5 easy ways to curb your beauty spending in January

If like me you went in a little too hard in 2018 and need to watch your bank balance a little better in 2019, then I have a few pieces of advice that will have you covered!

1. Don’t buy it, because you are literally broke af

Do you really need that new highligher? That new palette? Probably not. But more than that, you really don’t have the money to buy it. January is a suuuuper long month as it is, don’t make your survival any more difficult or your overdraft any worse than it needs to be. Beauty is great and everything, but so are food and savings (to add to, not to spend on beauty).

2. If you wanted it, you’d already have itΒ 

If you really wanted it, you would have: a) asked for it for Christmas or b) bought it in some sort of Black Friday/early Christmas sale. Aaaaaand you didn’t. So you don’t need it. Anything that launches in January can 100% wait until February to get (YOU DO NOT NEED FENTY’S CONCEALER NOW).

3. Think about whether you genuinely want it

Do you actually want this product? Or do you only want it because your friend/mum/favourite influencer/entire Instagram feed have it and you don’t? Before you buy anything, evaluate whether you actually need it. If you’ve tried a sample, done your research and it suits your skin then just save it for next month – YOU DON’T NEED IT THIS INSTANT. If you haven’t completed the above, then sorry but you’re just not that into it. If it is not absolutely crucial to your existence (don’t be over dramatic, I know what us beauty types are like), then it’s off the table (not into your bag, off the table as in you aren’t getting it).

4. You probably already have at least 3 other products in your collection that do the same thing

You do not need a fourth second cleanser. Yeah everyone might be talking about it, and your blogging nemesis may have been sent it by the brand, but who cares? Work through what you have already have and forget everyone else. This leads me on nicely to…

5. Start your own Project Pan

If you have never heard of Project Pan, it’s a movement in the beauty community to actually use the products you buy. You commit to using up existing products and only once it’s all gone can you purchase a new product from that same category (moisturiser, cleanser etc.) It’s a great way to actually use the massive stash of beauty products you have before they go off, but it can also remind you why you really liked the product (or why you hated it).

I hope you find these tips useful (and funny) and come back soon!

Xo

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Colourpop Disney Designer Bundle Review

When I saw that Colourpop were launching a collaboration with Disney that was themed around the Disney Princesses, I knew this was the collection for me! The collection focuses on 6 princesses – Ariel, Tiana, Belle, Cinderella, Snow White and Jasmine. The collection features a palette, a single eyeshadow and lipstick for each princess and 3 glosses (very cooly named Bibidi, Bobidi and Boo). Around Black Friday, Colourpop also released Princess bundles, where each princess contained their lipstick, an original lip gloss and their single eyeshdow. I bought the Ariel and Tiana bundles.

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Ariel Collection
#DisneyAndColourPop Ariel Collection Set The Ariel lipstick is a dark-orange matte nude that I wouldn’t usually go for, but because it was Ariel and she’s my favourite princess I thought I’d give it a go. The ‘Guppy’ lipgloss is a beautiful true nude shade that is perfect on my pale skin. The only part that lets this little bundle down is the HIDEOUS eyeshadow. I have no idea why they thought that this would be a nice eyeshadow to include, but it is so unbelievably ugly. I guess it’s supposed to be the colour of Ariel’s tail but it is such an unwearable shade for 99% of beauty lovers. The pigmentation is also not the best on this one. I knew this was included in the bundle, I knew I didn’t like it, but I knew that I really wanted the lipstick and the lipgloss so I bought it anyway. I mainly wanted the gloss because it was exclusive to the bundle, and I’m a sucker for allΒ  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  things Ariel.

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(Left pic top to bottom: Lipstick with lipgloss over top, gloss alone, lipstick alone)

Tiana Collection

#DisneyAndColourPop Tiana Collection SetThe Tiana lipstick is a dark reddish-purple that would look amazing on all skin tones, but especially dark skin. The lipgloss in ‘Gourmet Dreams’ is golden sparkly gloss that looks amazing as a lip topper and the eyeshadow in ‘Almost There’ is a neutral shimmery brown. I find it kind of hard to use single shadows in large packaging like this, simply because it’s not an easy one to reach for. If these were the magnetic kind that I could add to my kit, they would be far more user friendly. I will try and find a use for this, but I basically just bought this one for the lip products too. The shadows in this entire collection haven’t really done it for me, but the lip stuff is just gorgeous. Tiana is my second favourite princess, and the gold gloss just got me totally weak at the knees!

fullsizeoutput_3048.jpeg(Top to bottom: Lipstick with gloss on top, gloss, lipstick)

Overall, the Disney Designer lip bundles are really nice. Would I have preferred both sets without the shadows? Ummm, hell yes. The shadows are a bit of a lack lustre addition to the set. But they were such beautiful colours that I didn’t want to pass up the chance to get my hands on them seeing as they sold out so quickly before! I’ll definitely get more use out of the Ariel shades because I’m a nude kinda girl, but this reddish purple would be a beautiful pop of colour to bring out every once in a while.

Have you tried anything from the Colourpop x Disney Designer range? What did you think?

Xo

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Christmas gift guides – Gifts under Β£20

Beauty gifts are great to receive, but can often be quite expensive. I’ve put together some of the best little gifts for under Β£20 that can be great for anyone on a budget or for secret santa!

