Monday, 25 February 2013

Everyday Natural Looking Curls...

Sometimes I like to curl my hair during the day to give it more body, as my hair has a tendency to look quite 'flat' when its straight...

I have been asked so many times by people that I know/ have met if the curls are natural, my answer is always, simply... I WISH!

And then, of course, come the questions, what do you use? etc.

I like to use a conical wand to curl my hair, as I think that for me it gives a more natural looking curl, I currently own two wands, a thicker wand for a loose curl, and a medium thickness wand for a slightly tighter curl.

I mostly use my big barrel Babyliss Pro Conical Wand (35mm-19mm), especially during the day, as I think its more subtle and is faster to use when your in a rush, as you can take larger sections of hair.

 I start with blow dried hair... I do sometimes just leave my hair like this during the day, if i'm being lazy! I first prep my hair with a heat defence spray as these wands get REALLY hot so god knows what damage they are doing to your hair, I like to use Tresemme, because it's fairly cheap and does the job perfectly. 

Once my wand has heated up to the right temperature (on this particular wand a light flashes green), I begin taking sections, around an inch thick, and wrap them around the wand, going away from my face. I like to vary the section size and pick up random pieces, to give a more natural look, I also don't take the curls too high up and try to focus creating more curls on the ends. 
NOTE... The wand gets ridiculously hot, and I have been known to burn myself more than a few times, and yes it hurts. Some wands do come with a heat resistant glove which I would definitely suggest using until you've got the hang of it, as will need to hold the ends of the hair really close to the wand to prevent getting random straight bits at the ends of your curls.

Once the whole head has been done the curls should look like this, all separated and defined, which is a look that I am not particularly fond of. SO I like to brush the curls out using my tangle teaser, or fingers or any other gentle brush/ comb, I only brush through the hair once just to 'merge' the curls together, you don't want to brush them out completely. And also over-brushing the curls will just make them frizzy.

Now for the finishing touches... Firstly I get a small amount of hair oil/ serum or smoothing cream, and rub it into my hands so that there is only a tiny film of product. I then run this through my hair with my fingers, smoothing any frizzy bits as a go. I also like to add a bit more volume at the roots with my V05 Backcombing Spray... and finally add hairspray to set the style.

And FINITO... Pretty tousled waves!!
If you are after a more curly style then just simply use a thinner wand and repeat the same process, also by taking smaller sections you can get a more voluminous and curly result. I tend to use my smaller Jose Eber 19mm curling wand when I'm going on a night out as I think it just gives a slightly more glamorous look!

These are the products that I used... Tresemme Heat Defence, Loreal Pro Infinium Force 4 Hairspray,V05 Plump It Up Dry Backcombing Spray, Macademia Oil and a Tangle Teaser.

The Babyliss Concial Wand that I used can be found HERE

A x

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Smokey Eyes...

There are loads of different ways to do a 'smokey eye' and a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that it HAS to be black or dark... a smokey eye is just a style of makeup, where the eyeshadow is generally blended out from opaque to practically nothing, usually with no harsh lines, creating a gradient of colour... And it can be done in lots of different ways and colours.

However, I must admit that when I do a smokey eye I do like it to be dark and dramatic!
My two preferred ways are;
Firstly, probably the most common way, the darker colour on the outer corner and in the crease of the eye, with the colour getting lighter towards the inner corner.
Secondly, the more dramatic look, a solid colour across the whole of the eyelid blended up towards the eyebrow.

If you are after a softer sultry look then I would go with the first way, but if your after a really intense dark smokey eye then the second way would work better. But to be honest you could tailor it to what suits you best;
Some people may want to elongate their eyes and get a feline look by bringing the eyeshadow outwards to a point. Whereas, others may prefer a nice rounded style, the best way to figure out what looks best on you is to just play around with different styles... and practice always makes perfect!

How to...

When I am doing a smokey eye I generally like to start by using a kohl eyeliner or a gel/cream liner as a base (I love to use the Maybelline Gel Liner in Black, seriously just as good as MAC Fluidline/ Bobbi Brown Gel Liner), you don't have to do this but it makes the eyeshadow colour more intense and last longer!

If I want a dramatic look I will firstly draw a nice thick line across my upper lash line with the eyeliner (or wherever you want the darkest part to be).

