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101 | Base Brush

Posted & filed under Beauty Edit.

Investing in key items and avoid buying junk is something I aim to make a habit in 2015. An essential item which I think is an awesome investment are makeup brushes. The whole theory, an artist needs the right tools…somethin’ like that. I’m not sure if I 100% believe it, a part of me thinks that an artist would have the ability to make anything look good even if they have minimal tools available. However, when I wake up in the morning and I feel pretty shitty about the grey skies, wiping a soft brush across my face just makes me feel a bit better about life.

I’ve chosen my top 5 brushes of 2014, I contemplated about putting real-techniques in here as I love them quite dearly, but I thought everyone has pretty much heard of them and I wanted to pick something different, maybe I’ll schedule my top 5 real technique brushes?

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Sephora brushes are the bomb.dot.com literally the softest bristles I have ever tried. I own quite a few different types, however my favourite one is no.55. It works perfect with my Dior BB cream and my By Terry Cover Expert. The long handle can be a pain at times as it doesn’t fit into make-up bags that easily. Not available in the UK but if you haven’t heard already, Sephora ships to the U.K. *woo*

Japonesque stippling brush –Japaonesque were a discovery of mine back in early 2014. I find that when you use a stippling brush the foundation has to be a light-medium coverage. If you use a heavy thick coverage which dries up quickly the stippling brush doesn’t perform as well. This worked particularly well with Nars sheer glow and Dior Star skin foundations. Quite hard to get your hands on these brushes but I managed to get my hands on it from John Lewis. If you’re after a dewy finish then this is the one for you.

The Louise young ly24 was a purchase made when I saw Anna from viviannadoesmakeup.com used it on a couple of her tutorials on YT. The brush is quite firm with slightly thicker bristles and provides a flawless coverage really quickly. It’s definitely one to pick up when you’re on the go and need to apply a base without worrying too much. I’ve seen myself pick up this up on days where I have 10mins to get ready, which means a 3mins face.

Hourglass no.2 is the ultimate brush that I use when I want to feel glam. I take my time with this brush, each brushstroke feels like silk being layered onto my skin. I use with my Giorgio Armani Luminous silk. If I was forced to pick one out of the 5, it would be this one. The only problem I found is that it doesn’t wash back to its original bristles.

My last offering is the Zoeva 102 Buffer brush, it works really well with pretty much all liquid foundations, bb creams, tinted moisturises – the lot. I have washed this brush so many times and it washes like a beauty, back to its original colour, doesn’t shed hair. Want to know the best bit? It’s the cheapest out of the lot. There are a lot of Zoeva brushes on offer which are high quality – my eye is on the rose gold eye-brush set. Another one quite hard to get your hands on but the Zoeva website deliver worldwide.

So there we have it folks, my top makeup brushes for 2014. I don’t know how much will change in 2015. What else do I need to add to my collection?

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Video | Beauty Favourites 2014

Posted & filed under Video.

As the year comes to an end I pick out some of my beauty favourites 2014. I thought there would be more, but I literally went for things that I use a lot and would be quite upset if I didn’t discover them. I hope you enjoy the video, and share some of your favourites in the comments too.

P.S – excuse the out of breath parts, I’m struggling with a super bad throat and nothing has been working. Around 10pm my voice has well and truly gone every night. I would blame my teaching job but it’s very rare I raise my voice so that can’t be it. Anywho, enjoy the video, I have a really exciting video coming this Sunday (featuring a special guest) so don’t forget to subscribe!

  

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Hair to stay | Part 2

Posted & filed under Beauty Edit.

I’ve thought of renaming this post ‘hairstory’ – it was supposed to play off the word ‘hair history’ but sounded more like ‘hair story’ so let’s just scrap those names and continue with ‘hair to stay part 2.’ If you read my part 1 post, I was talking about all things hair straight and how to keep thick, frizzy, curly, unruly hair at bay. It’s a heavy-duty task and I attempted to break it down.

Today I talk about curly hair, maintaining it curly in cold, grey, dark winter months. Whilst most people may be envious of thick curly locks, it’s the type of hair which is pretty much undesirable when living in a cold country where your hair becomes dry, brittle and ages you by 20 years. When I go to hot climates for holidays (once a blue moon) with a little bit of argan oil on the ends my hair, it tends to behave itself. However, reality is that I live in cold London town, where the weather is 99% of the time not my best friend. I have tried everything under the sun to try and fix the state of my curls. After a lot of trial and a lot more error I have narrowed it down to two things that are a god-send.

