Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Beauty Book Review: Express Makeup by Rae Morris

Further to my review of the Style Eyes, I am back to discuss another makeup book: Express Makeup by Rae Morris.


Known widely as the most influential makeup artist working in Australia today, Rae Morris can also boast the titles of best selling author, L’Oréal Paris Makeup Director and four times Australian Makeup Artist of the Year.
Collaborating with some of the world’s leading photographers including Daniela Federici, Justin Cooper, Philippe Cometti, Sarah Silver and Jason Capobianco, Rae has worked on editorial covers, fashion and beauty spreads in magazines including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Rolling Stone and In Style. Advertising clients who seek out Rae’s work include Max Factor, Bobbi Brown, Coca Cola, Adidas, Nokia and Ella Baché.


Express Makeup is the third out of four makeup books released by Rae (the others being Makeup: The Ultimate Guide, Beautiful Eyes: The Ultimate Eye Makeup Guide and Timeless Makeup), and provides fast, easy to achieve looks for women who want to look great in a hurry.



I really like the way this book is presented: beautiful glossy pages with stunning photographs (taken by Stephen Chee) not dissimilar to something out of Vogue magazine - this could be your classic coffee table book.

The steps and advice are really clear and concise, and there is a good variety of different looks to try, both for young and more mature women, as well as for Caucasian, Asian and Black skin tones.

It is a lovely book which covers the basics from makeup kit, brushes and how to choose foundation to more complex topics such as bronzing, contouring and highlighting. The images are stunning (see below for examples) and I love the way the models' skin is left almost completely natural looking rather than being caked in foundation (you can see their freckles, for example) as I've seen in some other beauty books.


Miranda Kerr! I ♥ Miranda




The one thing I don't like is the constant plugging of Rae's website and own brand of brushes. 
Fair enough to say 'you can use a buffing brush from the Real Techniques range, or for a more affordable alternative the ELF studio powder brush...' (that was a made up example), or even just say 'use a buffing brush like this' with a photo to illustrate so you know what you're looking for, but I don't appreciate the self promotion - especially when i don't even think the brushes are available here!

That aside, and because I haven't read any of her other books (apparently there can be repetition in subject matter, especially when compared to Makeup: The Ultimate Guide), I enjoyed looking through this book and definitely picked up some tips.

You can currently find this on Amazon around the £10 mark (or from Rae's own website).

Have you read any of Rae Morris' other books, or is there any beauty books you'd recommend?











Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Review: 17 Lasting Fix lipstick in Hot Chilli

I don't know what it is, but i'm currently going through a bold-lipstick phase, and like a magpie to anything shiny, I am immediately attracted to bright, summary shades of fuscia, red and coral!

I've taken to treating myself to a new lippie every now and then, usually when i'm at the airport and usually from Boots (I was considering taking the plunge and buying a MAC lipstick, but firstly I still can't justify the price - especially when i've heard Topshop lipsticks are just as good at half the price - and secondly they have taken a GIANT backwards step and started testing on animals), and so the last time I was in Boots browsing through (as I do), I was drawn to the 17 stand and the shiny new products it had to offer.

17 have become famous for their now well known Beehive Mirror Shine On lipstick, but they also have an impressive array of alternative lipstick shades and types available, including the Mirror Shine On, Supreme Shine, Sheer Moisture, Lasting Fix and Berry Crush Lipstain - details for all of which can be found here.

As you can see, after much ooohing and aaaahing and hmmming, I opted for the Lasting Fix lipstick.
17 claim that it provides long lasting, non-drying coverage for your lips that lasts up to 4 hours - not the most impressive of staying power claims, but likely to be the most realistic!

The Lasting Fix range offers a huge variety of shades - 20 in fact! - but I eventually opted for Hot Chili, which is a stunning bright orangey-red (more red than coral i'd say, but still beautiful). My mum hates it. But she's a bit old school (and never strays from her good old Maxfactor Lipfinity).

