August Favourites

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Favourites

Can we just notice how this time last year I was doing one of my first ever monthly favourites? If you want to see how my writing has changed, photography has changed or just a major flashback (Throwback Sunday, maybe?) then click here and it'll take you through. This month has been very good makeup-wise, with a few new additions and some forgotten gems.

The first thing I've been loving this month has been the Rimmel Wonderfull mascara. This is brand new at the moment and I love how it makes my lashes look so full and fluttery without feeling crispy. I've also been loving the Anastasia Brow Wiz, which I've now run out of. I hated this at first but since I started over with it again, it's been my eyebrow's best friend. 

For skin I've been loving the Simple moisturiser. I've been camping this week so I needed a quick & easy product that could put all of the moisture back into my skin. This is cheap and cheerful and makes my skin feeling so soft, plumped & fresh. Benefit's That Gal primer was a product that I reviewed here and I can safely say I'm still as in love with it now as I was then. I won't ramble on about this too much because I've already done that but if you're looking for a primer that makes your skin look radiant, this would be my choice.

I've been wearing two lip options this month, with one being MAC's Patisserie. This is my go-to everyday lipstick that is so easy to wear and apply. I pop this on in the morning and although it does require frequent top-ups, it makes my lips look fuller and my makeup pulled together. The other lip option I've loved is the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Hot Pepper. I also reviewed this and said its' staying power was incredible. It's so difficult to remove but looks gorgeous on the lips!

Best Lip Crayons

Friday, August 29, 2014

Best Lip Crayons

I've always said that if I ever were to get the opportunity to create my own makeup line, I'd definitely make something lip-related. I think they're so much fun and the possibilities of them are endless. Lately I've been really enjoying to wear lip crayons and of course, I have my preferences.

My favourite lip crayon of all-time is the Bourjois Colorboost in Fuschia Libre. I actually keep this in my mum's car because it's so easy to throw on when you need to dress up a little bit. This is a gorgeous fuschia pink shade as the name suggests and as with all of the shades in the range, the formulas are impeccable. They're opaque within a few swipes, easy to apply and super glossy. I've mentioned before that I'm not typically a big fan of glossy lipsticks but I've been loving them with tanned skin and a bit of highlighter.

Peach on the Beach was the other Colorboost I picked up last year and have been loving it ever since. This is a very light, baby pink that I don't think is peach at all. It looks lovely on both pale and tanned skin; something that is often difficult to find in a pink lip. The Revlon Colorburst (why do they sound so similar?) in Provocateur is one that I didn't expect to like. This is a super glossy bright red that looks amazing on pale skin.

What's your favourite lip crayon?


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Monochrome Monochrome

Ever since I bought this leather jacket from Primark a few weeks ago, I've been wearing it constantly. This is the outfit that I wore to a pub lunch (which I blogged about here!) and it's honestly one of the most comfortable, yet socially acceptable, outfit I've ever worn. The jacked itself has gold detailing and is so comfy to wear - surprising considering it was only £25!

I paired it with a striped tee, some black jeans and some Topshop shoes. After posting about them here, a lot of you said that these shoes need wearing in. I moaned a lot whilst I was getting used to them and went through a shedload of plasters but I can now wear them alone. I love the look of them and I always get compliments every time I wear them. I love them!

Bourjois Clubbing Mascara

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bourjois Mascara

I'm a huge believer in the idea that drugstore mascaras are among the best there are. I personally think that you can buy mascaras from the drugstore that are as good (if not better) than those from the likes of Chanel and YSL. I'd rather save my money and not waste it on something so overpriced! I picked up this Bourjois Volume Clubbing mascara in the 3 for 2 offer at Boots a few weeks ago and have been trialing out my theory.

The theory is still as strong as ever; this mascara is just as good as the YSL/Clinique one I tried. Even though it takes longer than usual to apply, the end result leaves my lashes volumized, separated and also lengthened. The brush on this doesn't use natural fibres but I don't care about that when it gives the effect it does. It has a flat front with the sides being the ones covered in bristles. It's also a pain in the ass to remove - I don't mind that really, at least it stays putt! It only costs a small amount and is so worth the money.  Drugstore mascaras are the best!

