Wednesday, 27 January 2016

New in at the drugstore - January

I don't know if I'm the only one, but I get more excited for new cheaper makeup releases than I am for high end ones. Probably because I know I can buy more things or maybe because I just love a bargain (thanks mum for that trait!). I just so happened to pop into town on my lunch break the other day and wandered in to Boots to pick up one thing and I ended up coming out with allsorts.

First up, new nail bits from Barry M. I always think Barry M do cheap nail polish so well, I especially love the Gelly Hi-Shine range. The colours are beautiful and they give such a glossy finish with great staying power. So when I spotted they had some new shades, I opted for an off-white cream colour called Cream Soda. I've always wanted an almost white nail polish, but this way it doesn't look as though I've covered my nails in Tipex. 

They were on an offer (2 for £6), so of course I had to buy something else! Recently I've been trying to grow my nails and strengthen them. However when they aren't painted I have a tendancy to bite or snap them. So the new Mani Mask range caught my eye, offering colour with a conditioning treatment built in. I picked up Birthday Suit a pinky nude colour.

Then on to Maybelline. I love new brow products. Even though they tend to be something I don't switch up very often, it's always nice to find something you like even better. I spotted this brow pencil in a chubby stick, then I saw the name and knew I had to buy it: Brow Drama Pomade Crayon. I thought it may be a cheaper and more accessible alternative to the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade. The consistency seems lovely and really similar, but I think I may have to use it with a brush to get the same precision. When I've had a play around I may post a full comparison.

Now this may not be a very new product to Maybelline but the formulation was something that I have never spotted before. Maybelline Master Ink in Matte. In recent years I've used nothing but liquid eyeliner pencils, having had a terrible experience with a Bourjois Clubbing nibbed liquid eyeliner back in the day. But seeing Suzie from HelloOctober's perfect eyeliner in her videos made me really want to give it another chance and I thought Matte might be something a bit different.

Last but not least, a new foundation from Bourjois. Now Bourjois rank pretty high in the drugstore foundation category for me. I'd probably place them after Rimmel, as they just don't tend to have as much colour variety as some other brands. Just recently they released a new Matte foundation and even though everyone has been raving about it, I just knew that it would never work with my dry skin. Then I saw this one. A radiance and brightening promising formula. Seems more of a summer release with its SPF30, but I'm all for trying a new tinted moisturiser/BB cream now my skin is a bit clearer. So it went straight in to my basket!

Well that's all the things I've spotted and have picked up lately. Is there anything else I should try? Let me know in the comments.


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Thursday, 14 January 2016

2016 - My New Years Resolutions

Well I can't believe we are already two weeks into the New Year. 2015 flew by so quickly and at this rate, 2016 is too! 

I had some many amazing experiences in 2015. Starting the year in Australia spending sometime with family and friends. Knuckling down for those final year University exams in January. Signing up to my first ever Half Marathon in February. March came and off I popped to New York City only to have my best friend pop the question. Celebrated my 21st birthday in May with a surprise party. Then it all got quite boring until July came around and I was leaving Newcastle and coming back home, to a beautifully decorated mint and white bedroom (Hutch is a keeper!) I must add. I started work life and before I knew it the end of September came and I (luckily) completed my half marathon and finished exhausted, starving but in one piece. We brought Frank the pup home in October and then Christmas began I guess. But wow, it's been a truly an awesome year. So thank you to everyone who has made it so special. I'm hoping 2016 will be even better. 

So here are this years resolutions I'm hoping will give me the best year ever:

Stay organised. This is a repeat every year I think. When I have so many types of diary I really don't have any excuses. This means keeping track of birthdays and anniversaries. Keeping on top of my increasing wash load. Packing my lunch the night before, so I can't make bad choices.

Blog more. I really do love taking pictures and writing for my blog. I have posts lined up all the time but don't frequently take time out to sit down and blog away. To be able to accomplish this I must be more organised (see point one).

