Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Best Base Products of 2013

Top base products 2013 foundation concealer powder seventeed estee lauder

If you've read any of my latest face-of-the-day type posts this line-up won't surprise you.  For the majority of this year, these three products have been applied almost daily, with the occasional mix-up.  I've talked about these so much that this will only be a short post - I won't babble on, but these are without a doubt my best base products of the last year.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Top Five Eye Products of 2013

Top Five Eye Products of 2013 L'Oreal Urban Decay Maybelline

Next up is my top five make-up products for my peepers.  I finally got around to purchasing a full size Urban Decay Primer Potion, and I'm so happy that I did.  With my oily skin, shadows are forever creasing on my lids after just a few hours, and this primer is the only thing I've found to keep everything in place.  I use the smallest amount on each lid, but it makes such a huge difference that I never apply eye shadow without it now.  Read a bit more about it in my post, here.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Five Favourite Cheek Products of 2013

Five Favourite Cheek Products of 2013 Laura Mercier Benefit NARS MAC

Following on from yesterday's post on my top picks for your lips of 2013, today I've got my favourite cheek products to show you.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Five Favourite Lip Products of 2013

My top five favourite lip products of 2013 mac revlon dior blistex

Firstly - Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a fab day yesterday and spent plenty of time with your loved ones.  I had a brilliant day, Christmas is my favourite time of year, and once New Year is over and done with I'll just be looking forward to Spring!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Favourite Eye Brushes

Favourite Eye Makeup Brushes Real Techniques Models Own No7 Barry M
Real Techniques Accent Brush, Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush, Models Own Crease Brush, Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush, Real Techniques Brow Brush, No7 Eyeshadow Blend and Contour Brush and Barry M Eyeshadow Brush

A few days ago I posted about my favourite face brushes, and today I'm going to share my picks for applying eye make-up.  I have quite a few eye brushes in my stash, but these six are my most used and most loved.  Again, there's quite a few Real Techniques choices, but there are a few more brands thrown into this post.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Favourite Face Brushes

Favourite face makeup brushes real techniques lauren luke beauty
(L-R) Real Techniques Powder Brush, Real Techniques Duo Fibre Powder Brush, Lauren Luke Flat Contour Brush, Real Techniques Blush Brush, Real Techniques Deluxe Contour Brush, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Since getting into make-up a good few years ago, I've built up quite a collection of make-up brushes.  I actually use every brush I have, and when I wash them I usually end up giving every single one a good scrub, but of course I have my favourites.  I've split this up into two separate posts - firstly I'll be talking about my favourite face brushes, and later in the week I'll be posting about my favourite eye brushes.  As you can see, I love Real Techniques brushes.  For me, the quality is perfect, they're easy to get hold of and they're affordable.  There are a few other brands thrown in, but my collection is made up of mostly RT.  I don't have any high-end make-up brushes.  Although I'm lusting after a few, until now my high-street options have served me perfectly.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Autumn Beauty Favourites

Autumn Beauty Favourites Revlon Nars Urban Decay Seventeen MAC
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush, Nars x Guy Bourdin One Night Stand palette, MAC Ruby Woo, Urban Decay Primer Potion, Urban Decay Naked Basics palette, Seventeen Phwoarr Paint.

As the weather gets colder, most of us change up our make-up routine to suit the season.  This autumn I've been reaching for darker shades, namely the Revlon Balm Stain in Crush and the Nars blusher in Goulue.  Crush  is a gorgeous build-able berry lip shade which leaves a subtle stain even after the balm has worn off.  I've been reaching this all the time lately, from a day of lectures in university to a shopping trip to grab some Christmas presents to a night at the pub.  It suits all occasions and all make-up looks: I love it!  MAC Ruby Woo has also made a comeback, this is the perfect red lip for me, even though so many people hate the matte formula I love it (review here).  Goulue is the most berry-toned blusher I own (review here), making it perfect for autumn.  It has a slight subtle shimmer, meaning I can skip highlighter.  Between this and MAC Prom Princess (review here) nothing else has been near my cheeks this autumn!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

A/W Travel Make-up Bag

Autumn Winter Travel Makeup Bag Beauty

Over the last three years I've spent a lot of time travelling across the country to either go home, or visit friends, family and my boyfriend in other universities.  Hopping on ta train every other weekend has resulting in my developing a bit of a skill in lightweight, quick packing.  In the summer, packing make-up is a little lighter, but during the colder months I tend to reach for a few more bits.  For me, the key is to take palettes and multi-function products to create a number of looks with a few products.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

