Sunday, June 29, 2014

Travel Tips: Packing Your Suitcase

Hi guys! As you are reading this, I will be in California! Going on any holiday leads to inevitable stress (for me, at least) due to worrying you've forgotten to pack something essential! I thought I'd put together this post to help any of you who are travelling soon!

Tip 1: Lists

Even as I was doing this post I realised I'd forgotten things. I would definitely recommend writing a list (or having a list) because I didn't do that and forgot a few things. Tick everything off as you put it in the case so you know it's in there, not just as you've put it in the pile to go in later. This list will come in handy when you're repacking everything at the end of the holiday as well as you'll know you haven't left anything behind!

Tip 2: Piles

I found it best to lay everything out on the floor first in categories so I would know I had a bit of everything I needed. These categories are above but I'm missing pyjamas because I forgot about those, oops! The two 'tops' piles are nice tops for the evening and casual tops. I also planned out outfits at this point to make sure I actually had outfits that went together and not just a load of clothes that don't match.

Tip 3: Plan

I always think through one day in my head and imagine myself doing everything so I don't forget things. So I wake up, clean my teeth, do my skincare routine, get dressed, apply makeup, go to the beach, shower, go out for a meal, and come home and go to bed. That's just an example but I always think this is a good idea because you can think through everything you'll need at each point. 

Tip 4: Organise

I know that a lot of people find it useful to have little bags within the suitcase to separate everything. This would also prevent your clothes from creasing as much and protect them from any spillages. I personally don't do this because I'm too lazy but I think it's a really good idea. I have put all of my makeup into a bag along with some skincare items since makeup everywhere would be a nightmare. My next post will show you the contents of my makeup bag so come back in two days if you want to see that!

Tip 5: Prepare

Remember that you might buy things when you're on holiday so do not cram your case full of stuff you're not going to be able to fit in again with the addition of other items. It might be a good idea to take a slightly larger hand luggage bag so if you really do run out of space in your case you've at least got a back up.

What not to forget:

I thought I'd save you the trouble of a list by giving you one here! Obviously you might need to add things and take things off.

- Boarding passes, passports, money etc.
- Suncream, after sun, moisturiser, cleanser, toner etc.
- Bikinis / swimsuits, towels.
- Sunglasses / hats.
- Underwear / socks.
- Shoes.
- Day clothes to keep you cool.
- Evening clothes.
- A jacket just in case it's not as warm as you think!
- Toothbrush / toothpaste / shampoo / razors / tweezers etc.
- Makeup / hair spray / hair brush etc.
- Lip balm (preferably with SPF).
- Books.

And that's all I can think of! If I've missed anything, put it in the comments! I hope you have a good time on holiday if you're going!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fashion Haul / Lookbook: Primark / Topshop / Quiz / Depop / Ipanema

This is apparently quite a picture heavy post. Oh well! I went shopping and ordered a few things and was sent some stuff and I truly feel such a need to blog about it. New things excite me. I've been doing too many hauls lately. Pray for my bank balance.

Dress: Primark (£13).

Can we talk about what a good price that is? It's a sheer mesh material with a mid-length underskirt. I don't own any floor-length dresses and I saw this one and could not resist. I'm so in love with the pattern and the cut of it!

Sunglasses: Primark (£2). Shoes: Ipanema. Kimono: Quiz (£22.99). Bikini: Topshop (£34).

So I bought a fair few things from Primark. These sunglasses were £2 though so literally why would you not buy them? They're matte black and have UV protection (always important!). The bikini was something I bought when looking for a Triangl bikini but being too drawn in by this to say no. I've wanted a high waisted one for the longest time and I found this on Depop for £26 and couldn't say no. It had the labels and hygiene protection thing in it and everything so it was a good saving, I feel, and Topshop bikinis are always my favourite! If you're interested in the flip flops, read my previous post!

I'm in love with the pattern of this kimono*. I'm sure you're all aware that I have a love for kimonos and have done for some time. I have a few already but I really wanted something which was a bit brighter and more Tropical-looking. I think the blue of this with the orange floral pattern really gives it that Summer holiday sort of vibe. It's from Quiz Clothing and it's worth checking them out since they've got some really nice stuff on there. You can also get 10% off if you download the Quiz app and enter the code QAPP10 and students get 15% off anyway! They've got quite an extensive kimono collection if you are feeling my kimono love right now.

Top: Topshop (sale £15). Shoes: Primark £14.

These shoes were £14 which is such a bargain to me. There were shoes in shops like New Look selling basically the same thing for £30 and they're probably around the same sort of quality. For heels, they're really comfortable! I wore them for a whole night and woke up with very sore feet from standing up all night in them but there was no rubbing at all which is the actual best thing ever.

