Posts tagged Makeup
After two years of hard work, and juggling studying with a part-time job, yesterday I finally graduated from the University of Leicester with a postgraduate degree in Modern Literature! It’s been a long and, at times, difficult couple of years, but I am so happy that I can now officially call myself a Master of the Arts. And to make things even better, my fiancé graduated at the same time with the same degree, and because our surnames are alphabetically next to each other, we got to cross the stage one after the other! I was very nervous before the ceremony, which is odd considering I’d done it all before in 2011 in the same place, but in the end I really enjoyed the day and I’m so proud of my achievement.
Between them my family took hundreds of photographs, but after a hectic day I’m yet to sort through all of them, so for now I can only share a few. Hopefully I’ll have some better ones to add some time next week which actually show my outfit properly!
On the day I wore a beautiful textured floral dress from Dorothy Perkins, which I bought especially for the ceremony. We were told to wear ‘sombre colours’ but I didn’t want to look too drab, so I chose something with a nice print and teamed it with red lips and nails to match the colour of my hood.
Illamasqua Lipstick in ‘Snap’ / Ciaté Nail Varnish in ‘Dangerous Affair’
Excuse the pose on that one!
In the evening, my family, my fiancé, my fiancé’s family and I went out for a meal to celebrate the occasion. I wore the same dress as I did during my graduation, but I swapped my low New Look heels (I didn’t want to fall over on the stage!) for my new Kurt Geiger Sally Ankle Boots, my red lips for pink lips, and I also took my Zatchels Gothic Lace Saddle Bag out for a spin.
Also, I feel like MUA’s Pro-Base Makeup Fixing Mist needs a special mention here. I used the spray in the morning after applying my make up, and it did an amazing job at keeping it in place. I expected to have to reapply my make up before going out for the meal in the evening, but it still looked great, and did so right up until I removed it at 11pm! A real saviour on a long, busy day.
What did you wear to your graduation?
Whether you’re on a tight budget, or you’re able to flash the cash this Christmas, today’s festive post features a selection of ‘Spend or Save’ fashion and beauty gift ideas for women. The ‘Spend’ section includes a variety of luxury options for those who want to spend that little bit more on a loved one, and the ‘Save’ section includes some great alternatives that are just as good, but don’t cost the Earth.
Alexander Wang Kirsten Bag $295 from ialexanderwang.com / Jurlique Rose Shower Gel (300ml) £14.40 from LookFantastic / Urban Decay Naked2 Palette £33.30 (was £37.00) from Debenhams / Ciaté Tree Trinkets £21.00 (was £30.00) for 6 from Ciate / No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum (30ml) £23.95 from Boots / Dr Martens Cherry Red 1460 Boots £100 from Dr Martens
Multi Belt Two Way Bag £38 from Rings & Tings / Bayliss & Harding Wild Rose and Raspberry Leaf Shower Creme £1.99 from Superdrug / MUA Undress Me Too Palette £4 from MUA / Lacura Multi Intensive Serum Aqua £3.49 from Aldi / Limited Collection Mini Nail Polish & Lip Gloss Bauble £5.00 each from M&S / Burgundy Boots £24.99 from H&M
I’ve been lusting after Alexander Wang’s Kirsten Bag for ages, but it’s really quite expensive and difficult to track down, so when I spotted the copy on Rings & Tings I just had to share it with you all! I don’t yet have either bag myself, but from photographs the copy looks pretty impressive.
I currently have both the Jurlique and the Bayliss & Harding rose shower gels in my bathroom, and they are equally lovely. The Jurlique one foams better, but each has a distinct sweet rose scent and luxurious packaging, making them both gift-worthy.
The Urban Decay Naked2 palette is perhaps one of the most highly sought after beauty products in the blogosphere, so would make an excellent gift for any beauty blogger. If it’s a bit out of your budget though, MUA’s Undress Me Too palette is the perfect dupe. I have it myself and the eyeshadows are all excellent quality, and at £4.00 you really can’t complain!
I’m new to serums, but have recently started to use the Lacura Multi Intensive Serum from Aldi. It’s aimed at women aged 25-35, so I’m almost in that age bracket, and it makes your skin feel so soft and plump. It’s lovely, and an absolute steal, but if you want to gift a more classic brand then No.7 is the way to go.
