Sunday, 2 November 2014

An Autumnal FOTD

It has been a long time since I have done a 'Face of The Day' (or FOTD) but as the seasons are changing I thought I would attempt an autumnal look. I would happily wear this look any time of year to be honest but the muted purple tones of the eyes and the berry lip are perfect for the slightly colder months and work well with the colours of my autumn/winter wardrobe. 

(I am still having a little trouble getting the colours to photograph correctly. The lipgloss I have used looks quite nude in the photo but is actually much brighter and a nice berry tone).

I am having some issues with my skin at the moment so I decided to go for a full coverage foundation and chose the Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation. I am between shades so mixed shade 010 with shade 100 to make a good match for my complexion. As this foundation leaves a matte finish I decided to also mix in a little bit of the L'oreal Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer to add a slightly dewy glow and to make the overall finish of the foundation look less flat and dull. To cover blemishes and to conceal under the eyes I used the 17 Stay Time Concealer which has a fairly decent coverage and blends well. It certainly doesn't last for 18 hours though!

For eyes I used the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Permanent Taupe as a base all over the eyelid and then used my MAC Shale eyeshadow over the top. To add a highlight to the inner corners of my eyes I used a little of MAC's Naked Lunch and to add depth to the contour of the eyes I blended MAC's Satin Taupe in to the crease. Both Shale and Satin Taupe have gorgeous muted purple undertones. MAC eyeshadows are highly pigmented and last all day, particularly when used over a cream eyeshadow base such as this Maybelline one.

To line my top lashes I used The Body Shop Smoky 2 in 1 Gel Liner* and winged it out at the edges. This eyeliner has a matte finish and can be smudged out when first applied. When completely dry this eyeliner does not budge. I often wear it from 7am to 11pm without any fading or movement. To line the bottom lashes I used (what's left of) my Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Liner in the shade Black Market. I got this for Christmas last year in the Black Market set of mini eyeliners so it has lasted a very long time. It is a grey toned black so not too harsh looking and again it lasts all day without smudging.

To finish off the eyes I used the Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Waterproof. I have decided that this is my all time favourite mascara as it gives volume and curl like no other!

For finishing touches I used The Body Shop Brow Definer* in shade Dark Brown in my eyebrows and used a spoolie to blend it in and shape my brows. For blusher I used the Sleek Blusher in the shade Suede which is an almost terracotta like shade. This seemed like a nice autumnal alternative to my usual pink tones and it really helped to warm up my complexion.

Finally, I went a little out of comfort zone and applied a lipgloss! This is the L'oreal Glam Shine Lipgloss in shade 204 Oriental Fuschia. It is a lovely deep berry pink with shimmer which gave a beautiful glossy finish to my lips and actually lasted a fair amount of time. The formula is sticky enough that it stays on the lips but not so sticky that it gets annoying. Although I did have a few issues when my hair was blown on to my face, I am sure we have all been there.

Overall I was really happy with the look and I enjoyed using products that have long been forgotten at the back of my makeup drawer such as the lipgloss and blusher, as well as experimenting with slightly different colours to create a seasonally appropriate look.

Do you change your makeup depending on the season? Let me know by commenting below...

*The Body Shop Smoky 2 in 1 Gel Liner and The Body Shop Brow Definer were both given to me for free when I started my job at The Body Shop but I have not been asked to write about these products and I regularly use both on my days off.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Body Shop Colour Crush Nails - My Picks and Nail Art

I was so excited when The Body Shop launched their new nail polish collection last month. The Colour Crush Nail Colour Collection was introduced with 24 shades, although a couple of new ones have now been added for Christmas. The formula of these polishes are fantastic, you only need two coats of colour and they are very fast drying. They are long lasting especially when used with the base and top coat and that has been tested with the processing of a rather large retail delivery!

These are the shades I have so far. As an employee I was allowed to choose one when they first arrived in store and I went for the lilac shade called A Grape Affair. I get so many compliments when I wear this shade, it is lovely and bright and perfect for all seasons.

When pay day arrived I decided to pick up three more and chose the pastel green shade called Mint Cream, the dark vampy red/purple called Deeply In Love and the Top and Base Coat. I already know that Deeply In Love is going to be the one I reach for almost daily this autumn/winter.

Not only are the shades and formulas great but these polishes are also 100% vegan and animal cruelty free.

Here is an attempt at some nail art. I decided to try a simple floral design using A Grape Affair on all my nails and then painting the flowers with Deeply In Love and the leaf detail with Mint Cream. I used a thin nail art brush and used a Natural Collection White nail polish shade to highlight certain areas of the design to add some depth and detail.

I absolutely love the shades I have so far and already have a few more on my list of things to buy this pay day!

