Saturday, July 19, 2014

My Blogger Button!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

top 5: nude lipsticks

Nude lipsticks are a staple that every girl should have in her makeup bag. They are so easy and effortless, and can really complete your makeup look and make you look 'done'. I've rounded up my top 5 most used nudes, which was actually quite a challenge given that 90% of my lipstick collection are every-day wearable nudes! This lot are my old faithfuls; ones I reach for if I don't know which lipstick to use and they always end up looking pretty.

MAC Angel
Everyone in the blogging world will have heard of this beauty. It's one of MAC's top sellers ever, and it suits so many people's skintones. It's a frosty pink nude, with the perfect amount of shimmer so that your lips look 'done' but not overdone. This one's the stumpiest of the bunch, indicating how much I've picked it up!

MAC Peach Blossom
When I bought this, I'd seen Shaaanxo use it in one of her videos, and I wasn't really looking forward to it's arrival because she'd said it was just a 'whatever' lip colour. When it came, however, I fell completely head over heels in love with it. It's a subtly shimmering peachy pink, which gives your complexion a little bit of a glow. Since I got it, I've used it almost every time I've done my makeup and I can't sing it's praises enough. 

Lime Crime Coquette
This little baby is incredible. If you're looking for the creamiest and most opaque lip colour the world has ever seen, then you need to get on these lipsticks. Coquette is a perfect peachy beige nude, which comes out exactly how it looks in the tube. On top of that, it's staying power is incredible and it stains the skin (I had to scrub off this swatch in the shower the day after I applied it!). I've heard that the formula has changed recently, which means this tube has to last me as long as possible!

NYX Pure Nude
This is a cult favourite among beauty bloggers and YouTubers and I've got to say, I love this colour. This one's more of a dramatic nude; one I'd wear for clubbing or when I'm doing dramatic eye looks that call for a very nude, plain lip. It's pretty pale and peachy, and while it is a good match for my skintone, some of you ladies might need to watch out for it being lighter than your skin, which can look a little strange! This is a really creamy formula though; it tends to slide around a bit in warm weather but it's nothing I've found a little touch up can't fix!

MAC Creme Cup
The latest addition to my lipstick collection is MAC Creme Cup, but it has settled in very very well. It's a gorgeous mid pink nude, and I adore the colour as well as it's texture which I'd describe as 'almost matte'. It glides on really smoothly, and although you've got to be a bit careful not to overdo your eyes because the lip colour is quite pink, it compliments my skin and looks pretty with a lot of looks.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Blistex Intensive Moisturiser Lipbalm Review

Dry and chapped lips are the bane of my very existence, and anyone who suffers with the same issue will know that most lipbalms just don't cut it. It's all very well that lots of lipbalms claim to restore and protect the lips, but very few actually deliver. Blistex's Intensive Moisturiser is a favourite of mine, and I've been using it for many years because it always ends up doing the job I need it to do. 

This is a thick and creamy liquid lipbalm which can be applied using the applicator tip on the tube or placed on the finger and applied from there. I personally prefer using my finger, just because it'll cause less bacteria to be harboured on the tip of the lipbalm, and because the finger warms the lipbalm making it much easier to spread. This doesn't have a particular smell; it's sort of creamy and vitaminy, but nothing noticeable. When first applied, it sits on the lips before being absorbed, so this isn't one you can just whack on underneath a lipstick!

The above pictures show my lips before and after use of this lipbalm, and you can probably tell why I love it! About half an hour passed inbetween these pictures being taken, and from only one thick application. This lipbalm really does intensely moisturise and repair chapped, dry and peeling lips.


Friday, July 11, 2014

review: Aussie 'Beach Mate' range

Aussie is a brand that never ever fails to disappoint me, and if you're after a drugstore product that'll knock your socks off, then this brand is as good as it gets. I swear by Aussie, and it is a product I always come back to when I need a product I'm sure will work. 

