Monday, 26 November 2012

Quick & quirky nails

As an avid nail biter, I don't really pay much attention to the state of my nails. But as I get older, not having nice nails is starting to annoy me more and more. Especially when I'm going out and want to wear a nice colour but end up getting it all over my skin because they're too short!

If I've ever worn fake nails in the past they've always been the cheapest things I can buy as I know I'll only have them on for one day and then get bored and pull them all off. Just recently I've become more aware of other girls perfectly manicured nails and quite frankly it just embarrasses me when I look at my hands - anyone would think I was a child! So I decided to be productive and purchase some proper nails!

I use the Broadway Real Life Natual nails in 'Short' (the long ones are a bit witch-like!) There's 32 nails in a pack, all different sizes - the little tabs that you snap off after you've stuck them on are numbered so you can find the same nail for each finger to apply on your other hand. You also get a double sided nail file - one side to buff your nails before application and the other to file and shape them once applied and a cuticle pusher.

The nails themselves are pretty self explanatory to apply (the instructions are pretty good too if you've never done it before). Just apply a thin layer of glue directly onto the plastic nail and also your natural nail. Hold the nail by the removable tab and place the bottom edge in line with your cuticles (push down your cuticles first with the cuticle pusher if necessary) and hold down firmly for 10-20 seconds. It says 5 seconds on the instructions but I always do it for longer than that to avoid any air bubbles under the nail which can make them come away quicker than normal.

Once all your nails are applied you can add any polish you want. The reason I love these nails is because they're so cheap, they last for a good few days if you apply the glue properly and the nail varnish DOES NOT CHIP! Even when you use really cheap polish! I always go with Barry M colours because they're really cheap and they've got loads of colours to choose from. On my natural nails, Barry M colours tend to chip after the first day - even when I've applied mutiple coats! But it seems to last forever on fake nails!

Barry M - Pink Crackle nail paint
Barry M - Black nail paint

There's a quick pic of my nails after they've been applied and painted! I decided to put the crackle over just one nail because I thought it looked a little bit more interesting and different! 

So that's my blog on super quick and quirky nails! Give them a try and let me know what you think - also, comments on my polish would be appreciated too!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Pretty Little Christmas Ideas

I can't understand why people panic so much about Christmas shopping. What do you buy for the girl who has everything? Have I spent enough money? Is buying a voucher going to look like I've not made an effort? If I do my shopping online will it turn up in time? Well, I have 5 words for you worriers:

Don't hide away behind a computer for all of your Christmas shopping (although ASOS do have some amazing deals so I shall condone that). Get over your fear of Christmas shopping and get into the stores as quickly as possible to get your hands on some amazing deals. 

I just couldn't contain my excitement when I was walking around the shops starting my Christmas shopping! There's so many great deals and exciting offers out there that I like to make the most of as a personal treat as well as gifts for my friends and family. I've put a few amazing gift ideas together so if you're struggling on what to get or if you're looking to grab yourself a beauty bargain then hopefully this will give you some inspiration!

So those are just a select few of my favourite gift ideas that any girl would love! After picking my boyfriends brain I will put together a few ideas of what to buy the men in your life - don't hold me to this though, we all know how awkward men can be! In the mean time, get out there and see what other bargains there are and stay organised! No one likes a stressful Christmas!

Tan Solutions: Shimmering Body Lotion

My opinion of sparkly body lotions has changed dramatically over the years. I'm sure when we were younger there was a time we all thought those sticky roll on glitter tubes were absolutely amazing but as you grow up you realise that finding bits of glitter on yourself weeks after you've applied it just isn't that great... and kind of gross. So that was that - I avoided all glittery skin products despite how much my inner child wanted to use them. The other day I was given the Tan Solutions: Shimmering Body Lotion at work and I took one look at the name and immediately dismissed it. I assumed it was one of those 'gradual tan' (i.e. tangerine cream) products that everybody is raving about with added glitter for the ultimate tacky effect. Despite my negativity I thought I'd give it half a chance and decided to try it out seing as it's almost the Christmas season and shimmer products are becoming popular again.

