Sunday, 30 November 2014

Quick & Easy Makeup Routine

This week, I've been on a work placement (with the BBC) so I thought I'd take you through the skincare and makeup products that I've used whilst being a busy BBC bee. Ha.

I've opted for a fairly natural, light look that's absolutely ideal for work or school. Working 40 hours this week has meant that everything's been a bit of a rush, so I've spent less time on my makeup than normal. All of the skincare and makeup products that I've used are high street/drugstore brands, so this look won't be expensive to recreate. Obviously it's catered for my exceptionally needy skin and pale skin tone; so alter it accordingly to suit your skin.

♥ Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser with Muslin Cloth,
♥ Olay Day Fluid for Sensitive Skin,
♥ Carmex Cherry flavour lip balm,
♥ Boots Simply Sensitive Eye Cream (Optional).

♥ Rimmel Fix and Perfect Primer (Optional),
♥ Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in 001 Light Porcelain,
♥ Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in 1 Fair,
♥ Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Translucent,
♥ Real Techniques Expert Face Sponge (Optional).

♥ Boots Natural Collection Bronzer,
♥ Rimmel Mono Blusher in 010 Live Pink,

♥ Max Factor Wild Shadow eyeshadow pencil,
♥ Rimmel brown kohl eyeliner,
♥ Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara in Brown/Black.

Firstly, I start by cleansing my face with the hot cloth cleanser, using the warm muslin cloth to gently exfoliate my skin and then rinse with cold water. If you're in a hurry, skip toner and go straight to moisturiser; I'm currently using the Olay one pictured above. If you've got time dab a little eye cream under your eyes.

If you want your makeup to have extra staying power throughout the day, add some primer. The best high street one I've stumbled across is Rimmel's Fix and Perfect. 

I then dampen my Real Techniques sponge slightly and add about one pump of Wake Me Up foundation over my face; add a little more if you want a heavier coverage. If you're after a really light coverage, swap the foundation for a BB Cream or CC cream instead. Pop some concealer under your eyes and over any blemishes and then seal in place with a light dusting of powder.

To simply do a little bit of contouring, suck your cheeks in and add some bronzer into the part where your cheeks are indented. Apply in a 'three' motion around your face (forehead, under cheeks and jawline. Apply some blusher onto the apples of your cheeks too.

Finally, for your eyes, add some of the Max Factor pencil over your lids. I'm using this lovely pink colour, but if you fancy being a bit more Autumnal, use a brown shade instead. Line your upper lash line with a little bit of kohl eyeliner and apply a couple of coats of mascara... And you're done!

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Mani Monday: Cute as a Button

Who needs dark 'autumnal' nails when you can have pretty coral ones?

Essie's Cute As A Button is my attempt to hold on to beautiful bright and summery shades before I drift to those darker autumnal colours like everyone else has.

I've got a confession to make: This is my first Essie nail varnish...

I've been wearing it on my toes for ages and on my fingernails for the past few days. It's ridiculously durable and hasn't really chipped that much. I'm really impressed and can now see why everyone raves about Essie!

(Yes, I am absolutely dire at painting my nails neatly. I'm sorry.)

If you fancy trying it, Essie Cute as a Button costs £7.99 from

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Free Benefit Eyeliner with Elle Magazine

Am I the only one who's wanted this sought-after eyeliner for ages?

December's edition of Elle is all about feminism, and even if gender equality isn't your cup of tea, this eyeliner makes it worth buying alone. Yeah, you have to pay £4 for the magazine, but you get a mini version of a seriously expensive eyeliner too.

The full-sized version of this product retails for £18.50, so if you're tight like me, but have wanted to try this eyeliner for months, this is your chance!

(As an aside, I've given this eyeliner a go and will be writing a full review ASAP.)

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Saturday, 22 November 2014

MUA Haul!

Just a very little post to discuss some goodies I recently picked up from MUA.

I've never bought anything from Make Up Academy before; but I read somewhere that their 12 Shade Undressed Palette is a super-cheap dupe for the £37 Urban Decay Naked 3 palette (And I mean SUPER cheap...)

12 Shade Undressed Palette - £4
Elysium Palette - £6
E3 Blending & Shadow Brush - £1.95
Lipstick in Shade 5 - £1
Lipstick in Shade 15 - £1
E9 Socket Blending Brush - £1.95

(It's been a few days, hasn't it? Sorry about that. My Internet connection has been awful recently.)

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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Vaseline Cocoa Butter

Vaseline is one of those skincare stalwarts, isn't it? It's been around for ages. 

