Sunday, 29 December 2013

What I Got For Christmas: Beauty Edition

I'm hoping to get my blogging mojo back in 2014 and start posting regularly again but to ease myself back into it I thought I'd write about some of the beauty bits I got for Christmas.

I wasn't sure what I wanted this year and since I didn't ask for any 'big' presents I wrote my mum a list of some beauty bits that I'd had my eye on for a while. My Mum and Dad ended up getting me a new Armani Luminous Silk foundation as I'd ran out and it's my favourite foundation for going out at night and special occasions. Dior is my favourite high end brand for mascaras, especially the original Diorshow so I wanted to try the Iconic Overcurl as I'd heard good things about it and so far I'm loving it. I also got the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Cleansing Balm which I've wanted for ages but couldn't justify spending that much on a cleanser. The present I was most excited about was the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate palette, I've always wanted some Tom Ford makeup and thought this would be the perfect addition as I love to contour - watch out for a full review on this ASAP!

From my sister I got some new MAC eyeshadows to add to my palette: Nylon, All That Glitters, Mulch and Carbon and I already had Naked Lunch, Woodwinked and Satin Taupe. I can't wait to fill up this palette with other gorgeous neutral MAC eye shadows, any recommendations?! My friends Samantha and Emma got me some Barry M and Topshop bits. Barry M Gelly's are the best drugstore nail polish and Topshop cream blushers are my favourite - they know me too well!!

Every time I go into House of Fraser I go to the Jo Malone counter and smell all the perfumes so Christmas was the perfect time to ask for one. I finally decided on Nectarine Blossom and Honey which smells amazing, but there are so many amazing scents I can't wait to add more to my collection. I also got the Enrapture Totem Styler which I know a lot of you have. I used it today for the first time and was really impressed and as I hardly ever wear my hair straight, these have definitely replaced my GHD's (which are broken anyway).

As well as beauty bits I also got some new clothes, converse and the usual things like pyjamas and money. Oh, I also treated myself to the Michael Kors Mini Selma bag which I'll do a post on soon. I was well and truly spoiled again this Christmas. If you've done a 'What I Got For Christmas' post please leave the link below as I love reading them!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Lauren's Way Darker Than Dark Tanning Range

Due to starting a new job with crazy long hours on top of busy weekends I haven't been able to find time to blog over the past month. However, I'm finally back with a post about one of  my favourite products to blog about: fake tan.

Lauren's Way tan* by Lauren Goodger is a tan I've used for a couple of years, I started off using the Glam Tan which you can see me wearing here (a long time ago) but after trying a sample of the Darker Than Dark tan I got in a goody bag it soon replaced Glam Tan as my favourite. After I used up the samples I never got round to buying a full size bottle so when I was offered to review the range I jumped at the chance.

Lauren's Way tan is blended with cocoa, rose petal, jasmine and passion flower and the hint of citrus gives it a sort of orange scent which I really like. It comes in both a mousse and a lotion so you can choose which formula you prefer, personally I prefer mousse as I think it's easier and faster to apply. Before I apply my tan I like to go for a shower and exfoliate using exfoliating gloves and a body scrub to make sure most of my old tan has came off and also to buff away any dry skin. I then moisturise paying particular attention to my elbows and knees then I apply the tan to both my face and body using a tanning mitt. I always use a mitt to apply my tan as I think it helps make it nice and even and also I'm not left with orange palms.

As you can probably tell by the name, the Darker Than Dark tan is the darkest in the range and is a great option if you have an olive skin tone and prefer an intense colour. Also, make sure you're an experienced tanner as it's very dark! I've used fake tan since I was about 13 (yes, really) and apply it 3 times a week so this is perfect for me. I usually only use the Darker Than Dark tan for the weekend and a slightly lighter one for during the week.You can also get medium and dark shades if you prefer a more natural colour or don't wear fake tan often.