I think with some simple winged eyeliner it brings a modern twist to the old school glamour look, and will be perfect for the summer.
This is a very wearable shade that will flatter a variety of skintones: I have very pale skin and think it suits me just fine, and can imagine it will look stunning on ladies with darker skin tones too.


As with most long-lasting lipsticks, this can be a tad drying on the lips, but nothing a dab of lipbalm or moisturising lipgloss doesn't sort throughout the course of the day.

This is a matte-finish lipstick and VERY pigmented - literally only one quick 'swipe' over the lips is required - and applies very smoothly.
I actually think because it is so pigmented that it could easily last more than the 4 hour claim, as it adds a kind of vibrant stain to your lips, and whilst at first I did worry about it smearing all over my face (classy) it has great 'gripping' power and does slip over the lips at all.

I also love the packaging. Simple, sturdy, with a very MAC-esque pink interior (not unlike the Viva Glam lipsticks), 17 have definitely upped their game in terms of product quality.

As with all 17 products, the Lasting Fix lipsticks are very reasonably priced at £4.29 and are great value for money - i'll be buying more whilst Boots have their 3 for 2 offer running!

Have you tried any lipsticks from this range?















Monday, 26 March 2012

Beauty Book Review: Style Eyes by Taylor Chang-Babaian

Through the blogging and YouTube community I have developed a genuine interest in and love for all things beauty/make-up (and would actually really like to go on a professional make-up course at some point).

I have starting experimenting with different make-up looks, and whilst i'm not quite confident enough yet to 'showcase' (i.e. do tutorials etc) any of my looks on my blog or YouTube, I have enjoyed practising on myself and other people, and am always on the look-out for new sources of inspiration.

My friend recently have me two books to look at for this purpose: Style Eyes, and also Express Make-up by Rae Morris (review to come).



Style eyes is the second book by makeup artist Taylor Chang-Babaian.
Taylor is considered one of America's top makeup artists in the fashion, magazine, music, film and television industries. Her makeup tips have been featured in the likes of Town and Country, Instyle and Glamour, and she has appeared on several American TV shows including Dr. Phil Extra and Fox News.



Taylor's first book, Asian Faces, focused on the various make-up needs and styles of Asian women, but now with Style Eyes she is approaching women of all ethnicities but also focusing on what could be considered the most challenging part of makeup application: eyes.



The book covers everything from shaping your eye brows to applying false lashes.
There are step-by-step instructions for every look and technique, explanations, definitions, tips and tricks.



I especially loved the detailed how-tos for different eye shapes and lids. Those should give even the most inexperienced users a good idea how to create a polished look that really fits their features.

I also like that when recommending product types to use (i.e. tweezers, brushes etc), she doesn't actually recommend/push particular product brands - so for example she never says "buy Tweezerman tweezers or MAC/Bobbi Brown brushes" - and therefore you don't feel excluded if (like me) you can't afford certain products due to their price.

I've included some of my favourite images (taken by Albet Sanchez) below simply because they're so colourful and beautiful - there are less complicated, every day looks in the book too!



For a fairly inexperienced makeup junkie like myself, Taylor's tips are succinct, straight-forward, and well-explained. It's nice to see a book that's easy to understand, even for beginners, and to see "functional" pics -as opposed to simply being eye candy. Don't worry, there's still some eye candy in the book, too as you can see from the pictures above!

You can get Style Eyes on Amazon for £13.59 (RRP £15.99), and I personally think it is worth every penny for those wanting to expand their knowledge of eye makeup.

Have you read this book or have any to recommend?

Melanie x
Thursday, 22 March 2012

A Melanie Moment...

Image from We Heart It


It's strange how blogging comes to be such a big part of your life, and how many people you get to 'know' (i.e. interact with) through it and Twitter.

Sometimes however, admidst all the product reviews and other abstract posts, I feel like the personal element is sometimes lost, particularly through blogging, because at least on Youtube you can see/hear the person whose video you are watching, and get an idea of the person they are.