 

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Oribe surf comber mousse – how many times have I self-confessed my love for Oribe? Everything I’ve ever tried from the range, I have fallen in love with. I’ve demonstrated how to use this in a video here. But the surf-comber mousse is extremely light in texture, leave hair feeling soft but keeps the curls whilst maintaining frizz-free hair. I apply one/two pumps on damp hair on the ends and scrunch away.

Diffuser; if I sleep on wet hair, I have the nicest curls and voluminous hair in the morning (totally tooting my own horn) but my hair would still be quite damp , whilst leaving me a stiff neck from sleeping in one position. I looked into diffusers and caved in. There’s nothing special about this hair-dryer (soz John Frieda) it’s decent, but the magic is in the diffuser nozzle and I imagine any standard diffuser would do the same – use it on the slowest and coldest setting and scrunch hair whilst drying. I’m left with tamed curly hair. Now excuse me whilst I close my eyes, imagining me and my hair on a beach somewhere exotic…mmmm.

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200 Posts | 1 Year

Posted & filed under Lifestyle Edit.

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200 blog-posts and very tiresome Boxing Day later I started to put life and humans in general into perspective. During the whirlwind of life I’ve completely bypassed the fact that I’ve been blogging for a year…a whole bloody year. For someone who struggles to fully commit to anything and lacks concentration – it’s pretty good going. Whilst trailing twitter on Christmas day, all I saw were heaps and heaps of sale tweets. I’m pretty sure I did a sale post last year and I was definitely at Bluewater shopping centre at 7am last year. Yes, I was one of those people. But when it occurred to me this year that I still have clothes from the past 2 Boxing Day sales ago I decided I would give it a miss.

In general sales have been pretty crappy this year, clothes that probably cost £5 to produce but labelled at £50 for branding, and then reduced to £40 (which isn’t really a sale, is it?) in my opinion is not worth waking up for. It took me a good few years to understand this.

It’s a shame that the human race feels the need to buy crap they don’t need, with money they don’t have – all for what? The ‘likes’ on their insta-photos? On Instagram I saw an insane amount of photos with the #blessed…feeling blessed? For a crummy perfume, trainers, a bloody lipstick? I love me a good lipstick but I sure as hell wouldn’t feel ‘blessed’ for having one. I do however, feel blessed to be able to go to work in a school and not worry about getting shot. I do feel blessed that I don’t have militaries tearing down homes and families. I do feel blessed that we don’t live in viciously disease effected environment. These are the things we should truly feel blessed about. *sigh* ok so this seems like a rant – it really is. How and when did society become so inhumane? Or was it always like this and I’ve just stepped outside the box to see what’s really happening?

Whilst I’m on a moan, I may as well talk about blogging for a year and the thing’s I’ve learnt. This post could go on for a very long time but I will sum up the main points.

Content vs followers.
When I first decided blogging, the first 3months, all I cared about was stats, how to increase them, socialising on all social media platforms possible. I was on google analytics every evening reviewing each post. It was exhausting and demotivating! I started to care less about my content – which led to me being unhappy in my little space. So the latter 6 months I decided to not care so much about follower numbers and or how many people read my posts and focus on content. If it’s just one, just one of you that genuinely enjoy my posts and share my thoughts well that’s perfectly okay. I am very happy with my small amount of followers (which seem quite a lot to me if I’m honest) who genuinely like my posts/vlogs. *virtual hugs to you reading right now*

Schedule tweets not posts
If blogging is a full-time job and you need to organise your posts just like I have to organise my lesson plans for my full time job, then that’s understandable. But I wanted my blog to be more organic. I tried the whole scheduling posts malarkey and I would schedule a post a week in advance and then completely forget about it – without feeling too much passion for it. Instead I blog as and when I like, and once the post is live I schedule tweets for that post. Obviously this method works for me, and I’m definitely not saying this is the only way to do it. It’s just my way.

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Renting in London made me realise that, I can’t afford every Charlotte Tilbury product under the sun and I have to prioritise to what I REALLY want as opposed to buying everything. It makes no sense for me to buy a shit load of lipsticks which I wouldn’t use (okay so sometimes this theory totally doesn’t work) but lately I have found myself buying home things – mirrors, home décor, rugs, shelves – as opposed to endless foundations which I hardly use.

Investment
Another thing I’ve learnt part of growing up is to invest! Invest in things which will last a long time, for me this year its been my 35mm 1.4 lense and my makeup brushes. Because these two things will last me a long time (I hope!) and they’re items I’ll get the most use out of.

