Tuesday, 26 February 2013

NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder


I've been filling in my brows now for quite some time. I've tried and disliked quite a few high street products (Rimmel Brow Pencil I'm looking at you) but I decided to try a powder from NYX nearly a year ago and I've been loving that ever since. I didn't want to splurge on Mac because there isn't one near me and I didn't want to gamble on shades - I thought this NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder Duo would do 'for now' but I've continued using it and loving it ever since!

My eyebrows are an okay shape but quite sparse in areas like at the front, and towards the tail end of one because of some scarring. I love natural brows more than anything and I think it's so easy to get brows wrong (something I'm going to say a hell of a lot of girls do in the UK!) I dislike that really fake looking drawn on look, so something more gentle and a lot softer like a brow powder is perfect because you're able to build it up and replicate the texture of your brows with fine strokes using a thin angled brush. This is exactly what I do and how I manage to improve the look of my brows without looking obviously like I've enhanced them!

This was a product I hadn't really heard much about in the beauty world. I would say it is definitely underrated. I have the shade DarkBrown/Brown in the Eyebrow Cake Powder. The two shades included are perfect and match brilliantly to my brow and hair colour. If I want a more natural brow I will use the lighter of the two shades, for a stronger brow I add in the darker shade. I find them really pigmented and longwearing, even without brow gel there is no chance of the powder smudging or slipping.

I am thinking of lightening my hair a bit, and this means changing what I use on my brows (I'm not brave enough to try the Delevigne look) so I will definitely repurchase this product in a lighter shade when I do this. I think MAC eyeshadows and various brow pencils are the things people tend to go for when wanting to 'do' their brows so hopefully I've brought something a little different to the table full of overhyped products!

Emma xx

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Stila Smudge Pot in Kitten

This has been on my beauty wishlist for such a long time. When I was around 14 I used to have a Rimmel creme eye shadow that I wore day in day out, it was the perfect champagne colour and I have spent forever trying to find something similar shade-wise but of a hell of a lot better quality!

Kitten is a gorgeous champagne colour eyeshadow/eyeshadow base. As it's a 'Smudge Pot' it could well be used on it's own as an eyeshadow or an eyeshadow base. It's creamy enough to apply another colour over the top and keep it there all day but it's also pigmented and pretty enough to wear on its own. A bit like the Mac paint pots if you're familiar with those - I don't own any of those so I can't compare but there are plenty of comparisons online talking about Kitten and Mac's Bare Study so I'm guessing they must be dupes.

Stila's kitten is a lovely champagne colour with an almost peachy/rose gold hue to it that looks really flattering on blue eyes. It's so easy to wear and brightens the eye instantly. The formula to touch can seem a bit thick and uneven, but I wouldn't complain about this because with the right brush, or blended well it looks lovely and has a smooth consistency when it's on the eyelids.  One thing I do notice after a few hours wear is that it still looks intact - not moved or smudged or creased which is great. To touch though it felt a little dry like dry skin but I've only noticed this once so maybe it was my eyes!I sometimes use Kitten as a base, for other champagne coloured eyeshadows as it's great at making them more intense and sticking around longer. Another great way to wear it is all over the lid, with some winged eyeliner and a matte warm brown shade like Urban Decays 'Buck' in the crease for a slightly smokey effect. Overall a cute little pot that's so versatile all year round for a variety of 'looks' - i definitely recommend!

Emma xx

Monday, 18 February 2013

Face of the (other) Day

So here I have to apologise for all the different faces I happen to be pulling. We definitely go from bitch-face to pout - to sugar wouldn't melt here (so bad at photoz) But anyway I went for an interview the other day, I made a bit of an effort and used a combination of some of my favourite products at the minute. 

As a based I used Benefit's Porefessional, and then Chanel's Perfection Lumiere. Porefessional ensured my makeup stayed on all day (I had to go to my actual job afterwards) and the longevity of Pro Lumiere combined with this was just a great combo. Pro Lumiere gave me a lovely imperfection free face, and I used my Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer around my nose and chin and on any ugly spots that might have been skulking around. Benefit Boing was used under my eyes because it's light and creamy - I used a shade lighter as well in an attempt to cover any dark circles. For my brows I used my Nyx Cake Powder brow palette in dark brown.

