Tuesday, 29 October 2013

My Make-up Journey

Seeing as I have recently decided to feature a lot more lifestyle posts on my blog I thought I'd combine the subjects of lifestyle and beauty and let you know a little bit more on  my experience with make-up over the years.

I'm going to share my make-up journey  from when I first discovered make up to the present day. Luckly (for me) I haven't been able to find any old pictures to show how my make up has changed so hopefully I'll be able to do it justice with my descriptions.

I first started wearing make up when I was about 11. I used to get a lot of it free with Shout magazine and it was usually something by Collection 2000. I seemed to sport pink frosted lips quite a lot. I always had my nails painted and I was often sent to the school office to remove blue nail polish. There may have been the odd bit of body glitter added for school discos! (on a side note, remember hair mascara..?! What was that about?!)

In high school I tended to stick to black kohl eyeliner on the waterline and mascara, maybe adding a bit of grey shadow if I was going somewhere interesting after school. We weren't allowed to wear a lot of make-up so this is probably all I could get away with. I was one of the first to pluck my eyebrows and shave my legs as I was always interested in beauty. From time to time I'd change my eyeliner to a blue or green, just to mix things up a bit, and yes it looked terrible.

As school came to an end I discovered fake tan. Especially when gradual tan moisturisers came in, there was never a time when I wasn't some shade of brown orange. I would put nights aside for work-out dvds and tanning, I'd actually cancel plans to fake tan! On nights out I'd start wearing false lashes too, only ever using the glue that came in the box - they'd fall off by the end of the night!
 I started wearing darker eyeshadows that I'm sure I never blended enough!  It was around this time where I discovered Benefit and being the bronze lover I was, my first purchase was 'You Rebel' followed by Hoola. I still use Hoola to this day but I use it much more sparingly now!

I experimented with my hair a lot, changing from my natural brunette to red (I blame Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls for that decision!), I've been a very dark brown it was almost black and also various shades of blonde. I ruined the condition of my hair using colour from boxes and it's only recently started to recover. I usually changed my make up with it, when I had dark or red hair I'd make sure I was always looking bronzed, I'd put bronzer all over my face. ALL OVER! 

Five years ago I started working for a photography studio and that started my love for Mac. The Make-up artists all used Mac products and it was great seeing the looks they would create with them on the clients every day. We had to look glamorous and it was hard not to when you had clients coming in and having their make-up done professionally, it was only natural that we wanted to look good too. Everyone I worked with was gorgeous so I wanted to look my best. I spent most of my time there and it became the focus of my social life. I would go out after work a lot and I often forgot to take off my make up before bed and if I did I'd use the dreaded face wipes! Late nights meant I need to invest in a good under eye brightener and that's where my beloved YSL Touch Eclat entered my life for the first time.

I now know that skincare is imortant for a good make-up base so I take care of my skin a lot more. I'm still terrible at drinking enough water and I really must start trying as I know hydration is my friend! I always take my make up off if I know I'm not going to be leaving the house again that day and I try to do face masks at least once a week. I make sure my make up brushes get a good clean on a regular basis as I know how much bacteria build up on them.

 Make-up wise,  I now spend more time contouring and highlighting and filling in my eyebrows for a more defined look. I have several shades of foundation so I can match my skin perfectly and not just add fake tan to make my body match my face! I don't wear the same make up everyday as I like to mix it up a bit and experiment with how different colours look together. I focus on my lips more by wearing a bright colour rather than just playing around with different eyeshadows. Regular readers of this blog will know I still love my fake tan but I've kissed goodbye to the patchy orange-toned skin. I keep my make up a lot more organised now too which means a lot more gets used rather than me forgetting about items that are at the bottom of a vanity case.

This isn't a 'TAG' as such but if anyone does a post like this then please let me know in the comments, I'd love to have a read of your make-up journey too!


Monday, 28 October 2013

Barry M & Models Own Autumn Nail Polishes

I find painting my nails very therapeutic, which is why I change the colours so often. It's a good way for me to relax in the evening, and it justifies me owning so many!

I decided to mix it up a bit with my nails and paint in a variety of Autumn shades. I'm loving all the taupes and greys around this season.


As much as I love the berrys and the navys of the colder season, a grey or nude can be a lot more low key and more wearable for day to day.

