Friday, 28 June 2013

My pinky 'nude' lip duo.

Hi ladies

Today I'll be talking to you about nude lips. I'm not sure this is summer appropriate as it's time for all the brights but this nude lip is a pink based nude so I guess it's ok. I think nude lips are difficult to get right for darker women as 'nude' for the fairer beauty isn't the most flattering on WOC (in my opinion but if it works for you, rock it). This was inspired by the lovely Hana from Me My Style and I who I talk to on twitter. She asked me what nude lipsticks I would recommend to darker ladies and I linked her to my Top 5 natural lippies post but then the next day my replacement clinique liner came in the post (the first one wouldn't twist up) and this clinique lip duo was born.

Clinique Quickliner for lips retails for £12. It is a twist up mechanism which is practical in theory as there's no sharpening but if it fails like the previous one did, there's not much you can do. Thank you to the Clinique Customer Care team for replacing mine.

Clinique Long Last Lipstick retails for £16.50. I got mine in a swap and I believe it is a sample size so I'm sure this isn't the packaging you would see if you bought it.

Clinique blushing nude lipstick cocoa rose quickliner for lips
The lipliner is described on the website as long wearing, creamy and water resistant. It is creamy and in terms of water resistant, it did take quite a while for me to rub the swatch off with water. 

The lipstick is described as a long wearing, creamy-matte formula all of which I agree with. I can see a bit of a sheen in the photo but I've never noticed that before and it definitely doesn't transfer to the lips. 

Clinique blushing nude lipstick cocoa rose quickliner for lip swatch

The lipstick is a browny pinky nude which I think is ideal for darker skin to achieve that 'my lips but better' effect. The lip liner underneath gives it more of a pink twist making it less of a true nude but it isn't a bright pink by any means (I don't think bright pinks suit my colouring).

Both of these together are matte and creamy. Don't mistake creamy for moisturising however because they are very different things. It's comfortable to begin with and long lasting but it can feel quite uncomfortable on the lips a few hours into wear as it gets a tad drying. Nothing wiping and reapplying can't solve but it's something to bare in mind.

So what is your go-to nude lip combo?

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Thursday, 27 June 2013

'The Power of Social Media' at IMATS.

Hi ladies

So as I said in my last post, I attended IMATS on saturday. There were lots of great talks and demonstrations throughout the day but I only attended one. The power of social media which was meant to be presented by pixiwoo but as they couldn't make it, Ruth Crilly from amodelrecommends took over. The amazing panel also included Louise aka sprinkleofglitter, Anna from Viviannadoesmakeup and Caroline Hirons aka skincare guru and the person behind beautymouth.

A few of the tips they shared:

  • Use the same name to link everything - twitter, facebook, instagram and of course your blog/youtube channel. Try to use the same name on all of them so it's easier to find you.
  • If you're just starting out, try to think of a name that is easy to say/spell so you're not spending 10 minutes spelling it out for someone when 'networking'. I'm looking at you makeuplover18372837 (apologies to anyone who actually has that name).
  • Be professional with what you say - if you want to be a professional beauty blogger, swearing in every other tweet might not be the way forward (I should add this tip clearly didn't apply to the talk. If you were there you know what I mean *wink wink*). Also airing your dirty laundry can be quite the put off for readers that aren't there to listen to that.
  • Don't be afraid to have an opinion - Caroline in particular was very vocal about this. Don't feel everything has to be positive or you have to agree with everyone's views.
  • How many posts a week? Anna said as many as you can fit in. Ruth said consistency/regularly is good e.g. posting every Tuesday and Friday so your readers know when to expect something. Louise said she schedules posts at the same time so her readers are used to her schedule and can swing by if they're free at that time.
  • Be a blogger not a blagger - Emailing PR's with an extensive high end shopping list when you have literally just begun blogging might not be a wise move. It gives us all a bad name.
  • Don't do it to become famous - if you have a passion for it and love doing it that will shine through.

They gave lots of great tips but to be honest it was the humour that made the talk such a great thing to be a part of for me personally. They all came across exactly like you would imagine. Anna was lovely, Louise was hilarious, Caroline was knowledgeable & opinionated and Ruth was just fantastic and confident with her hosting. Thank you for all the tips ladies (erm who exactly do I think is going to read this?).