NARS One Night Stand Cheek Palette

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Nars One Night Stand Palette

After dreaming about this beautiful limited edition palette for weeks, how could I resit treating myself when its release date came three days after pay day?  Released as part of the Holiday 2013 collection, this collaboration with Guy Bourdin  is the perfect companion for travelling.  Recently I'm forever on a train visiting friends, family and my boyfriend at various universities across the country, so I'm a sucker for anything travel-friendly.  Although the palette is compact, the pans are big enough to fit a blusher or bronzer brush in.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Red Lips

Red Lipsticks Beauty
MAC Ruby Woo, Revlon Lip Butter in Wild Watermelon, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains in Romantic and Crush, Rimmel Apocalips in Stellar

Autumn/winter is the time when corals and peaches are pushed to the back or my drawer, and out come the red and berry toned lip products.  They're much more seasonal shades, perfect for the holiday and party season and don't drain my paler skin.  This winter I'll be reaching for my five favourite red shades and plenty of lip balm to avoid dry, chapped smackers.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

Urban Decay Naked Basics Matte Eyeshadow Palette

I tried to avoid buying this for the longest time, but I've finally caved when I spotted it with 10% off in Debenhams.  I already own both the first Urban Decay Naked eye shadow palettes, so tried to persuade myself that the Basics palette wasn't necessary, but who was I kidding?! I love a matte smoky eye, so this beauty is right up my street.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Beauty Wishlist

Beauty Wishlist High End

Since I'm only in the first few weeks of my third year of university, I have quite a bit of free time on my hands - I'm pretty sure that'll change soon enough - and I can't resist a quick browse through some blogs and the endless amount of beauty-related online retailers clogging up my favourites.  This has inevitably led to a wishlist the length of my arm even though I'm living off a student loan which doesn't quite stretch to high-end make up, oops!  If I wasn't living on a limited budget, here's what I'd be adding to my collection.

MAC Retro Matte lipstick in Flat Out Fabulous - I absolutely adore Ruby Woo, a perfect red matte shade from MAC, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to love the new Retro Matte collection.  Flat Out Fabulous is described as a bright plum by MAC, it seems like such a lovely shade for autumn and besides that - what an awesome name.

YSL Babydoll mascara - I have read so many good things about this mascara, and as much as I love my high street brands I'm just dying to try a high-end mascara!  I love the packaging of this little beauty, my collection definitely needs a bit of gold added to it.

YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick in Peach Passion - I was so, so, so tempted to get this in duty free on my way to Ibiza this summer but I stopped myself and now I just cant stop thinking about it.  Since falling head-over-heels for MAC's Coral Bliss this summer, I can't wait to try some more coral and peach shades even though it isn't very autumn-appropriate.  This is definitely my dream lipstick at the moment.

Paul and Joe Floral make-up bag - Since spotting this on Anna's blog I've needed it in my life.  Being in university in one city whilst home is somewhere else, and my boyfriend, best friends and sister are in entirely different cities means I spend a lot of time travelling across the UK.  Packing all of my make-up and skincare into bags is a nightmare, and I feel like it would be much less of a chore if my make-up bag was this gorgeous.

NARS One Night Stand palette - I realise that this hasn't even been released yet, but I dream about the NARS Danmari blush palette which never found its way into my hands so I definitely won't be missing out on the chance to own this.  A gorgeous palette of four NARS blushers, a highlighter and the famous Laguna bronzer would just be perfect for my weekend visits!

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Plase Flawless Wear concealer - I'm currently using (and loving) Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, which I apply lightly with my fingers or the Real Techniques expert face brush.  The only problem is that when I have a blemish I don't really have a concealer in my collection suitable.  I have been loyal to Collection Lasting Perfection concealer for years now, but I'm ready to branch out - I need something high coverage, low cakey-ness, and I think this is it.

These are only a few of the items on my mental wishlist! I'm also lusting after Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, MAC Plumful lipstick and Pixi Lash Line Ink.  If you weren't on a budget what beauty items would you splash out on?