Therefore today I thought I would have a little break from product reviews, and rather you learning about other bloggers (through my An Interview With... series), you can learn a little bit more about me in the form of a mini life update!

Where to begin. ("Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop" as the King said to the White Rabbit in Alice In Wonderland!)

My Fiance and I have never had the most conventional of relationships, indeed our entire 5 year relationship has been a long distance one (punctuated by alternate weekends together, summer holidays, and time spent together over the Christmas/New Year period), and the idea always was (because I am such a home bird - I am incredibly close to my family, both immediate and extended) that Lee (my Fiance) would move up to Scotland. However as time crept on and Lee struggled to find relevant work up here (he is a cabinet maker/antiques restorer), not to mention the wedding (which was meant to take place on 1st of July this year) loomed even closer, things did start to get a bit rocky.

I suppose I was quite selfish just assuming that he should move, but at the same time he knew when he got involved with me in the beginning how close I was to my family, and how I didn't want to move away from them. But I suppose circumstances dictated otherwise, and it took us nearly breaking up over New Year for me to realise that sometimes life involves taking chances and stepping outside your comfort zone.

Christmas/New Year of 2011 into 2012 will not go down as the best of my life.
Like I say, we nearly broke up, and in the process my Mum and Dad (as they are paying for the vast majority of it) decided that we should postpone our wedding until next year some time. Looking at it now it makes sense - what would be the point in them putting more money into something that might not happen - as it gives us more time to sort ourselves out and actualy look forward to it, rather than stressing about moving in together and organising a wedding at the same time. But at the time it felt like a right kick in the teeth, and there is no doubt that the period also severely tested my relationship with my parents - my mum in particular - and for a time I have never, ever felt so alone. 

As the saying goes, too many cooks can spoil the broth, which I now whole-heartedly agree with in terms of how many people i've spoken to regarding my whole situation.
I am not one for keeping things to myself - I HAVE to talk things over with someone - and I am quite easily influenced, but in this case I think I spoke to too many. Once Lee, mum and dad, my sister, other family members, even my boss had essentially stuck their oar in and given me their opinion, my head was literally spinning, and I didn't know who to believe or what to think.  

It was one of my best friends who said (I can quote it word-for-word - i've still kept the text in my phone to look at when I get wobbly!): "Take one thing at a time, it's not a big race to get things done, it's about enjoying what's happening now - you and Lee are missing out on enjoying one another because you're both so focused on making the future perfect. Enjoy now and tomorrow will make itself."
Wise words I think you'll agree.
I just decided from that point that I need to be 'a big girl' and take more chances for myself - including moving away from my family if need be.

I started applying for jobs in Kent (where Lee is from), and I have been very lucky in that I was offered a couple of interviews after only a few weeks of applications.
I've been shooting up and down the country (Easyjet have done very well out of me!) to attend said interviews, and was actually offered a job with one of the companies last week, which I have now accepted.

So what happens next?
I finish work on the 30th of March, then plan to move down on Easter weekend (Lee is coming up to drive down with me. Should be interesting given that I have a phobia of getting lost!).
We are moving in with his Mum and his sister until I settle into my new job and can start looking for somewhere ourselves - living down south in comparison to Scotland is not cheap!
I don't plan on coming back to Scotland for a visit for a good month or two until i'm settled, as I know I will get HORRENDOUSLY home sick at first, and I think if I was to come back up too soon I wouldn't want to go back!
I am not going to lie and say I am 100% comfortable with it, but I am getting quite excited, and it will be nice to see Lee every day like a proper couple!

I can imagine that for the first wee while my blogging/youtubing will suffer slightly, as Lee's mum only has plug-in internet and more often than not she or Lee's sister or Lee is using it, hence it might be difficult for me to blog on as regular a basis as I have been recently. I'll maybe try and get stuff done in my lunchbreaks at work, but hopefully i'll get someone sorted as i've came to really enjoy blogging!

