Sunday, 29 April 2012

The make up of make up artists ... :)

Recently I have bought a couple of the mini nail polishes from Maxfactor. They are sold in both Boots and Superdrug, but they are currently £1 off in Superdrug at the moment  (£2.99 instead of the standard £3.99). I really like the concept for mini nail polishes because although I do generally use all of my collection a lot, I still haven't ever finished many bottles. Nail varnish lasts a really long time! Or it goes gloopy before you finish it which is even more annoying (quick tip: apparently if  you put a drop of nail varnish remover in the nail varnish it can help make it less gloopy).  Both stores I went into had a really good range of the nail varnishes, and I have collected four so far; 05 - Sunny Pink, 14 - Dazzling Blue, 20 - Mellow Yellow, 43 - Odyssey  Blue. 

L-R - Dazzling Blue, Odyssey Blue, Mellow Yellow, Sunny Pink

I  thought I would include a picture to show how small they are. To be fair, models own nail varnishes are quite large but just don't be put off if you were expecting bigger; in my opinion they are still worth buying. If you would prefer a larger bottle, Maxfactor 10ml nail varnishes costs £5.99, but they aren't the same colour range. The first colour I tried is the Mellow Yellow. It's probably my least favourite of the four colours and it takes a good 4 coats to reach the level of opacity I like, but my boyfriend said he really liked it and I think it would be really good for summer. 

It was also fairly chip free for a couple of days, which on my nails is quite good because my nails seem to chip like nobody's business. 

This is one, Odyssey Blue, is probably my favourite of the 4. It is a really nice glittery blue but it does also need a fair few coats. I think in this picture I have applied three coats as well as a base and top coat. 

This one is 'Sunny Pink' and is probably the most sheer, and in this picture I have applied 4 coats, but I do really like it and definitely don't regret buying it.  Also, because the individual layers are so sheer, they dry quite quickly, so it isn't too much hassle having too apply so many coats. 

I really like this colour too (Dazzling Blue). It reminds me of the sea and mermaids :)  In general, these are all really easy to remove but Odyssey Blue is harder because of the glitter. Overall, I would definitely recommend these to anyone really; they are good for people who don't wear nail varnish that often as they are so small, but are also good for people who have loads already and want to try something new.


My first exam is tomorrow  morning! AAAAARRRGGGH! Wish me luck :) xxx

Saturday, 28 April 2012

A Barbecue and A Pair Of Louboutins ...

I have been busy revising all day because my first exam is on Monday. Noooooooooo. I'm really freaking out about it this year. I think it is because it is finals and this is what the whole three years have been for but I'm petrified. So it was my friends 30th birthday party today so me and my best friends decided to head on down for a break  from work. It was supposed to be a barbecue but the weather wasn't great. Luckily, the rain we have had all week managed to hold off for most of it but it was fricking cold so some guy made a bonfire. This guy has to be one of the strangest guys I have ever met but hey ho he makes an alright fire. When I first met him, his idea of a good first conversation was to tell me how a man should never change 1) his hairdresser, 2) his tailor and 3) his wine supplier. Starting to see what I mean yet ... Oh and he is also called horatio. Lovely guy but an absolute nutter. But anyway here are some pictures ...

These are two of my closest friends at uni! Carys is on the left (we met on the open day and have lived together since first year - it was fate :)  ) and on the right is Amanda who is going out with one of my housemates. 

And this is the bonfire that Horatio made, although I think his name might actually be Tristan ..... such a random man

Anyway, this post was originally going to be about the present my boyfriend got me for my 21st which was in September. It was pretty special and definitely worth sharing with everyone :)  We have been together for 6 years and pretty much that whole time he has put up with me going on and on about how much I love Christian Louboutin shoes. So when it was my 21st he said 'why don't we go shopping and you can pick something out that is in my budget'. I'm getting excited just telling you all about it. So anyway, the car park was right by Selfridges so he was like oh they do nice shoes why don't we have a look (was I ever really going to say no???) so off we went and there they were !!! I absolutely loved them straight away. They are classic shoes and perfect because I will never forget who bought them for me and why and I will have them forever. Before anyone thinks I'm spoilt, I did contribute towards them myself as well and honestly I don't think I will buy any again because they fulfil everything I have ever wanted from a pair of shoes. Also, I don't think I would ever want anyone else to buy me something so precious. They will also see me through many special days, like my graduation (eeeekkk) etc.

