Sunday, 31 January 2010

Line and Shine - Heads up!

I was recently sent a few things from Eyeko including these double ended 'line and shine' fat pencils for review purposes. At first I was a bit sceptical about their quality and and pigmentation, but turns out I didn't need to be. However, I do not like them for what they are marketed for.

There are 3 duo's available. My favourite duo is the 'Popstar' duo which includes the shade 'Electric blue' perfect for a summer holiday or to add interest to any look.


I was sent 2 of the duo's, Here is a closeup.


Swatches - You can see the pigmentation for yourself.


Price:
£4.00 (per duo)

How to use? They are actually marketed as eyeshadows, However they are terrible for that purpose as they crease like crazy. I tried these as a liner for my upper lash line and as a base but it still transfers and creases. I found that these are perfect for the waterline and to smudge underneath, I wore mine all night and it had amazing staying power.

Would I recommend them? Yes, but only if you are looking to experiment with colour on your waterline without breaking the bank. However, the black glitter one doesn't last as long as the others, which was very dissapointing.

What do I think of Eyeko? Mixed views; I don't really like their packaging but I like their affordable prices. I hate their nail polishes, I think their bronzing cream is 'OK'. I was also sent a felt tip graffiti liner which is actually REALLY nice.

EXTRA NOTE: I understand that reviews of products from PR companies can become VERY boring, but I think it's important to get some swatches and opinions posted. I was not paid for this post.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Less is more...

Well sometimes more is more, but less is more in this instance.

At the moment I am on a minimal make up kick. I have been focusing more on my skin than anything else.



I have been loving up my Bourjois 10hr sleep effect foundation, I actually wore this foundation on my wedding day. However, this foundation isn't for everybody. I will do a full review on it soon. Here's exactly what I'm wearing;

  • Face - Bourjois 10hr sleep effect and Mac sheer mystery powder to set.
  • Cheeks - Eyeko bronzing cream and Mac Lilicent blush creme on apples of cheeks.
  • Eyes - Max factor lash extension mascara. (+ Maybelline liquid mineral concealer under the eyes.)
  • Lips - Mac Lilicent blush creme and Benefit 'posh' lipliner.


Here's a closeup of my lashes, I actually attended a Max Factor bloggers event today and this was one of the things that were in my goodie bag. It's a really interesting mascara that deserves its own post.



What kind of make up look are you wearing a lot of lately?

Friday, 29 January 2010

ELF - Pink Lemonade Review

Blogging can sometimes cause you to fuss over 'new' products and make you forget about existing ones.

One of my 'must have' make up items is ELF's (Eyes Lips Face) all over color stick in 'Pink Lemonade'. I use this very often when I need to look 'fresh faced' and realised I hadn't blogged about it. I first purchased this over a year ago when I saw OxfordJasmine use this in a few tutorials.



It's a pigmented cream product that can be used as a blush, highlighter, illuminator, e/s or lip colour. The texture is smooth, creamy but not greasy at all. It dries matte with a sheen. If you close your eyes and feel the product, it just feels like skin, it's undetectable. The packaging is practical, but not very exciting which is what you should expect with Elf. The colour is a soft, cool toned rosey pink with shimmer. I have had no problems with this fading, for me it lasts all day.



Below you can see the silverish sheen.


This is what it looks like swatched...


Here's what it looks like blended.


I mainly use mine as blush on my cheeks when I need to look awake which this product certainly achieves. It will work well for even the lightest and darkest skin tones, as it's controllable and pigmented enough. I have also tried this in the shade 'Toasted' but it did nothing for me. I have tried several other items from Elf but honestly nothing has really stood out for me, they just seem 'blah' but this product is definitely worth trying.

Price: £1.50 (GBP) Visit ELF for more information.

What's your favourite ELF product?

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Feather in my hair!

Tonight me and my hubby went for a quiet meal at Nando's. I was feeling very blah and needed something to make me look 'interesting' without looking over the top.

Enter the feather clip that I purchased from H&M ages ago. I gave my hair a major side parting and slicked it down with some hairspray and clipped the feather in at the side. I flicked out my ends to give some bounce and glamour.


My make up was pretty low key too. Here's what I'm wearing;

Face: Bourjois 10hr sleep effect foundation mixed with Max factor lasting performance to get my perfect colour. Mac sheer mystery powder lightly dusted. Smashbox concealer under the eyes. Cheeks: Elf Pink lemonade as blush, Benefit High beam as highlight, Mac matte bronzer to gently contour. Eyes: Maybelline line definer liquid eyeliner, L'oreal voluminous mascara and Benefit eyebright on inner corners. Lips: Nude lipliner & Illamasqua explode sheer lipgloss.


