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!

First Thoughts Bobbi Brown Holiday Collection

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Pretty little shiny black boxes stamped with silver crests… yep it’s the Bobbi Brown Holiday and Old Hollywood Collection! Hitting shelves just in time for Christmas and New Years celebrations. I have been testing out the collection and have already shared some of my looks created on Instagram (@SuperElevated). I don’t have any special skills when it comes to make up but have always found Bobbi Brown products straight forward and easy to use. This is one of the main reasons I have been happy to support the brand over the past few years. I also appreciate that you can stop by any counter and get expert advise with no pressure to buy. I find myself going back on a regular basis to see what’s new and ask for tips on how I can use my products in different ways.

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Old Hollywood Collection

‘This season Bobbi Brown introduces a collection that celebrates the glitz and glam of iconic American screen sirens. This sultry collection offers something for every type of woman, ensuring that you will always be red carpet worthy.’

As soon as I heard whisper of this collection I got super excited, my favourite every day red lipstick is Old Hollywood red (┬ú22) so I couldn’t wait to see what Bobbi had envisioned. I wasn’t disappointed all dressed up for parties was my classic red, same lipstick but in a limited edition glitzy gold case. Accompanied by the new precision Ink Liner (┬ú20) for the perfect cat eye flick. To make a sultry smoky eye the Old Hollywood palette (┬ú59) has shades ranging from grey to gold and three Long-wear Cream Shadow Stick (┬ú20) colours are just the thing for a sweep of shimmer. There is an array of lips glosses (┬ú18) one in slick Siren Red and three High Shimmer glosses in pink and golden sparkle. For nails there are four shades in Tuxedo Black, Siren Red, Chrome, Solid Gold, the latter two are limited edition Glitter Nail Polishes (┬ú11).

I’ve been lucky enough to have been given the Palette, Ink Liner, Lipstick and Tuxedo Black Nail Polish to put through their paces. I confess I usually run scared from palettes, I have had countless where I have only used one shade the rest going to waste. Determined this would not be the case again I consulted the girls at Bobbi Brown and the amazing Goss make-up artist’s Youtube channel and paid close attention. Now I am still no expert however I am now behind the concept of building up the colours and blending. I have managed to create a lovely golden sunset eye, a smoky dark brown eye and a shimmer soft silver eye – as soon as I can manage to get both eyes to match I might show you some pics! All in all I think this is a really fantastic palette for using everyday it even included my beloved Sparke Eye Shadow in Chocolate Brown which has been my go-to everyday shade for over a year. The Old Hollywood lipstick will need no introduction to regular readers, since Chanel ruined my life when they discontinued Fire I was left in red lipstick limbo until I discovered Old Hollywood. Since then I have gone through countless tubes and I wear it most days. It is that perfect shade of red with slightly blue undertones, long lasting and well everything you could ever want in a red lipstick. I have a love-hate relationship with eye liner, I love how it looks but hate having to apply it, getting two even flicks is no mean feat! This liner was easy to use, it was just the right consistency not too wet, not too dry and didn’t run or smudge. I found the tip gave a nice sharp tail to my flick too. I have also sang the praises of the nail polishes before, they are a long wearing formula and chip resistant. The Tuxedo Black is actually more of a dark grey, really perfect for winter.

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Holiday Collection

 In contrast the Holiday Collection is a real winter wonderland mix of shimmer and sparkle for day and night!

‘Looking to glitz it up? This holiday season, Bobbi offers a beautifully edited collection of luxurious lip and eye palettes, lip glosses and brush sets for the beauty enthusiast who wants to get – or give – the gift of glam. Featuring an assortment of shimmery shades in silver, bronze and golden tones, Bobbi’s Holiday 2013 Gift Giving Collection is a must when it comes to stealing the spotlight.’

It really is full of perfect gifts, my mum really agreed, so much so she took half the products off my hands to test out for me. The full range includes Twighlight Pink Lip and Eye Palette (£59), two Eye Shadow Palettes in a choice of Smoky Cool and Smoky Warm (£37), two Lip and Eye Palettes in a choice of Everyday Pretty and Date Night (£24), Lip Gloss Trio in shimmery sugar shades (£18), Sequin Shimmer Brick Eye Palette (34.50), Nude Glow Shimmer Brick (£35), Old Hollywood Travel Brush Set (£89) and Old Hollywood Mini Brush Set (£55).