This little tin is your normal vaseline; with the added flavour of cocoa butter for a bit of excitement. It tastes gorgeous, but it's not the most moisturising of lip balms available, for me anyway. Having said that, it's a nice little tin to keep in your makeup bag.

If you don't want to use it as a lip balm, there are myriad other uses for it. You can use it as: a soothing foot treatment, a general moisturiser, to stop your nail polish running over the edges of your nails and to soothe your nose when you've got a cold... The possibilities are endless!

Do you remember in Of Mice and Men, that Curley always kept his hand in a glove full of Vaseline? Well, I'm sure he would've liked this new version for a bit of variety. Or rather, his wife would've liked it... If Lenny hadn't killed her. (If you've not read Of Mice and Men, you should just disregard this whole paragraph... Because I'm rambling)

The 20g tin was a pound in Poundland (obviously...) but other retailers like Boots are selling for £2.18. So, it's time to swallow your pride and get yourselves down the pound shop for this little bargain.

You can buy this from Boots by clicking here or get your bum down to Poundland instead, where you can get it for less than half the price!

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Saturday, 15 November 2014

Cake, Cats & A Dog

In case you were interested*, here's a little snippet of what I got up to last weekend. 

Watching this video is slightly more exciting than watching paint dry. I lead a very boring life, which is why it's less than two minutes long.

(I also did not eat all of that cake myself. Just in case you thought I was REALLY greedy. I like cake as much as the next person, but even I can't eat three quarters of a sponge cake on my own...)

*Don't worry, I know you're not remotely interested, but humour me.

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

What's In My Handbag?

... Because you're all just dying to know, aren't you?

Firstly, let's start off with the bag itself, shall we? It's a satchel that I bought in the Accessorize January Sale either this year or last; it cost £22 instead of £32 and it's been one of my staple handbags ever since. 
(I own a lot of handbags. Far too many. When I buy my own house, I'll probably have to dedicate an entire room to handbag storage...)

Canon Powershot A810 Digital Camera 
It always helps to have a little camera to save carrying my DLSR around or just in case my phone decides to act up. Which it does. A lot.

Owl Purse
This is one I picked up in Accessorize a few months ago. I honestly can't remember how much it cost me, but it's quite cute, isn't it?

Apple iPhone 5
Yeah, I'm one of those smug idiots that's addicted to buying Apple products. I understand if you stop reading and never visit my blog again...

PNY Portable Phone Charger
Oh my goodness, this is a lifesaver. If you've got a smartphone, you'll know how awful the battery life can be. This is a wonderful invention that charges your phone up on the go! It's fantastic if you're out of the house for a long time! It cost me about £10 from Currys PC World.

Car Key
Where would I be without Clive the Corsa? Stranded probably. Which is where I am with Clive the Corsa anyway because he has a pesky habit of breaking down a lot... Complete with a Winnie the Pooh keyring because I'm still a child trapped in an adult's body.

Carmex Lip Balm
I know I've raved about this before, so I won't go into too much detail. It's probably my favourite lip balm right now and I carry it around with me everywhere I go.

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer
Again, I've mentioned this before. It's brilliant, but expensive, so I only save it for those days where nothing else shifts those nasty dark circles.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Another one I've already raved about. It's the best liquid concealer that I've ever stumbled across. I've used it for years. Try it!

Boots Intensive Eye Drops
Bit of an odd one, I know. I'm supposed to use eye drops four times a day because my eyes are weird and these are the best value ones that I've found. They stop my eyes from feeling icky but they don't cost the earth. Wonderful.

Mac Lipstick
I've mentioned this before too! My favourite lipstick. This is in 'Coral Bliss' which is a gorgeous subtle pink shade. 

Cath Kidston Travel Card Holder
I'm obsessed with Cath Kidston stuff, I hold my hands up. This is a lovely bird print travel card holder that I keep my Railcard, Bite Card and Mango cards in.

This post is really handy if you were thinking of mugging me. You'll know exactly what you're getting now, won't you? 

Cookie doesn't stay in my handbag, but he wouldn't let me take photos for this post without sticking his nose in front of my camera.

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

'It's like applying foundation with a hedgehog'

Odd title for a post, isn't it? Although it's one phrase that I honestly uttered when I applied my foundation yesterday with my beloved Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.

Now, I was becoming quite a fan of Real Techniques by the Chapman sisters, after buying this and the Miracle Complexion Sponge. I actually wrote a positive review of this brush a couple of months ago, which you can read by clicking here. 

