Monday 28 January 2013

MAC Morange Lipstick

I've really started to embrace bright lipsticks lately. By keeping the rest of my makeup quite neutral with the help of the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette & Illamasqua Naked Rose blusher, my lips have been screaming out for some bold colours. MAC Morange definitely fits the bill. Applied straight from the bullet this 'loudmouth orange' is not for the faint of heart. However if you're into orange colours but not full-on opacity lipsticks then this also looks gorgeous patted over some lip balm or lip gloss as a pretty summery tint. Orange isn't a colour I normally go for as whenever I've bought peach colours in the past they've always made me look drained. But this is a completely different shade of orange & it works on so many different skin tones. I personally think it looks stunning on Asian women. The colour is certainly more orange than red but theres still a slight crimson tint to it that makes it very wearable. I adore the formula of MAC's Amplified Creme lipsticks which deliver smooth intense colour in one swipe. It's just so pigmented and creamy! This lipstick really stays put and fades nicely into a stain. It does dry my lips out slightly so I think its important to use a good lip scrub & lip balm first to prep your lips properly before application.

In some ways I think its a great counterpart to Lady Danger which I also reviewed recently. They both are gorgeous bright orangey-reds but Morange leans orange and Lady Danger leans red. If you love one of these shades chances are you'll love the other one too. How do you feel about orange lipsticks?

Friday 25 January 2013

Stila Petunia Convertible Colour

Stila Petunia Convertible Colour - £16

Even though I am a bit of blusher fiend I don't own many cream blushers. I'm partial to using the Topshop ones because they dry down to a powdery finish. However if you're going for a glossy glowing look then Stila's Convertible Colours are where its at. The formulation of this product is very thick and creamy in comparison to the other cream blushers I've tried which really helps with it's blendability. One of the things that always scared me about using cream blushers in the past was how difficult it was to get both cheeks looking even. That's not an issue with Stila's Convertible Colours. Despite looking really bright & bold in the pan & when swatched, Petunia is actually quite sheer once applied to the cheeks. Of course you can build it up to achieve your desired strength of colour. I like to use a Real Techniques Stippling Brush to apply it because that also helps it to look more even & well blended. The sheen it adds to the skin acts like a natural highlighter so these are great if you like a minimal makeup look. For a cream product, the staying power is quite impressive & they don't go patchy throughout the day.

Recently I've been all about multi-tasking products in an attempt to streamline my makeup bag and that's where the Convertible Colours reign supreme. They're a 2-in-1 product as you can use them on your cheeks & lips. I think Petunia looks amazing on both. This bright rosy pink colour is a firm favourite of mine as I think it sits well with my complexion. Having this in my makeup bag means I don't need to pack a separate mirror, blusher & lipstick. It probably works better as a blusher because it can cling to dry areas on your lips so I always apply some lip balm first. Then I pat Petunia on top for a pretty flush of colour. I also adore the packaging & its nice that the colour of the pan matches the colour of the product. Have you ever tried Stila's Convertible Colours?

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Hats Off To Madeline!

Blouse - Mina* / Skirt - American Apparel / Hat - Topshop / Necklace - Le Chou Chou Bijoux*

We love our bread, we love our butter, but most of all we love each other. Haha I really like my outfit today even if it looks a bit like I'm channeling everyone's favourite French school girl. I was sent this gorgeous navy blouse by Mina. As always, I love anything with a nice collar & the slight bell sleeves are so flattering on my arms. Its now been reduced to just £19 in their sale which is full of loads of other goodies and is well worth a look at! My skirt is one of the circle ones from American Apparel. I love this style as its like a structured denim skater skirt and therefore also very flattering. I just whacked on my coat & gloves when I went out earlier and this outfit kept me surprisingly warm. I'm officially fed up of snow. Had a slightly traumatic moment last night when I dropped my house keys and they got buried in the snow for 10 minutes. Plus it'd be nice to actually be able to do a proper food shop! The snow is so thick outside my door that I couldn't even push Chloe's pram & walking with a toddler in the snow is rather stressful to say the least. My mums trekking up from London tomorrow so hopefully the trains won't be too messed up and she'll bring us something nice to eat (Nandos plz!).

