Thursday, 28 March 2019

Brunette Bombshell

Brunette Lob
Brunette Hair
Dark Chocolate Melt Hair

Having spent the last decade as a blonde, this year I decided that it was finally time to rejoin the dark side. Personally I think I look a lot prettier as a blonde & I loved being able to use pinks, purples or silvers to change it up whenever I got a bit bored. But when your hair is naturally as dark as mine, there are so many downsides to being platinum blonde. I hated the upkeep as my hair would only look good for a matter of weeks before I needed my roots done again. Sitting in a hairdresser's chair for over five hours was beyond annoying. Olaplex wasn't a thing when I first started getting my hair bleached so I've had to put up with ridiculous amounts of damage, breakage & chemical burns. My hair would never grow past a certain length because the ends would always look like straw & require cutting. Not to mention constantly staining the bathtub purple with toning shampoos! Basically it was a lot of work & although I did love the look, I've gotten to the point in my life where it became way too much effort. I wanted something super low maintenance that would cut my hairdresser trips down to the bare minimum.

That's how I ended up with this delicious dark chocolate melt! I went to Niché Salon in Huddersfield where Michelle gave me a rich all over colour with some free hand ombré for perfect subtle tones. It's a lot darker & warmer than my natural colour but I love it. I've had to change up my makeup a bit & go HAM on the bronzer most days because I can look a bit too goth without that warmth in my face. I think I need to get some new brow products though because ABH Medium Brown is a little too light & ashy for my current hair colour. Michelle also cut my hair into a blunt lob with some shorter pieces at the front to frame my face. I wanted more of a Bardot fringe but maybe I'll save that for next time. At least she cut off most of the blonde so my hair feels really thick & healthy for the first time in years. Anyway I'm really happy with my new low maintenance hairdo. I'm sure some people won't recognise me as I almost look like an entirely different person! Maybe that's a good thing?

Josh Wood Colour Renewing Shampoo Conditioner Brunette Hair

Of course, new hair requires new haircare! I always used purple shampoos & deep conditioning masks to maintain my blonde locks but brunette hair comes with a completely new set of challenges. As my hair is no longer dried out from all the bleach I have to wash it a lot more often to avoid looking like a grease bomb. But washing your hair all the time can mean that your colour fades a lot faster. There's still a little bit of blonde towards the ends so I don't want it the brown to fade & look brassy. There are quite a few products marketed specifically towards brunettes out there but a lot of them have really bad reviews. I spotted these Josh Wood Colour products in Boots & having checked the reviews on their website, they seemed like the best option. I decided to pick up the Renewing Shampoo & Conditioner For Brunette Hair Prone To Frizz (£10 each). They also do a shampoo & conditioner for fine brunette hair. I went for the frizzy one because my hair is feeling a lot thicker these days. I also like my hair to look really sleek & polished.

The Renewing Shampoo & Conditioner have been specially formulated with shade-specific ingredients to leave your brunette hair feeling clean, radiant & lustrous. They are suitable for all brunette shades because they're not colour depositing products. This means that they won't make your hair any darker but they will keep your colour looking fresh. They also won't stain your bathtub! The products contain advanced UV filters to prevent fade as well as saffron & turmeric to keep your hair looking glossy & vibrant. They have a slight herbal scent which won't be to some people's taste but I quite like it. I really love these products because they make my hair feel so clean & impart such a beautiful shine. They keep my hair feeling velvety soft & have definitely helped to lock in the colour. You get a professional finish at home & that's exactly what I wanted!


twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Annabelle Minerals

Annabelle Minerals

When I first started getting into makeup as a teenager I found myself rather intimidated by the thought of using a liquid foundation. Somehow it seemed so grown up & way too heavy for my young skin. For one of my first attempts to cover up the abundance of spots on my face, my mum bought me a compact of MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation as powders seemed like an easier alternative. However I soon found that MAC foundations only made my skin worse, whether that was because something in them broke me out or I just wasn't removing it well enough I'll never know. So I started to look into mineral foundations because the natural ingredients are supposed to be better for your skin & provide coverage without clogging pores. I used Lily Lolo & Bare Minerals products for quite some time but I think I eventually stopped wearing them because they always ended up looking a bit too powdery on the skin. In more recent years I have purchased the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder & still use the discontinued pressed version to freshen up throughout the day. But these days I almost always reach for a liquid foundation. Most major beauty brands don't do mineral foundations & I think we've all become so accustomed to watching YouTubers apply liquid foundation with a BeautyBlender that most us of probably don't even consider using mineral makeup anymore.

