are also some random bargains on foundation such as a Stila foundation for £10 (Beauty Bay.)
Boxing Day Beauty Sales edit

Boxing Day Sales

Yves Saint Laurent gift sets kit / Beauty product / Gift sets kit / Beauty product / Gift sets kit / Beauty product / Clinique makeup / Foundation / Makeup / Lipstick / Galactic Gorgeous LIPSTICK QUEEN

Thursday, 24 December 2015

My Top 5 Favourite Christmas Films

These are my most loved Christmas films I love watching Christmas with my hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies. Let me know which are your favourites below.

It's A Wonderful Life
A Christmas classic, the film is directed by Frank Capra in 1946 so it's in black and white but don't let that put you off! The film begins with Guardian Angel Clarence being summoned to help George Bailey who is close to suicide. All his life George Bailey has wanted to escape his small town to realise his dream of building big buildings and travelling the world. Unfortunately he's had to put his dreams aside for various reasons and a money crisis at his company Building and Loan tips him over the edge as he realises he's worth more dead than alive and wishes he'd never been born. Before he can throw himself off the bridge he spots a man drowning and goes in to save him. This man is Clarence who shows George what life in the small town would be like if he'd never been born. The town is worse off without George's kindness and generosity which previously had changed people's lives. This is a little like Dicken's Scrooge with mean Potter having a negative effect on the town while George learns his value as part of a small community. It's ultimately a feel good film.
Available on dvd here £5.90 or watch on Christmas Eve on Channel 4 AT 2.15pm

Arthur Christmas
Animation with comedy thrown in that adults and children will enjoy. The film follows the Santa family's meticulous operation to deliver presents to all the children across the world before Christmas Day. Central to the operation is the S-1, which is rather like the Star Trek Enterprise spaceship that houses a toy making factory and distribution warehouse. However despite all this technology a child got missed out and it's up to Santa's son Arthur to save the day.
Available on dvd here £3

A Christmas Kiss
Wendy leaves theatre set designing to work for Priscilla in her interior design business. While running errands for her demanding boss, Wendy bumps into a handsome stranger in a lift which leads to a spontaneous kiss. However Wendy’s dreams of impressing her boss get complicated when she realises that the mysterious man she kissed is Priscilla’s boyfriend, Adam. While decorating and preparing his home for an Christmas charity fundraiser Adam and Wendy’s friendship grows. Priscilla is forced to take drastic measures to make sure her engagement goes forward as planned. Will Wendy and Adam connect before it’s too late?
Available on Dvd £7.20 here Watch on  Demand 5 until 12pm Christmas Eve.

The Holiday
This film follows two women at Christmas frustrated with their loves lives, impulsively booking a holiday on a home exchange website. Iris (Kate Winslet) moves into Amanda's L.A. house in sunny California as Amanda (Cameron Diaz) arrives in the snow-covered English countryside. After arriving at their destinations, both women find the last thing either wants or expects: a new romance. Amanda is charmed by Iris's handsome brother Graham (Jude Law) while Iris mends her heart when she meets film composer Miles (Jack Black.) 
Available on dvd £3 here

Bridget Jones Diary
From catching Mark Darcy's eye across the New Year turkey buffet to kissing on the snowy London street at Christmas (sans trousers/skirt as you do), Rene Zellweger plays Bridget Jones and all her lovable flaws to perfection. Not to mention you have a choice to drool over Colin Firth or Hugh Grant. I can't wait for the next Bridget Jones film which will be released soon!
Available £2.48  here

Monday, 21 December 2015

Christmas Beauty Stocking Fillers

Beauty Stocking Fillers

I think face masks, nail polish, lip balms, hand creams and false eyelashes are perfect for stocking fillers.

Essie Love Me Nail wraps,
 Poundland Time To Shine Nail Polish
 Primark Penguin lip balm
The Love Essie nail wraps sell for £9.99 in Boots but you can get them for a quid at Fragrance Direct. Poundland's Make Up Gallery Time To Shine Nail polishes are surprisingly good and Primarks' Pengium lip balm is just so cute and sells for £1.
Best Value
Makeup Revolution lip hugs
 These moisturising lipsticks are so comfortable to wear as well as being richly pigmented.
A touch of Luxury
Anna Sui Nail Polish
Steam Cream
The Anna Sui Nail polish bottle is beautiful and reminds me of 12 days of Christmas Song that mentions turtle Doves. The Steam Cream is an award wining all purpose moisturiser for face, hands and body made from natural ingredients. The ingredients are mixed together with a shot of steam to create a gentle emulsion that absorbs quickly into skin for intense, effective moisturising. 

