Sunday, 27 July 2014

Eyes in 30 Seconds

Even though applying my eye makeup has quickly become quite possibly my favourite part of my makeup routine, there are still days that I just want something quick and easy to get me out the door stat. For days when faffing around with brush and shadow just isn't going to happen, there's a few sections in my eye drawer that I gravitate towards. The theme here seems to be generally on the creamy side as I find these formulas to be the easiest to apply with maximum results- you'll even look like you've spent an age blending different shades.

On the stick front I've got two versions on rotation; Innoxa's Eye Shadow and Liner Sticks* and Rimmel's Scandaleyes Shadow Stick. I go about using both of these the same way, simply draw on to the lid then blend out with a clean finger and I'm good to go. The Innoxa offering also features an uber smudgy liner, great for smoking things up. Both of these are perfect additions to your handbag and fit the whole 'day to night' bill to a T.

The slightly more messy pot formula is a good one if you've got a smidgen more time but still don't want too much faffing. Things can get a little messy when the fingers get involved but the result is well worth it. My pick of the cream shadow bunch are Maybelline's Colour Tattoos (shown above the Barely Branded). These things are honestly the lazy girls best friend. They look amazing on the lids giving off that whole 'different colour in the crease' vibe and they stick around all day. Green beauties out their may want to check out RMS' offering. The shade shown above is Seduce, a gorgeous metallic bronze. The ingredients in this literally sound edible, coconut oil, cocoa seed butter and Rosemary extract, but I wouldn't suggest it. Not the longest lasting formula of the lot, things do start to get a little creasy on my lids, but if you're a green beaut' it may be one to check out.  Finally the cute little pot of Benefit's Creaseless Cream Shadow in Bikini tini. The formula of this is the slippiest of the lot and fairly thin. The shade is nice to brighten up the eye area if you want something natural, think of it as a lip gloss for your lids.

What's your favourite product for a speedy eye look?

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Volume Vampers

I wrote a little while ago about my mission to make more effort with my hair. In terms of looking after my locks I wouldn't say I'm doing too badly (although I am guilty of leaving a little longer than recommended between trims...oops!), but when it came to styling I just wasn't putting in much effort, being more of a 'just let it do it's own thing' kinda girl. But I committed to making a little extra effort in the hair department with my first port of call being volume.

With fairly long (still haven't built up the courage to go for a big chop), fine hair, volume isn't something that comes naturally for me. Cue volume vampers. Starting off post wash, pre blow dry I like a few spritz' of a volume-boosting, texture-giving spray. My fav of the moment is John Freida's Root Booster Blow Dry Lotion mainly for the simply fact that no matter how much of this stuff I spray on, it remains undetectable in my hair- no crispy locks here. I love the little nozzle on this thing, I simply bury it in to the roots around my crown and spritz. 4-5 spritz' around the crown seems to do the trick with a spray or two from a bit further back just incase. A quick massage in and blow dry as per usual (read: upside down) for lifted roots, volumised locks and a little extra hold.

A not so spritz-heavy friendly spray is Healthy Sexy Hair's Soy Renewal Beach Spray. Now strictly speaking this is more of a texturising spritz for the lengths of your hair but a little at the roots still manages to oomph things up a little. No matter how little of this stuff I spray it's still fairly evident in my hair- things just seem to be a little grittier. Perfect for extended hold and hair that won't fall flat but not so nice to touch.

My final volume vamper usually comes in to play for second day hair when things are looking a little limp and slightly on the oily side. Dry shampoo is a busy girl's saviour but also acts as a great volume enhancer. A little dry shampoo of your choice, pictured here is John Freida's Anytime Volume Refresher, spritzed around the roots and rubbed in helps freshen things up a little and adds volume to flat hair. A handbag staple for volume seekers if there ever was one.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Glow Getters

Hands up if you're chasing a glowing complexion? Through out the skincare types, whether you're struggling with dryness, oil or pimples, achieving a healthy glow seems to be a fairly common dream. I've been trialling a few glow getting ways recently and have come up with the following three categories;

Glowing From Within: the most favourable of all but not always the most achievable. All the standard things here, look after your insides and see the benefits outside. That means knocking back the water, upping the fruit and veg intake and even throwing a bit of exercise into the mix. It may seem like a lot all at once but making small changes one at a time is much more achievable and you're sure to notice the difference-you'll feel a tonne better about yourself too!