Annabelle Minerals recently sent me some of their products to try out & since then I've been having a bit of a mineral powder renaissance. I think when you stop using mineral makeup you forget just how good it can be & I have to say I am thoroughly impressed with these products. Annabelle Minerals are a Polish cosmetic company who have just launched in the UK & as such it can be difficult to find reviews written in English. The power of mineral makeup comes from their ingredients. They formulate products containing only four mineral ingredients - mica for illumination, zinc oxide to mattify & treat minor blemishes, titanium dioxide for good coverage & sun protection as well as iron oxides to give them colour. This combination of ingredients helps to perfect your base without skin irritants such as parabens, talcs, artificial colouring, silicones or preservatives. Their products are also vegan & cruelty-free.

Annabelle Minerals Face Powders
Annabelle Minerals Coverage Foundation Sunny Fairest, Mineral Blush Nude, Radiant Powder Pretty Glow
Annabelle Minerals Coverage Foundation Sunny Fairest, Mineral Blush Nude, Radiant Powder Pretty Glow Swatch
Annabelle Minerals Packaging

I received three base products from Annabelle Minerals. These are the Coverage Foundation in Sunny Fairest, the Mineral Blush in Nude & the Radiant Powder in Pretty Glow. All of their base products are packaged in a durable plastic pot that comes with a moveable sifter to prevent spillage. In each pot you get 4g of product, which doesn't sound like much but is actually a really decent amount. They also have 10g pots of the foundation available to purchase if you want it to last even longer.

Annabelle Minerals Coverage Foundation Sunny Fairest
Annabelle Minerals Coverage Foundation Sunny Fairest

Let's start with the foundation. Annabelle Minerals have created mineral foundations with three finishes to suit all skin types - Coverage, Matte or Radiant. There are 22 shades to choose from with four different undertones. Unfortunately the colour range doesn't go very deep but I do appreciate the amount of undertones. I have a pale yellow undertone so I knew that I would be best matched to one of the Sunny range. Sunny shades were designed for women with warm undertones. They have strong notes of lemon yellow with distinct hints of gold. I received the Coverage Foundation in Sunny Fairest (£11.75) which is ideal for women with a very fair, warm toned complexion dominated by pastel yellow & white hues. At first the powder looked almost Simpsons yellow but it actually suits my skintone really well. For reference I wear NARS Siberia or MAC NC10.

The Coverage Foundation comes with an increased amount of titanium dioxide to fully conceal any discolouration, redness & skin imperfections. This also means that it gives you UVA/UVB protection with SPF 15. The formula is meant to provide full coverage & is suitable for most skin types, even those with dry skin. If you haven't tried a mineral foundation before, they are so easy to use. You just pour some of the product onto the lid, swirl your brush into the powder, tap off the excess & buff it onto the skin. The foundation looks best a few minutes after application, when the minerals have had enough time to melt into your skin. Unlike some mineral foundations, it's not drying at all & it doesn't look powdery. When I first applied this foundation I was amazed by how well it covers. Although I have a yellow undertone, I do have some surface redness in my face & this stuff immediately balances out my complexion.

The coverage is buildable without looking cakey or like a mask. When I use this foundation I don't have to use any concealer at all. I just use a smaller kabuki brush to concentrate the foundation in the areas that need a little more attention. The result is very natural looking with a subtle luminosity. The foundation feels really lightweight & comfortable to wear. It seems to smooth over my pores & doesn't gather in fine lines. I was surprised by how long it lasts on my skin. I have combination skin with an oily T-zone & it only starts to break down around my nose after about 8 hours of wear. My forehead gets a little shiny too but otherwise, it looks pretty flawless after a full day. I love the way it looks on my skin so I'd definitely recommend this mineral foundation!