MAC: Real vs. Fake

Friday, August 22, 2014


Whilst I was at a car boot sale last year I walked past a makeup stand. Being a beauty blogger & all round makeup obsessor (& hoarder) I had to go over. To my surprise I noticed a stand full of "MAC products". Because I didn't know that much about makeup at the time, I was stood there debating for well over ten minutes on whether they were real or fake. My gut told me they were fake - who sells MAC blushes at £5 each? - but I didn't know for sure. I ended up buying one and did a lot of Googling & came to the conclusion that it was fake. I didn't know the 'warning signs' as they call them and so I wasted money. These are the ways that I found how it was counterfeit.

I'd never bought a MAC blush before I bought the fake one so I didn't notice that the font on the front of the product was much thicker than the genuine one. This is a key thing to look for - the real MAC products have a much thinner font.

This is only really comparable and noticable when you have them side by side. The fake blush (pink one) has a grittier texture and much more powdery looking than the real one (brown). Although on this photo the brown does look questionable - that's what happens when you use a brush with translucent powder on to apply it!

My fake blush came with a mirror. Again, I didn't own a real MAC blush at the time and so I couldn't figure out whether the real ones come with a mirror. They don't. If you find a 'MAC' blush with a mirror and/or a brush, it's a fake.

This is by far the most obvious way to distinguish between real and fake. As you can see, the real one has a name and the fake is just called 'powder blush'. The fake also doesn't have the type of blush it is and the font is in white bold. No MAC blushes will ever be named with a number!

Contouring & Highlighting

Monday, August 18, 2014


In my all-in-all experience with makeup, I've definitely found contouring the most difficult skill to master. Give me foundation, lipstick or even winged liner and I'll feel confident, but as soon as it comes to sculpting out some cheekbones then I'm useless. The highlighting section that comes along with it makes me feel a little better at the whole situation - I'm comfortable with giving my skin some glow. It's the depth I struggle with!

For my (attempted) contour I like to a dark Illamasqua Concealer. I actually bought this a few months ago but ended up buying the complete wrong shade that happens to make a great contour shade. I find that cream products are much easier to contour with because they're easy to blend and look much more natural. I apply this to my temples, beneath my cheekbones and across my jawline then blend it in with my foundation brush.

To highlight under my eyes I use a concealer that's lighter than my skin tone. For this I use the Collection concealer (the name is too long than I can be bothered to type out!) in the lightest shade. I then usually take the MAC MSF in Soft and Gentle on the top of my cheekbones, down my nose and on my forehead. Doing all of these steps usually gets me a nice, natural, sculpted face; but as with everything in makeup, practice makes perfect!

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bourjois 1

Hold the press - I think I've found the most perfect lip product formula ever. I know, I know - it's a very dramatic claim but I genuinely think it's true. I'm seriously yet to find anything better than these. You'll have heard me rave about them to no end on my YouTube channel but if you're new round here (or haven't been watching my videos) I'm talking about the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet liquid lipsticks.

You'll know by now that I'm a matte lipstick kinda girl so it's usually hard to wear liquid lipsticks. Fellow bold matte lipstick lover Anna mentioned these a few months ago and I went straight out to pick them up. My favourite out of the two is Hot Pepper, an orangey-red opaque colour. I find that this one suits my complexion much more yet the formulas of both are impeccable. Ole Flamingo! is a hot pink, a shade that I never thought I could be able to pull off until I tried this.

These are opaque with one swipe, easy to apply and incredibly long-wearing. I wore Hot Pepper out for dinner and after I'd eaten a whole BBQ smothered chicken, it was still as opaque as ever. The downside to these? They're a pain in the ass to remove. Seriously, finding a needle in a haystack would be easier than taking these off.

Prime Time

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Prime Time

I'm not usually a big primer fan - infact I only own two. I went to the Benefit counter and documented it in my Birthday Haul that I got the Porefessional and a small sample of That Gal included in the price. Because I have combination skin I thought that a primer wouldn't work for me - I'd need one for oiliness and one for dry patches yet still keep my foundation looking matte. So many people had raved about the Porefessional so I decided to pick it up whilst I got That Gal for free.

Out of the two, I definitely prefer That Gal which is good considering I was never going specifically for that anyway! Up until I tried this I loved matte skin and wouldn't even entertain anything otherwise. After giving this a whizz I fell completely in love with it. It smells gorgeous (HUGE makeup points) and is so quick, easy and effortless to apply. I wouldn't say it extends the wear-time of my foundation which primers are supposed to do but I just generally apply this to make my skin look more healthy and glowing.

