Sunday, 16 December 2012

My ultimate Christmas wish list

For some reason I enjoy looking at beauty products online which I can either never afford or don't really need! I love making wish lists despite knowing I will probably never own the products and for some strange reason I don't mind! I think (and hope) that this is something that many beauty addicts do so I thought I would share my current dream wishlist with you. And if Santa is reading this he now knows what to leave in my stocking on Xmas morning ;)

NARS Edie gift set - £54

I only have a few NARS items but I can always be sure that the quality is fantastic and the products look and feel amazing. I have never tried lip or eye products so this kit would be perfect! I love the nude lip colour and the blushers are highly pigmented. The packaging alone is enough to get this set onto my wishlist!

Rae Morris brushes 
The 10 piece set alone is £159.50 but I am so desperate to try these brushes. I have heard great things and seen fav review by one of my favourite Youtube guru's Gossmakeupartis. The kabuki and eyeshadow brushes in particular are top of my list and even if I can't afford the set I will be treating myself to at least one individual brush soon.

Kevin Aucoin Best of eye kit - £74

Kevin Aucoin is one of my favourite make up artists and I would love to try his makeup range. This kit contains curlers, mascara, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil and eyeshadow which works out as a great price for each item but I can't bring myself to spend that amount! The packaging is sleek and I love looking at his products in my local Space NK store.
Illamasqua Limited edition black christmas box - £96

I love a limited edition collection so these goodies are right up my street! Again the price works out as a bargain for the products but its a little too excessive to spend on myself! I have never tried lashes or mascara from illamasqua so would be very keen to try these and the eyebrow cake looks like a great way to define brows instead of pencil. It comes with a step by step guide so would be perfect for beauty junkies!
Liz Earle Ultimate christmas hamper - £199.50

This would be a real dream present to receive! I love this skincare range and am running low on all of my products so this would keep me sorted for most of 2013! I haven't tried some of the body products so I would love to try the entire collection. If you are a true fan of the brand this would be ideal however there are more affordable sets online for those who want to try it out.

What would be your ultimate beauty gift this Christmas?


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Fake tan Favourites!

Despite the fact that it is November and there is nothing natural about a glowing tan, I am still not ready to give up the fake bronzed look! Even though I don't fake tan as often during winter I still like to keep up that golden glow to my skin because I believe it looks healthy and more flattering! I have a few favourite fake tans which I always go back to despite trying many brands and formulas and thought I would share them with you as tan's can be expensive and I am always looking for the perfect one!

1. Xen Tan dark lotion

Probably my all time favourite tan, this lotion contains a truly olive tone which creates an even and natural looking tan. I like my tan to be quite dark and this gives enough colour but does not look orange or too strong on the skin. It smells lovely and glides on beautifully. Because it is a lotion it takes a little while to dry but is well worth it in the morning! I would recommend this for both first time and experienced fake tan users because I have never experience any difficulties or disappointment with this and the xen tan fake tan mitt is also a great product from the range. The latest product from Xen tan is morrocan tan which is apparently deeper and more hydrating so I cannot wait to try it! I tend to buy mine from as it is much cheaper there however the actual Xen tan site is easy to use and often has money off codes.

2. Sienna x dark glowing self tan

Another great lotion, this dark formula is probably the deepest in colour on my favourites list. If you are looking for that real holiday in the sun for a week look then this is the one for you. The tone is slightly more yellow than xen tan but still not orange or unnatural looking. I love this because it is hydrating, smells great and you are guaranteed a dark colour when you wake up in the morning. Even after washing off in the shower, the colour left behind is dark and glowing as the name promises! The other sienna x products including the gradual tan, body wash, body scrub and body balm are lovely too so this range has really impressed me. It is fast becoming my favourite go to tan and the fact it is anti cellulite is always a good thing! I buy mine from beauty wholesalers but it is available on for a good price too.

3. Famous dave's gold edition tanning mousse

This mousse is paraben free, full of anti oxidants and anti ageing ingredients and easy to use. Mousse tends to dry quicker so its great for topping up during the week and I tend to use it for mid week tanning rather than as the initial colour. It is quite dark but certainly not too dark for first time tanners. It is slightly drying because it is not as hydrating as a lotion would be so I always moisturise the next day however I love the natural colour of it and like xen tan it has that olive undertone which is so flattering. The mousse is a good size so as a top up tan the product lasts me ages. Famous dave's is now available in Boots but I buy online at their own site as they often do special deals such as a free tanning mitt.