I hope you had a fabulous weekend! X

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Lisa Eldridge


I discovered Lisa Eldridge (professional makeup artist) had a YouTube channel and it made my day! You may remember her amazing work from 10 years younger. She's the global creative director of No7, consultant cosmetic expert for Pure Beauty and creator of a brand new cosmetics line for sale in specialist Shiseido beauty shops throughout Japan. She has worked with countless celebrities, magazines and designers. I'm so ecstatic about it and wanted to let you all know.

Her approach to make up is very fresh, and we can all benefit from her advice. Her videos on primers, foundation, concealer and morning after make up is outstanding.

Subscribe to Lisa on YouTube and follow her on Twitter @Lisa_Eldridge. Check her website for more information.

Friday, 22 January 2010

My Favourite Hair Product!

I love styling my hair and experimenting with different looks. However, I don't like the damage that comes with it. Dry/split ends look disgusting and give me the creeps.

Regular trims are the answer to all hair problems, but when your trying to grow your hair, it doesn't seem so smart.

I have recently started using my all time favourite hair product again which I used to use for YEARS and my hair is looking much better! My mum recently gave me a bottle and I am rediscovering my love for it all over again. It's Avon's advance techniques daily results dry end serum.


I use 2-3 pumps of this serum on towel dried hair which detangles and makes my hair feel so much smoother and easier to manage. If my conditioner is not very good (Lush American Cream for example) this helps drastically! If necessary I use 1 pump on the ends of my hair after blowdrying or styling to seal in my cuticles.


It's a glass bottle that holds 30ml of product and fits in your hand which has a pump applicator. It has a light watery consistency with no oily or greasy residue. (It dries matte on your hand if rubbed in.)


I hate buying 2 different serums for wet and dry hair. This product can be used either way!


INGREDIENTS: CYCLOPENTASILOXANE CYCLOMETHICONE SD ALCOHOL 40-B DIMETHICONE PHENOXYETHANOL CREATINE LAMINARIA DIGITATA EXTRACT PELVETIA CANALICULATA EXTRACT PANTHENOL PHYTANTRIOL ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE PARFUM/FRAGRANCE BENZOPHENONE-2

Usually I would go the natural route, which I had been doing with olive oil and using it as a serum, but it gets so greasy and smelly to use everyday and is better suited as a deep conditioning treatment. This has a non offensive pleasant scent and also contains sunscreen for protection. I have also tried plenty of other serums that don't do a better job but cost 10X the price!

The best part.... Wait for it, is the price!

It's normally £4.80 but I have just checked Avon's website and it's been reduced to £1.95. However, my mum gets ours from the market at 3 for £5. Bargain!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Photos!

I have had a few questions about the black and white photo I added to my sidebar and default Twitter pic, so I thought I would do a post on it. These photos were taken by my husband in 2007 for a project at uni.






With regards to hair and make up in these photos, well my hair was just blowdried straight. Makeup - I'm not wearing much, just mascara, cheek stain and lip balm which was basically my makeup routine until a year and a half ago.

I only started wearing foundation because my hormones went bananas and started experimenting with eyeshadow at the same time. So, basically I started wearing a full face of makeup at 23. I was united with mascara and cream blush at about 14.

How old was you when you first started wearing make up?

Garnier 2 in 1 Tinted Eye Roll On!

Garnier have launched a tinted version of their popular eye roll on. It aims to act as a normal eye care treatment whilst concealing dark circles and delivering a illuminated, hydrated smoother surface. It contains caffeine and lemon extract and a UV filter but no SPF.


It comes in the same packaging as the green eye roll on but in a champagne colour. It has a metal rollerball applicator to massage whilst applying the product. The formula of the roll on is surprisingly pigmented and light feeling.


It applies quite smoothly, the texture is light and easily blendable. It only comes in two colour choices, fair or medium/dark. What's that about, there needs to be one for a chocolate skin tone! (Garnier take note!) I have it in medium/dark which is a very close match. It has some warm tones in it which counteract the blueness under the eyes.

I only applied a little bit!


I dabbed it in with my ring finger and this was the result. It looks quite rested, don't you think?

I think that this product is rather clever, as it eliminates the usage of 2 products under the eye area. 2 in 1 products are great for travelling and I think this will come in quite handy.

