Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Winter Essentials: Skincare

So we are finally into those oh-so-dreaded winter months. Dark days, dozens of layers, but worst of all, red skin and chapped lips. I for one get a deadly dose of the winter blues each year, and find it so important to take care of my hair and skin to make sure they don't suffer too much in the cold. As someone whose skin goes from normal to oily to spotty to dry to red to every other possible skincare problem, taking care of my (beautiful) face is high on my list of winter priorities!

After neglecting my blog and youtube channel for months due to finishing my Masters and moving back to Brussels, I thought it was high time to get back into the habit of regular postings. Click above to see a video compiling a list of my winter essentials for skincare, to get you through these dreadful times! I will be making a video on winter beauty essentials and winter haircare essentials too! I invite you to do the same! :)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

How To Remove Glitter Polish Without Losing Your Shit

As we are entering the Christmas Party season, nothing is better than adding some glitter to your nails. I think over the past 1-2 years, glitter nail polishes have become incredibly fashionable, but they never seem to mention on the bottle how INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT it is to remove the damn thing from your nails. 
I've lost count of how many times I've sat on my bedroom floor, practically pouring the entire bottle of nail polish remover over my fingers, desperately trying to get the stuff off, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

So one day, some girl in a similar situation came up with an idea on how to successfully remove glittery nail polish! I personally think this woman should receive an award for this.


- Glitter nail polish that you regret applying.
- A bottle of nail polish remover (that Bourjois 1 second bottle that you dip your finger in won't work here ladies)
- Some cotton pads
- Some tin foil
- A pair of scissors
- Patience

Step 1
Prepare your cotton pads and tinfoil. I cut my round cotton pads in half, as it's easier to wrap it around your finger if one edge is straight. It also saves on cotton pads! Cut five cotton pads in half to make ten semi-pads to wrap around. Then cut your tin foil into rectangles. I cut some extra ones out just in case I messed up.

Step 2
Soak the cotton pad in nail polish remover and wrap around the nail. Although this photo shows it wrapped around my index finger, I found it easier to start from the pinky finger, so your index finger and thumb are free to keep working when wrapping other fingers up. Once you have wrapped the soaked cotton pad around your finger, wrap a rectangle of tin foil around the finger and secure tightly.

Step 3
Once you have wrapped all of your fingers up, wait 5-10 minutes for the nail polish remover to work its magic. I would recommend doing one hand at a time, as it is difficult to wrap foil around the other hand when one hand is already wrapped up. After a few minutes, take the foil and cotton pads off and HEY PRESTO! your nails should be (almost) completely glitter-free! There might be some leftover around the sides of your nails but this will come off very easily with a quick rub of the same cotton pads that were on your fingers.

It seems like a long process just to remove nail polish, but after realising this way of removing it I am much more likely to wear glitter polish from now on!

Have you ever tried this method? :)

Friday, 31 August 2012

Dip Dye for a Day

I've never been very daring when it comes to my hair. I like to keep it long with blonde highlights,  because it suits me, so why would I ever want to change?

But in the past 12 months, dip dye has become so fashionable and I have to admit that I love the idea of having coloured hair. But committing to such an unorthodox hair colour is a big step, especially with my new job starting in a few weeks. 

Enter Colour Xtreme!

It's a wash-out coloured hair spray, perfect for those who want to see what dip dye would look like before committing to properly dying your hair.

Using this was a great little "test drive" for dip dying my hair, and I loved it! 

I've used it twice now, and everytime I have it in my hair I get loads of compliments. It definitely made me decide that I want to dip-dye my hair properly, but I'm going to wait until next spring/summer when I'm not working in an office anymore. 

The only issue I had was that it did dry my hair out a little bit. So it didn't look like it was dyed, it looked like it was sprayed with a strong hair spray. But it doesn't matter because it gave my hair a great colour.

I would definitely recommend this for anyone who's on the fence about adding colour to their hair. Colour Xtreme is available in loads of colours and you can buy it from Boots.

What are your thoughts on dipdye?

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

My Top 5 Blushers


I haven't blogged in TWO MONTHS. Oh my God. I started an internship in London and had to commute every day from Canterbury which was absolutely exhausting. I don't know how people who have jobs can blog and vlog full time! But now that my internship is over I have a little more time to concentrate on writing about makeup :D

SO! onto the important stuff.
Whilst riffling through my unnecessarily ever-growing makeup collection, I thought I would write a series of "Top 5" blogposts for things like blushers, foundations, lipsticks etc. That way I can think twice about buying more makeup when I already have favourites haha. So today is my top 5 blushers!