4. St Moriz dark instant self tanning mousse

This cheap and cheerful fake tan is arguably not as good a colour or texture as my more pricey favourites however for £2.99 I cannot turn up my nose at this affordable decent tan. The colour is little more orange and the texture is quite drying on the skin but as a quick, top up tan it is an absolute bargain. It is available in Savers but I usually buy from Fragrance direct. I have only tried the mousse formula but I am keen to get my hands on the lotion. This would be a great tan for first time tanners because if you don't like the results you haven't wasted nearly £30 like most other tans. However I usually recommend it to those who tan often because the formula can cause streaky if not used correctly. Overall I can't complain about good results from such an affordable product.

5. Fake bake Bronzer instant wash off tan medium matte

This instant tan is amazing! It is my go to for nights out because it gives a rich deep colour which doesn't streak and glides onto the skin smoothly. It dries quickly and I have never experienced transfer onto clothing on running of product during bad weather! I haven't tried alot of fake bake in the regular tan range but if the colour is anything like the instant then I am definitely interested in trying. I use the product quite heavily but the colour would suit any skin tone depending on how much you apply. I would like a pump action because the tube doesn't really tell you how much to use but I tend to just squeeze a big blob out and hope for the best! It comes with plastic gloves inside which apply it well and stop any orange hand problems! I bought this on a whim at work but will be repurchasing for sure!

My latest fake tan purchase is Vita Liberata extra rich silken chocolate gel

I will be testing it out this week and will keep you updated on the results and see if it makes it onto my favourites list!

What are your fake tan favourites?


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Lashes lashes and more lashes!

I never used to wear false lashes but since starting with MAC I have become addicted to them! My own lashes are quite short and fine and despite using volumising and lengthening mascara's I can never achieve that truly fluttery eyelash look. I have tried many lashes from many different brands but I have to say that MAC lashes are incredible. There are lots of styles available, defined, fluffy, long, short but I have a few favourites which I always go back to!

7 lash
These have to be my all time most used lashes! They are defined and slightly tapered which elongates the look of the eye but in a natural way. I use these for everyday wear or when I want the eyeshadow to be the main feature because they give definition and length but don't distract. They are so easy to apply and the length of the strip fits perfectly onto my lash line. I always have at least 3 pairs in my personal collection just in case of lash emergency ;)

8 lash

Another must have for me, these bundled lashes are spikey and defined and focus on both length and volume. Despite their strong appearance they create a fairly natural look because they replicate the look of a very good mascara with evenly spaced clumps of lashes. They are ever so slightly tapered and the dark black works well with a smokey eye.

12 lash
If you are looking for a dramatic lash these are the ones for you! I use these when I am doing a dark strong smokey eye look on nights out. These lashes with a strong eye and nude lip are my favourite going out style. They are very fluffy, deep black and tapered at the ends to create a winged out look. I always pair these lashes with winged gel liner to create huge feline eyes.

34 lash

These brown/black lashes are a softer alternative to the 12's. They still have that fluffy tapered style but the brown is more wearable for daytime and look fantastic with a gold/brown smokey eye. They are great for people with few and short lashes because they are very long, fluffy and full with a winged edge.

36 lash

These smaller fluffy lashes were originally launched as Sultress lashes because they are sexy but still natural enough for daytime. They are a soft black with a natural tapered look and are my favourites for a vintage eye look. I often pair these with a matte cream eyeshadow and red lips. If you are new to a tapered winged lash then these are a great first pair!

48 lash

These long wispy lashes are my doll look lashes as they instantly open up the eyes and the length makes them quite dramatic so I tend to wear them for evenings. I like to wear these with a brown/bronze smokey eye because they have that soft black colour which is less harsh than the deep black of the 12 lash. If you are looking for both length and fullness these are beautiful.

The must have product that makes these lashes so successful is Duo Adhesive.

This latex white glue dries clear and holds the lashes on all day and night. I have never experience any lashes coming off with this glue and the tube lasts a long time. It is safe to use in the eye area as well as using for body decoration in makeup artistry. Don't be put off by the odd smell it really is the best lash adhesive I have found! 