ZOEVA Screen Queen Lip Crayon – Β£10 each (Beauty Bay, Selfridges, ZOEVA)

These lip crayons are only Β£10 each (Β£5.99-Β£6.99 if you get them while the Beauty Bay sale is on!) and come in four absolutely beautiful colours. The shades are universal and would look stunning on all skin tones and the shape of the lip crayon mean that it should be very easy to outline the lip.

ZOEVA Screen Queen Lip Crayon

Milani Baked Blush – Β£10 (Beauty Bay)

The Milani Baked Blushes are so pretty and really good value for such a pretty blush! I have Luminoso (which is their most famous shade) and have had it for years and even when I was using it every day, I’ve barely made a dent in it. A high end quality blush for a good price! At the moment, Beauty Bay is having a 30% off sale, and the blush is now Β£7!

Milani Baked Blush

Jordan Lipscombe x Beauty Bay Eyeshadow and Highlighting Palettes – Β£20 each

If you are interested in any of these colour stories, then these palettes could be for you! The colours are quite different to the usual palettes we’ve been seeing of late and after trying one of the Colour Theory palettes from Beauty Bay, I have faith that this palette will have really good pigmentation. The shades are perfect for autumn/winter and come in at Β£20 per palette. If you were to want to buy all three, there is a bundle that will save you Β£20 at the moment – Beautybay is 30% off! (Β£30 for all 3).

BEAUTY BAY Jordan Lipscombe Trooper Eyeshadow And Highlighter PaletteBEAUTY BAY Jordan Lipscombe Fuego Eyeshadow And Highlighter PaletteBEAUTY BAY Jordan Lipscombe Onyx Eyeshadow And Highlighter Palette

THIS WORKS Sleep Tight – Β£13 (Space NK)

Let’s bring a bit of self care into this! There is nothing more important than a good night’s sleep, so if you know someone that struggles to get their 8 hours, or just deserves a little treat then this is for them! I bought this for my sister last year and she said it made her get to sleep quicker (she usually lays awake for hours trying to get to sleep).

Sleep Tight, , large

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Mini – Β£16 (Cult Beauty)

The Becca highlighters are famous for giving a beautiful glow, but the full sized ones are pretty pricey if you’re not sure whether the shade will suit you. The mini ones are small, but you use so little highlighter at a time that this will last ages. There is a shade for every skin tone and preference, including the new Vanilla Quartz shade (below) that you can only get as a mini!

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Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipsticks – Β£6.99 (Boots, Superdrug)

The Maybelline Colour Sensational lipsticks are honestly among the best lipsticks I’ve ever tried. There is a massive variety of shades and finishes so you’ll be sure to find the shade you’re looking for. My favourite is 725 Tantalising Taupe, which is just the perfect pinky-nude for fair skin. This is definitely wearable if you’re darker too, all you need is a lip liner!Image result for tantalising taupe maybelline

Dr Jart+Β Shake & Shotβ„’ Rubber Hydro Mask – Β£8 (Selfridges, ASOS)

I am a massive Dr Jart fan and this face mask form the K beauty brand looks so much fun! The mask comes in 3 varieties – hydrating, firming and brightening. The idea is that you mix the contents into a gloopy mask, apply it and peel it off. You’ll probably have seen this all over Instagram from above with the creepy baby face, and I for one want to join in!

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NYX Whipped Wonderland Shadow Set – Β£15 (Selfridges), Β£17 (Nyxcosmetics.co.uk, Boots, ASOS, Very.co.uk, Lookfantastic)

For whatever reason, this palette is Β£2 cheaper at Selfridges to every other retailer… and there’s no sale going on at the time of writing this (WEIRD). But regardless, this is a really nice little palette to create some really lovely, dramatic looks perfect for winter. There is a good mix of mattes and shimmers, with enough diversity to create different looks just by changing up the shimmers.

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I hope you enjoyed my budget buys! There are loads of good sales on at the moment, including up to 30% off BeautyBay and 20% on ASOS when you use the code HELLO20, so don’t miss out!

Xo

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Christmas gift guides – the makeup addict

If you are a true lover of makeup, or know someone who is, here are some amazing Christmas gift ideas that they are sure to love! WARNING: This may or may not be palette heavy, and your bank account may not love you afterwards.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palettes – Β£69 each (SpaceNK.com, Liberty London, Selfridges, John Lewis, Feelunique.com)

Depending on your skin tone, one of these palettes is one you need. Hourglass products are so beautiful and are such cult favourites. The new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit volume 4 is perfect for anyone with light to medium skin tones. Likewise, the new Unlocked palette has been hailed as the palette that darker ladies have been waiting for, and it is absolutely GORGEOUS. If you aren’t purchasing for yourself, consider carefully which one would suit your loved one best, especially if they are more medium/tan as they could be on the boardline for both!

Beauty Bay Colour Theory palettes – Β£25 each (Beauty Bay)

Beauty Bay has finally released their own line of makeup! (AND IT’S ACTUALLY AMAZING!) There are three palettes – Origin, Evolve and Identity – and they are 42 shades for Β£25(!). The problem with palettes is you often are unsure on how to create multiple looks… but wth these palettes, each column represents an entire look, and each row is where to put the shade (transition, crease, highlight etc.) The pigmentation is actually amazing for a palette that is so cheap, so it’s a great gift if you’re on a budget too!

