Thursday, 29 January 2015

DIORSKIN FOREVER FOUNDATION

So last year, I'd been eyeing up the Dior Forever foundation for months.  After seeing so much hype around it and reading nothing but positive reviews, I finally took the plunge and purchased my first Dior foundation at Manchester airport which cost me £26.00 *duty free price* it's normally £32.00 so I got myself a pretty decent bargain.  The Dior ladies at the counter were lovely and not pushy (I hate pushy sales!)... the lady matched me to a shade 020 but because I was going to Mexico I'd be getting a tan and I usually wear fake tan so I opted for the next shade up 030.

My thoughts?  Well the packaging is very classy and it looks fabulous on my dressing table which is always a plus...even though it's glass, I make sure I keep it safe so it doesn't fall and smash.  It would be more safe if the packaging was plastic but I guess it wouldn't look as luxurious.  The pump dispenser dispenses the perfect amount of product, it's hygienic and easy to use... I normally use 2 pumps for the full face and even have a bit left over to blend onto my neck area.

I tried the foundation for the first time on my holiday in Mexico and was hoping it would last well in the heat with me having quite oily skin, most foundations tend to slide right off my skin even with a good primer.  I applied it using a brush and blended the rest of it in with my damp Beauty Blender.  I was already impressed with how it felt and looked on my skin, throughout the night it was still perfect and made me look flawless without being too cakey looking.  I have a few freckles on my nose area and you could still see the freckles slightly but it covered any imperfections quite well, I love how natural the foundation looks but still gives you the coverage where needed.  It's definitely a medium coverage which is build-able to a more fuller coverage so you could use this for both day and evening, it's also extremely lightweight so you feel like you have nothing on.  My pet hate with foundations is that dreaded cakey look, some girls love it but I think it looks awful and too fake... obviously I love makeup but covering your skin with layers and layers of foundation just isn't a good look (in reality)... I like my skin to feel like it's got nothing on yet still covers my imperfections but still looks natural if that makes sense?

I've been using this ever since I bought it and fall in love with it more everyday.  I would highly recommend this foundation especially for those with a more oily/combo complexion as it stays matte all day when set with a powder.  

Have you tried this?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A VERY SIMPLE CLASSIC LOOK

This is a look I came up with the other day when I was messing around with makeup (as usual).  
I wanted to go for something quick and easy but still quite a glam look... I tried out some of my newer MakeupGeek eyeshadows and I must say I'm really impressed with them both as they're so wearable but not your everyday kinda shades.  They both have olive undertones to them but they blend out perfectly and really make your eyes stand out without having too much colour there.  I opted for a matte red lip to give that classic feel and I didn't even bother with any eyeliner but the false lashes still gave the eyes some impact so they still stood out.

I've fallen back in love with my MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme because it creates perfect defined lines and is completely waterproof.  I still use the HD brow powder at the front just so it doesn't look too harsh and softens it up a little, I definitely want to purchase the Anastasia Beverley Hills Dip Brow Pomade next to see how it compares.

WHAT I USED
FACE
MAC Strobe Cream - used as a base to give some glow to the skin

Dior Forever Foundation '030' - a medium to full coverage foundation to give a flawless finish

Maybelline The Eraser Eye Concealer 'Light'- to conceal under the eyes to give a highlighted effect

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder - to set the concealer and to brighten the area

MAC MSF Natural 'Medium Plus' - to set foundation and to keep it matte

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray - used at the very end to set my makeup into place


EYES
MAC Paint Pot 'Soft Ochre' - used as an eyeshadow base and to hide any discolouration on the lid

Makeup Geek eyeshadows 'Preppy' and 'Homecoming' - Preppy in the crease, Homecoming on the lid

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil 'Milk' - on the waterline to open up the eyes

CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara - used on lashes and to blend false lashes into real ones

HD Brows Professional Palette - used at the front of brows for a softer look

MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme 'Dirty Blonde' - from the middle to the tail of brows to define

False Lashes - I used these natural whispy lashes from ebay for a flirty look 


CHEEKS
Sleek Face Form Palette 'Medium' - the darker matte shade to contour the cheeks

MAC MSF Natural 'Medium Dark' - to bronze up the skin

MAC Pigment 'Vanilla' - on the cheekbones, brow bone and tear duct to highlight..  I love how versatile this product is

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush 'Frisky' - to add some colour to the cheeks

LIPS
MAC Lipstick 'RiRi Woo' - a beautiful matte red shade which lasts for hours

Maybelline Colorsensational Lip Liner '540 Hollywood Red' - to line the lips

Maybelline Wet Shine Diamonds Lipgloss '15 Spoiled In Rubies' - added in the centre of the lips for shine


So that's my simple classic look... I love a good red lip and I think this look is great for pretty much everyone.  You could also add eyeliner to darken it up a little if you wanna take this look from day into night.