I like to apply the glue onto the end of a cotton bud and slowly and carefully apply to the edge of the lash. I then wiggle the lashes with the glue on the create a subtle curve so that they apply onto the shape of the eye better. Wait a few seconds until the glue is tacky and then apply onto lash line, lining up with the length of the eye. If you have smaller eyes you may want to line the lashes up prior to glue and cut off any length as necessary. NEVER cut lashes once they are on your eyes! 

Some people like to put mascara onto the lashes however I usually apply my mascara first then leave the lashes as they are. I find that this way I can re-use the lashes more times (approximately 5) by just peeling the old glue off and starting again. You may find that you want to apply mascara though for a stronger look and it can help to create a flawless look between your own lashes and the falsies.

What are your favourite MAC lashes? Are there any other brands that I should try?


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

My LUSH collection

I have always loved the concept behind Lush. Their strong views against animal testing and amazing scents make this store a pleasure to visit. There is a store near my work in Kingston and often browse there on my lunch break. I have recently purchased quite a few products from there and thought I would review them for you! My LUSH wish list is constantly growing due to the release of limited editions (notably the christmas collection) and I am always seeing fantastic reviews of products on my favourite blogs.

LUSH Volcano foot mask

A tingling clay foot mask which is perfect for those of us who work on our feet all day! I often have sore, aching feet after my shift on counter and this foot mask is the perfect pamper treatment for my tootsies! I apply it all over my feet on dry skin, then put my feet into clingfilm or a carrier bag to let it soak in for about 20 minutes. It has a cooling feeling and you can feel it soothing straight away. I then wash it off and scrub the product as I do to exfoliate the skin too. This is a retail workers dream product! Soft, smooth skin and feels like a real luxury treat!

LUSH Fairtrade foot lotion

This bright pink minty foot lotion has the same cooling effect of the mask and is perfect for using afterwards. I slather it on and it instantly revives and refreshes my feet, particularly the soles. Another fantastic product for anyone who spends alot of time on their feet I always follow the mask with this cream. It is a light but highly moisturising product and smells great.

LUSH Charity pot

This body lotion has a pleasant but not overpowering smell. It is soft, hydrating and melts into the skin quickly. I like to use this morning and evening and the fact that the money goes to charity makes me feel less guilty about splurging on it. A little goes a long way and anyone who wants an everyday no fuss body moisturiser this is a fantastic option for you.

LUSH ocean salt scrub

I use this product everywhere! It is created to be soft enough for the face which I love using it for but it also feels great on the body and feet. I mix it with a bit of water in my hands then lightly buff onto the skin. The smell is like a mojito with a lime minty vodka aroma. The scrub itself contains quite large granules so I probably wouldn't use this on very sensitive skin however if you use enough water it breaks down to a softer texture. 

LUSH Catastrophe Cosmetic fresh face mask

This is the only product I haven't immediately loved from LUSH. I bought it to make my skin feel refreshed and prevent breakouts as I wear makeup almost everyday for work and wanted a deep clean feeling. When I first used this my skin immediately felt soft and smooth however the next day all of my impurities seemed to have been brought to the surface and I suffered from some bad spots for the next few days. Eventually my skin recovered and felt better than ever but I was a little upset at first because working on a make up counter with breakouts is not fun! I asked the lady in Lush if this was normal and she said yes that it is meant to draw out impurities and takes a while to clear the skin so I would only use this again if I had a few days off work!

I am going to LUSH spa in Kingston on Wednesday for a massage treatment called "The Good Hour" which I am extremely excited about so I will let you know how that goes! Are there any LUSH must haves that I should pick up on my shopping trip and add to my collection?


Monday, 22 October 2012

Beauty Wishlist

I am constantly lusting over new products online and in store and have put together a list of products that I simply MUST have in my collection. Instead of buying them all at once and spending money I don't have I might treat myself to one every 2 weeks when I get paid. My list includes skincare, haircare and makeup of course.

1. REN Glycolactic radiance renewal mask 

I have previously tried a small sample of this mask and really enjoyed using it. Although the texture is different to my usual favourite masks it seemed to instantly brighten the skin so I am keen to get my hands on the full sized product. Many of my favourite bloggers have raved about this so I know that it will be worth the investment. Anything to brighten my dull skin this winter will greatly appreciated!