I wish I had attended more talks throughout the day but I got sidetracked shopping and meeting people. I guess these are things money can't buy so I should have taken advantage of it. Oh the benefit of hindsight.

What would be your top tip for blogging/vlogging?

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Sunday, 23 June 2013

My day at IMATS & what I bought.

Hi ladies

So yesterday I was lucky enough to go to IMATS in Olympia. I was gifted a ticket from my lovely friend who I went to the event with and the days leading up to it, I was googling the different exhibitors and product swatches so I could go prepared with a list. This is a very picture heavy post, starting with photos I took at the actual show and then on to my haul (not sure I've spent this much in one go, ever).

This was the queue just to get in. Luckily, it flew by.
This is how busy it was at around 2pm. IMATS is not for the faint hearted. Think boxing day sales and oxford street.
The Inglot stand. VERY busy and had around 30-35% discount.
Brand new Artist of Make up range from the gorgeous Zukreat who is a professional MUA and on Youtube. I intended to buy the contour stick from here which I didn't end up doing sadly but would love to try it in the future.

Well hello there Hakuhodo. How nice to stroke you.
NYX cosmetics. The queue for this was fine when we got there (as we were early birds) but later on it was PACKED OUT. 
Here are a few photos I took of the awesome prosthetic work taking place. On the right hand side was the pop art masterpiece by the very talented Karla Powell.

Now onto the haul... 

Everything I bought.
As you can see I went brush crazy which is ridiculous considering crown didn't even have any discount and in some cases were rounding up and therefore charging more (which I realised later. Not cool).  To make myself feel better I am now on a mission to sell the make up brushes I don't use to make way for these. Not surprisingly I will review these and everything else in time.
This was the biggest bargain of the whole day. I wasn't very impressed with many other discounts but certain NARS products had around 60% off. I had a quick look but nothing in the discounted section appealed to me so I walked away. Later the lovely Grace from Allthatslap called me up to ask if I had checked out NARS so I went back for a thorough look and chose these 4 items. Grace and Annie however went a little crazy but paid a fraction of what it would have cost them elsewhere so it actually was a no brainer for them. I went from 0 to 4 NARS products in a matter of minutes and probably would have got more had they had shades that appealed to me.
From Love Make Up I bought a sigma f82 (which I already have and love) and a Zoeva powder brush. I made a bit of a mistake with the round top kabuki. I actually bought the crown brush version and returned it when I realised I was paying full price but then I needed that sort of foundation brush for somebody else and as crown had sold out by this point I had to buy the sigma (not a bad thing as it's fantastic). The Love Make Up stand had the Real Techniques core collection (for around £16) skindinavia setting spray (was very tempted) Daniel Sandler cosmetics and lots more.
I've never worn false lashes before, I have an issue finding ones that look natural enough. I picked up a few as they were on sale for a good price at the Nigel Beauty Emporium stand. I also picked up a mini Duo lash adhesive from another stand for £4 which I've heard great things about.
I knew I was definitely getting this before I went. I've heard great things and I'm looking forward to giving it a go. I bought the 3oz size from PAM which should usually be £11.50 but was around 8 at IMATS.
This was very extravagant for little old 'drugstore' me but I had a 'oh I'm at IMATS, what the heck' moment. It was £11.70 at IMATS instead of £17.95. I figured I could just buy it and decide later (sell it on) but £11.70 is almost the price of a maxfactor mascara to be honest (although I never pay full price for it but that's irrelevant right?).
Finally the NYX goodies. In all honest a few of us were so disappointed with how few shades were available. I mean they didn't have the mega shine gloss in beige!? Come on, that's one of the more popular ones. I don't think there was a huge discount on this either but you save on postage and are able to swatch I guess hence the huge crowd.

Anyway, that was a huge post. I'm so happy and grateful my friend bought me a ticket because I wouldn't spend £40 myself. It was a great experience and for those who like meeting youtubers and taking photos with them this was great as they were everywhere but I'm not the type of person to do that. This meant I found myself thinking I had to buy enough to justify the ticket price & other than NARS there definitely wasn't a huge saving (Inglot and MUFE were decent). The one talk I went to was fantastic (separate post on that) and I'm sure for MUA's and Make Up students the demo's & discounts are great but for your normal run-of-the-mill make up lover, I'm not sure how much is to be gained from IMATS (hence the name) so I probably wouldn't buy a ticket in the future.

