Wednesday 12 March 2014

The Travelling Base/Face Products

I recently did a post on the five lipsticks I took with me while I was away in Lincoln, which you can read here, and today's post is going to be on the products I took with me for my base makeup including foundations, concealer, powders, blushers, contour and highlighters. I was originally going to include eye and eyebrow products as well but realised the post would quite possibly be longer than the River Nile (Geography Goddess in the building) and so the final post on these items will be up later in the week.

Having to pack lightly made me realise which products I truly love enough to take on a journey with and accompany me, think of them as my children but in cosmetic form. Or don't. Admittedly that would be kind of hard to imagine.


For day time wear I prefer a light/medium coverage and this foundation is exactly that while giving a really healthy, dewy finish to the skin. I mentioned this foundation in more detail here (forgive me for my lack of detail, I WAS YOUNG AND UNAWARE).

For nights out I prefer a heavier coverage foundation as I find my base has to look more perfect if I'm wearing more makeup so it all comes together better. A dewy finish to the skin would just translate into 'greasy mess' on camera and so that's why I brought two foundations with me. I did a post on this foundation in more detail here.

This was the only concealer I took with me and it was a bit of a risk considering I'd only owned it for a few days beforehand but that is how much I felt I loved it. This was perfect and so good for covering my dark circles but I did wish I had taken along a Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer with me to cover up spots as my skin decided to be really nice and give me some hideous ones, thanks life. I did a post on this concealer in more detail here.


This is the only face powder I own as my other Rimmel ones broke (so traumatising) a few months ago and I decided to use this powder up completely before buying any other face powders so I didn't have any choice which to take. This does the job at setting my makeup and mattifies the skin but is so bulky and makes it such a pain to shove in your bag, also it makes such a mess, or maybe I'm just disastrous when it comes to loose powders.

Honestly you're probably thinking 'what on earth is that monstrosity on the right?' and I won't blame you; basically I bought the Kick Ass concealer quite some time ago but the screw fell out that held the little compartments together and for the longest time I left the product sitting there on my windowsill, not getting any use out of it, until I decided to have a go using the powder to see if it would stop my concealer creasing. After using it I was so impressed with the lack of creasing under my eyes and have been using it ever since, I'm aware I'm probably violating hygiene rules (I did consider wrapping cling film round it haha) but I'm not sure what else to use as an under eye setting powder?! Any suggestions are welcomed with open arms unless you're afraid of personal contact with a stranger.


It only made sense to me to bring along this palette, not only for the three completely different shades but also the massive mirror which, by the way, turned out to be so useful, yes I was one of  those annoying girls who was doing their makeup on the train half-asleep. I mentioned in a post previously how I don't seem to get much use out of this palette (here) but really wanted to make an effort to use it more and now I seem to wear the colours a lot which I'm really pleased about as the pigmentation is insane.

As the Lace palette doesn't contain a matte pink shade I brought along this blusher as it's also highly pigmented and is such a lovely colour; I've owned this blusher for quite a while now and am planning on doing an individual review on it as I never hear much about Seventeen blushers.


Does seeing the pan in the bronzer bring joy to your heart? No? Just me then. For a contour product this is the only powder that came to mind as other bronzers I have I feel lean too orange to work as a contour. The fact this palette comes with the loveliest highlighter as well made life so much easier, as a huge highlighter fan I really didn't know which to take with me so just brought this duo to save space.

This product is a highlighter/concealer hybrid but I personally use it for highlighting as the pinkish tone doesn't work well with my skin tone to conceal but love blending it on my brow bone and into the inner corners of my eyes as it instantly brightens my face. I did a post on this concealer in more detail here.

So that's everything I took for my base and face products, to be honest I really don't think I brought that much with me considering my huge makeup collection haha! Also sorry for the seemingly endless linking back to other posts I've done, I thought it'd be easier to click the link if you wanted to read it rather than looking around on my blog, it's not a shameless plug.

Would you take any of these items away with you? What are your makeup travel essentials?