I was also sent this lovely little teacup necklace by Annapaola, the owner of Le Chou Chou Bijoux. Hot cinnamon tea has totally been my saviour this week so I decided to pay tribute to it via my jewellery. Its just so adorable, I love the tiny lace doily! I think it looks fab just inbetween a shirt collar. All of her pieces are so elegant yet cute at the same time. Delivery was quick despite coming from Italy & it was packaged very securely. I think all the food themed jewellery she makes is amazing but check out these darling little rabbit pieces, awww!

Friday 18 January 2013

Alterna Caviar Go Out Blowout Duo

Alterna Caviar Perfect Blowout Creme / Alterna Caviar Rapid Repair Spray

Due to the condition of my hair I much prefer to wear it straight & sleek. It makes my hair look thicker, neater & better cared for. I love the messy bedhead look but I just can't really pull it off without looking like I've been pulled through a hedge backwards. It also makes my roots look even worse than they are! I always always always blow dry my hair (cannot stand wet hair!) and finish it off with the Babyliss Big Hair styler so I like to try out new products that can help to protect my hair as well as make it look better.

The Alterna Caviar Perfect Blowout Creme is a thick cream that really helps to add a polished look to your hair. I apply this to my towel dried hair before blow drying it. I use a small amount, probably about the size of a 2p, and smooth this through the lengths of my hair. The thickness of this product means that it does take a little bit longer to dry your hair but the finished look it helps you to achieve is worth that extra effort. I'm really impressed with the hold this product gives my hair which means that my blow dried style lasts longer. It leaves my hair feeling so soft & thicker too. You can even use this on dry hair to help smooth down the ends. When used on dry hair it reminds me of the Percy & Reed Finishing Polish which is another product I absolutely adore.

I've been meaning to pick up a bottle of the Rapid Repair Spray ever since I received a sample of it in the first ever Glossybox back in May 2011! The smell of this stuff is amazing. I wish they'd make a perfume of it! This is such a lightweight spray & you only need a few quick bursts for it to make an incredible difference to your hair. I think this might be my favourite finishing spray ever. It makes your hair so glossy without making it greasy and completely eliminates frizz & fluffiness so it hangs a lot better. My blonde hair also looks brighter because of the shine this spray adds. After using this I've found I get less split ends so it has great long term benefits as well as immediate results.

I bought this set from Beauty Expert where their Winter sale & a 20% off discount code reduced the price from £52.50 to just £21.60 which is less than the price of one of these products alone. Sadly it is now sold out but you can still pick up both of these products individually & they're well worth the money! These products work so brilliantly together & I can't wait to try out some more of Alterna's Caviar range. Have you tried any Alterna products?

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Sparkly Jacket

Jacket - eBay / T-shirt - eBay / Jeans - Topshop / Necklace - Primark / Watch - Michael Kors 5055

I can proudly say I've never watched Made In Chelsea in my life. I haven't a clue who the people are other than Millie Mackintosh. And pretty much all I know about her is that she goes out with Professor Green & owns one of these awesome sparkly jackets. As soon as I saw the pic of her wearing it, I knew it was something my wardrobe desperately needed. I love anything sparkly & gold so while I might've looked cooler with one of the leather sleeve khaki jackets, my inner magpie compelled me to buy this one. Apparently Millie ordered hers from Missguided but being the bargain hunter that I am, I found the exact same one for just £30 on eBay. The seller I used has sold out now but if you're after one have a look on eBay. Theres so many wholesale fashion sellers on there who can save you a few pennies.

My t-shirt is also from eBay and is by a company called The Happy Shack. I saw Alice wearing this on her blog & thought it was amazing! I'm such a huge Smiths fan, I even have a picture of Morrissey with a cat on his head as my iPhone background. I used to wear band shirts all the time but kinda grew out of it. Now I just like throwing them on when I'm not doing anything particularly exciting.

Monday 14 January 2013

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette - £20

Like pretty much every other makeup lover out there I'm obsessed with Urban Decay's Naked palettes. When news hit that they were making a mini one filled with neutral matte colours, I knew I had to have it immediately. I ordered mine from Debenhams for £18 when they had 10% off all beauty products & I haven't stopped using it since it popped through my letterbox.