This product has been compared to the YSL touche eclat, I would say it IS similar, but the consistency is much lighter, the touche eclat leaves a slightly tacky more matte finish similar to the Bobbi Brown eye brightener. It's also quite similar to the BodyShops lightening touch concealers but that feels a bit more watery even though the Garnier one is also watery. It's also comparable to the Mac moisture cover but not as creamy. Does that make sense? :)

I was sent this product for free, however I was not paid. I mention this at the end as I don't feel that it's that important as it doesn't affect my opinion. I would have purchased this anyway as I'm curious like that!

Price: £9.99 (15ml)

Available from Boots.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The Flick!

My cameras usb cable went walkabouts, but has been safely found, :) Hooray! Here is the look I was rocking on Monday. I flicked out the ends of my hair with my GHD IV styler and opted for a dewy subtle make up look.



Face - Bourjois 10hr Sleep effect foundation. Cheeks - Nars 'Casino' to contour, and Body shop 'Cool Dusk' blusher trio. Lips - Maybelline Ambre rose & L'oreal Cappuccino lipliner. Eyes - Mac 'Naked Lunch' e/s all over lid with a light dusting of 'Romp' in the crease. UD 24/7 Liner in 'Zero' on upper lash line. Benefit Eye Bright on waterline & L'oreal Voluminous mascara.



And.....

On Sunday I used my GHD IV styler again this time to create loose flicked out curls.


The look was relaxed. Very relaxed. I wore baggy boyfriend jeans with my white plimsolls. It's nice to be casual and not so 'done up' all the time.


What other looks do you do with your straighteners? And, do you predominantly dress casual or 'girly'?

Spring Summer 2010 Fashion

What is fashion? A trend, fad or craze? For me, fashion is more than that, it's about identifying your personal style and sticking to it. I will not wear something because I am told it's 'IN'. In fact, I will try my best to avoid it to stop me from looking like a clone. However, it's inevitable that designers have an influence on what we wear, even when buying from the high st or a charity shop as everything is trickled down.

The trends that are deemed hot for the season include cut out dresses, denim, leather, wearing underwear as outerwear, pastels, all white, ruffles, digital prints and lace.

I have been on Vogue identifying certain trends that stand out for me. Here's what I have compiled.


STATEMENT NECKLACES are always hot, they can transform ANY outfit and are guaranteed showstoppers! Paul Smith opted for maximum impact whilst Dolce & Gabbana opted for a 'goddess gypsy' look.


ROMANTIC always ensures femininity and is perfect for long summer nights. Silk, chiffon and floral prints are key. Emilio Pucci didn't disappoint with fabulous prints and floaty dresses. TIP - Why not toughen up your outfit with a belt as demonstrated by Amanda Wakely.


ROCHAS had beautiful intricate belts made with flowers. DIY - Why not take your favourite waist belt and add a massive flower headband or broach to create your own to suit you.


TRIBAL is effortlessly cool, I love bold prints and Marc by Marc Jacobs got it spot on. Topshop usually have great prints in the summer, but they sell out quick. DIY - Why not buy your own printed fabric and create a simple top that nobody else has.


HEAD SCARVES are a quick way to update your outfit especially if you are having a bad hair day. Keeping your outfit simple and wearing a bright scarf as demonstrated by Oscar De La Renta is sure to be an eye opener and great for hijab wearers. You can also roll scarves up in pretty knots to create a more interesting hair style as demonstrated by Marni.


SHOES, you can NEVER have too many! Wedges give height, great posture and are comfortable, Bottega Veneta had a gorgeous pair. Burberry and Vera Wang opted for ankle tie platforms which are equally as gorgeous. DIY - Why not personalise a pair of your shoes by attaching or threading a beaded necklace or chain to the strap inspired by Lanvin.


MY ADVICE: Don't be a follower, be a leader. Interpret trends to suit your body shape, complexion and age. Be original!

All images from Vogue.co.uk, compiled using Photoshop.

What will you be wearing this Spring / Summer?

Monday, 18 January 2010

Lush 'Big' and 'Curly Wurly' Shampoo Review!

'BIG' Shampoo!

I have been using 'Big' for a few months now, I can safely say it does add volume and make your hair "big" like it claims to whilst adding shine. However, I found that if you continue to use it, it doesn't work as well as it did when you first tried it and it can also be REALLY drying. It is a really clarifying shampoo, meaning it does strip some of the colour from your hair as it contains sea salt. If you have just dyed your hair darker and want to lighten it, this would be a great alternative to using an anti dandruff shampoo. I think that this shampoo would work wonders on natural hair colour without damage, saying that... I STILL love it and would continue to repurchase but not use it as regularly.