Monday 10 March 2014

Tips for Wavy Hair

I wasn't sure whether to do this post as everyone's hair is different (watch out, Einstein over here) and so hair posts usually don't apply to the majority of people, however, I thought I'd throw this out there as there are bound to be people who have similar hair to mine. My hair is fairly thin but wavy, it used to be really curly when I was younger but now it's straightened out quite a bit so it's not so crazy. If I were to straighten it and went out in the wind/heat/cold it would go back to its waves but, when I wear it up for the day and take it down, the shape of the waves are ruined and I have to wet my hair for them to come back so it's a bit hit and miss.

I have had many horrific hair experiences, the worst one which was thanks to a hairdresser, whose profession I question, who thinned my hair out so much and cut it to such an awkward above-the-shoulder length that I wore my hair up for about 6 months teamed with billions of hair grips. At the minute my hair is cut in a way that's really easy to style, it's just past my shoulders and has a longish layer in it that I've left to grow out. I also have a short fringe that I blow dry and straighten and leave the rest of my hair to dry naturally after having washed it.

I'm going to point out that I'm not a hairdresser and struggle to draw a straight line with a ruler let alone hack at someone's hair (I attempted cutting my own fringe recently, it was hideous) but here are some things I've realised about my hair that might work for you as well:

1. Using a heavy conditioner weighs hair down.
I know it's really bad not to condition your hair when you wash it but I've found that when I condition my hair it leaves it really flyaway and won't hold any sort of wave meaning my hair looks awful until I wash it again. If I do want to use some sort of conditioner I've recently been using NSPA's Hair and Scalp Miracle Mask (I bought mine from Asda but can't find it on the website), I wet my hair and apply this then leave it to sit for a while then shampoo my hair last so that way my hair is left feeling soft but not weighed down.

2. Detangler is your best friend.
After I've got out of the shower my hair is really knotty and difficult to comb so I spray loads of detangler in my hair and then comb it. I used to use John Frieda's Frizz-Ease Daily Miracle Treatment but it's pretty expensive for what it is and so now use Shampooheads Awesome Annie Detangler which is £2.99, does an amazing job and smells so nice.

3. Curling mousse is a must.
Honestly, without curling mousse I hate to think what my hair would look like, for reference I'm imagining a frizzy, limp mess. It gives my hair so much shape and just apply it throughout wet hair, scrunch and lift it in random sections for about 30 seconds and then leave my hair alone until it's dry. I recommend John Frieda's Frizz-Ease Curl Reviver Mousse which is one you shake so it comes out as foam or The Body Shop's Cottonseed Curl Boost which is a creamy product that softens your hair as well, I had a look online and saw that it said this product is no longer available but it's worth checking in a local Body Shop store as I could have sworn I only saw it recently.

4. Sea salt spray gives grip.
On days where my hair won't behave or if I want my hair to look more voluminous or wavy I'll use a tiny bit of sea salt spray and put it wherever I feel I need it. I say a tiny bit as the one I use, Lee Stafford's Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray, can give a horrible sticky feeling if too much is used but is great when used sparingly.

5. Getting it cut can help bring back waves.
Around a month ago I got my hair cut to what it is now (around shoulder length) from it being quite far down my back but it just didn't do anything for my hair. I wore it up in bun on my head constantly because it looked frizzy and the waves would only hold for the first day of washing it so it was pointless in it being that long. Now it's shorter it looks a lot thicker and I don't want it long again as straggly isn't the best look in the world.

6. Dampening it revives waves.
Sometimes when I wake up in the morning (kind of feel a tad like P Diddy) my hair doesn't look as wavy as I'd like and so when I'm getting bathed I just dampen my hair, not soak it, and  leave it to dry while getting ready so then by the time I've left the house it's curly again.

That's everything I know that I feel is worth mentioning about wavy hair and it's taken me a while to find a routine that works well for my hair. Do you have any tips for wavy hair or do you do any of these things yourself?

Thursday 6 March 2014

Warmer Weather Lipsticks

I'm back with yet another post on lipsticks, I really can't help myself, I have so many and find them the most interesting to talk about. This post feels like it has been around 10 years in the making as I decided to take pictures of me wearing the lipstick and about 100 photos later I still wasn't happy with the picture quality but threw my hands up in the air, dramatically shook my fist and proceeded to use them anyway.

