Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Updates + Future posts

The purpose of this post is a little like a diary and a tickbox of all the things I have been thinking of posting but couldn't because... I've moved! It's not exciting, I personally don't get excited reading about blogger's troubles with moving, so I won't dwell on that. It does, however, mean that I have been buying things (even though I said I wouldn't after the October Haul!) and they're building up and I end up using them before taking pictures of the freshly-bought products (bad me). 
Secondly, I now officially have a job. Oh yeah. About time. Does this mean I will be splashing out my ~£130 a week on makeup??? I wish. Most, and I do mean about 97% of this money is going into my University fund for next year (fingers crossed), so not much of it is going to be used :( Some will though, and when it does, expect many reviews!
I have a few things I wanted to blog about that have been happening in my life to do with "beauty". First one being my weight loss. It's not as dramatic as some people's, i.e. I didn't miraculously go from a size 20 to a size 10, but all in all so far I've lost 18.4lb (that is ~1.3 stone or 8.2kg). For me, it is impressive and is something I never thought was possible. I am going to carry on with my plan (which I will make a separate post about) until I reach my desired weight (or more like desired body shape). 
Second major thing in my "beauty" world is me not wearing any makeup whatsoever when I go to work/out, especially eye-makeup. Reasons for this are numerous and, again, will be described in a separate post later on ;-)
 This is kind of a useless post in itself, isn't it? But it gives me an idea of what I want to mention, and so is pretty helpful. To cheer you up on this gloomy Wednesday, have a picture of a random puppy: 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

FOTD - Copper/Bronze

I never know what to name a FOTD - 'Ginger Madness', 'Copper Goddess'... *gag*. No. Basically this is a little smokey eye number I had on yesterday combined with false eyelashes, which I love but find quite a hassle. 

 Thing with false eyelashes is that I absolutely hate when they're visible - i.e. when the 'band' is visible on top of the eyeliner (or, god forbid, on an eyelid with no eyeliner). You have to have a very black eyeliner, and draw a line over the lashes, but I don't endorse the idea of spending 5-6 quid on a pair of eyelashes and ruining them for one day's wear... but I digress.
Products used: 

Nip+Fab Sheer Makeup Fix in Sheer
MUA Face Primer
Collection Last Perfection 16H Concealer in #1 Fair
MAC Studio Sculpt SPF 35 Concealer in NW15
Bourjois Healthy Balance Unifying Powder in 52 Vanille
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (contour)
ELF Studio Blush in Mellow Mauve

ELF Mineral Eyeshadow Primer in Sheer
Maxfactor Earth Spirit Eyeshadow in Inca Bronze
Too Faced Glamour To Go - Glamour Edition (Dark Brown, Black and shimmery White shadows)
Barry M Blink Waterproof Eyeliner Pen
Benefit they're real mascara
Stila Major Lash mascara
Eyelure Naturalites eyelashes 070
ELF Eyebrow Kit in Ash

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 020 Lovesick

I liked this look, it worked out better than I expected in pictures. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Benefit 'they're Real' Mascara Review

In an older post from a couple of months ago, I issued a warning about fake benefit products on eBay - the one I was unfortunate to purchase was the, what I thought, the 'they're Real' mascara. I photographed the wand and showed how it reaaally isn't the real thing. See the post here.
After getting a refund card in Debenhams with £14.50 on there that I had to spend in the shop, well, my mind ran away to the makeup section, even though that October I had already bought a gazillion other makeup products. I was actually looking for a waterproof YSL mascara that is, considering my lack of luck, discontinued. Looking for mascaras to hold curl, I gave up because the elderly women at Dior and Chanel boutiques scare the c*** out of me and I feel they didn't really like me saying "nah this isn't good, bye" to them. Finally I turned to benefit with their massive-titted woman with the massive letter across her and bought the mascara without even trying it, that's how tired I was.

The packaging isn't all fabulous, but it's handy and  the tube is smaller than the usual long mascaras, thus a slightly shorter wand. It does feel like quality. 

 Above is 3 coats of the mascara on curled lashes. What I've noticed with this mascara is that it doesn't deposit black product on the upper waterline (which is something I want because it adds depth and definition to my tiny eyes), which is a negative for me. I guess that's the "natural" look but I don't like it. I find that I have to wear it with my Stila Major Lash Mascara because it does a fantabulastic job of getting that blackness on my waterline: 