(Apologies for the poor quality of the picture but it's the best I could do!)

I was so taken aback by this deceiving little beauty that I felt I had to write about it. It isn't a tanning lotion at all, it's a cream designed to be applied over the top of fake tan for that shimmery effect models have on adverts. Don't be saddened my fellow snow flakes, it looks absolutely amazing on pale skin! As you can kind of see from the picture, the shimmer particles are really fine and they create a 'pearlescent glow to the skin' (quoted from the back of bottle - it's true!) that looks really subtle but so effective. I haven't used it to go out in yet so I'm not too sure how long it will hold out but it doesn't transfer as much as other glitter products, although naturally it does rub off a little bit. It smells amazingly fruity like something from The Body Shop and it sinks into your skin quickly so it's perfect to apply before a night out. It's also moisturising too and washes off really easily (BONUS!)

What more could you want?! I'm struggling to find a body lotion as good as this one so it's a shame that it's so shimmery otherwise I'd wear it every day. I've done a little bit of research on it and surprisingly I found that it's actually cheaper to buy it directly from the Tan Solutions website (£15.00 + P&P for the 250ml bottle but they have free delivery on orders over £20.00). It's going for crazy prices on eBay and other such websites because it seems to be a really popular product and I can see why! 

So if you've got any Christmas parties lined up or special events and you're looking for a product that's different and will make you stand out (and smell gorgeous) then I strongly recommend giving this a try! It will even hold out until summer for those of you who want to illuminate your natural tan, or for us pale folk that just want to sparkle! 

I'd love to know your opinions on this and also if there's any competing products on the market that may be a better option? Drop me a comment with your blog link on too so I can take a read!

Happy blogging!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Eye-popping mascaras

There's been a slight delay in posting this blog due to my recent lack of internet access at home but it's all sorted now and I'm back with lots more amazing products to review! I've had lots more requests to review brushes which I will do later this week because I haven't had a proper chance to use my new brushes yet. So, I'm going with my second most popular request which is mascara! 

Whether you're a girl who sticks to the same mascara time after time or if you love to try the newest releases and change your mind all of the time like me, have a read of this blog and hopefully you will find a new permanent member of your makeup family! 

So where better to start than my all time favourite mascara!

Bourjois Volume Clubbing Mascara

Left: Volume Clubbing Mascara
Centre: Waterproof Volume Clubbing Mascara
Right: Extreme Volume Clubbing Mascara

Three guesses which one I use? Extreme Volume Clubbing Mascara OF COURSE. These are all £7.99 from Boots (or buy a few at a time off eBay for around £3.00 each - there's always great deals on there!)

As you can see from the picture, the brush looks pretty intimidating! The first time I bought this I was really taken aback by the sheer size of the applicator and also the thickness of the tube can be a little tricky to manage at first, especially if you're used to a smaller/thinner mascara but stick it out, it gets better! For some of you, one coat of this mascara would be enough for evening wear because it does come on quite heavy if you don't remove the excess first. But if you're into the 'spider eye' look like me then this is perfect. Just two coats and it looks like you've applied fake eyelashes - it separates them really well and dries quickly so you can apply multiple coats even if you're in a rush! It does dry quite hard on your lashes and can be a little bit difficult to remove with face wipes so I recommend using eye makeup remover on a cotton wool pad. L'Oreal Dermo Expertise Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover is amazing and is only £1.99 in Boots! 

My daily look using Volume Clubbing Mascara! 

Trick: Just before the first layer of mascara is completely dry, apply a light coating of talc / loose powder to your lashes with your finger or an eyeshadow brush and allow roughly 30 seconds to dry fully. Apply a second coat over the top for a really high volume glam look! This tip can also be used for normal mascaras and is a great way of applying less layers hence making your mascara last longer! 

Tip: Be careful not to apply too much powder to your lashes because it will transfer onto the brush when you're applying your second coat and may dry out your mascara quicker than normal! A little goes a long way! 