I think i've rambled on enough now (and well done if you've read down this far!), but I wanted to let you know a little more about me and what's been going on. I'd love it if you have had similar experiences of moving and so forth that you could tell me about - it makes things seem so much better!

Normal posting (i.e. reviews etc) should resume ASAP!

lots of love (because i'm now feeling mushy)
Melanie x







Wednesday, 21 March 2012

An Interview With...Beth, Birds Words


Technically, I should hate Beth.
She is an absolutely lovely lady, writes a brilliant blog, Birds Words (although not all about makeup may I hasten to add; you can read her 'so you just blog about makeup?' post here), and is absolutely GORGEOUS.

But that would be silly.

Being the kind soul that she is, Beth very kindly took up my offer to answer questions on everything girlie...


Blogging

What Inspired you to start your blog and/or YouTube channel?
I’ve always been interested in beauty and fashion, had been reading blogs for the past 2 years and really wanted to join in with likeminded people and share my own thoughts. One boring summer evening last September I decided I would start my own and I’m so glad I did.

♥ What would you like to achieve from your blog/channel?

I haven’t really got any goals as such - I enjoy blogging because I get to have a good old natter with fellow beauty-fanatics. Of course it would be lovely if anything did come of it but I never started it with those intentions and I just enjoy it as a hobby – I’ve always loved writing so I find it very rewarding on a personal level.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own blog?
Go for it. My only regret is that I didn’t start mine earlier and I wished I hadn’t hesitated over it for so long! There is very much a sense of community on Blogger and it makes it all worthwhile to know if somebody has read your post and found it helpful  or interesting to read in any way.

(Other than your own of course) What blogs/channels do you recommend?
SprinkleofGlitter of COURSE! I’m sure you’re all very much familiar with the lovely Louise but her posts make my day when I’ve had a cruddy day at work or suchlike and I just love the chatty nature of her posts.

If you could choose one celebrity to guest edit your blog for the day, who would you choose and why?
Probably Lauren Conrad because she is my absoloute style icon. Or Louie Spence – just for the laughs I suppose.


Makeup/Skincare/Haircare

Which celebrity do you think has the best overall makeup/hair style?
Lauren Conrad – she always looks effortlessly glamorous.

What one item (cosmetic or otherwise) could you not leave the house without?
MY COMB! Everybody who knows me knows about me and my partner in crime – the comb. It goes everywhere with me. I’ve left it at work a couple of times and haven’t known what to do with myself. I must admit im partial to backcombing my hair and no other comb gets it as ‘poofy’ as this one particular comb. I also feel a bit uneasy if I’ve left my concealer at home!

Do you ever go out without make-up on?
This is so awful to admit but not really. Unless I’m on holiday – that’s an exception!

What would you say is the best highstreet/drugstore line for each of the following, and do you recommend any products within each category:
A. Makeup - This is too hard to pick one specific brand. But you can’t go wrong with Mac. I’m loving Illamasqua blushes right now too.
B. Haircare - John Frieda and Lee Stafford. I always go for their shampoos and have yet to find a better range of hair care! If you have blonde hair and want to get rid of yellow then Lee Stafford purple shampoo is amazing! I’m also loving John Frieda’s blonde range.
C. Skincare -Clinique. I’ve sworn by it ever since I was a teenager and it’s always worked for my skin.

♥ Any makeup/skincare/haircare tips?
I find that a good primer and eyeshadow base makes a huge difference to my makeup. I rarely skip it. I’ve also never left my makeup on overnight and my skin has thanked me for that!


Style

How would you describe your style?
Very girly and dressy. I love my heels, pretty blouses and blazers. I often look a bit overdressed but I enjoy putting outfits together and experimenting with clothes.

Who's your biggest style influence/where do you draw inspiration from?
I can’t say I really draw inspiration from anybody in particular. I just go for what I know suits me.

Favourite place to shop?
So typical – Topshop. Although I love ASOS for dresses if I have any occasions or nights out lined up.

