Monday, 29 February 2016

Top Tool under a Tenner


If I was starting a make up brush collection from scratch (let’s pretend I haven’t already spent a small fortune on MAC ones) I would fill my collection with Zoeva. The quality and styling of their brushes blow the expensive ones out-the-water and for a fraction of the price! My newest addition is the ZOEVA 226 Smudger Brush – here’s the low down.

I’ll cut to the chase, if you like a smokey eye, you need this in your life. I’ve been searching for the perfect brush to apply and smudge product along the lash line for soooo long. MAC 219 pencil brush is fine for smudging pencil but a bit too fat for applying powder, Real Techniques Smudge brush from the collectors edition is a bit of a chunky monkey and too curved to exaggerate the lash line without looking heavy handed. Zoeva’s 226 is perfection! It’s slim but super sturdy. The Vegan Synthetic bristles are short and firm and provide maximum control. It hugs the lash line perfectly for close application. It applies and smudges pencil and powder for that perfect smoked out look and since it’s super slim it’s ideal for exaggerating the lash line – hello cat eyes. It looks, feels and performs like an expensive brush, it even comes presented in an individual zip-lock pouch (unlike MAC who stick a bit of plastic wrap over theirs, sorry MAC) and all for just £6.95.  The 226 is also available as part of the Zoeva Rose Golden Complete Eye Set, which I was so tempted to buy to match my other Rose Gold brushes, but I stayed strong and bought the non-rose gold single. The 226 is definitely a staple in my collection now!

buy from Beauty Bay | Zoeva | Love Makeup

Have you tried Zoeva brushes? Let me know what you think.


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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Highlight Arsenal Part 1


Call it strobing, sculpting, highlighting… it all boils down to the same thing - faking that much coveted glowy, luminous complexion. In this two-parter I’m sharing with you everything in my highlight arsenal. First up, the powders.

for bad-ass highlight 

MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish Soft & Gentle £24 Debenhams

The highlighter to end all highlighters! It’s a luxurious velvetty-soft, finely milled powder with high-frost metallic finish. It’s the perfect balance of natural beige, golden colour with a frosty shimmer finish that can be as natural or obvious as you as want it to be. If you want that J-Lo glow, look no further. You can even build it up for that almost metallic sheen.

for natural radiance 

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder 01 Highlighter £24 UrbanRetreat 

In my opinion, this one doesn’t get the love it deserves. It’s the most natural powder highlighter I’ve ever tried. The ultra-smooth baked face powder has a soft, silky, velvety texture that blends effortlessly. The shade “Highlight” is a natural beige that provides sheer to buildable coverage and a multidimensional matte finish that imparts a hint of soft luminosity. Basically it illuminates the face without looking shimmery or frosty.

the customisable kit

Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Series Contour Refills £14 each Cult Beauty

The two shades in the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit I reach for again and again – Vanilla, An off white/cream matte highlighting shade and Sand, a warm champagne with a frosty shimmer. With these two lovelies you can great any kind of highlighting/strobing look you like. The powders are exquisitely soft and bendable and they last all day. Vanilla is great for adding an iridescent glow and sand is perfect for spot highlighting

for subtle luminosity

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Luminous Light £38 Space Nk

Technically not a highlighter, more of a finishing powder, it creates a lit-from-within iridescence that never looks frosty or over-the-top. Luminous Light is a soft champagne/peach that’s designed to “create a soft, incandescent candlelight glow.”  It manipulates how your skin looks under different lighting – highlighting and blurring at the same time. It brightens the complexion, blurring pores and imperfections and adding a tiny bit of warmth In short, it’s like being in soft focus!!! It’s magically subtle yet amazing powerful at this same time.

the dial up, dial down

The Glow in Charlotte Tilbury Bronze & Glow John Lewis

Another champagne/beige highlighter but what sets this apart it can be as subtle or in-yer-face as you want. Despite looking kinda frosty in the pan, it blends to a soft, luminous, glowing finish. There’s a little shimmer in there but it’s not glittery or obvious, unless you build it up with a heavy hand. The soft, buttery powder is finely milled and never powdery – in fact no matter how many times I sweep my brush into this one, I never get a dusty fall out. It’s a real gem for bridal make up.

Come back soon for Part 2, The Liquids


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Thursday, 18 February 2016

SUPER Goodness and Seriously HOT Shades from Nails Inc


Kale, Matcha, Spirulina, Green Tea… no I’m not talking faddy diets, it’s Nails Inc’s latest Super Food range - products that look good and do good.

I was invited along to a Nails Inc event at Fenwick Newcastle to test and taste (literally - kale crisps and matcha tea) the treats for myself. If you love nail polish but suffer from weak, brittle nails you need to read on!