Like I tell my students, if you work smart you can achieve so much. Just sort out your priorities.
On a happier note, this has been a fantastic year, blogging gives me freedom to be creative and keeps me sane from the chaos that I call life. I really hope you enjoyed my thoughts!

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A/W Lipsticks | Video

Posted & filed under Video.

Word on the grapevine is that the 2015 pantone colour is the deep-burgundy shades.

I had no prior knowledge before making this a/w lipstick lookbook however it fits in quite nicely.

 Let me know what you think of this little edit. 12 of my most worn Autumn/Winter colours – what’s you favourite shade?

 

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Bleach | Washed out orange

Posted & filed under Beauty Edit.

When you turn thick black hair into Green hair, the notion to go lighter requires a bit more than your average visit to the hair dressers. In my hair post you would have seen I had green dip-dye stripped out at Bleach hairdressers and the hair stylist tried to mute it down to a more natural colour. However the green was quite stubborn and left a few traces. But I didn’t mind so much, it looked like a ‘dirty blonde’ which looked okay. Unfortunately after a few washed later the green started to peak out and it was now a horrible green-ish/yellow tone.

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The hairstylist at Bleach told me to use their Super-cool colour in Washed out Orange as it neutralises the green and leaves a lovely golden colour. I went into Boots and picked up two colours, ‘awkward peach’ and ‘washed out orange’. Apply it onto washed, wet hair. Leave for 15mins. Unless you want orange stained hands gloves are an obvious must. I layered the two colours on top of each other and the result is pretty darn good (if I do say so myself) It is non-permanent so it washes out every 2-10 washed. I reckon I need to re-apply a few times before the colour corrects. I did say it’s not easy to adjust green hair.

 

For now, me and my golden locks wish you a wonderful Christmas (to those who are celebrating)

and hope you have a restful day!

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Marc Jacob | Twinkle Pops

Posted & filed under Beauty Edit.

During October half-term (which seems like another life-time) I visited Paris with a shopping list as long as my arm. To my disappointment, Sephora hardly stocked any of the brands that I was after, Buxom, Bite, Tarte but they did have Marc Jacob, Make-up Forever and obviously their own range, so I took full advantage of that. I went to apparently the largest Sephora in Pairs, next to the Arc De Triumph. Out of everything I picked up – you can see what I ended up getting my haul here the product I’ve used most in the last two months, much to my surprise are the Marc Jacob Twinkle Pops. They’re basically cream eye-shadow in stick form, however these are slightly different to any that I own. Along with the mega long-lasting power and the creamy, blend-able texture. It gives off a glitter effect without actually having glitter in the product. If you’re someone who struggles with glitter pigment this is a great way to emphasise the eyes with making it too messy. Twinkle pops

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I picked up two shades, Au revoir and Three Shakes, Au revoir is a perfect champagne with a goldy/silver sheen. Whilst Three Shakes is a brown shade with a gentle gold glisten which I don’t think the picture picks up. With most of my other cream shadow sticks I tend to use them as a base and build up other colours/pigments onto it –Twinkle pops would work extremely well on its own and give off ‘a lot of effort made’ look with minimal skill. I do regret not picking up other colours now. I may just have to visit their London store to see what else is on offer.

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John Lewis| Fusion Vibes

Posted & filed under Lifestyle Edit.

It’s official, my favourite past-time is – looking at things I wish a. I could afford, and b. have enough space to store. John Lewis is probably one of the first places I go to get inspiration. Sure, Ikea is affordable and amazing, but I feel like most of it is pretty generic. If you want your house to have a real sense of you, then exploring is a must. All items featured are from John Lewis home range and to me each item has a fusion of Asian culture due to the richness of materials and the colours and quality of materials. I’ve mention before in my previous post that white furniture emphasises space and helps create an illusion of larger spaces, however adding dark brown and reds can really give your home more warmer and welcoming feel. And you could still keep walls, bedding, and most furniture white if you wanted to, but these home furnishings would be the ‘cherry on the cake’ (I’m sure I’ve got that saying completely wrong) To be fair I feel like most of these items, (apart from the bench) are quite affordable.

So tell me which one of these is your favourite?

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1 John Lewis Peanut Box, Gold

2 John Lewis Hermia Bell Weave Ceiling Pendant

3 John Lewis Lacquer Bowl, Copper

4 John Lewis Elephant Candle, Gold

5 John Lewis Maharani Curved Bench        

 

 

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Hair to stay | Part 1

Posted & filed under Beauty Edit.

