Thursday, 24 April 2014

Maybe it IS Maybelline....

Every time I look in to doing an FOTD or a 'What's in my makeup bag?' post I am always surprised by just how many products I regularly depend on from one makeup brand, and that brand is Maybelline.

If you were to ask me which makeup brand I would choose if I could only use one for the rest of my life I would like to think I would choose a high-end luxurious or desirable brand like Laura Mercier or Nars but actually I think I would have to pick Maybelline.

This may not always be the case but at the moment the majority of my everyday 'holy grail' products are from Maybelline....

Their mascaras are awesome. So much so that I don't even bother trying other brands, I am always happy with Maybelline's offerings. Whether it is the Volum' Express The Falsies Waterproof or the Volum' Express The Rocket Waterproof. They curl, they lengthen and they last all say so I am perfectly happy with their eyelash options.

For my (pretty much daily) winged eyeliner, I never stray from the Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner. But why would I? It's easy to use and won't budge until I remove it at the end of the day. It can even survive my monthly hormonally induced crying breakdowns and that's saying something!

Although I don't own any Maybelline powder eyeshadows (something I do wear most days), my favourite cream eyeshadow base is the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze which can be used as a base to prevent creasing with powder eyeshadows or simply worn on it's own. I use this most days, but I've already shared enough love for this product so I won't go on about it yet again.

Even my current favourite foundation is the Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation in 005 Light Beige. A natural finish medium coverage foundation which is perfect for everyday use.

I loved the formula of the Maybelline SuperStay 24hr Concealer, a medium-high coverage liquid concealer which could be used under the eyes or over blemishes, but unfortunately I couldn't find a shade light enough to match my skintone.

Now, if I loved their eyebrow products, powder eyeshadows and blushers as well, my makeup bag could theoretically consist of nothing but Maybelline products. Although I would definitely miss the rest of my collection!

What brand would you pick if you had to choose just one? What are your favourite Maybelline products? Let me know by commenting below....

(This post is not sponsored by Maybelline, I just noticed how many of their products I own and love).

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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Going Green....

I think green eyeshadows look beautiful with brown eyes, especially if you have dark hair as well. Although I would consider myself a neutral eyeshadow lover, when building my MAC palette (see here) I didn't just want to buy 15 different shades of brown/beige and instead decided to add a little bit of colour in the form of green neutrals. Now almost a third of my palette is dedicated to these kinds of shades. Although four of the five eyeshadows I am going to show you are MAC, I also have one from No.7 which is well worth a mention!

Let's start with MAC. These unfortunately are not cheap, they cost £10 in pan form (which slot easily in to a pro palette like mine) or £12.50 if you want them in an individual little pot but they are beautifully pigmented and long lasting.

Sumptuous Olive over the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze with Espresso in the crease and Wedge to blend.
MAC Fiction over the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze with MAC Coquette in the crease.
My two favourite MAC greens are Sumptuous Olive and Fiction as they are beautiful easy to wear shades which can be swept over the eyelid for an everyday makeup look or built up for a beautiful green smokey eye. They are quite similar in that they are both olive/khaki based shimmer shadows but Sumptuous Olive has warmer golden undertones and Fiction has cooler grey undertones. Both are stunning and I find khaki greens to be the most flattering on brown eyes as they really make the colour pop. 

Although Coquette is not a true green, it is a matte mid-tone brown with a slightly green undertone which really shows when paired with other green eyeshadows. For this reason Coquette is one of my favourite crease shades when using either Sumptuous Olive or Fiction.

MAC Club over Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze, small amount of Wedge to blend.
MAC's Club is more unusual in that it is a brown/teal green duo chrome eyeshadow. The teal green shimmer really shows when the shadow is packed on to the eyelid using a dense flat brush and appears as a warm dark brown when blended out with a fluffy brush. It is a very beautiful eyeshadow but not as wearable for everyday at work (although that hasn't stopped me!) This one is best saved for special occasions.

No.7 Khaki over Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze, Coquette in the crease and a small amount of Wedge to blend.
That takes us on to No.7's green offering, their Stay Perfect Eyeshadow in Khaki. I have had this one for a very long time (probably too long!) and the packaging, along with the amount of product you get seems to have changed over time. I believe this shade is still available in the No.7 collection but is now called Khaki Shine.

This is is very similar to Sumptuous Olive in the pan but is more green when applied whereas Sumptuous Olive definitely looks more gold. The formula of the No.7 eyeshadow is also fantastic. It is very soft and pigmented so a little goes a long way. If I didn't already have too many eyeshadows, I would definitely look at getting some more from No.7.

I have been tempted to buy MAC's Humid eyeshadow which is a bright almost emerald green shade but because it is so bright I'm not sure I would use it as much.