As you can see - no curl. Almost none at all. Does it curl better than some other mascaras? Well, yes. It does have a tiny bit of an uplifting power over, say, Bourjois Elastic Mascara which just does absolutely nothing to my lashes (mind you, it's not a curling but a lengthening mascara, and it does a decent job at the latter). Overall, I do like how it makes my lashes look and feel - it has a random sort of rubbery feel to it. 
Is it really "smudge proof"? No. I asked the lady at the counter whether there will ever be a waterproof version and she said "it doesn't need to be, it's water resistant". Silly lady. It runs like the Niagara falls.
The brush has mixed feelings from me, even though it is this mascara's main selling point. See picture below. It's a plastic brush, something I love and hate. Love because it separates lashes, or at least tries to. Kind of. Are my lashes separated? Not really. First coat is fine, but after the second I have to use a clean mascara wand to try and fan my poor, miserable lashes out a bit. Does the famous ball-shaped spiky end work? Not for me. If you examine the picture below you will see that a tonne of product collects in the end of the brush (as it always does) and thus you have to work pretty hard to get it out, and even so, you will damage those spikes in the end. It is supposed to be used for the hard to reach lashes. Sure, I would use it, but the dollop of product that is in the ball puts me off the idea.
Why hate? Because it kills my poor eye skin. It hurts like a b****. I do not use this everyday and would not recommend it to others. The spikes scratch my waterline, they scratch my lash line, they scratch everything. For the result that I get, the pain isn't worth it. And actually, it is never worth it, ladies. Seriously. 

Have a silly picture of my face with the applied mascara and crazy hair. As you can see, it really doesn't do much for me and the dream of a larger eye helped by curlier lashes is lost on this mascara. Nonetheless I will continue using it as a day time mascara and throw it into my makeup bag, but it will be added to my "Meh" list of mascaras that have failed to become my holy grails. 
:) x 

PS I forgot to mention that I do not use this mascara on my bottom lashes because it clumps! Not as bad as some other mascaras (Revlon Grow Luscious Waterproof Mascara, I'm looking at you) but still pretty bad, and I like my bottom lashes to just be coated thinly but be very black for definition, and for that, I use Stila Major Lash (♥).   

Friday, 9 November 2012

ELF 'Haul' Full Review

I mentioned in my October haul post that I will review the elf products that I purchased in detail, which I am going to do here. I finally succumbed to one of their offers which was getting a Halloween goody bag worth £10 when you spend £15. I desperately needed a replacement for my stipple brush (see below as to why!) and have been after the flat-top powder brush for ages, so I thought I might as well. 

The flat-top Studio powder Brush is densly packed and, like the stipple brush, is gorgeously soft. So soft. I just want to put it on my face and stroke it, because it is that soft. However, unfortunately, I was a tiny bit let down by this. Mainly because I was so hyped for it, expecting it to be out of this world, and it does look like it should be but, awkward confession, I don't know what to use it for. 
What I mean is that you're supposed to use it for powder (powder brush... genius) but it's good for both wet and dry products according to the elf website. Usually I would jump straight away to apply foundation with this but rather unfortunately, I've stopped using foundation altogether since about a month ago. I have also been opting for a non-full coverage look seeing as I got told by a few people (mainly family) that the cakey look is going a bit far, and I was upset looking in the mirror and seeing the full face of makeup. And in all honesty, I found my foundation goes everywhere and interferes with things such as putting clothes on (my poor black jumped will never live down the white powdery stains on the collar) and... others ;). And seeing as this brush is very dense, I don't apply powder with it because it would give a too full coverage! (Which is why I use my Stipple Brush to apply my face powder).
What about blush?
Again, because it picks up so much product I find that I get too much pigmented blush on my cheeks and this brush doesn't do blending very well. Hopefully when I do decide to wear foundation, this will come in handy... I say hope because I am totally in love with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and will be very, very reluctant to change it. 

On the left is my new Stipple Brush and on the right is the horror that is my filthy, overused old one. Do excuse the dirty colour, but it's going in the bin so there was no need to wash it (that what I tell myself). I was surprised, not to say pleasantly, when I saw the shorter handle of the new brush. I panicked for a split second thinking they sent me their new Small Stipple Brush but as you can see the fibre head is the same size. I have missed that luxurious beautiful soft feel of the stipple brush on my face seeing as my old one died when it was attacked by a hair dryer (see my Makeup Tools DON'Ts post for details) and has just become scratchy and coarse and just generally unpleasant. I decided I like the new handle because it makes the brush travel friendly! All in all, a beautiful brush that I would recommend to any one. I use this daily to apply my face powder because it gives me the exact right amount of coverage and avoid a cake face!

The Minty Gloss in New York is just... how do I even describe this. It's a diamond in the rough for me. If you know me, you know I hate lipgloss. Why? It's sticky. The feeling of sticky is compared in my mind to the feeling of being stabbed with a fork. It's that bad. I discovered the minty gloss some time ago when I was sent a Minty Gloss in Chicago in a goody bag. Since then, I've been hooked. It is the ONLY gloss that I will willingly put on my lips and wear out. It feels wonderful, not even a hint of stickiness and let me tell you, the smell and taste of this is something out of this world. I never believed in glosses that are supposed to freshen up your breath - I believe in this. It is a pleasant minty fragrance and it tastes sweet but not sickly and is just all around a pleasure to wear. The colour New York is surprisingly pigmented and transforms any colour into a slightly different hue, which I love. I want to buy all of them. Seriously. One little annoyance as you can see was the damaged packaging, but hey ho. I would highly recommend this to those who hate sticky glosses, and everyone else really.