Number 1 is NARS Orgasm

A blusher that I have thoroughly worn down, Orgasm is a favourite amongst many, as it complements almost every skintone with its peachy pink base with gold speckles that reflect the light and make your cheeks look positively glowing! The NARS blushers are also wonderfully pigmented, and the only bad point I've ever heard about NARS products is their matte packaging which get scuffed and dirty very quickly.

Number 2 is NARS Luster

Unfortunately Luster doesn't photograph very well in the pan, but on the cheeks it is sheer heaven! Like Orgasm, it has gold speckles in it and a fabulous deep coral colour which is perfect for summer days. Also looks amazing on tanned skin! 

Number 3 is Rimmel Blush in Pink Rose

A nice little compact blusher compared to the rest of them, much better if you're trying to save space in your makeup bag. It's much more matte than the NARS blushers but still pigmented enough to last all day. Perfect for a more every day look!

Number 4 is Soap and Glory Cheekmate in Rosy Glow

I was never really one for liquid or creamy blushers but I got this for my birthday and I've never looked back. I think this will be better for a "flushed" rosy cheek look in the autumn and winter months, as I prefer peachy tones during the summer. But I still love it nonetheless!

Number 5 is Makeup Forever HD Blush in Coral

I forced my American flatmate to bring this back for me from California and I LOVE it. I find it a bit difficult to apply because it's SO highly pigmented and it's a bit difficult to blend, but the colour pay off is phenomenal and you only have to apply the tiniest amount to cover your cheeks for the full day.

Surprisingly, Orgasm was the most difficult one to swatch, as it applies so well to my cheeks, but it's probably my favourite blusher ever. NARS blushers are probably my favourite because I do like the shimmery look on my cheeks, but I have to stop myself from buying too many!

What are your favourite blushers?

:) X

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Summerball & Purple Smokey Eye Video Tutorial

This weekend, in true fashion of a University student, my friends and I went to our fourth Summerball. Some of us are Masters students and some of us have left University (and just came back for one last hurrah!) but despite all the excitement, it turned out to be a massive failure. The previous three Summerballs were an absolute hoot, but this year instead of having the ball in one massive outdoor tent/marquee, they split it into two smaller tents. With the monsoon that engulfed us all in our fine attire, it was impossible to get from tent A to tent B without getting soaked so most of us were stuck for the night. The Saturdays and Noah and the Whale were performing, but because of the bloody storm and too many people being stuck in one place, I missed both acts! £47 spent on a ticket, only to be washed out like a drowned rat!

But it's all behind us now! And the good news is, I looked fabulous. Here are some photos of our group (including a very nice photo of me and my boyfriend Jeremy) and a tutorial that I filmed of my purple smokey eye look for the ball. Enjoy!

Did anyone else go to Prom or Summerball recently? :) X
Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Favourite Nail Polishes & Manicure Tools

L-R: Barry M Nail Paint in "Raspberry",  Barry M Nail Paint in "Berry", Sephora by OPI in "It's My Pink", 17 Nail Polish in "Sulk", Forever 21 Love & Beauty Nail Polish in "Hot Pink".

For a girl who always has her nails painted, I have a surprisingly small collection of nail polishes. I see some blogs with photos of hundreds of polishes in every colour, glitter, crackle and make, but my collection barely reaches the 30 mark. 

But that doesn't mean that I don't have some real gems! I don't really buy into the expensive nail polish fad, and tend to keep my money saved for more expensive makeup, but I'm a big believer that you don't have to break the bank to find some great polishes! I love Barry M polishes, they have every colour under the sun, including crackle and croc top coats, big and small glitters and even the new magnetic polishes. The brush is the perfect width (for my nails anyway) and I only need one or maybe two coats (depending on the colour) to leave my nails looking immaculate. Forever 21 do great polishes as well, although I've never seen them in European stores, and my collection of their polishes were all bought in North Carolina and New York. The photo above doesn't do justice but that "hot pink" is actually NEON pink which I think will be PERFECT with tanned skin.