Topshop lip treatment

Body cleanser

Body cleanser

Beauty product

Beauty product

Nail treatment



Topshop nude cosmetic
£11 -

Home decor

Owl Hand Cream



Friday, 11 December 2015

November Beauty and TV Favourites

The Body Shop Body Butter in Mango and Olive
These body butters blew me away especially the Mango body butter. I wasn't expecting it to be as moisturising as it is, because I find the Body Shop's products a bit hiss and miss. But the dry skin on my elbows have vanished and now it feels baby soft. Although I knew The Body Shop's body butters were popular, I thought it was just because they smelled so nice, but what impressed me the most was that the Mango moisturiser kept my skin so soft even 48 hours later. It's formulated for very dry skins and although my skin is more on the normal/sensitive side this is perfect as an intensive winter moisturiser. It contains mango seed oil, sweet almond oil and cocoa seed butter. It smells fruity and I often catch myself opening the tub just to smell how gorgeous it is! The Olive body butter doesn't smell of olives, but of something fresh, like a cucumber, which reminds me of my tweens for some reason. It's formulated for dry skin and contains olive fruit oil, shea butter and cocoa seed butter. While it isn't as intensive as the mango one, it's still great to use as a winter body moisturiser.

Rimmel Provocolips in 730 Make Your Move
This is a perfect 90's nude brown that doesn't break the bank! This defied my expectations after trying one of the Kate Moss lipsticks which tasted of very cheap candy, but this liquid lipstick doesn't have a taste or smell and what's more is that it's long lasting!

Max Factor Crème Puff Blush in 30 Gorgeous Berries
These are touted as a dupe for Hourglass's Ambient Lighting Blushes and they share the same marbled/baked powder appearance and both give a soft focused colour and sheen while at the same time remaining pigmented and easy to blend. Gorgeous Berries is a plummy pink berry colour perfect for winter.

Once Upon A Time
Set in a small fictional town of Storybrooke, the inhabitants are characters from various fairy tales who have been transported to the "real world" American town and robbed of their real memories of their fairy tale lives by a powerful curse cast by Regina The Evil Queen who now resides as the town's mayor. Once upon a Time is a fantasy series that plays with timelines, parallel lives and inverts all the traditional fairy tale stories you thought you knew. Season 5 has been a real game changer with Storybrook's former saviour Emma turning dark leaving Regina the Evil Queen to take on the role of Saviour instead. The show still plays with time as the first two episodes showed Emma as dark and evil and all the inhabitants memories have been wiped. Just as the inhabitants are trying to fill the gaps so are we, as we follow Emma's journey into a darkness that threatens their world. Once Upon A Time is available on Netflix with new episodes on Wednesdays.

The Vampire Diaries
Initially I didn't think I'd like this show as I loved Buffy The Vampire Slayer in the 90's/00's and felt the second wave of vampire books/film/TV weren't nearly as good- yep I'm talking about Twilight.
The Vampire Diaries is set in Mystic Falls, a fictional small town which seems to have more than it's fair share of vampires, werewolves and witches. Elena and her brother Jeremy are orphaned when a car crash kills their parents. Elena later finds out that her classmate Stephan actually rescued her from the crash and decides to stay in her life, enrolling at her school. However Stephen is actually 150 year old vampire and Elena is the doppelganger of his ex girlfriend Katherine. I really got caught up in the love triangle between Elena, Stephen and his brother Damon. Things get complicated when Katherine and a family of Original Vampires are out to harm Elena and Mystic Falls. I think this show must be a great show for the actors involved as they each get to play different characters and different side to the characters as they get turned into supernatural beings. Series 1-6 is available on Netflix and the current season is on ITV 2 and iTunes.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

The Best Halloween Makeup and Costume Tutorials



Group Makeup and Costumes

Courtesy of ET Online

Make like a badass and dress up like the girls in Taylor Swift's Bad Blood music video. This post from The Gloss has helpfully put all the Youtube Bad Blood make up Tutorials in one place : 17 Bad Blood Tutorials To Make Your Group Costume Slay. If that's not your thing then Lauren Conrad's Party Animals post has some easy D.I.Y animal headbands you can make yourself.

Be inspired by the girls from Pretty Little Liars who wore Disney princess dresses for their prom.  Bustle gives you 12 tutorials to choose from. If you'd rather not go the princess route here are  7 Easy Disney Halloween makeup ideas of other characters you could take your inspiration from. There's also an amazing and I mean a-mazing D.I.Y mermaid costume tutorial (The Little Mermaid) by Lauren Conrad here. Georgina from She might be loved shows how to dress up as Ursula.