When I first put this guide together, Ciaté’s Tree Trinkets were £30 for the set, but they have now been reduced to £21 which is actually a pretty good deal, especially if you want to split the set up as smaller gifts. If you want more for your money however, M&S’s beauty bauble contains a nail polish and two miniature lip glosses for £5. I also spotted a Primark equivalent earlier this week, costing £2 for a bauble containing 3 little lip glosses, which is even better value for money!
I absolutely adore Dr Martens and am building up quite a collection. They last forever and, once they’ve been broken in, are incredibly comfortable. But if you’re looking for a cheaper version for your fashion-loving friend this Christmas, H&M’s burgundy boots look fab.
Check back soon for another ‘Spend or Save’ gift guide!
I was recently given the opportunity, by an online discount make up store called Xtras, to choose some Hard Candy products to review. I’d seen Hard Candy online before and had been wanting to try them out, mainly because their nail polishes come with a cute little ring, so I made my selection and everything arrived within a day or two, which is extremely quick service these days!
I received four Hard Candy items in total; Split Personality Cream Eyeshadow Duo in ‘Psycho’, Just Nails Nail Polish in ‘Mr Right’, Just Nails Matte Top Coat, and World Balmination Tinted Lip Balm in ‘Good Girl’. I must admit, as a nail polish hoarder I was extremely tempted to only order nail products, but I thought I’d give some of the rest of the range a go too, and I’m pleased I did.
Just Nails Nail Polish in ‘Mr Right’ and Just Nails Matte Top Coat
‘Mr Right’ is a gorgeous deep blue shade with a delicate shimmer finish, that looks really elegant on the nails. Though the brush is a bit smaller than I’d like, the polish still applies easily and evenly, and gives completely opaque coverage in two coats. My only real issue with it is that it takes a while to dry, so I managed to smudge it whilst impatiently applying the matte top coat too early, but at least I’ve learnt for next time. The ring that comes with the polish is a fab little bonus too. I was half expecting it to be too small for me and not very good quality, but it’s actually nice and chunky and fits well.
I’d been looking for an affordable matte top coat for ages so choosing this one was a no brainer for me. Unfortunately there’s no ring with it, but the product inside the bottle makes up for that. It applies smoothly with very little streaking, dries a lot quicker than the polish, and as you’d hope, gives a matte finish. Luckily, the formula is fairly thin too, so it doesn’t look or feel too thick. I only applied it on my ring finger as an accent nail so you can see the difference.
At £1.99 each, Hard Candy’s nail products are a real bargain, and I’d definitely recommend them if you’re willing to wait a few extra minutes for your nails to dry!
World Balmination Lip Balm in ‘Good Girl’
Hard Candy’s World Balmination Lip Balm comes packaged in a basic twist up tube, but the packaging is really pretty, so it stands out from the abundance of blacks and silvers in my make up drawer. I do have one little problem with the packaging, though. For some reason, quite a lot of the product sticks out over the top of the tube, even before it has been twisted up (as you can see in the picture), so it’s hard to get the lid on without damaging the balm, unless you have a really steady hand. Not ideal!
The first thing I noticed when I opened the balm was its scent. It smells like a mixture of vanilla and lemon, and even tastes sweet, so if you’re a fan of scented lip products as I am, then this is definitely for you. The balm applies nicely, and a has a creamy texture that isn’t greasy, so it feels nice on the lips and has a long-lasting moisturising effect. I applied it this morning, and even after my Sunday lunch my lips still felt lovely! It’s also very slightly tinted with a light peachy pink shade, and though it doesn’t add much colour to the lips, it does emphasise your natural lip colour.
At £1.99 it’s a definite thumbs up from me.
Split Personality Cream Eyeshadow Duo in ‘Psycho’
I don’t tend to wear eyeshadow that often (I’m more of a thick black eyeliner kinda girl), but when I spotted this I thought I’d give it a go as one of the shadows in the duo is, you guessed it, black! The other is white, and both have a bit of shimmer to them.
The duo has a cream eyeshadow at either end of the stick, which sits in the screw lid that covers each applicator. The applicators themselves are soft and spongy, and seem to be loaded on a spring, so they move and mould to the shape of your eyelid nicely, making application smooth and easy. The two colours compliment each other well, and make for an impressive smoky eye that’s quick to do.
If these shades aren’t for you, there are plenty of other colours to choose from, and they cost £1.99 each, which is £3.00 cheaper than the RRP.