My absolute favourite thing from the entire collection is the Date Night Palette. Forget saving this baby for nights out, I’ve had this with me all day. It is such a great array of colours, the Ivory shadow perfect as a base or highlight, Storm Cloud is a heather shimmer and Caviar is a rich black which I have used as a liner or a smoky over tone. The lip colours are Sandwash Pink a natural shade and Berry Punch a lush hot pink so you can dress it up or down. To top it all off is Diamond Pink a minty fresh shimmer gloss. This has been my constant handbag essential and I think it would be a fabulous gift too. The Nude Glow Shimmer Brick I am all over too, it features a range of gold and bronze shimmers to warm the skin and leave a halo of golden glow. I have been using it as an all over high lighter but you can also use the individual shades as eye shadow too.

All in all I can really recommend the new collections, do go down to your nearest counter for a play around. I can promise you one thing though, if you buy any as a gift you will find it hard to part with them!

Pearl Hearts Shadowlands #2 – Confetti

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Details:┬á Sunglasses – Shadowlands After Hours in Confetti; Necklaces Vivienne Westwood; Make-up Bobbi Brown LongWear foundation, Retouching powder in white; Illamasqua Fundamental eye pallet, Raven Masquara, Kate / Ambition blush duo, Mahogany eyeshadow for brows, Nude pink blush, nail varnish in Pink Valentine┬á

Here is Part 2 of my Pearl hearts Shadowlands posts. We saw the dark and delicious Highway in Cherry Cola in Part 1, today let me introduce the ultra glamorous After House in Confetti. From the 50s vamp triangular frames to the wonderful Tuti-Fruti inclusions, I have to say I am crazy about these sunglasses. I can just see myself pairing them with a flirty vintage frock and heels this summer, all to sip Martinis in of course.

N.B. The first photo is for my mum, talented photographer and mocker of my unsmiling ways!

Beauty: Bobbi Brown Smokey Eyes

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As you know Bobbi Brown is one of my favourite make up brands and they have let me into a few secrets on their up and coming launches. The first is one you can already get your hands on, the Smoky Eye, as seen here on the beautiful Katie Holmes. As always Bobbi wanted to make it easy for everyone to create the perfect smokey eye themselves and so introduces the Smokey Eye Mascara (┬ú22) and Smokey Eye Kajal Liners (┬ú18). I went to Selfridges to have a make up lession in recreating the look myself – anyone can book in for a free lesson at their local counter. I love a smokey eye and often just smudge on a dark brown shadow with my finger for a quick fix. Bobbi Brown shadows have been my staples for the last couple of years so I was excited to try out the new liners. I was equally thrilled with the gorgeous colours available especially Black Amethyst and Jade, as I was with the soft formulation. They are wonderfully pigmented and have great staying power. I have been wearing the amethyst on the top lid and jade below and on the waterline for a modern, colourful take on the smokey eye. The Smokey Eye Mascara promises to give lashes high impact, volume and length with out smudging. To top of the smokey eye look their is also a new Ink Liner (┬ú20) which gives brilliant precison and smudgeproof definition. I have already been enjoying creating new looks with the new liners and will can say they have become a permanent feature in my make up bag. Lots more Bobbi Brown news to come so stay tuned!

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New and old favourites

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Black Amethyst and Jade Smokey Eye Kajal Liners

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The Smoking Hot look at Selfridges Bobbi Brown

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Me after my Smokey Eye lesson

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Is there a cost to being beautiful?