Highstreet or designer?

Highstreet all the way! I experiment so much with my clothing that it would be so silly to go out and splash a load of pennies on something I’ll wear once! I make an excuse for shoes though – the odd pair of expensive shoes is most definitely allowed.

Best fashion buy?
Day dresses. They’re so effortless and versatile. I love lace dresses at the moment.

What would you consider wardrobe essentials?
Plain vest tops, sheer blouses, black tights, bodycon skirts, skater dresses and a fitted blazer (and a nice pair of daytime heels!)

Fashion 'Do's' and 'don'ts'?
If you know something won’t suit you, don’t wear it for the sake of fashion. I often love certain trends but I never go near them because I know what suits my figure and my style.
Only wear what you feel comfortable in.


Thank you Beth for that little interview :)

If you have any bloggers that you would like me to interview, then please let me know.

Melanie x


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Review: Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Foundation & Concealer

When searching for a foundation (or indeed any type of make-up product, whether it be nail varnish, blusher and so on), I admit that previously the Collection 2000 stand would be one of the last I would visit when browsing through Boots or Superdrug.

It has attracted a rather dated, teen-market image for itself, and when I used to think of the brand, I instantly thought of lime green eyeshadow and cheap pearlescent pink lipstick - even the name is a bit naff!
However as they are celebrating their 25th anniversary this month, in an attempt to shake things up they have rebranded themselves as Collection Cosmetics (with the image they now promote not dissimilar to that of Rimmel or Barry M), and will introduce more vibrant, trend-led hues for their take on the season's hottest looks.

For all you animal lovers out there like myself, Collection 2000 (or rather Collection, sorry) state that they do not test any of their products on animals, nor do they get any companies to do so on their behalf (whether or not any of the ingredients used in making their products have been tested on animals however is not mentioned) - you can read their animal testing policy here.

I think by now every man and his dog (or at least every beauty blogger) knows about the infamous Lasting Perfection concealer that has been making the rounds on YouTube and blogging land and, therefore I shall only discuss it briefly here, and rather focus on it's 'sister' product - the Lasting Perfection foundation, which I feel has been somewhat neglected in comparison.


Lasting Perfection Foundation

First things first, if you are looking for a heavy-duty, Estee Laudee Double Wear highstreet/drugstore dupe then Revlon Colorstay step aside, this foundation is the one for you!

I LOVE the 30ml bottle. It's made out of what feels like glass (although I suspect it might be heavy-duty plastic made to give a glass effect?), and feels lovely and reassuringly heavy in your hand. (That sounds odd. Maybe it's just me, but sometimes plastic bottles feel a bit cheap and flimsy, where as this feels more luxurious!).
The pump-action bottle is also very convenient, not to mention hygienic.



Like Double Wear (DW), this foundation is very thick in consistency, which for some may be a downside, but ideal if you want serious flawless yet still quite luminous coverage without looking too matte.
Unlike DW (and indeed Revlon Colorstay), it is very blendable on application (I use my ELF powder brush to apply it) and sets after a few minutes - no frantic blending on one area of the face as with DW/Colorstay!


There is no obvious smell to speak of, and it is an oil-free formula, making it ideal for normal/combination/oily skins - those with dry skins may find it sticks to dry patches, so make sure you moisturise or use a primer beforehand.
You might also find on initial application that it is a tad tacky, but this soon sets to a nice finish - although I have found (despite claims that it is anti-transfer) that if I don't buff it in completely I can end up with foundation residue on my phone etc. Nice.

An extra bonus is the SPF20 forumla, which is one of the highest out in the drugstore/highstreet foundation market right now.
The downside to this however is the flashback - not a good look as you can see below!


Apart from the ghost-face effect of the SPF (which isn't really a negative, it just means you should avoid wearing this any time you will be near a camera flash!), the only other downside/negative/let down to this foundation is the colour range available.
The Collection website shows 6 shades, but when I picked up my bottle of foundation at Boots I don't recall seeing any more than approximately 3 on sale.
As with many cosmetics companies, Collection are limiting their customer base by only providing 'generic' foundation shades that only cater to those of light to medium skin tones.

