Although we all seem to wishing for brighter weather and spring is already around the corner, I don’t seem to have given up the dark lip colours! I adore the NARS velvet matte lip pencil consistency, they’re super matte but don’t dry out your lips, however they haven’t got the long lasting non-budge formula. The colour range is SO good – I may even do a NARS lip pencil collection, I seem to have collected around 8 shades! Train Bleu is an ultra dark berry shade that I have been loving! I wore it in my last video and I just love how it brightens up my olive complexion, paired with matte eyeshadows, a winged liner. D O N E. I know the formula isn’t long lasting, so I applied MAC Nightmoth lip-liner underneath just to accentuate my teensy cupids bow (this actually takes me longer then a winged eyeliner!) and I fill in my lips with Train Bleu. What do you think of this season inappropriate shade…?
You can watch my haul down below so you can see the lip colour in action….
Most of the time I just use my fingers for makeup, from concealer to foundations, even blusher and highlight. But for those days where you want to make the extra effort, where you don’t want to get messy with your hands, there are certain brushes which do an amazing job at concealing. I found myself using all of these a few months ago when I was sporting the claw style nails. Getting concealer in my fake, long nails just made my skin crawl so I really did need a good set of tools. The three I found to be reaching for time and time again were the Real Techniques setting brush, Sephora concealer brush and the all mighty MAC 217 – you may have seen these floating around the interwebs, you may even own any one of these, but I’ll be breaking down the pro’s, con’s and basically how they’ve just up’d my concealing game.
Real Technique’s setting brush has never really been used for setting – I find that it’s the perfect size to blend under the eye, its fluffy but buffs away seamlessly and everything just looks so even. Your eye area is the most sensitive compared to the rest of your face and I definitely find that the bristles of this are so soft. Everything sounds great right? The only con I would say, I haven’t been able to find it on it’s own – I think there are a couple of websites which may sell I as an individual brush but most Boots I’ve been to, it only seems to come in a set! I really just want another one of this without buying an entire set.
Sephora brushes are everything. In fact a lot of Sephora products are great quality, which slightly confuses me because if we think about Boots/Superdrug own product line are known as the cheap alternative with not so great quality (No 7 is an exception) but with Sephora products, they’re awesome value for money but also very good quality. I used the 55 foundation brush and It’s one of my all time favourites, super soft and blends with ease, so whilst I was in Paris a few month ago I picked up the concealing brush. Its very different to any concealing brush that I previously owned or tried, there are a lot more bristles packed together and slightly more stiff. But it works! It does take a while getting used to and it seems to work best with my Maybelline Eraser eye concealer (back in love with product after abandoning it for a couple of months) & Kevyn Aucoin SE which is quite a heavy formula. If only it was a little more easily available in the UK - seriously, when is Sephora coming overseas?
Ah, MAC 217 really doesn’t need much introduction – its probably the ultimate brush for blending not only eye shadows but also concealing! When I was getting skin matched at MAC they artist used the 217 brush and I loved the result. Am I the only one who had no idea it could be used for concealing too? I currently own three – slight obsession. I almost feel like this is one of the brushes you could never have too many of. Out of the three, the bristles on the 217 are the least softest and its the priciest of thee at £19 – I tend to pick mine up at the airport. I will say that this is probably one the brushes that every makeup lover just needs.
Whether or not I get the time to apply a full face, I always spend a couple minutes focusing on the eye-area, especially since my eyes are super, I feel like I need to enhance them, there’s a post here on all the products (including concealers) that I use on a daily basis! I just love collecting makeup brushes, not so much fun when it comes to washing them though. What are your most loved makeup brushes?
Be warned : there will be no new products that I haven’t mentioned before on the blog. This all about loyalty, those products that I stock up on way before the one in use finishes, the product that I have brought religiously time and time again, products which understand me and I understand them. They’re not fancy beauty items, no crazy packaging. Just simple and effective. TheL’Occitane Almond Delicious soap bar is my most recent find. I’ve brought a lot of these in the past 3 months and I can’t get enough of it. The almond moisturises and the flakes exfoliate at the same time. If your running short of time, have a busy lifestyle or are just dark lazy, *guilty* then this is going to be your best friend (and saviour.)