It doesn't have to be neat because I immediately blend it upwards across the whole eyelid towards the crease of my eye, using either a blending brush (Just a dense fluffy brush) or my fingers or sometimes both! You have to remember to work quickly as most eyeliners dry or 'set' in less than a minute which means you wont be able to blend it, so I do one eye at a time.

Next, I take the eyeshadow colour I have chosen to use and press this on top of the eyeliner base using a flat eyeshadow brush, I press the eyeshadow on to get a more intense and even distribution of colour. Next I take a clean blending brush and start blending the edges of the eyeshadow out to get a nice gradient of colour, instead of a harsh line, I then repeat the same process again to make sure the eyelid is nice and dark.
Bear in mind that it may take a while to achieve the desired look, just keep applying and blending until your happy.

When you are happy with the result you can clean up any mess you've made around the eyes with cotton pads or buds and eye makeup remover, then apply concealer to neaten up, you definitely don't want any black smudges under your eyes. Then, take the brushes you used to do the eye makeup and run a small amount of the same products under the eyes along the lash line to add definition, remember to also blend this to keep that smokey look.

Next, I like to highlight the inner corner of my eye and my brow bone using a light, shimmery eyeshadow on a small eyeshadow brush. And when i'm feeling like I need to look extra special I like to add glitter on top to finish it off.

Finally, add LOTS of mascara on the top and bottom lashes, I also like to curl mine using eyelash curlers, beforehand. And finish with some false eyelashes, personally I prefer the more natural looking ones so that the eyes don't look massively over-powering, but each to their own! And Voila beautiful smokey eyes!

As a finishing touch I also like to blend a bit of blusher or a warm brown colour just above my crease just to help the black blend into the skin better.

If you are after a more subtle look I would probably just use a concealer or a primer as a base, or even a lighter colour eyeliner, depending on the look you want to go for. I tend to choose at least 3 colours to use, a light colour to highlight, a dark colour for the contour and a sort of 'middle' colour.

I would start by putting the middle colour across the whole eyelid up to the crease of the eye, then blend the edges of this colour so that there are no lines where the colour finishes. Next take the lightest colour in the inner corner of the eye and under the brow bone.
To add depth and smokiness take the darkest colour and press it onto the outer 3rd of the eyelid and into the crease, then blend this up and outwards so that it is nicely blended into the other colour.

You may need to add more of the darkest colour into the crease to achieve the desired depth and darkness, as when you blend it can take away some of the colour payoff.

Next, clean up under the eyes and apply concealer, then take some of the darker colour under outer portion of the eyes about 2/3rds of the way along, keeping close to the lash line, and blend this.
Again, you could apply some glitter or shimmer to the centre of the eyelid to add some dimension and really make them stand out.

Finally, to complete the eyes; curl, mascara and maybe eyeliner & false eyelashes!

Another tip is to apply kohl liner in the waterline, I use a flesh/light coloured eyeliner if I want my eyes to look bigger and more open, and a black or dark colour eyeliner if I want a sultry cat eye look.

Basically the key to smokey eyes is to layer and blend... then blend some more!

I would seriously recommend in purchasing some good brushes, cos' I promise these will make all the difference! You definitely will never achieve a good smokey eye with your fingers or those crappy foam applicators that come with most eyeshadows! Plus if you look after them they should last you a LONG time... definitely an investment!

The Real Techinques Eyes Starter Set is a good one to start out with as it has all the basic brushes to create a nice eye makeup - a base shadow brush to lay down your colour with, a crease blush to blend the edges, and accent brush to apply eyeshadow under the eyes or in the inner corners, an eyeliner brush and a brow brush.... and it is relatively cheap in comparison to many other brands (£21.99 from Boots)! I use these brushes everyday and still have not found any faults!

Also Crown Brush do some great brushes, particularly the HD set which is my absolute fav!

A x

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Maybelline Rocket Volum' Express Mascara...

I bought this mascara at the same time as my Rimmel Apocalips (that I mentioned in a recent post)...

As with pretty much everything I buy I checked out the reviews first, and heard mostly good things! 
So when I was in Boots I noticed that they had £2 off as an introductory offer, I took this as a sign that  I was meant to have it... and bought it! 

And I am so glad that I did! I really do love this mascara, almost as much as my Maxfactor False Lash Effect (dare I say it!) Funnily enough the mascara wands themselves are actually fairly similar and create the same, separated, yet voluminous look, so this is probably the reason that I love it so much... both have short plastic bristles, so I can only presume that this style must be suited to my lashes.

