Saturday, 31 July 2010

Luscious Lashes

I don’t put my faith in miracle mascara and curlers to make my lashes long, luscious and curled.  I resort to more drastic measures – I regularly get my lashes tinted and permed.

My lashes are naturally quite long, but they are peppered with blond hairs and I have blond roots, despite being a natural brunette.  They also grow downwards.  They seem immune to eyelash curlers, falling as soon as I’ve curled them, whether using heated curlers or ‘miracle’ mascara or whatever, really!  This makes wearing falsies difficult as well, as my natural lashes stick out, giving me a double row lash look – not good.  The ‘before’ pictures are below:

It’s quite a long and uncomfortable process to get them tinted and permed.  You need to have your eyes closed for over an hour, whilst the beautician fusses and pulls at your lashes constantly, putting some nasty smelling chemicals on your delicate skin, whilst all the time resisting the urge to rub your eyes!  Every time I go, I say that this is the last time I’ll get it done, but I always go back for more.  The ‘after’ pictures are below:

Today, I had a different beautician to my normal one.  She was actually much more gentle on my eyes and there was a lot less discomfort than normal. Of the three sizes of rollers (small, medium and large), today’s beautician convinced me that the medium ones would be best.  In the past, I’ve had better results with the smaller rollers, and I will request these in the future – my lashes really don’t curl properly with the medium ones.  This has resulted in more of a lift to my lashes, rather than a curl – better than normal, but not the look I was after.  They do tend to curl more over the next 24 hours, so hopefully I’ll have more of a curl by tomorrow.

I am very pleased with tint – a blue/black colour.  She applied it right down past the roots, so my lashes are well coloured, with a slight eyeliner look (which will eventually wash away), and she even did the bottom lashes.

It’s often said that having a lash tint means that you don’t need to wear mascara.  I completely disagree with this!  By the time I’ve done the rest of your make up, my lashes are flecked with powder etc.  I definitely need mascara, but it looks better than on un-tinted lashes and does make my lashes look thicker and fuller.

I try to do this every 8 weeks (when I remember), and it costs about £40 for both treatments.  Since the only other salon beauty treatment I regularly get is a bikini wax, I feel that I can afford this without putting too much strain on my budget.  If you can stand having someone fussing around with your eyes, then it’s worth trying – if you can’t bare it, then it’s probably not for you.  If you do it, would urge you to find a gentle beautician – I’m going to go back to the lady who did my eyes today, as she was much kinder to my eyes than the girl who regularly does them, but I’m going to be stubborn about using the smaller rollers!

Thanks for reading x

Friday, 30 July 2010

Magic Minerals

I’ve been using the same foundation for ages, No 7 Intelligent Colour foundation.  Whilst I like it, it’s not without its flaws – it can be thin at first and grainy towards the end of the tube.  So, with the hot weather of recent months making liquid foundation melty, I decided to try mineral foundation, which lasts a lot longer in hot weather.  I’ve tried two recently – Elf Mineral Foundation and Prestige Skin Loving Minerals.  The Elf foundation was £3.50 from their website, and I bought Prestige at for about £9.95 (with free delivery to the store).

I don’t know if anyone else has had this trouble with Elf, but the swatches on their website are just terrible!  They’re nothing like the actual colours you get!  Anyway, as I’m so pale I just ordered the lightest colour, ‘Fair’.  Despite this, it’s actually too dark for me, although it just about works with a light tan.  I find that Elf products are very hit or miss – but for the prices they charge, they’re usually worth a go.  This foundation is definitely a miss.  Not only is it too dark for me, it is very powdery on the skin, sinks into the creases on my forehead, making them look worse, the coverage is not even and it’s not easy to blend, and it’s generally quite heavy for a powder.  In the pot, the powder particles are quite large, which probably makes the heavy feeling.  For £3.50, I’m not too disappointed, but I won’t be buying it again.

