USA Beauty Haul!

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*WATCH IN HD* All the beauty stuff I picked up when I was in California in October. Bought from various places including Sephora, Target & Ulta.

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Current Skincare Favourites

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WATCH IN HDDDD! A very speedy video about my current favourite skincare products. Please give me a thumbs up if you liked this video and why not subscribe if you haven’t already?

PRODUCTS MENTIONED:
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish*
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
Bodyshop Vitamin E Facial Spray
Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado
Nuxe Reve De Meil Lip Balm*

Products marked with a star (*) were given to me as gifts.

Kiko Milano Have Done It Again

Well well well, someone’s been a little video heavy lately haven’t they? Today I thought I’d go back to my roots and do a good ol’ fashioned written post.

If you know me you’ll know my go to face doesn’t normally involve eyeshadow. I usually reserve it for bigger events like weddings etc. mainly because I’m not as skilled in that department and I find it more of a faff. However since acquiring both the Lorac Pro Pallet and Pro Pallet 2 and constantly drooling over various smokey eyes on YouTube, I have been dabbling a bit more.

The recent abundance of eyeshadow sticks being released from both high end and high street brands alike has made my foray even easier. The first that came to my attention were the By Terry Ombre Blackstar offering. I mean I have no idea what that name has got to do with anything but I guess it stands out… Though I’ve not tried them myself (£29 a pop?! Give over) every Bblogger under the sun has been gushing over them, particularly the shade Misty Rock, which does look gorgeous. Factor in the offerings from Bobbi Brown, No. 7, Laura Mercier, Bourjois and more and you’re bound to find some within your budget.

I however headed straight to the glorious Kiko Milano to try out their version and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. I can’t remember why I chose to go straight to Kiko, probably because I knew they’d be affordable but still excellent quality. I bought them online where you have to spend a minimum of £25 for some reason so I *had* to buy 5 (#SorryNotSorry) Or at least I could’ve sworn I bought 5 but I can’t find the 5th one and have no recollection of what colour it might have been so maybe I did just get 4 and I’ve gone crazy…
Anyway, they really are very good. First of all, extremely easy to use. You just draw the colour directly onto you lid and blend out with your finger or a brush, it takes mere minutes. They are really creamy and easy to blend but eventually set really well and do not budge AND they’re cheaper than the No.7 ones (wuutt!) with a wider range of shades (although Boots.com seem to be doing a 3 for 2 on selected No.7 products at the mo.)

I’ve swatched all the shades I currently own but just being on the site to link it for you has prompted me to add another 4 to my shopping cart. Oops.

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Flash

Taken with Flash

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The shades I have are: 37- Burgundy, 15- Lilac, 21- Passion Fruit and 06 – Golden Brown. I really recommend them and they ‘ain’t lying when they say long lasting! You’ll need more than just a makeup wipe to get them off or you’ll be scrubbing for a while. As with any eyeshadow look I always use an eye primer first. I’m wearing the shade Lilac in my last video and Burgundy in a vid I have coming up so check them out.

Matte Lips Sink Ships

So you may have noticed that liquid lipsticks have been having a bit of a moment lately. From Rimmel to Anastasia Beverly Hills, everyone and their mother has been jumping on the bandwagon.
In case you’re not familiar, a liquid lipstick is basically a lipstick, usually matte, in liquid form so it goes on like a gloss but is more opaque and has the finish of a lipstick. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you’ll know that I have a mild ( read: severe) obsession with the offering from Bourjois- the Rouge Ediition Velvet lipsticks. I have 4 shades, Hot Pepper which is a bright red leaning towards the orangey side, Pink Pong which is a bold fuchsia and just the most untouchable pink lip product IMHO, Nude-ist! which is a perfect Kylie Jenner, neutral and Happy Nude Year (brilliant) which is a pinky peach nude.