If you want to see photos of my wearing Darker Then Dark tan I'm wearing it here and here. I love this particular shade as I only need to apply it once and I'm ready to go! I usually put it on at night then wash off the guide colour in the morning which isn't very good for my white bed sheets but the guide colour is a bit too dark to wear out of the house! You can wash it off within 4-8 hours so if you're having a day in the house then you could also put it on then.

The 150ml of mousse costs £19.95* and the 250ml of lotion costs £17.95* and you can buy them online here. I usually spend an average of £20 on fake tan so this is the perfect price for me. Overall, this is still one of my favourite fake tans and if like me you love a deep, dark tan then I really recommend it.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Layered Flicked 3/4 Wig from Wonderland Wigs

[Natural Hair]
[With 3/4 Wig]

When I go on a night out I never feel done up without my tan, eyelashes and hair extensions. I've been wearing clip-in hair extensions for about 7 years, ever since I was 16. I've always had long hair so the extensions have never been to add length, I just use them to add volume as my hair is really flat and fine.

When I was given the chance to try out a 3/4 wig from Wonderland Wigs I was so excited as my sister has one and I've always wanted to get one for myself. As I always wear my hair with a bit of a curl/wave I chose the Layered Flick 3/4 Wig* and one of the lovely girls at Wonderland Wigs colour matched me to the shade 8H12/24 Mixed Brown Blonde Highlights. I'd always been reluctant to buy one of the 3/4 wigs as I never thought I'd get one to match the colour of my hair but this shade ended up matching my hair perfectly and looked really natural.

Wonderland 3/4 wigs come in a range of different colours and styles to suit everyone and the particular wig I chose is double volume with natural flicks and layers. Each wig has two hidden flexi combs at the front and back (which you can see in the photo above) that slide into the hair to hold the wig securely and comfortably in place. To put it in you simply section off the front part of your hair, slide the wig into place and then backcomb the front section over it to hide the line where the hair and the wig join. I like to add a few kirby grips (bobby pins) to make sure the wig definitely wont budge when I'm out.

This particular wig isn't real human hair, however you can get real human hair from Wonderland Wigs which are a bit pricier. Despite it being synthetic, it still looks really natural and you can keep it maintain by using special wig shampoo and conditioner that you can also purchase on the webiste. The standard length of my wig is 28 inches, however I cut a couple of inches off the bottom to make it roughly the same length as my natural hair.

I've wore this out on two nights out so far and I'm absolutely loving it, it's so much easier and quicker than clipping in rows of extensions. If you're a fan of extensions and glam voluminous hair I definitely recommend checking out Wonderland Wigs. The Layered 3/4 Wig costs £25.99 which is an amazing price considering I spend aroung £60/70 on my clip ins.

Are you a fan of hair pieces or extensions?

Friday, 25 October 2013

The Vampire Diaries Inspired Halloween Makeup

I always find deciding what to dress up as for Halloween really hard and never really go all out. This year I felt the same and as The Vampire Diaries is my favourite TV show I decided to try out a Katherine/Elena inspired makeup look.

To create this look I started off with using two foundations, a dark one for around the outside of my face and a light one in the middle to create a contoured look. I also contoured and highlighted my face to make it look a little more sculpted. For the eyes I decided to go for a dark black and red smoky eye using MAC Carbon and Coppering as well as the red from my Kryolan Grease palette. For the veins under the eyes I mixed together the red and black colours from my grease palette and used a fine liner brush to draw them on (you don't need to be neat at all). To make my eyes a little more dramatic I added some falsies and also did my brows a little darker than usual. As you never really see Katherine or Elena wearing dark lipstick I stuck with a nude lip (dark got all over the fangs) and again used the red from my grease palette for some blood. To top off the look I obviously needed some fangs which you can get here on eBay for only £1.99!