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer- basically all the good things a concealer should be. With asian skin tones it is so hard to find a product which matches the complexion, were not blessed enough to have the likes of Collection 2000 do miracles for us. I have gone through (too many) tubes of this stuff and even though I am guilty of trying other concealers hoping to find the next best thing, nothing has actually compared to this and I always have a spare one stashed away, you’know ‘just in case’. Similarly with the Nuxe Reve de miel lip balm I have about 3 being used at a go, one next to my bedside, one in my hand bag and a spare on hanging around. I don’t know what it is with lip-balms but I always seem to loose them. This isn’t the cheapest lip balm around, but the matte texture and long-lasting formula totally make it worth it. Effaclar Duo + formerly known as Effaclar duo has been in my life for over 6 years – that is a long time for any product! Theres a good a reason behind it too – its a fuss free, do the job formula. A light serum/cream which clears up the skin, reduces spots and generally makes my skin a lot better then what it really is. If I’m having a dry skin day I use this as a serum and for my slightly oilier days this would be my serum.
All of these products have stood the test of time, been in my life for many years and will continue to do so. What are your most loyal products?
In August I tied the knot with my best friend. The day itself felt like a blur, but the preparation for it seemed to go on for years. I tried as much as I could to stay stress-free and we did quite well. Asian (Pakistani/Indian/Bengoli) weddings are always a big fancy do but I wanted something simple, something hand made. We had a lot of little custom-made touches in the wedding. If you want to see a post on all the DIY details then let me know, however today I will be focusing on my lipstick choice. I planned all my makeup items before hand, the lipstick, eyeshadow, foundation with the help of my good friend Ravina.
Since I was little I knew I wanted to wear white with pink. The norm for my culture is to wear red but I had my heart set on something else. My mom, sister and I shopped until our feet ached and we found ‘the one’ in the very last store. It was almost like a (very heavy) ball gown. I loved the veil that sits on the head, it was a rich, bright pink colour, and so the search for the perfect lipstick began. A lot of time was spent browsing the internet for swatches, browsing beauty counters for the perfect colour. My main makeup was going to be minimal with a strong focus on the lips so it just has to be perfect. Lipliner is a must if you want to have a long-lasting lipstick, so I went to MAC (the queen of lip-liners) and found Embrace Me, its a stunning bright pink which would provide a good base for my main lip-colour. NARS Schiap caught my eye, its the perfect blue-toned pink which looks stunning on olive skin-tone, it was mine. Now these two looked awesome together but it was lacking something, I couldn’t really put my finger on it. Maybe some form of dimension? Whenever in doubt head to to MAC - a motto which served me well, MAC seems to have every single lipstick colour possible and I found myself picking up All Fired Up a matte formula, I brought this hoping it would do the job and ugh – its uh’mazing. The three colours work so well. All Fired Up was applied on the outer corners with a strong emphasis in the centre with Schiap. It’s a lip-colour that I still love till this day.
Half-term wasn’t as restful as I had hoped. I fell ill for the first two days and spent the next three days organising life. In preparation for the next stretch of term I’ve created somewhat a ‘eye-makeup menu’ full of products which will help me maintain that ‘well rested’ look. Let me just guide you through my products. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger is probably one of the most easiest to use concealers I own. Its really easy to blend out and on an everyday basis I use my fingers to pat & blend away. The Maybelline Eraser eye is probably the next best things for a fraction of the price. It may seem slightly excessive to have two concealers but I have seriously dark under-eye circles – part hereditary part lack of sleep – and the Maybelline concealer works extremely well layered on top! Lately my eyeballs (that sounds wrong) have been really red and just not that …white…the Rimmel Scandaleyes in Nude is the perfect product to counteract the redness in my eyes and I just swipe this across the inner-bottom lash-line. Okay so the next two products are pretty much ‘just incase I have an extra 10mins spare’ which is probably going to be never as I am pretty much always rushing out the door in the morning, but options never go a-miss right? The L’Oreal Super-liner is a felt-tip pen which currently has dried out, I only really use it for the pen-stype nib and dip it into my MakeUp Forever Black Eyeshadow pot aka the best eyeliner out there. It’s long lasting, dries as a velvet finish.
