Thursday, 3 September 2015

August Favourites

Laura Mercier Mineral Pressed Powder in Soft Porcelain
If there's one thing that Laura Mercier does extremely well, it's powders. I've been using her Loose Mineral Powder & Secret Brightening Powder for years as they're so finely milled & make your skin look flawless. After running out of my last pot of Mineral Powder I decided to try the pressed compact version as it's a bit more portable & less messy to use. It doesn't feature the pearl powder found in the loose version so the finish is a little more matte which might be better for those with oily skin. I really like powder foundations like this when I'm running short on time as they're so quick & easy to apply. This powder offers medium buildable coverage that still looks fresh & natural. It buffs into the skin so beautifully that it doesn't actually look like a powder. It can be used as a standalone foundation or as a setting powder for a truly airbrushed finish. However you decide to use it, the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder is such a fantastic base product & has become a staple in my makeup bag.

Pump It Up Cucumber Fresh Dry Body Wash
We've all heard of dry shampoo but now you can get a dry body wash for those times when you just can't manage to get to a shower. Instead of a spray or gel formula this stuff is an antibacterial foam that cleans & eliminates odour without the need for water. It dries really quickly & immediately makes your skin feel fresher. The foam is paraben & alcohol free so it won't dry out your skin. They do several different fragrances but I went for the cucumber one & I really like it. The scent is very subtle & doesn't last long but it doesn't need to as it's not trying to mask any smells. The foam kills the bacteria that causes body odour which is rather clever. Much like dry shampoo, dry body wash will never replace an actual shower but it's really handy to take to the gym, a festival or anywhere else you need to freshen up on the go.

Vitage Age Defence Power Skin Repair*
I've tried out quite a few different products from Vitage lately as I took part in their 30 Day Skincare Challenge. I loved using all of their products so much that I rejigged my entire skincare routine to revolve around them. I couldn't include all of the items here but my favourite product was the Age Defence Power Skin Repair which is a high performance antioxidant moisturiser. This really helps to soothe & calm my skin whilst making it feel super soft, hydrated & firm. It also helps to repair & refine the texture of my skin as it contains retinyl palmitate. I really love using this moisturiser both day & night. It feels very luxurious & works well as a base for makeup so this product is always such a pleasure to apply.

Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Dark Circles Eye Cream
My sleeping pattern has gone completely out of whack recently. Now that Chloe's back at school I have to get up even earlier & whenever I'm feeling tired it really shows on my face. My dark circles always look particularly bad. I'm a huge fan of the Superfacialist By Una Brennan range so I picked up this eye cream which is rich in vitamin C. It's one of the best things for tired skin as it helps to brighten the complexion & fade discolouration. I normally go for eye gels but the consistency of this cream is really light so it absorbs quickly & doesn't interfere with my makeup. It hydrates & smooths the area, plumping up any fine lines so that your eyes look fresher. Over time I would say that this does help to reduce the appearance of dark circles. It hasn't gotten rid of them completely but there is a noticeable enough difference for me to say that this is worth trying out. It's very affordable & would be a good eye product to start using at a younger age.

theBalm Overshadow Mineral Eyeshadow in No Money, No Honey
I never thought that anything could compare to theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer as it is the most perfect highlighter ever. However there's something even prettier & more pigmented than Mary-Lou and it also comes from theBalm. Now technically this is an eyeshadow but loose pigment products can be used anywhere. Their Overshadow Mineral Eyeshow in the shade No Money, No Honey has that same gorgeous golden champagne shimmer as Mary-Lou Manizer but the effect is even more extreme. It is highly metallic & looks almost wet on the skin. This is definitely one to save for a night out rather than adding some glow to your everyday makeup. This little pot of magic looks absolutely stunning & I love using it as an eyeshadow too.

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Monday, 31 August 2015

Surania Custom Swimwear

Surania are an online Spanish swimwear brand who offer their customers the opportunity to design their own swimsuits or bikinis. They make swimwear for men, women & children in hundreds of different styles so you can choose something entirely unique to you. A little while ago they asked me if I would like to create my very own bikini & I jumped at the chance! I was immediately intrigued by the concept of their website as I've often struggled to find swimwear that I like & that looks good on my body. Surania kindly sent me a gift voucher so that I could try out the website for myself & design my dream bikini.

After looking through all the different styles available I decided to order the bandeau balconette flounce bikini top & the high waist fixed bikini bottoms. Coming up with your own unique design is the best part! It's so much fun & I could spend hours playing about on their website. They have so many different colours & patterns to choose from, the possibilities are endless! To complete your design you just click on a section of the bikini template & then click on your chosen fabric. As much as I wanted to design something bright & colourful, I figured I would be more body confident in something monochrome. I fell in love with the pretty floral design of the Vitoria fabric so I used it all over with a couple of black & white accents. After finalising your design you need to choose the sizes. Surania's swimsuits aren't just designed to your specifications, they are tailor-made to fit your exact measurements! Buying swimwear off the rack can be nightmare because most of us will need a different sized top & bottom. They tend not to accommodate for large boobs or bums either so Surania is a great place to look if you want something that will fit you perfectly.

I had to wait about three weeks for my bikini to be delivered. They provide fast shipping all over the world using DHL but of course you have to wait for your custom bikini to actually be made. Once it arrived on my doorstep I couldn't wait to see how it looked in real life! This is my bikini set & it's everything I was hoping for. It's so cool to see something you've designed become a finished product. I wanted a top with an underwire & I love the cute flounce trim. High waisted bottoms are great if you have a bit of a flabby tummy & they hide my laparoscopy scars. I'm really happy with the styles I chose & the fabric looks lovely too. It's really thick & fully lined so it helps to hold you in. Best of all the fit is spot on! Surania offer a perfect fit guarantee so if you didn't measure yourself correctly, they'll happily exchange your order within 30 days of receipt. It might be a bit more expensive than the average bikini but this is no average bikini. Swimwear of this calibre is worth every penny.