Overnight Detox Max £15 Nails Inc


I’ll be honest, when I first heard there was a mask… for nails, I did think “oh come on”. BUT it’s SERIOUS TLC for nails! Rich in a powerful antioxidants including green tea, acai berry and spirulina, it’s an intensive treatment that seriously tackles damaged and weak nails. I’ve got to eat humble pie and say WOW, this is amazing! It really works. I don’t know if it’s the pregnancy, the winter, but my nails are seriously brittle right now. So I decided to brave the bare and send my nails to rehab. I’ve massaged in the Overnight Detox Max every night for the last 5 nights and my nails are transformed. We’re talking rock solid, shiny and hydrated.

Powered by Matcha £14 each

The new Matcha range is formulated with a sweet almond oil base and enriched with matcha powder – a powerful and potent antioxidant. Amazing colour and formula but with an intense moisture booster for optimum nail health and protection.

On the evening I was treated to a Matcha manicure and chose the shade Gloucester Crescent. It’s a stunning linen blue grey and a surprise hit on the evening. Most of us gravitated towards this shade and it seemed to suit everyone. Could just be a future classic.


I also came home with my own piece a matcha - King William Walk. An oh-so-pretty warmed pale pink. In terms of the formula, it’s not noticeably different to Nails Inc’s standard offering – great, no compromise on quality, but it’s secretly providing nails with some TLC. I adore the new wider/flatter brushes. They make diy manicures fool-proof.


Nailpure £14 each 


Nailpure is a breakthrough formula with a revolutionary oxygen resin complex that is both air and water permeable. Now this range is really interesting to me. I’m passionate about painted nails but I do get concerned about the nasty chemicals, especially during the pregnancy. Nails Inc is already 4-free (free from Formaldehyde, DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde Resin) but the new Nail Pure range is 6-free (free from DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde resin, Animal derivatives, Camphor) plus it allows nails to breathe. Can’t wait to try iconic Tate in the pure formula. As soon as my nails are discharged from rehab I’ll be wacking this on… watch this space!

Check out all the new ranges here

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Monday, 15 February 2016

Back to Gloss - My TOP 3



Lipgloss is having a come back… in my world at least. My Juicy Tube days may be well and truly behind me and you’ve probably noticed I’m lipstick mad, but recently I’ve been turning my attentions back to good old gloss. Why? Well, firstly my lips are crazy dry and cracked and lipstick just accentuates that, and secondly, I’d forgotten how good glossy lips look and feel! Favourite three in no particular order…

bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie® Lipgloss £12.80 Feel Unique  

It was love at first smell! Moxie’s have the most incredible scent – think mint choc chip ice cream, but unlike most minty fresh glosses, it doesn’t have an annoying tingle. It has a generous sized applicator that glides the gloss on with ease. Rebel is a beautiful cool toned pinky mauve with decent colour pay off. It’s the most pigmented of the bunch - You can totally wear this one alone. It’s super glossy, luscious and slightly wet looking. It definitely makes my lips look plumped and hydrated (in a natural, non-Kylie Jenner way)! It’s not sticky, more reassuringly slippy and packed with vitamin A, C and E complex helping to deliver antioxidant defense – just what I need right now.

L’Oreal Infallible Mega Gloss Cream Lip Protest Queen £6.99 Boots

Protest Queen is a classic nudey pink with a crème gloss finish. It’s semi-opaque so you can totally rock it alone for a little pop of colour or pair it with a nudey pink lipstick like MAC’s Angel for a classic bridal look. It has a unique squiggly “lip shaper” applicator that applies perfectly to the contours of the lips. Formula wise it’s creamy, non-tacky and enriched with hyaluronic acid so it’s extremely moisturising. There’s a staggering 25 shades in this range and a tonne of different finishes, including matte, so whatever you fancy, this range has you covered.

Revlon Colourburst Lipgloss Bellini 

An oldie but a goody! And sadly, following a quick search on Google, looks like it’s been discontinued (I’m regretting that wasteful arm swatch right now). Revlon seem incredibly quick to discontinue lines, this was already a replacement of my last favourite gloss that was discontinued. I guess we’re just not wearing gloss anymore. Anyway, Bellini is a beautiful milky, nudey peach. It’s basically me circa 2000-2003 – J-Lo wannabe days. It’s creamy, lusturous, shiny but not overly glossy and has a tiny bit of champagne shimmer. It’s not sticky or tacky in the least! It’s one of those perfect with a tan or smokey eye shades. There’ll always be a nude peachy gloss in my collection… as long as I can find one. .

Are you a glossy gal? What’s your favourite? 

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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The Brush that Does it All!


It's not often a brush gets its own post around these parts. It's not that I don't love them, I DO!! It's just they kinda blend into the background... no pun intended. But this one, bareMinerals Smoothing Face Brush deserves its own platform and then some!