Monday, 19 January 2015

LIME CRIME: UTOPIA

Here we have one of the 'Velvetine liquid to matte lip stains' from Lime Crime.  I wasn't too sure about buying this little beauty because I just couldn't justify buying another lip product but I found myself looking at the swatches online and couldn't resist... so I made the purchase and let's just say I didn't regret it one bit!
The shade is 'Utopia' and it's an amazingly pigmented magenta shade with long lasting wear, you only need one layer for it to look as opaque as the picture below.  When applied, the consistency is glossy then dries to a matte finish, it's easy to work with and it dries quite quickly.

You don't need to retouch up your lips when you use this which is a godsend for us beauty addicts, it's also a bitch to remove so make sure you use something oil based otherwise your lips will be stained!  I'm definitely buying the red shade next and kinda have my eye on 'Cashmere' but I don't think I'd wear it enough so debating whether or not if it's worth splashing the cash on.
You can purchase the Velvetines here for £13.50 a pop...
I'm really loving Lime Crime at the minute, do you own any of their products?

Sunday, 18 January 2015

YSL BLACK OPIUM

I was really excited to open this on Christmas day... let me introduce to you the very gorgeous YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum.  After giving it a sniff every time I set foot in Boots I knew it had to be my Christmas perfume, it smells divine!
It has notes of coffee, pink pepper, orange blossom, jasmine, vanilla, patchouli and cedar.  You can totally smell the vanilla even though coffee is meant to be the dominant scent, I find this perfume to be perfectly wearable for both day-time and evening as it's not too 'musky' but still strong enough as it lingers all day.
The perfume comes in the bottle designed as the last editions of the Opium collection.  The bottle is dark and decorated with black glitter to give it a glam rock look which is really sexy.  I opted for the 50ml size as I always find 30ml too small, I like my perfumes to last!

This is definitely a new favourite in my collection and I highly recommend it if you love a musky, vanilla type scent.  #sexy

COVERGIRL LASH BLAST WATERPROOF

CoverGirl is one of those brands we can't get here in the UK but after hearing so much buzz over the Lash Blast mascara over the years I wanted to get my hands on it so I could give it a whirl.  Back in December when I was on holiday in Mexico, I spotted a CoverGirl display in the local supermarket so I had a quick browse and spotted the CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume mascara.

So is it really worth the hype?  no not really... I do think it could be an ok mascara for some but certainly not for me.  I've definitely used other mascaras which are better and it just doesn't give the volume like my beloved L'Oreal Telescopic.  I find that it leaves a clumpy look to the lashes which I absolutely hate and it doesn't give any length just a slight curl and clumpy look.

That's just my honest opinion, obviously everyone has different eye shapes and lash lengths so it may be good for others but it's not good enough for me.  However, I'm glad I gave it a go... I've been using it when I've applied lashes just to make them blend into my own and also to use it up as I hate wasting things.  I'll be repurchasing L'Oreal Telescopic very soon!

Sorry Covergirl..

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

'NEW YEAR, NEW ME' 2015

Can you believe that we're halfway through January already?  It seems like only yesterday it was Christmas and I was scoffing my face with loads of chocolate and watching Christmas movies being a lazy cow.  Throughout December I didn't do any form of exercise and I ate what I wanted... I was in Mexico for two weeks which included lot's of cocktails (Pina Coladas were my fave) and eating lot's of bad food everyday (Who eats salads on holiday?  I was enjoying myself!),  we did do a bit of walking but I was so out of breath all the time.  After Mexico, I continued to be lazy and eat rubbish over Christmas up until New Year... I was shocked to find that jogging up my stairs was making me so out of breath and I was constantly feeling sluggish.  But before I went to Mexico I had a personal trainer who I went to once a week and went to the gym 3-4 times a week, I was very fit and I loved seeing my body improve each week and knowing how much body fat I was losing... It's crazy how 4 weeks of no training and having a bad diet can make such a big difference to your overall health in such a short space of time.  Although I didn't put any weight on, I just noticed how unfit I'd gotten and was feeling so tired and drained... it's not always about the numbers on the scales guys!