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I have nothing negative to say about this product, it’s a dream come true. They are amazingly pigmented, they go on creamy and set down to matte but aren’t hugely drying on the lips and are so comfortable to wear but most of all they last FOREVER! For someone who is a big fan of a bold lip this is SO important to me. I hate having to constantly top up or keep checking a mirror to make sure it hasn’t faded, leaving you with that gross ring of colour around the edge of your lips (ugh!) You can eat, drink, be merry and these will hardly budge, you don’t have to think about it. I usually will top them up once throughout the night and that’s it AND on New Years Eve I wore Pink Pong, fell asleep in my makeup at like 6:00am (GAHH I know, sorry Caroline Hirons!) and when I woke up my lips were still perfect! It comes off easily when you want it to with a bit of makeup remover.

So these are clearly the holy grail but I’m always on the look out for other options. A friend suggested the MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer which excited me because they’re only £3! I bought the shade Reckless and I LOVE the colour (a deep, darkish red) but I’m sorry to say it just didn’t last. As soon as you have a sip of a drink the formula starts to break down where the liquid had touched it so you can image what happens when you eat. I’ve worn mine about 3 or 4 times and the amount I had to top up it just didn’t seem worth it, I was constantly paranoid that the colour had gone weird and patchy. The formula is similar to the Bourjois ones but dries quicker when applying and then after a while almost feels kind of crumbly on the lips. Great if you’re only wearing it for an hour or two with no food or drink but just not practical for me sadly. Major bummer.

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The next one I tried was the Rimmel Apocalips Matte Lip Velvet in Orange-ology (an orange toned red). Now from the name I expected these to be much the same as the others in formula. They are not. The consistency is much thinner so you need to put on a lot to get an opaque finish but even then you struggle. It doesn’t dry or set down at all so the more you put on you’re kind of taking the underneath layers off. Also the doe foot applicator has a little dent or well in it where all the product gathers but then doesn’t transfer onto you lip, it kind of just sits in there. Most importantly it is not matte, the finish was shiny and felt almost oily on the lips! It doesn’t dry down so you constantly worried that its going to slip right off but it’s one redeeming feature is that it does kind of stain the lips so when the gloss wears off you are left with a somewhat even wash of colour. But no. Not happy at all.

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The final product is one I’ve only tried once but I think is going to be a good one. It’s the BEAUTIFUL Lime Crime Velvetine in Pansy (I can’t link it at the mo. because their site is down). This colour is so gorgeous and unique I just love it and I think it would work on nearly all skin tones. While applying I was aware that the formula felt more watery than the Bourjois or MUA versions. The colour is super pigmented though so you only need a couple of layers. Anyway because of the thin consistency I was really paranoid that the colour was coming off every time I took a sip of liquid but I wasn’t really in a situation where I could constantly check. I think I re-applied once to be sure and when I got home a few hours later it was still all good. I definitely need another test drive to be sure but at the moment I’d day they sit just under the Bourjois ones in terms of lasting, which is fine by me because those things are bionic! Oh, and it smells like cake! Anyway I adore the colour so I hope it isn’t as disappointing as the other offers and I still want to try all of the other offerings out there!

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Moisturise and Shine

So if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know I’m not exactly Miss Skin Care. I don’t cleanse, tone and moisturise every day (soz) but there are a few skin care products I’ve been really loving lately.

The first is Weleda Skin Food. I got a tube for my Birthday and I really like it, it says it can be used anywhere on the body but I uses it mainly as a hand cream. As I’ve gotten older my hands constantly feel like they’re dry and this really helps. It’s quite a thick, balmy formula but it sinks into the skin well and doesn’t leave you feeling too greasy. It is really rehydrating but from the buzz around it I was expecting it to totally blow me away, which it didn’t. It is a good product though, it does what it says on the tin. It hasn’t transformed my hands by any means but it has loads of nourishing ingredients and smells really good! The only thing is I wish it had SPF in it. Can’t win ’em all!

