Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Perfect Nude Nail

When I realised I didn't own the perfect nude nail colour, I went on a hunt. Luckily, my favourite nail range, the Barry M quick dry, had a couple of nude selections  and it was 3 for 2 soo...

This is the first one I tried out of the three I bought yesterday and I feel like it can't get better than this, this is the perfect nudey- beigey- pink colour, and because it's my favourite quick-dry formula I love it even more. The shade name is Winning Streak - all of the quick dry range have racing- related names which is pretty cool. I use two coats to make sure it's super opaque, over the Iron-Mani base coat, also from Barry M, and under the Seche Vite top coat, which is life.

Basically this is a staple, nude polish for a bargain at £3? £4? Less if you're me and you never just get one. Love it, over and out.

Thanks for reading!

Lou x

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Sunday Chats | Lazy Weekends

Recently, I've had a fair few lazy weekends. This might be something to do with most of my friends being on actual holiday abroad, or holiday from uni, as a fair few of them are still studying.
For a lazy weekend, I like a mixture of junk food, boxsets, youtube, coffee and a spot of shopping (shopping is like therapy, right?). I also like to squeeze the gym in if I get a chance between watching MAC lipstick collections and eating Ben & Jerry's on the sofa in front of Sex & The City. I think I'm middle aged.

Anyway, the point of this post was just to recommend my three favourite things from this particular weekend.
Firstly, coffee. Real, grown up coffee-  yeah, I'm that girl now. Real coffee is definitely nicer than the normal stuff you get in a jar, which I use during the week, and my ground coffee of choice is from Pact Coffee - check out their website - I get a pack delivered a month and you get a lot  of cups per bag. It isn't cheap, about £7/8 a bag, but it's a little weekend treat I really enjoy.

Secondly, my YouTube discovery of the weekend - Allana Davison. She's basically hilarious and I've been binge-watching her videos aaall weekend. Glorious.

Thirdly, yep, it's a boxset, I live in the past. I don't know what it is but I love a DVD, a real, solid DVD. My DVD collection is extensive and still growing and I've been re-watching the SatC series recently; it's a classic.

So yeah, I hope ya'll had a great weekend!

Thanks for reading

Lou x

Sunday, 3 April 2016

New to my MAC Palette | Coppering & Sumptuous Olive

Y'know, I am really enjoying this whole palette - building situation, and my DIY MAC collection is actually turning out to be a lot more adventurous than I had imagined.
I started off with fairly neutral shades, and have a nice selection of mattes, along with Star Violet and All That Glitters as beautiful lid shades.
However, one evening I got caught in a swatch- photo hole on Google, and I fell in love with these two shades; both a little more out there than my original selection. Copping and Sumptuous Olive are both beautifully pigmented and highly metallic, and I think are going to be so lovely for the summer months.
Coppering is a really warm burnt- orange copper with gold shimmer. It's very red-toned so may be quite tricky to wear, but I've given it a go a couple of times already and I think it's soo pretty.
Sumptuous Olive has really opened my eyes to the world of green eyeshadows; I just want loads more because this one is so beautiful. It's a yellow- toned olive- green with gold shimmer - really high- shine and would look beautiful on any eye colour.
So yeah, here are the new recruits, I'm v. excited about them. The only problem is, now I need a lovely warm, mid brown crease shade...

Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Base routine/ favourite base products

Oh hi! Welcome to my morning face, and my amazing mug which I got literally ten years ago. Welcome.

It's been a while, sorry about that, life got in the way.

Anyway, hopefully as  you can see from the title, this post is all about base (buttery biscuit base)..if you don't know what that means I don't think we can be friends. Look it up.

So for this, I used all (very almost) highstreet, or drugstore products to achieve a natural looking base which just needed topping up with whatever eye and lip look I fancied.
I won't say this is an everyday look - I tend not to have time to do a few of these steps- but this probably only took 15-20 minutes tops.

For foundation, my favourite at the moment is Rimmel Match Perfection in a mix of Porcelain and Ivory to get my colour. I love this stuff, even though I have pretty oily skin, and I think it might be better suited to normal to dry skin as it has a really natural/dewy finish. I do get oily on my T Zone during the day, but I prefer that to the foundation breaking down into patches which looks awful with foundations like the L'Oreal True Match. Anyway, I digress.

