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Nude nails

Posted & filed under Beauty Edit.

Ever since I got married in the summer last year, (still feels weird to say last year) I had acrylic nails on. Its been 5 months, so it was about time I give them a breather. Having acrylic nails on is extremely damaging – more so if you have it for a prolonged period of time. Your nails needs to breathe. After I removed them I started focusing on trying to repair the damage. One method was to ensure that I was filing them regularly with my Leighton Denny glass file. One of the best files I have ever used. Ever. It not only files but makes my nails all smooth and shiny and doesn’t make that horrible scratching noise.  I’ve never really been one to take time and file, but think of it as giving your hair a trim every 6 weeks, the more you do it, the healthier your hair becomes, similar story with nails here. Maintenance is key.

I then apply a cuticle oil twice a week – one that I’ve been using quite regularly is the L’occitane Nourishing oil with 30% shea oil. I’m a huge fan of shea butter, the 100% form is awesome for dry, dehydrated patches. Using the smallest amounts on my cuticles and massaging it, few weeks later I have healthier, shinier nails.

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For two weeks I applied no nail polish, oh boy it was painful… tonight I decided to paint them! I started rummaging through my stash and you know that feeling, when you have loads of clothes, but you still can’t find anything to wear.Yeah, that, I went through a similar phase but with nail polishes instead – until I found my two favourite shades of all time!

Nails inc in Porchester Sq. A beautiful nude, I decided to use this as the accent nail. It’s such a stunning colour that suits every skin-tone, and the gel effect makes it extremely long-lasting. I’ve worn this for 7 days and no chips. I then picked out Essie Maximillian strasse her. Weird name, stunning shade. A grey-ish, green-ish muted tone. Perfect winter/spring colour. Clearly I wasn’t satisfied with my choices because I decided to whip out Essie Summit of stylestunning gold flecks added to the tips to add a tiny bit of bedazzle.

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Clearly not ready to give up festival glitziness.

Seeing as I am back to painting my own nails, I need you to hit me up with colours I need…

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NARS Audacious Lipsticks

Posted & filed under Beauty Edit.

Unknowingly I seemed to have developed quite an array of NARS Audacious lipsticks, yet I still feel like I don’t have enough. Calling lipstick rehab centre. I realised whilst slapping on Anita this morning that I haven’t actually blogged about these. To be honest there are a lot of products I have brought and loved but haven’t had a chance to blog about yet. Still working out how to tackle this situation. Anywho, Nars Audacious Lipsticks are a new offering (well not that new, they’ve been around for a while) priced at £24.00 they keep in line with the NARS Premium range yet it is cheaper than Tom Ford. Apart from the Velvet Matte/Satin lip pencils, there’s not that many lipsticks choices that I would rave about from Nars. Red Lizard is a beautiful orangey red from the original lipstick line but quite drying and not as pigmented as you would expect from a higher-end brand.

NARS cleverly thought to create a lipstick which would not only give intense pigmentation but feel light as air and moisturising as butter without the slip and shine. NARS also claims that these Audacious lipsticks would enhance the lips and make them appear fuller. Is that even possible? I was very sceptical, yet I gave in. I am weak. I brought Anita as my first choice after the lovely Sophie from theprivatelifeofagirl.com (whose blog I love btw!) suggested it. I do love a good recommendation. and it was the most gorgeous nude I had ever tried. It didn’t wash me out, or make me feel yellow. Definitely my go to shade for pretty much the rest of my life. Bold statement. Having an addictive personality means that I very quickly yearned for more and enter, Grace, Liv and Geraldine.

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 Let’s get acquainted shall we?

Grace is a stunning punchy watermelon shade, it’s a colour I think would suit tanned skin as well as dark, or pale skin tones. It’s the ‘I’m ready for a beach holiday’ shade. Really beautiful in the bullet and on the lips.

graceGeraldine is a fire orange – I honestly think that orange shades look incredible on olive, pale, or dark skin tones. Yes you need a pair of balls to wear it. Yes it is a very eye-catching colour. But my goodness is it gorgeous. I absolutely love this shade. It’s a pure orange, I think I have about 6/7 orange tones in my collection, this being the nicest and probably the most wearable out of the lot. Tom Ford Wild Ginger has a slight tint of red, whereas this is a little more pure.