The nail polishes are only £5 each and you can see the full range here - link

As an employee I received one shade for free when the collection was launched but bought the other three with my own money using my staff discount. I have not been asked to write about these products but chose to do so because I enjoy using these products regularly.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Vichy Dermablend Foundation - Complexion Perfection?

The Vichy Dermablend Foundation promises to be a full coverage corrective foundation for blemish prone skin. After watching a Lisa Eldrige video about covering spots and blemishes with this foundation I knew I just had to give it a go and happened to find it on sale at Feel Unique.

The good thing (at least in theory) about Feel Unique is that they send you a small sample sachet to try before you open the product to check that the colour is correct, allowing you to return the item unused if the shade is not right. I say in theory as I ordered shade 15 Opal and they sent me a sample of shade 30 Sand. Not so helpful. So I had to open the full sized product straight away.

The foundation applies beautifully and does have fantastic coverage, concealing spots and redness to the point where I don't need to worry too much about concealer afterwards. Pretty impressive.

The finish is slightly dewy which I prefer to a matte finish so I was very happy on first application. Unfortunately the shade is a little too dark/yellow for me and I believe that this is the lightest shade that they do. However, to be honest, if they did have a lighter shade I don't think I would bother purchasing another one, as the biggest disappointment was how the foundation wore throughout the day.

The coverage is excellent in the morning when first applied but by mid-afternoon it had a habit of sliding off my face, revealing problem prone areas of the face far too much for my liking, certainly not the 16 hours coverage the packaging promises.

I did try setting it with powder to see if it made a difference (which I don't like to do too often as I have dry skin) but I'm afraid it still let me down. I had very high hopes for this foundation but it just didn't deliver and I am yet to find a foundation which stays in place perfectly all working day.

Any long lasting high coverage foundation recommendations??

Monday, 29 September 2014

How To Smell Like A Strawberry

I took full advantage of my staff discount last week and stocked up on some delicious smelling goodies from The Body Shop! I know that the strawberry scent is generally a big hit with the younger customers but I just can't resist the gorgeous sweet and fruity scent. I want to always smell like strawberries and these products will certainly help.

The Strawberry Shower Gel lathers up really well, especially when used with a bath lily/loofah and it leaves the yummy strawberry scent on the skin after your bath or shower. To keep my body nice and moisturised and to layer the strawberry scent I then use the Strawberry Body Sorbet which is a lovely lightweight non-greasy all over body moisturiser with community fair trade aloe vera. The sorbet texture has a very refreshing and cooling effect on the skin, perfect for summer in particular. As the weather gets a bit cooler I will switch to the Strawberry Body Butter but apparently we are in for a late burst of summer in October so this one may be in the rotation for a while!

The final strawberry product I bought was one of the new mini hand creams. Made with community fair trade shea butter from Ghana the strawberry hand cream is a gel-cream formula which absorbs in to the skin really quickly and leaves the skin lovely and soft. It is also the perfect size to keep in my handbag, as my hands get very dry especially in autumn/winter and it's nice to moisturise on the go. All of these products include cold-pressed strawberry seed oil which really helps the scent to last.

What is your favourite scent from The Body Shop?

Although I work for The Body Shop I have not been asked to write this blog post and the products were bought by myself with my staff discount.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Most Beautiful Brush Ever?

When I left my last place of work they were very generous and gave me a gift voucher for John Lewis as a leaving present. I went straight to the John Lewis beauty department on their website to drool over the possibilities! (After saying thank you of course).

I decided to buy something luxurious that would last for years which would always be a nice reminder of my time there. After deciding that the Real Techniques Blusher Brush was better suited for bronzer I have been on the look out for a new blusher brush and I had heard amazing reviews of the Japonesque brushes.

This Japonesque Pro Blush Brush is £28 so it's not the cheapest choice but as I had a gift voucher and because it was a leaving present I decided to treat myself.

I really can't describe just how soft this brush is, far softer than any other brush I own (with a much longer handle too). Even when washing, the brush hairs feel like silk in the water.

The brush picks up a perfect amount of product and the softness of the hairs diffuses the colour and blends it perfectly on the cheekbones. The size of the brush is actually relatively small in comparison to my other blusher brushes which allows for a more precise application, which could also be used for highlight and contouring.

It has shed a couple of hairs in the few weeks that I have had it, which is a little disappointing but not to the point where it would be a problem, and I still think it is the most beautiful brush I own. It is a real pleasure to use and I wish I could pick up a few more from the Japonesque brand. But almost £30 for one brush really is a lot when there are some fantastic and more affordable brands available.

I absolutely love this brush and I know that I will use it for a very long time, so thank you again to the lovely people at my last place of work for letting me choose such a beautiful present!

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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Life Update...

It has been very quiet on this blog lately, mainly due to some new stuff going on in my life and a lack of time and energy. The most exciting thing going on at the moment is that...I have a new job!

