28 Feb 2014

21st Birthday Wish List

I've probably mentioned countless times about how I am turning 21 this year (I just cant shut up about it and for that I am sorry). And while I have both dreaded and anxiously awaited this day for probably a year now, it is finally a little over 2 weeks away. While my 20th year wasn't too flashy, I am having high hopes for this one, well I like to think it will be a bloody good year, I have a gorgeous boyfriend, i've started blogging and met some incredible people and I have started in an incredible college doing what I love most and met some gorgeous girls so it's looking good so far.

March 17th (AKA, my birthday and for all you Irish folk, St.Patricks Day) is slowly but surely creeping up on us and so is the 15th which is the date of my little shin dig and although I already know what my main presents are my parents are bringing myself, my sister and boyfriend to Orlando for a week in May (cue an American wishlist post) and giving me my mums diamond engagement ring, I still thought it would be fun to put together a little wishlist post (plus it just builds the excitement that little bit more).
As I have mentioned I am off to Orlando in May so I have two things on my list which are very much Holiday orientated.

Monki Hope Sunglasses, I absolutely love sunglasses but I hate getting expensive ones as I get very bored of sunglasses very quickly and like a lot of people I seem to loose them everywhere. I love these Monki glasses because they're classic black so they will go with everything and the circular shape is so in right now.

Top Shop Leaf and Bird Print High Waist Bikini, as I am on the rather large size I HATE wearing bikinis and what I hate more is shopping for them, but for once in my life I have found a bikini I absolutely love and what's better is it's high waisted so it covers more of my tummy, lumps and bumps so I won't feel as self concious in it.

As expected as a make-up artist and make-up obsessive a lot of my list is made up of make-up. Surprise surprise.

Nars Narsissist Eye shadow and Blush Palette, as soon as i saw these too little beauties I knew I had to have them but then I saw the price tag and realised I'd have to wait. I have decided that even if I don't receive these two for my birthday I am going to purchase them for myself either at home or in the USA because I just don't feel my life is complete without them.

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel, I have been lusting after this for a while now I have no Chanel make-up as it's all a little too dark for my pale complexion but two of the girls in class swear by this, and I have decided that I need it in my life. It gives you that beautiful sun kissed glow.

Benefit Lolli Tint, Recently I have ventured into the land of liquid/cream blush and highlights and have always been curious about benefits range of colours and I really feel Lolli tint is for me, I just think the gorgeous lilac colour would go lovely with my pale skin especially for spring/summer. (It also helps that lilac is one of my favourite colours)

YSL Rouge Volupté Lipstick, I don't own any YSL lipsticks or make-up for that matter and I have heard such wonderful things about these lipsticks I feel it's time I get one, it also helps that the case is absolutely beautiful.

Ted Baker Large Bow Mint Make-up Bag, I have recently discovered that although I have enough make-up for about 20 people, make-up bags is one thing that I am in need of, because I am travelling to and from college a lot I am in serious need of a large makeup bag and this mint green wash bag from Ted Baker is absolutely gorgeous, I also love that its patient because it means its easily cleaned which is always a bonus.

So as you may or may not know I have recently moved to the UK and into student accommodation and although my house is lovely and I love the girls I live with the one thing I hate about the house is that we don't have a shower only a bath, what kind of house only has a bath, seriously? Anyway it is because of this that the next two things are on my wishlist, I never used to have baths always showers but now I absolutely love them.

Lush Think Pink and Sex Bomb Bath Bomb, some people are going to hate me for this but I have never tried anything from Lush but have read so many amazing reviews on they're bath bombs that I felt it was time that I tried some out.

Everyone keeps telling me that the presents you get on your 21st are really important and they should be stuff you keep forever a 'keepsake' is what my mum calls it. I have now discovered that I am the most impossible person to buy a 'keepsake' for because I don't really wear jewellery and I don't carry designer handbags but in saying this I do have one piece of jewellery on my list.

Pandora Aquamarine and Sterling Silver March Birthday Blooms Ring, I never really wore rings until recently when my boyfriend bought me two love heart stacking rings and since then I can't get enough of these little beauties and I absolutely love this birth stone one I think it is absolutely gorgeous and would be a perfect 'keepsake' for my 21st.

Hope you've enjoyed reading, let me know what you think of my wishlist and if you have tried anything on it. Who knows maybe Ill do a 'What I received for my 21st' post.

22 Feb 2014

Bourjois Poudre de Riz de Java

So recently when I was trawling the aisles of Boots, the packaging of a little pot caught my eye. Let’s face it girls the 3 for 2 Boots offers are dragging us all in, I went in to buy a powder puff and walked out with a hell of a lot more. I should never be allowed near boots when that offer is on. Call me shallow if you like but when it comes to makeup nice packaging is SO important to me.

Bourjois Poudre de Riz de Java is a loose powder that is a reinvention of one of their most popular products from 1879.  The original Bourjois Java Rice Powder was designed to lighten skin and leave it silky-soft. It was hugely popular all over the world and in 1897 they sold 2 million boxes worldwide, with product information translated into 5 languages.