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 Liv is the latest addition to my family. My husband said he was going past SPACE.NK and asked if I needed anything. (Need being the key word here people) I asked if he could pick up Fanny and he looked at me like I’d gone crazy. I hadn’t. Fanny is one of the Nars Audacious lipstick colours. As lovely as he is, I don’t think he would willing go up to any sales assistant and ask for a lipstick called Fanny. I opted for Liv instead. I hadn’t swatched this previously, I was purely going by the computer generated colour on the Space.nk website. I was expecting it to be more on the line with MAC Heroine, maybe slightly darker? But it is a lot darker. Reminds me a colour which would be specifically produced for the ladies in the Aadams family. I bloody love it. Dark colours (I think) look really good on me. My husband disagrees. Meh. Pigmentation, quality – everything is very consistent through-out all four products. This makes me very happy and my bank balance very sad.

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Another few plus points. Love the fact that they don’t have any scent to them. The packaging is much nicer than the matte packaging which always gets grubby so quickly. Love the little little clicky noise the packaging makes when it closes. I really enjoy the magnet which helps it lock into place. I also am very happy about the fact that Nars have their name embossed on the side of the lipstick bullet as opposed to the top like TF. I wish TF changed that so I wouldn’t be so anxious that it would ware off. It’s also cute that they’re named after girls – I still can’t quite get over Fanny, however Francois (the creator of NARS) tends to come out with some pretty out there names, i.e Orgasm, Deep throat…feel free to insert any more I have missed here.

If you want to see these in action I have swatched a couple in my lipstick lookbook here.

NARS Audacious lipsticks are available here

Overall, they are expensive but not as expensive as Tom Ford – this is how I am justifying it to myself. I wish I could give you a certain colour I liked more than others – but I really can’t. They are all lovely. Are these on your dressing table/wish-list yet? Go on, enable me.

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Charlotte Tilbury | Haul

Posted & filed under Beauty Edit.

Charlotte Tilbury is probably my most sought after make-up brand, after investing in the sculpt brush I became obsessed with the her products and wanted to invest in the make-up line. Seeing so many of my favourite you-tubers talk about Charlotte Tilbury, my list begins to grows longer each day. Selfridges had a 10% off their beauty line, and this is when I strike. I spend all my hard saved pennies that should be going towards a car, a sofa, a new lense. Anything which is way more significant than a lipstick. But I have my priorities straight – so I brought three things that were at the top of my list. A matte lipstick, in Love Liberty, a beach stick in Ibiza, and a eye-shadow stick in Amber Haze.

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Love Liberty is as beautiful as I imagined, a stunning, rich berry shade. Extremely pigmented – I really love this colour and although it looks pretty ordinary in the bullet, when on the lips there’s an unusual deepness to the colour. The Matte revolutionary range are probably my most favourite matte lipsticks out their, I absolutely adore Glastonberry, however it isn’t your everyday shade. I will most likely get a more nude shade so it’s work appropriate!

The beach stick in Ibiza is my favourite out of all three products, a bronze shade with a golden glow – when I apply the By Terry Cover Expert in the morning, a swipe of this on the cheekbones gives me a lovely bronzed glow. I’ve worn this over a week now and each time I’ve looked in the mirror with this on, I’ve thought - woah my skin looks good. I don’t think it’s because of my skin’s actual state. Lack of sleep, bad food and lots of chocolate means grey, dull skin. However the beach stick provides a generous healthy glow. It literally glides onto the skin, blends seamlessly and it glistens. I love the simplicity of it too, swipe and blend with fingers, no brushes needed. I have only used it with the By Terry so I can’t really say how well it works with other bases.

The colour chameleon, an eye-shadow pencil range which is designed specifically for certain eye-colours to make them pop. I try not to fall for fads like that, but for experiment sake I went for Amber Haze which is created for Brown eyes. A deep brown shade which seems to have a hint of golden sparkle in – does it make my eye’s pop? Probably not. I much prefer my Marc Jacob twinkle pop, (although MJ was slightly more expensive - totally worth the money) Longevity is this eye-shadow sticks strong point. It lasts a bloody long time, won’t crease. Colour pay-off was awesome and if I hadn’t found Marc Jacobs then this would probably have been one of my top eye-shadow picks. Would I buy this again? I am tempted to try Bronzed Garnet which is a burnt orange shade, developed specifically for green eyes. But the colour is so stunning, I’m pretty sure it will work for hazel eyes too.

Next products I need want Rock’n'kohl iconic liquid eyeliner in Marlene midnight, Filmstar bronze & glass.

 

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Real Techniques Bold Metal Collection

Posted & filed under Beauty Edit.

It was only this week that I posted about my most favourite brushes. So doing another brush post soon after seems a bit excessive – however there is a lot of speculation and question about the new Real Techniques bold metal collection, so when I got my hands on these I thought I would give a quick ‘first impressions’ because that’s all I can really do at this point.

