Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Drugstore Diva Tag!

The lovely MJ from created this tag and has tagged me to do it! Go on over and have a read of hers if you haven't already - you won't regret discovering her blog!
I wanted to do this tag as I've found that since being away on my gap year here in New Zealand I've been using a lot more drugstore products than I usually do at home, partly down to budget, but also because there seems to be so much less choice over here! For starters, hardly anyone has heard of/stocks benefit cosmetics! Cosmetics seem to be a lot more expensive than in the UK too, as they have to import a lot, but I've actually been really enjoying discovering more high street beauty products, rather than just sticking to what I know and love!

Favourite Drugstore Foundation?

I've been loving the Rimmel Match Perfection liquid foundation (you may have seen this is my February Favourites post). Usually I stick to Nars but this one is not only a really good dupe, but also has a lovely texture and gives me a flawless, dewy complextion! I ordered it online so just guessed at a colour and it luckily matched perfectly! (just as you might hope from the name!) although it is summer here at the moment and I'm slightly tanned so I may need to go a shade or so lighter when I get back to England!

Favourite Drugstore Concealer?

I have to confess I've never really used concealer! My skin has always (so far!) been a fairly even tone and I've been lucky and never really suffer from breakouts so have never found much use for it! I do like to brighten under my eyes and 'conceal' and dark circles which many might use concealer for, but I really like the E.L.F Under Eye Setting Powder which is very brightening and gentle on the skin around my eyes, but that's about as close as I get to concealer!

Favourite Drugstore Powder?

My favourite drug store powder isn't a powder foundation which I never wear. I just feel it doesn't give as much of a lovely finish as liquid foundation and tends to stick to any dry skin etc. My favourite powder is a finishing powder; the Colorstay Aqua Mineral Finishing Powder by Revlon. It keeps my skin matte throughout the day, even in the t-zone where I tend to get a little shiny/oily throughout the day, keeps make up in place and just gives my makeup a really lovely finish!

Favourite Drugstore Bronzer?

Again, like concealer, I don't really use much bronzer but I guess you could call count the brown shade from the E.L.F blush and contour palette as a kind of bronzer? I really like this product as it's a cream contour that I use fairly regularly. It is so easy to use and great for anyone to use as a contour - although I have never used the blush side of the palette!

Favourite Drugstore Blush?

When I first received this Rimmel blush in the post in shade 020 Pink Blush from ASOS I thought it looked so bland and boring in the palette so it took me a good week or so to get around to trying it out as it just looked so uninspiring! Now I use it everyday! It is such a pretty shade! Great colour payoff and pigmentation! I love it. That will teach me to not judge a book by its cover!

Favourite Drugstore Highlighter?

When I'm contouring I really like to use a liquid foundation that's a couple of shades lighter than my skin tone. I use a Jordana foundation in Natural. To highlight smaller areas or when I'm after shimmer and sparkle like across my cheekbones then I like to use the E.L.F All Over Cover Stick in shade 'Lilac Petal' or the ChiChi Exotic and Erotic eye palette has a couple of really pretty shimmer shades that are great for highlighting cheekbones and brow bones!

Favourite Drugstore Eyeshadow?

I've been loving the Natural Glow Shadow and Blush Palette by Barry M. If you follow me on instagram you may have seen me post it on there (if you don't, go follow! :) ) This little palette has such a great range of beautiful colours that are amazing quality for such a small price!

Favourite Drugstore Eyeliner?

Ahh, this is a hard one! I love my high end liners! Estee Lauder, Clinique and Clarins are amongst my favourites, but my favourite drugstore liner is the Revlon Luxurious Color Smoky Crayon in shade 008 Steel Smoke. Lovely colour and quality but I'll always be a high end liner girl at heart!

Favourite Drugstore Mascara?

I have tried quite a few different drugstore mascaras since my early teens but none of them have ever impressed enough to make me want to keep repurchasing them, so here, I'm afraid I will always go high end!

Favourite Drugstore Lipstick?