The new packaging has the same label as the original (which is what drew me in) but the modern twist it that it is in a plastic pot, rather than cardboard and the product inside is reformulated using modern technology. (If you're like me that won't really mean much to you, but shhhh don't tell anyone, I like to act smart).

These days the product promises to “light up and smooth the complexion in one step”. In Boots under they're harsh lights I was a little concerned by how sparkly the powder looked to use as a setting powder, the shiny disco ball look isn't one of my all-time favourites, but I decided to give it a go anyway.

The powder is light and smells of roses (what girl doesn't love the smell of roses). It has a twisting cover over a plastic lid with holes in, and you can just tap a little into the lid to use, be careful not to be too heavy handed as I have found the product comes out rather quickly and we don't like waste, especially not of such a lovely product.

I use it as a setting powder, using a powder puff, and I haven’t noticed it making my skin particularly sparkly (yay no disco ball). I think it brightens my skin and makes it look luminous, without being shiny, which is a nice effect.

I have read that this powder is a limited edition for Bourjois 150th Anniversary, so I might need to stockpile a few pots just in case it gets discontinued, hopefully it won’t because I really have fallen madly in love with this little pot of sparkly goodness.

Have you tried it, what are you thoughts?

21 Feb 2014

Sleek Matte Me Lip Creams

As you may know I absolutely LOVE Sleek Makeup, it’s one of the best things about living in the UK just being able to go to Superdrug and pick up whatever you want.  I just feel like they really bring it when it comes to the quality of the products. So you know I was super excited to try The Matte Me Lip Creams. The lip creams retail at £4.99 and available at the Sleek Makeup website or at Superdrug.

The six lip creams in the Matte Me collection are:
Fandango Purple - Berry purple
Rioja Red - Ruby red
Party Pink - Coral pink
Brink Pink - Hot pink
Petal - Baby pink
Birthday Suit - Nude with pink undertone

The two colours I decided to pick up are Fandango Purple and petal.

Petal looks like a quite subtle pink/mauve shade in the tube but applied to the lips it is a very baby pink shade. I absolutely LOVE this shade; it’s absolutely perfect for my pale skin.

Fandango Purple is a warm berry purple shade. I love purple lipstick so when I first saw the collection I knew I had to have this one. This shade did not disappoint at all.

Matte Me Lip Creams are supposed to be a creamy lip product that apply wet but dry to a matte finish. I love the bold selection of shades in the collection, sleek never fail to disappoint me with their colour selection.

The formula is really smooth and easy to apply, and is really opaque which is a massive plus point. I've found the best way to use this product is to apply one thin layer, wait around 30 seconds for it to dry and then add another layer on top.

The formula dries down to a matte finish in less than a minute and has great sticking power. Tested during a normal day this stuff doesn't budge.

As you would imagine, due to the nature of the matte formulation you need to make sure you have exfoliated your lips well as it will cling to any dry patches. I always apply a lip balm before doing my make up so when I get to my lips they are nourished and feel great (another trick I learned in college, except in college I use 8 hour cream rather than lip balm).

My thoughts on the Sleek Matte Me Lip Creams, Overall, I've been really impressed with this product from Sleek. Everything from the colour to the formulation ticks all the right boxes and I can't wait to pick up some more colours. I personally feel the darker shade Fandango Purple is the star of the show as the lighter shade Petal applied a little bit patchy but I do love them both.

Have you tried the Sleek Matte Me Lip Creams, or any other Matte Lip Creams?

20 Feb 2014

Clarins Cleansing Milk and Toning Lotion

So in college before we started into makeup we did at least two weeks of skin care, to be honest when I heard that this is what we were going to be doing I almost cried, I had never really been into skin care, I never really understood it or saw the point, yes I cleansed, toned and moisturised every night but never used anything expensive I could never justify spending money on a high end cleanser, toner or moisturiser, boy was I wrong. I am so great full to my tutors in college for teaching me all the tips and tricks because I now realise how important skin care is.  Think of the face as your canvas you need it to be clean and fresh before you put anything on it, honestly the difference in your makeup if you cleanse, tone and moisturise properly before you put it on is just incredible.

My tutors told me the earlier you start on a good beauty regime the better. We tried a lot of Dermilogica in college but my skin just really didn't like it so I decided to give Clarins a go. Admittedly, they are renowned for being one of the pricier, upmarket brands on the market but I can assure you there is a reason why this duo is so expensive.

I have tried so many products over the years for my spot-prone oily skin and can actually say that using these morning and evening every day has made such a difference to the feel and complexion of my skin. As I have said I used to use the cheaper brands thinking 'they'll do the same job’ but that's where I was wrong. It's so important to use a good cleanser and toner, especially if you use them to remove eye makeup because the skin around your eyes is so sensitive.

After two weeks of using them morning and evening, I noticed a real significant difference in my complexion. My skin was clearer, my complexion was even and I started using less foundation because I no longer needed it. The oiliness of my skin died down dramatically and my powder now lasts ages because I don't need to top up throughout the day trying to hide any shiny patches.

