Sunday, 26 July 2009

Lumiere Skin & Beauty Bar Review

I went out last night and decided to try out some of the lovely goodies that were sent to me from Lumiere Skin & Beauty Bar.

To create the look below I used: Revlon Colourstay in True Beige, Mac Select Cover Concealer in NC20, Lumiere Flawless Face powder in Fair Medium, Lumiere Bronzer in California Gold, Lumiere Silk Radiance in Sundew on cheekbones and Lumiere Blush in Apricot. I then used the Lumiere pigments in Champagne for all over the lid and Hypnotic (a gorgeous bronze) on the outer edges of the eye (I applied them dry). I finished it off with Elf Liquid Liner in Coffee and YSL Faux Cils Mascara in Black. I used Mac Creme De Nude lipstick with Lumiere lipgloss in Oh Baby!The Lumiere finely milled minerals powders went on like a dream with the Kabuki Brush they sent me, it's so so soft, it just blends so well and I was really impressed by it. The bronzer I used was a lovely golden colour and gave me a nice glow that lasted all night. My favourite powder of them all was the Silk Radiance in Sundew which is basically an illuminating powder and it gave my skin a dewy, airbrushed effect that looked really lovely. I also really liked the Apricot blusher, it's perfect to team with the bronzer. The lipgloss is a nice shade but one thing I would say is that they don't last very long which was a shame.

So overall I really liked the products I used and look forward to using more of the pigments and the other skin radiance powder that a baby pink colour, I will the pigments wet next time to compare the difference.



First entry into Miss World Contest

I am really chuffed to have the first entry into my Miss World Contest!

Moggalicious has put Martini MacDuff forward for the crown! Check out her full entry at http://www.moggalicious.blogspot.com/. I am sure you will agree that she looks gorgeous and I'm loving the proper Miss World pose!! I am looking forward to seeing more entries being posted soon!

I have posted a pic of the prizes so far. I am flying to Ireland tomorrow for 5 daysand I will be picking up some more things to add to it. So, if you fancy getting your grubby little mitts on these amazing prizes, get your sash on! (the Sleek palette is the Safari one but I may be able to get my hands on the last limited edition palette next week so keep your eyes peeled for that!)

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Louise Galvin Natural Locks

I have been sent some products from Louise Galvin that fit nicely into my healthy hair regime I have been keeping to. They have been so amazingly generous with full size samples and have sent me the following:
1) Nourishing Shampoo
2) Nourishing Conditioner
3) Deep Conditioning Treatment
4) Vitox Highlight Brightener
The Vitox Highlight Brightener is a plastic tub that contains 3 vials of Vitox solution and 3 small jars of Vitox powder. The Vitox is a gentle Vitamin C formulation that tones and brightens highlights. You basically only mix one vial and one powder together in the tub at a time to create a foam (otherwise the natural vitamin C will not remain effective), you then apply it to towel dried hair and leave it for 3 minutes.
All of the products are environmentally friendly coz they no SLS, PEGS, Parabens, Silicone, Petrochemicals, Polymers or sysnthetic fragrance. I don't know what half those things are but they're probably not good for your hair! They also aren't tested on animals.
I'm always getting stuck between those products that have loads of chemicals but give a great result (usually contain silicons for shine) and then the natural ones that may not give as much shine, but they're better for your hair and better for the environment. These products have been created for coloured hair and claim not to weigh the hair down.
I used the shampoo and conditioner this morning and you can see a picture of what my hair looks like in my previous post. Firstly, I love the packaging, it's really simple and stylish. I found that the shampoo had a pleasant fragrance and lathered well. It's one of those shampoos that feels like it's really cleansing your hair of any product build up coz my hair felt squeaky clean after using it. The conditioner is very light, which I like for my hair coz it's fine and gets weighed down easily. My hair is shiny, lightweight and smooth after just blowdrying it straight.
I am really looking forward to using the Highlight Brightener and Deep Conditioning Treatment in the weeks to come and will post a review of them shortly.

Review of Sun Labs Self Tanner Spray

As you may remember, I was sent a load of SunLabs tanning products to try out and review. I tried the self tanning spray in Dark last night. I always get a bit scared when I stray from St Tropez as you never know whether the product will go horribly wrong and make you look like you've been tangoed! I applied the spray tanner last night after exfoliating thoroughly and then applying moisturiser all over. Once this had completely dried, I sprayed on the lotion which is a watery consistency and very dark in pigment. The spray was a bit harder to apply than the mousse formulation I am used to as you had to work very quickly to blend it before it dried. I like tanning products that dry quickly but this one was super fast! As long as you make sure you are applying it evenly, it will be fine. It has a guide colour so you can see if you've missed any bits. I will say that it looks darker than St Tropez once you have applied it and I did look in the mirror and panic a bit. But you have to remember that, like St Tropez, the dark pigment on your skin is just a guide colour and not how the product turns out in the morning. I got up this morning and washed the guide colour off and I was really pleased with the result. It gave me a gorgeous tan that is slightly darker than St Tropez would give in one application. I would recommend this product to anyone who finds that St Tropez isn't dark enough for them or people who are looking to get a rich tan. I personally don't like being too dark as it can be ageing if you go over the top with it. You can see in the pic below that it just gave me a nice colour:

