Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Walk Tall

I hate the fact I'm smiling in this picture -cheesey- and I also hate my smile uh so lame. But anyway, this skirt was from Ark a while ago, it's one of their fuller chiffon ones and does look better with tights! My belt is from Primark and I believe it was only £2, and my shirt was from Zara and was £29.99 I love the fact it's leopard print, but a totally unique way of sporting the leopard print trend. I do have a thing for shirts and my favourite way to wear this one currently is with leather look leggings and boots! I rarely wear any bright colour so the oxblood tone of the skirt is perfect, it's slightly short here but I do have to hitch it up a bit seeing as I'm about 5"nothing haha. My hair looks massive and I didn't realise until now but you can see my photographer boyfriend in the window! I must learn to take them by myself in my own time as I always feel so awkward whenever anyone else takes a photo of me - hence the cheesy/awkward grin! It was quite warm when this was taken, otherwise I'd be wearing tights and it was a pre-holiday snap too which means hello palest legs ever!

Emma xx

Thursday, 6 September 2012


So a few weeks ago I watched Britains Next Top Model and Whitney Port had the most amazing hairstyle, two braids sat like a headband on the top of her head and the rest of her hair was styled into a low side bun. She said on her blog she had taken inspiration from Princess Leia from Star Wars, but given it a modern twist and I completely agree. I tried to recreate it the other day and loved how it turned out so I had to share! It felt like a really pretty hairstyle to have in and could definitely be dressed up or down and worn for many occasions.

To achieve this style after I had washed, dried and brushed my hair I did two plaits using some of the hair from lower down, nearer to my neck as it's the longest length and would be long enough to act as a headband. I used a small amount of hair because I didn't want the plaits to be too thick or too thin. I did regular plaits although fishtail plaits would look pretty too. After this I pinned them to my head a couple of centimetres away from my hairline and secured the end of the plaits to the opposite side - if that makes sense! I then teased the rest of my hair to add some volume to it, sprayed a bit of hairspray and made some sort of bun-like shape near to my ear.  I didn't use a donut as I wanted it to look slightly undone and loose. I added lots of hairgrips to keep my hair in the bun. To make it look even more casual I pulled a few strands of hair to the front to frame my face and add that messy look that my hair often has. It's a casual way to do an 'up-do' and I like it lots.

It took a lot of hair grips to keep this look in place and the plaits took a few goes to get right but I was quite impressed with the result! Funny how good you can feel when your hair goes right!

Emma xx

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

Rimmel is one of my favourite hughstreet makeup brands - their nail varnishes, lipsticks and various foundation and concealer products all get a thumbs up from me and this powder doesn't fall short of my expectations. I have probably repurchased this product about five times now, as it's really affordable at a mere £3.99 and the product inside is really good quality. You could probably get a good four or five hours wear of this without having to touch up, depending on your skin type and the powder is so finely milled and soft that I have never had a problem with it looking cakey or like I'm wearing too much makeup. I tend to use this when my base I'm using provides less coverage i.e. a tinted moisturiser, sheer foundation or BB cream just to make certain parts of my skin appear a bit more flawless than they naturally do! 

The powder comes in six shades - it's a shame they don't cater for darker skin tones as I feel they're missing out on a good sales opportunity. It's probably not as good quality as the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish and I bet the staying power isn't as good, but personally I think they do last quite a while when used to set foundation and is a cheap alternative. Stay Matte Powder is a good way to touch up after a few hours of makeup-wear and definitely do the job! If you want to reduce shine or have oily skin I would definitey recommend this. I used a large face brush to apply this when I want to set my whole face or if I want it in key areas to set my concealer or add a bit more coverage I'll use my Real Techniques Contour Brush as it's small enough to cover up smaller areas and works well.

The packaging is unfortunately quite cheap and I have broken one before, but I guess it's how they keep the cost down which is fine by me! As you can see I need to repurchase another one as I it pan a while a go but there is no rush as I haven't ever had the product inside shatter on me. However I don't travel with in my bag so don't take my word for it!