If you’re thinking about giving Clarins a go (and I really think you should) I would advise you to go to your nearest Clarins counter and ask for some samples to try out. This way you have a couple of days’ worth of product and you can decide if you like it or not and want to buy a big bottle.

If I have convinced you then welcome to the beautiful world of Clarins skincare.

19 Feb 2014

Battle of the Balms

Hello my beauties, I need to start this blog with a little apology and explanation about my pictures, just before I decided to post this blog my EOS balm decided to go walk about and I cannot find it anywhere so unfortunately I haven't been able to photograph it but I'm sure most of you know what they look like unless you have been living under a rock.

I had been dying to try the EOS lip balms for ages after hearing such good things about them. But if I'm honest I knew my cousin was going to Florida and it would save me some money so I asked her to buy some for me while she was away (student money problems suck). I had also heard people raving about the Balmi ones as well as comparing the two products so I figured it was my turn to do the same.
As I am a lip balm addict, I am surprised it has taken me so long to jump on the bandwagon and try these two lip balms. These balms come in the cutest packaging with the outer colour resembling the flavours available. Both lip balms have a twist-off lid and inside is a raised moon (EOS) or Pyramid (Balmi) of lip balm, this is perfect as it means you don't need to get your fingers all sticky when applying by dipping them into a pot.

The packaging of the Balmi is really cute and I love the fact that it's a little cube (this is the new packaging; the old packaging was round like the EOS ones). The top screws off (as shown in the picture below) and it's perfect for on the go application. The cube shaped packaging doesn't make the product at all bulky and it's perfect for popping inside your makeup bag, handbag or in a pocket. There is also a small black cord attached to the product that means you can attach your lip balm to your phone, keys or maybe even handbag or purse.

The packaging of the EOS is very similar; this has a sturdy shell that twists open to reveal the semi sphere of lip balm (being slightly OCD it really bothers me that it’s not a perfect sphere). To me the lid of this feels slightly more secure than the Balmi. Only difference is it is round and doesn’t have the little black cord.

Well to be honest both products are very similar but there are some subtle differences between the two. The EOS balm has great credentials. It’s 100% natural and 95% organic, which is pretty impressive. It contains Shea butter and vitamin E, and contains no petroleum or parabens. It smells lovely and it tastes sweet. It goes on easily and lasts for about an hour before I feel like I need to reapply. The texture is kind of waxy and I prefer creamy lip balms, so this is a bit of a downside for me.

The Balmi is slightly more compact than the EOS one. This also has an SPF of 15. The Balmi one doesn't quite have the eco credentials of the EOS one. From the list of the ingredients it’s heavier on the chemicals but the Balmi also lists vitamin E and Shea butter among its ingredients. This one has a slightly different texture and feels a bit greasier on the lips (not like Vaseline, which pleases me because I don't like Vaseline).  It lasts for about an hour two before I feel the need to reapply but I do find myself reaching for it more than that, not because I need to but just because of the yummy sweet taste and smell.
I wouldn't say that that these lip balms give the most intense nourishment for your lips but they do offer that kick of moisture when you're out and about.

Both are priced similarly with the Balmi one £4.99 and the EOS one was £6.50. You get 10g of product with Balmi and 7g with EOS. The Balmi isn’t quite as softening but smells and tastes better. I know you're not supposed to eat it but I find it always happens.

In this fight for me Balmi wins hands down but I honestly think it will come down to personal preference, the designs are great, super easy to use and both have lots of product in.
The Balmi lip balm comes in four flavours and I must warn you (if you're anything like me with the products) that Balmi's are extremely addictive and you will find yourself constantly reaching for these little coloured cubes.

Have you tried these balms, which is the winner for you?

16 Feb 2014

Barry M Hi-Shine Gelly Nail Paint

Ok so this blog must start with a confession, I hate having to admit to things like this, but before this year I never really gave Barry M much notice, I always just saw it as another cheap drugstore brand but boy was I wrong and am so glad I finally gave it a proper chance and I did so in the form of the Nail polishes, Specifically the Gelly Hi-shine polishes. I also felt seen as how i'm giving away 3 of these bad boys as part of my 100 BlogLovin follower giveaway I thought it was the ideal time to review them. 

Some people adore them and hold them highly as their favourite polishes, others haven't quite been so lucky and think they don't quite meet the standards we are all used to with Barry M.  But the negative reviews and comments on the Gelly Hi-Shine really didn’t put me off trying them.

Recently I popped into Boots for a 'quick visit and look around'. As you can imagine, in beauty blogger terms that means going in, having a look, and leaving with a lot less money than you walked in with (don’t we all hate when this happens, I always tell myself I won’t buy anything but this NEVER happens) . When I saw that Barry M had an offer of 3 for 2 (Don’t we all love boots and they’re offers), I decided it was about time I picked up a few shades to try for myself. The shades I picked were Prickly Pear, Lychee and Greenberry. So what do I think of these polishes? 