I would definitely use this product again but I would possibly prefer a mousse formulation as that's what works best for me and in general it's less messy. I used the tanning mitt provided by SunLabs to apply the product and then latex gloves to apply it to my face for more fiddly areas. I had to be very careful not to cover my bathroom in tanner spray! I don't think my fiance would appreciate having the soles of his feet tanned unknowingly!ha ha.

The smell of the product was actually ok and when I applied it, I didn't notice too much of the normal biscuit smell you get from these kind of products. Chris actually said I smelt like pancakes and syrup...not sure if that's a good or a bad thing!? (that was before I washed the guide colour off) He assured me it didn't smell bad so I'll take his word for it.

My overall impression of this product was that I would definitely use it before a night out to get a really nice colour. I tend not to use these darker tanner until I have a night out or special occassion as I prefer to use gradual tanners like the Dove one during the week. I will try out the self tanning lotion next and let you know my thoughts on it soon.

Now, I'm off to try on wedding dresses with my best mate Pamela! Catch you later girlies! xx

Friday, 24 July 2009

Mavala nailpolish

I have been sent these gorgeous nailpolishes from Mavala and I am extremely happy with the colour selection! I couldn't have picked out better shades myself...a bright pink (Sweety), peach (Magic), creamy lilac (Violette) and orangey red (Juicy). I was also sent Colourfix, a clear polish, which seals in the polish and stops it from chipping. The colours are so summery!These polishes are easy to apply, non streaky and best of all, at 5ml they're all travel/handbag size so you could have them in your hand luggage at the airport if you wanted to! The shades are all opaque (cream) with no shimmer apart from the peach shade which is a more sheer colour, a pearl finish (perfect for my fingernails since I'm not keen on opaque colours for my nails (i'm weird like that!). As you can see from the pic below, the peach is gorgeous and really subtle, just the way I like it.

I applied the bright pink to my toenails coz I love a shot of colour on them for summer. You will have to excuse my toes, I intentionally cropped the photo to spare you the horror of seeing my feet (I hate them! - they're not my most attractive feature and they are freakishly long and thin just like my fingers!!).
I love these dinky little polishes and being the first time I've tried Mavala, I'm impressed with the quality. There's 120 colours in this collection so there's bound to be a shade to suit everyone! They retail at £3.66 each and I, for one, like the size coz they won't dry up before you get to use it up. Have you tired Mavala? What did you think?

I love Monsoon!

Just when I've promised myself I wouldn't make any frivolous purchases with my pay at the end of the month (yeah right, who am I trying to kid???), Monsoon go and throw a spanner in the works by introducing this amazingly sweet dress! Arghhhh...I HAVE to have it! It has all the things I love...Pink (yes, I'm such a girl, I know!), intricate beading and a great big bow! Could you get any better than that??? This dress is SO me that I think I may just have to buy it.

It's called the Viscount Shift dress from Monsoon, it's 100% silk and priced at £135 (rather hefty but I reckon I could make this dress last the distance). I have a few Monsoon dresses and they really are worth the money and the colour range is just brilliant. Being someone who likes bright colours, this is ideal for me. I bought a silk cerise minidress with a heavily beaded neckline from the Originals collection from there about 3 years ago and I still wear it now, still adore it and thankfully, it will never go out of fashion.

I have the perfect shoes sitting in my wardbrobe to go with this dress that are yet to be worn (that seems to happen alot...). I have been waiting to pair them with something special and I think this dress could be just the ticket! I reckon you could toughen the look up by adding a cropped leather jacket or even wear it with leggings as it's quite short. I even have the perfect makeup look to go with it...I'm so weak...

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Revitalash and FOTD

The kind people at Athena Cosmetics have sent me one of their products all the way from the USA, Revitalash, to review on my blog. I have heard mixed reviews of this product and I know that some people experience irritation to the eye. I generally don't experience any problems with my eyes with regards to makeup irritating them so I'm hoping I won't get that. I have fine blonde lashes and I'm hoping that this product will lengthen and thicken them as promised! This product retails at around £95! So as you can imagine I was really chuffed to get to test it for free! The instructions say to apply the lash conditioner to your eyes every night as if you are applying eyeliner, being careful not to actually get it in your eye. I will begin to test this tonight and let you know how I'm getting on after a few weeks. I will take a photo of my eyelashes so I can track the progress over the next few months. I have my fingers crossed that it will work coz I long for Bambi like lashes!

