a slight change of plan

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

If you've been an avid reader of my blog for sometime now, you may notice that when you visited today, a few things have changed. For starters, my blog design is completely different. Don't get me wrong, I loved my old blog design but I felt like it was too plain - if that makes sense. I spent a good few hours this morning tweaking and swapping things around with a hell of a lot of googling for them silly HTML codes. I've gone completely different, from colour schemes to writing and slightly even in the form of the content. I've even done the whole sha-bang, what with new About page and updated FAQ's and Blogrolls.

From now on, I've decided to make this blog a lifestyle and beauty blog. I tend to read beauty blogs, yet lust after writing a nice, neat little online journal in the form of a lifestyle blog. Yes, there will still be monthly beauty favourites and product reviews, but in a bid to make this little space of the internet more personal, expect to see photos of me and my life, as well as what I get up to. I hope that this doesn't confuse you too much! In short form, I'm just after a bit of a change.

I felt like I'd hit a bit of a brick wall in terms of my blog, hence the reason for the blog re-design. For me, re-designing my blog and slightly changing the direction and content of my blog is extremely inspiring and motivational. For example, as soon as I changed the design, I couldn't wait to write this post and show you all what I'd been working on for the past 3 hours. Also, I think it's good to have some sort of a change.

I've been reading more lifestyle-ly blogs recently too, and it's such a good way to gain motivation. A few of my favourites include Ellalogy, Hey Natalie Jean, Erstwhile Felicity and Paris in Four Months. I'm also hoping to become more adventorous and better with my photography and I think that making this blog more personal will help with that.

I hope I haven't confused you too much!

winter wishlist

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
One of the things I love most about Winter is the change of clothes and a re-vamped wardrobe. There's just something so satisfying about clearing out an overflowing wardrobe and filling it again with coats, leggings and cosy jumpers and cardigans. For the change of season (and clothes!), a Polyvore set was in order to nosey around and see what I like the look of.

Everyone needs a nice, warm and cosy snood throughout the Winter, don't they? This one from Topshop is definitely on my list for a Winter wardrobe! Also, I saw this coat whilst browsing the outerwear section and couldn't help but put it in my set. It looks so warm and comfy!

As always, I'm always late to the party to buy a nice pair of boots. Boots are the one thing I am so fussy about - I hate them too high or too low, and they have to be the right colour. I know, it's fussy and it drives my mum mad, haha. I saw these and they're exactly the right colour and height that I would wear, so they were a winner!

Bags are one thing I never usually change, but seen as though we're going all out with all of the other items in this set, I added this one in. As you can probably already tell, I prefer beige and tan colours in Winter instead of deep reds and purples - I leave them colours to Autumn. I couldn't resist not putting one of these Christmas Yankee candles in. Every year we buy a Christmas candle and this looks perfect for this year.


top mac eyeshadows

Friday, October 25, 2013
As I've said previously, my high end makeup is one that I love to indulge in and with MAC, I always know I'm getting good value for my money. Their eye shadows pack just the perfect amount of colour dusted over the eye, and their range is incredible! Yellow, red, pink, burgundy, blue eye shadows - you're bound to find them in MAC.

I have 9 MAC eyeshadows in total and pack them all into my pro palette, but these four are my favourites hands down. The first one I picked was Nylon, which I use as an inner corner/brow bone highlight. As with all MAC shadows, they're extremely pigmented and very easy to blend, which of course makes them a winner!

The next MAC shadow I love is Woodwinked. Now, this has been ranted and raved about for quite a few years now, and rightly so. It's a warm, 'antique' brown with golden shimmers. Although it may not seem like it, this colour is so incredibly versatile and suits every colour eye. It's amazing for when you're having a 'lazy makeup day' - just dust this over your whole eye and you're good to go. No contouring or crease colour is really needed and is just a really nice, simple, versatile colour!