There is a new summer range called Beach Mate, and it is the well known and well loved Miracle Moist range, but in a beachy, summery themed bottle. I think that the Miracle Moist range is perfect for summer; you know the dry, salty, knotty mess you hair can be after a day at the beach, and I've always loved the moisturising properties of that range to fix the problem. The shampoo, conditioner and Three Minute Miracle are formulated with Australian Queensland Macadamia Nut extract which helps condition and smooth hair. Annoyingly, this product isn't even sold in Australia! I looked for it the whole time I lived there, unfortunately it doesn't exist which is a bit silly.

Can we just get to the smell of this range? If you've not tried any of the Aussie shampoos or conditioners, you're missing out on what could probably win the Best Smelling Hair Product Of All Time award. It's gorgeously fresh and sweet, and actually stays on your hair after you've washed it off. As for the conditioning and moisturising claims? This product actually does what it says on the bottle. It stops my locks from looking their usual dry, wispy selves and transforms them from rubbish looking to smooth and soft. It adds a bit of shine, too, and the smell, THE SMELLLLLL!

The Intensive Treatment Mask, which is actually the Reconstructor formula works wonders for me. I use it in the shower after a light conditioner use, and leave it on for about 5 minutes, then rinse off. It smells amazing and I genuinely notice a bit of a reduction in the splittyness of my ends (though I know it is scientifically impossible for it to 'cure' my split ends, it certainly makes the ends nourished and smooth so that my split ends are barely noticeable). I swear by this deep conditioning treatment, and it's an affordable alternative for something more expensive which does the same thing.

Overall, it's a wonderful product that you can pick up from any Boots or Superdrug for a really affordable price. Mine were actually 3 for £10, result! So I got the whole range, which usually lasts around a month for me. Massive thumbs up on my end!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

trend: pastel hair

For someone who has always HATED colourful hair, I absolutely freakin adore these pretty pastel locks. It is so strange; I never ever thought it would be for me. Yet, since seeing these gorgeous girls with their amazing hair all over my Pinterest and Tumblr feeds, they've been growing on me. I have always had blonde hair (excluding one very bad mistake with some black hair dye) and so I've always been able to put colours on top if I wanted to, but I've literally never wanted to until last week! 

I picked up the Bleach London Rose hair dye (in depth review here - or watch my youtube video here) and absolutely fell in love. Pastel locks can be for everyone; they are at opposite and both ends of the spectrum. Some days I love looking grungy and a bit homeless and edgy, but then other days I love to sleek out my hair and style it to make sure I'm looking girly and feminine. My favourites are definitely silver and lavender, and I'd definitely be up for giving them a try after I get bored of pale pastel pink. 


Monday, July 7, 2014

First Tattoo! - Tips & Advice

Tattoos eh? Most people want one, loads of people have them, and I’m absolutely sure every single person who’s had one was worried about the pain at some point. I definitely did. I consider myself to be pretty hardy (if I do say so myself), but I’ve had most of my body parts pierced at some point in my life, and I’ve also sustained a broken wrist, fallen out of a 15ft tree, and had a coconut thrown at my head by my little sister. I’ve always thought my pain threshold was pretty high, but when it came to the week before my tattoo was booked, I started to get seriously nervous about the pain.

Aside from the whole 'do your research, make sure you love the design, choose your artist carefully' spiel, there are about a million things you can do to prepare for your first tattoo (some helpful, some not). 

A week before:

Watching videos/Reading blog posts
I chose to watch a few youtube videos, some were pretty good, but some were horrific! I'd recommend staying away from any videos that show anyone actually being tattooed. In my experience, I've found that people play up the pain WAY more if they've got someone with them; multiply that by a thousand if they're being filmed. It's just not going to help, it's going to set your nerves on edge. Blog posts were great for me; there is loads of them and they're honest and thoughtful and most of the time are inspiring! 

Chat to people
I sent out a few tweets asking people for their opinions on how I should best prepare. People responded mostly positively! There are people out there who are happy to talk to you about their experiences and this can really help. My dad has a couple of tattoos, and so I spoke to him about the pain and that I was nervous, and he said that he loved the pain (weird, I ended up loving the sensation too), but even so, it's nice to have proper conversations about your worries with people who have gone through it beforehand. 