Bikini - Surania* / Kimono - eBay / Sandals - New Look / Hat - River Island / Sunglasses - Quay Australia

I never thought I would be posting bikini pics on the internet but here I am! I've spent most of my life hating my body after being bullied over it at school & even though I lost a lot of weight I was never happy with myself. Over the last year I've gained a stone from not exercising enough & eating whole share bags of chocolate buttons in one sitting. August is the worst month for me food-wise because I always pig out at the Huddersfield Food Festival & have a few indulgent meals for my birthday. I'm currently the biggest I've been in a long time but I'm just tired of being down on myself for it. I'm planning on joining Slimming World when Chloe goes back to school on Wednesday but in the name of body positivity I decided to take some pictures of my current beach body. As you can see the Surania bikini is such a great fit on me & the style is flattering on my shape. Wearing it definitely makes me feel more confident in my body & I'm not ashamed to go out in public like this. To go with the monochrome design I paired it with some black & white accessories. I bought this kimono from eBay & it's a fab beach coverup. I adore the tassels on the sleeves & bottom edge! I also wore my white New Look sandals & black straw fedora from River Island. I've bought so many pairs of sunglasses from Quay Australia this Summer! These are the Invader sunglasses & I love their cut-out cat eye shape.

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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks: Celebrity Skin & Unicorn Blood

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks - £13

Liquid lipsticks are insanely popular right now. It seems like every week another brand comes out with their take on these long-lasting lippies. I love this kind of lipstick because their ultra matte finish means that my hair won't get stuck on my lips if it's windy outside & the colour won't transfer onto my crooked teeth. The ones that I was most interested in trying out are the Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks. The Jeffree Star range has some of the coolest colours available including black, purple & blue. The Velour Liquid Lipsticks have amazing colour payoff & the ones I've tried are completely opaque with one swipe. I wasn't a fan of the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipsticks because I had to keep layering the colour & they have an unpleasant sticky feeling. The Jeffree Star formula is quick to dry & should be set after about a minute. The consistency is thin & feels weightless on the lips. I haven't noticed any discernible scent or taste from them which is always a good thing. They have a fully matte velvety finish & although they feel drying, these lipsticks are never uncomfortable to wear. They are also 100% vegan & cruelty-free.

In comparison to brands like Lime Crime & Anastasia Beverly Hills, these lipsticks seem to have the best staying power in that they are both smudge-proof & kiss-proof. Okay you can't have a full on makeout session but you can have a quick smooch or give someone a peck on the cheek & your lipstick won't transfer at all. If I wore one of these to a wedding I would feel confident about giving the bride a celebratory kiss on the cheek & not ruining her makeup. You can also eat & drink whilst wearing these lipsticks. I've had varying degrees of success with this. Anything oily is out of the question but I've managed to eat a Boots meal deal without needing to touch up afterwards. It might start to disappear from the inner section of your lips but that's easy to fix once you're done eating. The smooth consistency means that they won't cake or pill when touching up your lipstick either.

The longevity of these lipsticks is unparalleled & they will last for hours on end. As a result removal can be somewhat tricky. When I was doing my lip swatches for this post, micellar water couldn't budge it at all. I didn't want to redo the rest of my makeup either so I had to pop some vitamin E oil on a cotton bud & use that to loosen the pigment. Then I could clean away the rest with a baby wipe. When it's time to take off all of your makeup, a good cleansing oil is a must in order to get rid of every last trace of lipstick. I've been waiting a long time for these lipsticks as I didn't want to order from Jeffree Star's website & risk paying customs fees. Luckily you can now order them from the UK via Cocktail Cosmetics & they have a great selection of colours available. I decided to get two lipsticks - Celebrity Skin & Unicorn Blood. I often wear nudes & reds so I thought they would be great to start off with but since trying them I'm desperate to get my hands on some of the more outrageous colours!

Celebrity Skin is a soft brown nude with a peachy undertone. It's a gorgeous 90s brown shade that would be ideal if you're going for the Kylie Jenner look. Overdrawing your lips with these lipsticks is really easy & doesn't look too obvious. To be completely honest this colour looks nothing like I thought I would. It dries down a lot darker than how it looks in the tube & isn't the perfect nude that I was hoping for. It pulls very brown on me due to my pale complexion. From what I've seen this colour looks stunning on anyone who is darker or more tanned than me. I still think it's a really pretty & unique colour which I will definitely continue to wear but I would've preferred it to be a little bit lighter. I'm Nude seems like it would be a much better choice if you're looking for a true nude lipstick.

Unicorn Blood is a deep burgundy shade with a warm undertone. This is the colour that first drew me to Jeffree Star Cosmetics & I was so excited to finally get it! I love how vampy & gothic it looks whilst still being a very wearable lip colour. My lips are grossly overdrawn here but there's something about these lipsticks that stops them from looking obviously fake. I really like the doe foot applicators on these lipsticks but they are a little too flexible. I had a bit more trouble applying this lipstick because it's such a dark shade & easy to make mistakes with. Plus my wonky lips don't really help matters! I'd recommend using a berry coloured lip liner first to define the edges & a concealer to clean up with afterwards. Anyway I'm completely infatuated with this dark red lippie & I think it goes really well with my colouring. The formula of the Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks is absolutely brilliant & I will certainly be ordering a few more of them very soon!

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