Anyway, here's a picture before you all get bored of my ramblings :) I still can't believe I'm lucky enough to own a pair!!! 

They are SO beautiful! They are the FIFI shoes and I love them because they are timeless! They are fairly comfy but I've heard other Louboutins are comfier because these ones don't have any platform. 

Anyway, I thought I would just share one of my most treasured possessions, not just because of what they are but also because of who bought them for me. So cheesy but true :)


Friday, 27 April 2012

Croc vs crackle ...

I recently bought the Barry M croc nail varnish in black, and as it is similar to the crackle nail varnish, which I also have in black from Barry M, I thought I would do a little review comparing them.  Both nail varnishes cost the same at £3.99 in Superdrug, and Superdrug currently have a buy 2 get £1 off deal. The croc nail varnish only comes in black at the moment (to my knowledge), but the crackle effect has a really large range of colours, including pink, white and purple. Personally, I'm kind of over the crackle nail effect but I thought I would try the croc effect to see if I preferred it. 

After doing a clear base coat in my Sally Hanson 'maximum growth - daily nail treatment' polish, I did another base coat with my Rimmel Lycra Wear nail varnish in 367 Chocolate factor on both hands. With the croc nail effect, it's really important that you apply the croc nail varnish when the base coat is touch dry. It really does make a difference and it takes longer than the crackle effect to work so don't worry if it isn't changing instantly. 

I apologise for the standard of the photos but I had to use my phone and the camera is pretty shocking. I preferred the croc effects a lot to the crackle effect. The finished effect is much darker and glossier, and also a bit more interesting than the crackle effect. However, the crackle effect nail varnish is a lot easier to remove. The croc effect nail varnish is preeeetttyyy stubborn, to say the least. 

Overall, I definitely prefer the crocodile effect to the crackle effect in the Barry M range, but the price for both is pretty good and also the crackle effect is less hassle. I also received my first glossy box today, so there will be a review on that coming soon. It's pretty exciting getting one in the post :) but I want to thoroughly test the products before I review them


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Gel eyeliners ...

Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner Black

Firstly, I thought I would do a quick update on some of the products I have been trying recently. The most drastic change in opinion has been with regards to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish product; even though I think it is still a bit of a faff compared to my other cleansers, it is really growing on me and I can definitely feel the difference on days that I don't use it. However, I still don't think my skin would take all that scrubbing twice a day as it is too sensitive so I think I'm going to stick to using it every other day. Another product I thought I would do a quick update on is the silver foil barry m nail polish, which I'm still really pleased with it. It has started to chip now but my nails chip so easily, so overall I would definitely recommend this one. 

I was rooting around my make up drawer today and I came across my maybelline gel liner which I haven't used in ages because I bought a bobbi brown one fairly recently. They are both black so I thought I would review them to give people an idea of how they compare, and whether it's better to splurge on the bobbi brown eye liner or save on the maybelline one. So here is a video I did comparing them ... 

That was so scary doing that! Eeek. But in summary, I would say that although they look pretty similar when you first apply them, the bobbi brown one does last longer and is the one I would recommend. 

Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

I apologise for the pretty bad stock photos, but like I said in my video I haven't got my camera and I really don't want to steal anyone's pics so these are ones off the shop's websites. Sorrrryyy. I know it's an utter blog no no but it's either that or nada. 


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

My sister ...