I'd been eyeing up the top for MONTHS because the print is so interesting and it makes my eyes feel funny to look at but I adore it. It's also made out of that sort of scuba material which is really thick and good quality. I love the cut of it as well. It really is my perfect top and when I saw it was half price I knew it was destiny and I had to buy it.

Top: Topshop (sale £8). Trousers: Primark (£9). Bag: Primark (£4).

I love a good basic tee and I'd been looking for a grey one for a while. I know they do basically the same in Primark for £4 but the fabric of these is a lot softer and they have slightly more of a drop-arm to them and a wider neck so I decided to go for this one and I do not regret it. Everybody needs some basic tops like this in their wardrobe.

I saw these trousers and it was destiny. I have an obsession for this cut of trouser right now and I think they're good for all year round so I bought them to add to my collection. I've had a mixture of compliments and insults for them so far but I ignore the insults, of course, since I adore them. The bag was one of those things where I just saw it and then I saw the price and I figured it was such a bargain and just bought it. I think it'd be really good to make a plain outfit a bit more interesting.

I'm not really sure if this was a haul or a lookbook. It's sort of both. Either way, I hope you enjoyed it! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review: Ipanema Flip Flops

Ipanema is a brand inspired by the spirit of Brazillian beaches and culture which creates footwear, in particular, flip flops. When coming across a site selling flip flops, I can't say I feel that inspired due to my past flip flop experiences, but some of their claims really intrigued me and they were kind enough to send me a pair to review.

Most of the flip flops are made from patented super-soft Melflex plastic which improves comfort and support. It is also 100% recyclable PVC so is very environmentally friendly! Now I wouldn't have thought that this would make any difference at all to a show but it seriously does. I've encountered many issues with flip flops: cracking of the material; sharp edges cutting between my toes; rubbing; and general discomfort. Since these are rubber there's going to be no cracking (I don't think) and they're also really flexible which will hopefully prevent this. The piece that goes between your toes is also completely smooth and there's no join there like there is on many. It also feels incredibly comfortable in all areas which a lot haven't for me in the past. So that's pretty much all of the problems gone.

I didn't think I would ever love a pair of flip flops but I do. They are so comfortable and they haven't gone for the typical approach of making a pair out of awful materials that aren't going to be at all comfortable. These are going to be brilliant to wear on holiday because they're completely waterproof and comfortable for the long days.

It's plain to see that this is a brand that cares since not only are the shoes amazing quality, but they also came with this bag quite unexpectedly which is a fantastic size for the beach and it also has a really nice design.

The flip flops are a range of prices but around £16 is the average I'd say. I can't find the exact link to the ones I've got* but you can have a browse through all of their styles here - they don't just do flip flops! Definitely worth buying your flip flops and sandals from Ipanema since I don't think any other brands are going to compete at all. You can also get 15% off with the code 'SUM14'.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Beauty Essentials - Melt-Proof Makeup!

Hi guys! So it's definitely Summer now and it's super hot outside most of the time. I'm so happy about that because I love heat and we don't get much of it in England. The only bad thing is that makeup does not last long at all! I've got a few tips for how I get my makeup to last a little longer and also just the products I've been loving to wear lately!

The first is the Maybelline Dream Touch blush which I have a review up on here. My thoughts on it have actually changed since then and I really like it. The reason I have been liking this is because it's a cream blush. Now, I don't wear this on its own for sure but I have been wearing it in addition to a powder blush. I've noticed that wearing both leads to the colour lasting for a lot longer which is exactly what I want at this time of year.

I've been wearing all of my products on top of the L'Oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Perfecting primer, of course, since this is my favourite primer and it is seriously mattifying and makes everything last so much longer! It's my absolutely favourite primer and I'd completely recommend buying it. I might put a full review of it up soon so keep your eyes peeled! (who invented that saying? it's weird.)

Another to prevent the melt. The Mac Pro Longewear Paint Pots are fabulous little things. I use this as a primer but it can be worn on its own as well for a very subtle shimmer. They make your eyeshadow last all day and look great on their own for days when you're too lazy to do anything properly. The particular shade above is Bare Study.

And finally, I need a bronzer. This could be sued all over the face but it's definitely too dark for that for me! I do love it for a good, strong contour to give more of a tanned look to the winter when I might use something a little more subtle. I also sometimes use a more shimmery bronzer for a bronzed look over the face rather than a contour, but I'm definitely loving a lot of bronze in this heat! I should invest in a fake tan really but I've only got my eye on St Tropez and that is WAY too expensive. Let me know in the comments if you know of any other good ones.

And here's some swatches of the products! Left to right: Hoola, Dream Touch, Paint Pot.

