Beauty: Two New Lipsticks

You may have seen in my ‘What I Got‘ post that my lipstick collection was added to over the Christmas period. I’ve been quite restrained with my makeup buying in the last few months and (other than trialling wedding potentials of course!) I will continue to focus on using what I’ve got. However there were two lipsticks on my wishlist and I was lucky enough to receive them both.

 photo New Winter Lipsticks 3_zpszrcsm6aj.jpgThe first is my first ‘drugstore’ lipstick in a long, long time (the Halloween lipstick doesn’t count, right?!). I’ve been intrigued about Kate Moss’ collaboration with Rimmel for a while, but wasn’t taken with any of the original shades. Her Nude collection however was another story, so I asked to be surprised with either ’45’ or ’48’ – I ended up opening ’48’ and I’m really rather glad. It’s an extremely unique shade, unlike anything I own. Initially I wasn’t sure but I’ve grown to love it.

It’s like a vampier version of my all-time favourite lipstick. I do find the formula slightly tricky – it’s soft in the bullet making a fine line more difficult than what I’m used to, and I am discovering it is a little drying. Nothing extreme though, and the colour more than makes up for it. Whilst it isn’t particularly long-lasting I do find it wears off evenly and reapplies fairly well. If only the packaging didn’t feel and look so cheap!

 photo New Winter Lipsticks 1_zpsn3wfmunx.jpgThe second has almost, almost become my favourite lipstick. It’s definitely pipped itself right up there to become my top red lip, I absolutely adore it.

Slightly darker and cherry-toned, MAC Diva the ideal red lip for a pale girl with warm undertones. Nothing makes me look more ill than a blue-toned lipstick (despite the benefit it has on my teeth), and thankfully this is completely different. With hindsight maybe asking for this without a single swatch was a little risky, but it’s a risk that’s paid off. I love the darker, bold red, it lasts extremely well (a fish finger sandwich, chips, two glasses of rose and a whisky didn’t wash away this bad boy!), and I find the colour really rather flattering. It’s not the most comfortable lipstick in the world, but as a matte it’s far away from being the worst. If you’re looking for a new red lipstick I highly recommend giving Diva a swatch!
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What’s your current favourite lipstick? I’m on the lookout for super long-lasting ones so feel free to give a recommendation!

Beauty: Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation Review

Up until a few months ago I was perfectly content with my (rather small) foundation collection. In all honestly I’m not a huge foundation person; I don’t wear it on a day-to-day basis, I’m pale enough to make shade selection difficult and it’s all just a bit much faff for me. I tend to only wear it on an evening out, and it was during my birthday drinks that I noticed Rimmel’s Match Perfection definitely does not photograph well. Que wandering round Boots trying to find a foundation that was both pale enough and didn’t contain SPF. And this was surprisingly difficult.

 photo Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation Review 3_zpsfjyiimqt.jpgI stumbled across this offering, and swayed by the free gift offer (I may have picked up a nail polish too) it was quickly purchased. And it’s not a purchase I have regretted. I picked up the lightest shade called ‘Light Ivory’ and it’s *just* pale enough for my ghostly complexion. I can get away with it as I have a slight olive tone to my skin, if you have cooler undertones I’d possibly avoid this one!

On applying, this foundation feels quite refreshing on the skin, almost like a serum. It noticeably evens out my skintone without looking heavy, and gives pretty decent coverage over any breakout areas. I have noticed that it feels a little sticky when you first apply it but after giving it that few minutes to ‘dry’, the stickiness disappears and powders apply easily over it. I really wasn’t getting on with this foundation at all as I found powders were causing it to look cakey; waiting those few crucial moments completely solves this problem.

 photo Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation Review 5_zpsqoewazuy.jpgThe finish is quite radiant. It’s definitely not matte, but far from shiny. It’s full-coverage, yet doesn’t look flat, and I’ve found my skin looks awake and fresh. Despite all this, I’ve found it still looks really natural. Miracle Match is a foundation enriched  with vitamins high levels of water and glycerin (1st and 3rd on ingredients list respectively) to moisturise and treat the skin. Whilst I have next-to-no clue on the actual effects these have, I can say that this foundation feels comfortable to wear, is long-lasting and doesn’t seem to dry my skin out after a few hours. In fact this held out very nicely for my latest job interview; a nice 13 hours with just a quick powder at lunchtime.