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The next product is the Liz Earle Superskin Unfragranced Moisturiser*. I really like this stuff. I hate putting anything too greasy or rich on my face on a daily basis so this moisturiser is great for me, its super light and absorbs well into the skin and as its unfragranced its ideal for sensitive skin. As I said it isn’t very rich so might not be great if you have particularly dry skin but it’s perfect for oily old me.

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The final item is the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Super Rich Body Butter. This was another Birthday gift and I have to admit, at first glance I was like, “Wow, a huge tube of face cream!” (The “Amazing Face” thing threw me ok?!) It’s a very rich body moisturiser that’s similar in consistency to the Weleda Skin food, it’s quite thick and needs a bit of working into the skin, so maybe not great if you’re in a mad rush but otherwise wonderful. It feels very luxurious and left my skin feeling really soft. I’m trying not to use it everyday so it lasts but its proving quite difficult!

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Thank you to all the lovely people who gave me these treats, I’m sure I will be re-purchasing!

Get Ya’ Nibs Out

I’m a huge black winged eyeliner fan and have been since I was about 16 and saw a copy of Vanity Fair with Angelina Jolie on the cover nailing the cat eye look.

Back in the day I used a really old Maybelline liquid eyeliner that I can’t even remember the name of, maybe Express Liner or something? It was quite a watery, matte formula with a fat, flexible felt (wheyyy alliteration!) nib. It was easy to use for a first timer but not great for doing a fine subtle line. But if you knew me when I was 16 you’d know subtlety wasn’t my forte in those days anyway.

When I became a little bit older and a little bit more, ahem “metal” I graduated to an eyeshadow brush and black eye shadow. The brush was the shape and size of a shader brush but with a sharpish edge but again not sharp enough to create anything subtle. I was alternating between two Nars shadows at the time. The main one I used was Night Porter which is actually a gorgeous shade. It looks really green in the pic but it’s actually black with a green shimmer running through it. The other one was also Nars and was basically the same but with a more subtle, red shimmer running through it. So anyway as you can imagine they created quite an emo effect…

Once I’d learnt the fine art of subtlety I graduated onto Rimmel Glam Eyes Professional Liquid Liner. As you can see from the pic the brush is very fine and again the formula was very liquid-y but thicker than the Maybelline one. TBH I don’t know how I was so good at using this back then because I tried recently and it was a disaster! Oh, and do not get the bugger in your eye because MAN does it burn.

So since those heady days my method of choice has been gel liner and a fine or push liner brush. First it was the Bobbi Brown gel liner but I found that dried out quite quickly, way before the pot was finished anyway. I then moved onto MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack which has remained a firm favourite. I also recently discovered KIKO Lasting Gel Liner, which I’ve only used a few times but I quite like. The formula is quite different to Blacktrack etc. In the pot it looks really shiny, though once applied to the eyes it sets down to matte. The formula is also not as solid, it’s almost kind of whipped or cream like in the pot. It goes on really nice and smooth but I would say it is a bit “smudgier” which means its easier to work with before it dries but I find it’s also easier to make mistakes. It is a decent contender though and like most Kiko products, at a very reasonable price.

But the reason for this lengthy preamble is to say that in all these years I’ve never been a fan of the eye liner pen. I’ve tried a few but hated them all. Either the nib wasn’t flexible enough or they dried out while applying or they tugged at they eye or dragged so you couldn’t get a solid line or colour or they flaked off! Like seriously. No.

Then I started using a free Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner pen that came with an issue Glamour magazine. Now, I was NOT a fan of their Alexa Chung Eye Do eyeliner pen, it was an abomination as far as I’m concerned so I don’t know what possessed me to try this one (probz ‘coz it woz free innit) but I’m glad I did. I really liked it and would buy it again. For me I think it all comes down to a softer more flexible nib. If the nib is too stiff {raises eyebrows seedily} I just can’t work with it. It wasn’t as dry as other pens I’d used either, it’s not the inkiest, I still found it needed a bit of a rest after one eye (or some hot breath like on your felt tip pens at school). I did find I needed to use the side of the nib a bit to get the ink out across the lid but the nib was great for creating a feline flick without drag.