For concealer, a mix of my Bobbi Brown Corrector, Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer and the L'Oreal True Match clicky highlight pen thing. Love all these, great cocktail of concealers. Speaking of the Collection concealer, I used a little of Shade 4 to warm up my face just around the edges and on my cheeks. This isn't a cream contour, it's a pretty warm shade, but it works really nicely as a cream bronzer.

For powder (which isn't in the photo, sorry, it was 7am) I use my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Difused Light, as well as my Fit Me Powder to set oilier areas.

I like to cancel out discolouration on my eyelids every day, it just makes your eyes look so much more awake. I was using the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Creme de Rose, but I have this sample of Benefit's Stay Don't Stray so I've been using that for a while now - it's lasting forever!

For my brows, I am looving my Anastasia Dip Brow in Soft Brown at the moment, I think it's dried out a little and I'm finding it a lot easier to not over- load. I top this off with the L'Oreal Brow Plumper. 

Somehow, for the rest of my face, I accidentally used three Revolution Products. Firstly, this huge Bronze/Shimmer/Highlight pan and then the blush in Love. Really like both of these, especially the bronzer which I always go back to. For highlight, which I basically put all over my face, I used the Revolution Radiant Lights palette which is amazing if you're looking for a budget highlight, really long lasting, and a great selection of three shades for all skin tones. Ah-maze.

So yeah! Think that's it. As I said, not something I have time for every morning, but definitely nice when I have a little more time in the mornings and I want a little extra bronze 'n' glow.

Thanks for reading!

Side note, I have child hair. Yep. 

Sunday, 21 February 2016

New Fragrances

I had a fragrance moment in January, and really went on the hunt for a delicious new perfume. Luckily, it was my birthday, so I was actually able to pick up a second one in the sales (January is the best time to have a birthday).

So Jo Malone... I've definitely been lusting after the brand in general for a while now, and picking just one to take home as my own was actually really difficult. I went into Selfridges convinced I was going to pick up English Pear and Freesia, but after smelling it again I decided it was too sweet and sickly, and so the field lay wide open to the whole range, and I finally settled on Nectarine Blossom and Honey. Not one I hear much about, but I really like it. Even though it's Honey and blossom, I wouldn't say it's too sweet, it's a good mix of floral fresh and sweet, which is perfect for day time.

In the sales, I had real luck in Debenhams looking at their reduced Fragrance gift sets from Christmas- such a good tip, if you're after a fragrance, it is always worth waiting until after Christmas to see if the gift set has been reduced, because they always get knocked down a lot and become way cheaper than buying the perfume alone. I chose Love Story by Chloe which is a delicious warm-ish fragrance - quite eveningy- but not as sweet and sultry as my Georgio Armani Si which I still love. I think I managed to pick up this 50ml bottle with a body lotion for around £38 - pretty good considering the perfume alone is normally priced at over 60£. I just had a quick google and you can still get a good deal over at Boots - http://www.boots.com/en/Chloe-Love-Story-Eau-De-Parfum-50ml-100ml-Body-Lotion_1728479/  .

So yeah, just a quick ramble about ma new smellz, love em, have a whiff next time you get a chance :)

Thanks for reading!
Lou x

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Real Techniques Sculpting Set | Review


Disclaimer: I both use and wash my make-up brushes, unfortunately, these three were not all clean at the same time. Apologies.

This is a lovely Real Techniques set I received for my birthday - it's definitely not one  you hear about much, or one that I had even seen very much in the shops or online - but it really is great and an all-round good selection.

I'm not one for contour, I have fairly pronounced cheekbones which make me look dead at the best of times without me creating even more of a shadow, and I don't believe this set of brushes needs to used for contouring or sculpting at all.

The angled face brush - probably meant for contour - is ah-mazing for foundation. Like, literally so good - its really dense so it really blends the product into your skin without leaving horrible streaky marks, and it's quite skinny; making it easy to get around the nose, eyes and eyelids. You could definitely use this for contour too if you were that way inclined, but I definitely count this as a flawless base brush.

The next brush, in the photo, is the fan brush, which is something I didn't think I needed... what the hell was I doing with highlight before this brush? I will never know. Amazing for highlighting cheekbones, under the brow, topline, bottom lip, all the lips (oo-er). I luff it.