Next we have Espresso, which I just to fill in my brows. Because my hair is naturally dark, this shade suits my brows perfectly. All I have to do is use an angled brush with a small bit of this on and my brows are good to go. You can also use this as a heavy crease colour. Yet again, you can practically do anything with this because it's your simple matte brown.

Finally is probably one of my favourites of the favourites. Cranberry is such a perfect autumnal colour - a deep burgundy shade with a slight gold shimmer. I struggled with how to wear this when I fist bought it, but with some experimenting I think I've found a nice way to wear this without it being too OTT.

Elise ♥

interior inspiration

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
My mum and I have decided to redecorate our living room, which only means one thing - hours and hours spent on Pinterest drooling over dreamy bedrooms and beautiful kitchens. But can you blame me? The photos of interiors on there are to die for, and I couldn't help not sharing a few of these dreamy houses with you all.

All images' sources are on my Pinterest board 'home'.
 The first two is definitely more to my mum's taste - modern with all matching colours but still with a sense of personality, whereas the two beneath are mine. Modern homes are really not my style, as I prefer a house to be more of a home than like a 'show home'. Rustic wood and pastel colours are my favourite, along with candles and cozy blankets.

Pinterest has began to take over my life. I uncontrollably spend hours on there (especially like tonight when I should be revising for my French exam tomorrow!) but I really can't help it. I just can't wait to decorate now!

top nail polishes

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Ahh. Nail polishes. One of my main loves in life, and my obsession at the same time. My drawer of nail polishes has been gradually building up and I've been putting off clearing them out because I know there will be some that are well and truly gone. But, I took the decision of clearing the lot out and it dawned on me that my top nail polishes are all from the same brand and all in the same colour group. Coincidence or what?

So, as you can see above, all of these polishes are by Models Own. I love the formula, brush and colour pay-off that the range has, and all of the colours I picked out are of a similar colour group! The first one I picked out was Garnet, which I actually won as part of a nail hamper in a giveaway last year. It's a beautiful dark red with purple undertones and as with all Models Own formulas, it's impeccable.

The next one for me is a classic. Hedonist polish was part of the Hedkandi collection and is a cult in the beauty blogosphere, especially through the summer. The polish is an illuminous orange that looks amazing in the summer, or even if you're wearing a monochrome outfit and you just want a nice burst of colour! Finally we have Red Alert. This for me is the perfect red. Although it is very similar to Garnet, it is a brighter colour with not as much purple beneath.

Elise ♥

mac creme cup

Monday, October 21, 2013
After mentioning in my post about MAC's Creme D'Nude that I'd prefer a pinky nude rather than a beige-golden, I went back to MAC and bought Creme Cup. They are both Cremesheen formulas, which basically means that they're creamy and quite opaque and still give a nice moisturizing effect. I much prefer pinky-based nudes rather than beige and golden, because I personally think that they look nicer on myself due to my skin tone.

Creme Cup is a gorgeous, glossy pink which is perfect for wearing everyday, or to balance out a super-heavy eye. As with all MAC Cremesheen lipsticks, the wear time is not the best. Due to it being very creamy and glossy, it tends to wear off easily and needs re-applying every 2-3 hours. The shade itself is very wearable and because it's a classic medium-toned pink, it will suit anyone with any skin tone.

It doesn't highlight any dry or rough patches and doesn't dry them out too. I also love the smell of MAC lipsticks, which I keep using as an excuse to buy more... Overall I'd recommend this for a simple nude although it's not completely overwhelmed me!

Elise ♥

berry beauties

Saturday, October 19, 2013
To me, berries and cherries are the perfect Autumnal colours. Deep plums and reds are my favourites to wear on my lips as well as my nails, as they look so chic and elegant without being too formal. For today's post I've picked out a few berry coloured/themed products that I'm aiming to try before the end of Winter.