It also wins on my biggest criteria; this photographs extremely well. With no SPF causing a whitecast, no tiny glitter particles to add shine, this looks natural both in person and in photographs. It’s quickly become my night-out go-to, and even became the only foundation I bought back from university at Christmas.

My one complaint? The smell! It’s that awful, pungent fake tan smell – thankfully it completely subsides very quickly after application but those few seconds are not pleasant. It’s a little bit off-putting applying something that smells that bad to your face, though W assures me he can’t smell it!

 photo Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation Review 10_zpsofrmzbsh.jpgSo, a brief review of Max Factor’s Miracle Match Foundation – a medium-high coverage foundation offering a natural finish that lasts all day and photographs well. As long as you don’t mind the smell of biscuits.

What’s your favourite high-street foundation? Any high-end ones you can recommend?

Beauty: Brands I Want to Try in 2016

2015 was the year I bought a lot of makeup, but I also discovered what I liked (bold lips), what I hated (cheap eyeshadows), and what suited my skin (not a lot!). Towards the end of the year I really cut down my spending, not buying myself a lot and only asking for a few special bits as gifts. Playing around with more ‘me’ pieces has led to some serious lust over the high-end alternatives and I’ve ended up with a lot of brands I want to try over the next year.

 photo Makeup 3_zpsumedhc0e.jpgAnd I know it’s wayyyy too early, but I’m planning on doing my wedding makeup myself. And I’m pretty sure it’s just so I have an excuse to treat myself…
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I treated myself to my first Nars product in the January sales last year; the now discontinued Doucuer blush. I love it – the formula is great, the colour perfect. And this has sparked a major interest in the brand. I’ve heard nothing but good things, so I think the next thing to investigate is their lip pencils!

The blush itself is the perfect colour for my pale complexion, adding definition and a bit of colour without being too dramatic. Why have they discontinued this?!
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Possibly a bit of an obvious one for me given my love-affair with the Ambient Lighting palette, but I definitely want to try more from the Hourglass stand! I’m mainly tempted by the powders and blushes – Mood Exposure will be mine!


Oh, how I wish this was easier to get hold of! I’ve been super impressed with one of their blushes, but I’m desperate to get hold of their powder foundation. I’m a big fan of powder foundations but do find the coverage to be hit and miss so this sounds like the perfect answer!
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Charlotte Tilbury

Having tried an eyeshadow palette that has quickly become my go-to, this is a brand I know I’ll love. I’m most tempted by the lipsticks – the mattes seem to have the most amazing formulation and gorgeous shades!

The eyeshadow palette I have is ‘The Sophisticate’ and if I’m 100% honest I’m not actually tempted by any of the others. This one however is the perfect basic neutral quads. The shadows are satin finish – not shimmery, but not quite matte. They apply like a dream, blend beautifully, last a decent time and when they do fade do so evenly. I’ve found this palette perfect for daytime wear as well as amping up for an evening look – perfect for a weekend away!
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So, a bit of a mix, but it is (I say quite bashfully!) mainly high-end. It’s wishful thinking really as I know the vast majority of this is completely out of budget!

What brands do you want to try more of?

Beauty: My All-Time Favourite Lipstick (MAC Creme In Your Coffee)

It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally realised my perfect lipstick isn’t waiting on a shelf somewhere for me. Instead it’s right here, sitting in my makeup bag. And has been for well over a year. Oops.

 photo Creme In Your Coffee Mac Lipstick Review 2_zpsgtlzniwl.jpgMAC’s Creme In Your Coffee is the perfect combination of nude but bold, my lips but better, creamy yet long-lasting. A lipstick that goes with anything, works for any occasion. Yes, perhaps it is a little dark in the summer, but from September-April it’s become to my go-to.