Jouer Lip Topper in Frost Bite – Β£13.50 (Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty)

I got a set of mini Jouer lip toppers for Christmas last year and this was by far my favourite. It goes with absolutely every lip colour and lasts a really long time. I still haven’t gotten through all of my mini one. If you don’t fancy just a clear gloss with white sparkle, the rest of the shades are absolutely gorgeous too (especially Skinny Dip, which is probably their most famous shade).

Jouer Cosmetics Long-Wear Lip Topper Frost Bite

Dose of Colours Katy x Desi Friendcation Palette – Β£44 (Beauty Bay)

This is a beautiful palette that has really grown on me recently. The colours are absolutely beautiful and perfect for both winter and the party season. A lot of beauty gurus have been recommending this asΒ the palette that you need and I’ve fallen for this one hard. It’s a really good mix of mattes and shimmers, and the colour story is quite different to what we’ve been seeing. There have been soooo many reviews and tutorials on youtube, particularly using the blue, and itΒ actuallyΒ seems to be a blue that swatches as a true bright blue, and not transform into a deep navy mess. The temptation to buy this myself is UNREAL (probably will tbh lol).

Dose of Colors Desi & Katy Friendcation Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Shiny Pretty Things Face Compact – Β£29

This year’s holiday collection from MAC is amazing and this holiday face palette is GORGEOUS! I popped in store and swatched it and it’s unbelievably beautiful. There are three shades, a rose gold highlight, a golden-pink blush and a warm bronzer. There is a fair paletteΒ (pictured below) and a medium/dark one. It creates the most gorgeous effect on your cheeks and I’m completely in love. On my fair skin (NC15), the bronzer (which looks really dark) is the perfect colour to make my skin looks bronzed but not muddy, the highlight is a beautiful pop and the blush is a bright pink/coral that is reallllllly pigmented. Keep an eye out for discounts on this – I managed to get this for Β£14 on ASOS because there was 15% and I had a Β£10 voucher!

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Kevyn Aucoin Nudepop The Molten Lip Colour Mini Collection – Β£24 (Space NK)

I have been eyeing up Keyvn Aucoin lip glosses for a long time, specifically the one on the left (that golden redish pink)! For Β£24, you get 5 lipgloss minis that are a really fair size and will take you ages to get through! They will work really well on their own or on top of a lipstick. The left three look as though they have a slight shift so they’ll really enhance any lip!

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Colourpop Yes, Please! – $16 (colourpop.com)

I stumbled across this palette on someone’s Instagram and FELL. IN. LOVE. This palette is a little harder for us Brits to get our hands on, but Colourpop do offer free shipping on orders over $50 which is veeery easy to exceed on their website. The colours in this palette are probably more appropriate for summer, but who even cares? The warm tones of this palette will warm you up this winter. I’ve heard from my friends on Instagram and from beauty gurus on Youtube that Colourpop shadows have excellent pigmentation, and are super budget friendly. I will be picking this one up on Black Friday.

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Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick – Β£38 (SpaceNK.com, John Lewis, Selfridges, Liberty London, Feelunique.com)

I swatched this a few months ago in Libertys and FELL. IN. LOVE. This is now my go-to highlighter that I literally have to apply every single time I wear makeup. The shade I have is Gold Light which just gives you the most stunning golden glow. I find that this shade is what my skin would really look like if the sun were to hit my cheekbones. There are five shades total, ranging from more champagne-gold tones to more pink-orange tones, so there is something for every skin tone and every preference. The price tag on this one is pretty steep, but it’s definitely worth the splurge if you’re a highlighter addict!

 

Image result for vanish highlighting stick gold flash

I know this has been very palette friendly and lacking on complexion products, but I wanted to try and make this list something that any beauty addict, regardless of skin colour or type could enjoy. Foundations/primers/powders are often tailored to specific skin concerns, and what I personally would use and love would not work for everyone.

I hope you enjoyed this! Let me know what you are going to be picking up this Christmas!

Xo

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Beauty Bay Colour Theory Origin Review

Recently Beauty Bay launched their very own line of makeup. I saw the promotional pictures for the collection and they were really large 42 pan palettes with a pretty nice colour story for each one. My immediate thought was, these are nice but they’re going to be super expensive. OH HOW I WAS WRONG. These bad boys cost Β£25 each, which is an absolute STEAL.

So there are three palettes – Origin, Identity and Evolve.

Identity – Cool toned browns and neutrals with some pops of red/coral/orange
Evolve – Cool toned shades with some pops of teal, cool pink and deep blue.
Origin – Warm toned browns and neutrals with a few pinks and purples.

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Looking at these palettes, you might wonder how you would put looks together with so many different shadows, finishes etc. But Beauty Bay are one step ahead! The whole premise of this palette is that they have put together colour combos to create a cohesive look. Along the top of the palette, there are numbers and along the side there is the description of where the shade can be used (crease, highlight, transition etc). You can get wildly different and unique looks by just using the shades vertically, so gone are the days when you sit and stare at a palette wondering how else to use it.

I got the Origin palette as a birthday present from my sister and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. When I swatched a few of them, the shades were super pigmented! Using them on my eyes with brushes, the pigmentation is so strong and so amazing for Β£25. I was expecting the pigmentation to be a little on the weaker side, so when I first swirled my brush in and applied it, it was waaaaay heavier than I expected! The shades are really beautiful and the pigmentation is really consistent, particularly across the mattes.

