Beauty

Favourite MAC Lipsticks

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L to R: Diva, Russian Red, Lady Danger, Cherish

When it comes to make-up, I’m definitely a lipstick gal. Lipstick in my opinion, brings any look together and even the more affordable lipsticks don’t compromise on quality or having loads of colour choice (Rimmel ones are amazing). However, I remember buying my first MAC lipstick and instantly knowing why everyone raved on about them so much. Lipsticks are one of the most famous products to come out of MAC and this is because there is literally every shade you could possibly desire and there are 8 finishes to choose from – Matte, Retro-Matte, Cremesheen, Frost, Glaze, Satin, Lustre & Amplified. My favourites are the Matte & Satin as they are really pigmented and are much better in terms of longevity and staying power. For me, this is what I want from a lipstick and especially with the more bold colours such as reds which can be tricky to maintain.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do love a nude lip but I feel that so many brands can nail nude colours and that’s why 3/4 of my favourite MAC colours are brights as I feel they’re really unique.

Diva (Matte) – This one is absolutely perfect for the autumn/winter as it’s quite dark and it looks different on a lot of people. On me, I can definitely see the deep red, almost wine colour but on others a subtle purple/berry shows through which is so pretty. It’s really comfortable on the lips despite being a matte formula and I’ve never used a lipliner (I just bought a NYX one to try out which you can read about here) but it’s never been hard to apply. This would be a good one to try if you’re a bit intimidated by darker shades because it still has that red undertone giving it intensity but not making it really dark like something such as MAC media/sin.

Russian Red (Matte) – This was my first ever MAC lipstick and I decided to go all out and get a red shade because as I said, I feel like other brands do nudes really well and I wanted to try something different. Russian Red is a blue-toned red which when on the lips makes your teeth look so white and overall, it’s just a really vibrant colour. I have seen a lot of people comparing this colour with Ruby Woo (another famous MAC red shade) and saying that they much prefer Russian Red as it’s not as drying. I can confirm, that whilst Ruby Woo is a stunning colour, Russian Red wins hands down for me because although it’s a matte formula, it applies really creamy and doesn’t drag at all. It dries down yes, but never too much that my lips resemble the Sahara desert and no-one has hurled a chapstick in my direction as of yet, all good things. It isn’t as long wearing as perhaps a liquid lipstick would be, I’ve eaten a massive burger whilst wearing it and things did get a little messy but that was my fault to be honest, I just love burgers. It still remains one of my absolute favourites though.

Lady Danger  (Matte) – Another matte, what a surprise. By now you’re probably sick of me rambling on about how creamy and non-drying this formula is, but tough because it’s the same for this one as well! Don’t blame me, blame MAC. Lady Danger is described as a vivid bright coral-red and yep, it’s definitely a bright one. I love orange lipsticks, they look beautiful on every single skin tone and evoke all the summer vibes and so I love wearing this when I’ve gone a bit wild with the bronzer. It stays on for ages and won’t make you look like you’ve just chowed down on a big bowl of spaghetti… which is always good unless you want to look like that, in that case, get that spaghetti down ya.

Cherish – (Satin) – I did say I liked Satins as well! Satins are a bit more creamy than mattes but do give a ‘matte-like’ appearance without being drying. This is described as a soft muted peachy-beige and as you can see from the swatch photo, that pretty much hits the nail on the head. I’m a lover of all things peach and so I always love a peachy undertone in nude lipsticks. This pairs really well with a neutral look on the eyes but also can look just as good with a more golden/bronzed eye look and so it’s very versatile (I’ve loved wearing the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette with this one as well). As a nude, Cherish beats Velvet Teddy for me as it’s just a bit more soft and Velvet Teddy pulls quite dark on me which I do like, but I just find it not as wearable and not as easy to wear with a variety of other make-up looks and so this one has it in the bag.

The MAC lipsticks in tube form are £15.50 each, which is obviously not the cheapest, but in comparison with other high end brands such as Charlotte Tilbury or YSL, they are cheaper and fall into the middle price range compared with drugstore lipsticks and the higher end examples mentioned. You can also buy a pre-made lipstick palette from MAC which retails at £35.00. In the photos I have included the Editorial Reds palette which is actually my mum’s, but I wanted to show you that you can try out 6 shades without having to fork out 93 big ones which is what it would cost you to buy 6 tubes of lipstick. In palette form it’s also really easy to transport around and it comes with a variety of shades and finishes. In this palette the shades are Lady Danger (Matte), On Hold (Cremesheen), Russian Red (Matte), MAC Red (Satin), Ruby Woo (Matte) & Dare you (Cremesheen).