Rimmel is available everyewhere - Boots, Superdrug and even in my local Chemist so if you're curious, pick one up! Another contender I'd reccomend if you were after anything similar would be the Maybelline powders, as they are nice too. Overall a handy thing to pick up if you're like me and don't live near a MAC store and can't get your hands on a MSF!

Emma xx

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Naked 2 Palette!

So yes I'm late to the game, and yes maybe the Naked palettes are one of the most blogged about things  in blogging history BUT, this is kind of -my- online-beauty/style-journal and I wanted to document it anyway! I got this not long after I got the first one and I'm so glad I did, I don't know if I need to buy any eyeshadows ever again? It basically completes my neutral eyeshadow collection and for daytime looks, night-time looks I don't think I need anything else - it's just so versatile! 

So lets get up close and personal with the Naked 2 palette. You have a variety of warm toned and cool toned shades, taupes, matte shades and shimmer shades and they are all so soft, so finely milled and so blend-able that they are just lovely to use. They are also all so pigmented that you apply Urban Decay eyeshadows with such confidence, I hate eyeshadows that look a bit wishy-washy and take a real effort to apply and this is definitely not what Urban Decay are about. The only shade that is the same as the original palette is Half Baked, which I personally would never complain about as it's one of my favourite shades and one of my most worn ones this summer, but a lot of people may be grumpy about UD repeating any shades at all! Foxy, Verve and Bootycall are lovely for a brow bone highlight or even in the inner corner of your eyes. I love Chopper for it's slightly pink tones and pretty shimmer and a pair I love wearing together for a subtle smokey eye are Suspect and Snakebite. I like that there's a grey toned shade in Pistol - which is more wearable than you think grey would be and it goes lovely with Blackout for an intense metallic smokey eye for a possible evening look. I love Blackout to define the eyes, and add shadow too, the inclusion of a matte black may possibly make this palette slightly more wearable than the last. 

Overall I think my favourite shades this time round are: Snakebite, Suspect, YDK and Blackout.

There aren't any shades I dislike but I do get the least wear out of Foxy and Busted! Foxy because it looks too much of a pale yellow on me, not a natural highlight and Busted because I don't tend to wear purple shades as I find more neutral shades look better with blue eyes.

My new camera picks up the detail in the shades so well and you can really see the texture and exact colour of the eyeshadows. (This is my new toy and I'm loving it!) The brush that is included too is also really good as it's double ended, one end for precision and the other for blending. I don't use any other brush! On it's own it would be worth £14, so considering the palette is £36 and Urban Decay individual shadows are £13 then I think the palette is such good value for money! (However if your budget can't stretch this far then a cheaper alternative would be the Heaven and Earth palette by MUA - £4 and really similar!) 

I get so much use out of both my Naked palettes that I am so pleased I bought them - definitely worth the money and brilliant for a creative-but-not-adventurous-with-eyeshadow person like me! They would make a lovely gift and will last for ages so if your uhm-ing and ah-ing about whether to invest then I'd definitely recommend, as I cannot rave about this product enough. You can buy Urban Decay from Debenhams.

Emma xx

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Mulberry Monster

When I got my Mulberry purse (dammit, still need to post about that!) the packaging incorporated the cute Mulberry monster. I found him again whilst browsing the website and I just think it's so cute, especially on the scarf which I think I need. Unluckily I can't just splash £345 on a scarf so putting it on my blog will have to be the next best thing! The t-shirts and jumper are adorable too and it's not often I want to sport a cartoon character around on my front but I think I will have to make an exception for this little guy. So cute! The design which is featured in Mulberry's A/W 2012 collection was inspired by Maurice Sendak's book 'Where the Wild Things Are.' I love how it's more a graphic print than cartoon, the line work and detail make it different to anything I've seen before and it creates visually a different texture. Mulberry's own monster was designed by Emma Houlston and he's been making a fair few appearances since - I love it when designer brands show a cute and fun side that still ties in with the brand. The ideas of monsters and woods and general quirkiness are still predominantly British and thats what Mulberry are all about. I think he's lovely and I'm loving the pieces featuring him from Mulberry this year!