Ahh, I miss my lipstick! I left all of my lipsticks at home, so bar a few dollar shop lipsticks (none of which I would call favourites) I don't really wear much at the moment! I have one at home by Natural Collection, a range available to Boots that I absolutely love! It's a gorgeous pink shade but I cant remember the exact name...raspberry something? I don't know :/

Favourite Drugstore Lipliner?

Same as above I'm afraid! No need for lipliner with so little lipstick!

Favourite Drugstore Lipgloss?

I've never really been hugely into lipgloss as I've always felt my lips are so big anyway I just feel very self-conscious and like they take over my face with the extra plump that lipgloss gives! The last few months however, I've been brave! I really love the clear lipgloss by Australis, although..I may or may not only be wearing it because it smells so good!

Favourite Drugstore Brow Product?

I've always used BrowZings by Benefit which isn't really drug store, but I do sometimes use a very light brown/blonde shade from the Barry M palette that I mentioned earlier, just when I fancy something lighter and more natural!

Favourite Drugstore Nail Polish?

Totally agree with MJ who tagged me in this..I too love Essie polishes! Although I haven't worn polish is so long. I find it always chips so quickly on me and as a beauty therapist I'm lucky enough to have gel nail kit on hand so tend to just do them myself using Orly GelFX!

Thankyou for tagging me MJ; I would like to tag

Rachel at

Linda at

Meg at

Madeline at

Enjoy! :) xx

Monday, 3 March 2014

February Favourites | 2014

I haven't got too many favourites for this month, but these few are definitely all very worthy!
The last day of summer has officially been and gone here in New Zealand but the weather has generally still stayed very hot! Although I am starting to look forward to some cooler weather - my pale English skin can't cope with all the sun! I'm sure I'll regret saying that when I'm back in rainy England!
Anyway...on with the favourites!

O Cosmedics Rebalancing Cream
I have been loving this moisturiser this month. The products from this brand are all 'cosmedical' so they contain a much higher percentage of vitamin A and active ingredients than your regular high street skin care products and can only be purchased through salons.
It's an Australian brand and I just think it has done wonders for my skin. I am using it alongside the gentle cleanser and t 3in-1 fruit peel exfoliant and have seen so much improvement in my skin!
The rebalancing cream is very light and perfect for my slightly oily skin, but is also specifically designed for problematic skin, whether it be targeting breakouts and bacteria or over active sebum glands like mine!  It is perfect for everyday use, morning and night and as a base for makeup - love it!

L'Oreal Base Magique
I bought this as a replacement for Benefit Porefessional which I love but couldn't find it out here in New Zealand to repurchase! As a 'drug store' replacement I really like this product! It is amazing at smoothing out and filling enlarged pores. I don't much like the fact that it comes in a little pot rather than a tube as it just makes it feel like more of a breeding ground for bacteria than a tube would, and I'm not sure how well it would work on darker skin tones as it is pretty thick and heavy in texture and is white so tends to have a bit of a lightening affect! Overall, this product does exactly what it says it will and works really well for me and my skin!
Rimmel Match Perfection Liquid Foundation
I've been loving this foundation the last few weeks. I ordered it online so just had to take a bit of a guess at a shade and luckily it just about matches my skin tone perfectly! I have shade 200 Soft Beige.
I would say it's a medium coverage foundation but is lightweight and buildable if you need a heavier coverage. It's a lovely tecture and great to apply, long lasting and gives flawless skin - I can't fault it!
Some people have said they can't use it as it has quite a perfumed smell. I did find this the first couple of times I used it but since then the smell has either faded or I've just adjusted to it!
Natural Glow Shadow and Blush Palette by Barry M
I've been loving this palette. It has six great eyeshadow shades and one blush.
I have used every single one of these colours in the past couple of weeks since having this palette which I can't say I often do! There are two matte colours; one white and one light brown which I've even been using on my brows, and both act as great bases, and a range of shimmers, all with great pigmentation!
The blush is also very pretty and has a slight shimmer to it.
This palette is amazing quality for the price, and is perfect to take you from day to night and is also ideal if you're wanting to pack light for a weekend away!