On me, I find these just to be like most nail polishes. I don't really get why they are called Gelly polishes. They definitely have a high shine finish, and I don't need a top coat when I use these. I do find you really need to take the time to let these fully dry as they can remain quite tacky for quite a while. But other than that, I've had no reason to dislike them and certainly think I'll add a few more shades to my collection. You can find the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine polishes in Boots and Superdrug,   they retail at £3.99 each.

Barry M has become my brand of choice for nail polishes ever since trying the Gelly Hi-Shine polishes and I have built up quite a collection. I like Barry M because the colour range is fab, the price is great and there are often deals making it far too easy to pick up a few shades and save a few pennies. For me at least these polishes stay put, don't chip and last well. I probably own more Barry M Nail Paints than any other brand.

Have you tried these or any other Barry M  polishes, do you like them?

14 Feb 2014

Soap and Glory, Thick and Fast Mascara

One thing I was lucky enough to receive this Christmas from my Auntie in her homemade Christmas cracker was Soap and Glory Thick and Fast mascara, and I couldn't wait to try this baby out. As you may know I, like many other beauty bloggers absolutely love soap and glory but haven't had too much experience with their makeup and am always intrigued when I have the chance to try out a new product, especially when it comes to mascara.

‘Thick and Fast ‘retails at £10, and Soap and Glory say ‘This super volume mascara creates amazingly, longer, fuller, fabulous lashes. Featuring SUPERFILL False Lash Fillers, SHINE AMPLIFIERS, NOFLAKE24 technology and super-fine no-clumps natural wax film formers‘(If you're like me you won't understand what half that means but honestly I really don't think that matters). 

I was impressed at how it lengthened my lashes, but unfortunately, It didn't create any volume or make them seem fuller. The application is also difficult, as the brush is very large, and the bristles densely packed. Other reviewers have said the wand holds too much product, but weirdly, I found the opposite. More than one coat is definitely needed, especially if you want thick, volumised lashes as it advertises.

Overall, I don't think I'll be buying it again; I'd rather spend around the £8 mark on Maybelline mascara, or go the whole hog and spend £20 on Benefits ‘They're Real’.

Have you tried the Soap and Glory mascara, do you think it does exactly what it says on the tin (excuse the pun).

12 Feb 2014

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

Real Techniques is another of my most loved brands it’s another one on my list of brands that seems to be able to do no wrong; their brushes are some of my best-loved and most-used (most of the girls in college use them also), and I don't think I've read one bad review of any of their products. When I heard they were releasing a blending sponge I was really interested to see if it would live up to the quality and efficacy of their extensive brush collection, and also how they could improve on an established concept already well loved by many including myself and many established makeup artist (there’s a number of girls and tutors in my college who swear by beauty blenders).

The main thing to notice about the Miracle Complexion Sponge is that while it keeps the usual egg shape of many of the currently available sponges (like the Models Own ones that I currently swear by, I have 4 in my kit), this sponge features a large flat edge that’s meant to be used to assist coverage over the eyes and nose. It's suggested to use the rounded sides to blend across the larger areas of the face, while the precision tip is recommended to be used for blemishes and imperfections.

The texture created with this product is much the same as with others, there are no annoying lines or patches that can be a problem with using brushes (only downside is the tapping application takes a lot longer than using brushes, you wouldn't use this sponge if you were in a rush), and it stipples over imperfections and pores to create a lovely smooth surface (my skin is suffering big time at the minute because of all the different products we’ve been using in college).

What really has come as a revelation with this sponge is the amount of increased coverage it gives over my other blending sponges. With this sponge the product is moved efficiently from the back of my hand to my face and pressed into the skin rather than being spread across so it covers much more in just one layer (some people have said this results in a cakey finish but I don’t agree with this at all).

As the Miracle Complexion Sponge soaks up less foundation than most, and things like cream blushes and cheek tints only stay on the surface of the product, cleaning is really quick as I don't have to spend ages rinsing and squeezing until the water runs clear.

I really haven't been disappointed with Real Techniques' newest offering I think this product is such a bargain and really worth trying out whether you're a regular user of sponges or a newbie to sponge using, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Have you had a chance to try the Real Techniques beauty blender or any other brands beauty blenders, do you like them?

11 Feb 2014

L'Oréal True Match Foundation

So as you may know from reading previous post of mine, I am a complete MAC addict, I have always used MAC studio Fix foundation and I love everything about it, no its not everyone’s cup of tea but it’s my favourite foundation of all time.  Unfortunately for me my MAC foundation is pretty pricey and I can’t always afford it so I decided I needed to find a drugstore alternative and I think I've done it, I heard great things about the L’Oréal true match foundation so I decided I would give it a go myself. It was supposed to be a MAC dupe which I obviously got very excited about.