I'm also a fan of Porefessional. So far, neither are a disappointment! I have really large pores around my nose area & that was the sole reason why I bought it & does what it says on the tin. It covers them and makes the application of my foundation so much easier and the end result very flawless. I've found that both of these primers used together give me a flawless, perfected skin that it so easy to achieve.

Summer Nails

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer Nails

Although the weather is very questionable of 'Summer' here in England right now, it won't stop me whipping out my favourite nail colours. I love co-ordinating my nails to the seasons & my favourite by far is the Summer period. I love wearing bright colours, corals and even sparkly nails if I'm really in the mood! Today I've got my five favourite Summer time nail colours - please bear in mind that I have actually worn some of these every Summer since the age of 12...

My all-time favourite summer nail polish has to be Coral by Barry M. This is basically what it says on the tin; a gorgeous, summery, coral shade that lasts for such a long time with no chipping at all. Because I love Barry M so much, I also love wearing their Mint Green shade. The formulas of these polishes are second to none. Two coats gives you an amazing opaque colour that lasts up to a week with no base/top coat. They're also at an amazing price compared to brands like Nails Inc and Essie yet with the same (if not better) quality.

The Models Own Hedonist nail polish has to be featured in everyone's Summer nail polish choices - it's a staple. The formulas aren't the best but I can deal with that if you get a gorgeous, neon shade. I also love the NYC polish in Water Street Blue. This was actually one of the first ever nail polishes I bought about 5 years ago and I still love it as much now as I did when I bought it! Finally is the Rimmel Cocktail Colour in Hawaiian Punch. I tend to save this one for special occasions because it is that nice. A gorgeous red/pink shade with glitter shimmers. The best thing about this is the drying time - no more waiting for what feels like 2 hours whilst they dry!

You Are What You Eat

Friday, August 08, 2014

I'm a firm believer in you are what you eat - if you eat nothing but junk food, you'll feel like junk. If you eat healthily, you'll feel healthier. It's the same with your skin; food has a massive impact on the condition of your skin, hair and nails but it's hard to know which vitamin actually helps which part of the body and where you can get it from.

Vitamin A - evens skin and maintains a healthy scalp that you can find from apricot, eggs and kale.

Vitamin B - prevents skin from being too oily and diminishes breakouts and you can find from bananas, tuna and milk.

Vitamin C - boosts collagen production and aids the immune system from citrus fruits, apples and sprouts.

Vitamin D - important for healthy teeth and bones, found from the sunlight (not too much!) and dairy products.

Vitamin E - helps with dry skin, found from spinach, nuts and broccoli.

Vitamin K - combats under-eye circles, found in kale, cabbage and spinach.

Antioxidants - improves the quality of skin found in green tea, apples and berries.

Omega 3 - helps hair look conditioned and shiny, found in soybeans, flaxseed and tuna.

Of course, not everyone can live off a diet of greens and veggies - we all love a bit of chocolate once in a while. If you're finding you're struggling with something, try incorporating one of the suggested foods into your diet and you'll hopefully see a difference. We could all use a bit of help when it comes to those dreaded under-eye circles!

The SPF Low-Down

Thursday, August 07, 2014

It's common sense that SPF is one of the most important things that you can apply to your skin. Baking in the sun day-in-day-out is so dangerous for your skin and SPF is your best friend, especially in the Summer. I think we've all been sunburnt at one time - it's uncomfortable, not really the best looking and most of all, extremely unhealthy. 

When we're young, our skin is prone to long-term sun damage. By applying a dollop of suncream all over your body, you're protected against so many horrible skin diseases. It's not just your skin that needs protecting - lip SPF is also important. These days, most lip balms contain SPF, as well as moisturisers. SPF in moisturisers is probably the most common - it saves two steps in one. By applying an SPF moisturiser all over your body and face, you get hydrated skin that is protected from sun damage.

We all know the possibilities of sun damage but if you want to know more, I'd definitely recommend watching Gabby's video with Cancer Research. It really can be scary.


Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Face-mapping has always been the most interesting thing in the whole skincare topic for me - I love reading different theories behind what your spots mean and how you can prevent them from happening in a certain areas. Of course, there's many different face-mapping theories and opinions but this is the one that seems most true-to-life and helpful to me.