Products used:
  • Bourjous Healthy Mix foundation 55
  • Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions foundation 01 Fresh Alabaster
  • MAC Prep & Prime Highlighting Pen in Light Boost
  • MAC Harmony Blush
  • NARS Laguna Bronzer
  • MAC MSF in Medium
  • NARS Albatross highlighting powder
  • MAC eye shadows in Carbon and Coppering
  • L'Oreal Super Liner
  • MAC Feline kohl liner
  • Benefit Brow Zings in Dark
  • Eylure Lashes
  • Rimmel Moisture Renew lipstick in Nude Delight
  • Krylon Professional Makeup Supracolour Grease Palette

I actually really love this makeup look and have decided to go out as this for Halloween this weekend and next. I'm going to do my hair big and curly and wear an all black outfit and super high heels for the Katherine Pierce look. I hope you like the look I created! What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan

As you all know, fake tan might just be my all time favourite beauty product. I wear it every single day and apply it about 2-3 times a week which can be a bit of a pain but I'm pretty dedicated to my tanning routine. I've tried loads of different brands over the years and a few have stood out, however there has always been one issue: I have a last minute night out and my tan has to be worn for 4 hours before I can shower. This situation always ends up with me out without washing the guide colour off and smelling like a biscuit all night (not attractive). 

That's where Cocoa Brown one hour tan* comes in! This new innovative tan by Marissa Carter promises natural, bronzed skin in just one hour. Yep that's right, after just one hour you can shower and wash the guide colour off leaving you with a glowing tan for up to 5 days. Also as an added bonus this mousse dries super quickly and doesn't have that horrible fake tan smell. 

I have to admit, I've used this tan roughly 5 times over the last 2 weeks (told you I was dedicated) but you can just apply it once a week making sure you exfoliate regularly. I'm absolutely loving this tan, it gives a gorgeous natural colour after one application however if you like a deeper tan like myself I apply it two days in a row or even leave it on for 3 hours instead. I did however end up in my usual situation and wore it out without washing it off on Saturday (I did my makeup and didn't want to ruin it by showering again) but this time I didn't smell like a biscuit as it has a sort of floral scent when you first apply it which eventually fades and becomes odourless. 

I find fake tan mousse much easier and quicker to apply than a lotion and use a tanning mitt for an even application (orange palms are not a good look). I know a lot of people don't like to, but I apply fake tan to my face as well (every second day as it fades faster on my face) and Cocoa Brown tan seems to agree with my skin as it hasn't broken me out. 

Overall, this tan is definitely a winner and I can see myself forever repurchasing it. It's quick and easy to apply, a lovely colour and it's inexpensive, what's not to love? I also think this would be a great tan for first timers or someone who isn't very confident when it comes to applying fake tan. Cocoa Brown tan can be purchased at Superdrug, Boots and Primark (to name a few) for only £7.99. Is this something you'd consider purchasing? 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Matte Nail Paints by Barry M

I've been loving matte nails for a while now and usually add the Rimmel Matte Top Coat to my chosen colour of nail polish so I was excited to hear that Barry M where bringing out a matte range. Barry M are definitely one of my favourite drug store nail polishes with me being a big fan of the Gelly range, however these gorgeous colours have definitely taken over from them as my new favourites. I love neutral coloured nails so when I went into Superdrug the other week I couldn't decided between these 3 gorgeous shades so I went for all 3. The colours I picked up are; Vanilla, Caramel and Mocha (I love the names). 

The forumla of these nail polishes is amazing, it applies smoothly and dries quickly. It's fully opaque after 2 coats and to make it last longer I add my Rimmel Matte Top Coat again so I don't lose the matte finish. Vanilla is a gorgeous purple toned nude/grey colour which I love as it's not similar to any other colours I have in my collection. Caramel, which is what I'm wearing on my nails at the moment is the perfect light brown/nude in my opinion. Finally, Mocha, which I think is my favourite out of the three as it's really different and not a colour I'd usually go for on my nails as it's a cool toned brown. 