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Friday, 21 June 2013

Swatching Session #2 - Bourjois, Revlon & 17.

Hi ladies

To get a bit of a back story on this very random post, have a look at my swatching superdrug saturday post. In short, I basically have an addiction to swatching things in shops. I figured I would put this to some use and from time to time make a post showcasing all these swatches. I thought this would be be the best time for these swatches as it's all Buy 1 get 1 half price.

As always these are very photo heavy posts so here we go...

Bourjois colour boost lip crayon swatches - £7.99
bourjois colour boost lip crayon Peach on the beach, Fuschia, Orange Punch & Red Sunrise swatches.
Left to Right: Peach on the beach, Fuschia, Orange Punch & Red Sunrise.
These were just like any other lip crayon out there. They aren't hugely pigmented although provide more pigment than the lip crayons released by other brands, they feel balmy upon application and are nice for a sheer pop of colour (or can be built up).

Revlon super lustrous lip gloss - £6.99
revlon super lustrous lip gloss Snow pink, pinkissimo, pink pop, kiss me coral, fatal apple, berry allure, super natural. swatches
Right to Left: Snow pink, pinkissimo, pink pop, kiss me coral, fatal apple, berry allure, super natural.
The Revlon Super Lustrous glosses have been around for a long time but these seem to be a new range. Unlike its predecessors they are round instead of in square packaging and they seemed to be pigmented and non sticky from what I could tell when swatching as they wiped away quite easily without leaving my arm sticky.

Seventeen lip crayons  - £4.99
17 lip crayons Bold, Playful, Knockout, Heartbreaker & Superstar swatches.
Left to Right: Bold, Playful, Knockout, Heartbreaker & Superstar.
17 are now Seventeen it seems and yes, more lip crayons. I hadn't really heard about these so was surprised when I came across them in Boots. Although there are only 5 shades, I love the colourful packaging and they really stood out to me on the shelf. They have a bit of everything from a pale nude, pinks, orange and a red. The pigmentation was decent so you can get anything from a sheer wash or a stronger colour if you build it up. 

Revlon Colorstay ultimate suede lipstick - £8.99
Revlon colourstay ultimate suede lipstick High Heels 030, Womenswear 010, Muse 005, Finale 095 & Couture 050 Backstage 035 swatches.
Left to right: High Heels 030, Womenswear 010, Muse 005, Finale 095, Couture 050 & Backstage 035.
I was really excited to try this after hearing a lot about them. They have an extensive range and I couldn't swatch them all (for fear of scaring other customers and my sleeves not rolling high enough). I tried to pick a few from pale to dark but now looking at the swatches there's a lot of pinks. I managed to hit a stand that had fresh testers so I gave the darkest shade, backstage a go and it felt sticky on my lips. It definitely is a matte and because of this it had incredible lasting power but even from the swatches you can see it is quite a dry formula.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick - £7.99
Bourjois rouge edition lipstick Rouge jet set 13, Rouge Buzz 10, Rose neon 12, Fuschia graffiti 07 & Violene Strass 18 swatches.
Top to Bottom - Rouge jet set 13, Rouge Buzz 10, Rose neon 12, Fuschia graffiti 07 & Violene Strass 18
From swatching, these are very pigmented, creamy and slightly glossy. They have 18 shades and this seems to be my sort of lipstick; a no fuss, pigmented, creamy pop of colour.

So, that's another round up. I genuinely worry people out there must think I'm a little crazy (blog readers, security guards and fellow shoppers alike). Either way, I hope this was useful. Will you be picking any of these up?

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

One year Blogiversary, Good News & Thank You :)

Hi ladies

Today my blog is officially one years old. I can't believe how fast this past year flew by. The weirdest thing is that although it's been a year which is a fairly long time, I still feel as though I'm a complete newcomer to the blogging community.

