Bloggers Block?

If you’d have told me I’d ever find it hard to knuckle down and write about beauty products I would have laughed in your face with a cry of ‘do you even know me’. However over the last few months I’ve found it increasingly harder to pick up the energy to start writing posts and have also pulled a little tighter on my spending purse strings.

It’s probably worth mentioning that on the 10th December 2015 I found out me and my husband are expecting our first baby. This has caused my brain (and body) to go into disarray and has meant that we’ve been focusing most of our time on prepping our home (a Victorian cottage in need of some serious love) before the baby arrives.

However I’m keen to get writing again and focus on getting some more content up – ideas and requests in the comments below please! So please expect a few more bits and pieces to come your way. Though I don’t think I’ll be able to commit to the daily blogging I’ve done before however I’ll certainly aim to get a couple of posts a week up.

Smoky Eye Makeup for Dummies

001Lately I’ve been in something of a make-up rut and have stuck to the classic brown/bronze shades that I know and love. However forcing myself to get out of this rut I picked up my Urban Decay Naked Palette and just as I was about to apply Smog all over my lids I decided to try something a little different and create a super easy (even I can do it) smoky eye look…

Base

For my base make-up I tried the L’oreal Infallible Matte foundation to give myself a long lasting satin/matte finish. I rarely wear this on its own but I did quite like the finish and the colour match is a great one for my skin tone! I next applied the 2true Bronzer in 01 Natural Bronze in a 3 motion down the temple, cheekbones and jawbone to give myself a little bit of colour and dimension. I then used a really pretty neutral blush, MAC’s Tenderling which is super pretty on very fair skin tones as a girly flush of colour.

Eyes

Next I moved onto the eyes and this is where I dared to go different! Firstly I applied the Urban Decay Shadow in Naked all over the eyes which is a pretty matte pale brown. Next I used the Urban Decay Shadow in Dark side in the outer V and slightly into the crease. Darkside is a very deep brown shade which blends beautifully, it’s quite deep for a daytime look for me but I really liked the end result which took fair bit of blending. I finally applied a little of MAC’s yogurt to the brow bone and swept a little clear brow gel through my brows for shape. I’m still using the Rimmel Brow This Way and really enjoying it! Lastly I applied a little of the Maybelline Smokissme along the lower lash line to add to the smoky/smudgey vibe and then popped on my Maybelline Colossal Mascara in black.

Lips

On the lip I wanted to keep it fairly natural due to the smoky eyes. I opted for the Colour Pop Lippie Stick in Lumier for a soft rosy pink glow. It ended up being slightly too pink so I used the 2true Lipgloss in Coffee Cake to neutralise it and add a bit of a sheen.

I really enjoyed this look and feel like with a little winged liner could easily be amped up for the evening!

My Every Day Makeup

 

everydayOf late I’ve tried to be fairly time-savvy in the morning with my makeup routine. Habitually I wash and dry my hair every morning before work (and at the weekend too!) so time really is of the essence as those valuable extra minutes in bed really do make all the difference. This look is so easy I can do it at 6am whilst the cat is running round my ankles and it virtually involves no application skill at all…

Base

For my base I want something long lasting yet natural so of late I’ve been mixing the L’Oreal True Match Foundation with the L’Oreal 24hr Infallible Matte Foundation together with a nice fluffy buffing brush. I general apply two small blobs onto the brush and swirl and buff all over my face and down my neck. Next I grab my trusty Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in 01 Fair for under my eyes and down my nose, I normally use a setting brush to blend this out and make me look more awake than I feel. Next I apply a small amount of the Maybelline Fit Me Powder in 120 down the t-zone to set my makeup.

Eyes

For the eyes I start by applying a wash of the Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Smog, a pretty shimmery warm medium brown all over the mobile lid and up to the crease. Any fluffy brush will work nicely but this colour is great at giving you definition and a hint of colour without being over the top. I then use a MAC eyeshadow in Yogurt which is a really pretty very pale pink without shimmer on the brow bone and down onto the edges of the Smog to blend out. It’s a great shade for blending and is one I find myself repeatedly going back to instead of a matte cream or white. Next I apply the Maybelline Colossal Mascara in Black to my upper and lower lash line, wiggling at the base to give me a soft focus finish.