The palette contains six eyeshadows - Venus, Foxy, Walk Of Shame, Naked 2, Faint & Crave. Venus is the only shimmery one, the rest are matte. Naked 2 is probably my favourite shade out of the bunch. It seems like a good dupe for MAC Omega eyeshadow as it works perfectly on my brows as well as all over the lid. I've used it both ways in the above photos - brows with my Laura Mercier Double-Ended Eyebrow Brush (my secret weapon for perfect eyebrows!) and over the lid with a MAC 239 brush. I then blended out the edges using Walk Of Shame on a MAC 217 brush before highlighting under my eyebrows using a bit of Venus on a MAC 227 brush. I used Faint and a MAC 219 brush to line underneath my eyes & add depth to the outer corners & crease. Finally I lined my lashes using Crave on a Real Techniques Brow brush from the Starter Set. This really helps to make your eyelashes look thicker. If you struggle with applying normal liquid eyeliner its a lot easier to use an angled brush & black eyeshadow.

I'm pretty sure that this is the ultimate day palette. The colours & textures are very appropriate for work & school. Adding a bit more of Faint & Crave to your look will help transform your eye makeup for nighttime too. If you don't have time to do a whole look with the palette like I have then Venus, Foxy, Walk Of Shame & Naked 2 all look fab quickly blended all over the eyelid. Faint can be quite difficult to blend & has a bit of fallout so maybe avoid that one if you're in a rush. Even if you already own the other two Naked palettes I think this one is great to have in your collection. I love the depth & drama it brings to my eyes without the harshness of black liquid liner & these neutral colours will suit everyone. The tiny packaging means it will be fab for traveling with & saves me from packing a separate product for my eyebrows. At £20 you're paying roughly £3 per eyeshadow which is a great deal! I adore the Naked Basics palette & it has fast become a staple in my makeup bag. Will you be picking this up?

Thursday 10 January 2013

Let Me Take You Out

Top - Topshop / Skirt - Primark / Coat - H&M / Watch - Michael Kors 5055

I'm terrible for holding on to clothes that no longer fit me. I bought this top right before I found out I was pregnant with Chloe when I was at my lowest weight. Its a teeny tiny size 8 and up until now I haven't been able to wear it. It still a bit tight & that probably shows but I've missed this top! I adore the detailing. Peter pan collar & lace - whats not to love? It makes me feel a bit princess-y & that can only be a good thing. Sometimes its nice to hunt through your wardrobe for long forgotten about pieces & its cheaper too.

I think I'm doing pretty well with my new year's resolutions! I've been eating really healthily and *shock horror* not one bag of crisps nor one bar of chocolate has passed my lips. Thats a pretty big deal for someone who used to have at least one of each every day. I don't even miss my multiple weekly visits to Greggs! It seems to already be paying off as my face doesn't look half as bloated as it did last week. I've spent this week going to loads of different baby groups as its good for Chloe and it helps take my mind off more stressful things. I've bought a couple of new beauty bits because the offers were too good to resist (oops) but otherwise all my money has gone on food & bills. Hopefully I can keep this up because I feel pretty proud of myself right now!

Monday 7 January 2013

MAC Lady Danger Lipstick

I'm not normally one for bright bold lips when going about my everyday life but that all changed when I picked up MAC's infamous Lady Danger last month. This highly pigmented orangey-red is raved about by so many different makeup artists & celebrities and with very good reason. The colour is one of the nicest I have ever come across. The hint of orange is just enough to lift the complexion & makes it a bit more interesting than your average red lippie. Its such a sexy colour & would look fab on a night out but I find it also really perks me up during the day. Its a real confidence booster. It seems like the kind of lipstick that would suit a wide range of skin colours & tones.

The texture is one of the things I'm most impressed with. I'm normally quite wary of matte lipsticks because they tend to be drying & unforgiving on chapped lips but this baby glides on like a dream. Its opaque with one swipe and applies really nicely either straight from the bullet or with a lip brush. It sticks around for a good few hours but doesn't fade very well. Its gives me that weird outer red ring left after finishing my lunch so its definitely best to either reapply or take it off completely. To ensure the focus was on my lips I kept the rest of my makeup very simple with bold brows, some natural looking blush & neutral eyeshadows rather than my usual black liquid liner. It seems more appropriate for daytime this way. If you want to wear it at night I'd recommend something simple but still more dramatic such as lots of eyeliner & some thick false lashes because Lady Danger demands all of your attention. Its a real badass colour & I certainly can't get enough of it!