Take a photography or make up class. This is something I almost did this week. I just need to work out when will work best for me. I'd love to be able to take better quality photos, I just need to know how to work with my camera. As for makeup, I'd love to have a different creative outlet and a bit more confidence, so that I could do what I love best for friends and family. They're always asking me to make them up!

Stress less. Something I do without even realising. I just know this winds everyone I know up! I must make a habit to calm down, step back and really think before getting worked up about something. Is it the end of the world? No, then carry on and don't make a big deal.

Keep on track. For some many years I've had the resolution 'loose weight' as I'm sure is on most people's minds the minute January the 1st rolls around. As I decided to start Weight Watchers again a couple of months ago, my resolution is just to keep on with what I have been doing and to not loose hope. I've made good progress so far and I want it to continue!

Be active and improve my fitness. I'm not giving myself a goal like: Go to the gym 5 days a week. Just because I know it's a lot of pressure and life happens, you can't always make it that many times. I'd end up feeling guilty and bingeing for the hell of it. But by setting myself a goal like being more active, I can achieve this by parking my car further away from my destination and climbing the stairs more times a day. I just want to be in better shape for when I do the Great North Run again (maybe!) this year and generally get a bit more upper body strength. 

Have more time for me. I'm one of these people where there truly isn't enough hours in the day. If I could survive, I would stay up till 1 or 2am and get up for work at 7 just so I could squeeze more in to the day. Some things I never feel like I have chance to do, like: take baths to relax, paint my nails. Just generally taking care of myself and my mind. Maybe this year I'll get around to taking up yoga like I've always wanted to.

Well there we have it. Let's see just how many of these I manage to keep up for the whole year. I'll have to do a post at the end of 2016 to see what I have achieved.

Let me know some of your 2016 resolutions in the comments. I would love to read them and add to my ever growing list! I'd love it if you could go follow my blog on BlogLovin


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Best of Beauty 2015

Happy New Year everyone! I cannot believe we are in 2016. I hope that you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Years (and general festive period). Also hoping I'm not the only one dreading going back to work, after what seems like a lifetime off! It's given me chance to chill and spend time with loved ones, but also do what I love best.. shopping, oh and eating.

I absolutely love reading these kind of posts because unlike a monthly favourites they tend to be products that people have loved for the whole year and dare I say it "holy grail" products. The ones I have here are my complete staples. So before I ramble too much here are some of my most loved products from 2015.

Best Primer
Primer isn't really a category I am particularly bothered about most of the time. I've tried a few but they all seem to dry my skin out without any real benefit. This all changed when I purchased the Seventeen Skin Wow Primer. Although I don't think it makes my makeup last much longer, it gives such a beautiful illuminating finish under foundation that I can't go without. I don't use it on an everyday basis, but just when I feel I need a bit more radiance. As for eye primers, Urban Decay's Primer Potion is the only one I've ever tried but it does the job brilliantly so I will continue to use and repurchase.

Best Foundation
You may not be surprised by this, given I did a whole post about it earlier in the year, but my top foundation has to be Nars Sheer Glow. I thought I had found a new favourite in the MUFE HD foundation, however I always come back to sheer glow. Another favourite for lighter makeup days is the Dr Jart+ Regenerating BB Cream. I never thought I'd be able to get on with a 'one colour suits all' type of product, but blended in this seems to match my quite light skin tone perfectly. It is also so hydrating and contains SPF so a great one for when you may not want to go bare faced on holiday.

Best Concealer
Both of these are products I have discovered in 2015 and absolutely love. For blemishes and general covering around the face it goes to Clarins Instant Concealer. Hydrating and the perfect colour for my skin tone, this covers without being too thick and the hefty tube will probably last me a lifetime. For highlighting under the eyes, I love Urban Decays Naked Skin, it's so brightening and I think I may have to get another shade for bad skin days as the coverage is just amazing.