The first thing I noticed about this product was the amazing shade range. When it comes to drugstore foundations, I usually grab the fairest shade and even then most of the time it’s still too dark for my pale almost translucent skin (that’s what I get for being Irish), what was crazy was with this foundation I actually had to do a fair bit of swatching, before I had my colour, there was just so many shades to choose from.
My shade is Ivory rose; the pinker toned fair shade. It's an excellent match but it is also a medium coverage, which is my favourite of all the coverage's as its buildable if needs be, I.e. when those pesky spots decide to raise their ugly red heads.

Not only is it a fantastic medium coverage, but it also gives a really nice even smooth finish. It's not too matte and not too glowy, so if you're looking for a more natural finish, this is your guy. I will point out that on very dry skin this has a tendency to go a little patchy but works nicely on oily and combination skin (like mine). It isn't terrible on dry skin; it just needs a little extra moisture as a base, maybe a good moisturiser or primer, I’m sure those of you with dry skin are used to having to a little extra moisturiser, I know the girls in college know exactly where they need that little extra bit of moisturiser.

I do like the size and packaging of this. It's a really nice handbag size, not too chunky but not so tiny you barely get any product. It has a pump (thank the lord, no having to pay extra for a separate pump, I really think that’s really cheeky, shame on you MAC) and is really easy to get just the right amount; only half a pump will do the whole face. The clear lid is a pain however, why do they insist on having clear lids, It just makes everything look so messy.

The foundation is £9.99 which isn't the cheapest of drugstore foundations but there always seems to be offers in Boots and Superdrug so just keep an eye out.

Have you tried the True Match foundation, what do you think? MAC dupe or not?

10 Feb 2014

100 BlogLovin Follwers, Big Thanks and Giveaway

Hello beauties, so you are reading my first post with 100 Bloglovin followers. It’s so exciting. First I want to say a huge thank you to those 100 followers for taking the time to read my blog and follow it. You are all seriously amazing, I also want to say thank you to so many of my fellow bloggers for helping me get to 100 followers, you know who you are and you're the best and a special thank you to my boyfriend and best friend for spamming they’re  social networking sights with my blog links, love you guys.

This weekend (late Sunday night) I hit 100 followers on Bloglovin', which has made me deliriously happy. I didn't think anyone would read my blog, let alone 100 of you, Angels Secrets is just over  2 months old and I put in all of my spare time outside of college and work into it. I've never loved something so much and I hope it shows in just how much effort I put in to each and every paragraph and photo.

In honour of my first proper landmark, I said I'd host a blog giveaway and I'm making good on that promise. I decided to hold a giveaway as I love entering other peoples and thought it's about time I did one myself. I wanted it to appeal to more of you so I've decided the main prize will be a MAC lipstick of your choice. It can be from the normal range or the Viva Glam range. Just make sure you leave a comment saying which shade you would like. If upon winning your desired shade is out of stock, I will contact you to choose another. This way I can giveaway something that you really, really want. Although the main prize is the MAC lipstick I have some other little prizes to accompany it, Soap & Glory ‘Soap Hero’s’ gift set, Nails Inc Bling it on Rocks, Philosophy Pumpkin Pie bubble bath, 3 Kath Kidson emery boards,  Osprey London purse and 3 Barry M Gelly nail polishes in my favourite colours.

You can enter the giveaway below and depending on the conditions you meet, you can gain more entries. Unfortunately as this is my first giveaway so it is only open to residents of the UK and Ireland, I will hopefully be able to run an international giveaway in the future and I am so sorry if this disappoints any of you.

The competition closes on the 10th of March 2014 (Just in time for my 21st), so you've got plenty of time to build up some entries. Good luck.

  •        UK and Ireland only, Sorry to my international followers.
  •          Entrants must be over 18 or seek parents/guardians permission to disclose their address.
  •          The winner will be contacted by email for their choice & the order placed for direct delivery.
  •          If no reply is received to the winning email after 48 hours another winner will be picked.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

9 Feb 2014

So Sue Me Secrets to Blogging, Fashion and Beauty

The next book in my MUST READ list is Secrets to Blogging, Fashion & Beauty by Suzanne Jackson. Now if you haven’t heard of this book yet, you have most certainly been living under a rock (especially if you’re Irish) Suzanne Jackson is one of Ireland’s leading fashion and beauty bloggers.Her blog So Sue Me.ie has over 350,000 international readers, over 95,000 Facebook fans and now Suzanne can add best-selling author to her list of talent, honestly this woman is unstoppable, I have heard her newest project is going to be a beauty based app, to say I am excited would be an understatement.

After noticing just how popular the So Sue Me blog was becoming, and seeing how many girls were seeking her advice on all matters from fashion, beauty and life in general, an Irish publisher got in touch and offered Suzanne the chance to write her own book. Sue set about putting her book together and after months of intensive hard work, the So Sue Me book was born.

The title of the book (So Sue Me Secrets to Blogging, Fashion and Beauty) says it all. It may as well be the Irish beauty lover’s bible (honestly that’s pretty much what it has become).  Each chapter takes a different section and focuses on all the questions those beauty lovers and aspiring bloggers want answers for. 

