So Good It’s a (Lime) Crime

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So, can we talk about Lime Crime nail polish please? How wicked is this colour?! I just think it’s so unique, I got so many compliments wearing it. As I mentioned a couple of posts ago it’s called Pastelchio (which is kind of a mouthful) and it’s from Lime Crime. Their packaging is to die for. Even though I have about 1000 lipsticks, I want to buy one of theirs just for the super kitsch purple, silver, unicorn tube it comes in!

Back to the polish. I actually used it in between a gel/shellac base and top coat to make it last longer. Because I had a gel base coat on, the Lime Crime polish went on really weirdly. The first coat was really streaky and almost glue-like, the second coat went on better and once the gel top coat was added it was all smoothed out. Now, I’m just assuming this was due to having a gel base coat on as I’ve never experienced that with any other polish and I haven’t done this half gel/half normal method before. It did work quite well, somehow I managed to get one quite big chip a few hours after I’d applied it but the rest of it lasted really well and didn’t chip for a good 4/5 days. I then just peeled it off ’cause I was feeling lazy… however this meant it left a bit of a greenish/yellow tinge on my nails, which I wasn’t expecting seeing as I had a base coat on, so I had to whack another colour straight on because my nails looked kind of gross. Next time I wear it I’m going to do it with out the gel base and top coat, to see how long it lasts. I love the colour though, it’s so pretty and almost looks like it should glow in the dark (it did glow under the UV light when I was curing the top coat, which was kinda cool!) I’ll definitely be buying other colours, they have a really cute orange and blue in similar pastel-y/neon shades. WANT!

Oh and just a side note about the OCC Lip tar, now that I’ve used it a bit more. It doesn’t last a long as some of my normal lipsticks (which don’t budge all night). It does stain the lips but it’s not touch proof, so if you eat/ drink/ kiss, it will come off on the glass/spoon/cheek so your left with that annoying thing of the colour having faded a little in the centre of the lip but not round the edges which isn’t a good look. It’s not drastic, you could probably get away with it but I’m really picky about my lip colour looking perfect! Also because you have to apply it with a brush it’s a bit of a pain to take out with you and re-apply in a dingy club bathroom so I just took a Revlon lipstick I have in a similar shade and used that to re apply when needed. I still like the product though and will keep using it.

Byeeeeee.

Archie and e.l.f

Today I want to talk about two new products I recently purchased that I’m very excited about.

The first is the Archie’s Girls Pearlmatte Face Powder from MAC. Let me first say that even though I’m from the UK, I grew up being OBSESSED with Archie Comics! My mum went to Harvard University in The States so she introduced me to them and anytime we were ever in a country that sold them I would stock The F Up! I literally had hundreds. So I was freaking out when I heard about the new MAC collaboration (can you call it a collab?) Anyway, I bought the face powder because I thought it was a bit different and I loved the packaging. It’s basically a subtle, shimmery powder that can be used as a highlighter, a blusher or even an eye shadow. I use it as a highlighter, as I say it is very subtle but it gives a sweet sheen to the tops of the cheekbones and has a mirror which is always handy.

The second product I bought which just arrived today is the e.l.f Eye Transformer palette. I’ve wanted this for ages, again I heard about it thanks to Vintage or Tacky (who is awesome by the way, you need to check her out). This is how they describe it on the e.l.f website:

Convert your shadows into brand new shades with these four opalescent shadows. Wear alone, under, over or in combination with your other makeup. The opal tones transform your dark colour into a new shimmering hue.

I intend to use it as a highlighter for the brow bone rather than an eye shadow converter but may test it out that way too. It comes in four different shades, a green based, a yellow based, a pink based and a kind of neutral/white based. It also has a mirror and comes with a little brush and it was an absolute bargain at £3.75! Like I said, it only arrived today so I haven’t had a chance to use it yet but I’m really looking forward to doing so.

In other news, I went through a bit of a transformation this week by cutting a load of my hair off! I know I haven’t posted any pics of me with my hair down but you can see it in my Gravatar thingy. Basically it’s gone from boob length to shoulder length, which is really short for me. It was kind of a shock at first but now I’m liking it and it can still (just about) be pulled up into a good ol’ reliable top knot when needed!

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OCC Lip Tar

Hola!

So kind of a quick one today as I’m about to go out. Last week I ordered 2 items from American companies, which I’m really excited about! One was Lime Crime‘s nail polish in Pastelchio, which is this amazing, unique neon-y, pistachio colour. I havent even tried it yet though because I have a gel manicure on at the mo. (obvs) and it’s not ready to come off yet. But as soon as I do try it, I’ll do a post about it.