Now from those 3 or so that were available, I went for what I thought was the lightest shade (as anyone would, going in numerical order!) 'Vanilla 1'.

However as you can see in comparison to the skin on my hand, this is by far too dark for me, and on checking the Collection website, it would appear I have somehow picked up the third darkest shade?!

To get round this, I have been mixing my Lasting Perfection with my Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation to lighten it somewhat - i'll make sure I try and get the shade Ivory next time!



In terms of wear, this stuff is definitely hardcore!
Whilst admittedly I can't verify the 16 hour claim (very rarely would I have foundation on that long anyway -  taking my makeup off tends to be the first thing I do when I get in from work!), I can vouch for its staying power of at least 8-10 hours through a day of work in an air conditioned office.
If you have oily skin you might find you start to look a tad dewy after a while, especially during hot weather, but the foundation coverage should remain intact, and you should be able to remedy any shininess with blotting paper or some powder.

If you're not looking for full, almost mask-effect coverage, then I would avoid this. I personally love the blank-canvas effect that heavy duty foundations provide, therefore I really like this foundation, but as I say if you're more of a natural-effect foundation then I would look elsewhere!

It is also fantastic value for money at around £5 from Boots, Superdrug and other Collection 2000 retailers (I think Asda sometimes stock them?) - makes me wonder why I paid the 20-odd pounds for the EL DW in the past!


Lasting Perfection Concealer

Like the foundation, this concealer claims to be an 'ultimate wear' productwhich conceals flaws, imperfections and blemishes for up to 16 hours. It is transfer proof and water resistant for full and long lasting coverage. 

Like the foundation (or indeed most drugstore concealers), the shades available are quite limited: fair, light, medium and deep (although you could always buy a couple and mix up your shade - at £4.19 you can afford to!)

It is packaged in a clear tube (the writing on which is notorious for rubbing off within days, hence why mine has nothing on it!) that contains a twist-off doe foot (not 'dofer' as I thought some people were pronouncing it on YouTube!!) applictor in the lid. I'm not too sure if i'm overly keen on this type of applicator - it isn't the most hygienic, and I don't really use it as an applicator anyway, as I tend to put it on the back of my hand and apply from there. Maybe a squeezy tube would be better?

The concealer is quite thick and creamy in consistency; almost paste like (therefore no danger of it running down your face on application!), and goes onto skin - both under the eyes and over blemishes, etc - very easily and smoothly, and is really easy to blend out - I use either my ELF powder brush again, or my Bobbi Brown travel foundation brush.

It covers dark circles brilliantly, but i've found in order to prevent it settling into fine lines around my eyes I need to make sure the eye area is thoroughly moisturised beforehand.
I do use it here, but also primarily on red patches round my nose and over spots/blemishes. It can also be used on eyelids as an eyeshadow base and to cancel out any red/purple tones.

For coverage reference, you can see that it has very effectively covered up a small cut on my hand that was shown on the foundation swatch picture (shown covered up in the concealer swatch photo).

It is undoubtedly one of the most long-lasting matte-finish concealers i've used to date, but I would day it has a tendancy to slightly fade by the end of the day before the foundation does. It still does a fantastic job however, and I like to keep it in my handbag make-up bag for 'just in case' purposes.

Before and After

Warning: if you are of a squeamish disposition, look away now. Kidding. It's just me sans make-up!

Alas, I am not blessed with perfect, glowing, blemish-free skin (I believe that's what airbrushing is for), and definitely have to work at it to fake the flawless look!
I wouldn't say I have serious acne, but I do get clusters of small spots (and the odd mountain, such as the one above on my cheek!), particularly around the time of the month, as well as suffering from blackheads, and enlarged pores and redness around my nose.