Not long after I wrote that, however, I started to experience problems with the brush. The bristles seem hard on one side and a bit 'matted'. It seems to scratch my face so badly, which is sensitive enough at the best of times. I've washed it countless times, used gentle shampoos, soaps and even conditioner, soaked it, let it dry naturally, dried it with my hairdryer... Just basically tried all I can think of to make it usable again, but everything I've tried has sadly been in vain.

It does feel so frustrating to know that I spent around £10 on a brush that was only usable for a matter of weeks. I've tried to look after it as best as I could, but it's obviously not really worked.

This brush is made from synthetic fibres and it's for applying foundation, powder and even blusher with. The fact that it's multi-use was one of the aspects that attracted me to it in the first place. 

I'm honestly so disappointed, especially because it was such a great brush to begin with. I've Googled the problem and haven't managed to find anyone else who's also encountered this. I could just buy a new one, couldn't I? But that seems like a waste of money.

Have you had this problem with your makeup brushes? If so, comment below and tell me!

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Monday, 10 November 2014

Wilko 50p Powder Brush

A 50p brush can only be described as a bargain, but will such a cheap product live up to my exceptionally high standards?

In a nutshell, unfortunately not. This brush cost so little that I honestly didn't expect the world from it. Although, I did kind of expect to be able to use it for a while before it fell to pieces. Sadly, it fell apart as soon as I started using it.

When applying powder with this brush, several bristles fell out and got stuck to my face. Not ideal, eh? After pausing, I tried to pull any loose ones out so that they wouldn't stick to my face too... That's when a clump of bristles came out in my hand. So I put it down and swapped it for an ELF Brush instead...

I'm not sure I dare use it again. Mainly for fear of people thinking that I've got a hairy face. 

If this review hasn't put you off and you still fancy buying this brush, you can pick it up in your local Wilkos for a mere 50p. 
(The only brushes they have on their website are paint brushes or toilet brushes...Which are utterly useless for applying powder with. Trust me.)

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Lacoste Touch of Pink

Having used this for years, this is definitely a firm favourite of mine.

I'm not very good at writing about perfume, if I'm honest. I never know what to write other than: 'it smells lovely'. I'm so imaginative, aren't I?

So, this is directly from The Perfume Shop's website, because they explain it far better than I ever could:

'Lacoste Touch of Pink is a fruity-floral which captures the essence of a woman full of youthful sensuality. A real classic for a woman who are young yet grown-up, classic yet modern, innocent yet knowing. Her femininity shines from within and her unique charm is as compelling as it is captivating.'

Sounds nothing short of amazing, doesn't it? The scent is described as 'floral', with base notes of Sandalwood, Musk and Vanilla. In other words, it smells lovely. 
(See, I told you...)

The pictured bottle is 90ml, which currently costs £49.50. It's not amazingly cheap, but it's not too expensive, as far as perfume's concerned. 

90ml is the biggest of three different bottle sizes. The smallest costs a mere £25.50, although it is a third of the size of the biggest bottle.
(You don't need to be a maths boffin to work out that it's cheaper to buy a bigger bottle.)

If you fancy smelling like me, you can buy Lacoste Touch of Pink from The Perfume Shop by clicking here.

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Monday, 3 November 2014

ELF Nail Polish

Plum nails, anyone?

So, I am absolutely dire at applying nail polish, as you can see from the above picture. 
It's the bane of my existence... Among many other things.

The colour I've used is called 'Plum', which is a gorgeous deep purple. It's shiny, but there aren't any glittery or shimmery bits. The polish looks much darker in my pictures... It's definitely purple, not black.

(Confession time: I did buy it a few months ago and I'm not sure that this shade is currently available. There are plenty of lovely colours still available though!)

At £2.50 for 10ml, it's fantastic value. It's also free of: Toluene, Formaldehyde, and Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP). I don't particularly understand what any of that means, but it sounds... impressive, doesn't it? ELF also say that the brush is aerodynamic, which is also good, right?

One little criticism is that the rectangular top to the bottle meant that it was quite hard for me to manoeuver the brush over my nails adequately. I'm sure it's something you'd get used to though.

You definitely need two coats of this to give good coverage of your nails. I didn't bother using a top coat because I'm lazy and there is a little bit of chipping a couple of days in (See picture number 3). ELF does say that it's a 'chip resistant' formula... but it's definitely not chip resistant for me, is it? Then again, for such a cheap price, can you moan? Not really.

This would definitely make a good stocking filler for Christmas! If you're one of those people that starts buying Christmas presents ridiculously early...

If you fancy trying this little gem, you can buy it from ELF for £2.50 by clicking here. 

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