On the day:

Eat a huge breakfast
Fuelling yourself with a whole heap of food is going to prepare your body for the sensation of getting a tattoo. It's tiring and honestly uncomfortable, and you can suffer from headrush or dizziness due to the adrenaline which gets pumped around your body to help you get through the session. I went for pancakes with my friends, which I think is a great fuel. Food in your stomach helps combat the dizziness and tiredness you'll probably start to feel mid-session.

Take everything you will need
Do NOT, for goodness sake, do a Jasmine on the morning of your tattoo, and leave your house and get halfway into town without your ID. It was NOT my proudest moment and I ended up having to call a taxi to drive me back up the hill to my house, then to Barclays so I could get some cash out, then to the station so I could catch my train. You'll need ID, definitely, (only dodgy places won't bother to ID you) and you'll need money.

Be on time
In the tattoo business, you're paying by the hour and you'll still be charged probably if you rock up late. 

Take refreshments
Red Bull was my elixir of life on the day of my tattoo! I asked people what they thought I should take and the main answer was SUGARY STUFF! So chocolate, energy drinks, fizzy drinks and sweets are all perfect. These kinds of things will keep your energy levels up and again, prevent that horrible light-headedness you might get. 

With regards to pain, there's not a lot you can do about it. If you've chosen to get a tattoo, you're signing up for a bit of discomfort. Just remember that pain is unique for everyone, and everyone feels it differently, so if someone has said it was the "most painful experience of their life", chances are, it won't be as bad as that for you. When I compare the pain to other instances of pain in my life, I'd say that getting a tattoo was a 1/10 pain, whereas my piercings, my nose piercing especially was a solid 8/10. Make sure you let the tattoo artist know if it's your first one and they'll probably go gently. My artist did a few really tiny lines first so I could get used to the sensation, and after that I was fine. Remember it is always perfectly fine to ask for breaks too!


Ask about aftercare
The artist will go over most things, but always make sure to ask about any specific issues you might have with aftercare. For example, I asked about whether I could wear a bra over my tattoo and I was advised to wear a vest underneath my bra, and wear the bra on the loosest hook to minimize discomfort and rubbing, and potential ink smudging! Make sure you clarify all the information if it's a bit vague, and leave the shop knowing exactly what you need to do. Aftercare may be different for coloured tattoos or larger or smaller ones, but my aftercare consisted if leaving it under the cling wrap for about 2-3 hours, then rinsing it with warm soapy water in the shower, and then applying a cream that I was given. Then, I applied the cream 3 times a day for the first few days, and gradually applied less. My tattoo is now fully healed and looks amazing!

Be sensible
This is just a general statement, but I'd definitely resist the urge to poke it, prod it, let all your friends touch it (remember it is an open wound), or go out partying as soon as you've had it done. Like I said, getting a tattoo is traumatic for your body and you'll need to give yourself time to recuperate. 

I hope you found my little guide helpful! I'm always happy to answer any questions you might have about getting my tattoo. I know I'm no expert but having experienced it I'm always happy to reassure! 


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ultimate Haircare Wishlist!

I find myself overcome with an uncontrollable urge to get that gorgeous pastely pinky hair. This is an urge I've had for at least a couple of months, but I always thought that once I'd committed to pink, that would be it until I got bored and I'd have to dye my hair brown. However, recent research (on some very beautiful girls' blogs and chatting to people on twitter) has revealed a new brand to me which specialises in bleached hair and amazing temporary colours! BleachLondon looks fab, I adore its polaroid style pictures of the models sporting their platinum blonde and pastel locks. I'm hooked, and I can't wait to put my order in for this Rose coloured temporary dye! These guys specialise in bleach, so they do a killer shampoo and conditioning toning duo, which I can't resist. It's all really affordable, with each product only coming in at around £5.

