Archive for April, 2012

April 26, 2012

Summery Eyeliner Look

The weather is absolutely horrible in the UK at the moment; it’s rainy, thundery, lightningy, windy and cold. However, I am rebelling against this yuckiness and have made use of my summer technique for eyeliner to try and make myself feel a bit better!

During the summer I like to try and do a more smudgy, smoky, carefree eye look sometimes. To achieve this kind of effect I like to line my eyes with eyeshadow rather than a pencil liner, as even the most smoky liners that I have still produce a fairly sharp edge, and smudging it can turn out uneven if I’m working quickly. I use a very small pencil brush from e.l.f. for this – I can’t stand the e.l.f. standard brushes, but the studio ones aren’t bad – and apply it as close to the lashline as I can. However, it obviously doesn’t matter if it’s a little smudgy and messy!

I usually mix colours, as I’ll want something a little less harsh than black for everyday. At the moment, my favourite shadows to work with for this look are the dark bronze, the matt brown and the black from the Sleek Storm i-Divine palette. Today, I used the palest gold colour (also from that palette) all over my lid and then used a combination of those three darker shades to line. The advantage of the pencil brush is that you can produce a line with it, but obviously, it is still a brush – you can use the same tool to smudge and smoke it out at the edges.

Today, I put a little Barry M blue eye pencil on my inner corner just for fun. On my lips is the Bourjois Effet 3D lipgloss in 07, Rosé or épic.

Here’s my look for today!

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April 25, 2012

It’s Getting Scarily Close To Bikini Weather

image from Google Images

As I live in the UK, it is really easy for me to forget that summer is on the way, as what passes for Spring here is one long rainfest. (Summer is often not much better!) This means that when we do get a bit of proper sunshine, no-one’s expecting it and we all immediately strip off.

This is a bad thing for me. I am not quite the svelte goddess who can just happily shed the layers and look as fabulous as I did with them on. (I don’t look fabulous with them on either a lot of the time..!) I’m not an elephant or anything but, like most girls, I wouldn’t mind shedding a few pounds before it becomes too warm to hide under jeans and jumpers!

I’ve felt stuck in a rut for ages now – literally years – where I don’t put on weight, but I don’t really lose it either. But this year, I really feel like I can do it! These are the steps I’ve taken to try and get myself going and really sort myself out, so that I can face the shorts and sundresses weather with confidence:

1. Bought a new pair of trainers. It sounds basic, but my only trainers before that were really unsuitable for running as they were court shoes for squash or badminton. Buying something new, yet useful, provides motivation, whether it’s “Yay, shiny new thing!” or “Well, I’ve spent the money, might as well use them..!” Even if that’s how it starts, soon I’ll be in the swing of it!

2. Started buying my shopping online. Again, sounds pretty basic, but going online means that I have the time to consider what I’m buying before I actually hand over the money – the number of times I’ve clicked “view basket” and realised that I really don’t need both those packets of biscuits, or that Coca Cola, or whatever unhealthy thing it is that I’ve clicked in a moment of weakness! I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but doing it this way really helps me. I’m also more likely to feel virtuous and put healthy things in – I don’t have to carry them home, which is one of my major considerations when shopping. (I’m not just lazy – it’s a really long way and there’s no bus!)

3. Started looking at healthy recipes when I’m hungry. Once I’ve bought that healthy food, I need to make it really appealing so that I won’t regress! I currently have a butternut squash in my cupboard, and I’m actually excited about making something delicious and nutritious (yay for rhyming) with it. If I’m at my desk working and realise I’m hungry, I’ll take 5 minutes to look up something delicious to cook – it means that when I go to the kitchen, I know what I want and I won’t reach for the cake or whatever. (Not that I bought it, because of step 2…right?!)