Swatches

Base shades:

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Base shades

Transition:

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Crease:

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Liner:

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Pop:

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Pop shades

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Highlight:

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Most of the shades actually swatched really nicely. A few of the lighter ones were extremely light and difficult to see on my skin (probably because I’m so pale) but when I applied them as a base shade on the lid they showed up well. The second from right of the highlight shades looks white in the pan but has a pink duo chrome. The shade is veeery soft and a few swirls of the pan totally destroyed the ‘B’ pressed into the shadow. There is quite a lot of fall out when you used these with a brush, which for me isn’t so much of a problem for me, but if it’s something that bothers you then just be aware.

The most unique part of the palette is definitely the numbers along the top vs where to put them along the side that helps you create so many looks. I’ve been trying out the vertical looks that they’ve put together, and so far they’ve come out really nicely. What I would say is this could be more of a palette for people that enjoy dramatic, heavier make up looks in the way it is designed, but that is not to say that people who prefer lighter, more neutral looks couldn’t get a lot out of this palette.

Some looks I created:

Look 1

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I did this look with the first column, using a pale base shade similar to my skin tone, an orange transition, a deep pinkish red in the crease, a really nice brown as liner (which I don’t tend to do with eyeshadow) before going over the part closest to my lash line with a black liquid liner, a pop of gold on the lid and a matte highlight. I added a bit of shimmer using one of the other highlight shades as I prefer my inner corner to be shimmery rather than matte. This look is quite a bit heavier for me but I was so pleased with how it came out. I think the picture on the right was more of an accurate depiction of how it looked in real life.

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Look 2fullsizeoutput_2f0a

I used the fifth column to create a pink look (which was TOTALLY out of my comfort zone). As I was creating this look, it looked absolutely rubbish right until the very end, and then it came together so nicely! I do NOT usually do pink looks on the eye because I find them a bit much, but I would definitely do this look again for a night out. The ‘pop’ shade for this column was a bit bland and was a bit of lack lustre, so I added the rose gold highlight on top to add a bit more depth. There was some serious fall out on my under eyes after using the liner shade and pop shade so I had to wipe off the entire of my under eye base makeup and start aga

 

I tried to stay away from reviews because I wanted to form my own opinions, but did end up watching Tati’s review on them. She really liked the mattes, but felt like the pops and highlights were a bit lack lustre. But her emphasis on how lack lustre made me think they would be really poor in quality, but I don’t feel like her review was 100% accurate. I thought they were really well pigmented, and while they did have a fair amount of fall out, who actually cares?

I really hope that they bring more of these out cause I want more colours! I am not really a fan of the other colour stories for Evolve and Identity, but it’s really reignited an interest in makeup for me. I was a bit more on the skincare band wagon for a while, but I’m back interested in makeup as we come into autumn and winter – mainly because I’m not sweating off all my makeup within 5 minutes of putting it on anymore!

Basically, if you are a makeup beginner, someone who wants to branch out a bit, or an absolute makeup addict, there is something for absolutely everyone in this palette – it all just depends how you want to use it. If you are a hardcore makeup user, using the vertical method would work really well, but I think if you’re a beginner then just use the shades that appeal to you, unless you want to be adventurous!

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these palettes and what your impressions are!

Xo

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Liquid lipstick – the makeup trend that just wont die

Liquid lipsticks have never been a favourite of mine. The concept is great – a lip colour that won’t wear away over time or after eating and drinking. But in practise? It SUCKS.

I remember when liquid lipsticks first came on to the scene. The first one I ever had was from Bourjois and while it was a nice colour and loved that it lasted, it just didn’t feel hydrating enough on my lips. I ended up giving it to my little sister. This must have been 6 years ago maybe? It didn’t really take off all those years ago. It was when a certain Miss Kylie Jenner stepped up to the plate and released her lip kits that every brand started to come out with their own. The height of the LL frenzy was probably 3 years ago now…right?

Most people I speak to or watch on YouTube say that liquid lipstick isn’t their favourite thing. I’ve watched so many formula reviews where people say that the formulas are too dry and it puts them off using them. So that brings up two questions: 1) why do brands not listen to feedback and make their formulas more hydrating, but more importantly, 2) why are brands still coming out with them!?

If you are one of these lucky people that can get along with liquid lipsticks, then you are one of the lucky ones. I don’t have particularly dry lips – they are always lathered in lip balm. Yet when I applied Kylie Jenner’s Koko K lip kit this afternoon my lips felt uncomfortably dry. I think for a while there was maybe a mentality of ‘Everyone else might find it too drying, but it will be fine for me’ for every single brand of liquid lipstick… then the realisation hit that they were the rule rather than the exception. I’ve tried a few now, from Jeffree Star to Jouer and I just. Don’t. Like. Them. Regardless of how ‘hydrating’ they claim to be, they aren’t. The colour is always flat, it isn’t the same in the tube once it dries down and they always tend to run cool toned which can make me look devoid of life.

Surely I am not alone here? Lips are probably my favourite part of my makeup routine. My makeup can look a bit iffy, but as soon as that lip is on, it just looks perfect.

So why won’t this trend die? I have a few theories:

1. King Kylie is still bringing out new shades. And whatever Kylie is bringing out for her enormous following, other brands want to try and join the party. Unfortunately by now we all know that whatever Kylie does will sell out.