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Urban Decay Primer Potion Eyeshadow Original

One of the most well-known and hyped-up eye shadow primers on the market is the Urban Decay Primer Potion.  It comes in a couple of different shades, but I have the original version which I can pair with matte or shimmer shadows.  The very slight tint eradicates any redness and blurs veins or imperfections leaving you a blank canvas to apply make-up to.  I tried a tester-sized version of this in the past (with the original Naked palette), and since using up the last drop I haven't found any primers that get the job done like this.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

MAC Prom Princess Blush

MAC Limited Edition Archies Girls Prom Princess Pink Blush

How have I got through an entire year of visiting my boyfriend at Portsmouth University without realising that there is a Cosmetic Company Outlet (CCO) in Gunwharf?!  These outlets aren't very common, but if you do come across one you need to pop in! High end make-up from brands like MAC, Clinique and Estee Lauder is sold at discounted outlet prices.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Portinatx, Ibiza

I've been really lucky this year, and managed to squash two holidays into my summer - one with my family in the South of France back in July, and I've just arrived home from a week in sunny Ibiza with my boyfriend.  We stayed in a beautiful little town called Portinatx and had a relaxing week laying in the sun, bathing in the sea and stuffing ourselves silly with all inclusive food and drink.  If your looking for a quiet, relaxing holiday, I'd definitely recommend Portinatx.  It was the perfect first holiday alone for us - we felt safe, there was no mishaps and we had a wonderful time! Here's a couple of photos from our week in the sun.

Portinatx Ibiza Travel Holiday Summer
 We were lucky enough to watch beautiful sunsets every single evening.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Real Techniques Expert Face Makeup Brush

Since falling in love with Estee Lauder's Double Wear foundation, I've been searching for the perfect brush to apply it with.  My beloved buffing brush just isn't working for me with this foundation, it seems better suited to either more liquid formulations or mineral powders.  I was enjoying using my Sigma F80 flat-topped kabuki, but it soaks up so much foundation! After reading a huge amount of awesome reviews of the Expert Face brush I took the plunge and ordered it, and as always with Real Techniques, I wasn't disappointed.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Dior Addict Lipstick in Bow

Dior Addict Pale Pink Glossy Lipstick in Bow Beauty

Ever since I was really young, my grandparents have lived in the South of France, meaning I don't get to see them often.  The packages my gran sends to us have become a bit of a novelty at home - in the past we've had a shower curtain (our shower has a door), a pair of men's boxer shorts (apparently they would make good work-out clothing) and lime green fishnet fingerless gloves (?!).  This time round she sent something sensible in the form of this gorgeous Dior lipstick.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Marc Jacobs Daisy Sunshine Perfume

Marc Jacobs Daisy Sunshine Summer Floral Fruity Perfume Fragrance

Its sort of a tradition on our yearly family holiday that we all pick up a new perfume duty-free at the airport.  After checking in we spend much longer than is reasonable spritzing every scent in sight until we find one that takes our fancy.  As soon as I'd had a whiff of this Limited Edition sunshine version of Marc Jacobs Daisy I was in love.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

MAC Lipstick Collection

MAC Lipstick Collection

MAC Lipstick Collection

MAC Lipstick Collection Swatches
Ruby Woo, Viva Glam Nicki Minaj, Impassioned, Costa Chic, Coral Bliss

Although my collection of MAC lipsticks is a small one, I'm really happy with it - I have shades for all occasions and I regularly reach for all five options.  I love high street lip products, but there's nothing like the longevity, pigmentation and delicious scent of a MAC lipstick.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Holiday Beauty Favourites

Holiday Beauty Favourites
Marc Jacobs Daisy Limited Edition Summer, Benefit Hoola, La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat, MAC Coral Bliss, Lancaster Tan Maximising After Sun

These are the five products I found myself reaching for every single day during my fortnight in the South of France.  Quite a few evenings we went out to various towns in the area, including St Tropez, Cannes and Monaco, so on these occasions I made a bit of an effort.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

South Of France Summer Holiday

Honey, I'm hoooome!

After two weeks in the south of France with my family and my boyfriend I'm back in sunny (for once!) south Wales.  We had such a lovely time sunning ourselves, eating delicious food and seeing the sights.  I was lucky enough to spend my birthday there, which is on the same day as the French national holiday, Bastille Day, so I celebrated turning twenty with an amazing firework display by the sea!  We all really enjoyed ourselves, and I'd completely recommend visiting the south of France if you get a chance - my favourite parts are St Tropex, Monaco and Port Grimaud.  Here's a few of our photos from our French fortnight.

