Beauty: Empties & Rebuys

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A favourite blog post theme for beauty bloggers is ’empties and rebuys’, products that have been used up and those that have been bought again and again. I ended up at that stage where everything runs out all at once and have had to stock up on a fair few products so thought I would share my empties pile.

Make-Up staples:

SmashBox primer; Bobbi Brown Long wear foundation, Creamy concealer and Retouching powder are my make up basics. This will be my third rebuy of them all since I started using them about 18 months ago, they are all really great working products that last a good while. The version of Smashbox Primer I use is the SPF Orange one which is actually recommended for older skin however I find this one works better than the original version. The Retouching powder is ultra fine and leaves the skin looking airbrushed, its a tiny pot for the £25 but you only need a tiny bit and the result is so much better than a regular finishing powder which I can find too heavy and a bit dull. I usually buy the Concealer Duo which has the cream and powder, however have found I use a lot less of the powder so just went for the single this time.

I don’t like to go anywhere without a bright red lip and Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood has been my favourite, however after hearing the Lime Crime Velvetines hype I gave their Red Velvet a go. I have to admit I was so impressed, this stuff does not budge and my Old Hollywood hasn’t been picked up since. I have just bought the Suedeberry Velvetines to try which is a lighter, more orangey-red, will do a full review soon.

Skin care basics:

Clarins Beauty Flash balm is another much hyped product, I have to agree with its rave reviews. I use it when my skin is feeling a bit dull either as a mask, over moisturiser or as a primer for the perfect skin pick me up. I have reviewed MayLash before on the blog, it is an eyelash serum which you apply at night. This is a real WOW product for me, it has made my skinny lashes, longer, darker and thicker as well as conditioned. I always have a collection of hand creams and L’Occitane ones come in handy little tubes. The Date was my absolute favourite but sadly they don’t make it any more, I’ve tried other and haven’t been as impressed to be honest, they are nice but there isn’t one I would rebuy besides the Date. Sally Hanson nail care products are old favourites, I buy the all in one base and top coat all the time, its a great all rounder. Lush Honey Trap lip balm is just fantastic, I’ve tried the Creme de la Mer one and much prefer this. Its a great formula with a hint of honey and mint, it also doubles as a cuticle balm. E45 Intensive Recovery cream comes in one ugly ass bottle, I throw it in a draw rather than have it deface my dressing table, however its what’s inside that counts. This is the best body moisturiser in the world! Well so far as I have tried, it leaves even the roughest skin soft and velvety. If they put it in fancy looking pots I’m sure they could charge ┬ú100 a go!

Fragrance:

Vivienne Westwood Boudoir, I keep a stock pile as it is one I never tired of. I can’t imagine how many bottles I must have gone through in my life! Chanel Jersey is my other favourite and I have found it overtaking Boudoir on a day to day basis, but I think they will both be at the top of my list for a good while yet.

That’s it, my ultimate everyday staples!

Review: Chanel Coloured Mascara + Video

One of the most talked about beauty products this summer are the coloured mascaras by Chanel. For the L’Ete Papillon Summer 2013 collection the Inimitable Waterproof mascara was recreated in four shocking colours:

Blue Note – vibrant blue, Zest – pollen yellow, Lime Light – mint green, Aqua Blue – shimmering pale blue

As a total Chanel beauty junkie I couldn’t resist going to try them out.

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From top: Aqua Blue on nude lashes, Zest over black mascara, Blue Note over black mascara, all worn with Stylo eyeliner in True Blue

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 Blue Note on naked lower lashes with Blue Bay Stylo Eyeshadow

I didn’t try the Lime Light but did try the other three. First up is Aqua Blue worn on upper and lower lashes, whilst the colour looks very pretty here as I am looking up head on it made me look like I had no eye lashes against the blue liner. I think it would look better with a contrasting liner and shadow.

Zest has been the most talked about colour, yellow mascara does sound shocking, however at Chanel they suggested using the colours on the tips o the lashes as a highlight over black mascara rather than full cover. I do like the yellow highlight but it was hard to see until you caught the light, far more subtle than I expected.

Blue Note was my favourite by far and the only mascara I actually purchase. Over black mascara it gives a deep, almost indigo flash. Alone it is a vivid sky blue, I have been wearing it just on my lower lashes which really opens up the eyes.

All in all I think the coloured mascaras are a fun product for summer, giving a fresh and colourful look. I would recommend going down to your local Chanel counter and giving them a try.

What do you think, love or loath?

Beauty: Easy Ombre Nail Art DIY featuring Illamasqua Speckled Varnishes

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You guys will probably say I am being all obsessive again, but when I find a brand I really love I get a bit carried away with it! I always say I’m not a huge beauty product buyer, but now my dressing table is fighting for space I think its time to admit, I have become a beauty junky. My main loves are always going to be Chanel for their nail colours and lipsticks, Benefit for their innovative products and Bobbi Brown for their sheer natural perfection and long wear products. But I have been getting into nail art lately, I blame Sharon1 nails taking me behind the scenes at London Fashion Week and getting into YouTube (a post on my fav channels to come). I think its the summer (well the thought of it), which really has me in the mood for some fun, bright and creative make up. I still love my classic red lips and slick of eye liner but it’s nice to try something different.