2. Brands aren’t really listening to the consumer, and it wouldn’t be the first time. Thankfully there has been a slight shift back towards glossy lips, there hasn’t been a complete overhaul. It’s still viewed as a ‘trendy’ product because it isn’t in the the typical lipstick bullet and supposedly lasts longer.

3. The target market has changed. These days, girls and boys are becoming interested in makeup much younger than they did before (you can thank Kylie for this one too). You’ll often see 12 year olds in a full face, with contour, highlight and Instagram eyeshadow (aka heavy coloured eyeshadow). This new target demographic will buy ANYTHING they perceive as trendy. I always think that liquid lipstick is aimed towards a younger audience – whose lips are already perfectly moisturised and not covered in lines.

In a recent video for Refinery 29, Pixie Woo’s Nic and Sam said that the trend that they wished would die was liquid lips because the colour looks too flat and drying. Very rarely do makeup artists speak with such candour about trends they hate in the beauty industry, and maybe because I don’t like liquid lipsticks either that I appreciated the comment. But as with every trend, the sun will eventually go down on liquid lips… but probably not for a few more years yet.

Xo

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How to find your perfect foundation

A friend of mine recently asked me how I find foundations. She said she’d spend a lot of money on expensive foundations, not like them and then feel like she’d wasted the money. I have a few tips on how to avoid the same fate! None of them are particularly revolutionary, but if you’re a beauty beginner – listen up!

Do your research!

It’s very easy in the heat of the moment to impulse buy a foundation you’ve seen all over social media or heard your friends talking about. But for all that is good, read up on what you’re buying! Every foundation is designed for a different purpose and a different skin type. If you’re unsure of your skin type, think about what your main skin concerns are. If you have acne and get shiny throughout the day, you probably have oily skin. If you suffer from dry patches, then you are dry. If you are only oily/dry in certain areas, but pretty normal in others, then you have combination. If your skin is easy triggered by lotions and potions, then your skin is sensitive. And if you are really lucky, you have normal skin (aka no real issues at the moment). You need to get a foundation that addresses your skin concerns. Foundations formulated for oily skin will typically be more matte in finish (no shine) and drier in formula, so when the natural oils in your skin start to come through, you don’t look like an oily mess. Foundations for drier skin types are the complete opposite – they are moisturising and leave the skin hydrated with no dry patches poking through. Watch some reviews on YouTube, read some blog posts and google swatches to try and work out whether this will work for your skin or whether it sounds like something you’d be interested in! By all means ask your friends what they’re using, but be sure to ask what skin type they have before blindly buying their favourite too.

Finish

With your skin type in mind, think what kind of finish you want. If you have oily skin, you won’t want a dewy finish (glowy) and if you have dry skin, you won’t want a matte finish (no shine). Don’t waste your money by buying the wrong finish for your taste and skin type.

Coverage

There are three main types of coverage:

Light/sheer coverage – ‘your skin but better’ aka the most natural coverage. When a foundation doesn’t change the overall appearance of your skin too much, maybe just to even out your skin tone a little and neutralise redness.

Medium coverage – the next step up. Covers your skin issues mainly, but without completely covering your natural skin

Full coverage – the highest coverage. Will completely cover any problems you have, but can leave you looking a bit overdone if not applied well.

If you have amazing skin and don’t need to worry too much about covering up blemishes or hyper pigmentation, then you could opt for a light/sheer coverage. You have beautiful skin, you don’t need to cake full coverage on. If you are suffering from acne, you will probably want to opt for a medium-full coverage foundation to create a blank canvas. If a foundation is ‘buildable’, this means that it starts as either light or medium coverage, but by applying more product they can be built up to a medium or full coverage. These are probably the most versatile types of foundations because you can use it for two different types of coverage. Ultimately the coverage you like is completely down to personal preference and what you think suits your skin best.

Get samples

Do yourself a favour and get a sample of any foundation that you’re interested in purchasing. I do not buy a foundation if I haven’t tried it on my skin first. Quite frankly, if I’m going to spend Β£30+, I want to know that it’s going to a) suit my skin b) be my correct shade c) last all day d) work will with the other products in my makeup routine. Most beauty counters will happily colour match you (find your shade) and give you a sample. There is no shame in asking for this. Some companies are a bit funny about giving out samples (Nars) but in my experience most are happy to help you out. The sample size usually lasts about a week depending how much you use of course.

Colour matching

If you are trying to work out your shade by yourself, do NOT try and colour match your foundation by swiping it on your hand. Your body and your face are two totally different colours. The way brands will colour match you is by removing some of your foundation on your jaw and testing three shades on you. One will be your colour but they want to show you all the options. Usually one is too warm (too yellow/gold) for your skin and the other is too cool (too pink/red). If you’re unsure of your shade, go to a counter and ask to be shade matched and that takes the guess work out of it. They will always ask which you think best, rather than pushing a shade that might not be yours down your throat. If you’re looking at ‘drugstore’ foundations or online brands, unfortunately you’re just going to have to guess. If you’re in a ‘drugstore’ (we don’t have a word for this in the UK so we’ll just use the American one) you can try and colour match yourself using the technique mentioned above but it may be more difficult. Getting colour matched by a sales assistant and getting samples are the two ways to avoid purchasing the wrong shade.

What about this ‘primer’?