I’m much more impressed with Skin Loving Minerals.  I also bought this online, as it’s always out of stock at Boots.  Again, I ordered it blind, and again, I ordered the lightest colour, also called ‘Fair’.  This time, though it’s a lighter colour, and one which is a perfect match on my skin.  It’s much lighter than the Elf product, not only in colour, but also in feeling on my skin.  It’s a finer sifted powder, and is less powdery on my face and really easy to blend. This foundation also sinks into the creases on my skin, but not to the same extent that the Elf one does.

In comparison with liquid foundation, both of these have a greater staying power, and less of a shine factor.  I’ve found the coverage has been good, for both of the mineral foundations, on a par with the No 7 Intelligent Colour, and they are easier to blend in, to ensure no tide marks.  However, they do both emphasise my fledgling wrinkles and both of them also sink into my rather large pores – I do need to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t just sit in my wrinkles.  I’ve used Mac Prep + Prime Skin before the Mineral Foundation and this definitely helps with both the pores and wrinkle issues, but it’s still not perfect.

The packaging of both products is good and is a lot less messy than loose powders.  You can see from the photos that both pots are relatively clean, despite using them both for a good few weeks and being kicked around in my makeup bag.
Prestige on the left, Elf on the right

In terms of price, the Elf seems to be better value.  However, the Elf is 0.1 oz, whereas the Prestige is 0.23 oz, so they actually are roughly about the same cost for the amount of product you get. 

Elf on the left, Prestige on the right

So, I’ll definitely be buying the Prestige again – it’s a good summer foundation, with a light finish, but good coverage, and it’s much better quality than the Elf one.  Maybe I’ll splash out for Bare Escentuals in the future, but I’ll stick with Prestige for now!

Thanks for reading x

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Ooops! Don't do this!

Well I wasn't going to post anything until tomorrow, because I'm really busy at the moment, but I just had to share something really stupid I've just done!

I decided my makeup bag was overflowing, so I dumped it on the window cill of my bathroom to sort it out.  Big mistake!  It was overflowing, and the window was open and out of the bag flew my MAC Gleam eyeshadow!  What's worse, is that I live in a second floor flat that is currently swaddled in scaffolding - I could hear it hitting all the scaffolding bars on the way down!

I quickly ran downstairs, thinking that I should try to save it - MAC is too expensive to just throw it away!  I rummaged in the grass underneath the scaffolding poles and found the makeup almost intact right underneath the window - but just the make up - the pan and the case were not there.  After retrieving this, I eventually found both the pan and case, and amazingly, they  weren't broken!  I managed to put the whole thing back together again, and have rescued my Gleam!  

Slightly battered, but saved!

Well the moral of that story, be careful of open windows on the second floor!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Make up and OOTD

Hi everyone.  I thought I’d do a post to show you what I’m planning on wearing tomorrow for a work function I’ve got in London.  It’s the opening of a new bank and my invitation says ‘business attire’ so I’ve dusted down my favourite suit and picked out shoes and accessories.  I so rarely wear a suit, that it’s quite a nice treat, and certainly makes me feel ‘business’.

The suit is a dress and jacket combination I’ve had for a couple of years and I bought from Warehouse.  I love it, as it’s really smart, but also comfortable and stylish.  The suit is dark grey with very faint lilac pin-stripes.  The dress is knee length, with a belt and ruched shoulder and button detailing.  The jacket is single-breasted, also has ruching at the shoulders and button detailing on the sleeves.  Both the dress and jacket have purple lining, which I love!

I’m going to wear some lilac heels from Next.  They are slightly distressed looking (but look even more distressed now), and have a buckle strap and a lowish heel, so I’ll be able to travel on the tube with them.

In terms of jewellery, I’ll be wearing a silver-coloured cuff, a vintage sparkly broach on the jacket and some silver-charm earrings.