4. Told someone that I’m trying hard. My flatmate is also doing her best to shed a few pounds, and so it’s helpful that we can chat about it, or perhaps indulge in some friendly competition…

5. Bought some incentive clothing. I don’t mean a dress that’s 3 sizes too small or something – I don’t think that’s at all helpful. I just have a pair of jeans or two that I can wear fine now, but I know would look way better if I was just a little lighter. This is also a good way to measure weight loss – rather than neurotically weighing myself twice a day, I judge by how I feel or how well my clothes fit. There’s no real way for me to know exactly what my body thinks is my ideal weight, and setting an arbitrary one that I want isn’t necessarily the best thing for me. When I feel healthy, energised, confident and comfortable in my own skin, that’s when my body is happy and that’s what I’m aiming for – not a specific number on the scales!

What do you think? How are you gearing up for summer – and does it include trimming an inch or two? 🙂

April 25, 2012

All Cosmetics Wholesale Haul!

I finally got my package all the way from America today! I was so excited, I ripped it open right away. One thing I wished I’d noticed while shopping on the website was that all these items are (new) testers – obviously, I knew they weren’t going to be the full retail item, but I didn’t really register it properly. It’s probably my fault, but it wasn’t abundantly clear on the site.

I only mention this because the first item that I bought – a Pixi blush/highlighter – is actually supposed to come with a brush in the bottom, and there wasn’t one with it. The compact is quite chunky, and at first I thought yay, it’s got a lot of product! But no, most of the space is given to the brush drawer underneath, which in my case was empty. I know, I know, I shouldn’t complain, it was extremely cheap! But I was a little disappointed, as this is a retail product – it’s not tester size or anything, it’s as you’d buy it in a shop, minus the brush. Sorry for the dark picture, but this actually captures the real colour of the blush most accurately of all the photos I took! Anyway, here it is:

I got two lipsticks, a Lancome Color Design one in the shade B-List, and a Michael Todd one in Salmon. I managed to squash the top of my Michael Todd lipstick with the inside of the lid – I don’t know how, I’ve never ruined a lipstick like that before! I’m quite upset! Though, you know, first world problems. I’ve swatched the two colours here on my hand, with and without flash:

With the flash, "Salmon" (on the right) has come out WAY more pink - in real life, it's very orange/gold!

Next, staying with the lip products, I got a cute little tin with three shades of lipgloss – Pop Beauty’s Mini Ribbon Gloss in Daisy Glow. I didn’t swatch because they’re so sheer, they wouldn’t show up:

I also picked up a rather posh dual concealer by Dr. Denese New York. I didn’t swatch this, obviously – it’s a pretty good colour match so might be a bit invisible in a photo! Here’s the pretty shiny packaging though:

Finally, I got a free-gift-sized Lancome eye palette. The four shades (in order of paleness, as swatched) are: Daylight (a matte pure white), Gaze (a shimmery pale gold/beige), Colour du Jour (a metallic bronze) and Lezard (a matte dark brown, with gold sparkles through it):

  

I apologise for the flashed-up photo! You can’t really see the gold colour of the second-lightest shade – however, it comes out quite accurately on the swatch.

Yay! I’ve tried out some of these, but I’ll review them as I go along or this post will be ridiculously long! I love the lipsticks though; I think my favourite thing of all these is the Lancome one in B-List. It’s creamy, and a beautiful colour.

April 18, 2012

Review: Maxfactor False Lash Effect 24 Hour

Without any intro whatsoever, I can tell you that Maxfactor have just broken my heart.

Maxfactor’s False Lash Effect original mascara is my favourite of all time, Holy Grail, whatever you want to say. I mean, I LOVE that stuff. Knowing that no matter what kind of rubbish mascara I test out, there’s always the Maxfactor to return to, and that it’ll always be exactly what I want, is really comforting! (OK, I may be slightly too emotionally attached..!) If the unthinkable happens, and it’s out of stock, I’ll just buy the Masterpiece Max – it’s almost as good.

I just spent £11.99 on this new formula and it really hurts me that I did so. I was excited about it, thinking that it could only be an improvement on my favourite, and so happily started applying it, humming a little tune as I did so. (I’m actually not making that up for effect, I hum all the time.) But then I was confused. I’d just applied some, and my lashes looked…worse. Worse than purely natural. Oh well, I must just need to wiggle it more…But nope, still nothing. In fact, my lashes were clumping together – something that I thought would be impossible with the False Lash Effect brush – and there was no volume, no length, no curl, no nothing.