If you’ve never heard of primer, allow me to introduce you. A primer is something you apply before all your other products to prepare the skin for foundation and to make it last longer. The idea is that it helps to make it wear better (i.e. so it doesn’t wear off so quickly). The primer you use will also depend massively on, you guessed it, your skin type. If you struggle to keep oils at bay, then a mattifying primer is going to be your best friend! Drier skin types may prefer hydrating primers. There are also primers to blur the skin, hide pores, colour correct and to brighten the skin.

Colour correcting

If you suffer from acne, hyper pigmentation, dark circles or any other discolouration you may like to try colour correcting. Lots of people I’ve spoken to seem to find it a little daunting, but I used to do it every single day when I had bad acne so allow me to explain. Some areas of the skin that are particularly discoloured can still remain discoloured when you apply foundation and need a little extra help to be neutralised. For example, if you have some angry, red spots, they will still poke through slightly and your base won’t look even. Adding extra foundation to cover it will just make your base look cakey and more orange, which we don’t want! To colour correct, all you need to do is know which colour to apply to what area of the face and apply it sparingly. If you want to neutralise red, apply green; to cover dark circles use a peach colour if you’re light and a darker orange/red if you are darker. You can use purple and yellow too, though I’ve never seen anyone use them anywhere and have never understood what they’re for. Do NOT apply these heavily to the face because you may find that you can’t cover it and look like Shrek – I had this exact problem when using the LA Girl green colour corrector and had to start my entire base again. Colour correcting saves product, but more than that it’s about being clever and knowing your skin and how to get the most out of your base.

Brush, sponge or fingers?

How you apply your foundation will majorly impact the coverage you get. I find that using a brush gives you the most full coverage, while using a sponge gives you a lighter coverage in comparison. I personally would never use my fingers to apply my foundation because I’m lazy and don’t want to have dirty hands and have to get up and clean them. I tend to switch between using a beauty sponge and a brush but generally prefer the feeling of a sponge. I find that it can make foundation look more blended and even, whereas a brush can sometimes leave streaks and can give so much coverage that it looks too much. It’s just a matter of practise.

Hopefully this has given you all the info you need to know on how to find your perfect foundation, but if there is anything I have missed, please feel free to leave a comment or send me a message on Instagram!

Xo

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Sephora haul and testing

So this month I went on holiday to Italy… and Europe means SEPHORA! If you don’t know, the UK does not have Sephora. We used to be able to order from the US site but you now can only order from the French site, which has far fewer brands. Regardless, as soon as I found out where I was going I looked up where Sephora was…

I ended up going to 3 different Sephora’s – 2 in Venice and 1 in Verona. Here is what I got and my impressions after using them a few times:

Farmacy – Honey Potion mask

This mask is a firm cult favourite among beauty bloggers on Instagram, and this purchase was definitely a ‘Insta made me do it’. The packaging and the product itself are gorgeous! The texture is much more solid than I expected – I thought it to be goopy like honey but it’s more waxy. I didn’t realise the mask had a warming effect until I had bought it. It’s worth noting that it’s not an intense warming sensation like some cheap packet masks can be (the ones that burn your face), but it’s gentle. When you apply it, the mask is orange like it is in the pot, but you have to massage it into the skin to turn it white. It doesn’t take too long to turn the waxy orange goop into white foam. After washing it off, my skin feels super smooth. Other than the immediate feeling of smoothness, I can’t really say that I noticed much more of a difference in my skin. It did feel hydrated and not desperate for moisturiser unlike some of the other masks I’ve used (Sand and sky I’m looking at you). I’m going to keep using it and see if I can spot any improvements from sustained use.

Marc Jacobs – Dew Drops in Dew You

This was such an impulse buy! I’d seen this around and always thought it looked lovely. I was a little unsure whether the colour would be too dark for my skin tone, but after walking towards it and away from it about 5 times, I put it in my basket. The first time I tried to use it was over the top of my Hourglass stuck foundation, and rather than looking like a subtle glow it was so apparent that something was on my cheek bones. It ended up looking like a dry, dull yellow on my skin and I had to go over it. Maybe it was the stick foundation? It did the same with my Charlotte Tilbury magic foundation, and I used much less. HOWEVER, this works AMAZINGLY well underneath my Vanish foundation. I coated myself in a full pump of it, and it made the foundation look dewy (I find the formula to be very try and can really emphasise dry patches). I also really like to wear a small amount of this when I’m not wearing proper makeup for work as it gives me that healthy glow!

Sol de Janiero – Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

I’ve had this before and liked it, but let’s be honest it’s the smell that brings you back for more. I do plan on doing a little science experiment with this one so stay tuned! The smell, of course, is to die for and in my experience it does deliver in removing or reducing the appearance of cellulite. I am not usually someone who bothers moisturising their entire body (because I HATE the feeling when your clothes get stuck to you) so I forget to apply this a lot.

Foreo – Luna Play

I have had my eye on Foreo’s for aaaaaages, but they’ve always been a bit out of my price range. I had never used a cleansing tool before and was a little unsure whether I’d get much use out of it, or even like it for my skin type! The difference in the smoothness of my skin is definitely noticeable – and I already have smooth skin. It doesn’t feel like it’s doing to much when you manoeuvre this around your face, but when you remove your cleanser, that’s when you really feel the difference! If you are interested in trying out this type of product, I’d definitely recommend the Luna Play because it’s much more affordable than the other versions they offer. After having had this one, I’m just going to keep changing the battery when it runs out rather than purchase a rechargeable. The battery allegedly lasts 100 uses, but I’ve probably been using it once a week? Mainly because I forget but also because I like to use this when I’ve worn quite a lot of makeup, and at the moment I’m wearing minimal makeup all the time.