Despite all the pastel hype, I think this might be my go-to colour for this summer. "Sulk" by 17 is a gorgeous colour - what I like to call a "mermaid" shade! A greeny, deep turquoise "chromatic" finish looks great on my nails and really makes my silver rings stand out more. Costing only £2-3, you can't really go wrong, and the colour reminds me of a deep ocean which sends me off into my own little summer holiday fantasy :-)

But no nails are complete without the mandatory upkeep! Again, Forever 21 (which seem to sell everything!) do a range of manicure sets and tools, and both my cuticle cutters and 6-sided nail file/buffer couldn't have cost more than £3 each from that glorious shop. Cutipen is a great little tool that you can buy in Boots at around the £6 mark, with a white cream that when applied to cuticles, helps dissolve them, and then a pointed tip (much like a pen!) that helps you scrape off the excess. Superdrug do their own brand of cuticle oil which has a brush soaked in the oil, easy to apply to each finger nail if they need a little softening, and then a rigid point which helps push cuticles back. Finally, there's the Mavala ridge filler, available in Boots for around the £5 mark. As someone who drank nothing but milk for their entire childhood (blame the Irish mother!) I was so surprised to find some ridges in one of my finger nails (which shows a lack of calcium) so I picked up this little baby which is like a nail polish that you paint over the ridges to create a smoother nail finish, leaving your nails ready to paint your favourite colour.

So these are all my "go to" products when I'm having a pamper session for my hands and feet!

Have you used any of these? What are your favourite products and polishes for manicures and pedicures?

:) X

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Reign of the Stain

If you've been paying attention to my blogposts or Youtube videos for the past few months, you'll know how head-over-heels I am with lip stains. But to be honest I'm not sure why.

A series of highstreet makeup brands have released a few lipstains and needless to say I've tried a good handful of them. Maybelline, NYC, Revlon and 17 have been my picks, and in fact the only one I think I haven't tried at the Max Factor ones.

L-R: Maybelline "Tender Rose", NYC "Persistent Pink", NYC "Forever Freesia", Revlon "Passion", 17 "Sleepover", 17 "Smokin' Hot".

Unfortunately, I think it's the idea of the lipstain that I love more, rather than the lipstain itself. A pigmented colour on your lips that would (hopefully!) stain it, so you wouldn't have to reapply. No heavy feeling of a creamy lipstick on your lips, constantly worrying that it's rubbed onto your teeth. No sticky feeling from a lipgloss that your hair sticks to. A lipstain in theory would be the perfect product!

But in the end it isn't. For one, the Maybelline lipstains smell like heaven, but have zero staying power. NYC are slightly better at staying on your lips, but they leave my lips as dry as the Sahara desert. Revlon are definitely a VAST improvement, providing a lipbalm at the end of the stain, and the pigmentation of the colours is much stronger than the others. But then there are the 17 lipstains, and these babies definitely win the crown! High pigmentation, a lipbalm on the end, and finally, a lasting power that's almost annoying! It won't come off! HA!

I don't think the lipstain will ever take over as the "new lipstick" or "new lipgloss" but they're still a great little gem to have in your personal makeup collection. I'm surprised that the higher-end brands haven't jumped on the lipstain band wagon (unless they have and I haven't noticed?) but maybe that's because there's so much trouble with getting a good mix to make the perfect product! 
Regardless, I still love my little collection and will be wearing them all summer :)

What are your thoughts? 
:) X

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Latest Beauty Buys!

Long time no blog!

Apologies for the lack of posting and such, but the boyfriend came to stay in Brussels for a week and now I'm in Bristol at his house for a week before we both head back to Uni for one last hurrah next Tuesday. It really is one last hurrah this time because come September 2012, I'll have a degree and a Masters! I can't handle any more education haha.

SO! Onto my latest buys!

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Makeup Remover

Obviously the most raved about product in the blogging and YouTube world at the moment. And with good cause! Designed for the most sensitive skin, this water-based makeup remover glides across your skin like, well, water! I absolutely agree with every positive review this has gotten, but as someone who lives on the continent, in a country where this is readily available, I plan to do a separate post and YouTube video on the truth about this product, because some people have been telling porkies about its availability and price!

Liz Earle Eye Bright Soothing Eye Lotion

Everyone knows the Cleanse and Polish but as I was searching for a good product to sweep across my eyes every day, I decided to bypass the well known Origins and Clinique eye products and go back to my old bestie Liz Earle. At about £10 a pop, you can't go wrong! This product is so lovely and soothing on my face, and really wakes my eyes up in the morning. (And by "morning" I mean 2pm ha!)

