Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Spring/Summer wishlist

I have a constant wishlist on the go because I am a total make up addict and whilst some of the items may never be bought (im talking about the Rae Morris £500 brush set or a Mulberry bag), I try to keep some of the items realistic as it keeps me sane during shifts at work knowing that I will get something fabulous out of my pay check!

Here is my current wishlist and why I have chosen each item:

Nars Sheer Glow foundation

This used to be my daily foundation but since discovering Chanel vitalumiere aqua I had almost forgotten about this beautiful product. It is heavier coverage than the Chanel which is why I swayed towards lighter coverage over the past year however the finish of this product, particularly in the summer months is gorgeous. It is not shiny or glittery, instead is seems to give the skin luminosity and radiance. I have normal/combination skin which this product seems to suit however oily skins would probably find this a little too glowy and may prefer the sheer matte version. Either way Nars have a fantastic range so I am hoping to buy the foundation at least and some blushes if I have any extra cash!

Real Techniques Core collection

I already own the stippling brush which I bought separately and it is the only way I apply my foundation now! I love the Pixiwoo sisters youtube channel so I am pleased that Sam Chapman decided to create her own range of brushes which beauty bloggers and make up lovers around the world can support and enjoy using. This collection contains the buffing brush which I have heard great things about and would love to have a full set of these brushes for my own personal use.

Revlon lip butters

It seems like EVERYONE has tried these new lip products but me and despite originally not feeling too excited about it, I now feel like I must be missing out on something great after reading many rave reviews and some gorgeous colour swatches online. I have many lip glosses and lip sticks but own nothing in this particular texture and this seems like the perfect texture, colour and coverage for the summer season. The colour range is small but the colours that stand out to me from online images are Strawberry shortcake and Berry smoothie. Now I just need to find a store that HASN'T sold out of them!

MAC Dainty mineralize blush

I have wanted to try a mineralize blush for so long now and summer seems like the perfect season to buy one! I am obsessed with looking radiant in the summer months and using products which contain luminous ingredients because they look even better in the sun or on holiday. This soft pink blush would look amazing paired with pastels and bright clothing and would perfectly compliment a summer tan and vibrant lipstick. I usually don't favour shimmery products however this blush seems to have the perfect amount of glow without looking overly shiny on the skin.

Jo Malone Nectarine blossom and honey cologne

This scent is in my opinion the perfect combination of fruity and floral and reflects the delicate sweet smell of spring. I already own the wonderful pomegranate noir scent which has taken me through autumn/winter with its dark and sexy fragrance but this scent is more suited to the summer months and I would love another Jo Malone in my perfume collection! The scents are always so unique that I drawn to them much more than more well known scents. I will probably end up buying the smaller bottle so that I can take this scent away on holidays or trips over the summer.

These are my top 5 however my actual list is very long and ever growing! 
What's currently on your wish list and have you tried any of the products on mine?


Monday, 26 March 2012

7 deadly sins TAG

I have seen this TAG on a lot of my favourite beauty blogs recently so I thought I would do it myself as I love answering these kind of questions! I have answered them as honestly as I can and would love to see some more of these so I tag all of you guys to do it too :)

1.      Greed – What is your most inexpensive beauty item? What is your most expensive? 

      My most inexpensive has to be my ELF cosmetics products! I got some absolute bargains from that site including a matte lip colour pencil for £2 in their sale. MUA also have some great products such as £1 for a lipstick! My most expensive beauty item is my Clarisonic Mia. I received it as a Christmas gift but it is worth £120, pricey but totally worth it in my opinion!

2.    Wrath – What products do you have a love/hate relationship with? 

       I have a love/hate relationship with my Topshop cream blushes. They are really well pigmented and go onto the skin beautifully but they seem to just attract dirt! Even if I clean it regularly there are always dirty marks inside and out!

3.      Gluttony – What are your most delicious beauty products? 
        I love my Lush sugar lip scrub! It tastes like vanilla and feels yummy on the lips! I also adore my palmers coca butter which smells like chocolate and leaves my skin deeply hydrated - what more could you want?

4.      Sloth – What product do you neglect due to laziness? 

        I usually neglect eyebrow products because I tend to just brush them through in the mornings. This is pretty naughty as I'm always stating the important of eyebrows and how they frame the face. oops!

5.      Pride – What beauty product gives you the most self confidence?  

        It has to be my Chanel vitalumiere aqua foundation. It is light and natural looking but leaves the skin flawless and dewy. It feels like second skin but looks a lot better than my natural face!

6.      Lust – What attributes so you find most attractive in the opposite sex? 

       This is an odd question to have in a beauty tag! But I guess a sense of humour and a good sense of    style are my top two!