Patchology – Rejuvinating Eye Gels

I have never used eye masks before, but I see so many people using them on IG. I only got the small pack where you get 5 sets, so I’m reluctant to use them even though I really want to! I liked them when I first used them but I wouldn’t say they’re revolutionary. I’d definitely be tempted to put them in the fridge before I use them again to get that cooling affect. I didn’t notice a visible difference in my under eye area, but I’m not someone who has really dark under eye.

Dr Jart+ – Vital Hydra Solution

This was actually the first thing I picked up from Dr Jart (before I went a bit crazy in Verona). I haven’t tried this yet, but have really high hopes for it. People only seem to have good things to say about Dr Jart, and I have faith that this is going to be really good.

Sephora – Cucumber Eye Mask

I went a little eye mask happy on this trip, but again I’m trying to space out when I use these. I’m expecting these to be a thinner jelly to the psychology ones, but I’m interested to see the benefits of using cucumber on the eye area!

Sephora – Shea Lip Mask

I’ve done a lip mask before (from Sephora) and as far as I can remember it wasn’t anything life changing, but I’m such a sucker for all the Sephora masks (can you tell?)

Sephora – Aloe Vera Hand MaskI’ve used the hand masks from Sephora before, and while I don’t usually notice a massive difference, they’re just fun to use My hands get dry very easily, so I think it takes something a little stronger than essence to repair my hands.

Dr Jart+ – Ceramidin Cream

OH. MY. GOSH. We have a holy grail ladies and gentlemen! When I tried this out in store, I was like yeah I think I’m gonna like this and I absolutely adore it. I somehow managed to get this for free? I accidentally picked up the tester (because it wasn’t labelled!) but it was completely full and unused! Couldn’t believe my luck! It’s a beautiful thick cream that is an amazing moisturiser. It has a really pleasant smell that isn’t over perfumed like some other brands. I really like a thick moisturiser, and this has replaced all moisturisers in my routine, morning and evening. My mum had a really sore dry patch on her finger and asked if I had a good moisturiser for it, so I put a bit of this on there and by the next morning her hand was back to normal. I think I’ve tempted her to buy it too. I stopped by Selfridges a week after I got back from Italy and SO NEARLY bought a back up of this, despite being NO. WHERE. NEAR. The end of the tube. It is going down quickly though…

Dr Jart+ – Cicapair Cream

I really like the idea of this because I have a lot of redness in my skin naturally. I had been eyeing this one up too and had been planning on buying the mini version from Selfridges. That went out the window when I spotted this in Verona and got he full sized. It is a bit of a weird consistency and I’m not sure that I’m a fan. It feels like I am pulling on my skin a lot, which I’m not in to at all. However, the result is really good. I notice a definite reduction in redness, and the green cream changes to a beige when you start to work this into the skin. I don’t know whether it matches to your skin tone somehow but it is not to dark for my very fair skin (for reference I am usually the lightest foundation in most ranges I’ve tried). I’ve been wearing this for work underneath my tinted SPF (which also seems to reduce my redness), so I have a really nice even base and even a little bit of coverage. I’ll definitely be using up the pot, but I’d consider another version from the Cicapair range instead.

Beautyblender

I absolutely love beautyblenders and wouldn’t really consider another beauty sponge. I used to use the real techniques one, but it’s so much more dense than BB and I feel like the blend is far superior with BB. The last time I bought a new beauty blender was in Rome last year, so I figured it was time for a new one!

I need more trips to Europe this year… OR SEPHORA COULD FINALLY COME TO THE UK!? Though if it did do that, I’m not sure I’d ever have any money in my bank account…

Xo

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Finding the right stick foundation

I am the proud(ish) owner of 3 stick foundations. This may not sound like a lot but it is probably 3 more than the average person.For reference I have normal to dry skin and am as fair as they come! I have the HD stick foundation by Make Up Forever, the Revolution stick foundation and the Hourglass Vanish Stick.Β By now, I’ve realised there are a few things to consider in the search for your perfect stick foundation.

Cost

Obviously this is going to play a large role in choosing your foundation. Not everyone is able to afford high end makeup, but the availability of stick foundations in drugstore brands is starting to increase. You’ll probably find they are more prevalent in the high end (Bobbi Brown, MUF, Hourglass, Nars ), but you can also find versions for a much more affordable price (Revolution, Revlon, L’Oreal, NYX). I have tried more high end than low end, and what I would say is that with these three formulas, you can certainly tell which are inexpensive. The quality of the Revolution one just didn’t really compare to the other two, and the look on the skin was quite disappointing. However, I’ve only tried one drugstore brand and that’s certainly not to say that all brands would be of a lower quality based on price.

Your skin type vs the texture of the foundation

All 3 of my stick foundations have completeeeely different textures – let me explain.

The Hourglass texture is on the drier side, and can be a little difficult to blend out even when skin has been primed and has a smooth base (or is even still a bit wet from the primer). I find it a little frustrating sometimes that this is so dry because it’s such a great colour match on me and gives me nice coverage while still showing my forehead freckles. I find that it often picks up on dry patches on my nose that don’t exist except with this foundation. I normally use more of my Make Up Forever Step 1 primer in Hydrating and the Marc Jacobs Dew Drops to give my foundation the best chance of blending out! As it is so dry, I don’t really need powder with this one.