Firstly I picked out the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains in Smitten. As I mentioned earlier in this post, berry coloured lipsticks/balms are my favourites to wear on my lips. I've not yet tried any coloured lip balms other than the Bourjois Colorboost which I loved, so a few more shades are definitely ones I'd like to try! Next I have Essie's nail polish in Poor Lil' Rich Girl. How strange is that for a nail polish name? Anyway, this looks like a gorgeous colour to match with the lip balm which I have to try out.

I also added one of the YSL Rouge Volupte lipsticks in Mysterious Red. There are so many amazing reviews out there on the YSL lipstick range but I just can't seem to justify the massive £24.50 price tag! This is such a gorgeous colour so it looks like I'll have to bite the bullet and try this one out. Finally I chose a MAC nail lacquer in Rougemarie. I've not yet tried any MAC nail lacquers but yet again, this colour looks beautiful and I'll have to give it a whirl.

Elise ♥

bath and body works

Thursday, October 17, 2013
Why don't we have Bath and Body Works in the UK? Their product are amazing and smell soooo good, so every so often a mini eBay treat is in order. I bought each of these mini hand sanitizers for £2.79 each and am officially in love.

I have a bit of a thing for hand sanitizers, so I bought 5... I keep one in my mums and dad's car, another in my school bag and another in my room. The extra one is just at my Gran's house incase I stay there. So yes, you can say I have a bit of an obsession! 3 of my favourites are Coral Reef, Hippo Berry and Swingin' Vanilla. The photos on the front are too cute aswell!

The hand sanitizers itself does what it says on the bottle - kills germs. However, some hand cleaners smell awful and smell very alcoholic. These have little glitter pieces which decompose/melt down which look pretty in the bottle, but you're not left with glittered hands! The smell stays on your hands for quite a long time which is always nice when you smell of (nice) hippos. :)

Elise ♥

mac msf: soft and gentle

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
MAC is one of my favourite high-end brands hands down. Since buying my first MAC lipstick back in June, I've returned and bought nearly 15 products. I have quite an addictive personality so once I start to love a brand, I buy as much as I can before I move onto the next obsession. It may be good for my face (and blog) but sadly not for my bank account! :(

After looking for the perfect highlighter, one that popped up on my blog search very frequently was MAC's Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle. This was quite expensive at £22 but worth every penny! On the skin it looks a lot lighter than in the pan, but the glitter and colour of it is beautiful. It looks lovely applied on the top of the cheek bone on its own, or even with a nice bronzed tan to give a nice, warm and healthy glow.

As the name of the product suggests, it is really 'soft and gentle'. It doesn't make you look like a walking glitter ball and just adds a small hint of shimmer. The champagne glimmers look absolutley beautiful and lasts a good 6-7 hours. Also, a little does go a long way! I only swatched this very lightly on my hand above and gave a nice, even glow.

Overall I'd definitely recommend and repurchase! It is on the expensive side but I have no faults as of yet!

Elise ♥

my real techniques brushes

Saturday, October 12, 2013
In my 'how to clean makeup brushes' post a while back, I said that I don't see the point in buying expensive makeup if you don't frequently clean your brushes thoroughly. Bacteria and germs will explode and infest your brushes, meaning that if you don't clean your brushes, you can end up with pesky spots and blemishes. 

Real Techniques are my all-time favourite brush brand. The likes of MAC and Bobbi Brown charge absolutely ridiculous prices for brushes, when you can pick up a set of four or five Real Techniques brushes for just over £20! I really can't fault them whatsoever - they don't go out of shape when they're deep cleaned, and can apply makeup flawlessly with a variety of different face, eye and lip brushes.

The first set I bought was the Core Collection or Face set (orange handles). The kit comes with a detailer brush; the infamous buffing brush to apply flawless foundation; a contour brush with the perfect shape for chiseling cheek bones; and a foundation brush. I find the foundation brush a little too small and I rarely ever use it. For the price, you can't fault the quality and variety of brushes you actually get.