With this in mind, on my previous Lush trip - I explained my problem and the sales assistant recommended 'Curly Wurly' which I have been using for about a month.


'CURLY WURLY' Shampoo!

According to Lush, Curly Wurly is to control thick curly hair. My hair is thick but not 'curly' more like straight with dreaded kinks. I was assured that any hair type that was dry could use it as it's a conditioning shampoo with coconut and vanilla. Curly Wurly does make your hair softer without drying it out. However, the coconut chunks are a bit hard to wash out. The only problem with this is that if you use it too often it can make your hair greasy quicker.


The solution? Alternating between shampoos, sometimes I use 'Big' if I need a thorough clean, and if I'm feeling my hair is looking dry I use 'Curly Wurly. If I think my hair is normal then I mix the two together which also works beautifully. This may seem like too much effort, but I honestly don't mind. I quite enjoy having 2 shampoos to choose from and plan on carrying on with this combo unless I find something better! :)

Have you tried these shampoos? If so, what do you think and what are your favourite Lush shampoos?

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Review: Lush 'Honey I washed the kids' Soap!


This soap smells like honey and toffee and once you have sniffed it, it's impossible not to take random whiffs now and then. It smells that good, I'm addicted to it!

I use a massage sponge which is great for making it foam and lather it up with the soap and use it all over my body. It's moisturising and gentle on my skin, in the past I have had random spots on my back, or dry rough areas and this has worked a dream in aiding them to disappear.

WARNING: You may feel the need to declare to everyone that you smell SO nice! :) The scent just lingers on.

If you are thinking of trying some soaps from Lush, I would definitely recommend this one! What are your recommendations?

Price: £2.85 100g.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Products I am using right now!

It's been a while and thought I would let you in on what I'm using right now as I always love reading this tag!


Shampoo: Lush 'Big' and 'Curly Wurly'.

Conditioner: Body Shop Banana conditioner (launched as part of Anita's favourites from the 80's.)

Shower gel: I use Lush 'Honey I washed the kids' soap. (This is so good for my skin, my body loves it and it smells SO good! I will not use anything else other than this!)

Styling products: Avon dry ends serum (Old favourite), Tresseme Heat protector and 24hr body finishing spray.

Body moisturiser: Tigi by Bed Head 'Oatmeal cookie' body lotion (Smells AMAZING!)

Deodorant: Sanex dermo invisible

Fake Tan: Garnier summer body moisturising spray mist (All time favourite.)

Foundation: Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser or Bourjois 10hr sleep effect foundation used with Clinique foundation brush or Everyday mineral flat top kabuki brush.

Powder: Mac msf natural.

Concealer: Mac studiofinish and moisturecover.

Blush: Nars Sin, Angelica & Gina.

Bronzer: Nars Casino

Highlighter: Nars Sparkly pressed powder in 'Gold Rush'.

Eyeshadows: Mac Romp, Femme Fi, Vex, Vellum and Naked Lunch.

Mascara: L'oreal voluminous

Lipstick: Body Shop #46, Mac Fresh Brew & Barry M 147 peachy pink.

Lipgloss: Mac Pink Lemonade.

Nail colour: French Manicure


What are YOU using right now?

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Laura Mercier - Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser Review

Shade: Sand

I have left it a while before reviewing this as I constantly changed my mind about it. The consistency of this oil free tinted moisturiser is very thick, not quite what I am used to, you have to work very quickly as it dries quite fast making it difficult to blend. I have only ever used my fingers to apply this as recommended on the tube, using a brush would waste a lot of product. It dries rather matte, not powdery at all, just a lovely natural finish and feels quite light on the skin. It doesn't need to be set with powder and still lasts all day (A light dusting of powder wouldn't do any harm on the T Zone.) This tinted moisturiser actually gives quite good coverage similar to a light coverage foundation, it hasn't clogged my pores and I have not experienced any breakouts. Overall, I am happy with it but I'm not in love with it.

One reason why I kept changing my mind about it was to do with the colour. At times it's a perfect match and sometimes it feels like it's too red depending on the lighting or whether I have applied fake tan or not. The other reason is because I initially found it difficult to blend.

Would I repurchase? Yes
Price: £32.00 (40ml) Available in 5 shades.

Have you tried this? What do you think?

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Last nights makeup and outfit!

We went to see Avatar in 3D last night! OH MY GOD, it's one of the best films I have ever seen, I absolutely LOVED it, so did my husband! The imagination and effects that went into the film is unreal. You HAVE to see it, top marks!

This is the look I opted for...