Too Faced lashGASM Mascara

I've mentioned this mascara in my Eyeshadow Masterclass blog which you can view by clicking the link! I got this as part of a set that ASOS had on offer which I bought purely for the eyeshadow quad. This was just a bonus! The applicator is really thin and more like a comb than a brush with it being made out of plastic rather than brush fibres. One coat of this makes your eyelashes look perfectly fanned out and is great for a daytime look if you want something quite subtle. The narrow comb makes it really easy to apply mascara to the inner corner lashes without the risk of splodging it onto your nose or under your eye (which happens quite a lot to me because I'm annoyingly clumsy).

This mascara is really buildable and I found about 3-4 coats gets a really thick cover if that's what you're looking for. Obviously using talc/powder will lessen this but I found it quite hard to cover the powder with the applicator being quite stiff. It's quite expensive at £16.00 from larger Boots stores but if you want a mascara for day and evening that lasts a long time then this is definitely worth going for - I normally just wear this for special occasions with it being quite pricey but when it runs out I'll most definitely be purchasing it again!

Me with lashGASM Mascara (and very messy hair)

Trick: When your mascara starts to dry out add two drops of water into the tube and swish your brush around inside to loosen up the dried mascara around the sides. This will scrape out all the excess and make sure you get as many applications from it as possible!

Tip: Countless times I've seen girls pumping their mascara wands in and out of the tube thinking it's putting more product onto the applicator. If this is you then STOP, put down the mascara, step away slowly and listen up! By doing that you're just filling it full of air and drying out the mascara quicker than normal! If you do need to put the wand back in to the tube to get more product, do it slowly and move the wand around the sides as well to stop the excess sticking to the sides. Hopefully you'll find you don't have to replace it as often! 

So they are my two ultimate favourites that will never get boring! I'll do some more blogs on others that I try in the future but I've never found any that are as good as these. Why not try them and let me know what you think? Or if you're already a lover of these beauties tell me your opinion!

P.s. Yes, I do wear false eyelashes every day and I'll do a blog on the best ones to buy, how to prepare them and how to apply them without getting stressed out!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Eyeshadow Masterclass

I've decided to do a 'rescue' blog for those of you who have been asking me over the past couple of days about eyeshadow. It's not really a review although I will be touching on some of my favourite products that will make you and your makeup collection really happy! I've had a few requests about which products to use, how to apply them depending on your eye shape, what colours to use for different eye colours and also how I do my 'smokey eye' effect. I'm going to be covering all of the above but firstly there are two life-saving facts I think you should all know first:

1) You don't need top branded eyeshadows! (Although it does help to have a decent palette for blendability and what not). If you're looking for a versatile palette, I recommend Urban Decay's 'Naked 2' palette for £36.00 from Debenhams. I know this sounds expensive but it's literally all you'll ever need! It's got neutral colours through to black which obviously comes in very handy for the smokey eye effect. I've put a picture of it below so you can see it in most of it's glory - the colours aren't very visable on there but I'll do a video blog showing you how to use it and which colours work best together.

2) You don't have to have a certain shape of eye! Yes, it's really true! Time and time again I've heard girls say they can't wear eyeshadow because of the shape of their eye. Either they're 'too big' and they end up creating the 'drag queen' look because they over compensate or they have small inset eyes and don't think there's any point in putting it on because no one will see it. It's all about how you apply and the colours you use to emphasise the colour of your eyes. Ever heard the saying Size Doesn't Matter? It's true! Unless of course we're referring to the size of our makeup collection then the saying The Bigger The Better comes to mind!

I went for years without wearing eyeshadow, mainly because I didn't know how to apply it - I had no idea of the amount of insecurities us girls could come up with over silly little things like the shape of our eyes?! I mean, come on!

Blue Eyes

If you've got dark hair and blue eyes, try to stick to taupe / champagne / brown eyeshadows as these are all really flattering colours and will brighten up and accentuate your eyes completely. Add a little dark brown or black eyeshadow to create the smokey effect for evening wear if you feel it's too much for a daytime look (I personally don't!)

Try adding a small amount of golden brown shimmery shadow into the crease of your lid for a a really effective daytime look. 'Amber Lights' by MAC works great for those of you with fair skin and light eyes.

