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