2. Vita Liberata Extra Rich Silken Chocolate gel

I have tried pretty much every tan on the market but have yet to try this one which I have heard quite a bit about. It is the darkest version available from this brand but I have heard that it may not be as dark as some of my other favourites such as Xen tan dark lotion or Sienna x glowing tan. I am however keen to try it because it contains no nasties and I'd like to use more paraben free products. This will be my next tan purchase!

3. Chantecaille Just Skin tinted moisturiser 

This £57 tinted moisturiser is something that might just always stay on the wishlist. It is very pricey for a makeup product and I just don't know if i can justify that price however I am desperate to try it. I popped into Space NK the other day to try it and the texture and coverage is beautiful. I have read some amazing reviews of this product so hopefully I will be able to treat myself to it around Christmas time when I do more overtime at work!

4.  Kerastase Elixir ultime imperial tea

I got given the original version of this for Christmas last year and have nearly come to the end of it so I was thrilled to hear that there is a new version which is ideal for coloured hair. I change my hair colour alot and often get highlights so despite having normal to oily hair I do like to treat it before using heated styling tools and this product is the ultimate in hair luxury. It is an oil yet somehow not heavy in the hair and with only one pump needed in the hair it really is an investment worth making!

There are many other products that i'm interested in trying but these are the very top of my list at the moment! Have you tried any of these and which should I treat myself to first?!


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

September MAC favourites

I can't believe it is October already but this new month is the perfect time to look back on my favourite products of September! I have chosen my favourite MAC products but will be doing a general updated skincare, bodycare and haircare favourites post soon too. As a MAC retail artist I am constantly surrounded by the products and am always drawn to certain products whether it be because of the pretty packaging, impressive colours or how it helps me to create a flawless finish. It is always hard to pick favourite because they change almost daily but here are the products that I have been using or loving the most during the last month.

MAC Studio Sculpt foundation in NC37

I do like to wear a good coverage foundation particularly on counter and this is a great alternative to my usual Studio fix Fluid. Studio sculpt is a hydrating gel based liquid foundation which is fantastic for normal to dry skin types. As a normal/combination skin type I have always used studio fix which provides great coverage but I wanted to see if my skin took as well to this more hydrating formula. And I love it! It feels so comfortable on the skin despite giving a flawless finish and covering all my problem areas. The tube is so handy for carrying round and the formula lasts all day on me without going patchy on my dry areas. NC37 is a great colour for my skin with a layer of self tan on and it blends in beautifully with a 188 brush. I would highly recommend this for those of you with any dry areas or fairly normal skin who want a beautiful natural finish with impressive coverage.

MAC Supercontinental blush

This peachy toned shimmer blush is part of the limited edition Styleseeker collection which launched last month. It is almost like a mix of my favourite two blushers Melba and Margin to create a soft peach with a sheen to it that makes the skin look radiant. I would recommend this blusher to anyone who likes coral or peach tones and would suit any fair to medium skin tones. Because this is limited edition you may want to order online as the product is sold out in many stores! It is lovely to find a peach tone which is soft enough for Autumn but would still give a great pop of colour when used a little stronger in Summer months.

MAC 209 brush

I am a gel liner addict and have always been on the hunt for the perfect liner brush for applying on top and bottom and to create flicks at the edge. The 209 is the perfect brush in my opinion. It is soft enough to use in the waterline yet firm enough to apply enough product for strength of colour. I use it right in the inner corner with its pointed end and the shape allows you to produce a vintage flick in an instant. It is the perfect size for a line on the top lash line glides like a dream! If you use gel liner this is a must have!

MAC Soft and Gentle

This product is a highlight junkies dream. It is a soft mineral powder formula with a warm skin coloured tone and shimmer texture for highlighting any areas of the face. I use this to highlight the cheekbones, the nose, the top lip and the brow bone. The shimmer itself is not too glittery and therefore not too unnatural for day wear however this is a product that I use mostly for nights out. The sheen picks up incredibly well in photos and when used with a contour powder or bronzer makes the cheekbones really stand out. It is a flattering colour on many skintones and I like to use it with a 109 brush on the cheekbones and a 224 on smaller areas.