Seeing as I have done a series of beauty posts, I thought I would slip in a more personal post to mix things up a bit and maybe make anyone reading this feel like they know me a bit better. As I have said before, I am from a pretty big fam with 3 sisters and one brother (my two older sisters are half-sisters, and they have another half-sister and half-brother who aren't related to me ... pretty complicated). I absolutely love coming from a big family, and love them all loads but the point of this post is to talk about my eldest sister. She is called Hannah and she is 34. She also has cystic fibrosis. This is quite a difficult subject for me to talk about but also one that is quite prominent in my life. Up until fairly recently, she has been ok and even ran a half marathon which is pretty inspirational, but, unfortunately recently she has been really struggling. She is constantly getting chest infections, and is in and out of hospital. The hardest part of loving someone with this disease is seeing them deteriorate and struggle, and knowing that it is only going to go downhill. My whole life, I have been acutely aware of my loved one's mortality, and consequently I'm a bit of a worrier to say the least :) Until recently, we thought the only option for Hannah was a double lung and heart transplant but there is now hope she might be able to get a place on a gene therapy trial which could change her life. I don't want this post to be morbid, but I wanted to share a little bit of me and some of that is how inspirational my sister is to me, so here are some family pics :) 

L-R - Top row - My dad, my brother, my sister's husband
          Middle row - My mama, my little sister, me, my other sister and her wife (I'm sure I will tell       the story of how I discovered she was lesbian at some point ... it's a bit of a cracker :) )
          Bottom row - GEORGE! (my nephew), Hannah and my little sister's boyfriend xxx

Unfortunately, my boyfriend was mia that day :( 

Sorry about the quality of the top photo, but it's the only one I've got of the whole family together. Hannah is the short, blonde one :) and George is her little boy (also short and blonde). I cannot explain how proud and amazed I am that she managed to get through pregnancy, and  have a healthy baby and be healthy-ish herself afterwards. SO proud. Last year, I decided to run a half marathon that's how proud :) it tested my love for her that's for sure. 

Anyway, my ramblings are supposed to make the point that my sister pushes me to be better everyday, and to make the most of life, and I refuse to imagine life without her. She's a pretty incredible woman!! :) Another point, was that if you, or someone you know, are suffering from CF or a similar disease, you can still do so many things in your life (within reason, although my sister would probably argue not). My dad was told when she was born that she wouldn't live past 4, she is now 34 and has had a pretty remarkable life, and managed to get married and have a beautiful little boy.

So now you know a little bit more about me and my life, and I hope it provides a little bit more depth to this blog.


Monday, 23 April 2012

Real Techniques ...

I have heard so many good things about the Real Techniques brushes that I had to pick one up on my shopping trip yesterday. I couldn't resist!! It's not my fault. Plus I really did need a new brush.  :) The range in Boots in Manchester was really comprehensive, so I was definitely spoilt for choice, but in the end I decided to go for the stippling brush, which was £11.99. I think this is a pretty standard price for a good make up brush, and I generally don't mind parting with that amount of money if they are good at what they are supposed to do and last a long time. On the Real Techniques website this brush has been branded as the 'multi-purpose trade secret', and is suited to all make up mediums. The Real Techniques brushes are designed by Sam Chipman, make-up artist and blogger, and I have to say I'm really happy with mine. Although I can't tell if these brushes are going to last for a long time yet, they completely fulfil the description 'multi-purpose' as I have used them for most of my face make up, and particularly like it for applying a cream blusher. 

Overall, I really have to agree with everyone else who is raving about these brushes! I love it and can't see it being easily replaced by any other brush any time soon. I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a good, multi-purpose brush

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Foil effect nails ....

During my shopping trip yesterday I bought some nail varnishes including the new barry m foil effects one in silver. They are currently on offer for 'buy two get £1 off' in Superdrug, so if you fancy one you should pop down and get one soon. They also do the foil effects in purple and gold, and barry m are definitely a good mid-price range if you don't want to take the plunge with a more expensive brand like nails inc. Anyway, this is the effect and I really like it :) ....

In my opinion it is fine with just the one coat and it is really easy to remove. Overall, I really love this product and can't fault it. However, I will let you know how long it lasts as it could chip very easily :( 


Friday, 20 April 2012

Brows .....

