Wednesday, 30 September 2015

6 Beauty Tools I use Everyday

Tweezerman Tweezers Boots £19.50
I put off buying these tweezers for years thinking that they were really overpriced but it's been the best decision I ever made. These are sharp and precise and they make plucking my eyebrows so much faster and easier. My brows are quite bushy and my hands used to ache holding tweezers but these wide grip tweezers make such a difference and my hands never ache now. They are still available in wide grip and I cannot recommend them enough.

Nail Scissors £1 Primark
Ever since I read that Elizabeth Hurley used nail scissors to trim her eyebrows in a magazine I've been doing the same, regardless of whether it's a celebrity myth or not. It helps them to look tidy and neat.

Real Techniques Blending Sponge Boots £5.99
I love this sponge, it's great for achieving a flawless finish to your foundation and the pointed and flat edge is good for getting under the eyes and around the nose. I don't think it's as bouncy as the Beauty Blender but you can still stipple foundation on. Real techniques are such a brilliant, affordable brand.

Eyelash Curlers £1 Primark
I was heartbroken after I accidently spilt nail polish remover over my beloved Cosmopolitan eyelash curlers, I felt uneasy using them near my eyes and Cosmopolitan are no longer making beauty accessories. So I popped into Primark and found these and they are pretty good for only £1! I was deciding between these and The Body Shop ones but these had more positive reviews. I love eyelash curlers- they're great for opening the eye and looking more awake.

Sigma Brush Cleaning Glove Dupe ebay £4.79 or ebay £2.19 
Ok, so I don't quite use this everyday. This is really a silicone oven glove which I bought after reading a post by Fiona of Makeup Savvy to help deep clean my makeup brushes. It works best on short bristle face brushes such as Real Techniques Core Collection contour brush and Zoeva's 110, and 122. It helps to clean them quickly and easily.

Magnifying Mirror Tiger  £2
For days when I don't want to wear contacts, this magnifying mirror helps me to apply eye makeup without looking like a clown ( I'm very short sighted.). It has two suction pads so you can stick it on a mirror or another surface.   

Sunday, 13 September 2015

I Love Makeup But...Beauty Rants and Raves

Fashionista Blusher
When life gives you lemons make lemonade. I was so sad to see my blusher shattered into pieces but at least I got a good photo out of it- last photo shoot before it R.I.P

As a beauty blogger of course I love make up- I love the way it can transform you and I love playing around experimenting with different looks. There's nothing I love better than getting ready to go out. I love the fact that it's an adaptable tool -you can decide how much to wear, change to suit your mood, the occasion or how you want others to see you and for many women and a few men it gives them the confidence to step outside and take on the world. But nothings perfect and I have a few gripes and I'm sure as fellow beauty lovers you will know where I'm coming from (I.e. feel my pain- emo style.)  But stick around as I also share what else I love about makeup.

  • When your favourite lipstick, foundation etc. is  discontinued. *cries* And then you have to hunt down a dupe.... Or when the formula is changed...just nooooo.....why would you do that?!
  •  When U.S brands such as Revlon and Maybelline fail to release products in the U.K despite being a global brand. I'm talking about all those Maybelline Color Tattoo shades that were available to the U.S market but not for us in Britain. And those matte bronzer quads Revlon brought out for the U.S. a year or two ago but weren't sold in the U.K. I mean have they been to the U.K? There's no sun! Whenever there is the whole country goes ga ga! All the rest of the year we have to fake our tan! That is why we moan about the weather- this isn't the Sunshine State of Florida! Matte bronzers would sell like hotcakes over here!
  • When there's no ingredient list on the beauty product or on the online website. If you discover that you're allergic to something the ingredient list is the only way to avoid using that ingredient again or have any chance of finding the culprit in the first place. Also if you're a vegan and want to avoid ingredients like beeswax how are you supposed to find out if that product contains those ingredients?  
  • False advertising. Mascara ads that use false lashes or photoshop and claim the effect is all down to the mascara see Rimmel  L'Oreal, Dior . Limecrime is notorious for their Velvetines shades that are advertised online being nowhere near to the actual colour you receive. They also market their products vegan even though they're not. A related issue is 'Delusions of Grandeur' such as when BB creams were sold to the western market they claimed to do a million things when they were really just tinted moisturisers.  
  • Everyone can relate to this one- when the seal is broken on an item or when somebody has already used or switched a lipstick etc that you've paid money for. Ewwwwwww
  • Also when there are no testers available or when you're buying online and having to rely on a shade guide, you have to hope/guess that shade matches your skin or is as bright as it looks. 
  • That there is still no Sephora in the UK, yes I'm still harping on about this!
  • The pressure from the beauty and advertising industry for women (and now men) to look younger and have a perfect body. This pressure is ingrained to our culture so that it seems normal and has enormous reach affecting women of all ages. Getting older is inevitable but it shouldn't make you feel less of a person or less valued. Also we are not museum pieces we are living, active people and will carry souvenirs from our lives be they sunspots, stretch marks, freckles, scars - what matters most is your health and happiness. (Remember most images are photo shopped.)