If you're feeling really adventurous and want to make them pop, try adding a light blue to the base of your eye, a pale shimmer under your brow and a deeper blue for the crease to really make a scene! Try not to overdo it though because this look is very intense!

Brown / Hazel Eyes

I hope all you brown eyed beauties know how lucky you are! You can pretty much wear any colour of eyeshadow you want and it will still look great, especially if they're dark brown. Mix up some purple and lavender tones to make your eyes pop for a really classy evening look. Or for a more neutral day time look, try some khaki / light green shimmery colours to really accentuate your eyes - this works great with dark hair too!

Try MAC's 'Performance Art' as a base colour (pearly lilac shimmer shadow) and 'Shadowy Lady' for the crease of the lid (blackened plum shadow) for the perfect smokey eye look for gorgeous brown eyes!

Green Eyes

Despite being the prettiest and most unusual colour of all eye colours, they are most definitely the hardest to match with eyeshadows. Just like brown eyes, purpley plum colours can look great with green eyes to make them really stand out. I always think green eyes look best when they've got a light coating of a neutral brown or a really light grey with blue undertones.

Lots of forums tell you not to wear shimmery shadows if you have green eyes but I disagree, I think it can make them look really pretty and no one wants to be told they can't have sparkly eyes!

Try MAC's 'Arena' eyeshadow which is described as a soft gold-peach with pearl shimmer but it's just a really light brown that looks great on green eyes, especially if you have flecks of copper and brown in your eyes too!

My Must Haves!

Lots of people haven't even heard of Too Faced cosmetics which saddens me greatly. I first stumbled across their eye catching packaging in Boots - it's so pretty and girly yet bold and flamboyant all at the same time! It's definitely worth paying the extra money for. I've had another palette of theirs before and didn't have the heart to throw it away because it's such a gorgeous little product. It's got a mirror on the inside of the lid so I keep my hair grips in there now and keep it in my bag incase I ever have any rogue hair that needs taming! I love everything about this brand - the colours, the packaging and above all, the quality! Their pricing is similar to MAC products and if I'm honest, some of their products are much better quality.

These are my two favourite products by Too Faced. I got these as part of a kit that ASOS had in their beauty sale - it also came with another palette of blusher and bronzer and also their LashGASM  mascara (which is amazing!!). The eyeshadow quad contains a really light shimmery pink that works as a great neutral base, a light shimmery green, a dark shimmery golden brown and also a medium-dark matte brown. They are powder eyeshadows but they have a slightly creamy texture which makes them really easy to blend out or into other colours. The high pigment means you barely need any on your brush to get the look you want! The Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer in 'Candlelight' has been mentioned throughout my blogs - I have a smaller sized tube because that's what came in the kit but it's the best primer I've ever used so I'll definitely be buying it again when I run out. I use it nearly every day and I've had it for about 6 months and it's still going. Most of the time I use it on it's own because of its gorgeous sparkle that lasts all day!

A couple of months ago I was feeling extra frivolous and decided to create my own eyeshadow quad with MAC products. I got very excited and ended up picking colours that didn't really go together but I'm happy with it nonetheless!

Top left: Knight Devine - black w/ silver pearl
Top right: Electra - silver w/ icy shimmer
Bottom left: Filiament - platinum silver
Bottom right: Gesso - vivid white

The palette alone was £6.50 and then an extra £10 for each eyeshadow. I only ever use this palette if I'm going out because the silvery colours only look good on my eyes with certain outfits. If I was going to get another black MAC eyeshadow I'd go for 'Carbon' or 'Typographic' because the texture of the silver pearl in 'Knight Devine' makes it quite harsh and not the easiest to blend. However, it's a great product and really handy to carry around in your makeup bag. MAC also do duo palettes for a smaller option which makes it more portable and more importantly, cheaper!

I went to PC world yesterday to get this really good video webcam so I can start my video tutorials to show you how to apply it for different eye shapes etc but they didn't have any in stock so unfortunately these are on hold for a while - sorry!

Let me know what you think of the blog so far!