Today, during a little break from revision I did a little bit of shopping in Manchester and decided that it would be a really good idea to get my brows done .... now I'm not so sure. I decided  to go for a brow tint and wax at the Benefit counter in Boots. It cost £11.50 which isn't too bad seeing as it took about 20 minutes. Although I am pleased with the overall shape and colour, I really wasn't pleased with the customer service; the girl doing the waxing and tinting was lovely and doing a really good job when her manager came a long and was rushing her because the next customer had arrived early in front of me, which seemed really unprofessional to me and didn't exactly make me feel like a valued customer. The manager then said she would do the finishing touches on my brows, including cover up etc for the redness and just threw any old product on there and didn't ask about my skin type or preferred eyebrow shade or anything. Anyway, this resulted in me being pretty unhappy with the customer service and the finished result, as I feel the eyebrows are way too dark for my skin tone and hair colour but at least it should come off when I get home. Let's hope so anyway. Here's a cheeky pic of my brows but I'm in the library so I'm going to try and do it discreetly .... this could prove quite difficult ... :)

What do you think? Eeek. I'm still not sure.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Ordinary People ...

I am still in Manchester at the moment with the boyf revising for exams. At the moment I am in his room but later we are going to venture out to the library. The excitement. I thought I would do a blog about my staple pieces of make up, as it shows how important they are to me if I'm willing to take them to Manchester. So here goes ... 

22 Beige Rose




15 Rose Silk

Black Ink - 1

The product I thought I would review today is the Maxfactor 'Masterpiece Mascara' in Black. I first got this for Christmas in a Maxfactor sample box. I loved it so much that I bought a new tube when the sample ran out. It currently costs £8.99 from Boots for 7.2ml, which I think is a reasonable price for a mascara. 

The brush is a pretty standard mascara brush. It is average size and is a bristly brush - so nothing particularly exciting there but it gives a really good even coverage. The main reasons I love this mascara is because of the length and depth it gives to your eyelashes. I'm not really a fan of spidery eyelashes but this thickens them as well as lengthens and it makes me feel like I'm wearing falsies, which is pretty difficult as I don't have particularly long eyelashes. Another plus is that it's really easy to remove with a standard eye make up remover. I would have to give this mascara a 4-5/5 and I will definitely be buying this again. 

I have other staple products such as my favourite Chanel lipsticks but I don't generally wear them in the day so I thought I would just do my standard day products for today. I'm also having issues with my concealers at the moment so if anyone has any recommendations let me know. I'm also still using the Liz Earle cleanser and I have to say it is growing on me so I will keep you posted


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

This woman's work ...

The title of this post is the title of the Kate Bush song that was covered by Maxwell a couple of years ago. I absolutely adore Kate Bush partly because she is a bit off the wall but mainly because she reminds me of my best friend. Many a night have we been found to be running around our kitchen belting out songs at the top of our voices and doing some god awful dance moves. We also have a penchant for singing harmonies that only dogs could hear but if that's what gets us through the day then really my housemates have no right to complain! :) 

I'm currently revising again but this time I couldn't even bear to leave the house so I'm in my boyfriend's room. I thought I would do a product review today as I have tried a few new ones recently. Firstly, my skin type is pretty sensitive and dry so not all skincare types work for me but I like to try new products so here's the first one! I bought the May 2012 edition of RED magazine (£3.90) and it came with a 30ml sample of Liz Earle 'Cleanse and Polish' Hot Cloth Cleanser and a muslin cloth. My standard cleanser is usually any of the no7s ones really  so I thought it would be interesting to see how I got on with this one and I have to say unfortunately I wasn't overly impressed. This cleanser has a very heavy rosemary scent which is nice but reminds of a Sunday roast, not really what I want to smell like all day. The steps that came with the cleanser were very well laid out and simple to follow, and I did really like the feel of the hot water, but overall I felt like the cream was too thick and didn't make any noticeable difference to my skin. I also found that the muslin cloth was way too harsh for my skin and I wouldn't want to use it twice a day for fear of having no skin left, but I know I do have sensitive skin so this could be fine for someone with less sensitive skin. I will keep on trying this product for another couple of days to see if my opinion of it changes but at the moment I'm giving this a 2/5, and will definitely be sticking with my no7 cleansers. 