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The unloved pile including – Dior,Chanel, YSL, The Body Shop, Benefit, Topshop, Clinique, Butter, Cargo, Illamasqua, Bobbi Brown

I hold my hands up and admit I am a total beauty junkie. I can’t resist a shiny new nail polish or the perfect lipstick to update my look each season and also as a little treat. Even designer make-up products don’t come with the eye watering price tag as a pair of shoes from the same brand so I never feel guilty about it and I never really see it as a big purchase. You can buy a lipstick and┬áyou hardly notice the money going out. In fact I always protest I hardly have any make up, in truth I should really say I hardly use any make up. It wasn’t until clearing out my dresser this week, when I emptied out all my make up stash onto my bed and saw it all there in one huge pile that I realised how much I really had, and how much it must have all cost! Granted the majority of things are in current use, I tend to use things up before I buy new but I do like to have a good selection. What I did find annoying was the pile of unloved products, ones I’ve bought and been disappointed with or simply didn’t suit me. The slippery and smudgy YSL lipstick, the crumbly Bobbi Brown eye shadow, the gritty Dior lip gloss, the pore settling Illamasqua highlighter…┬á it all adds up to a fair amount. I’ve since learnt that one of my favourite brands Bobbi Brown will actually exchange unsuitable products, putting them even higher up on my hits list but I don’t know any other brand that does that. So even though I know all these products won’t get used, because they were so expensive I can’t bring myself to throw them away.

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My life in lipstick!  Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Tom Ford, YSL

On the other hand there are all the products I absolutely love! Above you can see my rather predictable choice in lipsticks, the majority Chanel for their incredible colours, 2x Bobbi Brown which are my everyday essentials, 2x YSL my summer brights, 2x Tom Ford for special occasions. I don’t know what I would do without my red lippie!

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Empties! Much loved products from past and present

Before lipsticks I was a gloss girl through and through, this Clinique Cherry Spritzer was my absolute favourite and must be about ten years old, the Dior pretty pink and Chanel shimmery bronze also much loved all nearly empty but still hoarded. The Benefit Rush Hour, Chanel concealer, The Body Shop lip line fixer (please restock this) and Hemp lip balm are all empties that I really loved – why keep them empty tubes I ‘ve no idea!

I’ve now managed to bin the empties and those which are well past sell by date, apart from the few mistake buys I have to say that yes beauty comes with a cost, but a girls make up bag is about far more than buying beauty. Its that extra bit of confidence a dab of concealer can bring, that pop of colour a bright lippy gives an outfit, those carefully manicured nails polish off your look, sexily flicked eye liner, super fun nail art. There are many things that money can’t buy, but a little cheerful make up treat is always worth every penny to me!

Are you a make up hoarder?

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!

How to create next seasons looks now – Back Stage with Bobbi Brown

How to create next seasons looks now -Back Stage with Bobbi Brown at LFW

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During the whirlwind that is London Fashion Week I took the chance to go backstage with Bobbi Brown, to give you an insiderÔÇÖs look into the hottest beauty trends for AW13. There is no need to wait until next season to try these out though, as the two statement make-up looks are perfect for summer too. Taking influence from the swinging 60s lead artist Florrie White created a sultry Brigitte Bardot style look for the Orla Kiely show. Toned down to keep it fresh and easy to wear to the office a smoky chocolate brown eye was smudged on. Blush was kept to a light sweep of pink and lips a subtle shimmer of golden beige. With a messy bun this is a perfect daytime look, just let down your hair and add a shimmer eye shadow and slick of eye liner to take the look to after dark.

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In contrast for the Jena.Theo show lead artist Kim Brown opted for a modern grunge look. Gorgeous dewy skin was created with lots of moisture, blush kept neutral and a soft mid-brown eye shadow to keep the focus on the statement lip. A vibrant pop of colour in matt acid orange made the look oh so modern. Defined brows, reminiscent of model of the moment Cara Delavigne, gave a youthful feel.

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If you fancy trying out either of these looks the friendly make-up artists at Bobbi Brown counter will be keen to show you how. If you want to try it yourself the Orla Kiely look is easy to recreate all you need is a soft, eye shadow crayon which you can smudge on Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Stick in ÔÇÿBarkÔÇÖ was the backstage favourite, then add lashings of mascara. For the Jena.Theo look keep everything simple so you can create a statement with a bold orange lip, try Bobbi Brown Creamy Matt lipstick in ÔÇÿJennaÔÇÖ as used for the show. Above you can see the gorgeous Irene from Bobbi Brown rocking a pink tipped Tux-mani using two of the new Bobbi Brown summer shades. This is such an easy look to recreate with any colours, but looks super sleek.