It’s a Cremesheen finish, which means it gives a solid wash of colour, a slightly shiny finish and a really moisturised feel to the lips. I find it beds down to a nice stain that lasts a good four hours, yet it doesn’t feel uncomfortable or drying, and it’s relatively easy to reapply without any unforgiving dry patches. This is probably my go-to finish if I’m unsure with MAC, as I’ve not found a dud (looking at you, Matte!) and it combines lasting power with a balm-like feel.

 photo Creme In Your Coffee Mac Lipstick Review 1_zpsiwbfgz7a.jpg photo Creme In Your Coffee Mac Lipstick Review 3_zpsvg9zjzgd.jpgBut the reason this is my all-time favourite lipstick? The colour. It’s quite a unique colour that I think its massively underrated in the world of MAC lipsticks. Described as ““creamy mid-tone pink brown” it is a warm-toned nude, but despite that still seems to have a slight teeth-whitening effect. It’s slightly darker than my natural lip, there’s pink and plum undertones, and it looks natural but put-together. I find it shows more brown on me, but in a soft and easy-to-wear way. Hard to describe really, but it sets off my ghostly-pale complexion nicely. It doesn’t wash me out, and it’s perfect for daytime wear, a dinner date, or a night out. Perfect for grabbing without thought really!

What’s your all-time favourite lipstick?

Beauty: An Easy & Sophisticated Halloween Look

Not being the hugest fan of Halloween, I never go all out with a costume. I’ve never been trick or treating, I highly doubt I would enjoy apple bobbing, and the smell of carving pumpkins makes me feel a little queasy (though I’ll still do it, purely for virtually unlimited roasted seeds!). This year is the first time I’ve gone out for Halloween at university, and I’m actually quite excited.

 photo Halloween Makeup5_zpsyhkr4sri.jpg photo Halloween20Makeup4_zps4v0jm49m.jpgUnfortunately, “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it” is taken all too seriously. It was getting insanely difficult to find an outfit that covered areas I don’t wish to display publicly, especially one which didn’t threaten to bankrupt me. In the end I’ve gone for ‘Vampire-ess’ – a red dress I have stolen borrowed from my sister, a dracula cape (£3.79 inc delivery from Ebay, thank you very much!), and some dramatic makeup. The perfect excuse to buy yet another lipstick…

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My makeup look is actually something I’m really proud of. I experimented last Wednesday with it (good use of studying time!), and decided I liked it enough to take multiple selfies and share it. Because realistically, if I can do it in about ten minutes, anyone can do it in five!

On the night I’ll be setting my palest foundation with talcum powder, adding in some severe contouring and getting my housemate to backcomb my hair. However the stars of the show here are the eyes and lips…

 photo Halloween20Makeup2_zpsa1mcyyth.jpgThe lip colour is the darkest I managed to find on the high-street, and the cheapest too (thankfully). At £1 from Makeup Revolution this isn’t the best quality, I find it stings a little, it takes a couple of apply-blot-apply routines to get a solid colour. However it is dark, purple, makes my teeth look whiter and is completely different to anything I own. I’ve bought a dark lip liner (Barry M) since which I’m hoping will ease the application, the weekend will tell!

 photo Halloween Makeup6_zpsvv58wp37.jpg photo Halloween Makeup7_zpspzmlqb68.jpgThe eyes! I was seriously impressed with how I managed to create this eyelook! I started by lining my lower waterline with a black liner (I’ll be lining the upper too on the night, just for more drama), before taking a big fluffy brush and blending a matte purplely-brown colour everywhere. I used my Smashbox Double Exposure palette, but I’m pretty sure this kind of shade can be found pretty easily. I then piled on a matte black shadow onto my actual lid, blending the two together slides. Some heavy mascara and it’s good to go…told you it was easy!

I’m in love with this makeup look…I’m already wondering about whether I can pull of this lipstick on a more standard night out.

What are your plans for Halloween this year?