Next up is my FOTD...I just wanted to show you all what Mac Paint Pot in Bare Study looks like with a nice thick line of Black Liquid Liner and lashings of mascara. I really do like this look, as you can probably tell since I do it all the time!ha ha.
This paint pot is a gorgeous shimmery champagne colour and will serve as a perfect base for pretty much any colour you layer on top of it. Some people aren't that impressed by Mac Paint Pots but I really like the creamy consistency and I always use my fingers to apply them and blend, they always go on smoothly and evenly and the colour is buildable. They last all day and I can't really fault them.
I will be slowly building my collection...I now have Bare Study, Painterly and Rubenesque and I love them all equally. I finished off the look with Mac Hue lipstick and then a lipgloss that Michelle sent me from Canada, Balmshell lipgloss in Sleep In Beauty (a gorgeous shimmery pink). And yep, you guessed it, I've been at that conical wand again to curl my hair! You can't argue with a tool that gives you that much volume with very little effort!


Project Healthy Hair: 10 Commandments

1) THOU SHALT APPLY A WARM OIL SCALP MASSAGE RITUAL TWO TIMES A WEEK.

This will help to stimulate and moisturise your scalp. You can use good quality coconut, almond or olive oil. I will be applying some warmed oil to my hair and will then gently massage it into my scalp evenly. I will leave it on overnight if I can or at least an hour or two, then wash it out with shampoo.

2) THOUGH SHALT GO NATURAL

All shampoos contain cleansers but those with naturally derived cleansers are less likely to strip your hair of vital oils. Aveda use natural cleansers in all of their shampoos so I will be using my Aveda Damage Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner.

3) THOUGH SHALT DEEP CONDITION

As you will have seen in my last post, I am currently using Kerastase Chroma Riche hair mask to improve the overall condition of my hair. Because I like to blow dry my hair every day, I really have to ensure that I am preventing any dryness caused by this. I apply the mask from midshaft down, so as not to weight my roots down, comb it through with a wide tooth comb, then leave on for 10 minutes. The steam created by the bath/shower helps to open up the hair shaft and allows the mask to penetrate a bit deeper into your hair. I always make sure I rinse my hair thoroughly after using an intensive mask as you don't want to leave any of the product in your hair. This would just increase the chance of static once you have dried it.

4) THOUGH SHALT AVOID THE BURN

Alot of professional-grade blow-dryers on the market come with the concentrated super slim nozzle designed to smooth down the hairshaft and therefore make hair shiny. It's handy for speeding up the drying process but keep in mind that they were designed to be held high above your hair by a stylist and would generally be moved around a lot to avoid applying too much heat to one area of the hair directly. I always remove the nozzle and use my fingers instead of a brush until my hair is 80% dry. That way, your not tugging at damp hair with a brush, which will just end up with breakage. Only then do I attach the nozzle and use it to smooth my hair out. This way, you're diffusing the heat across your hair and avoiding burning specific areas with a nozzle.

5) THOUGH SHALT NOT SUFFOCATE MY HAIR WITH PRODUCTS

I try not to load my hair with too many products when I am blowdrying it, simply because I have fine hair and don't want to weight it down. It also can make your hair dull if you apply too much to it. Silicon based products (such as Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum that I use) are great at preventing frizz and enhancing shine but I only apply it after I have blow dried my hair. If you apply it before blow drying, it can fuse to your hair and have a "shrink wrap" effect, sapping all the moisture from your strands.

6) THOUGH SHALT TAKE MY SUPPLEMENTS

I generally like to keep myself in good health so I take a multi vitamin every day but I am going to start taking an Omega 3 fatty acid supplement too. Although getting these vital oils from fresh food would be ideal, I am not a great lover of fish and I don't eat that many nuts so I always feel like I need to up my omega oils. Hopefully after a few months of taking it, I will start to see a difference in my hair.

7) THOUGH SHALT VISIT MY HAIRDRESSER EVERY 5 WEEKS

I already do this so I'm on top of it. I like to have my hair trimmed regularly to make sure I am keeping it as free of split ends as I can. As you probably know, getting regular trims encourages hair growth too. Although it sounds counterproductive, dyeing your hair more often can actually help prevent chemical damage. Since the ends of your hair will be less likely to fade, your hairdresser won't have to leave the dye on as long. To avoid colour fade, I try not to shampoo for 48 hours after getting my hair coloured and use only color-safe products.