On my cheeks I bronzed and contoured with Clarins Bronzing Duo in medium and then applied my new favourite blush - NARS Super Orgasm. It's so pink and super girly in the pan but on the cheeks it gives a really nice peachy pink glow. On my lips I wore two Topshop products; their lipstick in Whimsical (so much love for this peachy nude) and their lipgloss in coral which isn't very pigmented but added a nice glossy finish.

On my eyes I wore Stila Smudge Pot in Kitten all over the lid and then I applied 'Buck' from my Urban Decay Naked Palette for a soft, warm brown smokey effect. I used a tiny bit of No 7 black eyeliner to define my lash line and then put a shedload of Benefit's They're Real Mascara which lasted amazingly well but is such a chore to get off.

A bit about my hair - I usually like it down and natural. Fuss free, for want of a better phrase. But I love the romantic look of a fishtail braid, mine isn't brilliant but it's the best I could do at the time and it worked well going from an interview where I wanted to be as presentable as possible, to work where I have to have my hair out of the way otherwise it gets covered in all sorts. 

So yeah - a long and rambly post. Maybe if I do another I might just list the products used. But I was pretty pleased with the look I managed to do and all done in less than an hour!

- Emma xx

Friday, 15 February 2013

Chanel Perfection Lumiere

(I apologise for the selfies, I am SO BAD at taking photos of myself so these were the best/most representative of the foundation out of a bad bunch!) 

I'm so late to the party when it comes to reviewing this, but I picked it up a couple of months ago after admiring a friend's skin in a photo and she told me it was Perfection Lumiere. I love Chanel makeup, if you can bare to part with the money then you will know that nothing feels more luxurious on the face than a bit of good ol' Chanel.

This foundation costs £36 in the UK - probably on the higher end of the scale that I'm willing to pay, but considering my well loved Double Wear is about £27 and my Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation is £33 - for a premium brand it's not that bad and can be completely justified when you see the results!

First of all,  I love the packaging. It's so classy with the square black lid and the frosted glass finish. The fact that it has a pump is also brilliant and the actual size of the foundation bottle is quite small. The size makes it good for travelling, but the heaviness of the glass may not be so great for lugging around.
I think the selection of shades Chanel have is really great, there is something for everyone and there are different tones available depending on the warmth of your skin. For the record I'm shade 20 Beige which is a 'warm' shade 2. I can see myself going up a couple of shades in the summer, but for now this matches my skin amazingly well.

I apply this with my beloved Real Techniques Buffing brush to get the most even airbrushed result. No matter what 'makeup look' I'm going for, I always try to achieve a flawless base and this foundation definitely does that. I find that the formula glides on to the skin so nicely, it's a creamy consistency but not too thick which I like. It blurs out all pores and fine lines to leave a really refined, more flawless finish. I'm most porous around my nose and where my cheek and nose meet (sound like I'm describing a rock) but Perfection Lumiere completely covers all my pores and my skin looks so clear and healthy. The coverage is medium and definitely buildable so perfect for those who want to add a little more coverage on 'bad skin days' as it does cover spots fairly well. It definitely nails the 'Perfection' part of the name and I always turn to this for evenings out because I absolutely love the finish. On my skin I wouldn't say Perfection Lumiere is matte, but it's certainly not on the dewy end of the scale either. It's more like 'your skin but perfected' and very natural, so a nice in between. On me it lasts a good 8 hours before any touching up is needed, but it's very rare that I need to wear makeup for that long.

I do think that the 'Lumiere' part of the name is achieved in the foundation too. Lumiere basically means 'light' in french and so with this foundation Chanel wanted to achieve a healthy glow finish. There's no glitter or anything too over the top here, but when your skin does hit the light there is a more emphasised natural highlight there which just looks so healthy and radiant. I prefer this radiant finish too the sometimes dull matte finish of Double Wear (still love DW though!)

When I saw the photos of my friend wearing this there was no flashback and her skin looked gorgeous. I did wear it out on a night out with the girls and I did suffer a little from flashback face. The spf is low at 10 but would be better with none like NARS Sheer Glow or Laura Mercier Silk Creme.