7.      Envy – What items would you most like to receive as a gift? 

       I would love to receive any beauty products as a gift but at the moment it would have to be a full set of Rae Morris make up brushes (about £500) So expensive but look divine! *keeps dreaming*


Friday, 23 March 2012

MAC lipstick giveaway WINNER!

I have just chosen the winner of my 100 follower giveaway! I decided to write down everyone's entry name on a piece of paper and put them all into a bowl and ask my mum to choose with her eyes closed (not as technical as rafflecopter or number generators but she wanted to be involved and I like doing things the old school way) hehe

Here are the all important photos of the winner's name being selected!

All of the entries

Into the bowl...

Mrs Campbell picking a winner with her eyes closed! 

And the winner is... HONOR -


Honor's chosen shade was MAC "Shy Girl"

I will contacting you shortly Honor but thank you to everyone who entered! 
It is because of your support and love of all things beauty that I continue to enjoy writing and sharing my passion for make up.


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Trio

I received this gift set at Christmas and have been using it rarely every since. Not because I don't like it but because it is so divine that I don't ever want to finish the products! This trio gift set consists of body and bath products, a body creme, honey bath with dipper and body scrub. The smell is sweet but light and is perfect for the ultimate pampering session.

The texture of the products is so luxurious and my skin feels amazing afterwards! The body wash is thick and creamy, the scrub is effective but not harsh on the skin and the body creme is deeply hydrating and helps the smell to linger even longer! When used together these products created the most amazing scent in my bathroom and lasted on my skin for hours! I am definitely going to put another one of these gift sets on my Christmas list this year too. This product was limited edition so I am not sure of the price but generally the Laura Mercier bath and body products are quite pricey so unfortunately I wouldn't rush out and buy them myself purely because I cannot afford to splurge on bath products however if you are looking for products to make your bath time more luxurious then they are worth investing in if you have the money spare! 

I would love to try the Fig, Creme Brulee and Pistachio version of these products!


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Giveaway is CLOSED

Hi everyone! thanks so much for all the entries to my giveaway, I cant wait to give one of you a prize! I will drawing the winner from a hat ( or bowl) on Friday, an old school method I know but its fair and efficient :)

Thank you for supporting my blog, I love writing and reading your comments so keep commenting and I will announce the MAC lipstick winner this Friday 23rd March!


Saturday, 17 March 2012

MAC Palettes!

On my make up course shopping day I bought two MAC palettes, the 15 piece eyeshadow and the 6 piece blusher. I could only afford to buy a few colours on the day as I had already spent far too much on other products so I went for 4 eye colours and 1 powder blush. Now that I have started these palettes I cannot wait to put aside a little bit of money a month and add to the palettes gradually! 

 Blusher palette containing Fleur power blush

Eyeshadow palette containing Brulee, Omega, Sketch and Carbon shadows

Here is where I need your help! I would love to know what your suggestions are for must have shadow and blusher colours from MAC that I should make sure I have inside these palettes. I will be using these palettes in my professional kit so am ideally looking for colours that I could use often and on various skin tones.

Please leave your suggestions in the comments below and I will keep you updated as I add to the palettes! 


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Elf Cosmetics - Blog competiton prizes!

I have been pretty lucky recently and won a few blog/twitter competitions which makes me happy because I love receiving little parcels in the post, especially when I don't feel the guilt of having spent lots of money on them! I entered the Elf Cosmetics blog competition because I love the quality and affordability of their products and am keen to try more of the range, and I won! My prize was the Weekend chic gift box which includes:

Elf nail polish in Fire Coral
Elf brightening eyeshadow in Nymph Dreams
Elf super glossy lip shine in Goddess
Elf studio liner and shadow stick in Pearl
Elf studio cream blush in Tease
Elf shimmer eyeliner pencil in Boldly Bronze

I couldn't help creating a look as soon as the products arrived and here it is:

My favourite product was the shimmer eyeliner pencil! I used it along the top lash line and the pigmentation and texture of the pencil was amazing! The eyeshadows were also well pigmented and the lipgloss is gorgeous. The cream blush was the only slight disappointment as the texture was like a mousse and I felt the colour pay off wasn't as good as the other products however the entire range is a real bargain so considering the price I pay for some products, this brand is definitely worth trying out!

Once again Elf cosmetics have blown me away with their colours choices and impressive pigmentation! What are your favourite Elf products?


Monday, 12 March 2012

NOTD - Essie "She's Picture Perfect"

When I went to the Professional beauty show last week I couldn't resist browsing the nail stalls as my polish obsession is out of control! I knew I didn't need any more colours but as I approached the Essie stand I fell in love with this gorgeous pastel lilac shade. I own nail polishes from many brands but have never tried Essie and with discounted prices I picked up this colour and another which I will review for you soon. For me this is the perfect Springtime colour!