(False Lash Effect - Left, Rocket Volum' - Right)

I still don't think that this is quite as good as my Maxfactor False Lash Effect, however it is a very close second! It's also quite a bit cheaper at the moment, being on offer at £5.99! Either way an amazing mascara, just as good, if not better than a lot of the high end mascaras that I have tried... 
So quick grab it while it's on offer!!! 

(This is my lashes with two coats of the Rocket Volum' Mascara)

A x

Crown Brush HD Set...

I recently ordered the 7 pc HD Set from Crown Brush, as I had seen loads of great reviews about it, and I'm a sucker for good make-up brushes... A make-up artist can never have too many brushes in my opinion...

I do already own some brushes from Crown, but to be honest most of the ones I've tried have been kind of average! The thing with Crown Brush is that they have a lot of different brush ranges, some of which I do not rate, as I am super fussy with make-up brushes! Not to say that they aren't good, just that they are not my favourites... 

This particular brush set is a different kettle of fish! Seriously good brushes!
I used them on a photo shoot that I was doing the makeup for last week, and they are definitely on par with my favourite Real Techniques brushes!
So soft, dense and a good shape, in other words fit for purpose...
I always tend to favour synthetic brushes over natural haired ones, as I think that they just seem to blend makeup better, feel softer and are easier to clean... plus they are 'vegan' for those of you that are against the use of animal hair!

This would be a great starter set for anyone that doesn't own many/any makeup brushes as is has all the basics... a powder brush, blusher/ bronzer brush, foundation brush, blending brush, flat brush, eyeliner brush and a stainless steel palette and spatula (for mixing products on)...
BUT not just for beginners, a perfect addition to anyones brush collection, no matter what your makeup capabilities are... Novice to pro!

All in all a wonderful set of brushes that are a welcome addition to my collection, all for a pretty great price too (£29.99 per set)... considering that some M.A.C brushes cost that much for just 1 brush!

I will definitely be checking out more of their brushes in the future, and I suggest you do too if you are in the market for some good brushes :)

P.s. The delivery speed was also phenomenal... I received the brushes within 2 days of ordering! Always a bonus to have great service!

A x

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Lovin' Rimmel...

I recently popped into Boots to grab a few necessities and have a nosey at the makeup... 

I heard that Rimmel had released some new lip lacquers called 'Apocalips' so obviously I had to try some, and they were on 3 for 2 so it was a no brainer... I had to get 3!! 

So, I got home, put them on... and yes, THEY ARE AMAZING!! They are sort of like a lipgloss and lipstick all rolled into one! Which is perfect for me as I have quite dry lips, so sometimes lipsticks can be too drying for me, whereas these are so creamy AND are as pigmented as a lipstick! The only thing I would say is that they don't last as long on the lips as a lipstick, but who cares I like to top up a lot anyway especially when i'm on a night out drinking etc. For £5.99 you can't really beat them!

 I bought a bright red called Big Bang...

A bright fuchsia pink called Apocalyptic...
And a cool lavender pink called Nova...

Love all of them, the red and bright pink are great for a night out or for anyone who can get away with bold lips during the day, whereas the lavender pink is great for a subtle pop of colour during the day! I think there are about 8 colours in the collection altogether and to be honest they all look nice, so I may be back for more!! 

Anyway, when I was in Boots eyeing up these beauties I realised just how amazing Rimmel products have been lately! I mean they have always been a good brand but the products didn't really compare to the high end brands, such as M.A.C etc! But in the past year or so they have brought out some really great products, which I think are just as good as some of the high end equivalents...

Some other Rimmel products which I LOVE...

Kate Moss Lipsticks... These have a fantastic colour range, to the left are 5 of the colours that I could find to show you, I think I have a few more but they are probably in my professional kit! 

The original formula of these lipsticks is quite similar to the M.A.C Amplified lipsticks, creamy yet very pigmented... Again, great for my dry lips. The one in the red packaging is one of the newer matte lipsticks, which are basically the same but without a 'sheen'.

The Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliners are also a pretty new addition to Rimmel, and again they did not disappoint! They have such a soft smooth pigmented formula which glides on without dragging the skin, and it literally stays on all day... BONUS!! These are definitely as good, if not better, than any high end eyeliners that I have tried! There are about 6 colours to choose from as well! 