I’ve also picked out my make-up for tomorrow, following on with the lilac theme.  I’m planning on using the lightest colour from the Boots No. 7 Organza palette on my lids, Shale by MAC through my crease – a fab taupe/purple colour, Nocturnelle by MAC on the outer V and Shroom by MAC on my brow bone and as a highlight.  It’s definitely an Urban Decay Primer Potion day, as my make-up crumbles and creases whenever I go on public transport, especially the tube. I’ve not decided on blush or lippy yet!

I’ve swatched the eye colours on my arm over Elf Eyelid Primer (about all it’s good for).  My arm's a bit tanned, so they don't show up as well as I hoped. From left to right, palest Organza, Shale, Nocturnelle, Shroom.

I probably won’t be posting over the next few days, as I’m manic at work at the moment, but should be back by the weekend!  Thanks for reading x

Monday, 26 July 2010

First NOTD

My nails are in a right state at the moment, all peeling, flaking and breaking off.  Ordinarily, I’d go for a week without varnish and treat the hell out of them.  However, I’ve got to go to a swanky work event on Wednesday in London which I want to look professional for.  It’s business dress, not black tie, so I don’t need a flashy nail colour, but I do want to be groomed!

I decided that I would get rid of the worst of my flaking tips using nail scissors, and file them short.  Harsh, but necessary I think!   I used Mavala cuticle remover and then Mavala ridge filler as a base coat to disguise some of the damage.  I then followed this with a couple of coats of OPI’s Barefoot in Barcelona, a classic, neutral beige shade, topped with Rimmel top coat. 

I’m pretty pleased with the result!  I think it looks professional enough – hopefully it will last through to Wednesday evening and then I can whip it all off and start some nail treatments.  By the way, it looks darker in real life,

As an extra NOTD, I wanted to show you a small picture of my pedicure – I used Minted by Revlon for the first time.  I’ve wanted to try Minted for ages, but I have to say that I wasn’t that impressed.  I love  the colour, but the application was a bit thin and I found it a bit messy – after 3 coats I got the look I was after. 

But then I decided I didn't want to show you my feet, I don't want to put off any readers, so I won't!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

First OOTD

I thought I’d do an outfit of the day today, but I’m not going to show you me wearing it – that’s far too much for now!  Sorry about the rubbish pictures – my camera is a bit temperamental.

I had a lovely day out at the zoo today with some of my family looking at the animals, and it was pretty warm, so I wore some tight cropped jeans with a tropical style swirly tunic.  To finish the look, I put on my gladiator sandals, an antique sundial pendant and a new hip belt I purchased last week.

The cropped jeans are from good old M & S – when I spotted them, I thought they were just the perfect pair of summer jeans (I’d been searching for years) and they are!

I love the tropical print tunic.  It's slightly off the shoulder and has an unusual neckline with straps of material fixed accross it, and has ruched sleeves just above the elbow.  It may not be to everyone’s taste, but I think it’s a great summer top, and surprisingly cool.  I imagined being on a hot beach somewhere glamorous wearing it (wishful thinking this year).  I bought it from Next earlier on in the year.

The gladiator sandals are from Faith, just before it went into administration (they look brown, but they are actually black (excuse the cat hairs on them).  The sundial pendant I’ve had for years – I bought it on holiday in France when I was a teenager.  We were running a bit late, so I just had my hair down and forgot to put on any other jewellery.

The new hip belt is from Dorothy Perkins and cost £10.  Have you been in Dotty P’s recently?  They have some great clothes in there at the moment!

Anyway, here’s a gorilla eating a banana! xx

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Chanel Chanel Chanel!

Yesterday was a very special day for me. I purchased my first ever Chanel lipstick! I’ve been reading loads about Chanel Rouge Coco lipsticks recently and have been loving the ad campaign with the stunning Vanessa Paradis looking stunningly fab. I decided to splurge on the ‘Mademoiselle’ shade which I had been lusting after, the dark, pinky colour that she is wearing in the adverts.