I hope that you enjoyed this post & I’d love to know any of your lipstick recommendations!

L x

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Mini Haul: NYX & Benefit

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Going into Boots is dangerous. I honestly only popped in to stock up on some basics (cotton wool etc) and as you may have gathered, I got distracted. I was just browsing through the aisles when I saw a stand that I didn’t remember being there… A giant NYX counter! I have never tried any of their products and so I picked a few to try out! I also nabbed the latest issue of ELLE magazine which comes with a free trial size ‘Goof Proof Brow Pencil’ (part of Benefit’s revamped brow line) and also a voucher for a free eyebrow wax* at the Benefit Brow Bar which can be found in Debenhams stores. (*Book a brow wax and then get a free one on your second visit).

The first thing that caught my attention was the High Definition finishing powder (£8), mostly because I had just run out of my bare minerals one that day. I didn’t want to fork out £21 for that one and I have always been impressed with other drug store powders that I’ve previously tried and so this really appealed to me. There are 3 shades – Banana, Mint Green & Translucent. I opted for the Banana shade as I thought this would be a really good colour to set my under eye concealer and brighten up the under eye area. Hopefully I’ll love this one and I will definitely report back on whether it’s a winner. Sticking with face products, I then got drawn to the High Definition Blushers (£5.50), I picked up the shade Bitten which is described as a ‘shimmery brick red’ which, I find to be quite an intimidating description. Instead, I think that it’s more of a deep pink with red undertones and some gold shimmer. I’m usually not a fan of glitters in blushers, but thought that with a light hand this would look really pretty on the apples of the cheeks in summer but also pictured it looking amazing with a dark lip on a night out or in the colder months.

In the ‘Eyes’ section, there were so many amazing looking products and I wish I could have thrown them all into my basket. I was torn between two products but in the end picked up the Slide on Eye Pencil (£5) in the shade Golden Bronze. I do tend to gravitate towards warm, golden colours as I personally think that these really suit my brown eyes and so when I swatched the tester on my hand, the decision was pretty much made. The actual formula makes me think of this product as more of a crayon than a pencil because it is so smooth and doesn’t tug at the skin like some Kohl pencils do. I thought that paired with a golden eye look (using my Naked palette) this would look amazing smudged along the upper and bottom lash lines to give a really smoky and bronzed effect. I can’t wait to try this out with a tan as I think it will look beautiful.

Something that really surprised me was the sheer amount of lip products that NYX has to offer. Having never seen the products displayed before it was really amazing to see all the different products with different finishes and colours. I picked up the Soft Matte lip cream (£5.50) in the shade ‘Cannes’ which is a really lovely muted mauve colour and I think that it will go with a lot of make-up looks because it is quite neutral. I did also want to try out the shades ‘Stockholm’, ‘Rome’ and ‘Budapest’ but these were sold out and so I’ll have to keep visiting to see if they come back in stock *that’s my excuse anyway*. Finally, I decided to pick up one of their Lip Pencil’s and I picked up the shade ‘Dark Red’. Looking back, it would have probably been more useful to get a nude shade so that I could test it out for everyday wear and maybe even with the lip cream but oh well, I do love a dark lip. This looked like it would be similar in colour to MAC Diva, which is one of my favourite darker lipsticks. I don’t have anything to line my lips when I use that and so I hope it matches!

The ELLE magazine that the Benefit Goof Proof pencil comes with is unfortunately packaged in a pink plastic cover and so you can’t try and pick the shade of the eyebrow pencil as you can’t see it. However, I managed to somehow pick up shade 2 which is in the light category and so I will be able to try it out and not look like the baby from the Simpsons, amazing. My go-to brow product is usually the Brow Wiz in Taupe which is more cool toned than this one but I’ll definitely give it a whirl and see how I like it!

Also, just a little hint that ASOS sell NYX & Benefit products (including the brow range) and if you’re a student you can use your NUS/Unidays code to get 10% off, which is a nifty thing to know!

L x

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The Miracle Base: NARS Sheer Glow

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Finding the right foundation can feel really daunting and overwhelming, especially when first starting out with make-up. I’m not entirely sure what my first foundation was but I’m pretty convinced it was Dream Matte Mousse and I can tell you now, I went TO TOWN with plastering that all over my face… in the wrong colour obviously. I viewed foundation as the way to cover absolutely everything in a way that made me look like I was actually wearing a mask. It covered everything, but didn’t look smooth or natural and you couldn’t see any of my actual skin through it which is a shame! There’s a difference between full coverage foundations (which I still love) and slapping so much product on that it just looks a bit odd.