There's almost a holographic pink element to the polish which doesn't pick up well on camera and this image looks more blue than lilac but it an elegant, pretty pastel shade. This cost me half the retail price but they are available online for £8.99. This isn't the most affordable nail brand around at the moment but the packaging, style and product make it worth that money for me.

Taken with flash 

In this photo you can see a little better the hint of pink running through this shade. Please excuse my unsightly nails in this photo, this was taken a few days after application and I forgot to use a top coat so two photo shoots and frantic make up rummaging later, the colour began to chip off. However the product lasted pretty well all things considered. There are some beautiful colours available from this brand and they are particularly good at creating nudes and pastels so if you are interested in buying some essential Spring/Summer shades then consider purchasing from Essie because I have been impressed with the depth of colour and variety of pretty shades in this range.

(Available at

What nail colour are you wearing now that the sun is finally out?


Friday, 9 March 2012

My make up brush collection

Ok so I think I can safely say I am addicted to make up brushes! I don't know what it is about the feel of a new brush that gets me over excited but whatever it is it has left me with an ever growing brush collection but I can safely say that I enjoy using each and every one of them. I enjoy trying various brands of brushes because companies offer such a variety whether it be the hair itself (real or synthetic), the handle weight and design, the style and colour of the brushes and the uses that they have. My brushes range from very affordable to pretty darn expensive for a make up tool but I have never spent an excessive amount on brushes (despite being very tempted) and I have tried and own a variety of brands.

My full brush collection

My first full brush set - Sigma "make me classy" kit
I asked for this kit for my birthday a year ago and am so pleased with it. The quality is great and the brushes are very similar in style, texture and result to more expensive MAC brushes. The barrell container is great for travelling around with them but also for standing the brushes in on my make up desk in a neat and stylish way.
( £89.95)

The Sigma kit contains a good selection of eye.face and lip brushes, a perfect starter kit for make up artists or make up addicts!

I received this set of 16 Crown brushes on the first day of my make up course at London Muse so that we could practise on ourselves and one another and get used to owning and cleaning our own professional brush set. They come in a handy brush roll and are very compact so perfect for travel and were a great introduction to the many different types of brushes. I would recommend these for anyone on a budget who wants to try a variety of styles of brush.
( 16 Piece set £39.46)

All tucks away into a handy lightweight brush roll!

This basket is my every day use brushes. They are my personal collection and I would not use these brushes for a professional job because although I clean my brushes regularly I use most of these a lot on myself and many of them have been in my collection for a long time. There are various travel size brushes which I have received as part of limited edition gift sets or samples which I have been sent to try out for my blog. The main brands in this basket are Real Techniques, Japonesque, MAC and Ecotools, all of which I love and would highly recommend!

A couple of weeks ago I ordered two brushes from MAC and I am so glad that I did. I have wanted the 217 and 130 for so long now and finally took the plunge. The 217 is perfect for blending eyeshadows and the 130 is a dream for cream blush application and blending. I will be using these brushes in my professional kit because the results and quality are fantastic!

The newest additions to my collection are three brushes I bought at the Professional beauty show in London on monday. Crown brushes had a stall at the event with some great discounts on their products so it felt like the perfect chance to make a few affordable additions to my kit! I purchased the pro blending fluff brush (a MAC 217 dupe), the deluxe crease brush (similar to MAC 224) and a double ended domed foundation/concealer brush which has no name on the handle and I cannot find online but according to the associate who helped me it is a very new product and so might not be available yet on their site. I can't wait to try these brushes and see if they perform as well as their more expensive competitors. 

I am always on the look out for new brushes and brands to try so please leave comments below with your make up brush must haves so I can add them to my wish list!


Monday, 5 March 2012

15 minute smokey eye!

Since finishing my make up course last month I have spent a lot of time practising what I have learnt and pushing myself to create looks in short amounts of time as make up artists often have to work under pressure and to time constraints. I decided to test myself and see if I could create a half decent classic smokey eye in 15 minutes and then a bold red lip in 5 minutes. As a lot of you will know it is hard to perfect something in this amount of time as I myself could spend an hour on just my eyes, making sure everything is blended and adjusting the shape so that the symmetry is correct. However, a working make up artist does not have the luxury of time so I love pushing myself to work quicker and create a good look in less time. I applied my base, bronzer and blusher before getting started.

Here is my 15 minute smokey eye 

Firstly I used a paintpot by MAC in blackground all over the lid which is a cream consistency creating a dark eyelid straight away and giving the shadows something to cling onto. I love working with paintpots because they are quick and easy and immediately give you the colour pay off you need. This black colour has shimmer to it with an almost dark green tone to it and could even be worn alone. I didnt worry too much about being neat I simply applied it with my fingers all over the lid coming just above the socket line then blending with my MAC 217 brush. I applied some product under the waterline too.