Best Beauty Tool
Without a doubt it's got to be the Beauty Blender. Since buying this in America in April, I've probably used it every day, with the exception of using my hands a couple of times! It works with everything from BB creams to Concealer to Foundation. I've even heard of using it for powder, although I am yet to try that out. Definitely worth the price tag and worth the hype. P.s. Please excuse my dirty one, I need a new one.

Best Highlight
Like primer, highlight is one category where I have never felt the need to have a collection of different products. For the last 4 years I stuck with MAC's Soft & Gentle and used it till it's very last bit. Then came the release of Champagne Pop and I see a similar pattern occurring. It suits pale skin, it's beautiful, go buy it!

Best Bronzer + Contour
I've put these into the same category as they are very similar powders and come in one palette. They are Fawn and Java from the Anastasia Beverley Hills contour palette in light. I use Fawn to contour, it has such a grey undertone so it mimics a shadow underneath the cheekbone perfectly without looking muddy, and Java is just great to warm up the face. I like that I can keep them both together too.

Best Blusher
This was a late 2015 discovery. I've always stuck to MAC blushers as they've never done me wrong. However after watching so many of I Covet Thee and Hello October's Youtube videos, I knew I had to try out one of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushers. After owning some of the brand's powders and getting on with them so well I thought I'd give them a go. It was love! I've since bought the Ambient Lighting Edit so I could try a couple more colours.

Best Fragrance
Jo Malone's Nectarine Blossom & Honey. Beautiful scent, so classic and simple. The first 'Grown Up' type scent I've had for a while.

Best Single Eyeshadow
Possible my most worn eyeshadow of the year is Maybelline's Colour Tattoo in On and on bronze. Quick and simple, easy to blend too. Great for when you want to look like you've made a bit of effort when you actually haven't.

Best Eyeshadow Palette
I think this was my first beauty purchase of 2015 in Singapore on Jan 1st. It is the Marc Jacobs Lolita eyeshadow palette. A palette of beautiful nude shades in a variety of finishes that can be used on their own, or combined to make daytime and evening looks.

Best Eyeliner
This is a non mover from the last couple of years. An oldy but a goody in my opinion. Soap & Glory's Supercat liquid liner. I wear liquid eyeliner every day so I have been through so many of these over the years.

Best Mascara
Mascara for me is where I've always liked to branch out with different brands. I don't think I've ever bought the same mascara twice. Meaning I've probably tried most of the drugstore ones available. One of my faves, recommended by my Mum is Clinique's High Impact Mascara. She always has sample sizes of these hanging around as they are great for travelling and I've managed to go through quite a few (still never bought the full size though!). It is defining and lengthening, it doesn't smudge and is easy to remove so a winner in my books. Another contender to best mascara, as I couldn't choose just one, is Urban Decay's Perversion Mascara. Another sample size I received in the post! This is another great one with similar qualities to Clinique's offering. Although it may just give slightly blacker and more voluminous lashes.

Best Brow Product
Up until this year, I had used the same brow product daily and always had been complimented on my eyebrows. Then when in America this year I had to pick up Anastasia's Dipbrow Pomade, as everyone and their uncle were raving about it. It is definitely confusing to use at first, but once I got my technique down my eyebrows don't take that long to fill in in a morning. And they definitely look more natural. I probably haven't even used 1/3 of it in nearly a year.

Best Lipstick
My favourite budget lipsticks of the year are Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets,.I keep collecting them and I now have four. They go on very precisely and last for a long time. The variety of colours is great, all the shades are lovely and they're only £8.99! On the higher end side of things, MAC wins and always has for me. I'm constantly building my collection and then Back-to-MAC-ing and coming back with even more new shades. They smell great and there are so many finishes and colours. My favourite colours of the year have to be Velvet Teddy and Mehr. Both are 2015 purchases.

Best Lipliner
Mac again. Suprise, suprise. This is the first year I've ever tried and got into using lip liners and they definitely prolong the lasting power of your lipstick and help give a bold lip that extra wow factor. The colours pictured are Ablaze, Spice and Soar.
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