Going as the Ice Queen from Narnia or Hans Christian Anderson's Snow Queen is another idea and there's an incredible tutorial by Georgina on She might be Loved who used makeup glitter and eyelash glue to make the frozen ice eyelashes.

 Stitched mouth, Skull, Doll, Vampire & Double Eyes

Onto the gory looks, I've seen the stitched up look around Shannon from Shaaanxo shows that it's easier than you think.

Zoe Newlove  has a picture tutorial of drawing half a skull on her face, but ringing the changes is Sophie Jenner with her Skulls Galaxy tutorial below.

Channel Pretty Little Liars with this easier than it looks broken doll tutorial from Dulce Candy.

Katerina of Katerina's Beauty Blog shows you how to do a sexy, simple Vampire face.

Another great tutorial from Shannon from Shaanxo she shows you how to do this creepily effective double eyed look.

More Halloween Makeup Tutorials & Costume Ideas

A beautiful Mess has some more unusual ideas in their 20 Halloween Costume Ideas such as a bubble gum sweet machine, cup cakes, disco ball and a Pineapple.If you don't want to do the sexy Halloween costumes and you don't want to do scary and gory then take inspiration from 18 Feminist Costumes To Spread some Girl Power This Halloween from Beyoncé to Pussy Riot.

The pop art makeup looks seem to be doing the rounds on Youtube and if you're too impatient to fill your whole face with dots then Chelsea Yates from Through Chelsea's Eyes shows you an easy quick alternative.
 If you want to do something a bit different then check out 9 Insanely Stunning Halloween Makeup Ideas Courtesy of Tumblr. These aren't tutorials as such but rather inspiration but they are so beautiful to look at. I think I will try and have a go at the sequin eye or the Twisted Ballerina look below.



Saturday, 24 October 2015

I Heart Makeup The Chocolate Palettes

I Heart Makeup the sister brand of Makeup Revolution have brought out three Chocolate Palettes, I am reviewing the I Heart Chocolate palette and the Death by Chocolate Palette. They are quite similar to each other so you many only want to buy one of them or maybe collection all three.  The lid of each look like  3D chocolate bars. They actually remind me of the fake plastic chocolate bar from the Fisher Price Kitchen set from the 80's! The I Heart Chocolate has a warm reddish brown lid while the Death by Chocolate has a darker lid. Each palette has 16 eye shadows including two larger pans that I assume are for highlighting under the brow (one matte and one shimmer.) Each palette also has a large mirror which makes the palette heavier that most, but I'm glad they included it.

I Heart Chocolate Palette

The I Heart Chocolate palette is hailed as a dupe for the original Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette. There are 4 glitter shades, Piece Me Together (dark brown with gold glitter), Love Torn (aubergine with  multi coloured glitter), What A Way To Go ( a darker brown with multi coloured glitter) and Unforgivable (purple with glitter.) Alongside these there are 6 matte Shadows and 6 shimmer ones. I have used this palette a lot and like the fact that I Heart Makeup have included some other colours besides brown. Without primer they only lasted 4 hours on my oily lids so I definitely recommend using an eye primer.  The performance of the light coloured matte shadows (You Need Love and Meet Chocolate)  was disappointing, they were very chalky and not as pigmented as the other shadows. Additionally the glitter shade Unforgivable didn't seem to contain as much glitter than the others. It seemed as if the glitter was only on the surface and after a few swipes it went. However the three other glitter shadows are fine and I think the glitter just about shows up in the photos.

I don't have the original Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette on hand to swatch and test the difference between the two palettes. I think that if you aren't fussed about the 3 disappointing shades which aren't that unique (apart from Unforgivable) then this is a cheaper alternative dupe for the Too Faced Chocolate palette long as you use any eye primer.

Death By Chocolate Palette
The Death By Chocolate Palette contains 6 mattes and 10 shimmer shadows. There are no glitter shades and the palette consists mainly of metallic shades although there is one purple shade. Apart from White Light the mattes are much better quality than the I Heart Chocolate palette, in particular the black shade All is Not Lost and the dark brown Devour Me are incredibly pigmented.  

The I Heart Makeup Chocolate palettes contain 16 shadows for  £7.99 which works out on average as 50p a shadow which is a bargain! It also scores highly for the unique packaging. Although I included the I Heart Chocolate palette in my August Favourites post, after trying the Death by Chocolate palette I decided that I actually prefer that,  because the quality of almost all the shades are much better and I love the metallic shades. However  if you love glitter shadows then I Heart Chocolate would be a better choice.
I Heart Chocolate palette is available on Superdrug while the Death By Chocolate palette can be found on Makeup Revolution online.