Friday, 19 July 2013

MAC Coral Bliss Lipstick

MAC Coral Bliss Lipstick Review Collage Swatch

I do love my MAC lipsticks, even though I have a compact collection of just a few shades I reach for them most days.  Although I adore my bright lipsticks, over the last few weeks I've been fancying a more neutral shade which I can wear on an every day basis.  I headed to the MAC shop planning on buying Shy Girl after reading a truck-load of amazing reviews, is it me or does everyone love Shy Girl?!  However, after swatching it, it just wasn't for me - I'm not a nude lipstick person.  I went through a number of other shades from the stand, swatching them on the back of my hand, and my boyfriend helped me pick this little beauty - Coral Bliss.  He also treated me to it for passing my second year at university (2:1, yippee!), thanks Rob!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Top Summer Blush Picks

Top Summer Blush Picks Sleek Look Beauty NARS MAC Laura mercier Benefit

Top Summer Blush Picks Sleek Look Beauty NARS MAC Laura mercier Benefit
Look Beauty Make Me Blush in Flirt, Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in Lush Nectarine, Benefit Powda Wowza (Hoola, Coralista and Bella Bamba), Nars Desire, MAC Melba, Sleek Blush by 3 in Sweet Cheeks.
I love summer blushers.  Although when it's sunny I don't always go for a full face of makeup, I never skip a hint of colour over my cheek bones.  Shimmer, frost, matte and cream formulas in varying shades of pink and peach are right up my street.  These are what I regularly reach for when the sun comes out to add a hint of colour to my face.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray

After reading an endless amount of good reviews of this surf spray, I was really happy to receive it in my Selfridges Summer Beauty Box.  Bumble and Bumble describe it as a salt spray designed to be used on damp or dry hair to add body and texture. 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Top Summer Lip Products

Top Summer Lip Products

Top Summer Lip Products

Blistex Medplus, Lush Bubblegum lip scrub, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick, Look Beauty Lipstick in Hyper Melon, Rimmel Apocalips in Stellar (review here), Mac Costa Chic, Mac Impassioned (review here), Revlon Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya (review here)

First things first - I'm on holiday :))) wooo! This is the first of a couple of scheduled posts I've sorted out for while I'm in the south of France on a family holiday for two weeks so that my little section of the internet isn't completely dead while I'm gone.  Hopefully at this exact moment in time I'm lapping up the sunshine eating delicious food and sipping cool rosé.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Summer Reads

Since I was really young I've been a bit of a book worm, especially on holiday.  Relaxing by the pool in the sunshine I've been known to complete 13 books in 14 days!  Since my lovely parents gave me a Kindle for my birthday last year, I've really got back into reading - there's nothing nicer than escaping from a busy train in a good story, or cuddling up in bed with an exciting plot.  After reading an endless stream of books I've picked a few really good summer reads from a range of genres that I definitely recommend.  If your jetting of somewhere sunny, or having a relaxing summer at home here's a few books to keep you entertained.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

All Time Favourite Beauty Products

All Time Favourite Beauty Products
Batiste Dry Shampoo, Tangle Teaser, OPI Nail Envy, Benefit Hoola, L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes, Blistex Medplus, 17 Miracle Matte Pressed Powder

Throughout the month of June I've been loving a few specific beauty products, but most of them are things I love using every month, but I never include them in favourites posts because they are always a part of my routine.  Instead of a monthly favourites post, here are some of my all-time favourite products.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Summer Nail Polish Picks

Summer Nail Polish Picks
In less than a week I'm jetting off to the sunny south of France with my family and lovely boyfriend, so am beginning to think about what I'll be taking with me in my suitcase.  To me, holiday nail varnish has to be bright - I love a bold mani/pedi in the sun, it makes your tan appear deeper and I love how it looks!  These are my picks for two weeks of sunbathing, relaxing and eating way too much.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Blistex Lip Treatments

Blistex Lip Treatments
Blistex Intensive Moisturiser, Blistex Raspberry Lemonade Blast, Blistex Medplus