Lastly, a brush I already had in some form or another, but definitely an absolutely essential for so many things. This is the setting brush, and it's perfect for just that -setting the under eyes- as well as being totally brill for blending concealer under the eyes, around the nose and wherever else you might find it. Having two of these still isn't enough, I need 10.

So yeah, definitely a brush set I would strongly recommend, and one which could probably cover absolutely all bases if you needed it to - foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer, highlight, and probably blush as well.

Thanks for reading! x

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Current Cleansers

I definitely haven't got to the high- end cleanser point in my life yet. To me, if I'm washing it off my face, I don't really want to spend a lot of money, and I'll stick to drugstore options.

These are the two I'm using at the moment; I've definitely  spoken about the Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil before, and to be honest even though this is probably my third bottle, I'm not really sure that I love it. It definitely gets my make up off, and feels a lot nicer than a stripping/foaming cleanser. As price goes, it's fairly up there for drugstore, but the Body Shop constantly has a 30 or 40% discount, so never buy anything full price.

Secondly, the Boots Botanics Hydration Burst Triple Action Cleanser has quickly become a real favourite of mine, after I purchased it on impulse a few weeks back. When I bought it, it was half price at around £2.70 (?) so I'm guessing at full price it'd be around the £5 mark. This is really nice for morning cleansing, which is what I've been using it for. It's a gel-like texture, really light and a little goes a long way.  No offensive smell and I'm hoping that the whole "botanics" thing means it has nice ingredients.

Other than these two, I still love the Superdrug Hot Cloth Cleanser which I keep a couple of under my sink as back ups - you just can't go wrong with that one.

Thanks for reading! x

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Starting my MAC palette


Long time no see! I put my absence down to a busy few weeks - Christmas, New Year and my birthday all fall within two weeks of each other, and getting back into the swing of work/gym/friends/life was spread out between them.
I can't say I've had the healthiest start to the year- tangent, but I'm really struggling to get to the gym, see my friends and loved ones, and finding time for my blog is something else to find time for at the weekends, as I don't see enough day light during the week to take photos.
Anywayy, tangent over.

So MAC. Yes. I was very lucky on my birthday when my lovely work colleagues gifted me a MAC Pro palette, insert, 3 shadows and a voucher to purchase my own. I know, I work with awesome people, and I've always dreamed (cringe) of my own customised MAC palette.

Needless to say, the 3 shadows I was gifted were absolutely perfect and definitely ones I would have picked myself - Swiss Chocolate, All That Glitters and Vanilla. I then used my voucher and a little of my own money to purchase 3 further shades. As I pretty much had my brown basics down, I went on a google-swatch fest to find the best purples. Without even visiting a store, I chose Haux, Star Violet and Blackberry. Luckily, the online swatches got it spot on and  they were exactly what I wanted.
I am so happy with how my palette is shaping up, and so excited to add to it little by little.

Here are some lovely swatches - you'll notice that Vanilla is missing but that's because it's the same colour as my skin so you basically can't see it anyway.

Thanks for reading :)

Friday, 22 January 2016

I don't understand hair products/ hair stuff I actually use

I have a strange relationship with my hair, especially recently.
After spending at least 4 years growing and bleaching my hair slowly blonder (basically I want to be Blake Lively), I have done a total U-turn in favour of shorter, darker hair, and have quite literally gone back to my roots in terms of colour.
Anyhow, even when I had longer, blonder hair, my haircare/ styling routine was pretty minimal, and how ever many hair styling products I try, I never cease to be underwhelmed.

Instead of listing all the things I have tried and do not understood, I thought I would list the things I actually do use in the order that I would use them.

1. Shampoo and conditioner. Because obviously I do need clean hair. I have no loyalties where this is concerned - whatever is on offer will do, price range pretty much 2-5£ and not above. It's basically soap for your hair right? - Why spend a lot.

2. Some form of leave in conditioner/ hair oil. I do like to use something on the ends of my hair when it is damp to further hydrate and tame while I blowdry. I'm currently using some kind of L'Oreal split end treatment cream; it's alright, nothing to write home about.

