Tuesday, 30 April 2013

How To Keep Your Makeup On All Night

If this is you at the end of a night on the tiles, you might want to read this, the drunk girl’s guide to staying pretty. Whether you go for full on makeup on a night out or stay pretty natural, after drinks and dancing your makeup may not be ready for the photos that will inevitably be taken, put on Facebook, and tagged for all (and your mother) to see. 

Pick your problem from the list below:

1)      HELP! My makeup has melted off!

2 words for you love, primer and powder. Before you spend ages applying the perfect foundation base, make sure you have prepped (cleanse tone moisturise) as makeup sits better on clean skin. Then apply a primer to keep your base on your face. My personal faves are MAC's Strobe Cream  for dry skin types and Benefit’s Porefessional for oily/combination skin.

After you’ve applied foundation and concealer, make sure you give your face a good once over with a loose or mineral powder to set the makeup you have applied. Think of it as a sandwich. Foundation is the cheese, it needs 2 slices of bread to stick to.

2)      HELP! I’m so shiny!

Your skin naturally produces oil and sweat (yum) especially when you are in hot, humid environments. Skin blotting papers or bringing a pressed powder with you are excellent solutions to that problem.

3)      HELP! I have panda eyes!

If eyeshadow is your problem, using an eye base (Laura Mercier and Urban Decay do excellent eyeshadow bases) is essentially using a primer for your eyes; it will give the shadow something to stick to.
If its mascara, I’d recommend investing in a pair of false lashes for the night. Good ones are comfortable and come in all varieties from super natural to whatever Holly on Geordie Shore uses.  My brand of choice is Eyelure, they are good quality and anything more expensive feels like a rip off as I always lose them after 1 use. You don’t have to spend a fortune on the lashes, Primark do decent ones for a pound, but DO get good glue like Duo Glue. There is nothing worse than a lash coming unstuck halfway through the night and flapping around.

4)      HELP! My lipstick is a hot mess!

If you are going for a bold colour that you want to last all night, use a lip liner first and after outlining your lips, colour them in. This pencil base will give your lipstick something to stick to and will help the colour last. Slick your colour on top, blot on tissue and repeat. ALWAYS suck your finger to avoid getting it on your teeth like Paris.
When you top up your lipstick during the night, avoid getting a wonky line by only applying the lipstick in the middle of your lips and blending it to the edges with your pinky.
A top tip is to always have a clear gloss that you can pop on near the end of the night. This will help disguise any imperfections.

5)      HELP!  I look like a ghost in front of the camera!

This is especially bad if you’re a fake tan fan, because orange body/white face is not a good look. Before you go out, blend a bit of bronzer, or a lot if you’re as pale as I am, on your cheekbones and temples, as this will warm your skin up and stop it looking flat. If you choose one with flecks of gold in it will not only give you colour but also a bit of luminosity and a health glow.

REMEBER if all else fails, hairspray your face before you go out. It’s probably awful for your skin but sometimes you need a quick fix and meh, it works.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

10 Products That You Probably Don't Need

I get ridiculously excited about all things beauty-related, anyone who knows me or has read my blog in the past knows this to be true. I am probably the easiest person in the world to sell to, I want to like everything I try and I can find a use for even the most inessential items. Despite this my rather over-enthusiastic nature, there are some products out there that are too specific or to silly for even me to fall for. Therefore, I have written what I believe to be a little guide to products that you probably don’t need to buy. I have wasted my money on SO many of these in the past! Note that I'm not talking negatively about any specific brands here, it's more the concept of the product.

Here are my top, or should I say bottom, 10 products you don't need:

1)      BB Creams
Seriously, what are they? Is it a moisturiser? Is it a tinted moisturiser? Is it a day cream? Is it the miraculous answer to all your skincare problems? BB Creams do a combination of all of the above apparently, but I personally think that in trying to achieve so many things, they cannot be focusing on any of the specific problem areas well. Plus the coverage in them is hugely variable and limited in tone, often not catering to dark skins. I would save yourself the money in buying one, and invest in a better day cream or foundation instead.

2)      Facial Mists
Unless you fly a lot or do a lot of professional makeup, chances are you don’t need one of these. I think that they are a little bit silly, the good ones are pretty expensive and the mark-up on them must be horrific because it’s basically glorified water. On the other hand, they are so lovely and refreshing to spritz on now and then that I own a couple anyway, oops. I personally love Caudalie Eau de Beaute and Jurlique’s Rose Balancing Mist. But would I recommend one? No, its pretty unnecessary.