I save this foundation for going out or special occasions purely because of the price and the fact it's Chanel - I'd never waste it on a 'lounging around the house' day! I do love it though and would definitely buy it again. 

Emma xx

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Daily Want!

This YSL Lipstick in Peach would be a treat and a half and a great way to update my makeup bag ready for Spring/Summer. I don't look forward to wearing bright colours and patterns or the shades that are stereotypical of the oncoming season so I prefer to update my makeup! This peachy nude would look great with a tan and really warm up the skin. At £24.50 it's not cheap but you can't get better quality-wise than Yves Saint Laurent, payday better brace itself as my beauty wishlist is longer than ever!

Emma xx

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

50 Facts About Me:

I've seen this little tag floating around in Youtube-World and saw that some people brought into blogging world as well, so I thought I'd join in! It might not be the most interesting, I don't like writing about myself too much either, but here you are! 

1. My middle name is Caroline, my first name was named after my Great-Grandma's best friend according to my Mother.
2. I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights
3. My favourite animals are bears. Grizzly, Polar, Panda - heart melts at all of them
4. I also love dogs and rabbits. I want this combination of pets when I move out (I don't like small dogs though)
5. I am a Harry Potter nerd. It was my entire childhood and I don't think I will ever grow out of my obsession for all things magical.
6. I am the most indecisive person you will ever meet.
7. I am due to start studying Journalism at Nottingham Trent Uni in September.
8. I didn't want to go to uni for the longest time. I'm still looking for a job to have 'instead of' but I've slowly come round to the idea since the beginning of this year.
9. I will always love Fall Out Boy, The Maine and Mayday Parade and revert back to my 13 yr old self and sing my heart out to them.
10. My actual favourite bands are Biffy Clyro, Kings of Leon, The Cure, Arctic Monkeys, Florence and the Machine and Mumford and Sons.
11. I've never been to a festival. I'd go for a day out maybe but I could never do the whole weekend camping thing. It just doesn't appeal to me.
12. I hate the sound of velcro, it makes me shiver.
13. I love American TV series. Gossip Girl, Fringe, True Blood are my current favourites.
14. My favourite male celebrities are: Joseph Gordon Levitt, David Beckham, Orlando Bloom, Caleb Followhill, Ezra Miller and Ed Westwick and Simon Neil. Yum.
15. I can do the splits
16. I am always on my phone. Gotta break the habit.
17. My boyfriend is awesome.
18. I used to do gymnastics from the ages of about 3 - 11. I won a few national medals.
19. I blame gymnastics for the appearance of my thighs, although they aren't as muscley as they once were.
20. I'd rather have a cute night in, than a wild night out.
21. I'm quite the introvert. 
22. I love reading and I need to read more. 
23. Apart from Harry Potter, my favourite book is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. And anything by John Green.
24. I hate last minute changes to plans, and last minute people.
25. I get claustrophobic in small spaces and large crowds.
26. Anxiety gets the better of me a lot.
27. Mental health fascinates me. 
28. I hate hate hate scary films. Especially gory ones.
29. Favourite films: We Need to Talk About Kevin, Inception, Silver Linings Playbook, Shutter Island, Moulin Rouge, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Fight Club and Batman
30. October through to December is my favourite time of year. I hate January.
31. I love cooking and wish I was better at it.
32. Dining out is one of my favourite things to do.
33. I love fuzzy, fluffy socks more than anything.
34. Matching underwear is a must.
35. I judge people a lot. I always feel bad for it but do it anyway.
36. I loooove people watching.
37. When I go out for food, I always have a cheeky look at the menu online and decide what I might have.
38. My favourite Fall Out Boy is the acoustic version of 'Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner'
39. I am awful at all video games, apart from the Lego ones and FIFA.
40. I am a foodie I love food #food
41. I don't like it when escalators break and you have to walk up/down them. 
42. I eat healthily, but I don't diet or do much exercise. I probably should do both.
43. I enjoy spending time on my own. But I hate feeling lonely.
44. I'm angry when I'm cold.
45. If I'm out I'll drink only Mixed Fruit Koppaberg, Archers and Lemonade or Malibu and Coke.
46. I have expensive taste, but not enough pennies to fund it.
47. 'I could write it better than you ever felt it' I'm good at writing.
48. I save quotes and pictures that I find, and look back through them when I'm sad.
49. I always have my nails painted.
50. I want to see lots of different places in the world, as holidays. I think the world is beautiful and I want to know it but I couldn't do the whole 'travelling thing,' that's just not me.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Benefit's They're Real Mascara

Be prepared for a raving review here... I've got a lot of love for Benefit, I think so many of their products are of really nice quality but I think this may be the best thing I've tried from them - well a tie with all of their blushes! I've been meaning to post this for ages, when I had better pictures to share but these will do. I don't have great eyelashes so hopefully them looking half decent shows the difference this makes!