Let me know what you can't live without in Summer and also any good fake tans you know of! Hope you're enjoying the heat if it's Summer for you right now too!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Holiday Lookbook: Shoe Zone, Topshop, T.K.Maxx etc

Hey guys! I know what you're thinking - portrait photos on my blog?! Shock horror! Usually I edit all of my pictures so that they can be landscape but I think I need to branch out in the world and be daring. This totally falls under the category. Next step - using colours other than blue and pink in my colour scheme! I know, it's crazy.

Anyway, I filmed a video on my BRAND SPANKIN' NEW YOUTUBE CHANNEL which was a lookbook and I figured I'd do a blog post on it too. I didn't want a complete repeat of the video in the post so I've included a few other things. You can see all of the outfits much better in the video so I'd recommend giving it a watch if you're interested!

Above picture: dress - River Island. Sunglasses - Topshop (£18). I adore the colour of the dress. It's just so bright and Summery and it's such a nice fabric. This is one you should check out in my video since you get a good front view. I also love these sunglasses. I hadn't really seen any this shape before this year with the cat eye sides but I'm loving them. Usually I think sunglasses just look weird on my face so I don't feel confident enough to wear them but finally I found these and I love how edgy they are but at the same time I'd be fine with wearing them every day. I don't think they have any UV protection though which sucks because it's important to protect your eye area too!

Top - Primark (£4). Trousers - vintage. I adore this top and they're so cheap. I'm tempted to buy more colours because it's so basic and goes with so many things. Plus, it's really lightweight (slightly see through but nothing a nude bra can't fix) and perfect for the warmer weather. I also love the trousers because they are so thin and lightweight so aren't going to make me feel too hot even though I'm wearing trousers. They also have a feather pattern on them which means I can wear them with basic tops.

Kimono - T.K.Maxx. This kimono was a great find for me. I searched for the longest time for a reasonably priced one but everywhere I looked were around the £40 mark. Somebody please explain to me why they're so expensive when they're just a flimsy bit of material. What is the need? this was around £20 which is such a better price and I love the sort of Aztec-y print since it's a real standout piece which could be worn with any basics to make an outfit more interesting. I'm going to be wearing this ALL THE TIME on holiday and through Summer.

Shoes* - Shoe Zone (£9.99). I'm so in love with these shoes. I've been seeing sliders around on a few blogs recently and I'm loving them. They're so effortless but stylish and they are the MOST comfortable things ever - these ones are, at least! They have adjustable straps so they'll fit your foot nicely no matter the width, which is great and makes them so comfortable. I was a bit worried that they might slip off or rub but they really don't. The extremely affordable prices at Shoe Zone don't mean they cut back on quality. They're super casual but chic at the same time and come in black, white and pink. I was tempted by the white ones but I figured black would be easier to manage since you can't see dirt as much. For £9.99 they're such a great price and I'd completely recommend getting yourself a pair of these if you've been loving the sliders trend.

Kimono - H&M. This kimono is very different to the other one. It's more sort of floaty and Goddess-like. It isn't so much something I'd wear out with too many outfits since it can just look a bit like a dressing gown but for the beach I think this is perfect to cover up a bit. This was also around the £20 - £30 mark so it was pretty reasonably priced compared to kimonos from places such as River Island and Topshop.

Also, I'm wearing my I & K hair extensions* which I blogged about in all of these pictures! Please excuse my grumpy expression. I'm not grumpy, that's just my face. Smiling is a true difficulty. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Review: L'Oreal Lumi Magique Illuminating Powder

I know I've said a million times that L'Oreal is one brand that has never disappointed me, and that's kind of true. Every product I have from them has been absolutely amazing and I love them all, except for this. I hate to give L'Oreal a bad review but I just don't think that this product lives up to its name or my expectations. 

As you can see, it looks quite worn down in my picture. Don't be fooled, I haven't used it many times. The times I have used it have been desperate attempts to try to figure this product out and find a way to actually use it.

When I purchased this product, I remember seeing a shimmering swirl of pink and nude, expecting a magnificent powder highlight from one of my all time favourite brands. WRONG. Little did I know that the shimmer I could see was just an overspray and beneath would be a matte powder with a shimmery pink blob in the middle. Why put an overspray on a product? Somebody please just tell me. It's misleading!

So anyway, while the shimmer lasted (about two uses), it was a good product. Nice for highlighting the cheek bones. After that? I just don't know! I thought maybe it'd be good for under the eyes to set my concealer but no, I ended up having pink under eyes. Just using the matte part perhaps would work, but then, I have other powders which are just as good and I can use my normal brush for instead of a little one to try to get the matte part. I did try using it as a pinkish highlight for my cheekbones but it wasn't that great and I'd much rather use something else. It took quite a bit of it to get any effect too.