I didn’t buy these, my husband brought them after I was moaning how expensive they were. He’s cool like that.

The Real Technique bold metal collection is a new, premium line introduced by the ever successful Nic and Sam Chapman. It’s an extension to their affordable collection. It very quickly becomes obvious that the Real Techniques Bold Metal collection were intended to be premium, the price-point makes it clear. They’re designed for those who want the higher quality synthetic brush or want a set of core make-up brushes for a professional use. And I completely understand that. The original line is great and is awesome for those who are getting into make-up. I mean if we sit down to really think about it, apart from Real Techniques there are very few affordable, good quality, reputable brushes in the market at the moment. However like anything in the world, Real Techniques were ready to progress and be hold Real Techniques Bold Metal Collection.

There are a total of 7 new brushes, all colour coded. Gold is for finishes, Rose Gold is for blush/highlighting and Silver is for eyes.

I own three, the rose gold collection (300 & 301) and an eye-shadow blending brush (200)

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Aesthetically these are stunning and definitely weighty. Pixiwoo sisters explained in their YT video that the edges of the brushes are a diamond shape which are designed to prevent the brushes from rolling off the table. 300, 301 didn’t roll off a flat surface, however 200, the eye-blending one was definitely rolling off.

All three are extremely fluffy and extremely soft. There’s also a nice hold to them – this obviously is due to the weighted brush.

300 (£24.00) has a tapered head, extremely fluffy but small compared to your average blush brush. It seems as if 200 was designed to give extreme precision. I feel like I will most likely use this for highlighting on the cheekbones as opposed for a blush use.

Out of the two rose gold ones my favourite one is 301 (£22.00) it has a nice firm edge to create a perfectly contoured cheekbone. I’ve mentioned in my favourites YT video that I am consistently trialling contouring methods and I think this will for sure help me achieve those chiselled cheek bones.

The one I’m slightly confused and curious about is the eye blender brush, 200. I love my MAC 217 and I don’t think anything will ever compare. The Real Techniques previous eye collection was slightly disappointing so I was intrigued to see what   200 (£15.00)  eye-blending brush was all about. It’s much fluffier than the MAC 217 with more bristles compacted together. Initially I like the shape of the brush head, but I don’t think I will use it for blending to be honest – I do see myself reaching for this concealing though. More on this in due course.

All brushes are extremely soft and the quality is very similar to my higher quality brushes so the price-point definitely matches there. They’re stunning to look at. I don’t however like the fact after a few moments of holding the brush, the handle is left with my finger prints, without me even using it with any product. That doesn’t look too professional now does it? And I really don’t have time to sit their and polish my brush handle for hours.

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Boots in Oxford Street had them in stock and they’re on 3 for 2 in store if you’re interested right now. An advantage of these brushes being available in Boots is that there’s always some form of offer, so if you do want them but think they’re on the pricier side, I’m pretty sure they’ll be discounted. There tends to be a 1/3 off on make-up tools every so often. Also if you manage to save enough points you could end up getting one for free? I will do a more detailed review once I’ve had a real play but I just wanted to give a heads up on what they’re like. Do you think you’ll be getting one of the Real Techniques Bold Metal Collection brush any time soon?

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Anastasia Contour kit

Posted & filed under Beauty Edit.

Last year I spent most of my make-up time trying to perfect the art of contouring. It’s a technique which has been around for a while I just late to the party, as per usual. I did a whole NARS contouring post here. The notion of contouring cream sticks which I think are awesome, worked well but you need to be quite heavy handed and blend a lot to avoid harsh lines! However Anastasia Contour kit had been on my radar for a while and I finally caved in and invested in one from Cult Beauty. I sometimes fear that with powders I’ll end up getting it everywhere. However the Anastasia Contour kit is finely milled that you get just the right amount of product to become your very own contouring expert. I use a tapered brush with this product, the Charlotte Tilbury blush brush work well together. I use my Becca Shimmering Skin perfector in Opal just finishes off a contoured look – you can’t have a contour without a highlighter, and Becca is crème de le crème.

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contour1Okay back to the Anastasia contour kit. The top three highlighting shades, not really sure what to do with them. They’re quite light and won’t really work on their own with the bags I carry under my eyes. Maybe paired on top of concealer? The bottom three shades however are amazing.  I use the one on the right on my cheek bones and the one in the middle on the temples of my forehead. And the one to the left is used on the bridges of my nose. Anastasia contour kit is one of those sets you think about for a while whether or not it’s worth it – but it’s like having a staple pair of black jeans, or a white t-shirt, you.just.need.it.

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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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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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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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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.