Coastal scents eye shadows
License: (license) photo credit: Coastal Scents Eyeshadow Palette matte/satin 2 via photopin (license) Changes Made

  • Thankfully there's a much wider range of foundation and concealers for olive toned, Asian and black skin tones on the high street/drugstore level than in the early '90s when I started to get into make up. We have Sleek, EX-1 cosmetics, Avon and Bourjois (who stock yellow toned foundations) offering an alternative to the predominant pink toned foundations out there. However there's still more work to do on this front.
  • There's also more good quality budget brands available. In my teens I loved Barry M, collection 2000 and Seventeen who are still holding their own but now there's Make Up Academy, Makeup Revolution, I heart Makeup and Freedom that give them a run for their money. Also good quality affordable make up brushes fill the gap between MAC and those crummy sets sold in Superdrug, Boots or supermarkets. Now we have Sigma, Zoeva and Real Techniques.
  • Western beauty companies experimenting with Eastern beauty trends such as different packaging and products. I'm talking about LancĂ´me and Kiko manufacturing Korean style air cushioned compact foundations, the BB and CC cream trend and sheet face masks.
  • Youtube. There are now millions of people online from beauty gurus, makeup artists and talented women and men that can show you how to do a smoky eye and flawless foundation for free in minutes. There's definitely a decrease in the number of clueless, inept teenagers now they have an MUA on their smartphone. Also if you're getting into makeup later on in life you don't need to meet anyone face to face and feel embarrassed you can learn from the privacy of your laptop.
  • Beauty Boxes are now a widespread trend across the world. It first began in 2010 when two Harvard business graduates launched Birchbox in America. Birchbox was dubbed the “Netflix of beauty” for its monthly subscription. Beauty boxes contain beauty samples and full sized products sent to your door for a subscription fee. While some people love having a box of surprise goodies to look forward to, others find that the service ignores their preferences or they weren't getting much for their box. I think the Latest in Beauty boxes have got it right, where  you pay for a one off beauty box where you know the contents in advance, although  they often sell out quickly.
  • Dry shampoo. While I haven't found the 'One' for me yet- I am envious that they weren't available when I was a teenager and badly in need of one.
  • Free products with magazines. I was chatting to someone on Instagram and they were saying magazines never come with free gifts in the U.S. which makes me feel lucky we have them over here. It's a good deal as often the freebie would cost more than the actual magazine. Well known beauty branded products are better than a generic lip gloss with the magazine title stamped on them. Some of them are sample sized, perfect for travelling or to try out the product before you commit to spending any money
  • The beauty community. Whether it's a chat thread on Reddit, project pan enthusiasts on Instagram and Youtube, or the beauty blogging chats on Twitter it's nice to talk to people who get your love of cosmetics and don't judge you or think that it's superficial, shallow or anti feminist. I love all you guys! 

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

August Favourites - Beauty and Netflix

My favourite beauty products during August included Makeup Revolution's sister brand I Heart Makeup I Heart Chocolate palette. It has a lot of neutral eye shadows which is great for summer so you don't look too over done in the bright summer sunlight (not that the U.K. got much of that this summer) and is also good for neutral work appropriate makeup for the rest of the year- there are 5 matte shadows and 10 shimmer but they're more subtle than Urban Decay Naked shimmer shadows and I will be doing a full review of it soon. I've also been using Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight, I'm happy that the formula isn't irritating to my sensitive skin and it does keep eye makeup in place all day. It's taken me a while to get used to a coloured eye primer, I'm so used to beige pink formation of the original ELF and the disastrous MUA eye primer that then get covered up by eye shadow. Candlelight gives a nice golden champagne highlight which is good to apply in the inner corner of the eye to look more awake. I love the packaging, there's an iridescent golden sheen to the white tube which invokes a Cinderella fairy tale magic to it. It's also the first eye primer I've used that comes in a tube with a narrow nib instead of a doe foot applicator, I actually like it as I think less product is wasted with the nib.
I also got a lot of use out of  the E.L.F blush in Glow which doubles up as a blush and highlighter in one since it's is a peach colour with a golden shimmer through it, sort of like a budget Nar's Orgasm blusher. I've also been loving New C.I.D's i-crayon in Plum Cordial, it's a bright blue based pink which was perfect for summer lips, the colour is pigmented but incredibly moisturising too. It's great to wear on the lips as my lips have been really dry to the point where wearing lip gloss is uncomfortable and Vaseline doesn't really hydrate them and to my surprise this fitted the bill. It's so comfortable I will probably keep wearing this in the autumn. It does transfer onto glasses but it does leaves a stain on the lips so you do retain some colour. It's a twist up crayon which means no mess or waste sharpening the nib, although the finish is really a satin look rather than glossy which New C.i.d describe it as. This also doubles up as a cheek tint as well which will be good for the Snow White autumn look where the cheeks look flushed from the cold. This lip and cheek crayon has a perfumed sweet candy smell, at first it can be a bit overpowering but once on the lips the smell disappears.  It's such a good multi tasking product I would be interested in buying more in other colours.

In other news I've really got into the TV show White Collar. The show is about Neal Caffrey a renowned art thief, con artist and slick counterfeiter. With only a few months left of his four year sentence, Neal escapes jail to look for his girlfriend Kate. Special Agent Peter Burke finds him again and sends him back to prison. So Neal makes a deal with the FBI to work as a FBI consultant as part of a work-release program. FBI Agent Burke agrees on the condition Neal wears an ankle monitor. Neal shares his expertise and helps Agent Burke to solve his white collar crime cases. Then there's also the mystery of what has actually happened to Neal's girlfriend Kate. Starring Matt Boner (who is pretty easy on the eye) Willie Garson as his friend Mozzie (who you may remember as Stanford from Sex and The City) and Tiffani Thiessen (Kelly from the Original Saved by The Bell.)

I hope you all had a lovely summer and will follow me into the autumn.
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