To view the full range of Hard Candy products that Xtras have to offer, visit their site here.
*These Hard Candy cosmetics were sent to me by Xtras for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
One product I’ve always struggled with is face primers. I have an allergy to salicylates, and for some reason almost every primer I’ve ever seen or tried has had some form of salicylate in, and has brought me out in red rashy spots – not a good look! I’d just about given up looking for a primer suitable for my skin when, whilst browsing MUA’s online sale, I came across FashionistA’s Fashion Secret Flawless Primer. MUA are currently selling off loads of FashionistA products at heavily discounted prices, and at £3 down from £10 I thought I might as well give this one a go.
Going by aesthetics, this primer isn’t especially exciting. Just a simple grey tube with a wide nozzle which, quite frankly, makes quite a bit of mess as it lets out far more product than you actually need. But as they say, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and what’s inside this IS special.
Almost every other primer I’ve encountered has had a heavy, creamy consistency, so I was quite surprised to find that this one is a clear, lightweight gel. At first I was a little put off as I expected it to be a bit greasy, like hair gel, but a little goes a long way and it actually glides on perfectly and forms a silky finish which is the perfect base for make up. My skin always feels so soft and smooth when I’m wearing this, which is lovely, but it does leave an odd residue on your hands after application which needs washing off.
In my experience, both liquid and powder foundations apply easily over the top of this primer to create an even, flawless finish, and quite impressively one application keeps your make up in place all day, which for me is the sign of a very good primer! Furthermore, I’ve been using this for over two weeks now and have had no sensitivity to it whatsoever, so this is a great little product for allergy prone skin (although check the ingredients first, obviously!)
Without a doubt, FashionistA’s Flawless Primer is worth every penny I paid for it, and I’ll definitely be stocking up before it sells out. It is available online from MUA here, and costs £3 for 30ml.
Will you be trying it?
I hope you’re all enjoying the weekend.
This is just a quick update to let you know that I have just added some new items to my blog sale, mostly clothes, and reduced the prices of almost everything else! If you want to see what I have for sale, click here, or visit the ‘Blog Sale’ tab above. If anything takes your fancy you can either comment on the post or email email@example.com.
I’ve been having a bit of a clear out lately and have gathered together a few cosmetics and toiletries which I’ve decided to sell, including body lotions, lipstick, nail varnish, aftershave and more. Almost everything is brand new and unused, and a lot of it is still sealed. If you’d like to have a look at what I’m selling, click here or visit my ‘Blog Sale’ page via the tab at the top. All information on postage costs and payment details etc can be found there.
Last month, Cargo Cosmetics, a highly sought after brand known for its use on TV and film sets worldwide, launched in the UK at Debenhams. The brand boasts better, easier, smarter products with the latest innovations in beauty, that give a high-definition, flawless finish from all angles.
Cargo’s range features a wide selection of high quality make up items, including lip gloss, eye shadows, water resistant blushes and bronzer, foundation, liners, mascara, brushes and carefully concocted palettes, sets and quads, all of which look simply slick in Cargo’s award winning silvered packaging. I was recently sent a few products from the range to try, these being two Eye Shadow Singles in ‘Flint’ and ‘Windsor’, a Water Resistant Bronzer and a Lip Gloss in ‘Route 66′, and I have been nothing but impressed by their quality. Here are my thoughts on each…
Eye Shadow Singles in ‘Flint’ and ‘Windsor’ – £12.00 each
Cargo’s Single Eye Shadows come in twelve shades, featuring daring brights and more neutral tones, in either matte or shimmer. The two shades I was sent are ‘Flint’, an ashy grey, and a pale peachy cream called ‘Windsor’, both of which have a very slight shimmer. Both shadows have a soft, velvety formula, and they’re not too powdery. Because of this, I find they apply really smoothly, and give very little fall out so it’s easy to create a sharp look, with hardly any mess. The pigmentation is also impressive, and it doesn’t take much of the product to get a bold finish. My favourite thing about the shadows, though, is how long they last. After morning application, the eye shadow stays put without the use of a primer until you’re ready to remove it, and it barely gathers in the creases at all.
Here’s how the eye shadows look worn together. I used ‘Flint’ as a base up to the eye crease, and ‘Windsor’ above the crease and in the corner of each eye. ‘Windsor’ works really well as a highlighter eye shadow, and ‘Flint’ is the perfect shade to create a subtle smokey look.
