Sunday, 31 May 2015

Max Factor's Miracle Touch creamy blush

The cheap packaging that comes with these little cream blush pots are not great for a brand such as Max Factor - just ignore this, open the little plastic lid, and swish away (or probably stipple!) as these blushes are gorgeous and a definite contender against my pricier MAC cream blushes.


The formula is creamy, pigmented, blend-able and lasts all day. What more could you want?

I've loved the shade soft pink for the past few months but after seeing top makeup artist Caroline Barnes feature this easy to wear copper shade on Suzie from Hello October ( in the latest edition of Marie Claire, I can already tell this will be a firm staple in my make up bag over the next few months. It leaves a beautiful sunkissed, bronzey look to the cheek without the clown effect! Blend with a stippling brush, or buff around the edges with a sponge after applying, for a natural flushed look.

At only £6.99 it's pricey for a small pot - blink and you'd miss it on the Max Factor counter - but definitely worth a try!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Revlon's New Ultra HD Lipstick Review

My recent lip love has all been about balmy sheer formulas and, with the release of Revlon's new Ultra HD lipsticks, I found myself taking a purposeful wonder into Boots to grab a few shades. Even better - there was a 3 for 2 offer which meant I could be a little more daring with my third colour choice.

 The shades that I bought were Rose, Poppy and Hydrangea. So far I have found Rose to be my favourite of the three as it's a "your lips, but better" shade which goes with any outfit and nail colour, with the other two being a little bolder.

So let's start with the pluses of the lipstick.

The texture is gorgeous and glides on creamy and smooth, leaving my lips initially feeling hydrated and soft. The colour pay off is fantastic and, with it being buildable, it means you can have it as intense or as sheer as you like. I also find the colour lasts pretty well which means I only need to top up around three times a day.

As I mentioned before, when you initially put the lipstick on it feels moisturising and smooth on your lips; however, after an hour or so (although the colour is still there) they start to feel a little dry and slightly bity. I'm not sure if this was my lips or something in the formula that rolled on my lips. Either way I found myself reaching for the lip balm more than I usually would with a balmy product. Nothing terrible but not as moisturising as Revlon's lip butters. It also has quite a strong sweet smell - something that wouldn't appeal to everyone.

However, my biggest bug is the packaging. I think the see-through plastic cap with the silver packaging looks really sleek but the lipstick doesn't completely wind down, which means whenever you put the cap back on you're at risk of catching the top of the bullet.

All in all I do like the lipsticks... but not love them. I probably won't be buying any more out of the 14 shades any time soon as I'd readily reach for Revlon's Lip butters over them.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

My favourite cream eyeshadows

Cream eyeshadows are perfect if you're new to wearing eyeshadow and not yet confident to tackle the powder ones, or if you just want a simple eye make up routine that takes minutes.
Cream eyeshadows are super easy to apply - all you need is either your finger or a flat brush such as the MAC 239 and a small fluffy brush, again MAC do a great one such as the 217.

There is a whole range of different cream eyeshadows on the market from pencils to sticks and pots. Here are a few of the shades and brands I've been reaching for over the past few weeks.

MAC Paint pots in Groundwork and Quite Natural. These are probably the ones I would use if I knew I'd be having a long day and needed my make up to last. They look as if I've made and effort without looking over the top. Also a  favourite of Emma Willis! As you can see both are a matte brow colour with Quite Natural being the darkest. These can take you from day to night easily without any greasy feeling or creasing.

By Terry Ombre Black Star in Misty Rock has been an eyeshadow stick that I have been ooh-ing over since last summer and I finally bought it a couple of weeks ago at Space NK.  Although they are quite a bit more expensive than high street brands, they do last all day; their only down side compared to the MAC paint pots is that they can feel a little sticky on the eye lid. Misty Rock is a beautiful purply colour with shimmer, I love wearing this all around my eye and blend it out with a fluffy brush for a soft look.

Rimmel Scandal Eyes in Bad Girl Bronze and Barry M's super soft eye crayon in No.2 are both very similar in colour, longevity and price. The bronzey colour of these look amazing on green and blue eyes. They don't last as long as the Paint pots or Ombre Black star, but for the price you can't really compare. Perfect if you don' mind topping up during the day.

Maybelline colour Tattoos were one of the first high street cream eyeshadow that I bought a few years ago, and I've probably at least 5 in my stash. These last amazingly well and claim to have a 24 hour wear, although I wouldn't recommend having your make-up on that long! The two shades which I've been using more of recently are Pink Gold and On and on Bronze. You can use these as a base to your powder eyeshadow or just on their own they look gorgeous.
Bourjois have come out with a new range of cream eyeshadows that I'll no doubt try and get my hands on over the next few weeks.
Do you have any cream eyeshadow recommendations?


Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Magic of Contouring

After sharing my favourite highlighters with you in last week's post, of course this weeks' had to be on bronzers and contouring.

Over the past couple of years celebrities such as Kim Kardashian have made contouring even more popular. This isn't a new method, it's been used for decades by Hollywood's most famous stars but thanks to Kim's famous before and after contouring selfies, the world has gone crazy for it!