8) THOUGH SHALT KEEP MY TOOLS IN TOP SHAPE

Old, worn bristles on your brush can damage your hair’s cuticle when you are blowdrying and can also cause split ends. I always make sure my brushes are in good condition and replace them straight away if they are becoming damaged. When shopping for a new one, I always run it down my arm and if the bristles feel abrasive, I just skip it. Natural bristles are probably the best bet for getting alot of shine and smoothness with a blowdry but they tend to be more expensive. I think they are worth it though.

9) THOUGH SHALT STEER CLEAR OF METAL

I only ever use ceramic or porcelain heated appliances (like my GHD's or my amazing Babylis Conical Wand). Unlike metal heated appliances, ceramic heats up evenly, so they are less likely to scorch random areas of your hair.

10) THOUGH SHALT LIMIT HEAT

For about 3 months now I have only been blowdrying my hair as described above however I have not been using my GHD's every day as I used to. This is a mixture of two things, one being the fact that I don't want to damage with hair by straightening it every day and the other being the fact that I now actually prefer my hair when it isn't poker straight. My fine hair has alot more natural volume and bounce when I just blow dry it. That means I don't have to apply as much product to it. I have been restricting my use of my conical wand to special occassions like a night out (i.e. only using it once a week). When I do use my wand, I have it set at a low heat and never heat any one section of hair longer than 10 seconds.

I hope these tips have helped those of you who are looking to improve the overall condition of your hair and if you have any questions, as always...just ask!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Project Healthy Hair and Elf Liquid Liners

Hi everyone, just thought I'd give you an update on my quest for healthy hair! (I got a bit paranoid that it got frazzled in the 35oC heat in Sicily). I have been using Kerastase Chroma Riche Hair Mask for the past 3 weeks and it has really made a big difference to my hair. I have posted a pic of what my hair looks like after I just blowdry it with a round brush (no styling product at all was applied beforehand). The Kerastase mask has really improved the softness and shine of my hair and I don't even have to straighten it, it just sits nicely on it's own...you gotta love that! I just apply the mask twice a week, comb it through my hair and leave it on for about 10 mins. I would highly recommend this product as even though it's relatively expensive, it lasts ages as you only need a very small amount with each application. It's doing a brilliant job of preserving my colour and I will definitely keep using it on a weekly basis.

I have been buying up alot of liquid liners recently and decided to try out a couple of the Elf waterproof ones to see how they fair. I bought Ash, a matte grey and Coffee, a matte brown. I wanted to find colours for days when black liner seems too harsh.

On inspection, they have a very strange smell to them that I'm not sure I like. At £1.50 each, I will persevere though and do a review tomorrow! I really want them to be good. Have you guys tried either of these shades yet? I had a couple of requests about what the Urban Decay Eyeshadow primer in Sin looked like that I got in my swap with Michelle a.k.a. Lipstick Rules, so I have posted a pic wearing only that all over the lid to give you an idea of the colour.












I also had a request to post a swatch of Mac Creme De Nude lipstick so please find a pic of that below.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Lumiere Skin & Beauty Bar

I have been lucky enough to be sent a package from the very lovely and helpful Sarah at Lumiere Skin & Beauty Bar www.lumierecosmetics.com, who specialise in Mineral make-up. I never expected to get so many samples, I think they have been very generous! The photo below is of the Foundation, Finishing Powders , Blushes and Bronzer in the small containers. As you can see they also sent me a Kabuki brush and 3 mini lipglosses. As soon as I touched the Kabuki Brush, I fell in love with how soft it is! I kept running it over my hand.ha ha. It's probably the softest Kabuki I have ever had. I can't wait to use it tomorrow!
I have swatched the liglosses below and as you can see they are lovely neutral colours - just how I like my lip products to be. I will try them out properly tomorrow so I can report back on their longevity and texture on the lips.

They also sent me 6 Eye pigments and these are the items that I am most impressed by (sorry about the small text on the pic, just ask if you can't see the name of a shade). The colours I got are really pigmented and very finely milled. I applied them to my hand with a damp brush and as you can see, the colours are so lovely. Peacock, an amazing multi faceted turquoise blue or Hypnotic, a deep metallic bronze, are my favourite shades...beautiful!




I will be reviewing these items in more detail over the next couple of weeks when I get a free minute to play with them a bit. I just wanted to share with you all what I was sent. Have you tired any products from Lumiere? What did you think of them?