I am also currently looking for a good  brush cleaner?? Does anyone have any recommendations? xx

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

First post!

So ... to drag me from the boredom that is revising for my final year exams I have decided to take the plunge and start a blog. I doubt it will be very interesting as it's current sole purpose is to stop me sticking my pen in my eye, but I'm sure many people are going through the drudgery of revision at the moment too, so we can get through it together. I'm 21 and live in the good old UK. I'm currently in my third year of a Human Biology degree in Birmingham and my first exam is in 2 weeks! Absolutely petrifying but on the positive side I will be finished on the 11th of May! Whoop. I have absolutely loved my three years in Brum, and have made lots of friends and memories that will stay with me forever, but I am definitely ready to move on now. In September I will be moving to Manchester to study Midwifery. I really cannot explain how excited I am to start! It feels like it has been a long time coming because the wise woman that is my mother strongly suggested (pretty much forced) me to do a less specific course first, just in case I absolutely hated midwifery. She was right of course, as studying midwifery at uni doesn't really let you have the full-on student experience due to the joys of night shifts and the like (you know you are excited when you are even looking forward to night shifts), and I also feel much better prepared to deal with patients etc then I would have done at 18. I'm sure you will find out more about me as time goes on. I'm one of 5 children, and a very proud auntie! Absolutely love being from a big family and they are pretty darn important to me. I have also got an average boyfriend (actually he is pretty darn special but I'm aware that he just took a sneaky peek whilst I was writing and I don't want him to know that I think he's pretty special ... oops no he definitely saw .... busted!). We have been together 6 years and have had ups and downs but they have been the best ups and downs of my life. He is definitely a keeper! 

Eventually, I would love to make this blog into a bit of a beauty number but until exams are over I'm afraid that might be on hold, but after they are done I will be spending my student finance instalment wisely indeed.... in you guessed it .... various shops in  Birmingham and Manchester. So until then here are a few of my staple everyday make up loves. I adore no7 for skincare, and have done ever since I used to steal my mum's make up bag and say to myself 'This is what make up is supposed to feel like!!' My favourite range is the protect and perfect range, especially the day cream and the serum. The long term love of my life has been Chanel, and I haven't found any faults with my new fling the perfection lumière foundation. It tends to go a little bit dry towards the end of the day as I have quite dry skin but I still adore it more than any other. Also, anything with a bit of SPF and I'm there. My current favourite eyeshadow is a FCUK one I stole from my ma yonks ago. It's a nice golden brown and I'm a sucker for a smokey eye even if I'm stuck in the library all day. I'm sure you will find out more about my make up lusts and loves if you continue reading this blog, but my absolute every day staple is my mascara! Unfortunately, I'm not one of this get out of bed pretty types but then I guess if anyone does think they are, they are probably as self-confident as Samantha Brick, which I am not. Yes, I have of course had numerous men spontaneously throw themselves down so I don't step in a puddle, (haven't we all????), but not without a bit of mascara ;)

To give this blog a bit of a personal touch I thought I would end it with a poem I won an award for  when I was about 13. My mother thought it made me sound like I was disabled. I'm not disabled by the way, I was actually writing about running and the passing of a friend but my mother is an odd woman as I'm sure you will soon discover. One thing about Mamma Mee is her lack of tact. For example, she bought me weight management pills for Christmas. She thought they would be helpful, I thought it was a little bit offensive. 

'My body is a cage, when I die I am free'

Admittedly, it is a pretty short poem, but I got to go to London, even if they did think I was disabled. 

  This is me, in the library. Bit of a pose, but  a darn
         site more attractive than the ones of my boyfriend tickling me.

                                 And this..well this is cracker from our year 11 prom! 
                                        Yep that's the boyfriend, bow tie and all. 

And to everyone who has got this far here's to hoping the next one won't be as long