I give you permission to laugh at this. It's 10.30pm and not long left till the birthday is over so had to do this pronto.
I began this blog last year when I finished my exams and it was one of the best decisions I've made. I have spent the past year in the limbo stage between education and finding work so blogging has been the perfect use of all the extra time I've had. For once I actually have a productive answer to the question "so what are your hobbies/what do you do in your spare time?"

If you follow me on Twitter you might know this past week I received some great news. I finally have a job! It is still a while before I begin working but I am very excited to have more money to spend on make up contribute to the economy. This might mean I can't dedicate as much time to my blog as I have been able to this past year but I will definitely continue to blog when I can.

Finally a huge thank you to all the lovely Bloggers I have met this past year. You have been so kind and so supportive that it's been an absolute pleasure to be part of this community. I've met some of you ladies 'in real life' and I hope to put a real face to all the twitter handles I regularly talk to this coming year. Maybe even this Saturday at IMATS? If you're going be there, be sure to let me know (I warn you I'm quite socially awkward in person).

Here's to lots more blogging.

Till next time...Toodles! :)

PS I wanted to commemorate my first year blog birthday with a make up collection/storage post (it seems the thing to do on youtube when there's a milestone) or a post about my favourite blogs/bloggers to share the love but I sort of lost track of time so this boring post it was.
PPS With all the google uncertainty, if you want to keep up with this here blog, give me some lovin on bloglovin ;)

Hair Oils Collection.

Hi ladies

I realised recently that I have quite a few hair oils (and a serum and a cream). Instead of reviewing them individually and pretending I know everything about the benefits and uses I thought I would round them up and give you a quick rundown on my views. If you want to read a fantastic post about natural oils and their benefits I suggest you go over to the gorgeous Sal's blog and read her thoughts on her 5 must have natural oils.

Parachute 100% coconut oil - My grandma brought this from India but if you google it you can find it online. It is 100% pure coconut oil and because of the climate here it hardens up and needs warming. It goes from a white solid to an oil and it is really thin and runny. I apply it the night before I wash my hair and wrap it in a turban to get the best out of it. It is a light enough oil to use after washing too but I don't use it for that.

KTC Almond Oil - You can get 200ml of this for £1.49 in Superdrug & Tesco. It is edible too so it doesn't get much purer. I find almond oil quite a thick oil in comparison to coconut oil. I have applied it with and without warming and use it overnight too. I think this is too heavy an oil to apply after washing hair as it might make it greasy but is great for an intense pre wash treatment.

Proclere Argan Oil Hair Treatment - This serum is £9.99 in Superdrug. It smells gorgeous (like cucumbers I believe) is meant to cut drying time by 50%, smooth frizz and give protection and shine. I'm not sure about the drying time but I use this after washing my hair while it is still damp to leave it smooth. Despite the name I'm not sure how much of the ingredients is actually pure Argan but its still a nice serum.

Sahar Argan Oil - I got this as a gift from the home of the Argan tree itself, Morocco. Argan Oil is rich in Vitamin E that I've read protects from dehydration, nourishes body and face, hair care and strengthens nails. I've only just discovered the top ingredient in this is Paraffin oil which is basically mineral oil and the cheapest way to bulk up products so this isn't the genuine article either despite being from Morocco. It definitely smells like it though with its heavy nutty scent that means I wouldn't use it after washing either but only a pre wash treatment. Having said that the light runny consistency means it doesn't weigh hair down.

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment - This is one of the most well known and hyped oils in the blogosphere. 125ml retails for £25 but I received a mini size at an event and was very excited to finally give it a go. This is meant to nourish your hair, leaving it smooth, frizz free, shiny and smooth. It is lightweight and an oil I would use if I ever style my hair (I never do) or after washing because it doesn't leave the hair greasy. It has a nice subtle scent to it and I just work it into damp hair.

L'oreal Professional Mythic Oil -125ml retails for over £14 and is the teeny sample you can see on the top right of the photo and in short I quite like it. It smells really nice, is lightweight and again just something I use on damp hair. It contains Avocado and Grape Seed oil. the former is meant to enhance shine and nourish, whereas grape seed is a powerful antioxidant!?