As for the Bumble and Bumble products, well, we all know these are pretty pricey. I've never had the pleasure of trying any of these guys' products, but every time I walk into a boots I'm eyeing them up. I've read so many positive reviews on almost every product they've brought out, which is encouraging, and I'd trust that their salon quality, high end products would care for and nourish my hair. 

So this is my dream haircare haul, and I'll have to remember this one next time I put in a good few hours at work! If I ever do end up taking the plunge and going pastel pink, you can definitely expect a lengthy review and YouTube video! If any of you have tried these products I'd love to hear your thoughts! 


Saturday, July 5, 2014

review: Goldwell DualSenses Rich Repair Range (for dry and stressed hair)

I’m a firm believer in the phrase 'You get what you pay for', and this couldn't be more true in haircare! I'm a girl who loves to bleach her hair; I'm a massive fan of that sunny blonde look, but as many of you will know, bleaching causes your hair a lot of stress and damage and general sadness. The way I see it though, you spend so much money on getting your hair bleached at the hairdressers, it makes sense to invest in a proper salon quality haircare range. I've got drugstore brands that I love, don't get me wrong, but you can't expect a brand such as Herbal Essences to contain the same nourishing ingredients and therefore protect and repair your hair as a salon brand would! Anyway, I'd had my eye on this range for quite a while when I stumbled across it on sale in HairHouse Warehouse! Obviously I grabbed them immediately and since then, I've loved my Goldwell haircare to death.

DualSenses Rich Repair Cream Shampoo
Possibly my top favourite shampoo of all time! It's a beautiful, creamy, shimmering formula which smells almost vanilla-y. I've only ever used it in conjunction with the conditioner, but from what I can feel as I'm using the shampoo, the shampoo itself is pretty nourishing. You know that dry-ish feeling you get when rinsing off shampoo before putting on conditioner? With this shampoo I really notice you don't get that dry feeling; rather a smooth and silky feeling. It's truly lovely, smells beautiful, spreads wonderfully and cleanses my oily roots well. My ends, which are pretty dry and split, always feel like they've had some TLC after I've used this. Sometimes I like to leave on the shampoo for a couple of minutes to let it really work it's magic.

DualSenses Rich Repair Anti-Breakage Conditioner
The same goes for the conditioner; it is probably my top favourite! It's a pretty thick and creamy conditioner, without the shimmery look of the shampoo. It spreads well, feels extremely moisturising and smooth on the hands through your hair, and stays on in a nice thick layer while you go about your other tasks and allow your hair to soak it up. It's a gorgeous conditioner; it truly sorts out my split ends (at least it reduces their appearance for a couple of days) and my lengths and ends feel really soft and silky. It gives my usually dry and matte-looking hair a bit of shine. I truly love this conditioner, I swear by it to sort out my dryness. 

DualSenses Rich Repair 60 Second Treatment
Heaven in a tub. Seriously. I adore this treatment, and yes, it comes in a tiny bit pricey (in Australia anyway) but I consider it to be money well spent, given that it has lasted me well over three months. This is one of my favourites too, but I have found masques I like better. Having said that, this one really does pack a punch in the dry/brittle/dull/breaking hair battle, and really does work a treat. I find it is best when I leave it on for a day (yes, sometimes I don't leave the house all day and sit watching Jeremy Kyle with a hair mask on, okay!) or overnight. I rinse it off after a good long while and I'm always happy with how it looks afterwards. This one makes my hair slightly greasier, though, and I find my hair oils up a lot quicker if I use this one, but that is to be expected when it is so deeply nourishing.

All in all, a massive thumbs up from me. I never ever repurchase items; I like to move on to the next best thing and I'm trying to try out a whole load of different products to find my 'holy grail' in each department; but this range has really pleased me and I'd definitely consider repurchasing. I knew it would be good as it has been recommended by a few good bloggers and my favourite YouTuber ever, Lauren Curtis, but I never expected it to really make a noticeable difference in shine and split ends reduction. This is a great range to try if you've got brittle and breaking hair, especially if that's from colour treating or bleaching it. It has been a winner for me, and I always know I can count on Goldwell to nurse my hair back to health when it needs that extra moisturising TLC! 