What I love most about the book is how personal it is, from finding out her journey from the very beginning to tweets from her fans being included in the book, her personality really shines through and you feel like you're almost reading an autobiography at times, after reading the book I feel like Suzanne is a personal friend of mine because I know everything about her, it’s amazing.

Regular readers of her blog will love how she has stayed true to her personal writing style throughout: it’s written in the same way as her blog, friendly, relaxed and true to herself.  It’s also FULL of pictures which I absolutely love.

As expected, the makeup tips are brilliant.  Unlike some authors/bloggers that feel they need to show off with using high end products which are just unaffordable for the average girl, Sue keeps it real and makes sure that the products she recommends are affordable and accessible to all us beauty lovers, even those on a tight budget, I also think this incredible because it really shows how much she thinks about her readers.

When I first heard about the book I thought it was aimed at bloggers but that’s not the case.  Yes Sue’s background is in blogging and there is a chapter on blogging tips and advice but it’s not what the main focus of the book is about and it is suitable for everyone, whether you're a blogger or not. There really is something for everyone in it.

The So Sue Me Secrets to Blogging, Fashion and Beauty has become one of my most loved books and thanks to my gorgeous boyfriend I was lucky enough to get a signed copy for Christmas which makes it that little bit more special to me.

8 Feb 2014

Sleek Eau La La Liners

Don't you just love it when a product has multiple functions? Sleek Eau La La liners are just like that. They're not only suitable as a lip liner, but also safe to be used on the eyes and anywhere else. I really loved the idea of having a pencil which I could just use for anything.

The Eau La La liners retail for £5 and are for sale at either Superdrug or on several websites, including their own, (I always buy my sleek products in Superdrug because I love collecting points on my Super Drug card)This makes them quite nicely priced, I wouldn't exactly call it super cheap but it's definitely not expensive either. The colour range is also AMAZING; there are the usual colours such as red, berry and pink but also outlandish shades such as blue, yellow, black and white, which I love as I’m obsessed with odd coloured lipsticks and these liners, are PERFECT for use with my Lime Crime lipsticks.

When I swatched the liners on my arm I could immediately tell how creamy they were and how opaque they are in just one stroke. As opposed to my usual experience with lip liners, these slide over the skin with ease. Honestly I never use to wear lip liners I never really understood why people did but it was only when I started studying makeup artistry I realised how important they are and now I can't wear lipstick without a liner on, they make such a difference.

They're long lasting as well, I didn't expect they'd be so long lasting because of the creaminess but it's really good that they are.

Using the Eau La La liners on the eyes is very easy as well, you just need to make sure that you've sharpened the tip properly and they'll glide on very easily. The colour stays on for a long time, doesn't smudge but isn't completely waterproof, I'd say it’s more water resistant than waterproof.

The Sleek Eau La La liners have become my staple lip liners, but they're good to use on the eyes as well. The colours are vibrant and are opaque, so if you have very pigmented lips like I do they're perfect for you. Considering the staying power and the variety of colours I honestly don't think I could do any better unless I pay at least triple the amount.

I would recommend these to everyone if you want a really good lip liner for a drugstore price definitely give these little beauty’s a go.

Do you wear lip liner, have you tried Sleeks?

7 Feb 2014

Makeup Is Art

So this is new one to the blog, a book review but there are a few more of these to come. As an already qualified makeup artist and an aspiring high fashion makeup artist I have a couple of books in my collection that I feel are a must for not only makeup artists, or aspiring makeup artist but anyone interested in makeup, beauty and fashion.

The first makeup book that I ever purchased is Makeup Is Art by AOFM, my very first makeup tutor recommended it to our class and  it is honestly my favourite book of all time and I still find myself going back to it and referencing it on a daily basis.

The cover is just beautiful and catches your eye immediately (I am determined to recreate this look at some point in my makeup career, it’s just absolutely stunning). It’s definitely a book for aspiring makeup artists with sections on Underwater, Male and Beauty Editorial makeup. It’s a huge wealth of information.

It covers the basics like skincare and foundation but it really excels with tips and tricks for makeup artists and students. Like how to work with different face shapes, different products like greasepaints on eyes and how to create different effects on lips. It also covers topics like body art and how to work with clients.

But one of my favourite things about the book is the fact it actually mentions the names of makeup products. They are only subtly referred to now and again. For example in the Highlighting section it refers to Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector (for mixing with foundation), YSL Touche Eclat (for brightening the under eye) and MAC Strobe Cream (for mixing with foundation and highlighting the body). I think this is really helpful as most makeup books never name products. I am forever asking my different makeup tutors for advice on what products to buy but they will never give me a straight answer because different people use different products but the book has made it easy for me and as a result I now have most of these products in my professional makeup kit, or they're on my makeup wish list.

I also really like the fact that in some parts of the book like the foundation, eye shadow, eyeliner and lipstick sections, it nearly always has a page devoted to the different textures and forms that the products in that section will come in; it also describes how they can be used. An example would be Matte lipsticks give a flat and dense colour without shine or gloss. They are less likely to bleed into fine lines therefore better for mature people. They are also good for creating period looks from the 1920s to the 1950s. A matte red like MAC's Russian Red would be perfect for a 1940s inspired lip.  