Ojon rare blend oil - I got a sample of this as a peace offering when Boots ran out of the shampoo & conditioner during the big 'exchange an empty shampoo for a new one' offer. It is a pretty mixture ombre of 3 colours in the bottle but then you mix it up and it all blends together to make a pink concoction. You warm it up in your hands and either use it as a pre styling treatment or to dry hair for shine. It contains 7 'reparative oils' and has a scent that I can't quite place and I wasn't too keen on at the beginning but its not too bad now. This is the priciest of the lot and my views are pretty 'meh' on it.

I forgot to include this in my photo above. This was in a goodie bag and at first I was going to give it away as I didn't think it would work for my non-afro hair but then decided to give it a go. It's very different to the oils and anything I've used as it's a white cream and I've never used a cream on my hair. I love the fresh scent and I appled it to damp hair so as the hair dries it can define the curls. It is quite lightweight, leaves the hair smooth and doesn't leave the hair greasy but in order to define my waves it does leave the hair a bit textured. It's not hair spray hold or anything but you can notice it the next day. This would probably be great for afro hair to tame any frizz and define those curls.

A very long post but I hope you found it interesting. While we're on the topic, what is your favourite oil and what would you recommend for hair loss?

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Saturday, 15 June 2013

My Highlighter Collection - GOSH, MAC & Benefit.

Hi ladies

I was recently inspired to do a highlighter collection post when I got my hands on the MAC cream colour base in pearl last week. The smallest collection I have of any one product is highlighters so this shouldn't take too long. I only had the sample size of the high beam for the longest time, then I was nicely given the GOSH sun powder in March and then I bought the MAC last week from a lady having a clearout.

(Heads up - I'm beginning to experiment with editing photos so bare with me till I improve).

MAC cream colour base pearl benefit high beam gosh sun powder swatches

As you can see all 3 highlighters are different textures, different colours and obviously different brands. I didn't realise how little I used highlighters until I began this post so I'm glad I only own 3 and none of them are similar to each other.

MAC cream colour base pearl benefit high beam gosh sun powder swatches
Sorry - highlighters turned out to be difficult to photograph.

MAC cream colour base pearl benefit high beam gosh sun powder swatches

Benefit High Beam - £19.50/13ml
This is described as a satiny pink liquid highlighter. I grabbed this in the Glamour magazine last year for £2. It is small and you only need a little bit but the reason it is still around is basically because I just don't use it very often. Like I said in my review of this, posie tint and benetint, after carefully blending my base products, applying this on top just makes me nervous. I have to apply quite a bit for this to show up and that makes it harder to blend.

MAC cream colour base in Pearl - £14.50/3.2g
This is a creamy highlighter in a frosty white shade that is meant to be multi-purpose. I only got it recently and tweeted my initial disappointment. It isn't as pigmented as I first thought it would be and the creamy almost mousse like texture means I have to apply, blend and build.
Edit: How fickle am I? If you read this post just a mere 24 hours ago you would have read my initial thoughts were that I wasn't happy with it but in that time I got it to work for me.

GOSH sun powder swatch

GOSH Giant Sun Powder 001 - £13.99/28g
This is a golden powder highlighter. Well technically, this might even be a bronzer for fairer beauties, but a light dusting on darker skin will definitely give it a nice highlighted glow. The reason I put a separate picture of this is because I felt it was quite washed out in the picture above. I really like this and use a fan brush to lightly dust it on my cheekbones. It is huuuge and will last me forever (expiry obsessives I apologise). I need to see if GOSH do a cooler highlighter for when I'm not wanting gold.

So that is my highlighter collection. I have been tempted by MAC soft & gentle for so long but the two times I have swatched it, I've been disappointed by the chunkiness. The Dior highlighter that came out in the summer collection looks gorgeous too. Maybe once I find the perfect highlighter I'll begin using them more but I know one thing for sure; next time I'll be sticking to powder. Any recommendations?

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Monday, 10 June 2013

My mini KIKO Cosmetics collection.