Do you wear green eyeshadow? Which is your favourite?
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Friday, 18 April 2014

Stila Convertible Colour in Petunia - Review & Swatches

How scary does this blusher look?? It's practically neon!

You may already know about my love for the Stila Convertible Colour in Lilium, a creamy blusher which can be used on the cheeks and lips in a gorgeous vintage rose pink (see this post). The Convertible Colours have quite a glossy texture which leaves a very healthy fresh look on the cheeks and provides a glossy finish on the lips which is comparable to the Revlon Lip Butters.

I must have used Lilium everyday for about 2 months until I forced myself to share the love with my other abandoned blushers. Due to my everlasting love for Lilium, I obviously had to purchase a second shade! Obviously. As there are no Stila stockists nearby I had to rely on photos and blog swatches to choose a colour.

I finally decided on Petunia. It really didn't look that bright on the websites. Had I realised just how bright it was, I may have chosen a different one, but actually I quite like how bright and fun it is. Petunia is a bright coral-pink which creates a youthful summery look that would look particularly good with a tan! (Which I currently do not have).

My favourite way to apply the Convertible Colours is with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush. I just dab it in the pan and because of how pigmented it is I usually need to dab off any excess on the back of my hand before applying it to the high-points of my cheeks. The duo-fibre brush hairs blend the product perfectly.

To apply to the lips I usually just use my finger but you could also use a brush. The cute packaging which includes a decent sized mirror makes this a perfect product to pop in to your handbag for cheek and lip applications on the go!

I do love Petunia but it isn't quite as easy to wear as Lilium, especially in the colder months so I can imagine Lilium still being my most reached for blusher.

Have you tried any of the Stila Convertible Colours?

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

I am sure that you are all already familiar with the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palettes but I just had to do a quick post on my Naked 2 Palette. I bought the original Naked Palette to do my own wedding make up but now that I have fallen in love with the Naked 2 Palette, I feel like this one may have been even better (although I do still love the original palette and was very happy with my makeup on the day). 

The main difference between the Naked and Naked 2 Palettes is that the original palette has warm toned eyeshadows with shades such as bronze and gold, whereas the second palette is more cool toned and has mainly taupe and greige shades. 

From left to right - Foxy, Half Baked, Bootycall, Chopper, Tease, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol, Verve and YDK.
From left to right - Chopper, Tease, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol, Verve, YDK, Busted, Blackout.

A couple of shades can be found in other Naked Palettes, for example Foxy can be found in the Naked Basics Palette and Half Baked can be found in the original Naked Palette. There are three matte shades, Foxy (a yellow based highlight shade), Tease (a mid brown-taupe with slight purple  undertones) and Blackout (a matte black) with the rest having shimmer and satin finishes. 

Photo taken without flash.
Photo taken with flash.
Some of the shimmery shades such as Suspect and YDK can be quite crumbly so you need to be careful to prevent fallout.

Not only does the palette come with 12 high-quality beautiful eyeshadows but it also comes with one hell of a brush! This is actually one of my most used eyeshadow brushes. It is double ended, one side is flat and densely packed which is perfect for packing colour on to the lid. The other side of the brush is longer and fluffier which is perfect for blending colour in to the crease and for softening the edges.

My favourite eyeshadow look using the Naked 2 Palette is really easy. I simply apply Suspect over the whole lid and then blend Snakebite in to the crease and outer corner to darken the edges and add a smokey effect. 

My favourite combinations are Suspect and Snakebite, Verve and Pistol and YDK and Busted. Bootycall is a great highlight shade as it has a slight shimmer which catches the light nicely. Having a matte black shade in the form of Blackout is also useful as it can be used to create a smokey eye or can also be used as an eyeliner when applied with a thin angled brush.

Suspect on lid and Snakebite in the crease.

Do you own the Naked 2 Palette? What are your favourite eyeshadow combinations?

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

FOTD - Face of the Day

Being a retail slave, my 'weekends' are always midweek. On this particular Tuesday off, I had some extra time so I thought I would share my Face of the Day with you.

I didn't have any special plans but my hubby was off work too (another retail slave!) so we decided to spend the morning working on our hobbies (me blogging and him painting) and possibly pop out and do some shopping in the afternoon. So, although I slapped on some makeup, I went for quite a natural and simple look, mainly aiming to add some colour to my cheeks. I also wanted to try out my old abandoned MUA Heaven and Earth Palette to see how it compares to all the high-end eyeshadows I have been using lately. 

For base I used the Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation in 005 Light Beige (my current favourite) applied with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush and then used my MAC Pro Conceal and Correct Palette in Light, a full coverage concealer palette, to cover any blemishes and correct the dark circles under my eyes. I then used the Clinique Redness Solutions Compact Powder to counteract any redness and set my foundation.