Now even though eyeliner may not be on the cards in the morning, mascara is a must – without them my eyes look so small! Currently I have been loving the L’Oreal Million lashes, it has a plastic wand and it lifts and gives a good amount of volume in the lashes. However mascaras are something that I love to change up so leave suggestions in the comments! *raises glass* Here’s to eye’s looking brighter and the next 6 weeks of term…bring.it.on.
It’s very rare that after I get my hands on a product I want to take photos and write about it immediately. This was one of those rare moments. Last night I had the pleasure of meeting Kal from clutteredcloset.co.uk and discussed all things beauty and we ended up in KIKO and started looking at all the eyeshadow sticks – which are pretty much dupes of every single high-end eyeshadow stick out there. Whilst we ooh’d and aah’d the sales assistant told us about their new Crystal Eyeliners and said they’re just as amazing. I swatched the colours in store – I was so confused on what to get, in all honesty I wanted them all, but I narrowed it down to two colours. 03 and 06.
The formula is pretty much a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Rock and Kohl eyeliners, they’re creamy smooth with ultra rich pigmentation. You have a couple minutes play-time if you wanted to smudge it out, but once set, these will not budge! The Crystal Eyeliners have almost a wet/metallic/liquid eyeliner finish, it’s seriously beautiful and like no other product I have ever tried. So if you’re not great with liquid eyeliner then this is a great option!
03 is a rich brown colour with a slight golden shimmer running through it, and 06 is a dark greyish-silver shade. My favourite out of the two is 06 – with greys I find that they’re either too pale or too dark, they always seem to be lacking in the grey colour palette. Kiko Crystal eyeliner in 06 is just such a distinctive grey tone, I absolutely love it! Now if we are comparing the CT Rock and Kohl eyeliners to these, the only difference I would say is the colour range – I found KIKO to offer a range of eclectic colours with quite a few brighter options.
Clearly two products weren’t enough, we swiftly moved over to the lipliner section and I found myself picking the 502 Precision lipliner twice! Kal assures me that this colour is very similar to MAC Spice, I would have no idea as Spice, Whirl, Soar is unavailable since this whole ridiculous Kylie Jenner phase. After my failed Inglot lipliner fiascoI thought I’d give these a go. They’re are the retractable precision lip pencils, the formula is so pigmented and long-lasting – oh but the colour… that’s what hits the spot, it is stunning! With a mauve/brown undertones which work so well on olive skin tones. Really love the consistency, longevity and colour. I definitely need to pick another one of these little bad boys up!
All three came up to £19-ish I would have only got one lipliner/eyeliner from other brands! Really loving KIKO at the moment. Crystal Eyeliners are ones to get your hands on if you want dupes of the CT eye pencils!
Crystal eyeliners are £6.90 and Precision lip-liners are £5.30 if you have anymore KIKO recommendations, then send them my way!
Maxfactor are definitely the underdogs of the ‘drugstore’ (I hate that word) of the beauty brands. There are so many hidden gems within the range and I feel like they’re constantly trying to bring innovative products to the line which would help change the brand image. If you’re a 90′s kid like me then Maxfactor would normally be associated with the older lady (again – hate using that word too) however recently there have been so many products that I really love from them! Perhaps a brand focused blog post to come soon? My most recent obsession are these excess shimmer pots – its love! The pigmentation, the creaminess, the blend-ability. Everything is so perfect. Maxfactor really got it right with this one. Apart from the Chanel pots there aren’t many that I’ve tried in this formula but I much prefer these to the Chanel ones. Also a point to note, do not go by the names, because they’re slightly misleading. The bronze isn’t really a bronze and the copper isn’t really copper, regardless the none-fitting names, you can’t fault the formula. I didn’t wear a primer with these and they stayed on the lid for a good 8hours without creasing. I did apply a small amount of foundation on the eyelids which provides an even base and smooth surface. Being the eyeshadow noob that I am, I tend to only apply one colour and just blend it out with a 217 fluffy brush, I imagine that these could work nicely together to create a beautiful smokey eye. The copper shade is quite similar to Charlotte Tilbury Bronzed Garnet which has reddy/brown/orange tones – so this was clearly my alternative to the CT colour Chameleon pencils.