Let’s call this part 1 of a hair series, how many parts will there be? I haven’t quite figured that one out yet. However I will make an attempt to disclose my (not so many) secrets on my hair and how I maintain different styles.

Let’s start with a little backstory shall we? My hair is ridiculously uncontrollable. It’s a hairdresser’s worst nightmare. Full, thick, frizzy. Totally unmanageable. I have spent and a lot of money trying to find the best products to tame me locks. And I think only now, in my late 20’s have I figured it out. Sort of. I’m open to suggestions.

Today I focus on  hair straightening products. In my teens hair straighteners, the good quality kind, were far to expensive and the cheap ones did shit all to my hair. So ended up having to wrap my hair in a towel lay it on an ironing board and iron it. Yes. I literally ironed my hair flat. In hindsight I see how damaging and bloody dangerous that is!

Years went by and I finally discovered GHDs – hallelujah. Life changed. Well sort of. My hair was still pretty frizzy and just straightening it made my mane lifeless and flat. But hey I’ll take flat hair over Medusas locks any day, thank-you. During one of my few (absolute nightmare) trips to the hair salon, the hairdresser used a few pumps of this magical stuff. She used it when my hair was damp, and used it again after she finished blow-drying. I’m surprised her arms didn’t fall off with the amount of hair she had to get through. The product made my hair feel silky, less frizzy. I walked out of the salon, walked about 500metres, stopped, did a U-turn and walked (ran) right back to the salon to ask the hairdresser what was the god-send product she used. She showed me the Bumble and Bumble invisible oil, I brought one there and then. ‘This is it’ I thought. ‘This will do all sorts of magical and wonderful things to my hair’. It does work like a beaut. I have to use two pumps on damp hair – with consideration that my hair is a lot thick then your average Jo. And I apply it again at the end, to the ends, just to tame the fly-aways.

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Recently this method was working fine, until I came across Oribe mother of all things hair – what is this ingenious stuff? Everything labelled Oribe is bloody magnificent (and excruciatingly expensive) the Apres beach wave spray is similar to hair spray but lifts and volumises thick & limp hair. If you’re not a fan of the Dry texturizing spray and don’t like the feel of dry/gritty hair then the latter is definitely one to check out and save money for. Whilst I love it, my purse and bank balance silently weep.

A hair brush and I were two things that never worked well. Curly hair should not be brushed on dry hair firstly. I discovered this the hard way. Unless you want a lions mane. Until last year I let the professionals do their thang and work their brushes (which accumulates to a total of 6 times in my life span) I came across the Wet brush on cult beauty.  It’s pretty self-explanatory, a wet brush, use when hairs wet. Perfect for wet frizzy hair.

So in short my strategy for sleek, straight, volumous hair:

1. Apply Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil – 1-2 pumps on ends damp hair.

2. Brush on wet/damp hair using wet brush.

3. GHD

4. 1-2 pumps of Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil on the ends of the hair.

5. Oribe Apres beach wave spray.

You’re good to go. You’re welcome.

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Home Lust

Posted & filed under Lifestyle Edit.

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Here I am, due it getting dark at stupid o’clock and my ring light leaving awful outlines in photographs, I have found myself browsing the net for hours just lusting at home-ware goods, only 3 things but three things that would set me back quite a few bob. Since my last Habitat post here I found myself browsing their website lusting after so many things and ultimately wishing I lived in a bigger, more spacious place. However there’s one thing I keep going back to, this wide leaning shelf with a 90cm width which almost 30cm bigger then the current shelf I have from Habitat. I have one gap in the living room where this would fit quite snug. At the moment my room is lit by lots (and lots) of tiny little fairy light, post-Christmas I don’t know how appropriate it will be to keep the fairy lights going. I need want a floor lamp that will take minimal space, the mixture of wood and metal work so well and it gives it a ‘floating’ and delicate feel.

Lastly, out of all the collections that made.com has to offer, the Vintage  Bourbon is my fave. There’s something about French-esque, distressed furniture which just screams out to me. The husband doesn’t see the logic in paying for furniture which looks half a century old. Can someone please explain this to him? I’m thinking of getting this distressed cabinet to put in the hallway – which currently resides a broken shoe wardrobe. I must say, these days I find myself getting more pleasure from home-ware sites as opposed to beauty/fashion buys. So let’s share, where do you find your best home buys?

Habitat lamp // Habitat shelf // Vintage Bourbon Cabinet