3)      Cuticle Cream
Just rub extra hand cream into your cuticles, or if you have a body or hair oil, rub that into your cuticles and nails. Sometimes I even use lipbalm, Whipstick from Lush has almond oil in which is great for your nails. This is especially good to do after you take off nail varnish.

4)      Eyelash Primer
Personally I have never found these to be particularly effective, and finding the right mascara often replaces the need for one anyway. Plus, who has time to use an eyelash primer and then a mascara in the morning?! Fair enough for a special event where makeup has to be looking fantastic for a long period of time, but for everyday use, I wouldn’t bother.

5)      Foot Lotion
I always just use hand cream instead of foot lotion, although I never do this the other way around as so often foot lotions have a strong fragrance I don’t want on my hands. It’s not that your little piggy’s don’t need a bit of love, but using hand cream saves you buying an extra product.

6)      Shaving Foam
Conditioner makes an amazing moisturising base before defuzzing yourself (body only!). The soothing and softening qualities are great for your skin as they help soothe shaving irritation and they also replace some of the moisture your skin loses when shaving . This is definitely better than using shower gel, as often the foaming agents in the gel strip and irritate skin more.

7)      Soothing Eye Patches
I think I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but wet and cool green tea bags are lovely restorative eye patches to take down puffiness and redness, and brighten your eyes. There are a lot of expensive alternatives on the market but this is a cheap yet effective alternative. Plus you get to enjoy 2 cups of green tea which is bursting with antioxidants and burns 40 calories per cup you drink!

8) Eye Serums
You can use your regular serum all over your face, including your eyes, dontcha know.  Eye cream however, is essential and I would recommend using this every night, whatever your age.

9) Nose Strips
Oh my god, SO bad for your skin, literally ripping off layers of skin is not going to do you many favours. If anything, it will leave your pores more exposed to dirt and bacteria, so it won't necessarily stop blackheads, it may make them worse. Get a good exfoliator or mud-based mask to get rid of blocked pores and blackheads more gently.

10) Solid Perfume
The idea of solid perfume really appeals to me, I like the concept that I could pop it in my handbag or travel with it easily. However, the reality of solid perfume, in my opinion, is that the fragrance never lasts on the skin, no matter which brand I try, and that it's a bit messy and inconvenient. Plus I love the whole ritual  and luxury of spritzing on a fragrance, and I feel like you don't get any of that in a solid. There's no magic there.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


This month I was absolutely thrilled when my makeup work was published in 2 online magazines!

The first was in Vogue Italia online, and the following image was shot by the very talented photographer Dave Ormerod, see his work here, at Miss Aniela's Fashion Shoot Experience:

The other was by Miss Aniela herself, see her work here, from the same shoot, as part of an 8 page editorial and behind the scenes interview in the online mag Slave Magazine:  http://slavemag.com/slave-magazine-issue-9/

Credit for both shoots as follows:

Hair: Virginie Barrault-Guignard
Styling: Lauren Eva
Model: Esti Rose 
Designers: Beyond Burlesque, Della Reed 
Makeup: Myself

Please have a little look, and check out my collegues work, they are extremely talented photographers :)

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Haircare That Looks After You

Thank you very much for all the good feedback I got from my Rehab review a couple of weeks ago, read it here, it was really lovely to hear! Inspired by that post, I thought I’d do another haircare post about what my favourite products are to use, though this post is more about what I use to look after my hair than what I use to style it with. Reason being, I am pretty lucky in that my hair is quite low maintenance; I’m most definitely a wash and go kinda girl and at the moment I don't really style my hair day to day. Plus, I am desperate for it to grow to mermaid long proportions, so I've been trying to build it up to maximum health  These are my essential haircare products:

L-R: Tangle Teezer, Rehab from Lush, Dr Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner, Charles Worthington Protect Spray, Phyto Phytomist for Coloured Hair, Argan Oil (pure), Mason Pearson brush

When I’m washing my hair I ALWAYS use Rehab, (I hope Lush never discontinue this product!) and an Argan oil based conditioner. This one is from the Dr Organic range from Holland and Barrat and it’s definitely the best one I’ve tried so far, having tried so many I think I’ve lost count! As well as Argan oil, this conditioner contains aloe vera and patchouli to smooth, olive oil and citrus juices for shine and repairing antioxidant vitamin E. 