If you like the look of Cargo’s Eye Shadow Singles, they are available online here at Debenhams, and cost £12.00 each.
Water Resistant Bronzer – £20.00
Cargo claim that their Water Resistant Bronzer is a world first, as it contains a silicone-coated talc that adheres firmly to the skin, making it long-lasting even in water. This makes it perfect for summer, as it gives skin a healthy glow with the appearance of a natural tan, and will survive a dip in the sea or pool, and stay put even through perspiration.
As you’d expect, I decided to put the water resistance of the bronzer to the test, and I’m pleased to report that water just slides right off it – as you can see in the picture above! Even with some rubbing it takes a while for the colour to fade, but it fades evenly and doesn’t go streaky, which is always good news. Luckily though, it removes easily with make up remover, so there’s no need to worry about it being stubborn.
In terms of colour, Cargo’s Water Resistant Bronzer gives a fairly subtle bronze shimmer that looks great even on pale skin like mine, but it can be built up to create a bolder look if you prefer.
This wonderful Water Resistant Bronzer has well and truly converted me to the bronzed look, and is available here at Debenhams, for just £20.00.
Lip Gloss in ‘Route 66′ – £7.50
All of Cargo’s Lip Glosses are clinically proven to last up to six hours, a statement that I can vouch for, and they have a moisturising formula that isn’t sticky and leaves your lips feeling incredibly soft. The gloss tubes are dinky enough to carry with you at all times, and they come with a just as dinky price tag of just £7.50. I really like the applicator that comes with the gloss as its flat, rounded shape and soft padding makes for precise application. However, I’m not a massive fan of how the gloss smells. I really like sweetly scented glosses, but this one is almost scentless, other than a slight plasticky smell that is slightly off putting. Thankfully it doesn’t taste horrible though!
The shade I was sent, Route 66, is a coral pinky red which is packed full of shimmery particles that give the gloss a lovely, long-lasting shine. The colour applies very subtly for a natural touch of pink, but like all of Cargo’s products that I’ve tried it can be layered to create a deeper colouring. Here it is after one coat:
Cargo Cosmetics Lip Glosses come in a wide range of shades (eighteen, in fact), including an unusual but beautiful gold shade, and are available online here.
If you like the look of any of Cargo’s innovative cosmetics, or you want to find out what else they have to offer, the full range is available to browse and buy online at Debenhams. Do you think you’ll be giving any of their products a go?
*These Cargo Cosmetics products were sent to me by Debenhams for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
I recently came across a great little interior design company called Pebble Grey, who specialise in contemporary mirrors and modern bathroom accessories, and they kindly sent me one of their newest products to review – an LED Illuminated Cosmetic Mirror.
When I first received the mirror, I was instantly struck by how beautiful its packaging is. The mirror comes presented in a sleek, dark grey presentation box which feels lovely to the touch, and comes with a velvet black pouch to store it in when you’re out and about, to prevent any scratches or scuffs. It’s obvious that a lot of care and thought has been put in to the packaging, and it gives the product a luxury edge that would make it perfect as a gift idea for a loved one, or even as a treat for yourself.
The mirror itself is matte grey in colour, and is adorned with the Pebble Grey logo on the front, and a feminine, swirly pattern on the back. It is elegantly slim, but very well made with a strong hinge, and feels very sturdy, so it won’t break easily like some cheaper pocket mirrors do.
Inside the compact are two mirrors with 2x magnification, one of which is studded with six powerful LED lights. The lights are very useful and make for effortless make up application, as they highlight the areas of your face that are often in shadow, meaning you can blend your make up perfectly with no unevenness. They’re also bright enough so that you can check your face in darker areas with no trouble. My favourite use for the mirror, however, is for plucking my eyebrows, as the magnification and LED lights make it easy to see any small, stray hairs.
Pebble Grey’s Illuminated Cosmetic Mirror comes everywhere with me, and is extremely handy, and several people have asked me where they can get one. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a high quality, versatile mirror. The mirror usually retails for £14.99, but is currently on offer for £9.99 on the Pebble Grey website, so grab yourself a bargain whilst you still can!
