Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Topshop Makeup

I saw fashion and style blogger llymlrs do a video a few weeks ago on her Autumnal makeup regime. One of the things that stood out to me was the Topshop lipstick she wore, which was called 'Beguiled'. It was a deep berry colour that I love this time of year, and one I have struggled to find the perfect one. I have a similar colour by Rimmel which I do like, but the consistency and staying power is awful. It feels watery and like I've applied with a wet wipe which is a bit weird.
When I got to Topshop, I couldn't see the colour anywhere, but my friend cleverly spotted it in a little pack with this cream blush. I don't usually like cream blushes, but I was so desperate for the lipstick I purchased the pack for £12.00.

The lipstick is everything I dreamed of and more! I love the colour it gives, and the lasting power is quite decent too. You do need to reapply it occasionally, but it gives a nice finish and doesn't smudge at all.

So onto the blush which I wasn't fussed about to start. I am actually really glad that these two came as a pair because I love them, especially together! I think I have mastered how to apply the cream blush now it, and use my fingers to apply to the apples of my cheeks, then spread out and upwards. I also finish of with my Beauty Blender that came in this Birchbox. Due to my pale complexion, I need to use peachier colours like this, and it gives a really bright, dewy finish which feels comfortable on the skin.

I love how the peachy cheeks contrast with the darker lip. It gives a fresh and bright look, and I think they are an absolutely winning combination. It is my favourite look for Autumn at the moment 

Scrunchie from Topshop also

Lily's Autumn video is here

Monday, 20 October 2014

Pumpkin Delight Swatch

I know I usually do a bit of nail art to justify having a full post on just one manicure, but this colour is so so cool I wanted to show you, plus the Halloween-y name is perfect for the up and coming holiday. The aptly named polish is 'Pumpkin Delight' by Jessica, and is a two toned glitter polish that glints between gold and orange/pink. If you follow my instagram, then you will see I posted a very similar polish from Ciate. As Ciate isn't stocked anywhere where I live, I gave this one a go instead. Jessica polishes are £10.50 but I got my one for around £6 with my staff discount which was a steal :)

This is a perfect colour for Autumn, and would look really nice for a night out or with just a plain wooley jumper! Are there any other polishes you have seen that you need for the Autumn?

Monday, 13 October 2014

Saran Wrap/Tortoise Shell Nails

I am going to put it out there right now and say that these are not the best nails I've ever done. The reason I am putting them up though, is because I've used a technique I've not used before, and if any of you have any suggestions as to how to improve them, then it would be warmly accepted. I also upload them, so if I do them in the future, then I can see if, and how much I  improve the technique.

I got the inspiration for these nails from an old scratch magazine. Tortoise shell is such a cool pattern, and the colours are perfect for this autumnal time of year.

In all fairness, I think these are nail wraps used on the front cover, and if I'm honest, I haven't seen many- if not any at all- freehand Tortoise Shell designs that have looked perfect. There are a few tutorials on YouTube that look much better than mine, but I decided to use the Saran wrap technique, which in short, is squidging polish on your nail under cling film! 

This is a satisfying but also scary nail endevour, as you have minimal control over what the finished design will be.

I used just black and my new Barry M mustard colour (which I'm loving), and blobbed it all over the nail. I then put over a sheet of cling film, and gently squidged it on top of the colours to blend them. I cleaned up with lots of acetone after for the finished effect. I may start filming mini tutorials in the future but I'm rubbish with technology so don't hold your breath. Until then, here is a tutorial I found online of how to do the Saran Wrap technique.

I noticed on the magazine cover, there is a slight orange tinge around the edges where the black meets the gold so I went over with a nail art brush to add more depth of colour. This turned out to be a horrible idea, because it really didn't help it at all and actually kind of made it worse!

All in all, these nails could certainly use some work, but I will not give up on my journey to the perfect tortoise shell nail!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Ikat Nails

Sorry I have been a little absent recently, I had a terrible bug the week before last, that wiped me out completely and its taken the last week to sort myself out. But enough about the rubbish illness the Autumn brings, and on to the amazing new things we get!
 Autumn has to be my favourite season.  It's a nice crisp season but still a bit sunny and fresh... on a good day. I love all the orange and dark brown colours you see in nature and also in the beauty and fashion world. Dark lips and metallic eyes are some of my favourites, but of course I also love the new nail colours! My newest one is this Barry M colour called 'Mustard' from the Gelly collection. I have been looking for a colour like this and it was the last one on the shelf so I knew I had to snap it up.