I don't know where to start with the Eyebrow Stencil Kit because I have no idea what possessed me to buy it. I had to fill my cart up with another £1 to go over the £15 mark so I was browsing for something that cost £1.50. I want to hit myself - why didn't I buy the brightening eye colour??? They're brilliant! This was a waste of money for me. I didn't read the product description, and thought there were waxing stencils. They're not. They're supposedly to be used for an accurate filling of the brows. Well, I think thats a joke because the stencils all have mega fat ends and will making you look like this: 


...which is pretty much what I looked like when I applied these. An absolute waste of £1.50 (not a disaster) for me. I heard some people like these, good for you, you can have mine!

These three are what I received in my Halloween goody bag. My first reaction was literally: "Ah it's erm.... purple.". Yes. Everything is purple.
I was initially very scared of the Lip Balm SPF 15 in Plum because when I have purple on my lips (or any dark colour for that matter) I look like I have hypothermia. However, this is a lovely little product which I have grown to love. Maybe not necessarily in this colour, though putting the Minty Gloss in New York over it gives some very nice results. This balm comes in a very slim tube, and I would say it's probably the most professional looking and feeling elf product for me. It is surprisingly pigmented and I could easily get very dark purple lips if I wanted to. This excited me because that meant that the other balms were the same and because I loved the texture and the smell (it was minty again!) I had discovered a new favourite product. It feels lovely on the lips, I'd go as far as saying it's moisturising. Would recommend! 
Again, I was very wary of the Studio Single Eyeshadow in Raspberry Truffle because, well, purple eyelids are t.r.o.u.b.l.e. I made it work for me, a very light dollop of this without any other colour gave some colour to the lids and didn't make me look like a zombie, which was a plus. I found this eyeshadow difficult to blend, it simple refused to budge and it is very pigmented, so be very careful. All in all, I like this but I doubt I would go out of my way to repurchase it. 
A very disappointing product, which was kind of expected, is the Nail Polish in Party Purple. I am very much against elf nail polishes until convinced otherwise. I have 3 (this is the third) and I am disappointed with all of them. They chip horribly, the colour pay off is baaaad, the bottles are made badly (the lid on Party Purple won't twist to lock!) and I think there are just better polishes for a sslightly higher price out there. I personally think nail polishes are not elf's strongest point and I wouldn't buy them myself, though they will always put them in goody bags and that will always be how I get them. I wouldn't recommend this, or any other elf nail polish, to people unless they have a beast of a top coat and don't care about chips (the nail-related kind). 
So this is the end of my Godzilla of a review, I hope some of this has been helpful. There are no swatches which is stupid of me, but I might update with those letter (she says, dazed). 
:) x     

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Huge October Haul

So, it seems like I'm writing again! Though I'll be honest, I am not enjoying it much... yet. I've been rather busy moving into my new house (an actual house, compared to all the flats I've been living in all my life... so a change) and filling it for Ikea stuff from ceiling to floor... Ikea ♥.
This October I have collected an impressive amount of stuff ranging from make-up to skin products etc. I think I've photographed everything in here, aside some basic stuff like hand gel (which I love) and shower gel...
I'll admit that a LOT of the stuff is not stuff I need at all, in the slightest. I kind of outdid myself this month and spent a fortune. Main catalyst was my parents transferring around $400 in total into my bank account to go visit my boyfriend for "emergencies" e.g. train tickets that cost up to 127 pounds one way... but I digress. 

 Above is pretty much everything I bought bar hand creams and shower gels. The picture isn't very good but I will break down what everything is and why I thought I needed it... 

Rimmel Stay Matte Translucent Pressed Powder - this was a whim buy because I definitely do not need another powder. Main reason behind buying this was that the rest of my powders bar my Bourjois one have quite the pink toned hue to them and coupled with a pink based foundation and concealer a rather unpleasant pink effect is achieved, so basically this powder avoids that as it is not actually translucent at all, it's a yellow base powder. It's nothing special, but worth buying for touch ups. It smells kinda cool too, but I really couldn't describe it.

MUA BB Cream, Lipgloss, Face Primer and Eyeshadow Trio - these will have their own little post later. This is my second purchase from MUA and I am generally quite pleased with these. Full review soon. 