This was done using a mixture of shades by Models own and Barry M. Both great brands for nail polishes without spending a fortune!


I've got Barry M Mushroom on the thumb, followed by Models own Misty Grey which looks a lot more blue toned in the picture but it's more grey.

I used my favourite nude Barry M Gelly Hi Shine  lychee on the middle finger then Models Own Nude Beige and I put Barry M 293 on the little finger.

I quite like wearing a few different colours instead of just choosing one.

What's your favourite?


Sunday, 27 October 2013

It's a Love/Hate thing


Recycling old clothes -I love that the tartan trend is back, I found an old tartan skirt from years ago that I'm now wearing all the time, it's so long ago that it was from Bay Trading! I'm so glad I kept it, it's a little on the large side as I was much bigger back then but as it's a wrap around it was easily sorted just by moving the button. Love it!

Face Masks -My skin has been so dry lately so I've been treating myself to a face mask to rehydrate. I love Ark Skincare Age prepare skin purifying Masque which leaves my skin so soft. I also like the Montagne Jeunesse tropical peel of mask, the scent is so fruity and I don't know about you but I find the act of peeling it off so therapeutic, like when you had glue on your fingers at infant school.

New Starts -I've been so stressed and I was having way more down days than usual and I only just realised what was causing it, I was around the wrong type of people. It was like having a toothache, I was just brushing the tooth as normal hoping it would just get better, but the tooth needed extracting. I made a tough decision to move on and people are already noticing a huge difference in me.
 I might blog about this in more detail at some point.

Honeycomb -Galaxy have brought out a bar with honeycomb and it's delicious! Cadbury fingers have new honeycomb ones out too and they are lovely. Basically add honeycomb to anything sweet and it makes it 10 times better! I'm excited that Costa have a honeycomb hot chocolate as
one of their Christmas drinks this year. 

Swings Both Ways -I'm so looking forward to Robbie Williams' new album. It isn't out 'til mid November but I've listened to the previews and it's right up my street! There's a swing version of Robbie's classic 'Supreme' and it's brilliant. I've always been a big Robbie fan, people might think he's arrogant and can't sing but I think he 's amazing and such a great entertainer.


Mom Jeans -I just not see the appeal. I think they look really frumpy and don't show off any figure what so ever. I can't think of a body shape that would suit them. I certainly would look ridiculous!

Dry Lips -I've had terrible chapped lips lately and it's horrible. I've been piling on the Vaseline. It's a good thing that there's products like Revlon  Lip Butters and Maybelline Babylips other wise my lips would be colour-fee this season. It's nice to have something with a colour to it that also moisturises.

 Teething My son's got his molars coming through and he's really suffering, bless him. It's no fun for anyone, I feel really helpless.

Jelly Belly -These Jelly Beans drive me mad, the amount of times I've been casually munching away only to bite into a horrible one. One time I picked out what I thought was cherry when it was in fact, cinnamon. It's not a nice experience, I think I'm scarred for life. Jelly Beans should just be jelly bean flavoured!

What does the Fox Say? -Just... ugh, I have no words.

Don't tell the Bride -I used to really like this show, but I think it's had it's day. It's getting more and more ridiculous with themes and I just find it so hard  to believe when the brides say they love it. I'll start watching again when there's proper tears and tantrums and people telling their deranged grooms where to go!

What have you been Loving/Hating lately?


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Sticky9 Photobox Instagram Magnets

If you're someone with keen eyes who spends their time going through my old blog posts, you may have seen my post a while back about print-outs of Instagram images. I was so impressed with these I was interested to see what else I could do with my instagram photos. It's nice to have something physical to look at. I don't often go back and look at my old photos on my Insta feed ... maybe I should? 

After a bit of digging I discovered photobox (formally Stickygram). A site that allows you to turn your simple Instagram pictures from your phone into magnets for the fridge, radiator, microwave etc... They very kindly sent me a code to try them out. 


I was impressed with how easy it was to order. You are taken to a screen which instructs you to load your Instagram images to begin. You enter your details and there they all are, you can go right back to your very first  Instagram photo so as long as your image is through Instagram you can chose any picture you like. It's as simple as selecting the images you'd like then making a payment. The price is in dollars which works out at about £9.27 and shipping is free. Very simple indeed! The hardest bit was narrowing myself down to 9 pictures!