Emma xx

Rimmel Blush in Coral Rose

I love coral toned shades, and I love rose toned shades so what could be more ideal then a blush that captures both? I quite like Rimmel Blushes, this is the second one I've tried and these tiny little blushes are quite the hidden treasure in a makeup bag. For £3.99 you can't go wrong, if you don't like it's only four quid and if you do then great! As you can tell from the pictures, mine is well loved and something of a summertime must have in my makeup bag. The colour is at it's truest in the last picture with the swatch, I'm afraid the lighting in the others makes it seem not as bright and peachy! The mixture of the two shades creates a blush thats warm peach-toned and lovely. It was perfect with a tan on holiday and now I'm back it's doing a great job at warming up my face. It's not quite a bronze shade but it's definitely not a true pink or red colour like your traditional blushes and I think this is what I like about it. The colour pay off is pretty good, it's not intense but it gives you a lovely natural looking flush. There is some shimmer in it so if you prefer a matte finish then it probably won't be for you.

The packaging is so small, it's so easy to just chuck in a bag and take around with you. However on the aesthetics of the packaging Rimmel get a thumbs down from me, I think it looks really cheap, dated and just a bit tacky! But like I have said before cheap packaging keeps the cost down and if the product inside is still the same then what does it matter! Despite the size you get 4g of product still which is fair amount. I like to apply this with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush as it distributes products easily and really helps them blend into the skin. I find the Rimmel blushes really easy to blend and the colour is great for building up to whichever intensity you prefer. If you like natural looking makeup this could definitely be for you as I find the result to be a healthy flush of colour, that adds definition and warms the face without being overwhelming or too much.

Emma xx

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Stila Highlighter in Kitten

This is the highlighter I currently use. I love it and I think the packaging and the product are really pretty! For a while now I've been enjoying adding a bit of a something to certain areas of my face, as I like the glowy effect it gives. I follow 'the rules' and add a lighter, often shimmery product to the high points of my face i.e. brow bone, the ridge of my nose, tops of my cheekbones, middle of my chin, cupids bow and sometimes the middle of my forehead. (From just reading this it sounds like rather a lot but if I don't want to be ultra glowy then I don't use it on all of those places at once!) I always highlight my cheek and brow bones without fail anyway because I feel it accentuates the angles of my face and adds a subtle shimmer to the skin which makes it look more healthy, glowy and radiant! No one's skin is perfectly dewy all over, and nobodies skin is perfectly matte all over either and frankly if either of those were true it would look a bit strange - less natural, so this is a good makeup trick to work with your foundation so your face doesn't look all one shade and flat.

I used to swirl together a couple of old eyeshadows from a palette I didn't use and work with that, but I have been loving this Stila highlighter in Kitten ever since I purchased it about a month ago. The compact is compact (ha) and comes in the cutest light champagney-pink circular plastic packaging which is small and easy to carry around and travel with as it's quite lightweight. You also get a mirror inside which is handy. Is it just me or does it remind you of a Polly Pocket toy? No? (Just me then!) The actual product consists of two powders one is a champagne shade and the other on the left is a very light pink. The combination of the two is useful depending on which sort of skin tone you are, warmer toned girls can opt for the champagne-gold shade and cooler toned girls can use the pink shade. As I have fairly neutral skin tone I swirl them both together and apply with a Real Techniques contour brush as I find it the perfect shape for applying a small amount of product in key areas.

I think this product is lovely if you're after a nice subtle highlight. I don't like anything too OTT with my makeup so I really like this. The pigmentation is great and the actual powders are so soft and finely milled that they don't feel heavy or as though you can feel them sitting on your skin, which can sometimes happen with powder based face products. I've also worn this as an eyeshadow a couple of times and loved how versatile it was for an easy everyday look. It was difficult to pick up on photo because it genuinely looks like a natural highlight just above my blusher. Although you might feel cheated there isn't an example of me wearing it, I think it's a good thing! If it was majorly obvious on camera that it's like -wham-I'm-wearing-highlighter- think how non-subtle it'd be in person (ew.) It's definitely something that picks up better on the face in real life!

You can get Stila from your local Boots store, this product was £15 which may borderline on too pricey but for how useable it is, it's justifiable! 

I really think Stila have made their mark in the beauty industry and are fast becoming a brand I want to try more from such as the cream blushes, the foundations and the smudge pots! What do you think?