Finish

To finish I simply apply the NYX Blusher in Taupe as a contour powder behind the cheekbones and a little under the jaw. I then apply a little of the MAC Blusher in Blushbaby to the apples and high points of my cheeks for a natural flush of pink.

Lips

On the lips I opt for one of my favourite products of all time and that’s the Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Truffle. It’s a brilliant brownish pink and is a wonderfully hydrating lip stick with the feeling of a lip balm. They’re amazing and currently 2 for £10 in Boots at the moment!

Overall I just find this the easiest look which can be done easily in 8 minutes flat! It gives definition without looking over done and would suit any skin tone…

The BEST Pale Girl Contour Powder

nyxcontourSo it’s fair to say that for quite a while now I’ve done some very small form of contouring or sculpting on pretty much a daily basis. For a night out I would always go for cream products as I really do find they last longer on the skin and I seem to be able to mix a shade which is pale and ‘grey’ enough to contour my incredibly fair skin however I think I’ve found a product that takes me from day to night. Certainly there’s nothing worse than seeing a girl with two orange lines down the side of her face and I think this blusher (yes, blusher) from NYX really is the best budget contour shade for anyone with an NC15-NC30 skin tone. It’s called Taupe and really is a grey-brown coloured powder blusher that looks lovely when applied lightly under the cheek bones, under the chin and round the hair line.

I’ve been using it for a couple of months now and I keep going back to it to give me a natural shape to my face. There are lots of brilliant contouring products out there but I find budget options tend to have too much of a red tone and end up looking unnatural.

Personally I think this is an amazing dupe for the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium and gives natural definition to the face without looking too drawn on due to the cool colour. This has also been hotly rated by many a blogger and is definitely one to get in your kit.

Let me know your favourite budget contouring products in the comments… 

Review: EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation

As an avid follower of the queen of perfected glamours skin, Jaclyn Hill I knew I had to get my hands on this foundation after she recommended it in a monthly favourites video. The EX1 Invisiwear Foundation is a liquid foundation with a dewy, radiant finish yet doesn’t make me look over oily by 3:00pm!

ex1foundation.jpgThis girl really does know her stuff and after trying some less than impressive foundations lately I was really pleased that I picked this up. It’s not hideously over priced at £12.99 and is available on lookfantastic.com in a variety of shades. I bought the lightest one shade F100 which they say it suitable for an NC20-NC30 complexion and I would totally agree though they could perhaps do with creating an even lighter shade than this for fairer skin-tones.

Not only is the bottle lightweight it also has a pump, keeping the product nice and hygienic. I’d describe it as a medium finish foundation that can definitely be built up to a more full coverage. Best of all iex1invisiweart really does look like skin and has brilliant wear time. As I type I applied this foundation at 5:30am this morning before work, it’s now 6:05pm and it’s defiantly stuck around all day. Like I say the only true downside I see is the shade range however with growing popularity hopefully they’ll be kinder to the NC15 end of the spectrum.

Let me know your current favourite foundation in the comments…

 

‘Date Night’ Makeup

So a couple of weekends ago my husband and I went out for a ‘date night’ dinner at one of our favourite restaurants. I love any excuse to dress up and put on a little makeup and though I don’t ever wear makeup ‘for my husband’ specifically I wanted to feel my best and wear a look I know he’d appreciate – he hates bright lipstick (though I wear it all the time) so kept to a neutral colour palette but added a few extra touches.

 Base

For my base I moisturised using the Garnier Soft Essentials Day Cream and then applied a little of the Dermalogica Anti-Aging Primer. I then used a buffing brush to apply the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation and concealed under the eyes, down the bridge of my nose, my chin and my forehead. To smooth this out and give a flawless finish I used a small fluffy brush!