I also bought the Starter Set (purple handles) which mainly focuses around the eyes. Included is the base shadow brush which I mainly use for concealer; a deluxe crease soft brush to eye shadow; an accent brush for tiny highlighting; an eyeliner brush and an angled brow brush. Both of the kits come with a case/stand but I prefer to store them in my IKEA pots.

I bought the Stippling brush and Powder brush separately for around £10.99 each. If I want a slightly less coverage from my foundation, I use the stippling brush instead of the buffing brush as there are not as many fibers. The powder brush really does what it says on the tin. Perfect for powdering, blusher and even giving yourself a nice little bronzer tan.

Elise ♥

baby lips

Friday, October 11, 2013
Yet again, I have been disappointed with a number of Maybelline products. On Wednesday, I posted about their new brow mascara, BrowDrama. It's not as good quality as I'd expect with Maybelline, and I was extremely disappointed with their super-hyped-up Baby Lips.

By the way that everyone had described them, I walked into Boots expecting them to be laid out on a giant, perfectly pink cushion with fairy lights surrounding them just in front of the main doors. It's fair to say that the hype and drama surrounding these was insane. I picked up the Peach Kiss and Repair because you always need a good, trustworthy repairing lip balm for Winter.

It's fair to say I was extremely disappointed in them. Maybelline claim them to last 8 hours, and on me, they're lucky to last 8 minutes. I think that they feel very watery somehow on your lips and although they smell divine, they're just a pain to put on and wear. I've battled through the horrible feeling and find that either do not moisturize my lips or help them in anyway. My main uses for them are to have a nice, short term gloss over the top of a lipstick. Even then, they last and moisturize for no longer than half an hour. Plus, I can promise that I didn't have a chomp on the purple balm - I always forget to wind it down before putting the lid on. Woops.

Again, I would not recommend these to anyone for any other reason than a super-quick gloss over your lipstick. Maybelline, I'm disappointed in you!

Elise ♥

brow drama

Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Being un-willfully blessed with thick, bushy and wild brows, brow gels are my thing. My eyebrows can sometimes look quite unruly and quite angry looking, so I find that brow gels which can hold my brows in a certain place are a godsend.

I was on the hunt for a cheaper, more affordable brow gel and I found this Brow Drama by Maybelline. I picked up the shade 'medium brown', but although it's way too light for my eyebrows, I mainly just use it so that my eyebrows stay in the same place. I usually fill my eyebrows in with Espresso by MAC and pop a little bit of this over the top.

As for the product itself, I find it to be absolutely awful, yet I still use it because I can't go without. It does leave your eyebrow hairs feeling a little crusty - yucky. I still find it ironic how it's called Brow Drama and all it does is leave them barely coloured.  The only good thing about this product is the brush - you can get every hair from every angle without piling on loads of product. Just a cheap clear mascara will do the job just as well as this... Maybe even better.

It does keep your eyebrows in place and looking nice and neat, but it tends to go a little clumpy and crusty. Overall, I'd definitely not recommend this if you're looking for a 'Cara brow'!

Elise ♥

rimmel cocktail colour

Monday, October 07, 2013
Finally! A drugstore/more affordable nail polish with a bigger brush! It seems like now you have to spend a massive £11 (which is ridiculous) to get a nail polish with a decent, wide brush. Wide brushes are so much easier to use as they coat more of the nail at once, rather than painting and painting the same place over and over, essentially ending in streaky nails.

The first thing that I noticed about this bottle is that Rimmel claim this nail polish needs only one coat for a full colour. I didn't find this to be the case, as shown in the image above. The bottom nail shows one coat, and the top has two. When it has one coat, it looks quite streaky and opaque, but the extra coat makes all the difference. It does, however, dry within 60 seconds which the bottle also claims.

The nail polish itself is one of Rimmel's new collections called 'Cocktail Colour'. The shade I bought was called Hawaiian Punch, and I'd describe it as a beautiful hot fuchsia with golden holographic pieces. It really isn't like any other polish in my collection, which is surprising considering I have hundreds of them! You can pick these up for a mere £3.99 in Boots and Superdrug.