It doesn’t do anything. At all. Just to check that I wasn’t going mad, I applied my Revlon 3D Extreme to my other eye – and bam, perfect lashes. By comparison, my Maxfactor eye looked like the efforts of a 13-year-old who’s nicking her mum’s old dried out Maybelline. (That’s meant to be an insult, I hate Maybelline.) Awful!

I’m going to keep trying; I refuse to give up in one go on something that should be amazing. I’ll use it tomorrow, I’ll pump it like crazy to dry out the very wet formula, I’ll try my best to make it work. But I have to say: Maxfactor have deeply disappointed me with this, and I’m not sure how long it’ll take me to forgive them.

1.5 stars, because it hasn’t fallen off yet, and it is at least as black as it should be.

 

April 18, 2012

Have Boots No. 7 Done It Again?

So I see that Boots have brought out a new anti-aging line for their No. 7 brand, “Lift and Luminate”. Intended for users of 45 years and older, they say it contains high levels of the same ‘miracle’ ingredient that caused the publicity & shopping sensation for their “Protect and Perfect” serum – I’m sure most people remember that! This seems like an attempt to whip up another storm like the previous one in my opinion as No. 7 already have countless anti-aging products in their several separate lines. If it gets any more confusing I can imagine people just buying at random.

Anyway, I’m only 21, so I can’t test this out; I can only wait and see the response among the ladies and gents that use it.  I’m just hoping that all these miracle ingredients lead to some actual miracles pretty soon – come on cosmetic/pharmaceutical researchers, you only have about 14 years until I become a willing customer! And heck, I’m already buying eye cream.

If you want to check out this new line, click the pretty picture:

image from mirror.co.uk

April 17, 2012

Tea, Glorious Tea!

This is a slightly off-the-cuff random post as I am procrastinating – I should be writing my dissertation, but I just don’t want to knuckle down and do it! So I’m having a lovely cup of tea and watching bad daytime TV instead.

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, and I really do notice how much better my skin looks and how much better I feel when I drink enough. It’s always better to have great skin than great makeup, in my opinion! But we also know that the 8 glasses of water myth is just that – a myth – because we get most of our daily water needs from our food, right? Well, that’s going to depend on the kind of foods we eat, and at the moment, I’m eating fairly badly and not eating as many vegetables as I should, which means that I’ll need to drink more to make up the amount. It’s always good to be conscious of these things – I’m trying hard at the moment, because I’ve not been very good at it in the past.

One way I like to do this is to drink black tea. It has recently been found by the US Department of Agriculture that the levels of antioxidants in black tea are actually very similar to those found in green tea, which so many health junkies swear by. Plus, black tea is good for your teeth and heart, and contains much less caffeine in one cup than coffee does. It’s warm and comforting, and quenches thirst much better (in my opinion!) than other hot drinks or even flavoured squashes, which aren’t so great due to their high sugar content.
The only thing is that, like green tea, it should be enjoyed without milk to make sure that you’re getting the benefits. I love my tea like this, as my family like it this way too and so I’m used to it, but if it tastes too thin or bland, try adding a squeeze of lemon juice.

My favourite types of tea are citrusy Earl Grey, delicate Rose Congu, spicy Chai and delicious Darjeeling!
I love tea so much that I have to have an especially huge (and happy) Paperchase mug to drink it out of:

Are there any other tea-lovers out there? 😀

April 17, 2012

Review: Revlon Colourstay Eyeshadow Palettes

These palettes are fairly new – new enough that they still have the red sticker on them telling me that they’re new! – and I picked two of them up on the 3 for 2 deal in Boots with a L’Oreal gel eyeliner. The two I bought are called Brazen and Inspired; Brazen has a pale yellow, a peachy pink, a bronze-brown and a darker brown. Inspired has a white highlighting colour, a fairly bright green, a sky blue, and a dark purplish-navy liner colour. I’ll stick the photos in, but as I’m about to trash these, I won’t bother to swatch.