Rimmel Match Perfection and Wake Me Up foundations... Again, amazing for the price! I use the Match Perfection quite a lot at the moment for during the day, and I would say it has a medium coverage... I do also like the Wake Me Up, but it does have a bit of shimmer in it which I am not too keen on in a foundation, as you can look a bit like a vampire from Twilight when you walk into the sunlight LOL! But some people like a bit of sparkle to brighten up their face, it is still a brill foundation so each to their own as they say... 
The Stay Matte Powder...What can I say? It does what it says on the tin, dust it over your foundation and it stops you looking shiny...
Wake Me Up Instant Radiance Shimmer Touch, a lovely highlighter, looks great on the tops of the cheekbones! Although it is very shimmery so don't go crazy! 
Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Liner... Love it, easy to apply, lasts all day and perfect for doing a nice winged eyeliner flick.

Lastly, Stay Glossy Lipgloss, are you surprised to learn that I love this too?! Goes on smoothly, and isn't sticky! The colour I have is 'Non Stop Glamour' which a pinky peach with a hint of pearly sparkle... So beautiful!   
I bet there are so many more little gems that I haven't discovered yet... The Metal Rush nail varnishes have definitely caught my eye for my next trip to Boots... I really shouldn't be let out of the house!!

I seriously cannot express how much I love Rimmel at the moment! I really hope they keep on releasing amazing products in the near future!

P.S. Maybelline have also stepped up their game too recently... this could be dangerous!! I will leave you with the products I picked up from there recently. Again, all amazing for the price...

Colour Tattoo 24 Hour cream eyeshadow in Taupe, Rocket Volum Express mascara, The Falsies Volum Express mascara, Waterproof Gel/Cream Eyeliner in Black.

A x 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

How to look after your hair...

Another topic I get asked about a lot is my hair...

My hairdresser tells me that I have fine hair but quite a lot of it, which unfortunately for me, means my hair often looks quite 'lank' and flat if left natural.

I also have the added trouble that I do have bleached highlights, which makes my hair quite dry, especially on the ends...

So when I am looking for hair products I tend to look out for products which will combat these issues!

Lets start in the shower...

At the moment I have been using the John Frieda Luxurious Volume Shampoo followed by the John Frieda Go Blonder Conditioner. 

The shampoo seems to do the job, there isn't really much you can say about shampoo, it claims to remove any products in your hair that could weigh it down, but to be honest I think most good shampoos do that! 

I only tend to wash my hair once every 2/3 days because it is quite long and it doesn't really need washing more often than that! I would always say try to leave as long as possible between washing your hair because excessive washing strips your hair of natural oils, this in turn can make your scalp produce more oils to compensate for this loss, thus creating a need to wash your hair more often... it's a vicious cycle! Ha! Playing/messing with your hair can also make it greasier faster, as oils from your hands are transferred to your hair.

I heard a lot of bad reviews about the Go Blonder range, with people having reactions to the products, I have only ever tried the conditioner, but I haven't had any problems at all! However, I wouldn't say that it makes my hair any blonder, but it does give it a little bit of a lift and shine when the colour is starting to look dull!

I tend to pop the conditioner on, just on my mid lengths and ends (as you don't want greasy roots), leave it on whilst I wash my face, body etc.. Then wash it off so that it has had a good 5-10 mins on my hair! This seems to add a little bit more moisture and my hair feels lovely and soft after, so I would definitely recommend doing this particularly if you have dry/damaged hair!

To give my hair an extra treat every now and again I will use a hair mask... I have 2 types that I tend to alternate between...

My Charles Worthington Intense Rescue Balm which you put on your hair when it is dry before you have a shower, when warmed up in your hands the balm turns into an oily consistency which I apply to my mid lengths and ends, I then leave this on for a good 15 minutes before washing it out in the shower!

The second hair mask that I use is the Tresemme Deep Conditioning Mask (for dry, brittle hair), which is applied to wet hair after shampooing, again I just put it on the mid lengths and ends and leave it on for around 5 mins before washing out.

I prefer the Charles Worthington Balm if I'm being honest, but the Tresemme hair masks are a great cheaper alternative and they do a range of masks for different hair types! Or if you are on a strict budget just use your conditioner as a mask, put a good amount on the mid lengths and ends making sure you fully coat the hair and leave it on for around 10 mins... this is the next best thing to a mask treatment in my opinion!