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Halloween Style and Makeup Picks

With Halloween around the corner, a Halloween inspired post seemed appropriate. Whether you're off to a party, accompanying your kids trick or treating or just staying in watching scary movies- here are my beauty and style picks. If you're after an affordable Little Black Dress with a Halloween twist these two dresses fit the bill. If you're a cat lover you might like the cat print dress, which looks more causal from the front than the back, but can be dressed up with some heels (£25 Asos.) I love the strappy back which forms a witch's pentagram star. The other dress cleverly has a skull cut out design on the back and is £28 from ASOS. Or you can just add some tights to your look, these cobweb tights could actually be worn throughout the winter as an alternative to fishnet tights. I'm loving the Halloween themed face tattoos (temporary of course) and masks. If you' re not dressing up, you can still have fun with a smoky eye or adding some Halloween themed Eyelure false eyelashes. A dark lip is also good or if that sounds too scary how about going for dark nails, cobweb nails or trying the glow in the dark nail polish from Claires.      


Friday, 16 October 2015

Hand and Nail Creams Review: Lacura and Champneys

Champney's Hand and Nail Cream comes in two sizes, full sized 75ml and the mini size 40ml which I find great for popping into your handbag or on your desk and applying throughout the day. The packaging is a tube with a gold flip lid with gold and brown print and is actually quite simple for a luxury brand. 

Champney's Hand and Nail Cream contains shea butter and sweet almond oil, both staples hand cream ingredients as well as Vitamin E and Pro-Vitamin B5 to strengthen nails and soothe your skin and sodium PCA to soften hands. The addition of  liquorice and vitamin A is supposed to reduce the appearance of age spots but as I don't have any I couldn't test this. It smells of liquorice and essential oils- particularly lemon and Bergamot although it also contains orange and other essential oils. It does contain silicon which I thought I'd mention it as some people are allergic to it.    
It is a light cream but does take around 10 minutes to dry. It did make my hands softer as well as moisturised and repaired the skin around the edges of my nails which often gets dry and raggedy. I did notice that my nails became a little bit softer and less dry but the difference was slight.

At full price £3.50 for 40ml and £6 for 75ml, you don't get much product for the price. However it's currently on sale in Boots for half price (£1.75 for 40ml and £3 for 75ml.)  As it's no longer on the Champney's website I think these will soon be discontinued so grab them while you can.

Lacura, the Aldi skincare and makeup brand have three hand creams in their range, but this is the only one for both hands and nails. They all come in one size, a generous 125ml for just 75p! The tube is an easy flip lid but perhaps a bit too big to chuck in your handbag.

Lacura Hand and Nail Cream contains beeswax and lanolin. Lanolin is used for it's moisturising properties while the beeswax acts as a protective barrier against water and the elements. The fragrance is light and not overpowering at all, it smells pleasant: a fresh, sweet smell. The cream is light, like a lotion and absorbs quickly, so you can get on with other things after applying it. The cream is not sticky or greasy as such, but it does leave a waxy protective layer on the skin. The beeswax locks in the moisture rather than restores it. The benefit being that when you later wash your hands the water won't wash all the cream off. The not so good thing is that while it locks in some moisture it's not incredibly nourishing. This explains why when I first used it, it felt drying on my knuckles because it doesn't restore moisture. However apart from that one occasion it has felt comfortable on the skin and repeated use has made my hands feel really, really soft. I've tried other hand creams and they've never left my hands feeling this soft. It has also healed the raggedy skin around my nails. As for the nails it coats them in beeswax and kind of waterproofs them when you wash your hands so that they don't lose as much moisture. My nails gradually became a little softer over time but the difference was fairly small. You don't need much, the swatch above was enough to coat both hands.
I would say that the Lacura Hand and Nail cream is great for making your hands silky soft and is incredibly good value for money- you can't beat it.  Although I would say that if you're after a more intensive moisturiser for sore hands to try something else. However this is an excellent bargain and would be good for students and those on a budget. Available at Aldi in store 125ml for 75p
To sum up both creams make your hands softer and can heal the skin around your nails, although they only made a sight difference to my nails. Champney's hand cream has more expensive ingredients such as the essential oils which explains the higher price and reflects the luxury brand.  Personally I prefer the Lancura over the Champneys Spa Hand and nail cream since I like the smell better, it dries quicker and is better value. Saying that the Champneys spa hand cream is currently half price at Boots which makes it better value for money.
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