Beauty: Autumnal Tones

Autumn. It’s my favourite season, partly because of the memories it holds, partly because of the beautiful colours of the trees and the sunsets. It doesn’t hurt that ‘on trend’ Autumn makeup includes all of the shades that I love, that suit me perfectly.

 photo Autumn Makeup 8_zps7ugnhffk.jpgIn Autumn I can get away with dying my hair progressively more and more ginger (doing so in the summer results in a slightly orange look). I can paint my nails with dark colours and not look gothic. I can wear the same scarf and ankle boot combo many times and not look like I’m recycling outfits.

 photo Autumn Makeup 3_zpse8vczghh.jpg photo Autumn Makeup 6_zpsxbmzwol6.jpgThe majority of my autumn makeup has been rolled over from last year, with just the addition of some new nail polishes. After seeing swatches I couldn’t resist picking up some from Tanya Burr – both colours are so different to anything else I own, the finish seems glossy, they’re ridiculously cheap. Now I just need to find time to paint my nails…

I’ve also gone slightly away from the norm with some of my nail choices. I adore the chocolate brown shade – it’s so rich and glossy, I’d swear I’d just dipped my nails into melted chocolate. The red is unlike anything I’ve ever owned – it’s warm, orange-toned but slightly muted. The perfect bold shade that’s just a little easier to wear than a pillar-b

 photo Autumn Makeup 2_zps2ua2bff7.jpgThere’s unfortunately nothing new in the lip department. I’m mixing and matching lipliners with my MAC lipsticks, and to be honest I’m relatively satisfied with my collection at the moment. Though I wouldn’t say no to having Diva in my collection…My favourite everyday shade has to be Velvet Teddy (bit of a cliche I know, however the warm tone is super flattering on me), and I love Craving for a night out. If I need something to stay put all day then I’ll go for the Rimmel matte balm in Sultry – a staple in my makeup bag.

A slick of plum lipstick, an oversized scarf and really I’m good to go. Autumn is just so easy compared to summer.

What’s your go-to makeup look at the moment?

Beauty: The “No-Makeup Makeup Bag”

Yep, you read that right. A post on how to back a makeup bag for a no-makeup look. I promise I haven’t gone mad! Well, madder than I already am at least…

 photo a34d8a2b-1b08-48cb-9f6e-7ec009ae4e84_zps9ojg5fcr.jpgI treated my recent trip to Devon as a bit of a detox. I significantly cut down on screen time – no laptop was taken, and I only used my phone/tablet for an hour each morning and evening. I didn’t have my camera permanently attached to me. And, perhaps most importantly, I hardly wore any makeup.

Some makeup was worn, and I make no apologies for this. I’m not one of those people who can look good without anything at all, and quite frankly I don’t feel overly comfortable in going out and about like it. I’ll nip to the shops completely bare-faced, sure, but a whole day outside of the house? I can guarantee you I don’t be bare-faced for that (so no need to panic!). But I didn’t wear a lot, so here’s what I stuck to…

 photo babe9b17-1a0b-49ff-8159-6eb8ecb1700d_zpscv3u60bo.jpgA glow-boosting moisturizer with SPF20. I’ve waxed lyrical about this moisturiser from Garnier, but I do love it! Inexpensive, light-weight and it doesn’t break me out. Unfortunately we didn’t see a huge amount of sunshine during our little break, but I always like to make sure I’m wearing a little protection.

The only other makeup I wore was concealer and mascara. My favourite concealer is currently 17 Stay Time as it’s the only one pale enough to blend into my skintone, however I’d heard good things about a relatively new Barry M release so picked it up the day before. I definitely think it’s better under the eyes, but I did manage to fail in picking up the correct shade! I’m not fussy where mascara is concerned and usually use a free one I’ve obtained or a cheapy one from Natural Collection. Currently on the go is Max Factor’s False Lash effect, but I also have a mini tube of a No. 7 one to try, as well as a full sized Maybelline offering.