Brazen; image from thedailyswatch.blogspot.co.uk

Revlon Inspired

Sorry, I know those photos are uneven sizes, but you get the idea.

So anyway, I was super excited because they look so pretty in the pans! They are slightly shimmery but it’s quite subtle, so they looked to be exactly what I was after, in gorgeous springtime colours! However, as soon as I got them home to try out, I realised that they have absolutely no pigment to them whatsoever. Seriously, they hardly show up at all, even when I really layer on the shadow. I was SO disappointed, especially as I bought these during the freak flash of summertime that we experienced here in the UK and I was really enthusiastic about my spring colours!

I would seriously recommend giving these a miss. I’ve read mixed reviews, so much so that I actually suspect that some palettes are ok and some are duds quality-wise. It just doesn’t make sense that some people find the colours come up really well and others can’t see them at all!
However, pigmentation isn’t the only issue. From the texture I highly doubt that these last the advertised 16 hours, I think you’d probably be pretty lucky to get 8 hours out of them without a very good primer underneath. Also, I hear terrible things about glitter migrating all over the face.

I can’t give these any more than 1 star. (They haven’t fallen apart, spontaneously burst into flames, etc. but don’t actually do anything other than fill up my eyeshadow box.) Sadly, I’m  binning them.

April 14, 2012

I Kind Of Want Some Lip Tattoos…

…temporary ones, of course!

I can’t deny that I used to be a bit of a goth kid when I was younger, and I still have a special place in my heart for slightly too much black eyeliner and slightly-too-loud metal music. So I definitely wouldn’t mind combining the two on a night out, going the whole way and wearing some of these scary lip tattoos from the brand Violent Lips!

These are amazing.

image from hqhair.com

And these.

image from hqhair.com

These last ones might be a bit far even for me, but I love them all the same!

image from hqhair.com

For Halloween or something these are ace! Would any of you dare to go this bright?

🙂

April 14, 2012

Review: Good Things Bright Eyes Eye Treatment

Display box and white tube of eye cream

image from goodthingsbeauty.com

I picked this up from Boots (at £5.99 for 15ml) when I finally ran out of my Clinique eye cream and wanted something more substantial than my Boots gel or Garnier roll-on. I love the tube design; not only is it more hygienic than a pot, but it has a nozzle so I can squeeze out a thin line directly onto my skin and pat it in. I also like the idea of using more natural ingredients, especially on more delicate skin around my eyes, and this cream is free from most nasties such as parabens. There’s a very faint scent to it, it smells quite natural and fresh – but I wouldn’t worry, as it’s only noticeable on my hands and not once applied at all.

That said, I’m not entirely convinced of the actual benefits of this cream. It does reduce puffiness, not that I have a huge problem with that, and it does also moisturise my eye area as well as I’d expect. But it doesn’t do anything at all for my dark circles, and it isn’t as moisturising as the Clinique All About Eyes that I had before. I’d like to combine the action of the Clinique cream with the packaging and good ingredients of this one!

All in all, I’ll be using up this cream but I probably won’t repurchase it. I’d rather save up for something a bit more expensive that will work harder for me. 2 stars!

April 13, 2012

Imminent Haul! If Royal Mail Hurry Up

I’m really overexcited waiting for the post everyday at the moment – I’ve been spending altogether too much money online on pretty things, and now I have to wait for them to come!

I went to a site called All Cosmetics Wholesale (www.allcosmeticswholesale.com) which was blogged about by the wonderful Bliss No. 9 (links to the post) and got several amazing things for a very low price. A couple of them were actually the same as the ones she got – it was mainly accidental, but they really were good deals!

I also went on eBay and bought several eyeshadows, as I recently got a couple of Revlon palettes that were truly awful but I loved the colours and so went looking for similar ones. I’ll mention all these things as they arrive/as I have time to try them all out!

Yay, new things! Unfortunately I’m now slightly more broke than before. Never mind, retail therapy!

🙂

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