 Fast forward to 2015 and I'm back on track (THANK GOD!) I've joined a bootcamp which is for 6 weeks, you attend two sessions per week (Tuesdays and Thursdays to be precise), you get weighed and measured before you start then again on the last session to see how far you've come, it's called The Six Week Challenge and it's bloody amazing!  I'm only on my second week but I really enjoy it, yes it's hard work but no pain no gain right?  I also go to the local gym to do Bodypump and Spinning classes which are so effective and I enjoy doing them both.  When you enjoy something you should keep doing it, I also do the odd Kettlebell class too but tend to choose Bodypump more as it gives me a better overall body workout.  I use the actual gym every now and again but tend to just stick to the classes because I find that you push yourself harder if you're doing the same with other people and if you stop you feel rubbish because everyone else is still moving... it's so motivating!  

I know that I'm no expert in fitness or nutrition but this post is just to help motivate others, give some useful tips and advice from what I've learnt myself, through personal trainers I've trained with or just from research... 

DETOX WATER
I find it important to give your body a good detox and I think the beginning of a new year is a great time to do it.  I found this detox water recipe online and also noticed a few YouTube fitness gurus rave about it, it's so easy to make and it helps cleanse your body.  All you need is a jug or something quite large to get quite a few glasses out of, fresh water, cucumber, mint and lime.  Chop the cucumber and lime into slices, add them to the water, add the mint, give it a good stir then place it the fridge overnight to let the water soak up the ingredients and get nice and cold.  The following day, drink the detox water throughout the day but I'll warn you now it does make you pee like crazy!!!  Make sure you drink normal water too as you lose a lot water from all the peeing. 
Cucumber - prevents water retention and also has many anti-inflammatory properties.
Lemon - provides the cleansing effect of citric acid to help clear out the digestive system.
Mint - helps the body digest more easily and soothes any stomach cramps you may have.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
After trying so many fad diets and going to extremes to lose weight, I've found that eating 3 clean meals per day helps me drop pounds and beat the bloat better than anything.  Clean eating isn't easy to start with but it gives you plenty of energy, boosts weight loss and stops you feeling bloated.  It's also the small simple changes that can help make a big impact on weight loss such as cutting out that weekly takeaway, avoiding the vending machine at work, cooking with coconut oil instead of olive oil, using sweeteners instead of sugar in your morning coffee and millions of other things.  I find that eating a large but healthy breakfast sets you up for the day and keeps you full until lunch time, it also stops me from snacking and raiding the fridge late at night.  I've tried shake diets, the special K diet, diet pills, you name it I've pretty much done it... it's all down to common sense so eat clean and get lean!!

SMOOTHIES FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Smoothies are so easy to make and you can literally use any ingredients (healthy of course!) to create the perfect smoothie.  I use my amazing Breville Blend Active to make mine and it cost me £20 from Argos which is a total bargain.  I mainly use water or almond milk with some ice to make my smoothies cold and tasty...

FITNESS CLOTHING
You don't have to spend a fortune on fitness gear because there's plenty of shops that sell full ranges and supermarkets have also got on the fitness bandwagon recently.  Primark have a huge range of fitness gear and their prices are unbeatable... their leggings are amazing quality, I own a couple which have lasted me 2 years and are still going strong.  I like their sports bras too as they are decent quality and very cheap and I always buy their trainer socks.  
Make sure you get a good pair of trainers, I think Nike are probably one of the best brands to buy.  I just bought these new Air Max Thea's in the sale after Christmas for £50 which isn't exactly cheap but it's better than paying full price (£85!) and I must say they're the most comfiest trainers I've worn, it feels like I'm walking on air!
Gloves are fantastic for weight training as they give you more grip helping you lift that little bit heavier.  I know Primark have started selling them but I got mine from SportsDirect really cheap and they are brilliant for using Kettlebells with.


SETTING GOALS
Setting realistic goals that is... everyone is different, not everyone is fit, not everyone has a fast metabolism and not everyone looks like a Victoria's Secret supermodel.  It's important to know your own body, what body shape are you?  How often do you workout?  Can you do 20 push ups without struggling? ... you need to be realistic and that's how you will achieve your goal quicker and easier.  For example:  If your goal is to lose 4 stone, take mini steps and create smaller goals which are easier to reach.  Start with 1 stone, once you reach that goal create your second goal which will be 2 stone, once you reach that, create your final goal which is the last stone... in total you've lost your 4 stone.  Easier said than done right?  not if you're motivated and stay positive, anything is possible.

OTHER TIPS
Walking - get your cardio done with some fresh air.  Instead of driving to your friends house, walk!  Get off the bus 1 or 2 stops earlier.  Use the stairs instead of lifts.  Simple things like walking will soon bring up your fitness levels.