The Revolution one is the complete opposite – it’s overly oily and feels incredibly greasy on the skin. It is very thick and takes a whole heap of powder to set it (and you can still feel the wetness under the powder). It feels very wet on the face and I hate this (sorry, but honest).

The Make Up Forever is probably the happy medium – it goes on easily and blends out easily. It required a fair amount of powder to dry down, but no where near as much powder as the Revolution one.

Coverage/pigment

Stick foundations do tend to be buildable, but generally speaking one swipe will give you a pretty decent amount of coverage. Some of these are more highly pigmented than others (though not necessarily in a bad way) but can be used for sheer coverage too. If you were to put on the same amount as you would a liquid foundation, you may find that it looks far too thick and cakey. Use a lighter hand with stick foundations to begin with until you know the kind of coverage you like. The Hourglass one tends to offer a more ‘your skin but better’ coverage, but can certainly be built up to a full coverage (but I think that it looks quite strange as full coverage). The MUF stick is very highly pigmented and a little bit will go a very long way (as it blends very easily). The Revolution one actually does offer very good coverage, but you are at risk of overdoing it with this and the MUF one because they are so thick.

Colour range

This one is partially linked with cost. The higher end brands tend to have a much wider shade range than the drugstore brands. However, the Revolution stick foundation does have a pretty decent shade range for one so inexpensive. If you are at either end of the shade spectrum, you may have to turn to the high end to find a shade that suits your skin tone and undertone (though this is getting better – I did find my shade in the Revolution stick foundation). I was able to find my shade in the Revolution foundation, which I was actually quite surprised about. They are constantly expanding their shade range, particularly towards the medium-deep-deep dark end of the spectrum – which is fab! I will often turn to the higher end to ensure that I am getting my exact shade (or close enough) rather than just settling for the lightest shade that a high street brand can offer, which may still be a few shades too dark for me. I’m pretty sure I have the lightest shade in the MUF one and it is still too orange for me, so it does require quite a bit of shade searching.

Overall opinions

Love: Make Up Forever
Like: Hourglass
Hate: Revolution

To have more than one stick foundation may not be necessary for most people, but if stick is your favourite type of foundation then keep collecting! It is worth noting here that I used these foundations at very different times in my life and with very different skin concerns. The Make Up Forever Stick Foundation was the first stick foundation I ever used and wanted a very full coverage product to cover my severe acne. I wanted a base product that completely covered up and neutralised any redness and I did NOT want my natural skin to show through. I was totally embarrassed by it and wanted to create the illusion of a smooth base. This did it for me and made me feel normal again.

I recently started using the Hourglass one a few months ago when I had my makeup done at an Hourglass counter for my boyfriend’s graduation. I bought it as an impulse buy because it was such an amazing shade match. Now my skin is perfect, I like to go for a sheerer coverage so my freckles can show through. This would be the perfect foundation if it were just aΒ touch creamier.

I bought the Revolution one when I first started my blog as an alternative to high end makeup. I had heard good things about it, but unfortunately it just wasn’t right for me. It felt very heavy on the skin and just oozing with oil. I have dry skin and it was too much for me, so I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone with oilier skin.

Hopefully this will help you in your search for your perfect stick foundation. Please remember what didn’t work for me, may well work for you. Happy hunting!

Xo

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5 ways to feel confident in your makeup

If you are a lover of makeup, or just enjoy dabbling here and there, here are 5 sure-fire ways to feel amazing in your makeup!

1. Wear red lipstick

I promise, you will feel like an absolute boss wearing it. I am a self confessed nude lipstick lover and recently delved into the world of red lipstick. I always feel quite daring and adventurous wearing a totally different colour that made me stand out from everyone, but the red also makes me feel sassy af.

2. Try something new with your makeup

Do something that you’ve never done before, or you’ve been too shy to. Use colour, do a wing, try contouring – just explore! Makeup comes off! If it goes wrong, who cares? But if it goes right? Maybe it will become your new norm.

3. Get glowy

There is nothing better than having seriously glowy skin. Apply a little more highlighter starting at the top of the cheek bone and bringing it down onto the apple of the cheek. Add a little to the tip of the nose (don’t go wild cause it can look far too much), the bridge of the nose (not connecting to the If you have any texture on your cheeks, avoid taking it too low and keep it on the high points of your cheeks. My favourite highlighter for a serious glow is the Mary Lou Manizer by The Balm.

4. Become a bronzed goddess

When I’m feeling a little low on confidence, something that always makes me feel better about my appearance is bronzer. Not only does it accentuate certain features on your face (cheek bones, nose, jaw line), but it also gives you a healthy tan without damaging your skin! Instead of just applying your bronzed in a straight line under your cheek bones, remember to bronze the other points on your face where the sun would hit – your forehead, your temples, your nose (for me it’s easy, any where where there are freckles!). This will sculpt your face really nicely and make you look lovely and healthy!

5. Embrace yourself without makeup

As beautiful as you feel with makeup, it’s important that you know how amazing you are without it too. It can be a little hard sometimes, but wearing makeup every day is not a necessary step to feeling worthy and good about yourself. You are more than your appearance, so remember that!

Xo

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