I really think that natural is the way to go as far as haircare is concerned as hair doesn’t really need the high tech ingredients that your skin does, though I know I’m a little biased from my Lushie background. My hair and scalp respond so well to natural products that I probably wouldn’t go back to using anything else, and as I colour my hair, it’s nice to feel that I’m giving it a bit of goodness back. For less than a tenner each it’s easy to find quality products that work. 

In terms of styling products, I always spritz my damp hair all over with Charles Worthington Protect Salon Finish Heat Defense Spray.  This not only protects your hair from heat styling products but also from the climate, pollution, UV rays and colour fade. Even if I’m not going to style my hair I still use this as I love that it protects my hair from London life. 

One thing that I really don’t like about my hair is how prone to tangling it is! Even though my hair is fine, it’s pretty thick, and if I’m lazy about brushing it, it slowly resembles something Hagrid would be proud of. I usually put a few drops of Argan oil or few sprays of Phyto’s Phytomist (leave in conditioner) for coloured hair in the ends while my hair is still damp and comb it through with a Tangle Teezer. It detangles and restores suppleness and shine. 

The other essentials in my haircare collection are my Tangle Teezer and Mason Pearson hairbrush. Having a good hairbrush that doesn’t tear and damage your hair is absolutely essential to shiny, glossy hair and both of these are fantastic. I use the Tangle Teezer more when my hair is wet, especially to comb through conditioner while I’m washing my hair, and the Mason for styling.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Products I Loved and Did NOT Love in March

Sorry that this post is a bit belated, I would have written it for last weekend but my boyfriend and I treated ourselves to a cheeky trip to Paris! But, tah-dah, here is the very best and worst of what I tried this month. 

The first product I loved and I mean LOVED, was Elemental Herbology’s Perfect Balance moisturiser. My skin has improved so much since I started using this a month ago; I’ve had remarkably less blemishes and smooth, clear skin. It’s oil free, but still feels nourishing and hydrating, and makes a great base for makeup. Packed full of antioxidants and bio-actives, it’s natural but it really works. A great investment, I use this morning and sometimes at night over my serum. 

I also loved Zelen’s Micro-Refiner Bio-Active Exfoliator for face and neck. I used this all month but especially in Paris, when my skin felt a bit grimy from being out in the city at the end of the day. It is so purifying and so gentle, plus unlike a lot of high performance exfoliators there’s no glycolic in it (yay) to strip the skin. Instead, fruit enzymes and tiny silica beads cleanse and polish, and its re-hydrating complex leaves your skin feeling like a baby’s bottom. Its more than I would usually pay for an exfoliator so it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure, but that’s its only downside. 

Lush’s Popcorn Lip Scrub was a Christmas special but it’s now in shops full time and this product is a total lifesaver for dry chapped lips. Dab a bit on the end of your finger, scrub your lips smooth with castor sugar and sea salt and let jojoba oil moisturise. This is great if you wear a lot of matte lipsticks, as smooth lips are essential to a clean finish. Just try not to eat it all because it actually does taste of popcorn.

Rimmel’s nail polishes are my favourite, I think they’re some of the best you can buy on the high street for the price, and new shade Ethereal in the 60 Seconds range is my current favourite shade. It’s a pearl pink which I love wearing over nude tones, subtle, but so pretty. 

There were three products for me that stood out as being particularly bad this month, and the first of these is Bourjois’s Eclat Mineral Pressed Powder. It was cakey, and the lightest colour available was so orange on my skin. I’ve always maintained that with powder, it’s worth paying a little more for a quality product (the MAC Mineralize pressed powders are incredible) and I thought I’d take a chance on a cheaper one as Bourjois are usually pretty reliable, but I think my theory is still right. 

I’m sure the Living Proof Frizz Styling Spray for waves is probably a great product but I couldn’t use it because it smells so bad. It had an overpoweringly chemical-y smell which I was really not a fan of. My hair wasn’t frizzy, but then it usually isn’t, so I didn’t really notice a difference, it didnt seem to really define any of my natural waves either.

Garnier Pure 3 in 1 Scrub/Mask/Wash was something I used when my skin had a lot of blemishes around my uni deadlines.  This is actually my brother’s , and at a loss for what to do with my skin, I thought ‘I’ll give it a go’ and grabbed it off the bathroom shelf. After using it my skin was so tight and parched feeling it put me right off using it again.