Take pictures and measurements etc. - take before pictures, take pictures every 8-12 weeks to notice any difference, take measurements, write down your weight loss goals, keep a food diary to track what you're eating and make sure you're drinking plenty of water.  Pictures are a huge help when it comes to losing weight because a picture never lies... it's best to do it every 8-12 weeks so you can see how far you've come and check to see what you need to work on more.  It's not about the numbers on the scales it's about your measurements which is why it's important to measure yourself.

Subscribe to YouTube workout channels - there's plenty of YouTube videos online and I've subscribed to quite a few, I highly recommend subscribing to the following:  Xhit DailyTone it UpBlogilatesCarly RowenaThe Lean Machines and Body Rock just to name a few.

Get a decent gym buddy - don't pick someone who slacks easily or has a busy schedule.  It's great having a gym buddy to help motivate you and keep you going because there will be days when you feel too tired to go to the gym, simple things like a text from your gym buddy asking if you fancy the gym just boosts your motivation because you don't want to let them down.  Go for it, trust me you'll feel better once you've finished the workout

Invest in your health - yes it's expensive but it's worth it in the long run.  Healthy food shopping is quite expensive but so is buying takeaways and going for meals which are loaded with extra calories.  Plan your meals ahead of time and write a shopping list, that way you won't be putting extras into your trolley and spending more than you intend.  Gym memberships can be expensive too but you can also find some good deals if you look around, try to pick to a gym close to your home or work place then you'll be more likely to go as it will be more accessible.

Buy some home fitness equipment - you can purchase fitness equipment from plenty of places nowadays and I suggest you start by getting the basics... some dumbells - preferably 3kg to start off with.  Get some decent skipping ropes and also a matt if you have hard flooring in your home.  You can buy these from anywhere (Argos, Tesco, Asda, Sports shops etc) and they are very effective and easy to store away.

Don't be afraid to use a towel - I've noticed quite a lot of people are afraid to break a sweat in the gym which I find strange.  I also see the odd female wearing full face makeup which is pointless... if you're going to the gym then you may as well train hard and make the most of it!  I always take a towel with me to wipe away any sweat and clean down the machines, I hardly ever see anyone else with a towel or breaking a sweat.  If you're too bothered about what people think of you or how you look then why bother paying for a gym membership?  I find breaking a sweat helps me feel like I've worked hard and I look forward to having a nice hot bath afterwards to relax my muscles.  Primark sell these handy little gym towels for around £3, I must own about 4 and I love the cute colours they have.

Create a playlist - creating a playlist of your fave songs for your iPod or phone can really get you in the mood to workout better especially if you're running or going for a power walk... you can also buy workout CD's now full of upbeat music which is a good idea.

Download apps - there's so many apps out there which will help you with fitness, nutrition or both.  I love the '30 Day Ab Challenge' app and I know a lot of people who use 'My Fitness Pal' to track their progress, there's something for everyone.

Workout DVD's - if you're not ready to join a gym or just prefer having privacy then workout DVD's are a great idea.  I love the Jillian Michaels DVD's the most, she's such an inspirational woman and she really pushes you in her workouts.  Plenty of people rave about the Davina DVD's too but I've never tried them so can't comment... anything that gets your heart rate pumping and makes you get up off the couch is a brilliant start to your fitness journey, you'll soon build up the confidence to join a gym!


So that was my New Year, New Me fitness and nutrition post... I hope you all enjoyed it and got some tips :)  Let me know if you have any tips of your own and share them in the comments!
Becky x


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

TARTE AMAZONIAN CLAY 12HR BLUSH

I was casually browsing around Sephora in Las Vegas back in 2013 and was deciding for approximately what felt like an hour what products I wanted to buy which I couldn't get back in the UK.  I came across the Tarte display and spotted the blushes everyone had been raving about known as the 'Amazonian Clay 12-Hour blush' ... I swatched a few shades and I opted for 'Frisky' as I tend to lean more towards pinky/coral shades. 
Could this be one of the best blush products on the market?  Well it's certainly up there with the likes of Nars.  The formulation is flawless and it lasts all day on the skin, it's everything I look for in a blush and it's definitely worth the money.

Just to clarify, I'm not one of those who likes to buy tonnes of blush products as I'm more of a lip and eyes kinda girl but when something is raved about so much I have to give it a try for myself to see if it's worth the hype.  The good thing about this product is that a little goes a VERY long way, you only need to use the smallest amount and you can build it up into layers if you want a more dramatic effect.  It does contain glitter but when applied onto the skin you can't see any noticeable particles, it gives off more of a sheen rather than sparkle. 
('Frisky' in different lighting)
This blush cost me $26.00 from Sephora and I do wish that I'd picked up a couple more shades purely because of the pigmentation and the fact that it's much cheaper to buy in the US.  The packaging is cute too, it includes a mirror and I love how each compact is a different colour to match the blush shade inside.