It's now March and Spring is on its way in two weeks (March 20th) and so, with any luck, the weather will get a bit warmer and the Spring trends will be in full swing. I've selected five lipsticks I'll be reaching for more to suit the weather including various shades of pink and coral, all are from Boots/Superdrug meaning you won't have to fork out a lot of money to buy any of them.

L'Oréal on the left, Maybelline on the right

I've had this lipstick in my collection for quite some time now and is a lipstick I don't recall ever seeing a blog post about and feel it's pretty underrated. The formula of this lipstick is so creamy and moisturising while smelling like parma violets. It's a corally pink shade that leans quite yellow (does that even exist?) and reminds me a bit of Mac's Viva Glam Nicki but is so much more wearable, believe me I tried it on in the shop once and it looked revolting on me, I can't believe I was ever thinking of buying it! It can be worn lightly with just one layer or built up, it can go a bit cakey when built up but is fine once blotted.

Another coral shade that I absolutely love for its vibrancy, just looking at it makes me wish I was in the sun. This shade would look so nice with a tan or for people who have an olivey skin tone as it would really stand out however also still looks good if you're paler. I don't really understand why this lipstick translates so badly on camera but it is brighter and more pigmented in real life!

A bit of a dark horse (pretty sure my use of that phrase is 100% Katy Perry inspired) surrounded by these more well-known brands but is made unique due to the matte finish and the cool pink shade. I blogged about it previously here where I mentioned how at first it starts off fairly shiny but it then becomes matte yet doesn't feel drying on the lips. I bought mine for £1.49 at B&M instead of the link I listed so if you want it for the slightly cheaper price it's worth looking at the makeup section in store.

Fashionista on the left, Rimmel on the right

Another lipstick that I've previously posted about here and is a go-to colour of mine if I want a bright coral shade; I originally bought mine off the MUA website for £1.50, however, it now appears that they're out of stock and so I found it instead on the Superdrug website but at a more expensive price unfortunately. I would definitely recommend this lipstick and, coming in at a cheaper price than a Kate Moss lipstick, it's still a bargain buy. When I see this lipstick I imagine it paired with my polka dot blue and white shirt or a basic stripy dress/top to give a pop of colour.

The final lipstick and most famous out of all five lipsticks, one I've also mentioned before on my blog here, is this matte finish, corally orange shade. I feel like the majority of people own this shade and if you don't have it I'm sure you'll love it if you give it a swatch as it's such a unique shade that gives so much life to my face.

From left to right: L'Oréal 371, Maybelline Shocking Coral, W7 Powder Pink, Fashionista Coral, Rimmel 110

That's a round-up of all the lipsticks that come to my mind when I think of Spring, I'm sure there are a lot of other shades out there but I think it's nice to see a select few. What lipsticks are you going to be wearing for when it gets warmer and brighter? Do you own any of these lipsticks?

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Eye Cream

I'm always hearing about how important eye cream is as the skin around the eye area is really delicate and so needs looking after, even though I've used ones in the past I've never felt like they were helping me out and would make my eyes stream endlessly if the cream went a fraction too near my eye. However, what with me turning the ripe old age of twenty this year, I wanted to get an eye cream to use daily to help keep the skin youthful and reduce the chances of fine lines. So, while in Superdrug, I was having a little browse and came across the Naturally Radiant Brightening Eye Cream, had a little read and thought it sounded interesting, grabbed one and off I trotted all the while panicking and searching for my Beautycard to avoid the awkward search at the till. Does anyone else have approximately 50,019 cards that are never readily available to get out of their purse?

Excuse the slightly battered packaging, I put the poor fella in my abyss of a handbag and I'm surprised there wasn't more fatal damage to be honest, also there are remnants of stickiness from them absolutely huge barcode stickers Superdrug use haha!

The eye cream was, and currently still is, on offer for £2.98 instead of its usual £5.99 for 15 ml. Superdrug's own range Naturally Radiant offers a whole load of other skincare products and is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans which I imagine could be quite difficult to find.