Annabelle Minerals Mineral Blush Nude
Annabelle Minerals Mineral Blush Nude

When I first saw the Mineral Blush in Nude (£12.50) in the pot, I wasn't too impressed with the colour. It just looked really boring at first but as soon as I swatched it on my arm I fell in love. Blending it out on the skin transformed it from this almost brown looking powder to a fresh pretty pink. I love the colour so much & it looks absolutely beautiful on the skin. It features delicate pearl particles to illuminate & even out your cheeks. The blusher is very buildable & it gives such a natural flush of colour. I think it makes my cheeks look bright, perky & youthful which is certainly a welcome feature now that I'm in my 30s!

Annabelle Minerals Radiant Powder Pretty Glow
Annabelle Minerals Radiant Powder Pretty Glow

The Radiant Powder in Pretty Glow (£17) is such a lovely way to set your makeup. Although it looks fairly pigmented in my swatch, it becomes transparent when blended over your foundation. The Radiant Powder doesn't provide any additional coverage or alter the colour of the foundation at all. It simply imparts a luminous glow which makes the skin look fresh & well rested. I still felt the need to use my regular highlighter on top to make my skin extra glowy but I really like this finishing powder. It would be ideal for dull, tired complexions with fine wrinkles. I love the way that it almost airbrushes the skin for a naturally flawless finish.

Annabelle Minerals Eyeshadow Lollipop, Lilac, Cappuccino
Annabelle Minerals Eyeshadow Lollipop, Lilac, Cappuccino
Annabelle Minerals Eyeshadow Lollipop, Lilac, Cappuccino Swatch
Annabelle Minerals Purple Eyeshadow

Annabelle Minerals have some truly lovely mineral eyeshadows. Some of the colours are so stunning & as soon as I saw these pretty purple shades on their website I knew they would fill the lilac coloured hole in my makeup collection. Here we have Lollipop, Lilac & Cappuccino (£9.75 each). My absolute favourite has to be Lilac, it's such a fun pastel purple shade & it's really pigmented too. I used it all over my lids for a bright pop of colour & it looks utterly gorgeous. Lollipop is a much lighter & sheerer pastel violet so I wouldn't use it on it's own. In this makeup look I used it to highlight the inner corners & my brow bone, the effect is quite subtle but very sweet. I was surprised by how much I liked the Cappuccino shade, it's a staple coffee brown colour that naturally enhances your eyes. I think I'll probably get the most use out of this colour because it's a great eyeshadow for everyday wear. Here I used it mixed with Lilac to slightly darken the shadow underneath my bottom lashline.

I was really impressed with these eyeshadows. The loose eyeshadow powders feel silky smooth to the touch & have a shimmery satin finish. I was worried that they would be messy to use but there was hardly any fallout & they blend out so easily. My eyes can be quite sensitive & water a lot depending on which eyeshadows I use but I'm happy to report that these didn't irritate them at all. I'd never really considered trying mineral eyeshadows before but the natural ingredients definitely agreed with my eyes.

I also received the Mini Kabuki Brush (£9) to use with the eyeshadows. The brush is excellent quality & the handle feels really sturdy. The densely packed bristles are soft & flexible, allowing you to sweep eyeshadow all over the lid with minimal effort. I used it to blend the foundation underneath my eyes too as it's the perfect size for concealer.

Are you a fan of mineral makeup? Have you tried any products from Annabelle Minerals before?


twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Keep Yourself Confident In The Way You Look


[AD] Collaborative Content

Feeling confident in the way that you look is easier said than done but each one of us has a reason to feel beautiful. What is that reason? You are already beautiful! Every single one of us is beautiful in our own way. No matter what you look like or any of the things that you usually worry about, you need to remember that you can be pretty like you, not like someone else. Even the most objectively attractive people can feel like they're not good enough at times & I think that social media has a lot to answer for in this respect. Sometimes it can be really difficult to look in the mirror & not start picking out all of your flaws or take a selfie & not Facetune it to death. But the more comfortable you become with your appearance, the more confident you will appear to others. So if you're looking for ways to get this feeling of confidence, here are some ideas to help you out!

Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
Comparison truly is the thief of joy & at times comparing myself to others has really knocked my confidence. Instagram can be a great place to get beauty & fashion inspiration but scrolling through your feed can also be a very toxic way to spend your time. You might be feeling perfectly fine until you come across someone with perfectly clear skin or an impossibly skinny waist & wonder why you can't look the same way. This train of thought can really damage your mental health & possibly lead to disordered eating, wasting money on cosmetic procedures or using apps to make yourself look unrecognisable. Chances are that the people you envy on Instagram don't look that way in real life either & the manipulation of photos can manipulate your sense of self. If using social media is making you feel so awful about your natural appearance you need to just delete the apps for a few days & stop engaging with that content. Don't follow people who make you feel bad about yourself & don't let what other people are doing affect you.

Practice Self Love Every Day
Learning to love yourself can take a long time but it can hugely boost your confidence. There are lots of simple ways you can practice self love, some of which can be done on a daily basis. Taking care of yourself shows the rest of the world how you deserve to be treated. Being kind to yourself about your appearance is pivotal to your own happiness & when you feel happy, you'll feel more confident too. It's easy to focus on the things that we dislike about our appearance so take the time to appreciate the things that you do like. Maybe your skin is looking really clear or your nails are long & strong. Write a list of these qualities that you can read whenever you need a quick pick me up. Learn to cherish all the things that your body does. Sure your arms might be a little flabby but they allow you to hug people, draw, write & carry things. You might not have a thigh gap but you can dance, run, jump & skip with your legs. Our bodies allow us to do so much & should be treated with respect, not self-loathing. We can be so harsh on ourselves that it verges on bullying & it's vital to take the time to fight this negative self talk.

Get Enough Sleep
One of the most important things you can do is ensure that you are getting enough sleep! It doesn't matter what your reasons are or how difficult you find it to get to sleep, it is essential that you get the rest your body needs. When you do this, you will find that you wake up feeling refreshed & your skin looks better than it has done in ages. Once you notice this, you are immediately going to feel far more confident in the way that you appear & that's just the start of it! If you do have trouble getting the right amount of sleep, there are a few hacks that you can try. Having a warm drink before bed, taking magnesium supplements or diffusing lavender oil in the bedroom can all help to promote natural sleep. Another helpful tip is to remove all the electronics from your bedroom so that the blue light doesn't disturb you. You might be thinking that you don't have a blue light but this is something that your electronic devices are constantly emitting which has been linked to difficulty sleeping. As such, this little trick is well worthing trying if you are trying to get the recommended hours of sleep in!

The Perfect Smile
Another thing that you should look at is your smile. It might be the case that you already love the way you look when you are smiling, a lot of people do because that's when we all look our best. It really is true to say that nobody looks better than when they have a smile on their face! But for some, they just don't feel confident in the way they appear. In fact I never smile with my mouth open in photos because I don't want people to judge me for having crooked teeth. Like I said, self love can be difficult & my teeth are the thing I struggle with most of all. That is where a company like Instasmile can help you. Providing you with the perfect smile is what a service like this can do for you, which will do wonders for boosting your confidence. You might not realise it now but once you feel beautiful when you are smiling, you are going to radiate confidence & the whole world is going to look at you in a different light!

Exercise Is Always A Good Idea
Finally, keeping fit is an excellent way to ensure that you feel good about the way you look. It doesn't have to be about weight loss, going to the gym is also fantastic for your mental health. When you exercise, the sweat clears out your pores giving you that refreshed glow that people are always talking about. But you will also notice that you start to look at yourself differently. It only takes eight weeks to see a difference & if you want to feel confident, you should certainly consider hitting the gym to tone up. I love the way that exercising makes me feel. I'm addicted to the rush of endorphins I get after a Body Pump class. I enjoy being able to lift heavier weights & pushing my body to do different things. I like that sense of fatigue in my muscles & being able to feel a little bit more muscle definition each week. Even gentler classes like yoga & pilates can have a strong impact on your body. I hardly ever run on a treadmill because it doesn't make me feel good about myself. Exercise should be something that you enjoy & when you start noticing those small changes in your body, your confidence levels will skyrocket.


twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'