I really do love it when brands bring out products which are affordable and great quality. I think for the price £7.99 Maxfactor Excess Shimmer pots are so worth it – out of all the colours available these were by far my favourite. Typical nude lover at heart not that kinda nude…tut tut.
Is it too early to wish for spring yet? I am! Especially after I left work at 5pm and still saw some daylight - okay it was starting to get a bit greyish, but you know what I mean? I immediately thought that spring is almost nearly here and my vampy lipsticks are about to get stashed away to collect dust for another 8months and get replaced with the peaches, nudes and pink tones. One of my favourite and I think a beauty blogger classic is MAC Creme Cup – I love the formula its pigmented and leaves your lips feeling moisturised at the same time.
Blushes seem to come out in the spring for me. Summer is all about bronzer, whilst winter focuses on all things contour and highlight related and spring is where I try to go eau naturale. Now this particular Tarte amazonian clay 12-hour blusher holds a very special place in my heart, its the same one I wore on my wedding day – Blushing Bride(yes, I totally brought it for the awesome name) is just the most effortless rosey pink blush which suits most olive skin tone in my opinion. It’s a matte formula so it provides that natural flushed cheek look. In my hay days my cheeks used to blush so easily, I constantly got comments from customers asking what blush I was wearing and I had no reply as I never really wore anything – but if I had to look for a colour which was the closest match, this would be it!
I know Tarte is quite a difficult product to get your hands on in the UK - I think it’s available on QVC and you can obviously order it online off of Sephora. But I think I have found an alternative. The Maxfactor Creme Puff blush in Seductive Pink - I believe it’s a baked blush (I maybe completely wrong) there’s a slight powdery fall out when applied – but the colour is incredibly similar! It provides the same soft rosey pink natural pop on the cheeks. I know a few people have said this may be similar to the Hourglass Ambient Blushers, but no. To me this doesn’t even come close, there’s no highlighting quality. It is however a lovely duplicate of Tarte Blushing Bride. They both have a 8hour wear-time.
Pigmentation in blushers need to be just right – too much or too little can be difficult to work with - kinda like the porridge in Goldilocks. Both blushers are so easy to work with, beautiful colour, great pigmentation, good wear-time. These probably won’t leave my makeup stash for the next few months. Alongside my favourite blush brush, the Sigma F40 – so much love for the Sigma brushes – now, anyone know where I can get them from in the UK?
I have had a lot of empties just stashed away at the back of the bathroom and it got to a point where they just looked gross and needed to be thrown out. I thought of doing an empties video but I’m going to scrap that and just do a quick post on three very talked about cleansers.
First up is the Clinique Take the Day off balm – now I was sceptical to even venture into Clinique skincare because once I saw a Clinique consultant use their toner to clean the surfaces of their work area. Gross. However this was the hype and I really wanted to see what the fuss was all about. It took me a long time to finish this up, it’s your regular thick balm consistency and I loved that it didn’t have any smell to it. When in contact with your skin it turned to a milk like consistency and removes makeup pretty well. Prior to this I was using the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing balm and I loved that! The feels for this product were 50/50, I liked it but didn’t love it and it was all down to pretty much personal preference because it did the job really well. Also this was ridiculously hard to get hold of. I’ve reordered the Emma Hardie M C B but haven’t really thought twice about Clinique T T D O – that’s saying something right?