Miss World contest reminder

Hello my lovelies,

Just a quick reminder that I have decided to extend the deadline for my Miss World Contest to Wednesday 5th August. I have done this as I will be on holiday in Ireland all next week and so I won't have much access to a computer. I would prefer to keep you guys updated on the growing list of prizes for the winner as I collect them so in order to do that I have pushed the dealine back a bit. I haven't had any entries in yet so I'm hoping someone does one soon or I'll have to keep all the goodies for myself!
The prize is the following so far:

1) Elemis Exotic Island Flower Body Balm 125ml
2) Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil (use on nails, hair, scalp and skin) 100ml
3) Liz Earle Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash 100ml
4) Liz Earle Energising Body Scrub 50ml
5) Liz Earle Instant Boost Tonic Spritzer 30ml
6) Liz Earle Sun Shade Botanical Self Tan Spray 30ml
7) O.P.I Nail Laquer in Hopelessly in Love
8) Barry M Natural Dazzle Bronzer
9) Sleek Safari eyeshadow palette
10) Sleek Wonderlast lipgloss
11) 3 x Barry M Dazzledusts
So hurry up ladies and put in an entry and you could win all those gorgeous products! Don't be shy or scared to enter...we're all here to have fun. There will also be a lovely prize for the each of the runners up.
Looking forward to seeing all the glitter and glam!

Leg De-fuzzing

This is a subject that us girls like to keep under wraps from the outside world. We would prefer that guys thought we were born with no body hair and our effortlessly smooth legs required no work whatsoever.

Unfortunately the reality is that us girls have a constant battle trying to make sure our legs are skirt ready at all times! The reason I'm writing this post is because I have been pondering the options and I want to get a quick poll on how you deal with this problem...do you use a razor? Waxing? An Epilator? Hair Removal Cream?


I want to look into all areas of this because for years now, I have just shaved my legs but no matter what razor I use, I always end up either cutting my knees/ankles up or I get a bumpy rash on the inside of my calf after shaving my legs. This is really annoying...sometimes shaving works fine but on other days it can go seriously wrong, I end up with blood running down my knees, looking like an extra from a teen slasher movie! (ok, maybe not that bad).



I remember buying hair removal cream when I was about 16 and trying to use it on my legs...I can honestly say that it didn't remove all of the hair from my legs AND it wreaked to high heaven...like burnt hair...urgh! That put me off the stuff for a long time but I'm assuming there must have been some progress made with these products in the last 10 years (god, has it been THAT long since I was 16???...). I've seen creams advertised that exfoliate AND remove hair so I would be interested to know if this works? Does anyone use these kind of products? If so, which ones are your favourite?



I have some friends who use Epilators but I gotta say that it sounds too painful for my liking. Apparently the more you do it, the less it hurts and I do like the idea that it lasts alot longer than shaving. I hate having to shave my legs every three days, it's just a pain in the neck really and I don't think it's very good for my skin. I really don't like the idea of waxing simply because a) it hurts...alot! and b) you have to grow your hair long enough to be waxed...that just ain't gonna happen people. I am meticulous about these things and it would drive me mad.



I dream of permanent laser hair removal and then I would never have to worry about it again...but since I'm not loaded and can't afford the very hefty price of those treatments, I will just have to once again, look to my beauty blogger lovelies to offer some ideas :)

Monday, 20 July 2009

More Mac!

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you...it's more Mac!

I said I wouldn't get any more for a while and I gave in. But I can explain! I needed (ok, wanted) a nice matte beige eyeshadow base and I know that Mac Paint Pot in Painterly (above right) is probably one of the best ones. Then I saw Mac Paint Pot in Bare Study (above left) which is a champagne shimmer and I wanted that for a more glowy eye.
I also picked up a Mac classic that I didn't have...Creme De Nude. As I suspected, it's a perfect shade for me...it's probably the perfect shade for everyone. I thought I would love it and I was right. It will now sit proudly with the other 50 nude lipsticks I have but they're all slightly different...honest.ha ha.
Then...I remembered that another beauty blogger, Shangri-La, had commented on one of my posts a while back that the Mac Liquilast in Aqualine looked amazing...and boy was she right! It's the most gorgeous bright turquoise and I plan to use it as a nice slim line of colour on a neutral eye (possibly using Painterly or Bare Study...see!I told you I would use them!). I have been inspired by Kelly a.k.a. Kelanjo19 and her bright eyeliner looks using the GOSH liquid liners (which I am also coveting!). I want to find a deep metallic navy liquid liner so if anyone knows of one, gimme a shout! I wasn't sure about bright liner until I saw some of her posts and that proved how great it can look when you keep the rest of the face glowy and neutral. Check out the colour below! Beautiful!


Lipstick Rules, Rules!