When contouring has been done properly is should sculpt, slim and enhance the natural definitions of your face. Subtle contouring is best and should look seamless, never a full-on stripe across your cheek. So blend, blend, blend!

For some of you that aren't sure what highlighting and contouring is, in simple terms highlighting can bring out your chosen features such as your cheeks bones (to make them appear higher), cupids bow (to make your top lip appear fuller), and down the bridge of your nose (can make it appear straighter).

Contouring creates a shadow which is why matte bronzers work best as the ones with little particles of shimmer does the highlighters job. So, say you have a long face, apply a matte bronzer around the top of your forehead, this will create a shadow and make it look shorter. Or if you have a wide nose, very lightly apply a matte bronzer each side to create a shadow and make it appear slimmer. If you are not naturally blessed with chiselled cheek bones, suck in your cheeks and you'll be able to feel where your cheekbones are. Sweep some bronzer or contour powder along here to create a light shadow - this little trick can make it appear that you have more defined cheekbones.

Here are a few bits you'll need to help you on your sculpted face journey!
My favourite brush is MAC's 168 or Crown brushes have and amazingly reasonable range. There are so many bronzers and contouring kits on the market and again the high street brands are giving us plenty to choose from. So here are some of the ones I'm loving to suit everyone's budget.

Nars Laguna bronzer of course made the cut.  I always have this in my stash. It doesn't look muddy or dirty after you apply, just a nice subtle sun-kissed colour. It isn't too powdery which is great as this helps reduce the risk of accidently putting on too much. Also perfect as a bronzey blush if you just want a bit of colour.


 A recent discovery is Barry M's chisel cheeks contour kit. I came across this after noticing makeup artist Adam Burrell using it on numerous people such as Little Mix and Tanya Burr. At around the £6 it's surprisingly really nice but it can be quite powdery so you need to make sure you tap off any excess from your brush first before applying. The kit has a subtle highlighter and two different contour colours, one being a lighter shade and the other darker for something a little for intense. I find this kit brilliant for travel as it's compact and, as I'm loving bronzey eyes at the moment, it can double up as an eyeshadow.


A contour and highlighter kit that is quite a bit more on the pricey side is Charlotte Tilbury's Film Star Bronze and Glow. Now this is gorgeous. Of course the 1920's inspired art deco packaging sucked me in but, as with all of Charlotte Tilbury's make up, you get superb quality products too. The highlighter is a beautiful champagne colour and the bronzer a perfect contour colour for all skin tones. As with most make up, if you're fairer just don't apply as much and if you want a deeper colour add more!

Rimmel's Natural Bronzer is an old favourite from my teenage years and as you can see from the picture, is still a well loved bronzer even now. It comes in three shades, here in the shade 022 Sun Bronze, which I would say is for medium skin tones. It doesn't have any shimmer which I prefer as you're not at risk of looking like a glow worm, and it's always best to apply highlighter afterwards where you want it. The packaging is cheap and nothing fancy about it but, at £5.99, well what do you expect. Because of the price I don't feel I have to be too precious about applying and often use it on my body when and where I want a bit of colour. One downside is that it can rub off on clothes so watch your collar line!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Hello Highlighter

We all need a little pick me up for our skin at times but especially during the winter months and sometimes blusher on its own doesn't do the job. This is where the gorgeousness of highlighter steps in! Here are my favourite ones at the mo from cream to powder that have now become part of my everyday make up routine. This picture is my current inspiration and went straight on my Pinterest board!

MAC's cream colour base in Hush is a brilliant all rounder highlighter and looks amazing for day time or an evening look. Cream highlighters are so easy to use and perfect if you're a newbie to the highlighter world as you can't really go wrong. Just build the colour up slowly adding a little bit more product at a time. I find I have more control when using a cream than a powder and normally apply with my fingers in a patting motion across the tops of my cheeks. The colour base in the shade hush is slightly pinky in colour so looks really fresh and pretty. Perfect for a spring look!

The Balm is a relatively new brand which I recently discovered whilst on the hunt for a bit more of a hardcore, full on highlighter - and after being super impressed with their Mary Lou Manizer highlighter I'll be having another peek on their website to see what other products they have. You have to be super careful when applying this though; tap off any excess powder first from your brush before applying as it's heavily pigmented. This is a beautiful champagney, golden highlighter and looks stunning on any skin tone - especially on tanned skin, as the golden colour really pops! So a little bit on the top of your cheek bones, inner corner of your eyes and on your cupids bow for an instant brightening effect.

I love MAC's strobe cream and this is a pretty good alternative by Revlon. It comes in four shades from pinky to bronzey. The PhotoReady Skinlights can be worn alone, over foundation, or mix with your foundation for a really radiant look (if mixing with foundation I'd recommend the Bare Light shade). Personally I would apply in a very similar way to the MAC cream colour base, a couple of drops on the back of your hand a pat it over the top of your cheeks for an instant pick me up.


So, with a couple of pats and swipes of these products, you'll be ready for the new season!

Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year means one thing!

Christmas and New Year have been and gone and now it's time for a skincare overhaul!

These are my current favourites, however, everyone's skin is different and so is your skin's needs - so don't rush out and buy everything that I use. However, this will give you a general idea of how I keep my skin feeling cared for (most of the time!).

Kicking it off with cleanser. By now you probably know that I steer completely clear of any face wash that foams. Any cleanser that makes you want to dive for your moisturiser after using it, don't use. All it's doing is stripping your skin of its natural moisture and making it even drier. I am a complete convert to face balms and cleansing oil as I never find my face feeling tight or dry after using them. My current favourite is The Sanctuary Spa's Ultimate Facial Cleansing Oil (£13) I find it dissolves all my make up (remember to double cleanse in the evening) and keeps my skin clear and feeling comfortable. I can happily brush my teeth or have a quick change before I feel the need to reach for my moisturiser. It does contain mineral oil which can cause spots for some people, but just make sure you properly rinse your face with warm water and a flannel and you should be fine. But make sure you change your flannel daily!
Next is Pixi's Glow Tonic (£18) I love this stuff and couldn't imagine going back to grainy exfoliators. A couple of times a week I saturate a cotton pad disk and sweep this over my face after I've cleansed in the evening. Exfoliators give a brighter, fresher look to your skin as it contains Glycolic Acid (don't be afraid of the word acid as it's in such a tiny amount) which loosen any dead skin cells that can leave skin looking dull. I find the Glow Tonic far more gentle on my skin as it's a liquid and doesn't leave my face looking red and blotchy, which can happen with grainy exfoliators.

Central heating, cold weather, bad diet and hormonal changes can all lead to sensitive skin. So before I moisturise my face I give mine a little helping hand with The Body Shop's Aloe Protective Serum (£12.00) This is geared towards sensitive skin and is designed to be used as a pre-moisturiser. It doesn't really smell luxurious and it's not particularly fancy, but I do find that if I skip the serum part of my skincare routine, be it morning or evening, that I use far more moisturiser before my skin feels properly hydrated. It contains Aloe Vera (as the name would suggest!) so it's very cooling on the skin which is lovely if your face is feeling a little parched after the cold weather.

This step I never ever, ever skip....ever. Moisturiser can be your best friend if you find the right one. I meet so many women who don't bother with it at all as they find it either causes spots or leaves them in a greasy mess. Again, just because I love a certain moisturiser doesn't mean you should rush out and think this is the one for you. All I can suggests is try, try and try again. Getting the right one will help your foundation stay on longer and will also give skin that plump, hydrated appearance. This is now my third jar of Clarins Multi Active Day Cream (£33-£40) Clarins have a range of skincare designed for your specific age group. The Multi Active Day is for women in their 30's and they have a range for women 40+ and 50+. Generally, mature skin needs richer formulated products. You don't need to spend a small fortune on moisturiser, just find the one that makes your skin feel good. Using one with a 15 plus SPF during the winter months is always a good idea and higher during the summer.

 Let me know your favourites as I'm always on the hunt for new skincare products!


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Easy to do, wearable Autumn make up

Last year I posted something similar but only mentioning my favourite Autumn lip products. This year I'm giving you my complete wearable every day make up favourites for Autumn.

Starting with the all important skin. Doesn't matter how lovely your eyeshadow or lip colour is, if your skin isn't looking good neither will your finished look.

With central heating and generally colder weather on it's way you need to keep your skin well hydrated, whilst also giving you some coverage. My current favourite is the Body Shop BB Cream mixed with a little Illamasqua Skin Base just for some extra coverage around the middle part of my face. I always start blending from the front panel of my face outwards so that then you're not left with a line around your jaw.

Click for enlarged view

With your summer  tan probably fading fast you still want to look perky and healthy so for this I use the amazing watercolour blush by Daniel Sandler, these will stay put all day and also give your cheeks a little colour and a nice sheen. My favourite shade has to be Cherub. This is a beautiful pink, not too bright and I find suits most complections.
Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush 15ml

 Finish the skin off by dusting some Rimmel Natural Bronzer lightly over where the sun would naturally hit. Remember that as this is an Autumn look choose a shade that's only one darker than your natural skin colour.

For eyes I am loving MAC's eyeshadow in Antiqued. This is a really nice rusty, warm brown colour and a little goes a long way for an everyday look as it is a little shimmery. Beautiful on green and blue eyes. Smudge some MAC eyeliner kohl pencil in Coffee along your outer lower lashes to create a little more definition and then a couple of coats of any black mascara.

 Brows is something I cannot skip and I only have one make up choice when it comes to them. It's my trusty HD Brow palette in the shade Foxy - all the way. Again, less is more for a daytime look. Try and create a natural looking brow, not overly drawn-on.

Now for lip colour, I had to include an old favourite from last year, yes I have gone out and bought this again. It's the Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie. Hydrating and a buildable colour, Perfect!

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter Berry Smoothie 50

So there you have it my Autumn favourites. If you have any recommendations let me know in the comments box.