Body Shop Chamomile cleansing oil was all the talk in the beauty blogosphere for a while. Apart from Tea Tree Oil I’ve not really brought much Body Shop skincare. Similar to any cleansing oil, it gently removes all makeup. For something in a liquid form it’s pretty good at removing all forms of stubborn red lipsticks or waterproof mascaras. The only thing I didn’t like about it is the smell. Strong scents in any cleansing products make me gag. I don’t mind the subtle whiff of a product but this was heavily scented and the only reason I endured it because of how well the cleansing oil worked. If it came without a scent then this would be my HG grail cleanser.
I think subconsciously I’ve saved the best for last. The Avene Gentle Gel cleanser has been my regular skincare product for the last 8 years. I tend to switch over to some other product but I always come back to this. It’s so gentle as the name says. Non-foaming, super light-weight cleanser and I use this after whatever balm is in use that evening/morning and my skin is left feeling super refreshed and clean! This is my most favourite cleanser! However I am eager to try the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing gel after hearing great reviews. What are your top cleansers?
Sunday rituals, wake up, watch endless hours of YouTube videos, finally get out of bed, have a bath, do a bit of cleaning and then sit for hours browsing websites mentally making wishlists. This is one of those times where I have complied a list of things that I hope to get at the end of this month. Already counting down the days. It’s also a good way of keeping a reminder of things I really want/need as opposed to buying random rubbish. Kat Von D contour palette is apparently better then Anastasia Beverly Hills palette, (so I’ve heard) and seeing as I am forever trying to perfect the whole contour technique this is clearly a product that I need to get my hands on. And as I am making a Sephora purchase in the near future I thought I may as well get other things from the range, they’re not available from the UK – why, I don’t know! The tattoo concealer is supposedly heavy duty coverage without feeling too cakey, my dark under eye-circles need some seriously strong stuff. The only issue is, I’m abit hit and miss with colours, so it’s going to be a real struggle trying to figure out what shade I am. *foresee hours of blog research coming up*. The Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner is also a cult product in the beauty world and I love me winged black eyeliners. The Tarte amazonian clay blush would also be a part of the Sephora order, the dusky rose colour is so beautiful, subtle whilst giving you a decent amount of colour for olive skin-tone. I love the formulas of Tarte blushers too, they last a super long time!
If I could, like genuinely had the revenue I would buy everything in the Charlotte Tilbury range. Not only is she an amazing woman, but she’s brought the most fabulous products in her range! I’ve brought the Light Wonder foundationand literally every single time I put it on I just think my skin looks phenomenal without looking like I have 5 layers of makeup. Her concealing penis what I am super excited about, think YSL Touche Eclat (which I loved for years) but a lot more coverage. I actually saw this in Hannahs GRWMvideo and fell in love with how well it blended in and concealed. Then there’s a blush called Sex on Fire – I asked my husband if he could grab this on his way home from work and he just looked at me as if I was crazy. It was the same face he pulled when I asked him to get me NARS Audacious lipstick in Fanny. So funny. In the picture it looks more on the bronze side. But in real-life its more of a subtle dusky rose blush with a slight bronze pop in the middle. Its a lovely colour for olive skin-tones.
Then we have two miscellaneous bits, first being the Hemsley and Hemsley Spiralizer. Many many years ago I went on a Uni trip to Istanbul and a man on the stalls was selling apples but all spiralized. I hate apples but ate an entire one just because it has been cut in this super cool way. We went back to try and find him because we wanted to buy the spiral cutting tool thing but had no idea where he went. 7 years later, we have this fabulous mechanism. Best of all, its only £29.99, I also want their cookbook and hopefully this lures me into cooking. Speaking of cooking, the Kitchenaid- oh my, how gorgeous are they? The one in Ice Blue in particular is amazing! Definitely on the wishlist. Have you got a wishlist primed and prepped for Feb?
On a side note, like I mentioned at the start of the post, Sundays is YouTube day for me, not only do I watch them but I also have a new video going up every Sunday 9.30am GMT. This Sunday I posted a Primark Haul, I can never find any clothes in Primark. I used to be able to like 4/5years ago, but recently I have been loving the homeware section! So if home stuff is your thing then enjoy the video!