1 - Forehead
Spots on the forehead are well-known to be evidence of stress or sleep deprivation. Spots along the hairline can also be from a build up of products (particularly hair products and foundation) so the best way to deal with spots in this area is to ensure that you're getting enough sleep, head space and you're really removing makeup from that area.

2 - Above the brow
Spots above the brow are supposed to be a representation of your immune system. If you're experiencing a cold or the flu, this tends to be the area that you get the most breakouts. Unfortunately you can't avoid getting ill so you need to let these ones run their course!

3 - Between the brows
Getting spots between your brows is traditionally a sign of over-indulgence (yet I am the biggest chocolate eater EVER and never get spots here!) so this is one that I'm not too sure on. This area is related to the liver and is often blemish-filled when you've drank too much alcohol.

4 - Cheeks
The cheeks are related to the quality your lungs and the air that you're breathing in. Smokers or people with allergies tend to get spots here, as well as people who frequently breathe in polluted air.

5 - Chin
Ahh, the dreaded time of the month. This area is hormone-related and is why you often get breakouts around this area around the time of your period. It's also been suggested that the side on which you get the most blemishes depends on which ovary is ovulation the most but I'm not too sure on that.

For more face-mapping techniques and secrets, you can check out the Dermalogica Face Mapping page where it gives you more problematic areas and explains the reasoning behind it - I only included five as these tend to be the most common. If you'd like to see more in this little Skincare Secrets series, you can catch-up by clicking here and stay tuned for tomorrow's post all about the importance of SPF!

Ingredient Importance

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The ingredients of what we apply to our face and skin is extremely important. You don't really want to be applying dozens of chemicals to your face because although it may give you a short-term amazing result, it can be damaging in the long-term. Natural skincare products are the best to use but let's face it, we can't all afford £50 miracle-curing all-natural skincare products, so we need to turn to the next best thing. Over the past six months I've been experimenting and researching what products are most harmful to our skin. Here are the results:

These ingredients are plasticizers, typically found in some skincare, nail, hair and makeup products and their job is to make things less brittle (nail polish, hair, etc). This is part of the reason why pregnant women are advised not to wear nail polish as although they're not harmful in small doses, they're constantly on the US' FDA Watch List. On the label of cosmetics you should look for DBP, DMP, DEP or Phthalates itself. They can damage the hormones and sex organ complications (read more about that here). 

This chemical is used in makeup, hair and beauty products because of it's antibacterial properties. These can cause irritation to the skin and has even been linked to cancer in some cases. This product is mainly found in glue, nail polish, body wash and hair products. You can read the in-depth article about Formaldehyde here.

Coal Tar
These have been proven to be a carcinogen (by the National Toxicology Program) and many are banned. They can be found in hair dyes, soaps and lotions and is taken as a product from burning coal. Having too much of this can be dangerous to your emotional hormones and sleep cycle. General guidelines include not applying anything labelled "Ext D&C" near your eyes or lips. Read more about the effects of Coal Tar here.

Many more include parabens, aluminium and Dietathanolamine but that's enough for today's Chemistry lesson! The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Organisation is definitely a page to bookmark if you're unsure on how safe your beauty items are to use.

The Routine

Monday, August 04, 2014

This week on the blog is an important one. From today until Friday I'll be posting everyday about my Skincare Secrets - from face-mapping and ingredient importance right the way through to how eating affects our skin. I've been really getting into my skincare over the past six months and I feel like I've finally knuckled down on my routine and my skin is really seeing the benefits. Today's post is on the importance of routine.

It's so important to cleanse your face morning and night - it gets all of the gunk and makeup off our face and out of our pores. For this, I use either the Bioderma Micellaire Water or the L'Oreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Solution in the morning and then the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm in the evening. I prefer a thicker cleanser before I go to bed because it really makes sure that the rubbish my pores have collected (makeup, oil, dirt) are out and my skin is really clean. If you forget to cleanse in the evening (we all do it sometimes!) make sure you change your pillowcases frequently so you aren't sleeping on a dirty, makeup-filled sheet.

Exfoliating should be done sparingly - I'd recommend once or twice a week. Exfoliating removes the top layer of skin and gets rid of roughness, but too much can damage the skin. I like to use the St. Ives Apricot Scrub twice a week as my skin is sort-of sensitive and this makes my skin feel so fresh and plump. If you have acne, I'd recommend using an exfoliator with a small amount of salicylic acid in, for example the Avene Cleanance Gel Creme Exfoliator or even the Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser.