I don't know many people who haven't tried an endless stream of products to improve the quality of their lips, most of us are forever looking for a product to banish dry, chapped lips without breaking the bank.  I've tried a stream of lip balms available on the high street: Nivea, Vaseline and Carmex being just a few of them, but I always find my self returning to my absolute favourite: Blistex.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Evening Skincare Routine for Oily Acne-Prone Skin

Evening Skincare Routine for Oily Acne-Prone Skin Affordable High Street Simple La Roche Posay Blistex Duac
Simple Purifying Cleansing Lotion, La Roche Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel, La Roche Posay Effaclar Micro Exfoliant, Duac Gel, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo, Blistex Medplus, Blistex Intensive Moisturiser

I've developed a real love for skincare recently, I'm set on finding the perfect routine to keep my skin looking healthy and glowing.  For reference, I have oily skin with some acne scarring and relatively regular blemishes.  It is a lot better at the moment than it has been in years, and although I am now confident enough to occasionally venture out of the house with a lighter coverage foundation or BB cream, I'm not quite ready to go makeup-less.  These are the products I'm using in the evenings to look after my skin before bed.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation

I have finally delved into the world of high-end foundations after wearing offerings from the high street for around five years.  I am a huge fan of high street brands and there are some absolute gems to be found for amazing prices, but after getting paid and reading loads of good reviews of Estee Lauder Double Wear I just had to give in to the hype and try it out.

Friday, 7 June 2013

MAC Impassioned Lipstick

MAC Amplified Creme Lipstick Impassioned Bright Pink

MAC Amplified Creme Lipstick Impassioned Bright Pink

This lipstick has been on my wish list for the longest time, and as a treat to celebrate the end of my second year at university (yippeeeee!) my lovely boyfriend bought it for me and it's been my lip colour of choice almost every day since.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

May Beauty Favourites

VO5 Plump it up Volumising Spritz (review), Benefit Hoola, Real Techniques blusher brush (review), La Roche Posay physiological cleansing gel (review), Blistex Medplus, L'Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black, Dove Summer Glow gradual tan moisturiser

I realise this is a few days late, but there are a few things I have been loving over the last month - the first of which is this gorgeous weather! I don't know about wherever you are, but in south Wales we've had a bit of lovely sunshine - it's even had me cracking out the floral dresses and oversized shades!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box

Selfridges Summer Beauty Box

Summer is around the corner, and Selfridges have created a limited edition beauty box to help us get ready for the (hopefully) warm weather.  The box contains nine beauty must-haves for the summer totalling £70 available for a short amount of time for just £25.

Friday, 24 May 2013

La Roche Posay Skincare for Oily Acne-Prone Skin

La Roche Posay Skincare for Oily Acne-Prone Skin

I am forever searching for my ideal skincare routine, and with the help of La Roche Posay I just might have found it!  I have suffered with bad skin for the last seven or eight years, and 2013 had been a bad skin year until about six weeks ago.  I decided to completely re-work my skincare routine, as what I was using obviously wasn't doing my any favours.  After spending an insane amount of time trawling Boots, searching the internet and reading an endless amount of advice from Caroline Hirons, I decided on La Roche Posay skincare - mainly the Effeclar range which is formulated for oily and spot-prone skin. I'm currently using three products from La Roche Posay, but I'm fancying the micellar water and toner.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Top Five Face Brushes

Top Five Favourite Makeup Brushes Face

Top Five Favourite Makeup Brushes Face

Five years ago I owned one makeup brush - a 17 kabuki which I hardly ever washed and used to apply everything - powder, blusher, bronzer, you name it! Fast forward to this year, and I have at least one brush for applying each product to my face.  These are my current favourite face brushes, as you can tell I'm turning into a bit of a Real Techniques fan.
To apply my foundation I either reach for my Real Techniques Buffing Brush or my Sigma F80 Flat-Top Kabuki.  The buffing brush is ideal for pairing with my Bourjois 123 Perfect foundation or my L'Oreal True Match Mineral Foundation.  I'm fancying giving the Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation a go, and apparently this brush is perfect with it.  I have been loving applying concealer with the Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush, even though this brush is intended to be used for eye shadow it is absolutely perfect for buffing concealer flawlessly over any blemishes.  The Contour Brush from the Real Techniques Core Collection is perfect paired with Benefit Hoola to contour my face, it's the perfect size to emphasise my cheekbones and temples.  Lastly, the Real Techniques Powder brush is an amazingly soft large powder brush which I use to apply my 17 Miracle Matte powder over my base.
Currently I'm using a Lauren Luke Flat Topped Contour brush to apply my blusher, but over time It has turned coarse and is no longer a pleasure to use.  I have ordered the Real Techniques Blush Brush and Stippling Brush to apply powder and cream blusher with, so I'm just waiting for them to arrive.  Hopefully I love them as much as I love my other brushes.
I do plan to do a post on my favourite eye brushes in the future, have a guess what brand I love the most! What brushes do you use on a daily basis?