VIVO Baked Bronzer and Blusher

Everyone has been raving about this Tesco brand (what?! yes!) but the only Tesco in Canterbury s a little one which doesn't sell their range :( but today in Bristol in quite possibly the BIGGEST TESCO IN THE WORLD, I came across these beauties and couldn't resist! Baked blusher in "Peaches and Cream" makes me drool and gives a perfect pale coral shimmer on my cheeks. The baked bronzer in "Healthy Glow" reminds me of MAC's "Soft And Gentle" but at quite literally a fifth of the price! Although not as heavily pigmented as hoped, it's still a lovely product which I'll be wearing every day until I finally get a real tan on my face, when I'll swap to my Topshop Sunbeam highlighter to really make my cheeks pop :D

Clinique Anti Blemish Spot Treatment Gel

I first saw this on Alix's YouTube Channel I Covet Thee (which is an amazing channel by the way, and if you're not subscribed then you're STUPID) on her Skincare Routine Video. She said that this simple gel when applied to your spots would literally ZAP them overnight! I guess I took her too seriously because I woke up the next morning after layering it onto my spots, only to find that my skin was still yuck :( but it does dry up the skin around the spot and reduce redness, effectively getting rid of them in a few days, and you only have to use the SMALLEST amount on your skin, so the bottle will last ages! £12.50 well spent! Thanks Alix!

I love all of my new products yayyy! Have you girls tried any of them out? 

:) X

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Fashionista Blush

For those of you like me who spend 60-80 hours a week trawling though make-up stands, you might already be aware of the make-up brand Fashionista. 

Fashionista (from what I've seen) is a relatively new make-up brand on the block, sold exclusively in Superdrug. A few weeks ago I was on the hunt for some new blushers to build my make-up kit, and I came across these little gems. I knew I'd like to incorporate some of the infamous MAC and NARS blushers, but I know that there are plenty of brands out there who sell quality blushers for just a fraction of the price, and Fashionista are no exception.

The best thing about the Fashionista blushes is that they come in separate packaging for £4 each, and you can buy the palette with an ENORMOUS mirror for only £5 extra. BUT, if you buy four blushers at the same time, you get the fourth one free AND the palette free! So if you bought them all separately, it would be £16 for the blushers and £5 for the palette = £21, but if you buy them altogether, it's only £12! A whopping £9 saving!

I was really impressed with the pigment of these blushers. I thought that because they were so much cheaper  than the well-known brands that they wouldn't be as good. But I was wrong. While you don't want them to be as pigmented as an eyeshadow (after all, we're going for a "glow" effect) I found that they had the perfect mix of being concentrated in colour, without looking like clown paint.

I will say one negative, and that's when you initially put your brush onto the blush, a LOT of product comes off, so you have to tap your brush quite hard to remove any excess before applying it to your face - otherwise you really will get that clown effect! There have been times when I haven't been paying attention and I won't tap off as much as I should, so really pay attention to this part, otherwise your face will look too brightly painted and you'll have to start again.

I'm really impressed with these blushers, as well as the price and the amazing compact that they come in. And the best part? Their eyeshadows are the same size and price as their blushers, so you can buy four eyeshadows for your quad palette, or even mix and match! So when I go back to England in a few weeks (I'm at home in Brussels at the moment visiting my folks) I'll definitely be heading to Superdrug for another quad or two ;)

Have you ever tried Fashionista? Thoughts?

:) X

Friday, 13 April 2012

My First Week At MakeUp School

As some of you may know, Daddy was kind enough to send a little moolah my way so that I could fulfill my (pipe?) dream of becoming a makeup artist. I've gone through all the stress and hard work of finishing school, my undergraduate degree and now my Masters degree, but there's that small part of me that wishes I didn't have to spend half of my life in academia and get a full time job in an office straight afterwards. Both my parents are very career driven, and I can't really blame them for wanting me to earn lots of money and be well educated....but there's that little voice inside my head telling me that I'd rather be a professional MUA!

So at least I was able to go to Makeup School for a week to really immerse myself in the world of makeup :) I attended The Makeup School in London, run by professional makeup artists Jacqui McElroy and Anastasia Borovik - two of the most genuine and lovely people I have ever met! They call it a "boutique learning environment" - by which they mean that it's just them, a small group of students and the makeup! We primarily used makeup by Laura Mercier, with some NARS, MAC and Armani too. I had a truly wonderful week and learnt everything there is to know!

If any of you are considering a course in makeup artistry, I would definitely recommend the Makeup School in London (Willesden Junction). Click HERE to see their website. The commute for me from Canterbury was exhausting but completely worth it for a week. Here are some photos of our finished looks from my first week. I'll be going back to May for another course! Enjoy! :)

I'll post some photos up again after I go for my second course in May :-)