I came home today to another package from the lovely Michelle a.k.a. Lipstick Rules. We did a swap and as she forgot to send a couple of things, she posted them afterwards. I was so touched that she included a card for me congratulating me on my engagement to Chris...that was such a sweet touch and I really appreciate it. It made me smile after a long day at work so thank you Michelle!

I never cease to be surprised at how friendly and helpful all the girls are on these beauty blogs. It's so nice that all these peole that have never met can come online and share a common interest and also make friends at the same time (sounds corny but it's true and you know it!).




As for the beauty booty from Michelle...she has sent me:

1) Quo Shimmer Block in Sunset Boulevard, which is an allover illuminating powder.

2) A little dinky Nars lipgloss in Turkish Delight (loooove that colour and it's so me!)

3) Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin, a gorgeous pinky brown (very like Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy but without the glittery bits).

4) Balmshell Sleep-In Beauty Lipgloss which doubles up as a keyring!

I can't wait to try it all out! It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know Michelle and I highly recommend everyone checks out her blog coz I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do!

To Prime or Not to Prime?...that is the question!

Hey girlies!
The question of the day is about makeup primers...do you use them religiously or think they are a waste of time/money? I have been using primers for a couple of years now and I have found that they give me a smoother, more even base to apply makeup onto. I also find they make my makeup last alot longer and reduce shine on my T-Zone. The best choice of primer for reducing shine are the colourless, oil-free formulas. I find they also make it easier for me to blend my foundation into my skin.

I've heard alot of bloggers on here don't use primers as they don't like the 'oily' feeling it gives their skin, a sensation which could be caused be the silicon in them. I personally haven't experienced any kind of oily feeling from the primers that I use but I have dry skin so that's possibly why they work for me. You also have to remember not to use too much of the product (one pump or half a pea sized amount is more than enough for the whole face). I always apply mine after moisturiser.

I would be interested to know if anyone with oily skin uses them and how they make it work for them?

There are alot of options now when it comes to primers. For example, MAC do a spray version that 'sets' your makeup once applied which I am yet to try (Pixiewoo use this in some of their vids on YouTube). I have tried the Smashbox and Laura Mercier primers and I wasn't that fond of them but as with everything you apply on your face, it depends on your skin type. I also like to use illuminating products as a primer when I want a really dewy look or to add a bit of colour. My favourite primers are:

1) YSL Matte Touch - for a shine free, smooth and even complexion

2) Lancome La Base pro - for lasting power and easy blending

3) Mac Strobe Liquid - for a gorgeous dewy that enhances your complexion
4) Virgin Vie Skin Dew Primer - for an ethereal, soft pink glow
5) The Body Shop Tinted Glow Enhancer in no.2 - for an overall golden glow to the face


In my opinion, I like the extra bit of insurance a primer gives you to ensure that your makeup stays in place, especially when the weather starts to heat up (which ain't that often in Scotland but it does SOMETIMES happen, once in a blue moon). I have a huge collection of primers and illuminators and I wouldn't be without them. They make my skin look flawless and for that, I salute them!
What are your opinions on primers and which ones are your favourites?

Sunday, 19 July 2009

FOTD (well, face of last night actually...)

As you can see, I'm quickly becoming addicted to using the Babylis Conical Wand...it truly is the best heated appliance I own (even more than my GHD's!). I love the fact that you can create volume with it at the roots as well as creating gorgeous waves. It makes my hair look twice as thick and I am running around recommending it to everyone I know!
The gloves that come with it did start to annoy me slightly so I tried doing it without them last night...it was alot easier but you have to be SO careful not to burn your fingers!

This was the look I went for last night, it's pretty neutral/natural but I'm sure you've come to expect this from me by now!ha ha...I used the following products:

Face: The Body Shop Tinted Illuminator in no.2, Revlon Colourstay Foundation in True Beige, Estee Lauder Uncircle Concealer in Light, Mac MSF Natural in Medium, Lancome Tropiques Mineral Bronzer for an all over glow, then Barry M Natural Dazzle to create a contour (which is better demonstrated in the pic below), the lightest shade in my new Elf Studio Golden Bronzer as a higlight on the cheekbones and browbone.

Eyes: Lancome Colour Dose in Montego Beige all over lid as a base, Mac Solar Bits in Impassioned all over lid, the palest gold eyeshadow in the Sleek Safari palette in the tearduct and slightly onto the lid, Sue Moxley Eyeliner in Citrine ony along top lashline, a super fine line of Mac Penultimate Liquid Liner in Black right in along the lashes and then YSL Faux Cils Mascara in Black.

Lips: GOSH Darling then Bonne Belle lipgloss in Cappuccino.