Elise ♥

mac rebel

Saturday, October 05, 2013
My MAC lipstick collection has been one that I love to indulge in add to. Recently, my bolder lipstick collection has been growing, with the addition of Russian Red and now Rebel. I've had my eye on Rebel for what seems like forever, but it's now finally embedded into my collection and is holding the favourite spot at the moment! 

Let's start off by saying how different this looks in the bullet in comparison to on your lips! It's the perfect mid-toned plum which is extremely pigmented, and looks beautiful blotted down on paler skin. Because this lipstick's finish is Satin, it drys fairly matte but has a little bit of sheen. It's very creamy and doesn't drag across the lips. Although Satin finishes are known to be quite opaque, I find this colour very pigmented and bright!

As I said earlier, I usually blot this down on a piece of tissue paper because the full colour is just too bright for me. The colour lasts around 5-6 hours which I think is amazing, but it does dry fairy unevenly which is a pain in the bum! It also does stain the lips and is difficult to remove, but I personally prefer a lipstick that's difficult to get off instead of it running off within a few hours!

I have a strong feeling that Rebel will be this year's holy grail Autumnal lipstick. A strong, bold lip paired with neutral eyes and maybe a winged liner is already one of my favourite makeup looks! Although it's quite drying, you only have to pop on a bit of lip balm beforehand and you're good to go.

Elise ♥

bourjois chocolate bronzer

Thursday, October 03, 2013
After picking this up in my latest haul, it's safe to say I am more than impressed with the Bourjois chocolate bronzers. Being my usual pale self, it's extremely difficult to find a bronzer that isn't too orange or dark to suit me. The majority end up looking like ugly mud stains on your cheeks, which looks awful!

Having been what seems like the last person to jump on the chocolate bandwagon, I'm finally getting round to reviewing this for you! I actually really like this bronzer as I find it the perfect shade for pale skin. I've heard a few reviews saying it's actually too orange, but I don't find that to be the case at all. It's perfect for countouring as it's really blendable and easy to work with. If you put too much on and don't want to be TOWIE-tanned, you can always take your foundation brush and just work in the edges.

I have one of the biggest sweet toothes there ever has been, I'm actually surprised why it's took me so long to buy this! It smells and looks like chocolate, which is practically heaven to me. I have nothing bad to say formula-wise and I can't fault it. The packaging is so sweet and cute, it's like a little chocolate book!

I also like to use this as a natural, all over tan when I'm looking my palest. I just dust a small amount over my temples, cheeks and down my nose to give me a nice even false tan. Although it does have a slight shimmer, I don't find that too noticable and just adds to the whole nice-ness of the product :)

Elise ♥

beauty haul

Tuesday, October 01, 2013
My mum and I went to the Trafford Centre last weekend and had a nice mother-daughter day, as well as buying a few goodies on the way. There's nothing more satisfying than saving up money and going on a small spending splurge. Especially when it involves MAC and Victoria's Secret. 

My main intention of going to The Trafford Centre was to head to MAC. I've had my eyes on the Rebel lipstick for what seems like years, and I also picked up the Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle. I've already worn Rebel and it has instantly become one of my favourite lip colours. It's the perfect plum/purple shade and I can't wait to wear it in Autumn/Winter when it starts to get a little colder.

We noticed that the new Victoria's Secret had opened too, so we had a nosy in there, too. How ridiculously overpriced is that shop? However, when we headed into PINK I couldn't leave the body butter and body mist on the shelf. They both smell divine, but at £15 a go they'd better work.

You can't go shopping without heading into Boots. They currently have an offer on so it was more of a reason to go in. I picked up the infamous Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer, as well as one of the Maybelline Brow Dramas. I've heard so many good reviews about the bronzer, but not so many about the brow drama so we'll see!

Elise ♥