Put simply, this brush makes life easier! I bought it with bareMinerals Complexion Rescue (fave everyday base) which it works in perfect harmony with – obvs! but I’ve ended up using it for EVERYTHING – foundation, concealer, primer, cream blush, liquid and cream highlighter! It’s pretty much been an extension of my right hand since last April.

The bristles are extremely densely packed, unlike lots of duo fibre brushes (I’m thinking about you MAC 187) so there’s no lines or streaking. It’s perfectly designed to spread product smoothly and evenly – you hardly need to blend, it pretty much does it as it goes. It feels incredibly gentle and luxurious – It’s a pleasure to sweep around my face!  And the dome-shape blends seamlessly for an airbrushed finish. Quick, zero effort and perfect results. If I could only have one face brush in my arsenal, this would be it!

And I can vouch for its longevity – 10 months down the line it’s still going strong, no shredding or deterioration.

bareMinerals Smoothing Face Brush £21.60 FeelUnique

What's your favourite face brush?


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Friday, 5 February 2016

Hypnôse Volume-à-porter - The Classy Girl's False Lashes


If you like your lashes long, thick, luscuios and perfectly fanned out, look.no.further.

Me and Lancôme Mascaras, we go waaaaay back! My first mascara was a Lancôme. Definicils, Amplicils, Sourcils, Hypnose, I had them all! THEN Maybelline falsies, Chanel volume de chanel and Benefit They’re Real happened and Lancôme and I parted ways. But with Hypnôse Volume-à-porter, the mascara queen has well and truly won me back.

Formula

The soft, creamy, luxurious formula glides on with easy. It feels super light. It’s not wet and it doesn’t weigh lashes down or go crispy. Effortlessly brushes on just the right amount of product without going clumpy and it doesn’t smudge, I repeat does not smudge (previous Lancôme mascaras have been guilty of this).

Brush

Lancôme’s first ever ‘elastomere’ brush. It’s flexible, but not wobbly and features 340 bristles to effortlessly coat each lash. It has super short bristles that get eye-wateringly close to the root allowing you to coat every last millimetre. It separates lashes perfectly, creating an even, fanned out look. I have this annoying clump of lashes on my outer right eye. Most mascaras stick them together. Volume-à-porter forces them apart.

Results


Thick, fluttery, wide-awake lashes. Super volumised, perfectly defined, subtly curled and completely clump free... all.day.long! For me it’s on a par with le Volume de Chanel and maybe even better than Benefit’s They’re Real. Kick ass volume but not OTT! I’m calling this mascara sassy-chic. It’s a classy girl's answer to false lashes.

Hypnôse Volume-à-porter RRP £22.50, 2 for £30, on selected Lancôme Mascaras Boots


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Monday, 1 February 2016

Charlotte Tilbury Eye Cheat - A Serious Eye Opener



On paper, this is about the least likely thing you’d expect to see in my collection. It was the LAST thing I expected to buy in my Charlotte Tilbury haul, but amazingly it’s the thing that wowed me the most. What this boring little pencil?

Who’s dabbled with the white pencil inside the eye trick? This “tip” is nothing new, in fact we were doing it back in my teens (more! Magazine anyone?) when we were told to use a white nail tip pencil to line our inner eyes. Thing is, it just looked obvious and lasted about five minutes. The Charlotte Tilbury ROCK 'N' KOHL Eye Cheat £19 is the grown up, actually-works version. I would never in a million years have picked this up, even looked in its direction, but it was used on me in my Charlotte Tilbury counter make over… divine intervention! To say I was blown away with the difference it made is an understatement. Even my fiancé, completely unprompted, noticed the difference as soon as he came to meet me!  

Eye Cheat is a universal, super flattering nude toned pencil that, used in the upper and lower waterline and corner of the eyes creates an optical illusion of wider, fuller and more wide-awake eyes. Very subtle, but incredibly effective, it cheats the wide eye look and seriously makes them appear bigger, brighter and fresh as a daisy. The liquid pencil is soft and creamy, so doesn’t drag or irritate the eye and once it dries, it aint budging. It’s rich, incredibly pigmented and completely opaque. 

As far as I can tell, there’s only one downside (other than the price) and this is true of all of Charlotte’s ROCK 'N' KOHL eye pencil’s – because they’re so creamy and soft you find you have to sharpen them a lot. 



Multi-tasker

Eye cheat's skills don’t end there. You know the concealer-around-the-brows thang, which I’m not normally a huge of, on account of it looking cakey and obvious, well this works wonders on that! Since the flesh-coloured pencil is actually flesh coloured, it highlights the brow bone and accentuated the arches NATURALLY. Also use on the cupids bow to pop the pout. 

Charlotte Tilbury Eye Cheat £19 Available Charlotte Tilbury | Selfridges | John Lewis

Have you tried Eye Cheat?


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