Glow Inducing Skincare- so you want to see the results a little faster than with the lifestyle changes above but not necessarily in too much of a 'right here right now' kinda rush- time to hit up the skincare. There are a whole tonne of glow promising skincare products on the market, masks like Ren's Glycolactic Radiance Renewal, serums like Antipode's Apostle and cleansers like Antipode's Juliet. All are relatively speedy in their effectiveness- use the night before will almost certainly result in a more glowy complexion come morning but as with most skincare things, regular use will be the most effective.

Last Minute Instant Glow- lifestyle choices haven't been the best lately, you didn't use anything glow inducing in last night's skincare routine and you've woken up with a slightly bleh looking complexion- stress not, there's still hope. A radiance primer is a good start, think Bourjois' Happy Light Luminous Serum Primer, either applied alone before your usual base or mixed in to a foundation. Creamy formula's are also great to up the glow, Laura Mercier's Bonne Mine Palette is a great complexion all rounder, highlighter, blush and a little bronzer to ensure that cheeks are super radiant.

Radiant complexion sorted no matter how little time you've got.  I'd love to hear your favourite glow inducing beauty tips below.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Daily Face #8

The daily face edition featuring that complexion trio I just can't seem to shut up about. You know the one- Estèe Lauder's Double Wear, Rimmel's Match Perfection and a dusting of Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. I spoke about it here and in case that wasn't enough, here as well. Told you I can't shut up about it. I've also taken a little Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer to brighten under my eyes and Bourjois' Happy Light Concealer to cover any blemishes determined to show through in Lisa Eldridge pin-point concealing style. Complexion warmed up a little with Clarin's Bronzing Duo in light, simply swept across the temples, cheeks and jaw line- nothing new here.

Complexion taken care of and onto eyes. Quickly becoming my favourite part of my look to experiment with, lately Urban Decay's Naked Palette (not photographed- oops!) has ruled the roost. Today I'm sporting Half Baked and to oomph things up a little I've opted for a smudging of Rimmel's Black Kohl Liner in the upper lash line and lashings of my favourite mascara (Maybelline's Hyper Curl Volum' Express).

All tied together with just a little colour on the lips. A coat of Nuxe Reve De Miel first (standard) and a little Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Natural Beauty patted in to rouge things up just a little.

Another daily face post over and out, will I ever get over that foundation trio?!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Loving Lately

Seeing as things got a little crazy around the end of June (read: exams, moving house and no internet), I never managed to get around to compiling my usual monthly favourites round-up. In it's absence today I'm coming at you with a slightly trimmed down edit of all things I've been loving lately.

On the complexion front I've finally found a little routine I'm fairly happy with. No, my skin hasn't suddenly decided to behave itself (unfortunately), but I have discovered a little trio that helps me fake it (fake it 'til you make it, right?). I've been getting a little mix-y, mix-y in the foundation department with Estée Lauder's Double Wear and Rimmel's Match Perfection (see this post for all the deets) and have rekindled my love for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light- why did I ever put this stuff down?! Sets everything in place with a red-reducing, 'I'm literally glowing from within' finish- could you need more?