I went for a purple smokey eye with bronzed cheeks and lilac lips.



Face: Chanel teint innocence foundation (40 beige) applied with Clinique foundation brush. (This was a sample, I quite like it, it had a nice finish, good coverage and lasted throughout the evening but not sure how it will hold up during the day.)
Under eye concealer: Mac moisturecover concealer
Cheeks: Nars Casino to contour and Nars sparkly pressed powder in 'Gold rush' to highlight.
Eyes: Mac deep purple pigment all over the eye lid & used it as liner for lower lashline. Mac Vellum e/s in the crease, inner corners & dabbed onto the centre of the eyelid. Mac 'Femme Fi' e/s on browbone to highlight. L'oreal Voluminous mascara & Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in 'Lust on waterline.
Lips: Barry M 129 lip paint and L'oreal cappuccino lipliner smudged in.




I wore a high waisted denim skirt, patterned linen top and teamed it with deep purple tights.


Skirt - Armani Exchange
Top - Nicole Farhi
Blazer - Mango
Tights - H & M
Boots - Zara
Bag - Marcus Lupher


I wore simple bronze bracelets from Acessorize and a tiny wooden one I made. I wore gorgeous earrings and guess what? I lost one of them at the cinema, I came home with one earring! *Cries* I'll turn the remaining one into a necklace! Recycling is the way to go! I would repurchase them but, I have NO clue as to where I got them from!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Getting Motivated!

It's that time of year again where we try to burn off the weight we put on during the past few months. It's inevitable that we all put on weight during winter and lose it during summer. However, I put on some weight after I got married. Everybody has told me this is 'normal' but I refuse to accept it. I have always been approximately 55kg. However, 6 months ago I was about 63kg (the highest I have ever been!) Currently I am 59kg. I am halfway there! It took me roughly 2 months to get to the weight I am. I am 5ft5 btw.

Below is a picture of me on my Henna night where I was at my ideal weight.. I was forced to do this pose, it's not my usual custom! :) I think it's great to look at old pictures of when you felt good about yourself, as it really gets you off your feet and motivates you to achieve your goals.

Click to enlarge.

A lot of people have been asking me how I have lost some of the weight, All I can say is "It's not rocket science, healthy eating and exercise!" Everyone is trying to find a quick fix or some crazy diet. Sorry to break it to you, but the most effective way to lose weight and maintain it is by controlling what you eat and getting off your lazy backside.

Here are my tips on eating;

  • Don't be too hard on yourself and give yourself a 'cheat day' and what I mean by that is to pick a day, I chose Saturday and choose ONE meal of the day where you can eat whatever junk you want, it can be greasy fish and chips, doner kebab, KFC and / or naughty desert such as a kingsize snickers bar or chocolate pudding. I assure you, you will feel sick afterwards and not fancy anything unhealthy during the week.
  • What do I normally eat eat? Breakfast: Porridge, cereal, wholemeal pitta bread with honey or peanut butter, scrambled eggs. (make sure your peanut butter doesn't contain vegetable fat, only crushed peanuts, palm oil & salt.) + I only ever drink skimmed milk. Snacks: Fruits, nuts and seeds. Lunch / Dinner: grilled chicken, salad & rice - spaghetti bolognaise - grilled salmon, rice & veg - grilled steak, mushrooms & rice - soup - lamb chops, oven chips & salad, quorn burgers in wholemeal bun & salad - jacket potato & tuna salad - grilled tuna steak, salad & rice - chicken stirfry with noodles. (Lately I have been obsessed with 'quorn' they use mycoprotein to make 'fake' meat, it's high in protein and low in saturated fat which is perfect & yummy!) (BEFORE PURCHASING ANYTHING CHECK THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE)
  • Keep the first 2 meals of the day mainly carbs (porridge, rice, potato + pasta) protein (lean meat = chicken & fish) and complex carbs (vegetables & salad) Pick and choose to suit yourself.
  • Don't eat carbs in the evening, stick to protein and complex carbs.
  • Aim for a maximum of 100gms of carbs a day if you want to lose fat.

I only ever use olive oil, I check the saturated fat content of whatever I buy, I only eat low fat or zero % fat yogurt. I don't eat white bread, I don't drink fizzy drinks, I love water, fresh juice and smoothies. I love earl gray tea but don't have it very often and I hardly ever drink coffee.

I will be at my ideal weight soon, and I can feel 100% comfortable again! I'm not saying being 'skinny' is the way to go - that' not my aim AT ALL, it's just about what makes you feel comfortable, I LOVE my curves!