As you can imagine then, I tend to go for medium-heavy coverage foundations to cover up my flaws, and both the Lasting Perfection Foundation and Concealer have not let me down in this respect.


I am really pleased I looked past the old Collection 2000 image and decided to try these two products - the foundation in particular.
In my opinion it is a better dupe for the Estee Lauder Double Wear than Revlon Colorstay - not to mention cheaper! There has been a bit of a mix up in terms of shades, but i'm quite happy to mix it with my Healthy mix at the moment (it might also be a better match when i'm tanned), and when I run out i'll definitely repurchase (in the right shade!)

Have you tried this or any other Collection products?












Wednesday, 14 March 2012

An Interview With...Stina, Chic Beauty Blog




Avid beauty blog followers out there will no doubt already know the lovely Stina and her fabulous Chic Beauty Blog.

If not, as a quick intro, she is an established beauty blogger and working mother of two, who somehow finds the time to regularly blog and make videos about beauty, hair, fashion, fitness (she also has a health and fitness blog) and generally the nice things in life!
She is also somewhat of a self-confessed Twitter addict - make sure you tweet her!

Chic Beauty Blog was one of the first beauty blogs I started following (along with the infamous Lollipop26 and the like), and I really like Stina's simple yet informative style of blogging - not to mention the really good giveaways!
So I was thrilled when one of my favourite bloggers agreed to answer my questions on all things beauty, blogging and fashion related...


Blogging

What Inspired you to start your blog and/or YouTube Channel?
Friends were always asking me what mascara I used, or where I had my hair done etc, so I eventually decided that writing about the products I use would be beneficial, so Chic Beauty Blog was born.

What would you like to achieve from your blog/channel?
To be honest, all I want to achieve from it is that my readership will feel informed on what products are good and available to them, and that perhaps some of them discover new products / services they’d otherwise not known of.
It would be fantastic to make my blog / You Tube channel my full time job, but as long as I have bills to pay, I need to keep the office job.
      (Other than your own of course) what blogs/channels do you recommend?

My favourite blog is Holly’s blog which is Yummy Mummy Beauty Blog and I LOVE her you tube channel as well.. I don’t get that much time to read blogs these days what with juggling a job, 2 little boys, a house and my own blog, but Holly’s blog I always have time for J I have many favourites; there are plenty amazing bloggers around.
(*Holly has also featured in 'An Interview with...' here*)

If you could choose one celebrity to guest edit your blog for a day who would you choose and why?
I’d chose Holly Willoughby as I find her super pretty, I love her hair and her makeup, and I’d love to find out what her beauty and skin care secrets are. She is a working  mum as well and I want to know what make up she uses and how she stays looking so fabulous all the time ..

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting their own blog and/or channel?
First and foremost, be honest in your reviews and don’t feel bribed into doing a positive review, and also just be yourself. Don’t worry if you don’t have a writing style perfected, I think what is charming about blogs is that they’re all unique.

Makeup/Skincare/Haircare

 Which celebrity do you think has the best overall make-up/hair style?
I think someone who just never ever gets it wrong and always looks amazing is Jennifer Anniston, she has that glow, she looks 10 years younger than she is, her hair is lustrous and shiny and her figure is to die for. She plays it safe 99% of the time, but that is much like me, I feel it is safer to stick with what suits me.

What one item (cosmetic or otherwise!) could you not leave the house without?
Lipstick / gloss. You can be sure to always find at least 3 lipsticks or glosses in any of my handbags, I cannot stand the feeling of bare lips.

Do you ever go out without make-up on?
Yes I do quite often as it goes. I have to take my eldest boy to school every morning at 8.30, and often I don’t wear any makeup as I go straight to the gym after that, and it doesn’t bother me anymore.