When out of the shower I squeeze any excess water out of my hair with a towel, I never 'rub' the hair as it can cause breakage or damage the hair if you do it too vigorously! 

Next I apply hair oil to the mid lengths and ends of my hair and brush through with a Tangle Teaser, these are great as they remove knots from without pulling or dragging the hair... It has saved me a lot of teeth grinding and jaw clenching since purchasing one!! 

Hair oils are a relatively new concept in the haircare world, and they are generally used as an alternative to leave in conditioners, I think they scare most people off with the word 'oil' but to be honest I find them more like a super hydrating serum! They really do improve the condition of your hair leaving your hair soft, smooth and shiny! Although you do have to be careful not to use too much, as only a small amount is needed! 

The two hair oils that I use are, Moroccan Oil and Macademia Oil, these are amazing! However, both are quite expensive and I have noticed that a lot of drugstore brands have now brought out their own versions! So when I have used these two up I will definitely be trying some cheaper alternatives... I have heard a lot of good things about the new Tresemme Liquid Gold Argan Oil, so i think this will be next on my hair oil shopping list!! 

If i'm not going anywhere exciting I generally just leave my hair to dry naturally after this... so that I am not putting unnecessary heat or products on my hair...
But if I am going out or want my hair to look extra nice I will use John Frieda Volumising Blow Dry Spray or some other volumising mousse/product and blow dry my hair with a big round brush before styling, just to give my hair a little more body. These products can leave the hair feeling a little 'stiff' if you know what I mean, but they definitely give your hair that extra OOMPH!

I won't go into hair styling just yet, I will save that for another post, so that I'm not overloading you with information...

A x

Monday, 4 February 2013

On to MAKEUP...

Skincare and makeup come hand in hand...
To get a good makeup application and a flawless finish you first need to prep the skin, as mentioned in my previous skincare posts...

Moving on to  Makeup Application...

First up...  Makeup Brushes/ Tools

I could not LIVE without my makeup brushes!

My absolute favourites are the Real Techniques range by Samantha Chapman (which can be bought from Boots), I have almost the full range in both my professional makeup kit and my personal makeup bag!
The 'must haves' for me are the Core Collection and the Eyes Starter Set.
Makeup brushes and tools play a huge part in how your makeup looks, and as many makeup artists say... 'You can achieve a better result with good brushes and poor makeup than you can with poor brushes and good makeup.' I completely agree with this!!

My Basic Makeup Routine...

I always start with Foundation first, I put a pump or two of foundation on the back of my hand and use my RT buffing brush to work this in circular motions around my face, starting in the centre, I also take a small amount down onto my neck just to blend... this helps to achieve an "airbrushed" finish without any brush or finger marks.

I do like to chop and change my foundations quite frequently, and I often mix two together just to see if I can get an even better finish! But my current favourites are... Clinique Even Better, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation, Clarins Skin Illusion and Rimmel Match Perfection... All light/medium coverage. Bare Minerals Mineral foundation is also great for a light subtle finish if you are not a fan of a full face of makeup.

NEXT I move onto Concealer having quite dry 'crepey' eyes I like to use a liquid concealer as this seems to go on more smoothly, I use the RT shading brush to gently work the product, in circular motions, under my eyes and into the inner corners... Although if my eyes are particularly dry and sore I sometimes gently pat the product under my eyes using my ring finger.

I conceal any blemishes using a cream concealer as this provides more coverage. Yellow based concealers are best for use on blemishes as the help to neutralise the redness, Whereas orange based concealers/correctors work well under the eyes as they help to cancel out any purple or blueish tones.

I am yet to find the perfect concealer for me... But under my eyes I like to use Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection, this is by far one of the best concealers I have EVER tried, but I am still on the hunt for perfection!! For my blemishes and redness I currently use the Soap and Glory Kick Ass Concealer which also works well for me at the moment!

Next in my little routine I like to fill in my Eyebrows...
I rarely leave the house without filling in my eyebrows as I have quite naturally sparse brows and so I think that they make a massive difference to my face, and I feel like my face is bare without them!

My preferred way of shaping and filling in the eyebrows is with an thin, angled brush and an eye shadow or eye brow powder, as I find that this gives a softer and more natural finish than an eye brow pencil. However, I do sometimes like to use a pencil to fill in the gaps and then go over the top with powder products to add more definition.