Eyes

On the eyes I started off by using an old limited edition cream eyeshadow from MAC which off the top of my head I can’t remember the name. However the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow in Mary Antoinette would work in the very same way! I buffed this all over the mobile lid using a synthetic brush to give my shadows a good base! I then used the Urban Decay Naked 1 Pallet and applied the shade Half Baked all over the lid with a flat eyeshadow brush. Next I used the shades Buck and Naked to blend out the crease and applied a little of the MAC shade Nylon in the tear duct and under the brow bone to highlight.

I used the Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Roach along the waterline and then applied a tonne of the Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black.

Finish

To sculpt the face I used the Boots 17 Cream Bonzer in the hollows of the cheeks and around the forehead. This is a brilliant dupe for the Chanel Soleil tan de Chanel and super cheap! I then applied the tiniest amount of the MAC Blusher in Melba for a slight peachy glow. Finally I used MAC’s Soft and Gentle Highlighter on all the high points of the face.

Lipstick

As mentioned before my husband isn’t the greatest lover of bright lipstick. He doesn’t seem to mind red but as we were going out for dinner I opted for a super glossy nude. I’ve really got back into gloss lately as I’ve been obsessed with Bobbi Brown’s Bare Lipgloss, it’s not gloopy and makes everything look nice and full.

What’s your go-to ‘Date Night’ lip product?

MAC: Mini-Splurge + Dupes

macswatch2Just when I thought I was going to be really well behaved and only buy makeup that I truly want, i.e. things that have sat on my ‘lust list’ for quite a while the company I work for was doing a sale on MAC and frankly I just couldn’t say no! I’m weak when it comes to makeup but £10 for a lipstick and £12 for a sheer tone blush just seemed to good a bargain to miss.

MAC Lipstick – Viva Glam VI

I’m a massive MAC lipstick collector but I do try and stick to shades I know I’ll actually wear. I mean I know I’d love to buy Heroine but I just don’t think it would ever get the wear time it deserves. For this little spree I decided to pick up Viva Glam VI which is a berry toned brown nude shade which in actual fact is basically the natural colour of my lips. It adds a nice sheen without being glittery and looks stunning layered over other deeper berry coloured lipsticks. It’s one I’ve already reached for lots and would suit a huge range of skin tones.

macswatchDupe // I’d recommend picking up the Revlon Lip Butter in the shade Pink Truffle, both this and Viva Glam VI are very similar in colour but not 100% in finish.

MAC Sheer Tone Blusher – Blushbaby

It’s pretty rare that I find a blush that I consider to be a real ‘game changer’ however this MAC Sheer Tone Blusher in Blushbaby is like no other. The texture of the product is a creamy, blendable powder which never seems to look over done. It’s a stunning rosy mauve shade which I think would genuinely work on any light or medium skin tone. It’s also one that works with any lip colour too which is frankly pretty amazing! I urge to to pick this up as soon as possible as it really is lovely!

Dupe // I’d recommend picking up the Maybelline Expert Wear Blusher in Flash Plumb for a similar rosy mauve shade however nothing really matches up to this sheer, blendable formula!

Let me know your favourite MAC products of all time in the comments…

Review: Bourjois Air Mat Foundation

bourjois air matFor quite a while now I’ve been trying to get hold of this foundation. I’m a big fan of Bourjois base products and having seen videos on YouTube from viviannadoesmakeup I was keen to get my hands on it however I hadn’t seen this available in my local Boots/Superdrug!

This foundation claims to be a full-coverage, long lasting matte foundation and I totally agree with some of these claims but not all of them. As with all foundations I used my normal daily moisturiser, Bioderma Sebium Ultra and applied the foundation using the ZOEVA Silk Finish Brush. Initially I found myself using a lot of product to cover my whole face and it took a fair bit of work to buff it in. I must say that it was a great colour match for me, I chose 01 Rose Ivory and I’m normally an NC15/NC20 skin tone. I also love the fact it comes in a tube making it nice and portable and not too bulky in my makeup bag, bonus!