I love how this cream is lightweight but feels so refreshing when applied, I've been using it every day and night for around three weeks and it takes hardly any time to sink in meaning it isn't a chore to use it. I feel like my concealer applies so much better now as it has a base to it and preps the skin compared to using a normal facial moisturiser. I also really like the thin squeezy bit (great one Dani) as it means you can get the perfect, small amount out without any waste.

The eye cream claims that instantly the skin around the eye area will feel moisturised which I 100% agree with and it does a really good job. There is also a claim that after one week of use the skin will feel softer, smoother, refreshed and energised, I can't comment on whether my skin feels softer as it's always been fairly soft but I imagine for more mature skin/drier skin there would be a more noticeable difference. Finally, the last claim is that at the four week mark the appearance of dark circles and puffiness will be minimised, I'm not sure about this claim either as at one point when I was using this I had the darkest circles I've possibly ever had because of so many late nights but now they aren't so bad but I imagine this is due to getting more sleep now and not the eye cream.

I personally find that this eye cream is perfect for me as I'm not looking for anything specific for my eye area apart from for it to feel moisturised and this product certainly does that, if you are looking for a product to brighten then I'd say it's definitely worth a try and it contains a lot of plant extracts all of which are said to help with brightening and refreshing the skin.

Have you ever tried anything from the Naturally Radiant range? I've heard a lot of good things about their Hot Cloth Cleanser and I really enjoyed the Vitamin E Day Cream. What eye cream are you currently using?

Monday 3 March 2014

Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Concealer

I have always struggled with blueness under my eyes and have never been satisfied with concealers; I have tried a whole range claiming to be the ultimate dark circle banisher but never got the results I wanted mainly because it's not darkness as such that I suffer from. On a trip to Asda I was side-tracked by the makeup aisle (as always) and kept noticing the Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Concealer, I recalled seeing a review likening this concealer to that of Mac's Pro Longwear and after sending out a tweet seeing if anyone had tried it I was kindly told by @MyBeautyNotes that it had an orange undertone, therefore counteracting blue, and I was sold.

The concealer comes in only two shades, Light Beige and Medium Beige, in which I have Light Beige, while selling at £5.99 for 11ml. This is marketed as a skin perfecting concealer and says it gives 'instantly flawless natural-looking coverage' and is in a plastic, old-school lipgloss tube which makes squeezing the product out a lot easier and more hygienic than a wand. A little goes a long way with this concealer and a few times I have made the mistake of getting too much product out meaning I have to blend, blend, blend it away, however it doesn't go cakey nor does it make my under eyes look clogged or creased. I love a dewy finish to my skin and I would agree that the concealer gives a natural-looking finish to the skin even with its amazing coverage.

I tried the concealer as soon as I got home and I was so impressed with it, it erased pretty much all of my blueness, I was so excited and happy but didn't want to get my hopes up straight away. I've now been using it for nearly 3 weeks and it is my favourite under eye concealer by far, I took it away with me to Lincoln (hands up who wants to murder me the next time I mention Lincoln?) as my only concealer and it banished the crazy, over-tired circles from my eyes.

The only issue with this concealer is that due to it's tone it can look a bit odd if you go too over-the-top with it as it does look orange against my foundation, however, I just solve this issue by using my foundation brush with the leftover foundation on it and working it around my eye area to blend the colour nicely. Due to this the concealer wouldn't work for concealing spots as it would be fairly obvious where you had concealed but for me this is no problem as I did not want it to be a multi-tasking concealer. I'd say if you are have really fair skin then the orange tone may be quite difficult to blend but as I have a yellow undertone it isn't as noticeable as I imagine it to be on a pink undertone, but I could be wrong.

I set this with the powder from Soap and Glory's Kick Ass Concealer and I notice only very minimal creasing towards the end of a long day which is amazing as every concealer I've tried, even when set, seems to crease on me like crazy which is highly soul-destroying. In terms of the lack of creasing I really can't say if it's the concealer itself or the powder as I started using it at the same time as the concealer so it's worth keeping in mind.