On a day to day basis I like to use the MAC 266 angled brush with a taupe colour eyeshadow from the Louise Young Essential Eye Palette called Maowi. 

I do love a strong brow, although, I would say when choosing a brow colour try not to be tempted to go too dark as you could end up looking like a drag queen, that is definitely not a good look! My aim is for them to look shaped and naturally defined so I try to gently 'flick' my brush as I am applying the product to prevent getting a 'drawn on' look... Unless that is the look that you are after of course! To set my eyebrows in to the right place I brush a clear mascara through them, as this keeps them looking neat and tidy all day.

Having sparse brows I do also like to tint my eyebrows to make them look a little fuller and more prominent, as naturally mine are a dark blonde colour! You can get this done at a salon for less than £10 usually or I've seen that Boots now have 'at home' tinting sets which may be worth having a go with!

Following the brows I move onto the Eyes...
During the day I generally only wear mascara, sometimes if I am feeling a little bit adventurous I will smudge a some khaki green eyeliner along my lash line to get a more defined look, but other than that I keep it pretty basic, mainly because I get eczema on my eyelids so I try not to aggravate it more by putting loads of makeup on everyday...

My favourite MASCARA of the moment is Maxfactor False Lash Effect it works wonders on my average length lack lustre eyelashes! This mascara has a plastic 'spiky' brush which gives a voluminous but separated lash look... which I love! I have tried tons of high end/ expensive mascaras and I have honestly never found a better one than this! Maybelline also do some amazing mascaras for the money, the 'One by One' and the 'Falsies Volume Express' are my favs.

If I do wear Eyeliner during the day, I just use a kohl pencil to draw a line across the outer 2/3rds of my lash line and then smudge this with my finger or a small brush and repeat under the eye... I never use a black eyeliner during the day as I find this looks a bit too full on for me, so I like to use a khaki eyeliner as it is more subtle and compliments my eye colour. I use the Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Mildew - These eyeliners are probably the best I have ever used, they are waterproof, smudge proof (once dry) and last all day!

Next I move on to set my makeup, using a translucent Powder...
I will first check that my makeup is still intact and do any little touch ups, such as getting rid of mascara blobs if your a messy pup, then I will use a large brush or a powder sponge to lightly powder the centre of my face... I generally like to leave the sides of my face powder free as I think that it give a more natural healthy 'skin' look rather than having a face completely matte with powder. However, if you have an oily skin you may need to powder the whole face to keep the makeup in place.

I like to use the Clinique Translucent Loose Powder to set my makeup, but if I am in a rush I reach for my Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder, which is a good, less messy, alternative.... I also keep the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder Compact in my bag as it has a mirror inside for touch ups on the go!

To warm up my skin a little and give it a bit more colour and shape, I like to use a Bronzer, I use a blusher/ a conturing brush to dust bronzer across the areas of my face that would naturally catch the sun (If we ever got any in the UK!!) 
so cheekbones, temples, across the top of the forehead, the chin and down the nose... I also like to take it down onto the neck just to blend it out.

Depending on the time of year I like to use different bronzers... in summer I mostly use a cream bronzer, Soleil Tan de Chanel, being my favourite. Wheras in winter I tend to reach for a powder bronzer, such as the Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer...

ALMOST finished...

To add a little bit of colour and glow to the face I like to use a nice bright  Blusher on the apples of my cheeks... the key with blusher is the application, just because you use a bright pink blusher doesn't mean you should look like a clown!! If you take a small amount of product on your brush, tap off the excess, then very lightly dust it onto the apples of your cheeks you should just get a nice subtle wash of colour... if you do accidentally use too much you can always go back in with your foundation brush to blend it away a little.

I am quite fickle with blusher, I like to change them up all the time!! But at the moment i am using SLEEK makeup's blusher in the colour Pixie Pink, using Real Techniques Contour brush to apply it.

On a normal day I would probably just pop a lip balm on my lips to finish my makeup routine, however, every now and again if I am feeling posh or adventurous I may put on a subtle colour lipgloss or lipstick...

My most reached for everyday lip products are... Korres Tinted Lip Butters, Loreal Rouge Caresse, Apivita Tinted Lip Balm, Barry M Lipgloss, Burt Bees Lipbalm, Revlon Balm Stain, NYX Lipgloss.

Although the Apivita Pomegranite Lip Balm is probably my favourite at the moment as it feels lovely and moisturising and leaves a subtle hint of pink/red on the lips! 