Thursday 3 January 2013

Favourite Products Of 2012

My monthly favourite posts are probably the ones I enjoy writing the most. Lots of you have told me that they're the ones you enjoy reading the most too. So today I bring you my yearly roundup of the products that I've loved using. It was really difficult to narrow the list down this year. There were so many new things that I tried & that have quickly become an essential part of my beauty regime. I'm surprised to see what things have changed & whats stayed the same from my last yearly favourites post. One thing's for sure, 2012 was a very expensive year in beauty!

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift & Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm / Alpha-H Liquid Gold
REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask / Hydraluron / Caudalie Beauty Elixir / Bioderma Créaline H2O

I definitely spent the most amount of money on new skincare products. I fell in love with this Emma Hardie cleanser from the moment I tried it. It removes makeup like nothing else & leaves your skin feeling so soft. I'm sure you could tell that Liquid Gold would be on my list. This glycolic acid based chemical exfoliant is something of a miracle potion for me. It resurfaces your skin getting rid of blemishes, fine lines & reducing scarring. Hands down, it is my favourite product of the year. The REN Invisible Pores is such a wonderful clay face mask. It draws out all the impurities in my skin & tightens every pore. Hydraluron is my favourite product for injecting a quick hit of moisture to the skin as its basically a super power up serum for your moisturiser. It rehydrates skin & helps keep spots at bay. I still love the Caudalie Beauty Elixir and spray it on my face twice a day. Its just so refreshing on the skin & I couldn't go without it now. Bioderma is the best thing you can use if you're feeling too lazy to actually wash your face. It just dissolves makeup so well & doesn't irritate my skin or eyes whatsoever.

Moroccanoil / Percy & Reed Finishing Polish / Kerastase Ciment Thermique / Redken Real Control Overnight Treat
Bumble & Bumble Texture Hair (Un) Dressing Creme / Denman Dressing Out Hairbrush

I use Moroccanoil every time I wash my hair & it has definitely helped with its overall condition. I really like the Percy & Reed Finishing Polish as it gives my hairstyle great hold & successfully tames my frizz without weighing down my hair. Nothing beats Ciment Thermique when it comes to heat protection. It also makes your hair softer & has a lovely grapefruit scent. The Redken Overnight Treat is my favourite leave in product as you really do wake up with better looking hair. Bumble & Bumble products are amazing, I only wish they weren't quite so expensive. One thing from them that you should definitely splurge on is this Hair (Un) Dressing Creme. A tiny blob of this stuff ran through your roots before blow drying will give you just the right amount of texture & volume. To give my roots even more volume I use this Dressing Out brush. It is the best backcombing brush ever & can even be used to brush through wigs & hair extensions.

Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Primer / Bobbi Brown Corrector / Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray / theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer / Laura Mercier Mineral Powder
Illamasqua Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Clarins Instant Smooth is my new favourite primer. It gives you such a flawless base & basically airbrushes out your pores. Nothing manages to cover my hideous dark circles quite like my Bobbi Brown Corrector. It really brightens up the under eye area and makes you look a lot more awake. For most of 2012 I stuck with Estee Lauder Double Wear because I do love the coverage & staying power. Then Estee Lauder did something stupid & got rid of their palest shade. Enter Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation. Soft Ivory is such a perfect colour for me. You only need the tiniest blob for flawless skin and I find I don't need to use concealer on my blemishes when I use this foundation. I love the Urban Decay Setting Spray as it keeps your face in place all day & stops powder from looking powdery. I have a ridiculous obsession with highlighters and I couldn't stop myself from buying new ones in my search for the perfect glow. Look no further, theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer is the ultimate highlighter! I bought this back in May and haven't used or purchased another one since. I use this every single day as nothing else can deliver such a powerful shine. For days when I'm running late I go for a quick bit of concealer under my eyes and a good dusting of this Laura Mercier Mineral Powder. It has great coverage & gives a natural glow. I'd recommend this one over the pressed mineral powder as the pressed ones give a more matte finish. My favourite product for setting my makeup & taking away shine from my t-zone is this Illamasqua powder. I'm paranoid about my mascara running & concealer creasing under my eyes. This powder sets them perfectly & doesn't look cakey at all.