This mascara does it all; volumises, lengthens, holds a curl, separates - the list ticks off everything you want really! It fans your lashes out too which basically makes your eyelashes look so full and and long and thick and fluttery. I can't praise it enough. I didn't expect to like this mascara as much as I do, and definitely didn't want to sound like a gushing looney on my blog but you can't deny a brand praise when they get something spot on, can you?

Like I said, I didn't expect to really love this mascara. Benefit's 'Bad Gal' mascara is honestly one of the worst mascaras I've tried, a massive let down. There was no product pay off, it was a bit flakey and the brush is a nightmare - way too bushy for easy application. But 'They're Real' is it's younger, nicer sister, who frankly just steals the show.

The formula of 'They're Real' is quite wet, which allows you to build up the mascara nicely. However it dries quite quickly too which is obviously a massive plus as you're not waiting around to do something else for fear of smudging. The bristles are plastic and more structured which means it's easier to structure you lashes, fan them out and steer clear of clumps. I must admit I am terrible at applying mascara, I have small eyes so when the brushes are giant it just becomes a chore and seems waste having to wipe off all the product I've managed to get around my peepers - sigh! But this wand isn't too intimidating, and I can work with it really well. If you look at the end of the wand you can see it's rounded and has smaller bristles there too - these are perfect for the lashes on either end of your eyelid. You can really get to the shorter, finer ones in the inner corners of your eye, and also reach the longer ones on the outer corners and fan them outwards to open and elongate your eye shape.

I don't think 'They're Real' is waterproof, I need to find that out, but Benefit describe it as 'long wearing' which I can confirm it definitely is! It doesn't smudge throughout the entire time you wear it which is brilliant - it's a definite trooper on nights out. I personally don't have particularly oily eyelids anyway - so mascaras don't tend to smudge on me - but I do get watery eyes (all the goddam time!) and it doesn't budge at all. It's also the perfect shade of jet black, and the colour doesn't fade, or the formula go flakey. So many good points about this mascara - no wonder it's the UK's best selling!

I love the packaging too, true to Benefit style it's cute, girly, humorous and quirky. It's not too over the top like the packaging of other products and even if you don't think that the vibe that Benefit give off is particularly 'you'- it's nice to own something a little different in comparison to Nars, Mac or Chanel packaging that is just so chic and sophisticated - Benefit has a little more 'life' to their brand I think! It's easy to get foundation smears and fingerprint marks on this tube, but it's nothing that can't easily be fixed so it wins points in the cleanliness department too.

My only gripe about They're Real, is that it's so brilliantly long lasting that it's a bit of a pain to get off. Not even my Cleanse & Polish can get rid of this so I need to possibly find an oil based eye makeup remover that will tackle this. For that reason I don't wear it on days when I can't be bothered with the chore of removing it (lazy) but that doesn't mean I don't love wearing it. I've heard that this mascara also dries out quite quickly, I haven't noticed anything as of yet but that's something I'm going to keep an eye out for.

For a high end mascara, I was sceptical as so many can turn out to not be worth the price tag, but it has turned out to be worth the money (especially with the amount of Boots points I got back - it was a triple points day!) at £18.50 it's double what I'd usually pay  but for a high end brand it's what you should expect. I'd definitely recommend you try out this mascara if you're tempted to try out something a little more premium. I was reassured by the fact that it is so popular in the UK, if so many people love it then it must be a good'n to try right? Usually I don't like to pay too much for mascara and stick to the good old faithful maybelline mascaras for an every day cheap option but for a little treat this is definitely worth it and could possibly even make it to the repurchase list!

Have you ever tried They're Real? What are your thoughts on high end mascaras?

Emma xx