Now I am under no pretense that this colour looks good on me. As a fair skinned blonde I simply CANNOT get away with wearing any shade of yellow, even a warmer one like this. It washes out my skin completely, however it is such a useful colour for the nail art collection, and my Ikat nail design you are about to see really warmed up the colour and added a more orangey tone to it which works better for me.

I used 'Mustard' as my base and then blobbed on some really rough diamond shapes using 'Bright Red' also from Barry M. There was another Gelly from the new Gelly collection called 'Paprika' which I would have liked to use for this part, as I think it would have warmed up the mustard even more, but maybe next time.
Once I'd done the red diamonds, I did some smaller white diamonds in the middle. Finally, I dotted a black diamond in the middle of the white, and then drew long black lines in a downward motion on the outside of the red diamond.

Ikat is a rich weave so you don't have to be particularly neat at this stage because you want that stripey woven affect. This is actually quite easy to achieve if you have a steady hand. A lot of tutorials suggested using a small brush to get the woven affect but I just used my black nail art pen and feel I still got the same desired look.

I'm glad I used more Autumnal colours, as I think it looks quite native american which is what Ikat reminds me off.

Be on the look out for more Autumnal manicures coming soon! 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

September Birchbox

The theme for the September Birchbox was 'Happy Days', which I thought was a nice way to get nostalgic on the now faded summer. The box aims to make you collect photos and use your boxes as a innovative photo frame.

The Birchbox added extra was a little crocodile clip photo holder, and I put in a picture of myself and my boyfriend at Benicassim festival in 2012. It was the first festival I had ever been too and I honestly thought life couldn't get any better than that! It doesn't get much better than being at the beach all day in the sun, and then watching some live music with your friends and cheap sangria in the evenings. I have some of my favourite memories from that trip there so felt it appropriate to go in my 'Happy Days' photo holder!

The other random product I got was this 'Urban Fruit' packet of dried mango. I usually love the food I get in Birchbox and I liked the idea of this but I won't lie, they were pretty rank. The taste wasn't so bad but the texture of the fruit pieces reminded me of dead human flesh. Sorry to be graphic, but it was just a bit chewy but still slightly fleshy and once I got the flesh image in my head that was it, the pack went in the bin.

On a lighter note, lets talk about the cosmetics!

Korres Citrus Shower Gel

Funnily enough you may have seen I did a post on a Korres shower gel I got from my holiday, and I raved about how I wanted to try more of the products. Well lo and behold I got this in my box just a few days after my post so it was like fate. I also got the matching citrus body lotion in a box a few months ago, so now I have the perfect body routine which I am absolutely loving. I'm one of these people who has to have the matching pair like the same shampoo and matching conditioner, so having the same shower gel and body lotion in this citrusy scent has made me very happy, as its a really fresh smell and not to zesty.

Agave Hair Oil

I absolutely love a hair oil and this one is no exception! The smell is so lovely and is kind of coconutty. It would be perfect to take on holiday when your hair is slightly frazzled from the sun, but I really love the intensity of this oil, I didn't need to much.

Model Co Lip Gloss

I am usually not a fan of lipglosses as I find them a bit sticky and overly shiny, but I really like this one from Model Co. The colour is really subtle and gives the lips a really pretty natural finish, and the taste is divine! I could eat this stuff it's so fruity! 

Makeup Sponge

I have wanted to try this sponge for ages and Birchbox gave them out a while ago but I didn't receive one and was so gutted! When I opened my box and saw this I was over the moon. These sponges are to be wetted first, and then you apply your makeup with the handy little egg. I must admit going to the bathroom to wet it is a bit annoying in the morning, but I have tried without wetting it and it just doesn't have the same effect. With the sponge damp, it doesn't absorb all the product and it gives a refeshing feel to the skin when applying. It also makes my face feel, and look flawless (I've been told by friends). I have no idea why but by wetting it it goes on so evenly and it makes the rest of my makeup go on seamlessly as well. I really like this sponge its a little wonder addition to my makeup bag.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Alt J Nails

Today I am very excited because I get to see one of my favourite bands tonight. If you haven't heard of Alt J before, then they are quite a kooky band that are quite instrumental and sometimes verge on a bit haunting. Their music is the kind that gets played on car adverts a lot, and if you heard some songs you would probably recognise them. 