I found that it left a really nice natural matte finish which didn’t look over done or cakey. The only real issue that I saw with this foundation is that it just didn’t last. By the end of the day it had almost totally worn off which was such a shame as it looked so lovely when first applied. I’m going to try using a primer and see if this gives me a few more hours wear time as it has a stunning lightweight texture and a very pretty natural matte finish. Personally I’ve never found a foundation in the drugstore quite like this so it would be great if I could find a way to make this work for me.

Let me know your favourite budget friendly matte foundations…

Zoeva Brush Review

So for a long time I’ve admired the gorgeous Zoeva brush sets used by many a Blogger and YouTuber however I’ve never quite brought myself to the point of purchase. Simply because for a long time I was always under the opinion that they surely can’t be much different to Crown Brushes which are significantly cheaper. As I went on the Crown Brush website I discovered that my favourite brush of all time (the Luxe Fluffy Crease) had been discontinued – I won’t lie I think my heart broke a little.

Anyway so after discovering this I went about my usual business of scouring my favourite beauty sites and their January sales. By and large I was pretty disappointed with what was on offer which is a shame. However I did find a great code for 20% off Beauty Bay who stock Zoeva brushes and with the coupon I would be able to bring them down to Crown Brush prices. I chose to go with these two brushes and here’s my quick review…

Silk Finish Buffing Brushzoeva1

I love a buffing brush and have consistently used the Real Techniques Buffing Brush for roughly 3 years. Unfortunately it’s only available in sets and so I wanted to find one I liked just as much but available as a single. Although the taclon hairs are definitely finer and better quality I prefer them to be slightly looser packed and a larger head for a more natural finish. Although this worked really well with some of my lighter foundations, it made my heavier ones look a little cakey and didn’t disperse the product very well. It’s one I will continue to use but it’s not 100% up to the Real Technique standard of things.

Luxe Crease Brushzoeva2

As mentioned I was looking to replace the Crown Brush equivalent and was super pleased when it arrived as it looked nearly identical. The hairs again were lots softer than my Crown Brush however it didn’t buff out my matte shadows as quickly and as seamlessly as the Crown one. I think because the Crown one is stiffer it works harder to disperse and blend the product. Again it’s a nice brush and I’m sure with a few more uses it will toughen up a bit.

Overall I’d recommend Zoeva brushes though I’d do your research and decide what you like in a brush before you splash your cash. I would highly recommend Crown for brilliant value and range… please let me know your favourite brushes in the comments!

Urban Decay – Naked Palette: FOTD

urbandecayFor some time I’ve been planning a look using the original Urban Decay Naked Palette. I finally gave in to the hype after having purchased the Naked 2 Palette over two years ago I knew I had to get its warmer toned big sister as it really did have my name written all over it. I created this super simple look that I think would work brilliantly for Christmas Day. It’s slightly smoky, slightly shimmery but works well day or night!

Base

Firstly I started off by mixing a small amount of the NARS Luminous Weightless Foundation (Ceylan) with L’Oreal True Match Foundation (NC30) to give me a healthy satin look on the skin. It builds to a medium coverage which works well for me! Next I used the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (01 Fair) under the eyes and down the bridge of the nose and used my Real Techniques Sculpting brush to blend – super fast and super easy.

Eyes

Next on to the main event! I popped a small amount of the shade Half Baked all over the lid for a sepia wash of pale gold. Next I took the shade Busted on a fluffy blending brush and placed this into the outer-v. Lastly I used the shade Buck to blend out the crease for a nice soft and smoky finish and took a little of the shade Virgin under my brow to highlight. I finished the eyes with a small amount of the Gosh Forever Eyeshadow Stick in Light Copper on the lower lash line and a coat or two of my Maybelline Colossal Mascara in Black for fluttery defined lashes.

Finish

On the skin I popped on the Soap and Glory Solar Powder Bronzer for a healthy glow and for a little definition. I also applied a small amount of the MAC Mineralise Blush in Warm Soul for a ‘just flushed’ glowy look. This is one that I’ve recently discovered and am really enjoying!

Lips

On the lip I got a little stuck, so I opted for a simple nude in the form of MAC Entwined – it’s now discontinued but Hug Me by MAC is also very similar.