I had to get a refund from Topshop for £40 anyway, so I justified the lipstick at £21.50 was actually free - well, that’s my warped logic anyway! £21.50 is a lot to pay for a lipstick, even if it’s free and with Boots points, so I was expecting a lot. I was very pleased with my shopping experience from Chanel in Boots, Cribbs Causeway. The sales assistant wrapped up my lipstick in tissue paper, popped it in bag with the iconic Chanel logo, included a badge and a free sample of their new mascara, and ti
ed it up with ribbon - very chic.

The black and gold packaging is solid and
high-quality, whilst screaming style, with the interlinked ‘Cs’ on the lid.

In terms of the colour, I love it! It’s a dark pink on me, which I think suits my skin tone and enhances the natural colour of my lips. I’ve also found it’s a long lasting lipstick which is quite staining on the lips – I put it on as soon as I got in, without blotting or any primers and it lasted well throughout the evening, even after eating. Saying that, I just want to put it on all the time, as I feel so classy to be applying my Chanel!

My lips aren’t in great condition and lipstick is often very drying. I’ve found Mac lipsticks are particularly drying on my lips (despite loving them)! The Rouge Coco is certainly kinder to my lips than Mac, but it does still dry them out eventually, despite its claim to be a “hydrating crème lip colour”. Today I’ve applied it on top of lip balm and it’s definitely less drying, although I certainly wouldn’t describe it as more hydrating.

There are about 30 shades available grouped into pink, brown, beige and red tones. The sales assistant told me (in an excited whisper, like it was a massive secret), that they are planning to release some more colours in the autumn, so there will be even more colours to chose from.

So, I’ve finally lost my Chanel virginity, and so far I love Chanel!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Welcome to my blog

Welcome people to the first post of my new blog - thanks for stopping by!

First, a little about me: I’m in my early 30s and live in Bristol with my family – that’s my boyfriend and our two babies (that’s our cats for normal people).

I spent the whole of my 20s stuck in a beauty rut, with just the odd splurge on a random bit of make-up outside of my ‘normal’ make-up purchases. Every single lipstick I owned had come in a free No. 7 gift when I bought my foundation. I had just one eyeliner pencil, bought from Rimmel, I suspect in the 1990s (and there’s still loads left)! I was using a rubbish 17 concealer which didn’t even work – for over 10 years. Don’t get me wrong, I liked to look nice. But I was totally unadventurous with make-up, I’ve had almost the same hair-cut for years and other than a French manicure, hadn’t worn any coloured nail varnish for a decade.

Now, I remember when I first left home, I splurged quite a bit on beauty and cosmetics and would regularly buy different make-up colours and products (although not premium). I’m not sure what happened, where my love of make-up went, but it went somewhere! I didn’t earn a lot of money in my 20s, coupled with going back to uni as a mature student, and a loathing of debt, killed any make-up urges.

The first piece of proper make-up (aside from Tinkerbell) I ever owned was a brown Dior eyeshadow given to me by a friend of my Mother’s when I was about 8. This was the only premium make-up I ever owned until my sister gave me some unwanted Clinique freebees for my 30th birthday. Somewhere, I’ve still got the little brush that came with it! When I was a child, we were always playing make-up, and I remember a face palette from Boots I got for Christmas when I was 10 – one of my favourite ever presents!

Anyway, earlier this year, I went to a fancy dress party and decided to attempt a complicated hair style for the event. I decided to look on YouTube for some tips...and I’ve not looked back! I discovered the world of beauty gurus and blogs, and I’ve become well and truly addicted to make-up and beauty again! I realised that I can afford to splash out on Chanel, to treat myself to MAC and that I should try different colours and styles, foundations and concealers.

So I thought I would document my deepening spiral into beauty in this new blog. Apologies for rambling on, hopefully you won’t be too bored and will come back to read some of my future posts on all things beauty!


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