Emma xx

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Wednesday Wishlist #4

Feels like ages since I've done one of these but I have been on holiday! Just a few things that have caught my eye...

1. Estèe Lauder BB Cream. £32 A full sized one of this would be lovely but I may wait until I'm a bit richer until I splurge out! I'd rather buy a foundation as that is more of a necessity, it would be nice to have other options than wearing the same things on my face everyday and this would be a nice break from more coverage foundation.

2. Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation. £33 I need to try this, after having seen people wearing it and loving how good their skin looked I definitely have a lust for Laura. It'll be the next foundation I buy!

3.Michael Kors Chronograph watch. £209 I'm not one for watches or jewellery that's too blingy or in your face, so a nice humble leather strap would suit me best I think! As much as I do like the wholly gold or rose gold watches I think this is the most -me- and it's definitely something I could wear everyday. You never know I could have a change of heart and go all 'need some gold on ma wrist' on you but I think the pretty diamonds in this is enough! It's expensive though so I'll have to keep whipping out my best smile whenever anyone asks what I'd like for my birthday...

4.Topshop Dress £75 This is gorgeous. I hate using this phrase but for the second time I'm going to say it's so -me- I love the leather look detailing on the collar and cuffs, and the lace and then the gold chain on the collar and then the slight hint of girlishness in the underlayer of a muted soft pink. It's just gorgeous but again like the watch it's so expensive, I'd never pay this much for a dress myself unless I was earning loads or had a special occasion to justify it, but it's so pretty!

5.Topshop Holdall Bag £48 I basically spend half my life at home and half of it at my boyfriends so I'm forever moving the stuff I need (macbook, makeup, clothes, shower things) between the two! I've been thinking about getting a larger, sturdier bag for this reason as my current ones are so awkward to carry when they're full to the brim of my life and I love the stud detailing on this number.

6. Silence and Noise dress from Urban Outfitters £55 This is a really nice statement peice for A/W. With bare legs and black ankle boots it would look nice, but it would also look good dressed up with some jewellery and maybe block colour big shoes. I love that it's a take on the popular oversize t-shirt dress with a dipped hem/cape back kind of thing but the sheerness over the shoulder just makes it that tiny bit edgier/more stylish. I love it anyways!

Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men

Sometimes it's nice to post something a little different and so today's post includes a music video! The song is one me and my boyfriend are both obsessed with at the minute, after hearing them perform an acoustic version (pretty much sounded the same!) at Reading festival on the telly. Of Monsters and Men are a Swedish folksy alternative band that do indeed use trumpets in their songs. They got big by entering a Swedish battle of the bands type competition and actually won it - this song has reached no1 over there and I expect there will be a massive influx of love for them in Britain soon too! This song is so much fun and although the video is a little crazy (what the hell is going on?) I just can't get enough of how upbeat it is, serious feel good song! I like a lot of music like this, they have apparently been hailed the new Arcade Fire and I find them similar to Band of Skulls in a way too - It's probably just the guy/girl duet but I really like it! Some other of my favourite bands are Mumford and Sons, Bombay Bicycle Club and the Bens' (Howard and Francis Leftwich) so as you can see these fit right in. Enjoy!

I'm not doing much today because of the rain, it's more a 'preparing for other days' day as I really need to get the rest of the week sorted! I plan on seeing a couple of friends later on this week and I have to make a trip into town too which I'll probably do tomorrow. This is my last lazy day for a while I hope!

Emma xx

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Estèe Lauder BB Cream

Or if you want the whole full name she-bang then Estèe Lauder Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Cream SPF 35. I don't think I'd say it's exactly a secret that Estèe Lauder are fast becoming my favourite makeup brand. They have a foundation that suits your every want and need - whatever the style of finish, they produce blushes and bronzers in amazing shades that are so goddam pigmented and lovely and their eyeshadow palettes are some of the most beautiful things I've ever set my eyes on. But now knowing they've changed my ideas about something I'd never thought I'd want to spend money on confirms it - they're incredible!