Lancome Doll Eyes Mascara / L'Oreal Carbon Gloss Superliner / Anastasia Granite Tinted Brow Gel
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara / Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette / MAC NC15/NW20 Pencil
Maybelline On And On Bronze Colour Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow / MAC Omega Eyeshadow

My mascara & eyeliner choices are the same as last year. I just love this combo for long, thick, voluminous lashes & that perfect black flick. Anastasia are a brand I've been excited to try for a while & their Tinted Brow Gel certainly didn't disappoint. This is such a great product for when you need your brows done fast. Something I've used for a long time is the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara. The tiny brush is fab for getting all those little bottom lashes & as it is a tubing mascara you don't have to worry about it running. The Naked 2 palette really is the best eyeshadow palette I own with shades & textures for all occasions. My eyes don't look right if I forget to use my MAC NC15/NW20 eye pencil. It really opens them up and takes away any redness. I've bought quite a few cream eyeshadows this year but Maybelline's On And On Bronze tops the list. Its such a nice colour & works well on its own as well as under other eye shadows without any creasing. At the beginning of last year I was using the HD Brows palette but I found the shades were just too dark & it was easy to overdo it. Omega is the perfect eyebrow colour. Its dark enough to match my eyebrow hairs & cool enough to look right with my blonde hair.

Stila Petunia Convertible Colour / Illamasqua Sophie / NARS Deep Throat

I adore the Stila Convertible Colours! I used to be quite wary of cream blushers but the formula of these is just spot on. All the colours are gorgeous but Petunia is the one I reach for most. Its a bright rosy pink & looks fab on both cheeks & lips. I love love love Illamasqua's blushers & this is one of their newer shimmer blushers. Sophie is such a gorgeous bright golden coral colour and adds a nice bit of warmth to my complexion. NARS Deep Throat is a colour I reach for on an everyday basis. Its just the perfect colour for me & I can't get enough of it. This is actually the only NARS blusher I own, I'd love to get my hands on Douceur next.

Lip Products
NUXE Reve De Miel Lip Balm / Revlon Strawberry Shortcake Lip Butter
Revlon Rendezvous Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain / Look Beauty Citrus Kick Double Hit Lip
MAC Subculture Lip Pencil

The only lip balm capable of saving my lips from death this year has been this lovely NUXE one. I really like the pot & the stick but the pot definitely wins when you need an intense hit of moisture as its a bit thicker. I'd never tried any Revlon products before this year & I truly loved their two very hyped products - the Lip Butters & Balm Stains. Strawberry Shortcake is a lovely everyday pink whereas Rendezvous is sexy orange number. I also really like the Look Beauty Double Hit Lips. One end is a lipstick & the other is a lipgloss. Citrus Kick is another orange but it turns into a very pretty coral when it combines with the natural pink of my lips. The scent is absolutely delicious too. MAC's Subculture lip pencil is great nudey pink shade for emphasising the shape of your lips. It works well under a variety of lip colours & gives you super pouty lips.

Nail Polishes
Essie Cute As A Button / Essie Lilacism / Essie Fiji / Models Own Disco Inferno / Louise Gray For Topshop Junk Yard

I've been loving Essie polishes this year. The new brush makes them so easy to apply & they dry fairly quickly. They don't chip much either with a good coat of Seche Vite on top. Lilacism is probably my favourite one as I just love purple colours! I've also gotten into glitter polishes this year. The whole Models Own Mirrorball collection was amazing but as a gold lover Disco Inferno is the one I reach for most often. This Louise Gray for Topshop glitter nail polish is so stunning & I can't stop staring at my nails whenever I wear it.

Real Techniques Brushes / Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers / Tweezerman Tweezers

Most of my makeup brush collection has been replaced with Real Techniques brushes since they launched in the UK. I think they're amazing quality with super soft bristles that dry quickly after washing & don't shed at all. My makeup looks so much better since I invested in some of these. I use these three on a daily basis. I apply my foundation using the Buffing Brush, my blusher using the Contour Brush and loose powder with the setting brush. I can't recommend these enough and wish these were around before I wasted loads of money on overhyped MAC brushes which used to just shed all over my face. I use these Shu Uemura eyelash curlers every day without fail. They make my lashes look so much better & open up my eyes. They make such a difference. I've used these tweezers for years as you can pluck out the tiniest hairs with them. They last forever so they're definitely worth the investment.