The second was Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (or OCC) lip tar in Harlot. I first heard about OCC Lip Tar aaaaages ago (maybe like a year) on a Vintage or Tacky YouTube tutorial and was super intrigued. I am a huge fan of lipsticks, from classic reds and bright pinks all the way through to deep purples and peachy nudes. I originally wanted to order the shade Grandma which is a light coral but the actual OCC wbsite doesn’t ship to the UK (neither does Lime Crime) so I bought both products on a different site, Cocktail Cosmetics which didn’t stock the shade Grandma.

Anyway Harlot caught my eye- it’s a pink toned bright red, described as a “popsicle red/coral” which is a pretty good description. I’ve only used it once but I love it! You only need the smallest amount as it is MEGA pigmented so I guess it’ll last for ages and it smells of peppermint! The colour in the tube is almost an exact match to how it looks, it goes on a tiny bit lighter than the shade it actually dries to but the difference isn’t huge. As it’s essentially a stain rather than a gloss, it is quite drying so you’ll need to prep your lips beforehand. Use more and it looks like a matte lipstick, use less and it’s a bold stain but don’t go overboard! You really don’t need as much as you think and too much can lead to it feathering around the lip. When I put it on it was literally just to test it, my lips were really dry anyway so I then had to put some lip balm over the top which turned it into a gloss but it kind of got really messy so I just wiped it off. That means I don’t know how long it lasts but I can tell just from wearing it for a while that it’s probably quite long lasting, I’m going to wear it again tonight so we’ll see.

Bottom line: I really like it, I love the colour, I can see myself wearing it a lot and I’d love to get it in different shades. Boom.

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Ps: Sorry again for poor image quality, my camera’s being repaired so I used my phone. Also my eyes look kind of wonky in this pic… dunno what that’s about. Sorry for all the typos, I’m going out and don’t have time to proof read so will do it when I get back ahhhh!

Take A Brow

Here it is, the brow post! When I first started plucking my brows I think I was about 15. Before then they were very full and dark with no real shape, not necessarily bushy but prominent. Back in those days the style was to have quite defined brows so I went to town on the plucking! I remember coming into school and all the girls in my class kind of whispering behind my back about how different it looked. It’s safe to say I may have gone slightly overboard. Anyway I figured it out eventually and from then on I became obsessed with eye brows. To this day it’s one of the first things I notice about a person (usually women). Every time I see someone who has plucked their brows into oblivion and all thats left is a sparse line of single hairs in a row, I want to reach out and shake the person and shout “WHY WOMAN?!”

I personally think eyebrows can make or break a face. I’m not saying everyone needs to walk around with a really full, defined brow but they frame the face so they need to have some kind of shape and, you know, be existent! (Have you seen those pics online of celebs with their eyebrows photoshopped out? Seriously creepy.)

Needless to say I’ve grown mine out since my teen years but because I was such a mother plucker, there are still bits that are kind of sparser than I’d like. I also have a scar on my right brow from when my younger brother whacked me over the face with a telephone receiver when he was two years old (charming). As I mentioned in my previous post, I never used to fill my brows in. They’re really dark and quite thick so I just never saw the need but then I’d still moan about how they never looked how I wanted them to (literally, how dumb can you get?) Then I took part in a beauty make up short course (detailed in the previous post) where we had to fill in brows as part of the looks we were doing. This was a game changer for me! My brows had never looked so good. The product used on me in the class was the MAC self propelling brow pencil in Stud (which is sort of like a really thin crayon) so I went right out and bought it and now filling in my brows is my favourite part of my make up routine. I just love watching the shape come together and how much more “finished” it makes the whole look.

At the moment I’m using the Chanel Perfect Brows eyebrow palette in 20 Brun because my mum bought it for me as a gift (aww). It comes with 3 colours, a light, a medium and a dark (I only use the dark). It looks like it’s going to be powdery like an eyeshadow but actually it’s kind of chalkier, almost a cross between a powder and a wax… (does this even make sense?) Anyway I really like it, it gives a bit more of a subtle effect than Stud. It comes with a mini brow brush, applicator and tweezers (which are really cute but I don’t use as they don’t have a sharp edge, which I prefer in a tweezer.) I think the MAC pencil is slightly easier to use ’cause you just pop off the lid, fill and go and the palette and brush thing is a bit more fiddly as the brush is quite thick and coarse but it kind of needs to be in order to pick up the product. Anyway I like it just fine and my Stud has run out so this is a good substitute.

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I don’t think I’ll be buying it myself though as I just checked the price and it’s £43 (WTF?!) on the House of Fraser website which is massively out of my price range!

Anyway below are a few pics of what I look like before and after brow filling with this palette. Soz about the crappy picture quality, my camera is actually being repaired at the mo. so I just took these with my Mac Book webcam… Hopefully you get the gist.