I was on a trip into town, after a bottle of Double Wear in a darker shade (Ecru is far too light for me now!) and unfortunately they didn't have much stock in of the shade the MUA matched me to (which is Desert Beige.) She gave me a few samples of the BB Cream to keep me going and although a little disappointed at not getting any Double Wear, I was intrigued and glad I had not left empty handed. A couple of days later I teared open my sample of the shade 'Light' and a couple of hours later here we are, with me liking it so much that I went on and wrote a full-blown blog post about it.

I wasn't expecting much as my previous experience of BB creams hasn't been that wonderful. I've tried Maybelline, Garnier and L'Oreal and have been disappointed with all of them. They felt too greasy, went patchy after a while, weren't long lasting and the shades weren't brilliant. I never expected the amount of coverage that I like (medium-ish) but even the best of the three (Maybelline) didn't give me enough confidence in my skin to wear it on it's own out of the house. In actual fact I took my samples of these on holiday and shoved them on for some light coverage and SPF during the day! However, back on the topic of Estèe Lauder, I was certainly intrigued as I'd never tried a premium brands version of a BB Cream. I can tell you now that it's a dream to apply, it feels sort of thick but soon melts into the skin whilst giving a nice amount of coverage. I applied it with my Real Techniques expert face brush and could only stare at the mirror as it effortlessly glided onto and into my skin making it radiant, even and healthy looking. For a sheerer coverage I'd suggest using your fingers, but I was happy with the result of this and thought finally I've found a BB Cream I actually like! I love the smell of it too - it smells like all their DayWear products do with that sort of fresh cucumber scent, but sweeter, which I really like. This BB Cream is oil free which is really nice - it makes it slightly thicker and in my opinion more long-wearing and so it'll probably tick the boxes of the oily-skinned girls out there. The Anti-Oxidant part sounds good to me too, the added vitamins and protection against UV rays give it an anti-aging factor and generally helps to keep skin healthier. What more could you want?

The only downside is the shade range, there is only Light and Medium and although I think there is something in this that changes to suit your skin tone to some degree, I don't think two shades is enough to suit everyone's needs. Something else you could argue isn't so great is the price - at £32 it's very expensive and something I'd definitely recommend you try before you buy. To someone who is familiar with high-end makup prices maybe it seems more reasonable, or expected. But to someone who has just come across it, it may feel a little unjust to splurge out that much for 30ml of product. My eyes also may have reacted to this a little, so if you have sensitive eyes then I'm giving you a heads up - don't get it in your eye. I had to wait ten minutes before resuming my makeup because my eye was streaming that much!

Overall another great base from EL. Definitely one to take a look at if you're considering a BB cream and want to splash out a bit. At 30ml I would say this should last you a while but then again with my higher end products I tend to use them more sparingly than other people do because of the price! If you've tried this, or any others you think are worth a mention let me know!

(Here are some images for the visual side, but I apologise as my camera has broken and these are phone quality (Crap quality!) images.)

 These photos are horrible and I don't think they do the product justice! You can see that the finish is natural thought, with a radiant glow that borders on the dewy finish. I have used Estèe Lauder blush in Wild Sunset, filled in my brows but not wearing any other makeup.
 Straight on. This has more sunlight in the picture so I look paler somehow. And my eyes look drunk. I hate this picture. I apologise for the bad images ! 

Shade Light. I am tanned but my face isnt that dark. My hand doesn't look that orange IRL I hope.

Emma xx

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Paying Homage to Topshop Boots

So Autumn is approaching, quicker than us here in England would hope and although I just got off my holidays, I've wasted no time in realising I have nothing to wear especially in the foot department. So what did I do? Scoured the web for the latest trend in footwear and found a stunning variety of footwear to impress? Well not exactly. I headed to my (and everyones) old faithful Topshop and fell in love with about six pairs of boots. Black, brown, studs, chunky heels, flats, ankle and knee high Topshop have undoubtedly outdone themselves yet again this year and I'm determined to own them all! I find Topshop footwear such good value for money, especially anything made out of leather. My only problem is finding them too pretty to do anything with other than stare at, but I'm sure once I own the ALVINS or ACCOSTS in black I'll get over that and be strutting around like nobodies business.
Here are a few of the boots I've been eyeing up, with some kind of comment from me beneath although really you only have to take a look at them to see why I'm so keen!
'APOCOLYPSE Studded Heavy Boots' And here's the theme, ankle boots, black, bit of a heel, a few studs here and there to toughen up any outfit. £85 isn't a bad price either and I really like these.