I am completely sold on these nail paints and I think they're the perfect shades for all year round. They also come in a black and a berry colour which I think will be great for the Autumn/Winter months. I can see these being on my nails constantly for the next while and willl possibly pick up the other two shades. The Barry M Matte nail paints cost £3.99 and you can buy them online or at Boots and Superdrug.

Are you a fan of matte nails and have you tried these nail paints yet?

Sunday, 13 October 2013

e.l.f All Over Color Stick & Conditioning Lip Balm

[Conditioning Lip Balm: £3.38*, All Over Color Stick: £1.50*]

e.l.f is a brand I've heard a lot of Bloggers talk about but one I had never thought of trying. When I was offered to review a couple of products I was intrigued and thought it would be a great chance to try them out for myself. I received an All Over Color Stick* in Pink Lemonade and a Conditioning Lip Balm* in Nice & Natural and have been trying them out over the last couple of weeks.

The All Over Color Sticks are a 3 in 1 product for eyes, lips and cheeks. Pink Lemonade isn't really a shade you would use on your eyes, so I stuck with my lips and cheeks. However, I was left a little disappointed with this product. It did give a lovely glow to my cheeks, but it felt a little bit sticky and it just isn't a colour I'd wear on my lips as it's got a bit too much shimmer for my liking. They also come in champagne and gold colours which I think would be more my taste and would look really nice as a highlight. When I first saw this product, it reminded me of a smaller, cheaper version of the NARS multiples, (which I still haven't got my hands on) however they definitely aren't a dupe. If you can get passed the stickiness, you can buy them online here for £1.50.

Now for the product I actually liked, the Conditioning Lip Balm in Nice & Natural. During the winter months especially, my lips get really chapped and dry and I like to carry multiple lip balms in my bag. These lip balms contain vitamins A & E to condition your lips and have SPF 15 to protect them from sun damage. This product left my lips feeling soft and moisturised whilst leaving a lovely subtle hint of colour. Nice & Natural is a great every day shade, especially for work and it didn't leave my lips feeling sticky at all. The Conditioning lip balms cost £3.38 and come in a range of different shades. You can also purchase them online here.

Have you ever tried any of the e.l.f products and what are your favourites? I have my eye on the Baked Blush's that I saw on Sandra's blog.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

MAC Harmony Blush

For my birthday my sister got me MAC Harmony which has been a product I've wanted in my collection for a while. Harmony is a powder blush, although I prefer to use it for contouring. Contouring is a part of my daily makeup routine and after using this almost every day for a month, it has become my favourite product to use.

Describes by Mac as a 'muted rose-beige brown,' the cool tones make it the perfect natural contour (no orange in sight). I apply it with my Real Techniques contour brush in the hollows of my cheeks, my jawline, my temples and sometimes the sides of my nose if I'm going out. I love how natural Harmony looks and am loving using it in my current daily makeup routine. It costs £18.00 and you can buy it online here or at a counter.

I'm looking forward to adding more contouring and highlighting products to my collection, I've just recently purchased MAC Prep & Prime highlighter in Light Boost and added the Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate to my Christmas list. What are your favourite products for contouring?

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Stargazer Cosmetics

[Temporary Eye Tattoos £4*, Paper False Eyelashes: £6*, Liquid Eye Liner Blue £3.50*, Lipstick 206 £3.50*, Blusher 9 £3.50*, Eyeshadow Arctic Blue £4*, Baked Duo Eyeshadow in Denim £4*]

[Eye Makeup look with the Temporary Tattoos]

Stargazer was a cosmetics brand I was introduced to while studying Makeup Artistry at college when I was 16. They always had the most extravagant lashes and wild coloured lipsticks and shadows for Avant Garde makeup looks, not to mention I was obsessed with their neon pink nail polish. When I was contacted and asked to review some of their products, I was interested to see if they were still something I'd be interested in years later.