Saturday, 27 April 2013

April Beauty Favourites

April Beauty Favourites Makeup Skincare

I was lucky enough to have the entire month of April off from university this year, so I've spend the last four weeks back in Wales spending time with my family, friends and boyfriend.  It's been lovely to have some time to relax and -apart from the odd bit of work- forget about university.
The end of March was quite stressful for me, thanks to a lot of assessment deadlines, so my skin took a turn for the worst.  This month I've taken my skincare completely back to basics, using only Simple products to remove makeup and cleanse my skin, prescribed products to combat my blemishes and this The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream to put moisture back into my skin when my prescribed lotions and potions dry it out a bit too much.  I have absolutely loved using this moisturiser over the past month, it sinks in really quickly leaving my face hydrated but still matte. 
I've used my Revlon Lip Butters in Wild Watermelon and Juicy Papaya pretty much every day this month.  They give the perfect wash of colour whilst still moisturising my lips - ideal for spring.  I've been matching these lip colours with my beloved Nars Desiree which appears scarily bright in the pan, but when applied lightly and blended properly, leaves your cheeks beautifully flushed.
Lastly in my favourites this month is the Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush from the Starter Kit.  Although this brush is intended for use on your eyes, I find it a little big for applying shadow to the crease of my lid, and much prefer to use it on my face.  This is the absolute ideal brush to use with concealer.  The dome shape makes it into a tiny little buffing brush, which when used in a circular motion flawlessly buffs concealer over any blemishes. I've been using this on a daily basis, and completely recommend trying this!
I go back to university on Monday, and will be spending the next three weeks on placement in a Primary School for my degree, which means I need makeup that can be quickly thrown on in the morning, and skincare to help calm my skin down through all of the stress - I'll definitely be taking tips from Holly's post on stress-busting products.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Revision Tips and Tricks


The time every one dreads is just around the corner - exam period.  Not many people are a fan of exams, usually do to the boring, time-consuming, seemingly endless revision which is required.  I'm lucky enough to be on a degree with no exams, but I've done my fair share of revision through GCSE's and A levels and managed to pick up a few helpful hints along the way which I'm going to share with you.  I realise that different people learn differently, and some people prefer different methods to others, these are just a couple of suggestions that helped me with my exams!
  • Start revision early! I mean months early, not ten days before the exam.  I realise how boring it is to sit and learn things knowing the exam isn't any time soon, but I promise you it will be worth it and will reduce stress levels closer to the big day.
  • Put down the phone - if you add up all the time you spend texting your friends about how much you hate revision/tweeting about how bored you are/instagramming your endless pile of text books, you probably spend more time on your phone than looking at your books.  Put the phone in another room and get your head down, you'll get much more work done in much less time.
  • Don't let work take over your life.  It's important to have a balance.  Make sure you're spending a reasonable amount of time doing things for yourself - do some exercise, see your friends, watch a film or read a book.  It will relax you, and you'll feel better when you return to your work, but don't let it take over, some days your studying will need to come first.
  • Find ways to motivate yourself.  I used to promise myself that once I had learnt a set amount of information, I'd be allowed a day off revision to do something I enjoy.  That motivated me to efficiently revise to reach my goal.
  • Set your alarm and get up early.  You learn better earlier, so wake up at 9am and get it done so you can enjoy the rest of your day.
  • Check that your taking in what you revise.  Remember the "look, cover, write, check" routine to learn your spellings in primary school? That will come in handy now! Read over your notes, hide them from view, write out the information you remember and check what you've missed out.  That things you haven't recalled are what you need to spend more time learning.
  • Eat positively - reach for a banana; they're potassium-rich and raise your energy levels, enhancing your ability to learn information.
  • You don't need pretty notes - I was a culprit of doing this in school, I'd spend ages neatly writing out notes in different colours and sections, and didn't learn a thing; I wasted hours of my time. Don't get carried away, once your exams are over you'll never look at your notes again, you don't need to produce a masterpiece!
  • Find a suitable environment - Different locations suit different people, choose somewhere quiet with few distractions to ensure you focus.  Don't lay in bed to learn your work, you'll be nodding off in no time, and when you do want to get some shut eye you'll be reminded of your revision and find it hard to switch off.
  • Do past papers - This really helped me in college, practicing exam papers familiarises you with the lay out of the paper, the wording of the questions and looking at the mark scheme really helps you understand what sort of answer you need to be writing.
I hope these little hints help with your studying, when it comes to the exam all I can advise you to do is relax, get there early and not worry about what you know, there is no time left to revise so try your best to answer what you can.  Good luck!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Spring Nail Polish Picks