Paul Mitchell SoftStyle Soft Spray - this was reduced to an amazing £3 at a local hairdressing salon so I jumped on it. Did I need it? No. What is it? It's a finishing spray - I find it is basically a light hold hairspray but not as sticky or volumising. Again, it's nothing spectacular but for 3 quid it does a nice enough job.

Redken 5th Avenue NYC Outshine Anti-frizz Polishing Milk - this was also £3 at the hair salon and having known the brand for a while I decided to give it a go. Anti-frizz products have been seeping into my collection lately though I'll admit none really work because I don't quite know how to use them (oh dear). I.e. I don't want them on dry hair because I always end up overdoing it and it ends up permanently "wet" and putting in damp hair never seems to work for me. This particular product is, once more, nothing special but has a big con for me. It smells fine on my hair, but 3 seconds after application my hands start to reek of... you'll never believe this... eyelash glue. Literally Eyelure eyelash glue. It's horrible. Seriously. Obviously I wash my hands after use, but it's not encouraging me to use the product! Did I notice shine? Not really I'm afraid. Did I see a reduction in frizz? Well, just as much as putting water on your hair. However, I will carry on using this to see if it's just me being a numpty with it. 

Benefit 'they're Real' Mascara - the most expensive single product of the lot. This will get it's own review soon.

NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk - who has been looking up makeup tutorials and haven't heart of the Milk pencil? few, I assure you. This was bought on Amazon for a not very friendly price, not something I'd usually pay for a pencil. When it first arrived I was mega disappointed because it wasn't a wooden pencil and I had absolutely no idea how to sharpen it. I had to go and invest in a Bourjois Dual Sharpner from Boots to sharpen it and to my relief the plastic did sharpen okay. The product itself... well, I find it too creamy for my liking. If my primer doesn't go on too well (oh, it does that) i.e. it's a little chalky, this little pencil will amplify it 10 fold. I cover it with eyeshadow of course, but I just dont find this too pleasant to work with. Because of the creaminess I always seem to put too much on and so there is just too much white. Does it make the eyeshadows pop? Definitely. I would recommend this. Party season is a bit dead for me, so this is taking the back-seat because I use it for dramatic night-time looks and not during the day. It doesn't go on the waterline very well at all, though the colour is strong it doesn't last there and the pencil is way too big to get to the corners without painting your eyelashes white. 

Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eyeliner Pencil in 071 Pure White - I bought this to go on my waterline and inner corner and had hoped that it would be so horribly soft that it would stay in the waterline nice and creamy. I was wrong. The pigmentation isn't great and the pencil is hard-ish to poke my waterline with. It wasn't a big hit to  my purse, but I am not too happy with this. However, I don't think I will be investing in any white eyeliner in the future because this one will do and I don't use them much anyway.

Bionsen Remineralizing Eye Cream - I bought this in vain hope that the slightly higher price and a vaguely known brand name would make this a decent eye cream from TKmaxx. I was wrong. This is just... well, bad. It's runny, doesn't do anything for my eyes and the worst of all... it stinks. Unbearably. I can tolerate some bad smells if the product is good (e.g. Too Faced eyeshadow primer) but this is pushing it. This has gone straight into my unused makeup box and I return to my trusty Simple Soothing Eye Balm. 

Too Faced palettes: Smoky Eyes & Glamour To Go Dream Edition - these two will have their own review post but in short I hate the smoky eye one and love the glamour to go one.

Nip+Fab Sheer Makeup Fix - I like this. I do. I bought this as a primer, and because I like Nip+Fab a lot. Maybe it's the packaging. I find a little with this goes a long way and it does have a slight primer-like effect by making pores and lines look a bit smoother. Does it work like the Smashbox primer? No. And it's not meant to. It has healthy things in it and isn't really part of the "makeup" selection, it's more a skin product. It has a subtle, gentle fragrance and a completely non-sticky feel. Would recommend :)

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - my absolute holy grail product, I use this instead of foundation now (ha!) and get asked how I get my skin so perfect. I cannot stress enough how incredible this product is. This is my second tube and the first one has lasted me very well considering I use it to cover my whole face. Go out and buy it! Go go go!

ELF! - these will also get their own review very soon (tomorrow, maybe) and there is a lot to review. This was part of a spree online and I also got three products as part of a Halloween goodie bag (guess which?) which I have mixed feelings about... but that's all to come. 

I bought a bunch of other stuff like the St Ives Apricot Scrub that everyone is so mad about but I haven't actually had time to even use it at all, Norwegian Formula Hand & Nail cream and a tonne of Imperial Leather shower gels which I absolutely love. 

Phew, long post is long. I feel like I've left quite a lot of detail out because it's now past midnight and the post is long enough... the reviews I promised will come soon ish, and maybe I'll even do the other products I didn't mention I'd do a full review on.
This has been a big spending month so I'm gonna try to make November a makeup-free month (pretty sure I should be spending it on the new house anwyay... oops!)