I have been looking for a new job for quite some time now as I wasn't entirely happy where I was. Having worked for a lot of small/new companies, things can be challenging. Job descriptions aren't always clear, workloads can be very overwhelming due to a lack of staff, and correct training may not be a priority, and so I decided that I wanted to work for a larger and established company. I always knew that I would like to get in to the beauty/cosmetic/skincare industry and began to research businesses that I may want to work for.

I began by looking at companies whose products I personally loved and one that really stood out was The Body Shop. Not only do I love their products (its the only skincare that I can really use) but their company ethos beat all the others. If you are going to work for a large international company than surely the ethical company that concentrates on honest products, sources and uses community fair trade ingredients, campaigns for both human and animal rights, works to encourage self-esteem in women and rewards it's employees fairly, is the one to go for! I wanted a job that I could really get stuck in to, be enthusiastic about and work for a company that I am proud to work for.

I decided around 4 or 5 months ago that I wanted to work for The Body Shop and now I do. I have to say I am quite proud that I set my mind to something and achieved it. And trust me, the recruitment process wasn't easy, at one point it really felt like I was on The Apprentice!

I did wonder how my new role at The Body Shop would effect my blog. Would it be a conflict of interest to write about beauty products from other brands? Would The Body Shop want me to write about their products? But actually when I looked in to it I was happy to see that high on The Body Shop's agenda is honesty and transparency. We are allowed to write about The Body Shop products on our own social media/blogs etc but we are told that we should always make it clear that we are employees so as to avoid any confusion and to stay honest. I personally find this very refreshing!

So yes, as an employee I will be spending the majority of my time learning about the products and testing them out and I will no doubt feature some on this blog, but I will always make it clear that I am an employee and I will always be honest. We aren't asked to write about products so it will always be my personal choice to do so. I will also continue to write about products from other brands that I personally use and love that I think you might be interested in.

So apologies for the total lack of blogging lately, I am going to do my best to get back on track.

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Rediscovering A Past Love...

When I was younger I absolutely loved to paint. I would shut myself away in my room for hours at a time with a blank canvas and get lost in the process of creating a piece of art. I loved it so much that I went to University to study History of Art and Architecture. After uni I continued to paint and eventually convinced my boyfriend (now husband) to try painting as he was great at drawing. He had an amazing natural talent for it and has been painting ever since. He now regularly receives commissions and is paid to paint in his spare time. He was so passionate about painting that it was like I had passed on the baton and lost my own motivation. I let him take over and stopped for a while.

Jane Eyre Flees Thornfield
But a couple of weeks ago, after maybe two or three years, I decided to pick up the paintbrush again. I forgot how much I loved it. It is a wonderful escapism and time seems to move differently with a paintbrush in hand. I find myself thinking about painting the way I used to and inspiration has returned. I don't know if this new found motivation to paint will stick around but I hope that it does.

I know that my husband and I have very different painting styles, although I would like my paintings to be realistic, they are not and instead I will embrace the style that I have.

I sat down with my sketch book a couple of weeks ago and decided to just paint from my imagination.

I took inspiration from my favourite book, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and painted a scene of Jane lost in the moors after she flees Thornfield. I am reasonably pleased with how it turned out considering that I am out of practice and am contemplating painting a series all based on the tragedies of Jane's life. I am currently planning a scene in the red room when Jane is a child living at her aunts house. Or maybe I will paint scenes from some of my other favourite books. If I do decide to continue I will post some updates on here.

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

What's In My Makeup Bag?

To be honest, I mainly just wanted to show off this gorgeous makeup bag which I found brand new in a local charity shop for just £2.50. It says Elie Saab Le Parfum so I'm guessing it was a free gift with an Elie Saab perfume a while back. But it's just what I have been looking for and it's a nice excuse to do a current 'whats in my makeup bag' post.

I am sort of on a mission at the moment to find one perfect product for each makeup category (mascara, foundation, eyeliner etc.) to keep in my makeup bag at all times so I don't constantly have to choose between 10 blushers and 5 concealers each day.

These are my current makeup bag staples...

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Melt-In Comfort Cream
Being fair skinned I rely very heavily on sun cream in the warmer months. I am obsessed with wearing SPF and nagging other people to do the same. This is one that I recently purchased. It is quite thick but does melt in as the name suggests and makeup actually sits very well over the top. I apply it first thing in the morning but make sure I carry another SPF in my handbag for touch ups throughout the day (Piz Buin Allergy Face Cream SPF50+).

Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation 005 Light Beige
This has been my go-to foundation for a few months now. It is a great daily base as it's not too heavy, has pretty good coverage, lasts well and is affordable. It's an effortless choice in the morning.