Now luckily for us UKers, you can buy Tarte from QVC but I checked online and theres only three blush shades available, check them out here.


(P.S please excuse the photography, just got a new camera and still trying to figure out the best settings, any advice please let me know!)

Monday, 5 January 2015

COCOA BROWN LUXURY GIFT SET

If you've been following this blog for quite some time now then you'll know how much I adore the Cocoa Brown range, especially 1 Hour Tan.  It's a fairly new self tanning brand which hasn't been on the market very long but I'm seriously impressed with the quality and the price tag of each product, I must be onto my 7th bottle of tanning mousse by now.  Before this post goes any further I'd just like to say that I did get my first Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan sent to me by Cocoa Brown themselves to try out and review for blogging purposes, I was that impressed I went out to buy it as soon as it was released in Superdrug and I honestly wouldn't look anywhere else for tan!

I really don't understand how people can fork out loads of money for brands like St Tropez (tried it many moons ago, nothing special), Vita Liberata and other expensive brands when you have Cocoa Brown!  It's very affordable and their line is perfect because it has everything you need... self tanner, tanning mitt, exfoliator and moisturiser.  I also love that it doesn't leave you looking orange and it's even perfect for those with very fair skin.  There is a darker option available which I did try out but I found it a little too dark for my taste, it will be more suited to those with darker complexions.

When I was browsing online, I was so pleased to see this gift set from FeelUnique for £9.99 (half price!) considering the full value of the set is worth £26.96 when buying each item separately.  The offer is still on so make sure you check it out, you also get free delivery, sweet!

I won't go into great detail as I've already reviewed each product...
Review: 1Hour tan and Tough Stuff exfoliator
Review: Chocolate Whip body moisturiser

SLEEK CONTOUR KITS

I couldn't thank Sleek enough for inventing these two amazing palettes of joy which have served great purpose in my everyday makeup routine and in my freelance kit.  I first purchased the 'light' palette as most of my clients including myself are fair skinned, so after checking out the swatches on other blogs and on google images (as you do) I opted for 'Light' and for £6.49 it was hard to resist at such a low price.
When it arrived I remember using it straight away and instantly fell in love with the highlighter which is a buttery soft, shimmery, highlight shade and can be used for cheekbones, tear-duct, brow bone, as an eyeshadow and above the cupids bow for the lips.  It's so versatile, it's very similar to MAC Vanilla pigment but in a solid form which is easier to use and won't spill.  
(L-R: Face form palette in Medium, Contour kit in Light)

After months of hammering the crap out of the Light contour kit and seeing a dent after using it so much, it was time to give the Medium shade a go.  I found the 'Face Form' palette on ebay (brand new of course) in the shade Medium for £8 so made a quick purchase and as soon as it arrived I quickly tested it out.  It's definitely darker but not too much of a dramatic difference if that makes sense... the highlighter shade is also stunning but will be perfect for those with more olive skin tones but is also perfect to use as an eyeshadow on any skin tone.  This palette comes with an extra shade which is a shimmery bronze, to be honest I've never really used this one but can imagine it being a favourite to use in the summer months when I want to achieve that bronze goddess glow.  Check out the close up swatches of each palette:
Thank you Sleek for making these fantastic palettes!  I highly recommend these palettes for contouring as they are very cheap and get the job done.  The quality of each powder is amazing and the packaging is very sturdy so you're less likely to have any breakage.  These palettes have travelled with me in my kit, been abroad with me and have also been dropped (by accident) and are still perfectly in tact.  So if you're looking for that perfect contour kit then Sleek is your brand!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015

Happy New Year to my lovely readers, I hope you all had a brilliant time over the festive season.  I came home from Mexico on 19th December and was still pretty jet lagged over Christmas... I went out for drinks on Boxing Day then ended up having the flu :(  then it was my birthday on New Years Eve and my boyfriend cooked me a lovely three course meal and we stayed in with a couple of bottles of wine.  I can't believe i'm 25 years old, it's only five years until I hit 30 (shocking!) and for 2015 I want to achieve a lot of new things.

If you read my last update you'll know that I got my iPhone and camera stolen on holiday... I still haven't got the phone situation sorted yet so I've been without a phone for nearly a month!  To be honest it's been quite nice to have a break from it but I still feel quite lost when I can't call people or check social media when going out.  I did buy a new Sony Cybershot camera which was in the sale so I'll be able to catch up with blog posts and get posting properly again :)

So that's just a quick little update to let you know I'm still on the blogging scene... keep an eye out for plenty of new posts in the next few weeks...

Becky x


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