Friday, July 4, 2014

The Best Of Bronzers

MAC Skinfinish Natural in Medium Dark £22 MAC // Hoola £23 Benefit Cosmetics // Laguna Bronzer £26 NARS // Illamasqua Heliopolis (as part of the Sculpting duo) £26

Let's just take a moment to acknowledge all the things bronzer does for us. It can rescue us from our pale english holiday-less skin, we can fake cheekbones to rival Kim Kardashian, and it can even remove the need for our workmates to comment "wow, you looks really ill today". Bronzer is incredible, and I rarely leave the house without it because it totally transforms the depth and structure of your face and gives you that freshly sunkissed glow. 

Bronzer does two main things; bronzing (duh) and contouring. In my opinion, you need to choose certain bronzers for each purpose. For example, a matte bronzer is much better suited to contouring than one with subtle shimmer. Bronzing is intended to make your complexion warm and glowing, so you apply it in the areas you'd usually be hit by the sun (that's usually your temples and cheeks, and sometimes your nose) whereas contouring is like plastic surgery with makeup! You strategically place bronzer in areas that make your bone structure look different, so I normally put mine under my cheekbones and underneath my jawline. 

MAC Skinfinish Natural in Medium Dark
Probably my most loved and most used bronzer EVER, and it was my very first MAC purchase. I use this for bronzing, though if I'm going for a ridiculously subtle contour I'll use it for that. This one was matched to my skin tone by a MAC lady, so it is the perfect 2-3 shades darker than my skin that a bronzer should be; it's not too dark and cakey looking. In fact, it's that perfect godessy glow. You get such a ridiculous amount of product, I don't ever think I'll even hit pan, even though I've had it for just over a year now! I adore this one.

Benefit Hoola
Possibly the most famous bronzer in the blogging world! Hoola is loved and adored by many people, despite it's large pricetag. It's a perfect contour shade for me, because it's quite dark on my skintone. With this being said, it means you don't need to use too much and that the product lasts a really long time. It's a lovely matte shade, and comes with a brush ideal for sculpting out those cheekbones (go for thin brushes to do this!). Despite being put off by the price, I have to admit I do love the way it looks on my skin, because it doesn't look muddy and smeary like so many cheaper options can, so it's definitely going to be on my repurchase list.

NARS Laguna
Another gem amongst the bloggers makes it into my 'best of bronzers' post! If you haven't heard of Laguna yet, you might have been living under a rock. It's a gorgeously iconic shade, it's won loads of awards and has a massive cult following within the blogger community. This one has a subtle shimmer which adds a glowing quality to your skin, and blends so effortlessly (you'd expect nothing less from a brand as amazing as NARS) you can't even tell it's makeup. I must say, this one is better suited to my pale-ish skin during the summer months when I've got some natural tan going on, because it's quite a dark shade, but it genuinely looks smooth and natural when applied properly. I use this one extremely sparingly because of it's price tag, but I adore it completely and it compliments my cheekbones when I dust it on with my RealTechniques Blush Brush!

Illamasqua Heliopolis
I'm going to stick my neck out here and say it, this is probably the most natural looking bronzer I've owned. I really really like it! It came as part of the Illamasqua Sculpting Duo, which itself is a brilliant buy (read my full review here) and the bronzer has really stood out to me as an unsung hero. It is a wonderfully fine and smooth powder which goes on brilliantly as long as you use a clean brush (I've had an episode of smeary muddy looking application when I've used a used brush) and blends out well. I love this as a contour shade, especially because it compliments my pale skin in the winter and doesn't make me look obviously orange. I love playing up my cheekbones using this product, and it's probably my go-to bronzing product, though I've got to watch out as the size doesn't look as big as the others! Other than that, it's amazing and it gets 5 stars from me!

Blog Design Created by pipdig