I really like the Elf Studio Golden Bronzer however I think I will be getting the darker shades as this one doesn't add much colour, it's more of a highlighter really, but lovely all the same. It gives a nice glow to the cheeks and is finely milled, so I would recommend this to people who are either very pale or someone who just wants to add a subtle glow/sheen to their cheeks.
I must admit with shame that was the first time I had used my Mac Solar Bits since I got them (I must have too many eyeshadows!) and I gotta say that I love Impassioned, it's a gorgeous taupe colour and it quickly become a favourite...I can't wait to try Scatterays!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Elf and Sun Labs

Hi guys! I hope you're all having a good weekend. The weather isn't great here so I just popped out to the gym and I've arrived back home looking less than glamourous! But it doesn't matter because I came home to two parcels! Yah!
The first one was from Elf, they have kindly sent me their Golden Bronzer to review. It's basically got 4 shades that can be used individually or swirled together for an all over glow. This will be the first time I've tried a product from Elf so I'm excited to see if a brand that is so affordable can also perform well. Expect a review coming very soon! In the meantime, if you have used this product already, let me know what you thought.

The second parcel was from SunLabs and they have sent me their Express Liquid Tan in Dark, Self Tanning Lotion in Very Dark and their Self Tanning Spray in Dark. The Express Liquid Tan is just a wash off lotion for when you need to get bronzed in a hurry! I saw Natalie's post on www.nattyngeorge.blogspot.co.uk about her top picks for tanning and sun labs lotion was one of her favourites. Since she has the most gorgeous tan and said it was the same as St Tropez...I'm definitely looking forward to using it! I always get nervous when using a tanner for the first time but I will report back on how I get on with this one. So stay tuned girlies for a review and as I said before, if you have used this product already, feel free to post a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Korres Skincare Samples

Hi girlies!

Just a quick post to let you see the Korres samples I received today from the lovely people at Bath & Unwind. I was very interested to try out this brand as I've heard alot about it from other bloggers. I have labelled what they sent me and listed a more detailed description below:

Fig Body Butter - Extra moisturising and smoothing cream for dry skin conditions. Ideal for dry elbows, heels and knees. Fig Extract provides energy to the cells while toning and regenerating the skin.

Olive and Rye Night & Day Cream - Anti-ageing and firming

Wild Rose 24 Hour Moisturiser - with SPF6 and containing olive and nut oils.

Wild Rose Mask - instant brightening and illuminating vitamin C mask


I can't wait to try these out and I will post a review to let you guys know how I got on and what I thought of them. Korres isn't a cheap brand so I wouldn't want to shell out good money until I know that the products are worth it.

Foundation...How do you apply yours?

Today, out of interest, I just wanted to take a poll on how all you lovely ladies apply your liquid foundation:

1) Foundation Brush...oooh er, very professional!

2) Your fingers...mind they ain't grubby now!

3) A sponge...preferable not the one in the kitchen sink!

4) A mixture of all the above...how indecisive of you!

I personally apply mine with my fingers as I've always found that the warmth of my hands helps the foundation to blend into the skin really well. I notice that MUA's always apply foundation with a brush or a sponge on clients but I've always assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that that's more to do with hygiene than achieving the best finish.

I think one of the reasons I use my hands as well is because I get paranoid that I would be spreading germs on my face and risk an outbreak of spots if I used a brush/sponge to apply it! Plus you would end up having to clean it all the time or I would imagine it would get all gunky with dried up foundation...yuck! So my inner OCD fairy says no to the brush and sponge but I'm still curious as to why so many people DO use them...

I've never had a problem with blending my foundation when using my hands and I always get a good finish. I don't think there's a WRONG way of doing it, it's all down to preference and how much coverage you want. I have read that when you use a damp sponge, you get lighter coverage, using your fingers produces the second lightest effect and then using a brush gives the maximum cover you can get. I've never tried a foundation brush but have read that this produces the coverage required on photoshoots...which is alot!
So have you brush happy ladies noticed a difference in coverage when using it? It's like a game of beauty truth/myth!

I know they buff foundation on with brushes for photoshoots and it creates an airbrushed look but to be honest, nowadays, chances are the image HAS been airbrushed, only with computer software NOT makeup techniques. So I'm turning to a reliable source to find out the ins and outs of foundation brushes and sponges...you guys! Do you buff it in with a kabuki brush? Do you use a brush then a sponge to finish? Share the knowledge! Is it worth me investing in a foundation brush? If so, which ones are the top of your lists?

As a totally random section of the post and probably contradicting what I said about magazines airbrushing stuff...how amazing does Charlize look on this Elle cover!?...Gawjus!!!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Pink FOTD

Yep, it's another FOTD from yours truly! I'm beginning to feel like I need to step out of my comfort zone coz my looks are starting to look very similar, bar the variation in colour! I need to start mixing it up a bit. But...until I get crazy and do different stuff, here's what I used for this look...bare in mind that this photo was taken at 7am so excuse the tired look on my face!