Clarins 3-dot Liner
My final favourite of this month is this 3-dot liner by Clarins which I have been raving about. I have previously posted an in depth product review on this so won't say too much about it, other than that it is amazing! I haven't stopped using it since I received it - it is so versatile and gives a really classy, fresh and understated everyday look and the 3-dot liner 'nib' just seems so unique! It's very easy to apply and a definite winner for me!  

Monday, 17 February 2014

Six Nail Myths We All Believe

When it comes to beauty, we all have our own little habits and quirks, especially when it comes to nails. Unfortunately, a lot of the things we do are based upon myth and aren't beneficial at all. Who knows where they came from, but after studying the nail, and various nail techniques and applications during my beauty therapy training, I thought some of you might be interested in the truth behind the myths!

Myth One:
Acrylic nails and nail extensions ruin the natural nail.

Nail extensions and acrylics themselves don't really ruin the natural nail. If they do seem damaged upon removal, then it is probably due to the therapist or nail technicians method of removal.
Yes, the natural nail would be more healthy without being smothered in all the chemicals and glue that comes with a set if false nails, but that in itself would and should not damage the natural nail beneath as much as we are lead to believe.
The main facto that ruins the nail is the electric files used in many salons to speed up treatment time, but these are so harsh and damaging on the natural nail. If removed gently and by hand, you can remove the nail without causing undue stress and damage to the natural nail below. This method is however, a lot more time consuming and therefore more expensive than salons that use electrical methods.

You as a client should avoid picking and pulling at the nails as this can lead to damage, and you should be regularly applying a good cuticle or nail oil to keep them healthy.
Invest a little more time and money in having you nails done and go to a salon where they properly care for your nails.

Myth Two:
Running wet nails under cold water dries them.

While this does make wet nails seem touch dry, it isn't an effective method of drying them. For nails to dry, the solvents in the applied polish must be given time to evaporate which is a process that cannot happen under water.

Apply a rapid dry spray or oil and patiently sit around feeling pampered!

Myth Three:
Trimming your cuticles is good for your nails

What we commonly think of as the cuticle at the base of the nail, is infact called the 'eponychium' which is living skin and is there to protect the matrix (base) of the nail from bacteria and infection.
Trimming this skin could lead to infection and is actually illegal to remove in some countries!
The cuticle is only the little bits of dead, flaky skin we sometimes get on the nail plate.
We trim the eponychium to make the nail look tidier, open it up and give a larger surface area on the nail plate.

To get rid of the cuticle on the nail plate, soak in warm water and push back using an orange stick. You can also gently push back the eponychium but try and avoid trimming it!

Myth Four:
Eating more protein will help to strengthen the nail

There is little truth in this myth. Nails are largely made of a protein called Keratin but there is no scientific proof to back up the claim that eating more protein will have a direct impact on nail strength.

For good, strong nails, an overall good, balanced diet is important and using a nail oil can also be beneficial.

Myth Five:
Buffing is good for your nails

There is some debate in the industry as to whether it is good or bad to buff your nails. Some believe it helps to stop flaking nails, reduces ridges and should be done regularly. Others believe it can have a negative effect on nails as the 'shine' from buffing is created by the natural nail oils being drawn to the surface. Some believe these should stay inside the nail to keep it nourished as a whole.

The jury is still out on this one, but if you do buff, then again, make sure you are also applying a nail or cuticle oil to help keep it healthy as a whole.

Myth Six:
You should give your nails a break from extensions every few weeks

Contrary to popular belief you can actually do more damage to your nail by removing and reapplying the nail extension rather than just infilling them.
Nails don't need a 'break', as long as you have used good quality products and good application techniques.