Oh, and lipstick doesn’t count as makeup right?! I did however only stick to MAC Patisserie in an attempt to use it a little more. It’s very sheer and doesn’t do anything on my lips, so I’m not too impressed!

 photo 6213a019-5856-4169-bb7d-93521c462981_zpsiwzomnte.jpgAnd that’s it! Also in my (perhaps oversized) wash bag was facial soap, a little Pixi Glow Tonic, some eye makeup remover (I left mine in London so picked up some lotion in Waitrose – and it stung my eyes like a bitch!), face cloth and deodorant.

 photo c9fbf720-fb88-4c88-a148-c6d7745d8e06_zpsmuukutho.jpgIt felt so good to be bare faced a little more, and actually I ended up not wearing foundation for nearly two weeks afterwards. My skin definitely thanked me for it!

Do you try and go “makeup free” at all? What are your must-wear items?

Beauty: A Love of Lip Liners

Up until six months ago I thought lip liners were a waste of time and my precious pennies. Why on earth would I need another layer of colour to do what my lipstick was doing perfectly well?!

 photo db7ea3b6-0f0e-46fc-99a1-c9ec80161bd4_zpsvm151mfz.jpgAnd now I have loads. Most of them are from a recent trip to Kiko, where I added a grand total of six to my collection. Safe to say I’m pretty obsessed.

I’ve matched most of them to my lipsticks, but I also have some brighter, bolder colours to wear either on my own or under a sheerer colour (I find MAC Patisserie a really wishy-washy colour without a bold liner behind it – definitely not one to live up to it’s hype). I’ve found the perfect match to Velvet Teddy, a match that keeps the red-brown tone and doesn’t turn it mauve like most of the recommended liners seem to do. I’ve found the most lovely colour that is almost a match to my natural lip colour, just a touch more red. I’ve found deep berries, vibrant fuschias and even a warm coral (not entirely convinced this suits me).

 photo 2015-05-15 20.29.34_zpsbo6bk1z4.jpgI’ve written about my L’Oreal wine-toned liner before, and whilst it’s not my favourite formula (a little too much slip), the colour is second to none. Max Factor provided me with an introduction to lip liners, and I do love the formula. For a while. I find these dry out really quickly, especially if the lip falls off in a crammed make-up bag. A little disappointing perhaps…

 photo b1dd371a-2161-41dd-9572-1a560ea64d4d_zpseemhyxk3.jpg photo 11c5dec1-9efc-4e7d-97c6-d6691a2bc06a_zpswvweygvd.jpgThe Kiko formula is pretty much spot on. A couple of the pale-pink colours don’t have quite the pay-off I’ve like, but the bolder and nude ones? They apply like a dream. Soft and creamy enough to wear on their own, these have a great lasting power that really glues my lipstick on. They haven’t dried out yet, the colour selection is amazing (I really need a dark brown one!), and the best bit – they cost £1.20. Can you really blame me for picking up a handful?!

 photo c0d418f2-b3ae-4ad0-b608-38ce64d273f2_zpst33aykaj.jpgA bit of a quick post from me today, I completely forgot to schedule anything for today until late Thursday night. Slightly tipsy from leaving drinks, an early train to Devon on Friday. I knew I wouldn’t have chance to get anything live and had this half done in my drafts. I was planning on doing a ‘matching liner with lipstick’ post, so do let me know if that’s something you’d still like to see and I’ll whip the camera out!

Are you a fan of lip liners? What’s your favourite Kiko product?

Beauty: From Day to Night, Work to Play

This week marks my last week of work, my last week of a 13-month placement. At the moment I’m feeling pretty emotional and trying to steel myself against shedding a tear come 5pm on Thursday. This week also marks a week of leaving celebrations. Not one to do things by halves, I’ve scheduled a total of three leaving meals, plus drinks. Damn you tube strike for making things difficult…

 photo 0804338b-a8c7-4c57-8024-68e1821be678_zpsckjvjwtx.jpg photo 18f7e2f4-2617-40db-93d2-3a802fa7110b_zpslbat83tz.jpgHeading out after work is something I’ve become accustomed to over the head. Many Fridays were spent legging it to the station with suitcase ready for a loved-up weekend with W. I’ve gone to blogging events, met with friends, and sampled all the local Thai restaurants (multiple times). With an evening out comes the need for a two-minute-touch-up of my daily makeup. And actually, I’ve got the routine pretty much down…