I'm way too late to the party with this next one but it has finely made it's way to the checkout at instead of hanging back in my basket like it has for way too long. A neutral eye gal's dream I'm of course talking about Urban Decay's original Naked palette. It really is worth the crazy amount of hype it receives. Every shade you'd ever need (well, if you're a normal, non-beauty obsessed, non-must-try-every-neutral-palette-under-the-sun kinda girl). The only addition I'd probably make would be a shade like Foxy from UD's Naked Basics Palette, just because sometimes I find I need a light matte base and the included matte brown is just tad too dark. Apart from that, the array of colours is pretty fab, plenty of one-wash wonders (Half Baked and Toasted to name a few) and some deeper shades to smoke things up. If you've put off purchasing for as long as I have, maybe it's time to give in?

On to a fashion favourite and this ASOS Mint Bikers Jacket has really been floating my boat. I must've been feeling particular ballsy during this ASOS perusal to leave with such a non-monochrome shade. After much umm-ing and ahh-ing, and 'are you sure it suits me?' questions being fired at just about anyone who will listen, I've fallen in love. Paired with black jeans and a plain white tee, it adds colour but without being anything crazy. I now wear it at every opportunity I get and am so glad I took a step out of my comfort zone.

My final love hasn't just been lately but I thought it deserved a mention somewhere. Today actually marks 3 years of being with my boyfriend Kieron, I'm sure you've heard his name mentioned around these parts once or twice. Don't worry, I'm not going to get all soppy on you, I just wanted to share that little personal snippet with you all. We've not got anything crazy planned, just a little trip out to lunch. I'm sure there will be a snap or two over on my Instagram if you're interested.

Would you prefer to see these little Loving Lately posts dotted throughout the month or would you rather one monthly favourites post? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Budget Buy: MUA Heaven and Earth

A few posts ago I spoke about Urban Decay's Naked palette, a rather new addition to my stash but one that I've been absolutely adoring. $80 is a fair splurge though and I know that spending that sort of money on makeup just isn't some people's cup of tea, so I have a solution. Neutral eyed lovers need not stare lovingly at UD's pricey offering for much longer and can instead look to the high street. Make Up Academy (MUA) is an English budget (read: absolutely bloody bargainous) brand but fear not, they ship internationally, no plane ticket required. Their 12 shade palettes retail at a mere $7.50 (£4) and for the price, they aren't half bad!

Now if you're looking for a palette worthy of the Urban decay 'dupe' title, look towards their Undressed palette (I see what you did there MUA). The colours are a near perfect match and although the formulas aren't quite as creamy and pigmented as UD's, they get the job done.

If you're not so keen on a direct dupe, perhaps you already own the original or want to try something a little different, may I suggest the Heaven and Earth palette. An array of equally lovely neutral shades with slightly warmer tones I think they'd work well with any complexion or eye colour. All shades are shimmery, but nothing too much for day time wear, and they all look lovely alone or they're also great mixed together for something a little more fancy. 

For the price I really just can not get over how great these palettes are and you could easily own two or three different ones and have all possible eye shadow combinations covered. Have you tried any products from MUA? What's your favourite?

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Base Mixing

In my recent base haul I spoke about my winter skin and urgent need for a better matching foundation. I ended up opting for a super light shade of Rimmel's Match Perfection to mix in with all my other foundations to create a much more winter friendly hue. I'm not usually a huge base mixer,  it never really appealed to me but recently, with this combo under my belt, I'm a base mixing convert.

Esteé Lauder's Double Wear paired with Rimmel's Match Perfection has been my go-to base pairing for the past week or so. The combination of colours (Ecru from EL and Light Porcelain from Rimmel) is perfect for my pale skin and the finish is beautiful- slightly dewy from the Match Perfection but kept under control by the Double Wear. I mix a blob of the EL with a tiny pump of Match Perfection on the back of my hand with Daniel Sandler's Base Brush then apply as normal. 

I feel like with this pair I really get the best of both foundations; the long-lasting, heavy coverage from EL and the dewy, natural finish from MP. I'm definitely tempted to mix up some of the other foundations in my collection. 

What's your favourite combination?

*Heads up Aussie girls, Priceline currently has 50% of Rimmel!* 

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