What would you say is the best Highstreet/drugstore line for each of the following, and do you recommend any products within in each category:
            ♥ Make-up –  I rarely buy high street makeup, but if I could chose just the 1 brand I’d chose GOSH as they have everything and all of their makeup is nicely packaged and great quality and reasonably priced.
♥ HaircareI LOVE the Aussie hair brand and I use all their products and out of most hair care I’ve tried this range never fails to make my hair super shiny and smell delicious!
            ♥ SkincareI really like the Simple range or the Bots Botanics organic range of product, they are so cheap but so fab!

Any make-up/haircare/skincare tips?
I have found that an expensive price tag does not necessarily a good product make – so definitely shop around as there are some fab bargain skin care ranges to be found out there.

Style

How would you describe your style?
Hmm this is a bit difficult. I’d say I always dress smartly, chic maybe ;) I am always rather overdressed than underdressed for any occasion- love putting outfit together with all the matching shoes, bags, accessories.
Who's your biggest style influence/where do you draw inspiration from?
I don’t have a particular person I admire as such, I like people who always look well put together yet simply dressed,

Favourite place to shop?
 My fave shops are Zara, Topshop, New Look, Dune, Warehouse

Highstreet or designer?
High street all the way for me, I love shopping and I love buying lots of different items and that is easier to do with the high street shops.

Best fashion buy?
Have too many to mention, I am a complete shopaholic

What would you consider wardrobe essentials?
A few stables such as Skinny jeans in black and indigo, white and black fitted t.shirts, a few blazers, black and a lighter colour and good quality high heels J

               Fashion "do's and don'ts"?
Don’t wear clothes that are too big, they make you look bigger. DO match shoes and bag ;)


Thanks for the interview Stina :)
Make sure you keep watching for the next installment of An Interview with...




Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Review: Eylure Sex and the City lashes - Miranda

As you might have noticed (as I might have mentioned it once or twice, ahem), my favourite beauty tool/product of the moment is definitely false eyelashes.

Ever since I 'discovered' falsies around December last year (and once I got the hang of the application process!), I have been wearing them almost on a daily basis, and once I find a pair I like I tend to wear them to death!

I've tested out quite a few different types up until this point, from the cheap 10-pair Ebay sets to the more 'expensive' (around £6) from Eylure and so on, but i've yet to try the uber-expensive sets from MAC and the like.
As much as I think i've got the hang of applying my false eyelashes, there are days where things do go wrong, and sometimes pairs can get messed up when I take them off, therefore I am loathe to spend a lot of money on my lashes, and hence I am always on the hunt for inexpensive yet good quality lashes.
Eylure is one of the most established false-eyelash brands out there, having been founded 60 years ago, and offers everything lash-related from strip lashes in a multitude of styles to semi permanent eyelash extensions, as well as products for your eyebrows.

They have famously collaborated with Girls Aloud to create a range of lashes designed by each of the band members (I particularly like the 'Cheryl' lashes), and have most recently launched 4 lash styles inspired by Sex and the City, which have been designed to reflect the personality they represent.

So far I have purchased and tried 'Charlotte' lashes (very pretty and feminine as you can imagine - review to come), and now the 'Miranda' lashes featured here.
I tend to try and avoid the very obvious false-lash look (as sported by the TOWIE lot, for example), and so much prefer natural, clear-band lashes which simply enhance your eyes without screaming FAKE!

These Miranda lashes are perfect for this - bias cut with a 'kick flair' (i.e. more emphasis/concentration) on the outer corners which elongates the eye - and can be worn during the day. And because they have a clear/natural band there is no need for heavy black eyeliner to disguise the join (the downfall of my favourite ELF dramatic lashes).

They apply really easily and keep their shape (sometimes when I take my lashes off they go a bit wonky which makes it hard to re-apply them), and can easily be worn for several times afterwards, providing you remove them carefully, and pick off any glue before the next use.
You can get these lashes for around £7 from the likes of Debenhams, but I actually found mine in Bodycare and Savers in the UK for only £2.99 and £1.99 respectively! I'm actually tempted to stock up whilst they're at these prices just in case!

Do you know of any lash ranges/types you think i'd like?