Face: Lancome La Base Pro, Revlon Colourstay Foundation in True Beige, Mac Select Cover concealer in NC20, Mac MSF in Natural Medium, Lancome Tropiques Mineral Bronzer with Barry M Natural Dazzle as a contour, Benefit High Beam on cheekbones and browbones

For the eyes, I used the Sleek Acid and Safari palettes. I mixed the bright purple in the Acid palette with the white pearlised eyeshadow in the Safari palette and also used that in the tearduct. I then used Mac Fluidline right next to the lashline and flicked it up a teensy bit...I must say I'm still getting used to the gel liners...it may need a bit more practice before I perfect it! I then used Maxfactor Calorie 2000 mascara in Black.
For the lips, I used a new combination of Mac Hue lipstick with L'Occitane Rose Petal Lipgloss. I bought this lipgloss recently and I have to say that I love it! Just like the Body shop muted colours, this does the same. The only difference is that this lipgloss is a milky peach colour. It contains shea butter and rose oil so it's super moisturising and nourishing. My lips felt soft after wearing it. Gorgeous!

Tantastic

Just a super quick post on this new tanning brand I spotted today on the 'what's new' beauty section of www.asos.com called Tantastic.

There seems to be just a couple of items available to buy so I'm guessing they're relatively new to the market. They claim it's 'non-smelling' and 'streak-free' tanning but all tan products claim to deliver this when they sometimes don't live up to it! I have posted a pic on the left of the Tantastic Instant Tan 150ml for £18.00 (they also do a leg gel).

On checking their website, there's press cuttings from Ulster tatler, VIP Magazine and Sunday Life all recommending it to give a natural, quick drying tan that lasts for 5 days. It is tinted like other tanning products and takes 6-8 hours to develop.

So ladies, as a fake tan devotee, I have to know if anyone has used this and if it's any good?

Wedding Day Make-up/Hair

Ok, so it's over a year away but I'm already thinking about what make-up I will be wearing for the big day...yes, I like to plan ahead...way ahead.ha ha. I have a few ideas of what look I want to go for and I want it to be ethereal and quite neutral i.e. no heavy eye make-up and red lippy for me (I, controversially, didn't like Carrie's wedding makeup in the Sex & The City film...I thought it was way too harsh.). Although I'm opting for the paired down look, us ladies all know that natural make-up can actually take longer than doing a more glam look! Don't know how that works...

So here are the looks I have collated for inspiration with celebs with the same colouring as me (blonde hair, blue eyes, lightly tanned)...

Lauren Conrad - I love how glowy her skin is and I reckon you could achieve this with Mac Sun Rush Lustre Drops and some Prestige Skin Loving Minerals in Pure Shimmer or Nars highlighter in Albatross (I don't have this yet but it's on my list!). I love the candlit glow these products give you. Bourjois eyeshadow in Blanc Diaphane also gives a gorgeous glow but you have to make sure you don't go overboard as you can end up looking washed out due to the white colour. I think if I applied a contour bronzer like Barry M Natural Dazzle then the Bourjois product, it would work a treat. But...I also love Benefit High Beam for creating a gorgeous pink glow...I'm never gonna be able to choose what products I wanna use on the day at this rate! I also really like her hair in this pic, it's so pretty in a relaxed and carefree kinda way but I'm not sure if that's appropriate for a wedding look? What do you think? Maybe I could get away with it coz we are going to be getting married on a beach so I wouldn't want anything too structured or severe.

Onto my next inspirational pic...

Hayden Panettiere - I really like the simplicity of this. I'd say that to get this look you would need a light taupey brown eyeshadow, black/brown eyeliner and false eyelashes. I love a nude lip so all these looks will have that...whether it's pinky, peachy or beigey, it's gotta be nude overall. I also love Hayden's hair in this pic, the way it's sweeping across to one side. I really want my hair to be either flowing and wavy or loosely tied up coz I might be bare foot on the sandy beach so I think that would be in keeping with that environment and I have this image in my head of the photos being us on the beach with my veil and hair flowing in the wind etc....

And lastly...
Blake Lively - I like the golden skin with peachy blusher, it looks really fresh. Her eyes also aren't too overdone. I love the hair but once again, I'm not too sure if it's TOO relaxed. I just don't like the whole scraped up-absolutely perfect-loads of hairspray look that some brides go for. Even though I'm a perfectionist, I always gravitate towards looks that are more natural coz generally speaking, they're much more flattering on me.
So guys, help me out, any ideas on products or looks that you think would suit me or help to create a really glowy look?