3. Heat protectant. I do see a need for this, and absolutely notice a difference when I don't use something to protect my hair when I dry/ straighten/ curl it. I have to say I have used a couple of shoddy ones which have left my hair sticky and gross, but the Vo5 one I'm currently using is awesome. It's pretty much the rules of suncream for your hair - why would you not use it?

4. Dry Shampoo. I can't live life without dry shampoo. Not that my hair is particularly greasy, but on the second day it does need a refresh, and I definitely find that spraying some dry shamps onto my scalp before bed makes it a little fresher next morning.

5. An occasional hair mask/ deep conditioner. Especially when I had longer, blonder hair I found a nice hydrating hair mask really nice to use, and definitely a good boost for the moisture and colour of my hair.

These are the 5 things I use on a very regular basis. Hairspray, mouse, texturizing spray, styling cream... all the rest of it really eludes results for me. Hairspray I often find sticky and doesn't make enough of a difference to make me want to use it much. Anything that claims to volumise/ style/whatever doesn't seem to make any difference to me if I'm honest ... I'll stick to my dry shampoo and heat protectant.

Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Sunday Chat - 10 Confessions of a Beauty Addict

I write this from my bed, in my dressing gown, with a steaming mug of green tea. Yes it's four pm, but it's Sunday and I'm hung-over AF. I do apologise for my vulgarity, but that eggy bread I decided to make at 2pm doesn't feel like such a good idea anymore, and this laptop screen is so bright I'm squinting like I'm in sodding St Tropez or something.
Anyhow, real life shit aside, this post is going to be about all those things I notice because of my obsession with all things beauty. I hope you find them interesting or amusing, or that you relate them and feel my pain.

1. No, I'm not looking in the mirror again because I'm vain. I'm trying to see if this new foundation is sitting well over the primer I'm trialling it with today. Is it settling into my pores? I simply have to know.

2.Yes, if you're wearing make up I will probably be analysing it. This doesn't mean I'm judging you whatsoever, I'm just surveying what you have done with your face and whether I'm missing out on anything. A grey eyeliner wing? I like it. Interesting.

3. That being said, if your eyeshadow/contour/blush/foundation/concealer is really unblended and just plain shoddy, I might feel a little sorry for you.

4. I will have an opinion on the MAC lipstick you're talking about or wearing. And I will talk about MAC lipsticks as if they are old friends.

5. Choosing a lip colour before a night out is infinitely more exciting than choosing my drink. Or my outfit.

6. I often forget about my hair because I'm too busy lining my lips/perfecting my brows.

7.Speaking of brows, yours are telling me a lot about you, and I will also be analysing them along with the rest of your make up.

8. Even the shoddiest highstreets have a Boots or a Superdrug, so if you need to go the Gym/the bank/whatever, I will probably be happy for at least half an hour while I swatch and mooch around in either one.

9. Skincare is a way of life. Even if I'm getting home at 5am, I will find a way to clean my face and moisturise it at the very least.

10. I am proud of my make-up collection, I really enjoy re-organising and spending time considering what I own, what I'm missing and what I could get rid of. Will I ever use this lime green liner? Probably not, but you never know....

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

A Couple of Christmas Treats

Oh hi!
Happy New Yar ya'll, I hope you had a good one and a wonderful festive season.
This post is all about three lovely things I got my hands on over the Christmas period. My lovely (double lovely) boyfriend actually gifted these products to me, for which I am obviously super, super grateful.

Firstly, Charlotte Tilbury. Ah ma gaad, finally, I have my mitts on some luxurious CT eyeshadow. This is the Dolce Vita palette which I know is the most hyped around the blog/youtube world but I couldn't help it; these four shadows are just exactly what I want in a quad. I've only used it once so far (I think honestly I'm a little bit scared of using it) but you will definitely be hearing more about this in future posts.

Secondly, MAC Mehr lipstick. As you might know, MAC's Brave is my absolute go-to lip colour, and Mehr is definitely along the same lines: a mauvey, mid tone pink, but slightly darker, matte version of Brave. I love it.

Lastly, Benefit's Dandelion blush. I've had my eye on this one for a long while and I'm so glad I finally have this in my collection. Dandelion is perfect for pale gals like me - a light, shimmery pink which looks super natural and lovely on the cheeks.

So, yeah, just a little ramble about what I've got going on here, keep your eyes peeled for future reviews and looks using these three little gems :)
Thanks for reading!
Lou x