Experimenting is all part of it. I’ve tried loads of foundations but finally feel like I’ve found the perfect one for everyday – NARS Sheer Glow. Initially, I thought that it wouldn’t be my kind of foundation, as the name suggests it would be ‘sheer’ and the ‘glow’ made me picture a really dewy finish. It is however, referring to a sheer glow that it gives the skin and so it doesn’t compromise on its coverage.

Sheer Glow is a medium coverage foundation but it could be built up to a full coverage as it feels light on the skin but has really high pigmentation. This is also really beneficial as it means that you don’t need to use as much product and so the bottle lasts me for absolutely ages, plus, saving product means saving money which is fine by me. I would say that it has a Satin finish which I prefer over a completely matte one (as this can look really flat) or a really dewy one (which can look quite oily and not have as much staying power). I apply it with either the Real Techniques expert face brush which is good for blending the product in whilst still giving a really good coverage, or I’ll use a damp Beauty Blender/Real Techniques sponge which gives a more natural coverage and then just apply concealer to any areas that need some extra attention.

There is one negative of this foundation… it doesn’t come with a pump and so you have to buy one separately at an extra £3 (annoying when you’ve already forked out £31). You can use the foundation without a pump but this means having to pour it out onto your hand which can mean that you waste a lot and also want to cry when it comes flying out at the speed of light onto your cream carpet *eye twitches*. For me, I just think it’s weird that a ‘high-end’ foundation doesn’t come with a pump included when you’re paying a premium price, sort it out NARS, you little sneaks.

Overall though, I do love this foundation and feel that it’s perfect for everyday wear. The high pigmentation means that you don’t need to use as much and so even though I’m wearing it everyday (that I wear make-up) it lasts me a really long time.

What is your miracle base product?

L x

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Summer Wishlist: ASOS

Online shopping is something that I love to do. I say ‘shopping’ but on a student budget, most of the time it’s more like me adding things that I want to my basket and then staring at the total in defeat and sorrow. Nevertheless, I love to look through what’s available and ASOS is the perfect place to do so, simply because it literally sells everything. I always go through saving pieces because that way I can look back at everything like a kind of style board and pick up pieces whenever I have the funds… or whenever I get an email saying they have 20% student discount, oops.

It would be out of character for me not to have created a summer wishlist, which is quite ironic with it tipping down with rain outside, but I’m an optimist. Some of the standout pieces were these beautiful Quay Australia rose gold sunglasses, Reebok trainersPull&Bear striped jumpsuit and New look chiffon skirt which is quite girly for me but I absolutely love the colour.

There are still loads more items that i’m eyeing up and so I hope that you enjoy looking through and maybe you’ll like some of the pieces too!

L x

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*Disclaimer – This is not sponsored* 

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Beauty

Skincare Favourites

Skin has always been a big thing for me. For a long time I was very self-conscious of spots and put lots of make-up on in an effort to conceal them. Now, I look back on that and realise that by putting on more make-up, it was actually emphasising problem areas and in the long run, just making my skin more congested than ever. Over time, my skin has cleared up and this means that I want to take the best possible care of it in order to keep it looking fresh and clean. I don’t use these products everyday, as some of them are more expensive than other products within my skincare regime, however, they really stand out and I can see how effective they are when I use them.

  1. Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel – £29.50 (100ml)
    This is one that I heard about from reading Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup‘s blog. I’ve read so many reviews on why it’s a cult product and came close to purchasing it on so many occasions before restraining myself because of the price, it ain’t cheap. As a result, I popped this one on my christmas list and was so thrilled when I actually received it. As the name suggests, it is a cleansing gel that transforms into an oily consistency as you use it. The oil breaks down any make-up and draws out impurities leaving you with the softest, cleanest feeling skin ever.
  2. Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight mask – £23.00 (100ml)
    I’m a massive fan of face masks and I usually use them when I’m going all out and pampering myself. This mask however, is a little different. It is an overnight mask which sounds odd and at first made me feel quite uncomfortable to be honest as I pictured my pillow being covered in product. My opinion was changed after first applying the product as it’s actually more of a heavy duty moisturiser rather than a mask that sits on top of the skin. It sinks in really quickly and when I wake up the next morning my skin feels so hydrated and more plump. It also smells of peaches which is a massive plus for me.
  3. Sephora sheet mask – $6
    I picked this up on a recent trip to New York (I blogged about my trip in two parts Travel: New York Part 1. & Travel: New York Part 2. Got to love self-promo). I am going to put it out there that when you have this on you will resemble hannibal lecter and I wouldn’t advise that you wear it in front of small children, but other than that it’s great. There are a number of different masks for different skin concerns, I bought two of the rose ones and also picked up a pearl one for my mum. The masks feel so cooling on the skin and are really relaxing. My mum suffers from really sensitive skin but loved hers and had no complaints which shows that they’re really gentle. The only negative about this product would be that I didn’t stock up due to them only being available in Sephora stores. BRING SEPHORA TO THE UK I BEG.
  4. Pixi Glow Tonic – £18.00 (250ml)
    Last but by no means least, is my favourite exfoliating product. Before using this, I had used physical exfoliants which usually contain micro-beads. As a result, exfoliating my skin was never an essential part of my skincare routine because I personally don’t like the feel of rubbing the beads on my face as it can be quite abrasive, not to mention the bright red appearance it would give me for ages after. This product is a chemical exfoliant as it contains glycolic acid which is a gentle acid that dissolves dead skin cells which are clinging to the skin’s surface. It also contains Aloe Vera which soothes and hydrates as well as Ginseng which promotes cell health and skin vibrancy. It all sounds very impressive and it is. I exfoliate using the tonic around 2 times a week (before I go to bed) and the next day my make-up goes on so smoothly and other products such as my moisturiser seem to sink in more quickly. I wouldn’t be without it.