 photo 26930160-731b-478f-a676-b196b04605e2_zpsb5lx5whd.jpgI’ll apply a teeny, tiny dot of eye cream first (I always keep some at my desk, along with lip balm and hand cream), as my eyes get super dehydrated sitting at a computer all day. I’ll then go in with the concealer to hide any dark-circles. I’ll add some grey eyeshadow to my crease, and my lower lashline, smudging it all out for a smokey effect. A quick coat of mascara and my eyes are looking good.

 photo 382b035e-43c0-4655-a9cb-3bd61a64c1d9_zpsqd1zgq3e.jpgBase wise, and my Hourglass palette is a total lifesaver. A big fluffy brush and this is all I need to make my skin look as flawless as it did at 7am – and it will last until I stumble through the door too. I’ll use a combination of all three shades to brighten, highlight and add warmth and definition. The mirror means I can do all my of makeup at my desk or on the train if necessary – major bonus!

 photo caa35e87-ebab-45e1-af91-b8f759c0faf4_zpsy96kzjuk.jpgA quick slick of lipstick and I’m good to go! My lipstick changes daily, depending on what I’m wearing – and I’ll just throw the day’s lipstick in my bag for top-ups if needed. If I know I’ll be eating/drinking I’ll also use a matching lip liner too; I’ll be talking more about these next week but I LOVE Kiko ones.
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I’ve got this routine down to just under three minutes now (yep, I’m pretty impressed with myself!). What are your quick-fix makeup items? How do you take your makeup from day to night? 


Beauty: The One I Tried To Resist

I really didn’t want to buy this. Honestly, it is something I’ve resisted for well over a year. An yet a few weeks ago it made it to the tills, and now it’s in my daily rotation. Call me weak-willed if you like…

17 Highlighter1 photo 3dd56db7-253c-4dba-8952-3d8cca3e810e_zps1fdukrg2.jpgSo, my reasons for not wanting this product? Here’s a list;

  • I’m not a huge fan of 17 makeup. I use the Stay Time concealer because it’s the only damn one on the high-street that’s neutral toned and pale enough for me. Trust me, I’ll be trying out the new Barry M ones as soon as my current tube has run out.
  • The packaging. It’s cheap looking, it gets absolutely filthy, and the pump releases either no product, or enough to give my whole body a glow.
  • Primers break me out. Nuff said.

When I decided I wanted to try a more liquid highlighter, something I could mix into my foundation to give it even more of a boost, my aim was to pick up the B. Highlighting Pearl Serum thing. It IS a lovely colour, the packaging is beautiful. And the product seems terrible. I tried to swatch it and it balled up all over my hand. No go!

17 Highlighter3 photo 0abf4714-a099-44b6-9e12-f188fcacfa74_zpsyj3fj6f9.jpg17 Highlighter4 photo ab46b4d6-b21f-411d-866d-35af465c2a06_zps93p66ccf.jpgA browse through the shelves and I spied an offer on Seventeen promoting a free lip pencil if you spent £X amount. This primer was just a little over £X amount (£5?!), and despite my dislike of the packaging, despite the tester pump spewing a LOT of product over my hand, I picked it up. I can’t resist a free lip pencil. I haven’t used the free lip pencil…

Turns out that the packaging is still awful, the pump is still terrible, the product is pretty damn good! It doesn’t break me out, it gives my foundation the ‘oompf’ I was after, and if used as a primer it really does prolong my makeup (but who has time for primer on weekdays?!). I don’t particularly like using it as a standalone highlighter as I feel it does remove my foundation slightly, but to provide an all-over glow – it’s perfect!

17 Highlighter2 photo 40ce5989-4882-41c2-a4bd-1ce63f44dfb2_zpss9rmoczu.jpgAnd that, my friends, is why you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s covers. Or makeup by it’s packaging.

Have you not purchased something because of it’s packaging? Any more highlighter recommendations?!