The Body Shop Honey Bronzer - 01 Light
This is the only bronzer I have found that works with my pale skintone. I lightly sweep it across the cheekbones for a sunkissed look, or if I am feeling particularly brave I may attempt to contour with it as it is an entirely matte formula.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pale Pink
This cream blusher was left forgotten at the back of my drawer for far too long. It is the perfect rosey pink colour with a slightly dewy finish. You need the tiniest amount, I just pat my finger in the pan and then blend it across my cheeks. It can even be used on the lips although I find it can be a bit too pale on mine and prefer it as a blusher.

Maybelline Volum' Express Big Eyes Waterproof Mascara
This is the latest mascara I have been trying out from Maybelline. It has two wands, one for upper lashes and one for lower lashes. I'm not sure I like it as much as The Falsies Waterproof or The Rocket Waterproof though. It is very good at lengthening but not as good at adding volume or holding a curl and my lashes can sometimes look a bit spidery. I do however like the novelty of the smaller wand for the bottom lashes.

Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner
I think I have talked about this product enough already. It is perfect for creating a winged liner look, it dries quickly and lasts all day. Can't be without it.

Une Eyebrow Pencil in B05
I have used this eyebrow pencil everyday since last June (so just over a year) and I am still only on my second one. It is very pigmented and quite soft. I apply a few lines to my brows and then use a spoolie to blend it out and make it look more natural. I have to make sure I don't use too much though or my brows can look very heavy and dark.

MAC Pro Conceal and Correct Palette - Light
I really like the formula of the MAC Studio Finish concealers as they are creamy and easy to apply with your fingers. They have pretty full coverage and the palette gives me a lot of colour choice as well as two corrector options for dark circles and redness. I mainly use shade NC15 for blemishes and the Pale Pink for the under eye area. My only problem with the formula is that it doesn't set and can easily move/disappear if you touch your face. For a detailed review and swatches see this post - link.

Maybelline Colour Tattoo - Nude Compliment
I have used this cream eyeshadow pretty much every day since I got it in May, either on its own or as a base for other eyeshadows. It is subtle but can be built up and adds a lovely wash of colour that's really easy to apply and lasts a good 8-9 hours. For swatches see this post - link.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Black Market
This is the eyeliner I use every day to add some definition to my lower lash line. It is a mini version of the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils which came in the Black Market gift set for Christmas along with 5 other shades. The shade Black Market is a slightly grey black and the formula is creamy so that it is is easy to blend out for a smokey eye. Once set the eyeliner lasts a very long time, even on the waterline.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your current makeup bag staples?

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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Embrace The Freckles!

Just a quick post today guys. When taking pictures for my Berry Lips post - read here, I realised just how freckly I had become! I used to hate my freckles. Everyone else seemed to get a lovely golden tan every summer and I would stay the same shade of bright white but there would always be the inevitable explosion of freckles all over my face. I guess from a distance it may look like I had some colour, but up close it's almost tempting to play dot-to-dot and see what patterns I can make.

Over the last few years, I have learnt to love my freckles, and I think they look really cute on other people. Most of the time I don't even notice them but every now and then someone will tell me how much my freckles have come out in the sun and I quite like it.

Freckles most often appear on those with fair skin like me who are particularly sensitive to the sun, so I always make sure I wear a very high factor SPF on my face. I am currently trying out the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Melt-In Cream and will do a review shortly.

So if you also have freckles, embrace them, love them, and wear lots of sun cream!

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Saturday, 5 July 2014

Berry Lips - Kiko

I am not really a bold lip colour kind of girl. I don't always feel I have the confidence to wear them and when I do I find them quite high-maintenance. But I have found myself drawn to the recent bold pink/berry lip trend and when I was in Kiko looking at more lipsticks to add to my quickly growing Kiko lipstick collection (see previous post here) I just had to pick up this beautiful shade (shade 914).

I would say that it is a bold pinky purple colour with blue undertones which in some lights can even look more on the red side. It is a raspberry toned pink which I think would work perfectly all year round. It looks very dark in the bullet but much lighter when swatched and applied to the lips. The pigmentation is fantastic though and the colour seems to stain the lips slightly meaning that it actually lasts a reasonably long time. 

It is very easy to apply and doesn't seem to bleed at all. When applied straight from the bullet you get a strong bold berry lip colour but for everyday I prefer to swipe gently and then pat the colour in to the lips for a softer easier to wear look, meaning that this lipstick is very versatile. 

Patted in to the lips for a softer look.

I have been so impressed by the Kiko Smart Lipsticks so far, especially considering that they are only £3.90! I do prefer them to other high-street brand lipsticks that I have tried and I am sure I will be purchasing some more in to the not too distant future. 

Have you tried any of the Kiko Smart Lipsticks? What berry coloured lipsticks would you recommend? Let me know by commenting below...

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