I used my ELF 100 pc eyeshadow palette which at £7.50 was a total bargain and is perfect for those of you who want to play with colour and create looks without spending hundreds on high end shadows. 

I applied a shimmer black from the ELF palette on top of the paintpot all over the lid once again except for the inner corners. I pressed it on to get the best pigment and to help it adhere to the cream paintpot. Again I blended this with the 217 brush keeping it to a smokey soft shape but not worrying too much about being neat. The best smokey eyes are often the messiest! I also applied some shadow under the eye again below the waterline and blended slightly to give a rock chick look.

I used a shimmer silver grey on the inner corners of the eye using a pencil shape brush to get right into the corner and slightly above and below creating a wide eyed look and giving the smokey eye some variation in colour.

I used a black gel liner along the lashline to intensify the darkness and put lots of mascara on both top and bottom lashes. 

I patted on some ELF studio conditioning lip balm in Neutral to give a matte, nude lip finish. I usually like to wear smokey eyes with a nude lip, however......

I then decided to challenge myself to a 5 minute red lip!

I lined the lips using Illamasqua medium pencil in Fiesty, a gorgeous bright red. I always have a little trouble with lip liner especially in darker colours but I tried to work fast and precisely to create an even, symmetrical line! I then used Smooch cosmetics red lipstick (it has no name on the product) to fill in and define the lips. I used a bit of concealer to tidy up around the edges however I ran out of time whilst correcting the cupids bow so it was not a perfect red lip!

Overall, I am quite pleased with how I did considering the time limit and doing exercises like this and documenting the results inspires me to be better the next time! 


Thursday, 1 March 2012

Sophie i technique - iconic i

Illamasqua recently launched some new SOPHIE products and with it an online competition to create your own version of the sophie i technique smokey eye. This technique is explained on their site with a step my step guide to producing this creative smokey eye look. I am a supporter of this collection because of what it stands for in the fight against prejudice and bullying which was explained in one my previous blog posts. Illamasqua collections are always exciting and I hope to purchase some of the SOPHIE products when I next get paid. In the mean time i decided to put my creative skills to the test and enter their competition to win £100 worth of products and upload my version of the iconic i.

The step by step guide on how to create the SOPHIE i

For this look I wanted to create a smokey eye with a twist by using oranges and reds with the dark black and I feel it gives it a modern, almost futuristic look.

Here is how I created it in 10 steps:

1. I applied Chanel Vitalumiere aqua all over the skin to create a dewy but medium coverage base. I made sure to apply foundation to the eyelids which would act as a primer for the eyeshadows and counteract any discolouration on my eyelids.

2. I didn't have a black kohl eyeliner to hand so I used black eyeshadow to create the line from the outer corner of the eye through the socket line. This line gave me my initial shape but would be much more intense and easier to follow if using a black pencil. I blended it slightly but not too much so as not to lose too much intensity of colour or shape.

3. I applied a light orange colour all over the lid and blended using a mac 217 brush. I didn't go above the socket line as this is where the black line would be created.

4. I applied a red colour to the middle and outer corners of the lid, blending it into the orange at the meet so that the colours seemed to change seamlessly. I used the same 217 brush to blend.

5. I applied more of the black eyeshadow to the outer corner to intensify and create the winged smokey eye effect. I decided to create a long upturned wing because then I could use more colour on the lid and make the look more dramatic.

6. I used a black gel eyeliner along the lash line to make the eyes look darker and make lashes look thicker.

7. I used lots of mascara to thicken and lengthen lashes on both top and bottom lashes. 

8. I used concealer to tidy up under and around the eye. I used a sponge to make the outer corners of the eye more defined. I also put concealer under the brow to lift and define the shape of the smokey eye.

9. I added some bronzer to contour under the cheekbones. I made the contouring quite strong as this look would suit catwalk or editorial where the cheekbones could be made more prominent and highlights using light and dark shades on the face.

10. I added an orange/red lipstick to compliment the eye colours and make the look even more creative and dramatic without overpowering the smokey eyes.

The products I used:

Foundation - Chanel vitalumiere aqua
Concealer - Collection 2000 lasting perfection
Bronzer - Benefit Hoola
Eyeshadows - ELF 100 pc palette (orange and red) Sleek storm palette (black)
Mascara - Bourjois Volumizer
Eyeliner - Maybelline gel liner

The colours used are definitely not your traditional smokey eye, however I tried to follow the SOPHIE i technique to some extent whilst giving it my own creative twist! I love playing around with colours and even though I have used oranges and reds I still think this look is quite wearable and if your looking for something a little different for a night out this would look amazing with a black outfit and statement jewellery!