MAC Impassioned lipstick

I have been wearing this colour a lot recently purely because it makes such an impact on its own that it allows me to do more simple eye looks such as mascara and liner on my days off and I am ready to go! Impassioned is a popular colour on celebrities such as Rhianna and Jessie J because its neon pink tone is modern and fresh but flatters many skin tones. It is a brave choice of lipstick there is no doubt about that but I always invite people to try it because despite its neon appearance in the packaging it actually comes out a little softer on the lips and is a beautiful hot pink shade with an almost coral undertone. It is a real one of a kind in my opinion and a must have for any lipstick addicts

Of course there are many other products which I adore but these have been my must haves this month and I seem to use them time and time again. 

What are your current MAC favourites and have you tried any of mine?


Friday, 28 September 2012

Victoria's Secret London

I have wanted to go to the VS store in London ever since I heard that one was opening I finally I managed to get there! I went with my friend and fellow MUA/blogger Vicky and knew I would end up spending some money (oops) as we both have a shopping addiction and seem to enable each other! 

The store was incredibly impressive. Located on new bond street, surrounded by the best designer shops in London, the store stands out from the crowd with huge window displays of beautiful VS show costumes and seductive dark wood finish. The interior is just as stunning with perfume,bras, knickers and costumes lining the walls and drawers full of goodies! 

Chandeliers and underwear - heaven!

2 hours and lots of money later...

Vicky showed more restraint than me but still left with goodies 

VS bodies (or not) but yum for Vicky's gateau!

MAC taxi on Regent Street

I bought 3 bras, 2 pairs of knickers and...

a body mist which smells gorgeous!

I will definitely be going back to the store soon to buy more underwear and beauty goodies! The service was fantastic particularly from associate Katie who measured me and made sure that I found the perfect bra. The team make sure that you are given a perfect bra card which documents your size and which bra styles you have tried and works as a checklist system. They suggest getting measured every 6 months to double check sizing. It is worthwhile getting measured in there because the American sizes can differ from UK.

Have you been to the store yet and what did you think?


Monday, 17 September 2012

Make up shopping haul!

I've been absent from blogging for a while thanks to some rather horrible events in my personal life and a very busy schedule but I'm back and ready to tell you all about some exciting things I have bought recently! As a MAC girl I have of course bought a few make up products from the new collections and couldn't resist popping into Illamasqua to see their new collections too.

So here are my most recent make up purchases! 

Illamasqua "Brink" lipstick - gorgeous coral matte shade is so different from anything I already own! 
"Intimacy" lipgloss - nude shade from the new Naked Strangers collection which will go well over any other colours!

MAC 217 brush - a girl can never have too many of these, an essential blending brush
MAC lip palette in "Plums" - contains some of my favourite colours for Autumn such as Captive and Hang up! A new product I picked up from the Pro store which will be so handy for photoshoots and freelance jobs!

"Supercontinental" blusher - From the new Styleseeker collection this peach shade with a hint of shimmer looks amazing with a tan!
"Rosy Outlook" Pro Pongwear powder blusher - So creamy yet still a powder this longwear blush is from the new Office Hours collection. It really does stay put and this soft girly pink shade would suit girls who are afraid of going too dark with blush!

Top to bottom: "Saigon Summer" "Sunny Seoul" "Coral Bliss"
These cremesheen lipsticks from the new Cremesheen Pearl collection are soft and pretty yet pack a punch of colour. I have been wearing these non stop since I bought them as they are comfortable on the lips and last really well! Limited edition so grab them while you can!

Is there anything from the new collections that you have your eye on?


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

My Ombre Hair!

So I recently took the plunge and decided to steer away from my regular blonde highlights and jump on board the dip dye wagon. I don't usually follow hair trends but I loved the idea having my healthy original hair colour at the root whilst being able to add a bit of the blonde which I love so much :) I had seen photos of celebrities, bloggers and most importantly Lauren Conrad (love her) and these gorgeous images were the inspiration I needed to go for it! I decided to only have the top layer of hair done as my bottom layer is already light from previous highlights and this way if I didn't like the style I could change it back more easily! is my new hair!

In foils at the ends

Finished result - a sleek graduation from light brown to light blonde

Ombre looks nice curled too!

In natural light ready for work!

I am glad that I stuck with my original root colour as I didn't want to contrast between light and dark to be too severe, especially as this was really a trial run! Next time I will definitely be getting the same again with more blonde through the ends and perhaps a darker colour at the root!

What do you guys think of my new do?