You should keep your extensions nourished and flexible by using a nail oil between treatments to maintain extensions effectively, helping to avoid cracks and damage to the extension and natural nail.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentines Day Look | Soft and Romantic

Happy Valentines Day!!
Hope you all have/have had a beautiful day!
While my boyfriend and I aren't 'doing' Valentines day I still couldn't resist create a romantic, soft look based around rose/golden tones that I would wear if we were doing anything for it.
I hate to be a scrooge, but personally I can't think of anything worse that sitting in a restaurant full of slushy couples and forced romance so we'll be staying in! If you are doing anything special for Valentines day then I think this is the perfect romantic look for the occasion. Here's my step-by-step on how I created this look!
After priming my skin I applied Clinique CC Cream in 'light medium'. I then used the brown colour from the E.L.F Contouring Blush and Bronzing Cream palette to contour my cheekbones, nose, chin and around my forehead. I also applied Jordana Oil-Free Liquid Foundation in 'Natural' on my chin, down the centre of my nose and the centre of my forehead. This is a couple of shades lighter than my skin tones so I really like using it as a highlighter.
After blending the highlight and contour together I filled in my eyebrows with Benefit BrowZings in 'Medium' (not pictured), and I applied Qianyu blush in shade 05 (a dollar shop gem!) to my cheeks.
On my eyes I used a palette by Kleancolor that I purchased from beauty joint. I first applied the light pink shimmer colour all over the lid.
I then applied the rose/brown shadow to the outer half of the lid and blended it upwards.
I used the orange/gold shade between the two to add depth and a little more glamour to the look.
I finally applied just a touch of the brown shade from the boe beauty eyeshadow duo to the crease of my eyelid and blended, again, just to add a little more depth of colour as I find the shadows in the Kleancolor palette aren't very pigmented and you have to pack them on a bit to achieve a decent colour payoff.
Once I'd blended all the shadow together I applied Clarins 3-dot linter along my lash line (for full review and details on this product see my previous post) and MAC Gel Liner in Blitz and Glitz along my water line on both the top and bottom lids, taking it right into the corner of my eye to fully line the whole eye and give a glamorous look.
For mascara I used my old favourite, Dior Extase on my top lashes as it really lengthens and thickens, and L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic on the bottom lashes. The brush on this mascara is far easier to use as it is smaller and less cumbersome for bottom lashes.
Finally, on my lips I combined two Jordana shades. I used '082 Natural' first, and '48 Pink Passion' second to create an understated, rosey yet neutral matter colour to compliment the eyeshadow tones.
I hope you like this look and enjoy Valentines day whatever you're doing!  

Monday, 10 February 2014

Clarin 3-Dot Liner | Product Review

I hadn't heard much about this product until my mum emailed me about it a few weeks ago. She was trying to get hold of one but it seemed to have sold out everywhere in the UK.
It sounded like just my kind of thing so I did a bit of research and found that it was first launched in 2012 but only for a short amount of time until it was relaunched and became a permanent feature in the Clarins range in 2013 and has since sold out everywhere and is very tricky to get your hand on! My mum put both her and I on the waiting list at John Lewis and was lucky enough to receive one. I have the loveliest mum in the world - she sent the first one she got to me! I was so excited to try it out!
It is such a unique product - I've never used a 3 dot liner before and it's certainly different to your standard pencil or liquid liner.
It earns its name from the three 'prongs' in a sleek, pen-like form creating three small dots horizontal to each other.
The main aim and purpose of this product is for the liner to be dotted along the eyelid, as close to the lash line as possible to create a very thin line at the base of the lash, giving the illusion of thicker, fuller and longer lashes and it certainly works! I definitely felt my lashes looked fuller, more even, and fluttery! In fact, my boyfriend has just walked in from work and straight away said my eyes look different and pretty - who knew, it must really work! 
It also claims to have an 'innovative formula' that stimulates lash growth. I can't yet comment on that claim as I haven't used it for an extended amount of time, but I'll get back to you on that one!
You could use it on its side to create a very sleek, thin line if liner, or width ways, making full use of the three prongs to create a thick line. However it is great for the coming Spring/Summer seasons as the thin liner look will be very 'in'!
The colour and pigmentation of the product is an amazing, intense black so only one application is needed. I hate those liners you have to go over a couple of times to get a decent depth of colour!
I can't sing this products praises enough - it is so much easier to use than I first thought it would be, the packaging is very sleek and classy, it has great pigmentation, it's long lasting and so versatile and unique.
There are quite a few high street versions of this now if you're on a budget. I think E.L.F do a good one but I haven't tried it myself. I would be interested to know if any of you have tried this Clarins product or any other 3-dot liners and what you think! If not, get yourself on the waiting list for this one!