Before:

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After:

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My (Mini) Make Up School Experience

So last summer I was unemployed (no change there then) and wanting to fill my time doing something fun and constructive. I’d always wanted to do a make up course so I started doing some research. I was looking for short courses that weren’t going to break the bank (pffft, good luck!) Anyway, after looking around for a while I decided on the Introduction to Beauty Make Up short course at London College of Fashion.

The option I chose was the full time, five day course which ran from 10:00am to about 5:00pm (sometimes we’d finish a bit earlier) Monday -Friday, at the Lime Grove campus near Shepherds Bush. They also have the option to do the same course in 5 weeks which runs on Saturdays only. It was £650 and at the end of the week you got to go on a 35% off shopping session at MAC (err, yes please!) On the first day you also had the option to purchase a set of brushes at the discounted price of £70 by Pazery Bouffard. I’d personally never heard of them but I think it’s an O.K set for beginners and if you didn’t have a full set of your own brushes you basically had to buy them or you wouldn’t be able to do the course, so it was a no brainer.

I really loved the course and can’t recommend it enough. It was run by a professional make up artist called Ruth Brophy who is so lovely and managed to cram an incredible amount into each session. She was really encouraging and easy to talk to and gave great feedback. The day would start with a general chat about what we’d be doing, which usually included a slide show of examples and then Ruth would demonstrate on the model. We then paired off and recreated the looks on each other.

It was so much fun, I didn’t want the week to end! I learnt loads considering it was only five days (and took a stupid amount of illegible notes) and had such a laugh, it really is a good beginners course. Some of the stuff we learnt was totally new and fascinating to me, some I already knew thanks to my addiction to online tutorials but it was all from a different perspective so still mega useful. One of my fave parts was learning how to contour and highlight properly and what products work best (all products used in the class are MAC). Below is a picture of yours truly, demonstrating the areas of the face that can be highlighted or contoured. The white is the highlight, the black is the contour (duh).

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Totally never thought to contour the tip of my nose to make it look less long and witch-like, genius!

Also learning how to fill in brows was a revelation! I never used to fill in my brows ’cause I was like, well they’re already black so there’s no point. Which seems stupid as hell now that I know what a difference it makes in making them look even and uniform and just awesome! (I may do another post on brows at a later date- I’m a little bit obsessed with them…)

Not sure what else I can tell you without just repeating what’s on the site but if you’ve got the money, time and interest then check it out. It was actually a lot more “pro” than I was expecting, if that makes sense…? Anyway I really want to do the next level up from this course but it’s another 650 bucks that I just don’t have at the mo. Maybe one day…

Millennium Nails UV Gel Manicure Kit

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I’m a big fan of gel/shellac manicures. They look super shiny and last ages which is pretty much everything you want from a good manicure. However they ‘ain’t exactly cheap. My local salon does them for £30 or £35 if you’re also having a previous manicure taken off and £30-£35 a month adds up!

So when I saw an offer from Millennium Nails in Company Magazine I was very intrigued. It was kind of long time ago so sorry if the details aren’t exactly right but I think it was 70% off their UV gel kit (pictured above) which included:

  • UV lamp with set of bulbs
  • UV gel cleanser
  • Acetone polish remover
  • Pack of lint free wipes
  • Top and base coat
  • Your choice of 4 colour polishes

With the discount all of the above came to a mere £80 (approx.) which is an absolute bargain if you ask me!

I went ahead and bought it with the intention of saving money on my own manicures and offering them to friends and family. Now, I’m not a professional nail technician, I don’t have any qualifications or anything but I wear nail polish a lot and have had a few manicures in my time so I know the basics.

On the whole the kit is very good (especially for that price!) One thing I will say is, some of the colour examples they give on the site are slightly different to what you receive (I later ordered a 5th colour which I thought was a baby/pastel pink but the actual colour was more of a fuchsia and is very similar to the pink I chose in my original 4.)

I’ve had the kit for a few months now so my technique is definitely improving. Though my first attempt (shown below) was somewhat shaky, I found the kit very easy to use- the website has basic instructions you can follow and I was happy with the results as they lasted nearly a full 2 weeks.

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The second attempt was on my housemate’s nails and hers also lasted 2 weeks however this was not always the case. One friend had hers chip after less than a week, others said theirs lasted up to 3 weeks and a couple of my own chipped within a week. Everyone’s nails were properly prepped before hand (cleaned, buffed, filed etc.) and cured under the lamp for the correct amount of time so I’m not really sure why the results were inconsistent. It could have been a number of things I guess (me getting used to using the kit, the condition of each persons nails, what they were doing with their hands or the quality of the polishes.)

In any case I’m really happy with the kit. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it and saved myself a few quid in the process so I’m really glad I bought it and would definitely recommend it for personal use. Some examples of manicures I’ve given to friends can be seen in this blog’s header and a more recent personal attempt is shown below. As you can see the finish is a lot neater now!

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