First of all, I start with the products that stand out to me. The product I was most intrigued about when my package arrived was the Temporary Eye Tattoos.* I wasn't sure they would work or that they would stay on but one night I had time to play around with my makeup before I went out and decided to create an eye makeup look using one of the styles which you can see in the Instagram photo above (sorry about the quality). To apply them you cut round the tattoo, press is again your eye and wet the back of the paper for a few seconds with a face cloth until the tattoo transfers on to your eye. It stayed put all night and was even quite tricky to take off. I love the different look it created and if you like to be adventurous with your makeup they are definitely something to try out. I also loved the Paper Lashes*, I've tried them on but not had a chance to wear them yet. They were extremely easy to apply and I love the cute bow design. 

The other products I loved were the Blusher* and Lipstick.* For such a small price, the pigment of these products is excellent. You only need the tiniest amount of blusher on your brush for a gorgeous pink glow and the coral coloured lipstick looks gorgeous paired with a coral cheek. The only negative I'd say is the packaging, but for the price I suppose you can't expect anything too fancy! 

Now on to a couple of products which were nice, but just not my style. The liquid eye liner* in blue had a reasonably good pigment and the tiny brush made it easy to apply. However, I'm a neutral eye makeup kinda gal so this isn't something I'd ever wear. Again, the pigment of the eyeshadows* was great but blue isn't a colour I'd ever go for on my eyes. If you like experimenting with different coloured eyeshadows then these are such a bargain, I'll unfortunately be sticking to my neturals. 

Overall, I'm still pretty impressed with the Stargazer products and would definitely repurchase lipsticks, blushers and lashes again in the future. I might even re-order that pink nail polish I was obsessed with! What do you think of Stargazer as a brand and have you ever tried any of their products?

Monday, 23 September 2013

I'm Loving: Victoria's Secret Scents

When my Mum and Sister went to New York at the start of the Summer they brought me back a Victoria's Secret perfume and one of the VS Fantasies fragrance mists. I've been loving them so much that when I was in London the other weekend I decided to pick up a couple of their 30ml Fantasies Eau De Toilettes in Love Spell and Such A Flirt. Can I just say the Bond Street VS store is absolutely stunning, I could have spent hours in it! Here's a little bit about some of the scents I own:

Bombshell Eau De Parfum: This is a well known perfume in the blogger community and one that I couldn't wait to get my hands on. Bombshell is a floral scent with a blend of purple passion fruit, Shangri-la peony and vanilla orchid. Floral is probably one of my favoutite fragrance types as sometimes fruity ones can be a little bit sickening for me. I like to keep this one for night time as it's more expensive than the other fragrances. I also love the pink bottle with the ribbon, so girly! As a treat from NY I got the 100ml bottle which was $68.

Hello Darling Fragrance Mist: There is such a huge range of the Fantasies Fragrance Mists, it would be so hard to choose my favourite. Unfortunately in London I only had carry on luggage so couldn't pick any more of these up as they are over 100ml (sad face). The one my sister chose for me is Hello Darling, a blend of nectarine and peony. It's such a light, fruit scent which isn't too overpowering and perfect for every day. They cost $12 each and all the ladies in my family own one!

Such A Flirt Eau De Toilette: Since I couldn't take anything over 100ml on the plane with me I decided to get a couple of the 30ml eau de toilettes (they were 3 for £24 so I got one for my sister too) which are the same fragrances as the mists and only £11. I remembered my aunt had the mist in this fragrance and I loved the starfruit and white orchid scent. These little 30ml bottles are great for your handbag and last a little bit longer than the mists.

Love Spell Eau De Toilette: I'd say Love Spell is one of the most popular scents, which is a blend of cherry blossom and juicy peach. Love Spell is more of a floral fragrance than Such A Flirt so it's good to have different choices depending on how I'm feeling that day. I think these are such lovely scents for the price of them and would also make perfect girly gifts.

I definitely think Scotland is in need of  a Victoria's Secret store ASAP but at the moment you can still order them online. I will definitely be expanding my collection in the future as I absolutely love them all! What do you think of the VS fragrances?