You should be able to see the orangey tone left on my arm, this also shows how far a little amount goes!

Why do seriously good results never translate well in photos? The top picture is in sunlight but it doesn't show how effective the concealer is and the bottom picture is in bathroom lighting (classy) but shows the effect better

I would definitely recommend this concealer and, even if you find it doesn't work for you, it is only £5.99 and is worth the gamble, my mum wants the concealer as well now and so we're going to pick up the darker shade for her.

Have you tried this concealer yet? I am now interested in the matching foundation too so am going to spend some of my night researching it, I am basically a scientist minus the science and the full-blown investigation. And the brains.

#2014BloggerChallenge Maybelline Forever Strong Varnish in Surreal

It's that time again for the #2014BloggerChallenge and this time the topic is nails. Yes metal nails. I jest. I had a mini panic when I saw the topic as my nails are an absolute state at the moment, I'm a nail biter unfortunately and go through phases of being able to resist and have them really long and nicely painted for a good few months and then something happens and I end up with nails that are incredibly boring and nothing special to look at.

I have a huge nail varnish collection but the one nail varnish that always stands out in my mind is Maybelline's Forever Strong Varnish in Surreal; as a gel varnish it has amazing staying power and lasted around a week on my nails the first time I tried it with very minimal chipping. I love the powdery lilac, blue shade and the fairly short but flat brush (there would be a picture but my geezer of a phone wouldn't focus properly) makes application so easy. I'd definitely recommend this nail varnish and I imagine the other shades in the range would have the same amazing quality and for £4.09 (so precise) I haven't found another formula to beat it.

Are you a nail person or do you tend to neglect them a bit like myself? One day I will nurture my nails like a newborn baby but today is not that day.

Sunday 2 March 2014

The Orange Lipstick Trend

Recently I've seen a huge influx of posts on orange lipstick and, much to my beady little eyes delight, it's said to be a key makeup trend for Spring. I have loved orange lipstick for a long time, I would say I bought my first real orange lipstick around two years ago and I feel it gives a really striking look and if I had the choice between a classic red shade and an orange, 9 times out of 10 I'd choose the orange. I wanted to give this blog post a really good title but couldn't think of anything, I asked my mum and she suggested 'Juicy Orange' so it's safe to say I stuck with 'The Orange Lipstick Trend'.

I have several lipsticks that have an orange hue to them but only have two that I feel are true oranges: Mac's Morange and Topshop's Infrared which I'm going to talk more about below. Unfortunately, two of my other true orange shades that I own, Collection's Orange Punch and Louise Gray for Topshop's Mexican Wave, seem to be discontinued products so it would be unfair to post about them but if you ever manage to find them I suggest you get them! You can see a swatch of Orange Punch here and a swatch of Mexican Wave here.

Both Mac's and Topshops' offerings are incredibly bright and vibrant and so making them perfect to follow the orange lip trend. Mac lipsticks are priced at £15 and so if you are umming and aahing over whether to join in with the tangoed lip brigade it's probably not the wisest decision to dive in with this straight away especially as it's quite out-there in terms of drawing attention to your face. The Topshop lipstick is £8 and I seem to recall Zoella being a fan of this shade which, in the YouTube and Blogging world, translates to 'BUY IT, BUY IT NOW'. This would be a better starting point if you're new to orange lipstick as it isn't as opaque as Morange on initial application but can be built up,  it's also glossier making it less intense but is pretty much the same colour-wise. With these lipsticks you would be able to tone them down by patting them onto your lips if you don't want full on Wotsits lips just yet.

From left to right: Morange and Infrared

For Spring/Summer orange looks amazing to give a pop on colour on the lips and also looks amazing paired with a bronzed makeup look. When wearing blusher I feel orange lipstick looks best with coral/orange based shades, such as MUA's Lolly or the shade Crochet from Sleek's Blush by 3 Lace Palette, applied very lightly so as to not clash or try to overpower the lipstick.

From left to right: Lolly and Crochet

Do you often wear orange lipstick or do you think you're willing to give the trend a go?