There's no worry about it taking ages to arrive or any hidden postage charges.

They say to wait up to 7 working days for your magnets to arrive so I was surprised to see a lovely little envelope from them 3 days after ordering! I was pleased  they could fit through the letter  box, I am forever missing deliveries and having to make a trip to the post office! There is very little hassle involved in the whole process.

You can choose to add a little message if you are sending them as a gift and there's a cute little preview of your prints in there too which is a nice extra. I'll definitely be keeping it, I might even use it to make a card for someones birthday...


The magnets arrived attached to one and other and at first I was a bit worried about damaging them as I separated them but I needn't have worried, they parted really easily with no rough edges or damage. They are a thin bendy magnet with a matte finish and are really well made, they don't appear to be an image just glued on to a magnet, which might have been expected. They are more like those magnets you might have had as a kid where you dressed up Barbie or what ever...


Each picture measures 5cm x 5cm and has a white border which doesn't crop out any of your original picture but if there's a border already you might end up with double so if that would be a problem for you just bear that in mind.


 I think these are going to be amazing for Christmas presents. It's so personal and now those extra special pics are not just on your phone but there on your fridge for you to see and really appreciate. All your memories right there in front of your eyes and not a worry about battery life in sight!


I really suggest you give them a go, I love my new magnets! 
I hope this has given you a great gift idea, if not, the magnets might have given you some information on my life - either way I hope you enjoyed it!

Take a look at their website to see how easy it is to get started!


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Tastastic Mousse Review

There's no denying it, I love my tan! I feel like Ive tried almost every tan on the market so when I was offered the chance to try out one I hadn't heard of I jumped at the chance.

Tantastic aim to make your skin your best asset, giving you a gorgeous tan while looking after your skin with their superior moisturising ingredients such as Vitamin B5, Aloe Vera and Glycerine. These will provide all over skin hydration allowing your tan to last longer. This all sounded great to me!

Firstly the packaging is lovely, it's like no other tan out there, it's such a vibrant barbie pink and it really works with the contrast of the brown writing. The mousse dispenses well too and the bottle is nice and sturdy without being too bulking which can often make you think you are paying more for the packaging than the product!


It has a light golden guide colour so you can see where you are applying it, although it dries very quickly you still have enough time to blend it in evenly to make sure there is no streaking. They advise that you don't apply a moisturiser before applying the tan, which is one less thing to do! I dispensed 2 pumps at a time to the mitt and smoothed it on in circular motions.

 After it's dry there is a slight tint on the skin so you could easily go out in it. Most tans I look overly tanned so have to do it before I go to sleep so nobody gets to see me looking like I've stepped in mud! When coming to write this I thought I should mention the smell but I don't remember there being much of a smell at all, at least not anything I noticed! I guess it had a hint of just 'fake tan' which went away very quickly.

I applied it at 9pm and let it develop over night. I must admit I wasn't expecting much of a tan given the guide colour of the mousse but I was pleasantly surprised that with one coat I woke up with a lovely deep brown colour and even after washing it I still looked really tanned.
One thing I loved was that it didn't rub onto my bedsheets! Even with quick drying tans I often find that in the night some of it has still transferred on to the sheets, but this wasn't the case at all! Woo! No washing for me!

Tantastic products contain no alcohol so it won't dry out your skin, which is often the case with  a tanning mousse and it also means it is safe to use on the face as well as the body.

Here's a little pic of the results-

Impressive, huh?

This is defnintely up there with my favourite tanning mousses!
You can get the Tantastic range on their website or at Very.co.uk

What's your favourite fake tan?


Thursday, 17 October 2013

Beauty UK Lipsticks Review

I was kindly sent these lipsticks from Beauty UK. You may have seen them around while browsing the isles in Superdrug. To be honest I've always overlooked the cheaper brands as I don't expect the quality of the products to be up to scratch but these really have proved me wrong.

The packaging is really sleek and doesn't give the impression that it's a cheap brand at all. I love that you can see the colours of the lipstick at the end which makes it nice and easy to see which colour you're picking up. I hate spending ages reading the bottom of my many Mac lipsticks to find the one I'm after! A great little extra is that the ends come off and they contain a little extra product to apply with a lip brush. This also means the end colour is actually the colour of the lipsticks, none of these stickers on the ends that show a colour that is nothing like the lipstick inside!