Overall I love this book and I think it’s going to be a huge help to me during my course for both inspiration and instruction. But it’s also a great book for makeup lovers and enthusiasts. Whenever anyone mentions makeup books I always recommend this little beauty.

Are you an aspiring makeup artist?

5 Feb 2014

Revlon Colour Burst Crayon Balm Stains

So recently I have been going a bit Revlon crazy, as you may well know I absolutely love they're colorburst lip butters and don’t go anywhere without them as they are perfect for that no makeup, makeup look, and when I have any excuse to buy new lip products I do so reviewing these new beauties was a perfect opportunity for me.

Revlon has just gone completely crayon crazy, and surprisingly enough for me I am absolutely loving it. The Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains were my first ever lip crayons and I instantly fell in love with them, I can't get enough of them. They are being re-launched as the Revlon Colour Burst Crayon Balm Stains, with 2 brand new finishes. Get ready for 10 Lacquer Balms and 10 Matte Balms. The excitement is overwhelming.

If I'm completely honest at first glance, I thought that these were more Kissable Balm Stains, but they are actually just balms, the packaging is identical to the Kissable Balm Stains, but the formula is different.
These are high shine with large particle shimmer lip colours,intense pigment, great moisturisation and a lightweight feel. There are 10 new shades: Demure, Coquette, Whimsical, Vivacious, Flirtatious, Tease, Provocateur, Coy, Ingenue and Enticing.

I have heard that the pigmentation on the lacquers is better than the mattes. Unfortunately as of yet I haven't tried the mattes but the lacquers are incredibly pigmented; only one swipe is needed to get full colour.
The lacquers have a shiny finish and a buttery texture. They're hydrating, but they don't feel greasy, and they didn't feather out of my lip line at all.

The lasting power isn't the greatest, I only had about 2-3 hours of wear, I wasn't expecting them to be much longer than that though, since they are balms and not 'balm stains'.

What really impressed me was the creaminess and pigmentation of the lacquers. The formula is buttery and incredibly smooth. I'm a huge matte finish lover so I will definitely be trying those out next.
The lacquers remind me exactly of a Revlon Lip Butter, but in a pencil form.

All in all, I think this collection is absolutely lovely and I'm excited to try the Matte shades. I will definitely be adding more of the lacquer colours to my collection as well.

Do you think you will try these, are you a matte or a lacquer person?

4 Feb 2014

Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser

Maybelline has done it again, first there was Baby Lips, I don’t think anyone would have thought that they were going to be as big a hit as they were, everyone went crazy over the little beauties (myself included) I no longer leave the house without one in my handbag and now Maybelline has welcomed Baby Skin to the beauty blogging world.

I must admit in the beginning I wasn't drawn in by Maybelline's Baby Lips products but after reading SO MANY great reviews I gave in and bought one and have ended up loving them and now have one of each type in my collection (the OCD kicked in I needed the complete collection, my boyfriend really helped when it came to this) and they certainly took the blogging world by storm, beauty bloggers were going gaga over baby lips.

I have read a few posts about Baby Skin for the past couple of weeks and have been slightly excited to get my hands on it as it's such a bargain and is said to be a dupe of Benefit's pricey POREfessional. As I use POREfessional on a daily basis underneath my foundation to find a much cheaper dupe for the product would be absolutely incredible.

So, what is Baby Skin and why was I excited to pick it up? Baby Skin is an 'Instant Pore Eraser' which is a lightweight primer to give you 'smooth and poreless looking skin'. Until I started studying makeup I never used a primer before applying foundation and now I definitely notice a difference on the days where I don't use a primer, my foundation feels strange on my skin without it, I feel like it’s an extra layer of protection on my skin.

I use Benefit's POREfessional on a daily basis which is quite pricey at just under £25.00 (can't really afford it on a student budget) so this is why I was hoping Baby Skin would come and rescue me from expensive primer.

"Translucent gel primer blurs the appearance of enlarged pores, lines and other imperfections to create a matte and flawless canvas for makeup to glide. Mattifying formula keeps skin feeling and looking fresh with a baby soft feel, improving the staying power of your foundation while creating the look of a more refined and smoother skin texture".

Baby Skin is a clear gel formula which can be applied alone or under makeup. As I mentioned I use it under makeup, so I simply apply this over my face focusing mainly in my T-Zone area as this is where I suffer from blackheads and large pores the most as it tends to be very oily, and leave it for a few minutes to set. When applying the primer, it feels so silky soft and fresh (some people can mistake this for greasiness or oiliness but it’s definitely not). I have to admit here though that even though the primer is aimed to reduce pores, once the primer was applied I didn't actually notice a difference in my skin. I need to highlight this though as the main selling point of the product is that it is pore-reducing. This wasn't a problem for me though as I just hoped it would make a difference to my foundation and thankfully it did. It increases the amount of time that I need before retouching my makeup and this is the most important aspect to me.