Spring Pastel Nail Varnish Polish Shades Colours

Spring Pastel Nail Varnish Polish Shades Colours

It's finally spring! The clocks have changed, the evenings are longer and the sun is out (in South Wales, anyway).  For my nails, spring screams pastel ice-cream shades, and these are my top picks for this year (bottom photo, left to right).
Barry M nail paints are such good value for money - well pigmented, good formula, reasonable lasting time and they don't break the bank.  Mint Green is an affordable polish, opaque in two coats and perfect for the run up to summer!  I've had a bit of a love affair with blue nail polishes recently, but I managed to cut it down to two perfect spring picks - Topshop Pool Party and Essie Bikini So Teeny.  This Topshop shade is brighter than a pastel hue, but is a gorgeous and wearable shade.  I adore the nail varnishes from Topshop; they're only a fiver and the bottles are the cutest! Essie Bikini So Teeny is a baby blue with tiny, barely noticeable flecks of shimmer.  This may be my favourite polish of the moment!  My lilac No 7 polish is a bit of an oldie, but is still going strong and is a beautiful pale purple shade which looks amazing under a matte topcoat.  OPI Sweet Memories is a sheer pale pink, leaving a polished nail with a hint of the nail-white peeking through.  My favourite pink polish is Essie Lovie Dovie, a shade to suit everyone and the formulation of the Essie diffusion line is just incredible.  Lastly, Essie Tart Deco is a perfect coral polish which is lovely on fingers and toes.

What polishes are you loving this spring?

Saturday, 6 April 2013

March Beauty Favourites

Favourite Beauty Products March 2013

The last month I've been religiously using a couple of products and really have fallen in love with them, I can't seem to go a day without picking them up!  I've included a bit of everything - body, hair, skin, nails and makeup.
VO5 Plump It Up Volumising Spritz - I've been using this as a heat defence spray for the last few weeks and I've found that when i apply this to my roots and blow dry with a round brush it really does give my hair added lift and volume.  The scent is almost unnoticable which I love, and the pump evenly distributes the lightweight formula through the hair. 
Garnier Moisture Match Moisturiser - I read that this moisturiser was well suited to oily skin in Cosmopolitain magazine, so popped it in my basket while in Boots and I haven't so much as looked at another moisturiser since! It sinks into my skin super-fast, has a refreshing but subtle scent and feels lovely on my skin.  It hasn't caused me to break out, and leaves a matte finish for me to apply makeup to - perfect! There will be a full review in the near future.
Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in Lush Nectarine (review here) - the perfect spring blusher, a shimmery peachy coral with is easy to wear and brightens the face.
Topshop Nail Polish in Awol - this is such a gorgeous bright blue shade which is completely opaque in two layers (you could probably get away with one), a lovely formulation and lasts a decent amount of time.  I've had this on my nails non-stop through March and I can't see me taking it off any time soon!
Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner - everytime I stray to using another eye liner I always find myself returning to this.  Long lasting blackness which applies like a dream and can be worn on my lashline or my waterline.  Without a doubt a HG product for me.
Jergens Daily Moisture Moisturiser - I wanted a moisturiser which would sink into my skin quickly but wouldn't leave me with a sickly smell all day long, so when I spotted this fragrance free offering in Boots I couldn't leave it there! My skin drinks it up within minutes meaning I don't have to dance around for half an hour before putting my clothes on, and it''s completely fragrance free so I can pair it with a perfume of my choice.
I'd love to see what things you've been loving this March - let me know in the comments and feel free to leave links to your favourites posts, they're my favourite posts to read!