Spot Treatment
Blemishes, they can be the devil in disguise sometimes! We've all had those times where we're attending a big event and we get a huge zit in the middle of our head the night before... Not fun. I've found the best spot treatment is the La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo, which I use whenever I get a spot or redness and this treats it within a matter of days.

To me, moisturising is the most important step in my routine. I love the feeling of fresh, plump skin and am a firm believer in that everyone should moisturise their face twice a day - you can never have too much! Even if you have oily skin, moisturising is a step you shouldn't miss. The skin is the largest organ in our bodies and we need to make sure that every inch of it is moisturised to be as healthy, plump and fresh as possible. They don't have to cost a bomb - the Simple Light Moisturiser is one of my favourites and it's under £5 but for a deep moisturise, I'd recommend the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream.

Autumn Boots

Sunday, August 03, 2014
Autumn Boots

The one thing that I'm always on the hunt for in Autumn is a good pair of boots. I'm extremely fussy when it comes to chosing them - they have to be black, a small heel, not too in-your-face and very comfortable to walk in. Whilst I was having a quick browse in Matalan I came across these - the perfect Autumn boot. At only £25 I figured they'd be perfect for the up & coming bad weather that's very typical of the English Autumnal weather. They're faux suede which means even though they'll be a pain to clean, they look nice and are so comfortable. The gold buckles are something that I'd usually avoid but I love the contrast on these.

It's OK

... to have your bedroom, cup and pyjamas all unco-ordinatedly floral.
... to follow whatever passion you have.
... to not have everything figured out in your teens. Or twenties. Or thirties. Or ever.
... to listen to songs over and over again until they make you feel sick.
... to not shave your legs for a week. Or three.
... to wear the same dress for two days in a row.
... to post whatever the hell you want on Facebook and laugh at them in a few years time.
... to throw peace signs in photos like it's still 2011.
... to not wash your hair everyday and load on dry shampoo like it's running out of fashion.
... to not have the latest beauty launch.
... to cry. 
... to get rid of negative people.
... to post ridiculous photos of yourself (see above) to the internet for everyone to see.
... to do whatever you want.

Mini Watermelon

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Good news - I think I'm finally getting the hang of outfit/fashion posts. I made a promise to myself that I'd post more fashion posts in Summer to get used to writing, photographing and publishing them. After a recent haul (as documented on my YouTube channel!), I picked up so many much-needed clothing items that I've been dying to show you how I style. 

One of my favourite buys was this cute little watermelon play suit that I paired with some tan sandals and Essie's nail polish in Fiji. The print of the play suit itself is so cute and nicely fitting that it's so nice to wear, especially in this bizarrely hot weather that England is receiving right now! It reminds me of something my mum would dress me in when I was about 4 years old, with a pair of heart sunglasses and some jelly shoes. So cute.

The playsuit is from Peacocks, a store that I don't tend to shop in but I was convinced by the world "sale" (isn't everyone?). It cost just £16 which was amazing, the shoes were £10 and everything else was what I already owned. An outfit for £26? Not bad!

Pick of the Pinks

Friday, August 01, 2014

If you'd have asked me to wear pink makeup-wise a few months ago, I'd have replied with "hell no". If you'd have asked me now to wear pink makeup-wise, I'd say "bring it on". Maybe that was a little dramatic but you get the point - I love to wear pink. I think Summer time is the perfect time to whack out a bit of pink goodness and today, I thought I'd show you my pick of the pinks.

I posted about the Natural Collection nail polish in Hibiscus last week and said it's a new found obsession for me. I love the shade of this, the formula and most importantly - the brush. I've also been loving 2 MAC lipsticks - Ravishing (which I mentioned in my July Favourites!) and Lovelorn. Both are shades that look stunning with a tan and glowing skin.

As usual, I couldn't go a few posts without mentioning the Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop - you all know how much I love this especially from this review that I did when they first launched. Those things are incredible! I also sneaked in a little brush - it does have a tiny bit of pink so it counts, right? The Real Techniques Blush Brush was one that I was disappointed with to begin with but now, I love. It's the perfect shape to apply blush and bronzer with.