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So this made me wonder if there were other good ones out there or even dupes for the Eyeko one. I bought a Bourjois that I didn’t much care for but it wasn’t the worst one I’d ever used. Then when I was ransacking the KIKO online sale I decided to try one of their Ultimate Pen Long Wear Eyeliner and its pretty damn good! Really inky and pigmented, doesn’t dry out mid use and the nib is wonderfully flexible. It is finer than the Eyeko one so might be a tiny bit trickier to use if you’re not used to it but I really like it. AND LOOK AT THE PRICE! Bargain-o-rama. Howeverrrrrrrr what I will say is that it’s not the most long lasting, which I think is actually true of most pens. It does tend to smudge a tiny bit and if you have slightly oily eyelids like me then you do get a bit of “eyeliner transfer” on your upper eyelid, however a little extra powder sorts that out.

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My experimentation finally lead me to the Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner which I think is my favourite of the lot. It’s very similar to the Eyeko one, if not identical. Easy to use and gives a great fluid line all for a very agreeable price.

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So yes I’m a convert. They won’t be fully replacing my gel liner as I just prefer the effect when doing a dramatic cat eye but they are great for doing a defined/ winged look for everyday, when you’re in a rush or throwing in your makeup bag to use out and about. Get me?  

 

This Post Has No Pictures

Hi,

It’s me. Yes, I know, I haven’t blogged in a millennium but there are a few reasons for this.

One is just pure and simple laziness if I’m totally honest. I’ve had a post sitting in my drafts for about 28 years and all I need to do is going and check the actual names for some of the products that I mention but for some reason I just keep forgetting and then when I do remember I can’t be arsed.

The second is that I genuinely have so much less time than I used to now that I’m working full time. I don’t get home until around 8:00pm and by the time I’ve been to the shop, done the leftover dishes, put a wash on, eaten dinner etc. etc. it’s 11:00 and I just want to go to bed! And even on the weekends I usually have stuff going on. Sure, I could whack out the actual writing in about half an hour but it takes a long time to do the research, photograph everything/ yourself (after applying a full face of make up and getting the lighting right) or sit down and film and then edit and upload a video, especially with my very basic skills.

The main reason is that at the moment I’m finding it all a bit pointless. The internet is absolutely SATURATED with beauty blogs and vlogs and everyone is saying the SAME THING! Literally everyone. And it’s not like I have access to products and launches before the general public or get sent a shit ton of free stuff on a weekly basis like the bigger bloggers do. I only have what I get lucky enough to be given as gifts or what I buy for myself and since I’m not a millionaire I’m not really buying new stuff often enough to have anything new to say. And even if I did, does anyone really care? Is anyone even reading this? Probably not as I managed to lose all my (few) followers a while ago trying to be clever with WordPress when I really had no clue what I was doing.

Which leads me nicely onto my final reason. I’m in a bit of a weird state of limbo at the moment. I’ve bought a domain with a totally different name because I need to re-brand as there are many other blogs with this name but I’m struggling to get help with moving everything over and set it all up and after my previous debacle I’m just paranoid to try and do it myself. And also the time thing again.

Even if I figure that out and somehow manage to find the time there is still the main reason of really having nothing new to say and actually boring my own self with some of the shite I’ve been coming up with lately… I don’t like spouting the same bollocks as everyone else, that’s the whole reason I started the blog in the first place but I somehow seem to have settled into a very boring, repetitive groove and I have no means of breaking out of it… I’ll probably still post the (very dull) thing in my drafts as I’ve got this far so I may as bloody well now and I’ve just bought a new ring light off eBay (why?!) so I guess I’ll have to film again at some point but I just really don’t know at the moment.

The End…?

PS: I HATE adding tags it takes fricking ages!!