Baby Skin retails at just £7.99 for a 22ml tube and is available in Boots and Superdrug. If you're like me and you love using a primer underneath your makeup you should definitely give this a go.  In saying this I don't think it is quite as good as benefits POREfessional but it definitely is a fantastic cheaper alternative and I will have a tube of it in my makeup bag from now on, plus its much kinder on the wallet.

Have you tried baby skin? What is your favourite primer?

2 Feb 2014

Maybelline The Falsies Volum Express Mascara

When it comes to buying mascaras I’m really not one to spend too much money on them, in saying this I have done my fair share of mascara testing, from Dior to YSL and as much as I love my benefit they're real mascara I would never buy it for myself because I just couldn't justify spending that much money on it, in all honesty when I think about how much money I have previously spent on mascaras it really annoys me, I wish I could have it back.

When it comes to high street brands Maybelline would really be my favourite ESPECIALLY when it comes to mascaras, honestly in my eyes they can do no wrong. I've had colossal volume in my makeup bag for as long as I can remember. Honestly though who can resist the bright yellow leopard print packaging.

Product Claims and Inf

  • False lash glam, instantly!
  • Patented Spoon Brush fans out lashes from corner-to-corner, while our Pro-Keratin formula instantly builds volume without clumping
  • Unique flexible wand helps to lift and separate lashes to provide the look of 300% more visible, fuller lashes, no gaps from any angle
  • Contact lens safe and ophthalmologist-tested

The formula of the Falsies Mascara isn't too wet, and doesn't take a long time to dry on lashes. On my first few days of using it the formula really annoyed me as it was very thick and clumpy in my lashes really badly. I was so close to throwing it out, but I left it for a few days and decided to go back to it and as soon as it had settled down and had a little time to dry out it started working brilliantly.

This mascara doesn't smudge or rub off and stays on the whole day looking natural. It can be easily washed off using eye makeup remover or cleanser and doesn’t cause any kind of irritation to the eyes (which is a massive plus for me as I have really sensitive eyes).

It separates lashes and doesn't clump or make the lashes stick together. This mascara also doesn't feel heavy on the eyelashes.

Even though the Mascara is called Falsies, it doesn't provide any kind of false lash effect and is more of an everyday kind of mascara.

The Falsies mascara does its work by lengthening my lashes in a single coat. With two or three coats it also provides volume without looking fake and unnatural.

The mascara wand is the best bit about this. It is thinner than usual wands, and its little head can reach the inner corners of the eye without any difficulty (no fear of mascara wand to the eye, I know this happens everyone and not just me). The brush is slightly curved (spoon brush) which helps to curl the lashes.

I will definitely be recommending this mascara to everyone, I absolutely love it.

Have you tried it? What’s your favourite mascara?

1 Feb 2014

Sleek Corrector and Concealer Palette

So as you may know one of the things I was most excited about when moving to London was finally being able to shop in Superdrug and easily get my hands on Sleek and MUA products rather than having to order them online. Sad I know but to me is a MASSIVE deal.

I have slowly been building up my Sleek makeup collection and my most recent addition to my collection is the corrector and concealer palette. We have been doing a lot of work on achieving the perfect base in college so I have been trying a lot of different concealers from high end and high street brands so I decided maybe it was time to stray a little from my beloved collection concealer and try new things and the Sleek concealer palette seemed almost too perfect and at £7.99 who could really say no?

In traditional Sleek slimline packaging with a large mirror the palette has a corrector, concealer and a setting powder to brighten, conceal and set your eye area. It may seem like a minor detail but I love that this palette has a mirror. This palette and mirror allows me to attend to any problem areas of my makeup throughout the day with ease.

Using the products in the order they appear, first I use the corrector colour to brighten the appearance of my eye area. The second darker colour is your concealer which I apply on top of the corrector to neutralise any colour differences and add more coverage. The concealer is quite dark for me I need to mix it with one of my other concealers.

Out of pure impatience I opted for the palette in '02' (available in 5 shades) because Superdrug was out of ‘01’ and I couldn't wait to try it which is probably why the concealer is a bit too dark.  When picking a shade to match your skin tone you ideally want the middle colour in the palette to be similar to your foundation colour to avoid too much colour difference. I do find though that the Sleek colours tend to be quite dark and for this reason I am unable to try out any of their foundations so I have a feeling that even if I got shade ‘01’ it would still be a little dark. But I have learned my lesson; have patience when you're buying makeup as it tends to pay off.

Finally, I apply the setting powder if I feel I need it. I never use to set my concealer separately but I recently learned in college that this is a very important step before you set your foundation with powder. Setting your concealer separately helps it to not settle in the creases under your eyes which no one ever wants. (Crow’s feet are the WORST).

The consistency of this concealer is very thick and creamy, and blends in really well. Although, if you suffer from dry skin, don't use this as this product will do nothing but accentuate your dry skin.

As for staying powder this is pretty good, no nothing special but it'll do especially for touch ups. At £7.99 it sits happily in my daily travel make up bag and will do for the foreseeable future.