ALEXY. Topshop have brought back an old favourite here and I don't want to miss out this time! A recycle of the ALLEGRAS I loved those before and like these ones even more. The heels thick and high enough to be dressed up and worn out but they can be casual enough for day to day use. Gah, heart = sold.

These are also firm favourites, the ACCOSTS. I like the studded fronts, it's more subtle than the APOCOLYPSE and the heel is higher, making them slightly more girly and versatile as they could be worn in the day or at night. I think they justify the £90 price tag and I can literally see myself in them now.

Slightly cheaper at £40 this pair of MILLICENTS are gorgeous. Again with the studs (noticing a theme?) I love the contrast with the gold as to me it seems a bit brighter than on the other boots. I would definitley buy these as I am a lover of flat shoes - you can't fault comfort - and I would like to think I'd get a lot of wear from these.

I am obsessed with these ALVINS. Their a definite statement boot and I love the buckle detail as well as the studs on the front. Again the heel is a decent height and just generally are a beautiful pair of boots.

Finally something a little different! Some of the above pairs come in brown but this is the first that I actually prefer in this colour. I love western style boots and these are really nice to just throw on and instantly add more style to any outfit. I'd love a pair of brown ankle boots as well as a pair of black and these could well be the ones.

So as you can see a lot of choice. I'm just hoping none sell out before I've decided which ones to spend my pennies on. It's safe to say though if you're after new boots you need not look any further than Topshop.

Emma xx

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Liz Earle Series: Instant Boost Skin Tonic

Another post in my Liz Earle series, another product down! I've had these things for a while now and definitely feel as though I now know enough to evaluate the effects they are having on my skin.

Toners are a bit of a sketchy subject for me - I haven't tried many and honestly that is because I didn't really believe in them. The one I was using for ages before I invested in Liz Earle was a Garnier, I can't remember which right now but it was in a blue bottle - maybe I'll do a post about it because it was a very good product.

However this post is dedicated to the Instant Boost Skin Tonic from Liz Earle. So far I like this but I can't honestly pin point or say I notice any precise differences in my skin. I know for starters it doesn't claim to be a toner, which is something I probably missed when buying because I do enjoy the feel you get after using a toner, that fresh 'toned' feeling (tried to think of another word to describe effects of toner other than 'toned' and failed) However this naturally active liquid formula is interesting in it's own way and gives a pleasant effect. In terms of ingredients this is a specifically an all natural product, which contains no alcohol which I think generally makes it better for your skin because it's less harsh. It also contains calendula, chamomile, cucumber and natural source of vitamin E to sooth and refresh the skin. I cant argue that it doesn't feel soothing and refreshing on my skin, it is nice to give your skin a treat once in a while but in all honesty I can't really define the benefits that it's given me so far apart from that it's refreshing to put on and smells nice - for that I could have splashed some scented water on my face and voila - same effect! Compared to my Garnier toner, I don't feel as though it tightens pores which is a negative for me, however it does seem to add some moisture and is probably doing good things for my skin but no drastic changes as of yet. A lot of toners can be drying on the skin (I did my research lol!) and this one definitely isn't, I guess if you use Cleanse and Polish, then the Liz Earle exfoliator it is  a great way of adding some moisture back into the skin and soothing it after a deep cleanse and scrubbing at removing all the grime and dead skin cells! The 'Instant Boost' that it claims to have is there in terms of being a great refresher but I guess I just expected more from this product. I do love the floral scent and the packaging, and if you have money it's a nice product to own, a treat for the skin, but if you're looking for specific results i.e. tighter, smaller pores, blemish control or something else then I would probably look elsewhere.

Overall a mixed review, this product has both good and bad points - I guess I will have to further update you on this as maybe I need to use it for longer to really notice the benefits - a contrast to the beginning of this post I know but I'm not going to give up on this product just yet! 

Emma xx