To add some colour to my cheeks I used the No.7 Ballerina Blusher which was a limited edition blusher from last summer (sorry, it's just so pretty!) and then used The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in 01 to contour and warm my face up a bit. This is a new purchase for me and although I was sceptical that I would find a bronzer that would work for me I am actually really happy with it so far. I do still have to apply it with a light hand though.

For eyes I used the Elf Eyelid Primer for a base and then applied three eyeshadows from the MUA Heaven and Earth Palette. They don't have individual names but I used the 3rd, 4th and 6th from the left on the bottom row. I used the 4th (a shimmery taupe brown) all over lid, the 6th (a darker version of the 4th with more of a purple undertone) in the crease and a little of the 3rd (a champagne shimmery beige) to blend and highlight.

The pigmentation and application of these eyeshadows definitely isn't as good as MAC or Urban Decay and they are prone to fallout as they are quite shimmery/glittery but I think they are pretty great considering that this palette is £4! This palette also has a great variety of neutral shades to work with that are easy to mix and match, making it a perfect palette to pick up if you're looking to expand your neutral eyeshadow collection without spending a fortune.

To finish off the eyes I curled my eyelashes and applied the Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara. I used my Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner to make my lashes look fuller and to create a slight wing at the edges, and then of course used my trusty Une Eyebrow Pencil in B05 pencilled in to my eyebrows and then blended out with a spoolie for a more natural finish. I forgot to include it in my photo but I also used the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeliner in West (a warm dark brown) on my bottom lash line for extra definition.

And finally, I applied a slick of MAC's Patisserie Lipstick for a subtle pop of colour to my lips. 

This is a pretty average Face of the Day for me, one that I wear most days for work and I just change the eyeshadows and lipstick a bit for variation.

Have you tried the MUA Heaven and Earth Palette? What are your favourite high-street/drugstore eyeshadows?

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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Easter Nails - Models Own Speckled Eggs Nail Polish

I already mentioned the green Speckled Eggs nail polish in my March Favourites (read here) and because I loved it so much, I decided to buy the lilac one (shade Swan), and a friend of mine loved it so much she asked me to pick up the pink one for her (shade Dove).

The Models Own Speckled Eggs range is a collection of 5 pastel shades (green, blue, purple, yellow and pink) with matte black specks in a range of sizes which, when layered, creates (as the name suggests) a speckled egg appearance.

The nail polish dries reasonably quickly and about 3 layers are needed for the desired effect. In my experience so far they last about 3 days before chipping which I am quite happy with as my nails always chip quickly!

My Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat polish got a bit too gloopy recently so I also picked up the Models Own 5-in-1 Top and Base Coat. This does seems to slow down the drying time as opposed to speeding it up which is a bit annoying but I haven't had the chance to test this one out fully yet so will keep you updated.

I have a feeling these are going to be my most worn nail polishes this Spring, I think they are just so damn cute!

Have you tried any of the Speckled Eggs collection? What are your favourite nail polishes for Spring?

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Monday, 31 March 2014

One Year Ago Today....

To celebrate our first wedding anniversary, I thought I would share some of my favourite pictures and moments from our perfect day.
My sister/chief bridesmaid helped me to get ready on the morning of the wedding. She did my hair and helped me with my makeup. I think she did a very good job!
My Ellis Bridals wedding dress was perfect, it made me feel really beautiful and I am so sad that I can't wear it again.
There were lots of buttons though... Thanks mum!
My beautiful bridesmaids - my best friends Harriet and Hannah and my sister Clare.
Getting a bit emotional just before the ceremony.
The ceremony and reception were held in a Georgian manor, which was beautiful. We had the whole house to ourselves, it was all very intimate and cosy! Perfect for two people who don't like being the centre of attention.
This is one of my favourite photos, we had just kissed and been pronounced husband and wife. I was a bit emotional and Mark wasn't keen on my lip gloss haha.
We were surrounded by our favourite people in the world all day =) I think this photo captures the atmosphere of the day perfectly.
Our wedding was on Easter Sunday so our theme was a mixture of beautiful bright and pastel spring colours.
Our cake was made by a family friend and it was exactly what we hoped for. Beautiful and yummy!
To carry on the Easter/Spring theme we made little jars of mini eggs as place cards and wedding favours.
And we gave the kids Easter eggs and colouring books, which they seemed very happy with!
We kept the ceremony and wedding breakfast quite informal with around 35 - 40 of our closest friends and family. The speeches were lovely from my Dad, Mark and his Best Man.
It was lovely to see the kids having so much fun.
After the wedding breakfast and all the photos it was time for our first dance to Etta James' 'At Last' and then the evening reception with lots of drinking and dancing and the arrival of the evening guests. It was an amazing day, I don't think either of us had ever smiled so much. I wish we could do it all over again!

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