*This LED Illuminated Cosmetic Mirror was sent to me be Pebble Grey for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
A couple of months ago, Clair of Bags, Bows and Boots and I decided to do our own little beauty swap. Clair is one of my favourite beauty bloggers and a lovely girl to chat with, so I had a lot of fun choosing products to send to her. We had a budget of £15.00, and let each other take the reins and buy what we wanted, so we both sent and received products we may not usually have chosen. I actually received my package of pretties a few weeks ago and have been meaning to post about it for a while, so here are a couple of pictures of what I sent and received… Apologies for the bad quality photographs!
What I Sent
Owl Makeup Bag
Pin-Up Manicure Set
NYC Smooch Proof 16h Lip Stain
Colortrend Kajal Stick
H&M Smoky Eye Quad
Dainty Doll Powder Blusher
Avon Magix Illuminating Face Perfector
What I Received
Coldora Sparkly Rainbow Eyelashes
Benefit Smokin’ Eyes
Bourjois 1 Seconde Nail Varnish
MUA Undress Me Too Palette
Bourjois 3D Max Lipgloss
Benefit Erase Paste
GOSH Effect Powder
I’m really happy with everything I received, especially the MUA Undress Me Too Palette which is a pretty impressive dupe of Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette. I will be reviewing everything I was sent individually in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out if you want to know what I think of each product!
You can see Clair’s swap post here.
Trying to find a suitable foundation for your skin can be difficult at the best of times, but when you’re looking for a natural, vegan, cruelty free foundation like I was earlier this year, your options suddenly become very slim. So, when INIKA agreed to send me a product to review I naturally chose their Certified Organic Liquid Foundation, which fits all of the above mentioned criteria.
INIKA is a certified organic brand with a focus on producing natural make up, all of which is Vegan, Halal and isn’t tested on animals. All of their products are free from synthetic substances and nasty chemicals, and to go along with their ethical image, INIKA’s tubes, pots and brushes are made of recycled materials, and are also recyclable.
The bottle of foundation I received looked different to the one pictured on the INIKA website, but what struck me about the packaging is how classy and high-end it looks. In my experience some ethical brands, particularly those with recycled packaging, tend to be lacking in the image department, but INIKA’s black, sleek packaging with its gold font looks (and feels) wonderful, and would give any luxe brand a run for its money. Also, the bottle has a pump press top, which I prefer to a squeezy tube or pour bottle as it means you can easily control the amount of foundation you want from bottle (either with a half pump or full pump), and because the hole is small there is minimal mess.
Quite usefully, the INIKA website recommends different shades to suit specific skin tones, so I was able to choose the best one for me, which happens to be Cream. According to INIKA, their Cream shade is for ‘light to medium skin tones and perfect for those with an ‘English Rose’ complexion’ – a description which suits my skin down the ground, and the foundation is indeed ‘perfect’ for me!
The foundation itself is very light in texture, almost like a moisturiser, meaning it allows the skin to breathe and doesn’t clog the pores, and it also has a slight cooling effect when it touches the skin. I always apply this foundation with a brush, starting at the eyes and nose, working down to the chin, across the cheeks and finally across the forehead and neck. In the past I have always struggled to apply foundation with a brush, but because this one isn’t too thick it blends extremely easily.
Despite its light texture, INIKA’s liquid foundation has incredible pigmentation which makes for beautiful, flawless coverage which still looks natural. As you can see, it evens out any redness or blotchiness on the skin, and due to the lack of harsh ingredients it covers breakouts without aggravating them. The foundation balances the skin quite nicely too, adding moisture to avoid drying, but also without causing any unwanted oiliness.
The above image shows the coverage that INIKA’s liquid foundation gives (with a little bit of translucent powder applied over the top). The only thing it doesn’t cover fully is the dark circles under my eyes, but that’s nothing a small amount of under eye concealer can’t fix. To top it all off, this foundation lasts a very long time. Whenever I wear it, my face looks as smooth and flawless after a day at work as it does in the morning. It even looks great after a night at a bar or a gig, which is very impressive!
INIKA’s Certified Organic Liquid Foundation is available online in four shades, and costs £29.50 for 30g. It may be a bit on the pricey side, but its top quality reflects the price and it is honestly one of the best foundations I have ever used. I think I’d struggle to find another foundation to match it, let alone an organic, vegan, cruelty free one, and I will definitely be purchasing another bottle when I run out.
*This INIKA Certified Organic Liquid Foundation was sent to me by INIKA for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*