They're new album 'This is All Yours' sounds great from what I've heard on spotify, and I am excited to listen to the whole album through. The art work for this album is this:

It is quite a simple piece of art to replicate on a nail, as there is a lot of room for mistakes! I painted my nails white, and then with each colour I wiped away most of the excess paint so I had that thin brush mark look.

I also went back and splatted some bits of white over  a couple of nails like it does in the picture. Once I'd done that, I wrote Alt J with the little signature triangle, so it didn't look like I'd just dropped some nail varnish on my hand.

I realise painting my nails to match a bands artwork on the day I'm going to their gig is extreme fan girling and potentially a little psycho, buuuuuuut its good blog material, and it gives you an insight into my music tastes as well :) 
Here are just a few of my favourite Alt J tunes, new and old for you to enjoy. There new album is out now.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Greek Cosmetics

Whilst travelling around, some people like to explore the culture, learn the language and get emersed with the country they are in. I like to do all these things, but as a beauty enthusiast, I also like to dabble with the cosmetics that are used in that place. If you think about it, there are so many different wives tales, ingrediants and methods that are used all over the world, and I just think there is something really interesting about seeing where we differ.

For example, I saw a lot of Olive Oil being used in Greek cosmetics, which isn't something you see much over here in the UK.

Whilst walking along down the main street in Iposos, Corfu, my eyes lit up as I saw the words 'Natural and Organic Cosmetics' and I absolutely knew I would have to go in at some point during my trip, especially as I do love my natural products. On my last day, I eventually went in and spent a long time absorbing all the new and exciting brands I'd never heard of before. I took ages deliberating over what products to go for. Should I splurge and go for a new serum? Or should I get a gift set so I have lots of stuff to try? I was tempted with a facial soap but I still have a bit of an irk about using soap on my face. In the end, I decided that I really needed a new foaming cleanser, and that I couldn't go wrong with a face mask. I didn't purchase my Korres shower gel until later so I'll talk more about that in a bit.

The foaming cleanser and face mask were from a range called Aromaesti. I was instantly drawn to it because of its beautiful packaging, as it looked sophisticated and luxurious. It was only a small range with lots of face creams, serums and moisturisers, but they all sounded absolutely delectable!

Aromaesti Cleansing Foam

This face wash is really nice to use in the morning or as a second cleanser. It doesn't remove makeup but it has a really refreshing feel and smell. The scent is almost bitter and a bit sweet at once, but it is a really clean smell. This leaves my skin feeling hydrated and soft, and is a really nice addition to my cleansing routine.

Aromaesti face mask

Getting it out of the tube was real hard work! The second ingredient I noticed on the back in the mask was talc, which is an unusual ingredient for a natural product, and also probably contributed to the thickness.  The consistency was like a thick white clay which surprised me as it said it would be a moisturising 'film' so I expected something like my clear aromatherapy Associates hydrating mask. Once I squeezed enough into the palm of my hand, it spread onto my face like a lightweight moose which was strange. The smell was really sweet which I believe is the Argan oil. 

Once on, the 'clay' semi hardened on my face it washed of leaving my skin feeling soft, however I think the talc ingredient dried my skin out a little, as I did need a moisturiser after using it. As it is a hydrating mask this isn't an ideal result. For all the effort it took to get it out of the tube, I probably wouldn't use this product much again, but it was nice to try!

Korres Mango Shower Gel

There's not a lot you can say about a shower gel but this one smells SO amazing! Korres is a more international brand so I didn't buy as much from Korres as it is easily accesible I bought this in the duty free on the way home, for the bargain price of  4 euros. There was a large selection of products, but I kind of regret not getting more skincare. We are actually getting Korres in where I work but I have recently been informed it is only the bathing bits so I missed out slightly there! I am certainly going to look into getting my hands on some though as the brand is exactly the sort of thing I like! It is a natural brand, and from a sales persons point of view, having the list of what the product does, and doesn't contain is really useful. It is also a really good price point for a natural brand too. In England this shower gel retails at £8.00 and the matching body creams are £10.00.

The smell of this is so lovely and for a natural shower gel, the smell actually stays on your skin for a while. Next I want to try the matching body creams, particularly in the scent Bergamot Pear or Santorini, They're very holiday smells and I love them. 

Excuse the facebook screen shot, but this is one of the products that popped up on my news feed that I am desperate to try. A pomegranate toner sounds so hydrating and tasty!

Overall, two out of three products got my thumbs up. Would you try any of these products? And have you ever tried any products from abroad, I would love to know!