Monday, 19 August 2013

Excuses/Life Updates

   So I think it's fair to say that this month hasn't quite gone as planned. Whilst I'd planned to be posting regularly alongside my summer job, instead the job ended up taking over my life so I did barely any writing afterwards, my weekends all seemed to be packed with moving back from uni to home and then finding a new Bristol residence and the big end of tenancy clean and somehow, blogging got left at the wayside.

   Last weekend however, I managed to hurt myself after a spectacular fall over a fence in a friend's garden resulted in me severing a lot of tendons and ligaments after slicing it open, either corrugated iron or barbed wire, resulting in immediate surgery and a plaster cast. I have now been dismissed from my summer job as I simply wouldn't be able to move around the office (it's true but it still stung) and after a week of rushing round hospitals and getting emergency tetanus vaccinations, I'm now out of my mind bored at home and so I'm sure there will be a vast increase in posts as I can no longer ride, walk, fly, drive (or rather learn to) or do anything exciting. I can't complain too much as I am being looked after exceedingly well by friends and family, it's just hard not to be bummed about the situation when I had so many plans for the summer, (including finally getting my driving licence!) and because I decided to hop over a fence, I can no longer do any of it.

   I hope everyone who is reading this is having a great summer anyway and be sure to leave your links as I've got a lot of time for reading at the moment :)

Sunday, 14 July 2013

MAC Paint in Untitled

   Although I've mentioned this in a Basket of Favourites post before, I've decided that this product deserves a little love letter all of it's own.

   I had no idea what the MAC Paints were about until I bought this. There's a lot of hype about the Paint Pots and how great they are at making your eye makeup last all day, and when I went into MAC, I was convinced I was going to leave with one myself. I wanted something neutral with no shimmer in, just a simple, easy base that wasn't going to interfere with the colour I was going to wear, however both Painterly and Soft Ochre were not what I was looking for, with Painterly too pink and Soft Ochre too yellow. Bare Study is a beautiful colour, but has too much shimmer in for something that I wanted to be able to create a matte look with.

   The MAC girl pointed me in the direction of the Paints, saying that she personally preferred them to the Paint Pots and suggested the colour "Untitled", a great neutral colour which is hardly detectable and does not alter the colour of your eyeshadow at all. It does seem to have a teensy amount of shimmer in, which I didn't notice in store, but it is a small amount that just adds a nice sheen. It still looks very natural! It's a liquidy-cream/creamy liquid to powder formula and once it's set, it is set.

Fresh out the tube
   For £14.50, you get a very generous tube, considering the amount you need to dab on is miniscule, so I'm expecting this to last for years! The packaging is also surprisingly resilient for a tube. I was expecting it to get crushed easily and start leaking permanently or to simply explode, however it is absolutely fine, despite spending most of it's time pinned underneath glass foundation bottles in my makeup bag.

WAY too much on my hand...
   I use this every single morning and it makes my eyeshadow last 12 hours easily, from 7am until bed time at around 10 or 11pm. It's just as good for nights out and won't move at all if you're in a hot sweaty club. Even if you're a drunken crier or just have a particularly bad night, you will still have your eyeshadow in place which should help you regain your poise and elegance in no time.

... But blends in nicely for such an overload
   This has given me the confidence to actually wear eyeshadow (I had a brief love affair with blue eyeshadow when I was 11. Simply awful and since then I've sworn off it) as I don't have to worry about it creasing or moving around and having to check it every hour, it is locked in place and looks the same on every mirror check throughout the day! If you're looking for a neutral eyeshadow base then I would wholeheartedly recommend that you give this a go. They have a whole range of pretty colours and they're a lovely formula, are not drying on your skin at all (as I've heard the Paint Pots can be) and they really do anchor your eyeshadow on all day until you take it off. 

Have you tried the MAC Paints?
What do you use as an eyeshadow primer?

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Basket of Favourites #2

It feels like forever since I've posted, I've just been so busy and currently have multiple posts in draft form, none of which are ready to post! I thought I'd do another Basket of Favourites while I faff about finishing the never-ending REN cleanser review!

Skin bits
Bioderma Créaline H2O Solution
   I’m aware that I’m several years late to the party on this one, my excuse is that I’d never heard of “micellar waters” until about six months ago, and in those six months, I’d been faffing around with other offerings from more readily available brands. Now Bioderma is available in the UK, I’m finally in on the action. There’s not a lot that I can say about this that hasn’t already been said. It takes every scrap of my makeup off, including mascara, is totally unfragranced and doesn’t irritate my skin. I use this at night before cleansing with my REN cleanser (which I haven't included purely because there is an in-depth review coming up very soon), I don’t bother using it in the morning as I use it just as a makeup remover/precleanse rather than a cleanser. In a way, I feel like a cliché for caving and buying this - possibly the most blogger-hyped skincare product ever - but I have to say, I'm not ashamed as it's so wonderful!

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant
   A perennial favourite, this is something I always, always, always have in my handbag and my bedside to take care of any dry, chapped skin or lips. I also like using this to lock my eyebrows into submission. Absolute winter essential and great if you get lizard hands like I do, or you're prone to burning yourself in the kitchen. If I leave the house without it, it makes me panic and want to turn back home "just in case I need itand I have to pull myself together and remind myself that I did survive without it once. Nevertheless, this is one of those products that everyone needs as it's for first aid as well beauty!