Yesterday afternoon @Illamasqua reached 50,000 Twitter followers and to celebrate they offered 50% off all products for a few hours! I really couldn’t believe it, so generous! Having only just discovered the brand there were a few products I had earmarked to go and check out next time I was at the counter, but I didn’t think I would ever get chance for such a high discount again so I snapped up a few things. Fighting the clock and the frustraitingly slow website, due to the amount of people on it, I had to check out before I added everything I wanted. I wanted to make sure I at least got soemthings. Then Illamasqua announced they would run the offer again at midnight for just one hour for those who missed out. This time I was prepared, I added items to my basket so that when the clock struck 12 I could just check out. There may have been a few extra items that crept into my basket!

How to Create Ombre Tips

Whilst I was waiting up for the sale to start I had a play around with the two new nail colours I got from Illamasqua earlier in the week. Speckle (Lilac) and Mottle (Mint Green) from the Speckled Egg inspired collection. This is such an easy manicure to do but it looks really striking, you can easily do this with any nail varnish too.

1. Apply Base Coat

2. Apply two coats of your first colour all over the nail

3. For you accent colour at the tips, make sure you wipe most of the varnish from the brush on the side of the bottle. Very little varnish is needed for this stage. Carefully, using tiny strokes, apply the varnish to the very tips of your nails. In fast strokes, keeping pressure light dab on the varnish to the tips, extending as far down as desired.

4. As the varnish dries it will blend together, I didn’t use a Topcoat as I like the matt textured effect of the varnish I used but you can choose to use Top Coat if you wish. Just be sure the bottom layers are dry first to avoid smudging.

You can play around with this effect, have cascading levels of colour or have them all the same length, try using three colours to build up the Ombre effect and so on.

TIP: If you are struggling to get the Ombre effect try using a sponge to apply the accent colour. You can lightly sponge the varnish onto the tips which will give you a softer application and be easier to blend.

 

 

 

Illamasqua Make Over!

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Couldn’t wait to share this amazing make over I got at Illamasqua. It isn’t a brand I had tried before, in fact I admit I avoided it with the scary looking bright colours – nope not for me, not at all…

The more I walked past the counter every time I visited Selfridges, I would edge closer, just out of intrigue you understand. The ethereal make up artists, with butterfly eyes so alluring, but no still not for me.

It started with a nail varnish. My friend Rich insisted I go and see them. They were exactly like mini-eggs and I do love mini-eggs. I tested a couple of colours on my nails, oh yes I agreed they were gorgeous. But still not for me.

Without plan we found ourselves at Selfridges Summer Beauty event. Chance to go round and talk with the MUA’s, learn some new tips. Suddenly I decided I wanted to try some of those butterfly eyes for myself. A pallet with mint green, pollen yellow, deep purple and a shimmering pewter caught my eye. How on earth do you use such colours? I had no idea what to expect as a result. But I didn’t have to change my entire make-up look at all, MUA Paddy created a sultry smoky eye yet made it pop with a dot of yellow in each corner. I was sold, I took home the pallet. Oh yes and those nail varnishes too.

Converted.

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I simply adore this make up look, it is my summer party look for sure! All I need to add are my blond and pink hair extensions

a slick of nail polish and I’m done!

Vlog: Make-Up Haul Bobbi Brown & Harvey Nics

I’m not one to buy beauty products in bulk, in fact I’m not usually one to buy much make-up at all preferring to keep my cosmetics bag minimal. But I had gotten to that stage where everything seems to run out all at the same time, so went to stock up at Bobbi Brown in Harvey Nichols. Whilst I was there they had some special offers on which meant I got a freebie Bobbi Brown make-up bag with mini lip gloss and a special edition Fifi Lapin make-up bag packed with goodies! If you remember I’ve been using Bobbi Brown products since September ‘”Would you give up your make-up bag?‘ and ‘Putting Bobbi Brown Long Wear to the Test‘ I think it’s fair to say the products last really well. The thing I ran out of first was the concealer and now I am getting low on foundation and cleanser. There were also some new products I wanted to try, new eye shadows and the Retouching face powder, which I will review once I’ve tried them out.

Rebuys:

  • Long-wear even finish foundation SPF 15 ÔÇô Warm Ivory 1
  • Creamy Concealer Kit ÔÇô Warm Honey Creamy Concealer & Pale Yellow Sheer Finish Pressed Powder
  • Rich Lip Colour SPF 12 ÔÇô Old Hollywood 2
  • Hydrating Rich Cream Cleanser

New Buys:

  • Retouching Powder – White
  • Metallic Eye Shadow ÔÇô Forest 6 and Midnight 12

If you want to find out what think of these products and what I got in the rest of my haul check out the vlog!

I will do creating more vlogs soon, not just beauty but fashion too. At the moment I am trialing quite a few products including mascaras and lash primers, nail art and skin care. What I hope to find is a new facial serum, since my old fav’ was changed I can’t fine one I am impressed with. I am planning to hit up Selfridges beauty department and try a few out top of my list are Elizabeth Arden and Bobbi Brown, but I have been checking out creme de la mer from Beautique and I really want to try it after all the rave reviews. Not all the products are over ┬ú100 either like I presumed. Watch this space!