Hi ladies

There seems to be a lot of talk about Kiko Cosmetics at the moment but I first heard about it from Selina who blogs over at missbeautyadikt or YazMakeUpArtist on youtube (check her out. She is a MUA and has serious skills). Anyway I hadn't heard of the Italian brand before she raved about it and was excited when a Kiko store popped up in Stratford Westfield. The first time I went I just picked up a lip liner that was on sale for 99p (usually retails for £2.50) but then my lovely friend gave me a few kiko things so I thought I'd review what I had. I know there's lots being said about their summer collection but sadly I don't have any of that. 

I have 3 high pigmentation eye shadows - a highlight shade in 130, a gold shade in 102 & a dark brown in 132. These retail for £4.90 each.

I also added to my liquid liner collection with the kiko definition eyeliner which is a glossy black and has a super thin brush with a long tip.The formula is quite liquid so you may need to build up a little but the thin brush is great to help create a thin line. It doesn't transfer onto my lid and seems to last which is always great. This retails for £6.90.

kiko cosmetics swatches Liquid liner, lip liner 201, shadows in 132, 102 and 130
Left to Right: Liquid liner, lip liner 201, shadows in 132, 102 and 130.
The liquid liner swatch took a bit of building up but the lip liner in shade 201 is very smooth and pigmented. I love this rosey colour and think it complements my skintone as I don't like pinks that are too light. As you can see from the swatches the shadows are very pigmented. They are really soft and easy to blend. Below I created a look using these 3 colours without any primer. I think these colours really complement each other for a soft neutral look. 

In short, I am already a big fan of Kiko Cosmetics. There is so much in their store I have no idea where to venture next and I have heard great things about pretty much everything. There is a foundation for dry skin that is so amazingly priced so I think I'll head to their base products next. As always I'll be sure to review it if I give it a go.

Kiko is definitely on my radar for great quality at great prices. Have you tried anything from the brand? If you don't live near a westfield you can order online here.

Till next time...Toodles! :)

Thursday, 6 June 2013

My fashionistMUA palette!?

Hi ladies

So here is a very late night impromptu post. I was ready to go off to bed and before logging out of facebook I noticed MUA promoting their fashionistA range. I tweeted my confusion because fashionistA is a brand of it's own and after a bit of snooping research  I discovered Mr MUA manufactures for other brands and fashionistA was one of them. MUA have now bought out fashionistA and given it the MUA effect, 'amazing quality for an amazing price'.  

In 2011 when fashionistA originally hit superdrug, I jumped on the bandwagon and got myself a palette. In addition to sharing the recent news I thought I would share my palette with you. Apologies for the photos but it's midnight and there's not much natural light here.

fashionistA palette
You can choose between a red and black 4 pan palette. You get 4 slots to fill up, a really good sized mirror and a very sleek palette. MUA have brought down the price of the palette to £2.

I had 2 blushers and 2 eyeshadows when I first bought this palette but 2 years later I now only have the 2 shadows. Getting rid of the blushers is no reflection of the quality but at the time I very rarely used blusher.

fashionistA MUA flush blusher swatch

I managed to find a photo I took of the blusher when I first bought it. I believe this was flush which was a very light pink and the other blush was in the shade brave which was a hot pink and is actually labelled as an eyeshadow on the superdrug website. Not quite sure what I was thinking when I bought that.

fashionistA MUA nude silver liner eyeshadow swatch
The shadows which I still have are in the shade Nude and Silver Lining.
fashionistA MUA nude silver liner eyeshadow swatch

The nude shade is the perfect nude for my skintone and you won't be able to see it in the swatch. It is a matte colour which I bought to sweep over the lid before applying other colours. Silver lining as you can see is a pigmented silver.

I think the packaging for this palette is perfect. You get the shadows individually like this which is perfect when you don't want to carry the whole palette and then as you can see below they easily pop out for you to pop in to the palette itself.

When I first got this palette I remember thinking there was nothing like it on the high street. I still don't think there is anything quite like it and I've always been surprised that despite the fantastic packaging and good quality products, the brand just never seemed to be talked about much. Now the prices have been lowered and the brand has the MUA momentum behind it things might change.

You can get a 4 pan palette with the products for a bargain £7 or a 6 pan palette for £10 here at the muastore or everything is half price on the superdrug website. If you would like to see swatches I came across some great ones by Helen over on Beautifully Superflous.

What do you think about this takeover?

Till next time...Toodles! :)