Hair bits
Primark hair spin pins (I think they're called that anyway)

  Perhaps an odd favourite, but these are ever so handy for pinning your hair up into a quick bun before a shower or just to get it out the way quickly. As I have very fragile hair, I’ve found these are ideal as you don’t get the damage that you would when using a normal hair band which ends up bending the hair or pulling it tight and I hate how my hair seems to go wild after being swirled into a bun - possibly more than the ponytail kink.
 They’re so easy to use and keep your bun very secure for as long as you need it when two pins are screwed in from opposite ends and so are an excellent to a bun pinned into place with tens of Kirby grips.

Joico Restorative Styling Oil

   Joico’s hair oil is fantastic and such good value, considering that the Joico brand are more on the high end spectrum of haircare. It is quite a heavy oil in comparison to oils such as the Shu Uemera oil, so I only use this on the ends of my hair when wet and maybe a teeny bit on dry hair, but I have to be careful not to use too much.

Makeup bits

Clinique Bottom Lash mascara

   I’d never really sat up and taken notice of this, despite being a big fan of Clinique mascaras, until a chance encounter with it in Boots. I’d been aware for a while that I was incapable of applying mascara to my bottom lashes in a hurry, nearly always getting it on my skin in the process. I spotted this mascara with it’s tiny wand and something clicked into place and after trying it in store, I was sold. Since then I’ve used it pretty much daily and I haven’t got any mascara blotches under my lashes just yet (touch wood)! Although it’s a tiny tube, this will last for months if using it just for the bottom lashes and fiddly corner ones. The formula is also very nice and forms tubes around the hair, meaning it is smudgeproof and splashproof and it doesn’t slide south after a long day leaving you with grey undereye smudges and panda eyes.

Real Techniques Domed Shadow Brush
   I got this brush as part of the Travel Essentials set and it has become a staple in less than a week. I use this to put my base shadow on quickly before using a smaller brush for any finer details or crease work.

Guerlain Météorites Perles in Teint Rose
   I bought these a couple of weeks ago and it was love as soon as I opened the tin. Gorgeous packaging and the pearls give the skin a gorgeous, luminous, lit-from-within look. It’s not ideal for travel due to the size of the tin but it looks beautiful on your dressing table and looks like something my glamorous grandmother or great grandmother would have used. I use it all over my face at night time and just as a highlighter for day time.

NARS Kalahari eyeshadow duo
   The colours in this duo are so stunning and so neutral. When swatched they look different to in the pan. In the pan, the more taupey colour looks very similar to MAC’s Satin Taupe, however the Kalahari colour is much warmer when on the eye and gives an entirely different look.

NARS Kalahari duo swatched
   I love this sheered out for daytime or layered up for night, or just using one of the colours with a matte shade for subtlety. I wouldn’t be without this duo now, it’s worth every penny.

Sentimental bits

Love Saves the Day, Laila Bear, Twins

Friday, 7 June 2013

The Summer Foundation Switch Part 1: Vichy Dermablend

   This post has been a long time in the making! If you've read my previous posts, you'll know I've been on the search for a decent summer foundation. Something with decent coverage, a high SPF and something long-wearing and sweat-proof! 

Vichy Dermablend in 25 Nude plus Real Techniques Buffing brush (excuse the toilet roll, the pot is very messy!)
   I obtained samples of the Vichy Dermablend foundation in the shades 15 Opal and 25 Nude and after trying them both on, it is safe to say that Nude is far too dark for my skin. I was drawn to Dermablend because of its reputation as being fantastic for covering acne, and also because being SPF 35, it is virtually unrivalled in high-factor-foundation department.

   I applied both foundations with the Real Techniques Buffing brush and over the top of the foundation, I added some concealer under my eyes, a bit of eyeshadow mascara, some powder and some blush. In fact, I put identical products on afterwards for both shades of Dermablend.

Foundation (25 Nude) alone, plus fluffy hair

   The first thing I noticed about the foundation is how heavy it is. It's so pigmented that when I first applied it, I put on far too much, looked ridiculous and had to start again! I've since got the hang of it, but I still think it weighs very heavily on your skin and feels like a mask.

Foundation (25 Nude) plus rest of makeup!
   I found that Dermablend was fantastic for covering up blemishes and any red marks from previous spots. It didn't look overly cakey, despite feeling very heavy. I hardly had to use any concealer with this foundation, and I really did put the lightest layer on that I could manage. Although not cakey, it didn't look all that "skin-like", however after powder, I think it sat a lot better and looked more natural.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Debenhams Haul

   The other week, Debenhams (always a dangerous place), was having one of their regular 10% off events. I could not resist placing a cheeky order as I was bored to tears with exam prep and needed to cheer myself up with something other than food.

    I'm not sure what it is about getting parcels in the post, it just feels like you're receiving a gift (on the condition you don't check your bank balance afterwards)! I picked up a few things that I had been lusting after for a while, along with a very naughty impulse buy.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

What's On My Bathroom Shelf?

I decided to do a post on my little bathroom shelf and show pretty much everything I use on my face to keep things under control. Nothing groundbreaking but I'm nosy and like to see these sort of things and I figured this was a nice little post to do that wouldn't be too much of a revision distraction! 

From left to right:

Oral-B Pro-Expert Whitening Toothpaste
Oral-B toothbrushes
Listerine Stay White Mouthwash
Vichy Purete Thermale micellar water
REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser
Avène Thermale Spring Water Spray
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
Alpha-H Liquid Gold
The Body Shop tea tree oil
La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I
Lush Mint Julips lip scrub
NUXE Rêve de Miel lip balm

I know this is a bit of a short post, but everything up there is pretty self-explanatory! They're all staples that I know and love and have used for quite a while (with the exception of the REN cleanser which arrived yesterday).

What are your skincare favourites? What's on your bathroom shelf?