These two shades Passion and 
Plumalicious are great berry tones for Autumn.


 I was a bit scared how dark Plumalicious looked in the bullet but it isn't as dark as it appears, it's a deep plummy red but nothing to be scared of. It's not too  dark at all when it's on and it feels really moisturising.

Passion is such a bold shade. It's definitely striking but not too much for day wear. It's a deep pigmented raspberry pink that personally I would get a lot of wear out of.


I also tried two neutral shades which are a bit more subtle and a little more wearable.


 I tried  Chelsea which is a lovely creamy nude and Son of a Peach, (such a great name!) Is a pale pink matte formula with nude undertones. I find this looks better with a bit of gloss over the top but it is such a lovely pastel pink!


These lipsticks have great pigmentation and excellent colour pay of. I found they lasted a good 4 hours with eating and drinking and they faded evenly. The scent is really nice, it has a bit of a minty smell to it, it's not overpowering, think Carmex... like that..


I'm so impressed with these, the creamy formula is great and the best past is that they are only £3.49 in Superdrug which is such a bargain! I'll definitely be picking up a few more shades.

What's your favourite?


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

SO Project | Eye shadow

I'm looking forward to reading other peoples posts on this weeks topic as I don't really experiment too much with eye shadows. 


Generally, I stick to my lovely Mac sexpot pigment/glitter set  which has lasted me such a long time, pigments seem to last forever! The nude/beige shade, Naked is great for day wear and is a great base. The black, Dark Soul is amazing for a smokey eye as it has a great subtle shimmer to it and the extra shades really compliment the two to create a great series of looks for day or night. 

Naked, Sunnydaze, Reflects Antique Gold, Chocolate Brown, Dark Soul

One of the looks I create for a night out is this...
  • After applying a primer I use a damp brush to sweep Sunnydaze (a metallic bronzy-taupe colour) over the eyelid. I also add a little to the inner corner of the eye and under lash line to brighten the eye a little.
  • Then I use an angled brush to make a V shape in the outer corner, up to the crease with Dark soul and extend this just over half way across the eye, getting softer as I go. I also lightly line the lash line with this too. 
  • To tone it down I blend with blending brush and round off the corners to suit my eye shape and smudge it slighly up towards the brow bone and under the lower lash line. 
  • Next, I highlight the brow bone with the naked pigment and add a small coat of reflects Antique Gold over top of eyelid which is a lovely goldy-brown glitter which easily takes a day look to night. And of course no smokey eye is complete without mascara!
Using the Mac Sexpot Pigment/Glitter Set

I always hold tissue underneath to prevent fall lout ruining make up, I find this happens a lot more with pigments or Barry M's Dazzle dusts. I don't like doing eye make up first then doing the base around it, that sounds like far too much work to me!

For daily use I go for my Gosh smokey eyes palette in 02 Brown. The darkest brown is usually used as a liner while the others get played around with depending how natural I want my make up to look. It's nice and slim too so fits in a make-up bag perfectly without being too bulky. 

If I'm feeling slightly more adventurous I add a goldy/greeny colour to my eyes using GOSH quattro eyeshadow in Green Valley. It's very highly pigmented, easy to blend, and has no fallout at all. I love Gosh for their eye shadows.


An old favourite of mine is the Sleek Storm Palette  I used to keep it in my bag at work so I could turn a day look to night using some of the darker colours. Or it was brilliant for the day time looks too if I ever got in late and needed to finish off my make up when I got in (come on, we've all been there!).  I completely used it to death and I really should repurchase as it really is brilliant for the price but I'm holding out for something a bit more luxurious like the infamous Urban Decay Naked Palette. I also need to invest in a nice palette with grey shades too. (any recommendations would be very welcome!)

One thing I don't get about eye shadows is that they STILL come with those little sponge  applicators -who uses those things?!
I use my eco tools eye brushes and the thing I completely recommend for a good eyeshadow is to blend blend blend! oh and clean your brushes! it's never good trying to apply a nude colour with hints of navy underneath...


Please comment with your links if you have done the eyeshadow post this week and I'd love to read some tips and try out a few more looks!