I hope that you enjoyed this post and I’d love to hear what your skincare favourites are!

L x

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Banana & Peanut Butter protein shake

Second year of University complete and what an amazing year it was, spent with some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. However, uni can be hard sometimes, not only the workload and deadlines that all seem to be in for the same day *i’m not bitter at all*, but also in terms of lifestyle. I had a gym membership but exam stress and long library days meant that my visits were a bit patchy and I wasn’t really being that healthy at all. Long story short, copious amounts of cheesy chips were consumed and I’m surprised I didn’t actually turn into a Tesco meal deal.

Now that I’m back at home, I have decided to set myself some goals in terms of eating healthier and also going to the gym as often as I can. I’ve started going five times a week and at the moment I am really enjoying it, so hopefully I can keep this routine up! I usually go early in the morning and when I get back, I’m not overly hungry. However, I know it’s important to give your body the nutrients it needs after exercise and so I’ll make myself a protein shake and then I’ll have my actual breakfast a bit later. It’s super quick to make and tastes amazing so give it a try!

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What you need: 

A blender
1 Banana
2 tablespoons of oats
1 tablespoon of peanut butter – chunky or smooth
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder – I use Protein world but any will do the trick
250ml unsweetened almond milk
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of maple syrup
A handful of ice

Method:

It’s super simple to make, literally just grab all of the ingredients and pop them into your blender. I always put the almond milk in first because that way, the peanut butter is less likely to stick to the sides of the cup! After you’ve added everything, just blend it up until all the ingredients have been broken down and a liquid consistency is formed.

Serve & Enjoy!

L x

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Too Faced Sweet Peach palette: Review

Today’s post is a little review of the new Too Faced Sweet Peach eyeshadow palette, which is a limited edition release from their summer 2016 collection. I just so happened to be scrolling through my twitter feed when I saw Really Ree tweet that the palette was live on the Debenhams website and so I managed to pick one up quickly. I believe that it’s now sold out on the website but I’m convinced that it will be restocked, other than that some Debenhams stores that carry Too Faced may still have some in stock so don’t feel disheartened if you didn’t manage to grab one in flukey ninja style like myself.

The packaging is very similar to the other Too Faced eyeshadow palettes in that it has a magnetic closure and tin casing, but this one is covered in little peaches, obviously. The palette contains 18 equally sized eyeshadows and the best part is that the shadows actually smell of peaches. Now, I’m a huge lover of anything peach related and so to have a peach scented eyeshadow palette is just a thing of dreams. However, I must say that I’m not too sure whether anyone would be able to smell the shadows when they’re actually on the eyelids, but then again I don’t think that is what Too Faced intended for – random people smelling your eyelids… However, when you’re applying them you can detect the scent and so this is pleasant if somewhat gimmicky.

The quality of the shadows is amazing and they blend really easily meaning that there is no need to be sat in front of your mirror with a chronic cramp in your arm trying to blend that black shade you thought would look edgy but now look like you’ve been in a punch up. No. There is none of that, they effortlessly blend together which is a plus for lazy gals like myself who sometimes just do not have the patience.

I really love this palette and think Too Faced have hit the nail on the head with this one! I predict that the warm, peachy tones will serve me well throughout summer and I think I’ll also get a lot of use out of the palette when summer ends as there are other various neutral shades which are really versatile.

I hope you enjoyed reading and if i’ve managed to convince you, definitely keep your eyes peeled for it online and in-store!

L x

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