Sooo... That's all for now folks, I hope this was helpful for someone!!

A x

Saturday, 2 February 2013

SKINCARE part 2...

So picking up from where we left off...

After I have washed and scrubbed my face in the shower I usually move on to MOISTURISE...

Now, alot of beauticians will generally recommend using a toner between cleansing and moisturising, I'm not by any means saying that this is wrong, however, in my experience I have never really noticed a difference between using it and not using it! In the summer I sometimes like to use the Dermalogica Multi Active Toner to freshen up my face as it feels lovely to spritz on when your feeling a little too warm or when you have had your shower too hot! But other than that I usually skip this step...

I would always recommend that ALL skin types need to use a moisturiser, no matter how oily your skin may be, the key is finding the right one for your skin...

Having a slightly drier/ dehydrated/ sensitive skin, I do like a nice rich moisturiser! My current favourites are Clarins Hydraquench, Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream and Decleor Hydra Floral, these are all targeted at dehydrated skins.

What is dehydrated skin? The easiest way to describe it is a 'tight' uncomfortable feeling on your face, usually after having a shower or washing your face, sometimes you can even see tell tale fine lines on the skin, particulary the forehead. It basically means your skin does not have enough natural oils present and needs an extra helping hand to stay soft and supple.

Many people think that if they have an oily skin then they do not need a moisturiser... 

WRONG, there are alot of moisturisers out there now which are specifically targeted at oily/ acne prone skins, many of them contain anti shine/ mattifying properties, and even spot fighting ingredients such as Salicylic Acid...
At the moment the winner for me hands down is a moisturiser/ spot treatment by La Roche Posay called Effaclar Duo, I like to use this on my 'crappy skin days' when I have a heap of angry breakouts! And I have to say it does work wonders, generally when I get spots they take an age to heal and disappear, this stuff gets to work and normally clears them up within a few days... and with regular use claims to help prevent them all together!! I've honestly never found a spot treatment that is this effective... and trust me I have tried ALOT!! 

There are alot of cheaper alternative moisturisers out there, which i'm sure will do the job, but I always think that if you are going to splash out on one item of skincare, it has to be a good moisturiser!! Especially if you have more of a 'problem skin'. Although If you have a pretty normal skin type then i guess you can get away with a more 'bog standard' moisturiser.... But i will also mention that the Clean and Clear Oil Free Moisturiser does work well for oily/ acne prone skin, as I used this when I was younger to get rid of my spots!


Now, most of the time I do not use an eye cream as a suffer with dry eczema around my eyes, so I tend to always use prescribed products from my doctor. However, I do think that eye creams are really important as they are much more suited to the delicate eye area than a heavy moisturiser, and can help to make the eye area look brighter and less puffy, but more importantly they help prevent or at least delay those dreaded fine lines and crows feet!! I currently have the Decleor Hydra Floral Eye Gel-Cream which I use when my eczema isn't playing up!

FINALLY... I will mention the products that I use when I am in a rush or can't be bothered to wash my makeup off properly in the sink or shower (tut tut... I know)!!

I always make sure that I remove my makeup completely before I go to bed, face wipes are generally a no no as they just tend to remove the surface layer of makeup and smear the rest around your face....Thus resulting in blocked pores which = spots... YUCK!! However... I do sometimes use face wipes to remove my 'first layer' of makeup/ mascara when I am in a rush, for this purpose they are ok in my book! BUT I always use a cleanser afterwards to clean deep down! My all time favourite is BIODERMA Sensibo H20 which is a french brand of micellar water! Its basically a water cleanser that is good for sensitive skins, and the best part is that it removes all trace of makeup (even waterproof) without that horrid stinging sensation that other cleansers sometimes have... I take it with me on all my makeup jobs as I am yet to hear of anyone that has had a reaction to it or even disliked it!

However, being a french pharmacy brand it is quite difficult to get hold of in the UK, I buy mine from Ebay!
But a great readily available alternative, which I also like to use, is Clarins Water Comfort One Step Cleanser which I find is very similar!

Once my face is make-up free I pop one of my fav moisturisers on before I hop into bed :)

And I think thats everything for skincare! But please be aware that all of this 'advise' is my own personal opinion, and although I am a qualified beauty therapist and makeup artist, please do not take my word as gospel, because everyone's skin is different and what works for me might not necessarily work for you!

A x