This is NOT a product you could use as a powder for that glowy look since it will most likely turn you pink! It did for me anyway. It is a really nice, soft powder that feels nice on the skin. It just doesn't look nice. I think I'd rather have something that felt gross but looked nice really.

L'Oreal, I am so very, very sorry, but I don't like this product. If anybody knows how to make this actually work well for anything at all, please let me know in the comments because I'd hate to waste it, not that it was particularly expensive, but I am saving for uni which means I am poor.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Review: I&K Clip In 22" Hair Extensions

Hi guys! So today's post makes me pretty excited because I was kindly sent some hair extensions from Hairtrade and I seriously love them. You can probably tell just from looking at the pictures why I like them so much. Obviously I already have very long hair so wearing hair extensions for length isn't really something I'm interested in or that's even possible since I doubt they go much longer than my hair (not that I've researched it a lot). What the extensions do do for me, however, is to give so much more volume that really just makes my hair look so much nicer and healthier (I think).

The above picture is a picture of me with the extensions in and below is me without. I haven't touched my hair in either pictures to make any difference to it and there are no products in my hair in either picture. To be honest, I don't really do anything to my hair ever apart from shampoo, conditioner and the occasional mask. I can never get it to look good but then, I never had extensions before apart from some really awful ones which couldn't be worn out in public.

I was sent the I&K clip in 22" extensions in chocolate brown*, though I think next time I would definitely go for the darker shade since these don't really match my hair colour. That isn't a huge problem, however, since they're 100% human hair, meaning that they can be coloured, straightened, curled... whatever you want! When I received them they were very very straight and my hair is very very not straight so it looked a little ridiculous, but I just gave them a quick curl and they blended in nicely. That's a huge advantage of them being human hair, since the extensions I've had in the past have meant that I've had to straighten my hair in order to get them to blend, which was fine, but I'm more conscious of heat damage (and also a lot lazier) now.

In the pack, you receive two 6" strips of hair with three clips on, one 7" strip with three clips, one 8" strip with three clips, six 1 and a half inch pieces with one clip and two test pieces with no clips. In my hair I am wearing the two 6" strips, the 7" strip and three of the smaller pieces. There's a handy video on how to apply the extensions on the site which was definitely needed for somebody like me since previously I've only had extensions with one large piece so I really had no idea what I was doing. The reason I'm only wearing a few of the pieces is because I am very scared of the extensions being visible and I think that the amount I wore gave me a good amount of volume anyway.

I read the tips you get sent with the product and it said that these sort of hair extensions usually last about three months. Now, these extensions cost £72.99 and three months doesn't seem a lot of time considering. I did a bit of research and found that this is normal for hair extensions and also that the price is normal since they're 22". In fact, they're actually 24" since they give you a bit of extra in case you want to cut them or want a bit of extra length. I also did some further research and gathered information from REAL HUMAN PEOPLE and some said that your extensions could last much longer than that as long as you're not loading them with product all the time and washing them needlessly and basically abusing them. I suppose I'll have to see how true that is in the future.

On each strip there's quite a lot of hair. They don't go for the cheap approach and give you the least amount possible, that's for sure. I don't think having just one of the strips in would make that much of a difference but with the amount I have in, it definitely gives the appearance of having A LOT more hair, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

All in all, I love these extensions. They hide the fact I have such scraggly ends, they give me volume, I can style them however I want, and they look super natural! The only problem is that they're too light for my hair but that's nothing a bit of dye can't fix. I was actually considering cutting my own hair and ombreing the extensions but I might just ombre both, I'm not sure! I can't help but lust over ombre even if it is out of fashion by this point. I dedicate a whole post to my ombre love not long ago.

If you want to grab yourself a set of extensions, you can get them from for £72.99. They also do shorter lengths for cheaper and a wide variety of colours. I'm no expert on extensions but in my experience, these are the best I've had so far, so I'd recommend them for sure!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Drugstore Beauty Haul

Hello, mes petit pois. EXAMS ARE OVER!! Let us all rejoice and enjoy the fact that I can blog again. Also exciting news for me (although everything seems exciting now I've finished school forever) is that I have started YOUTUBING. Wahoo. I would love it if you'd give my first video a watch on my channel and let me know your thoughts! I know it's a bit cringey and flawed but it's all a learning curve!

Okay so now that I've started rambling about seemingly nothing, time to get into the actual content of this post which is the haul! I went to Manchester the other day with my sister to see One Direction and we had a bit of waiting in the city before we could go in, so I took full advantage and searched their Boots and Superdrug for the Collection concealer since I quite literally have been into many different stores at least fifteen times now and they NEVER HAVE IT in the right shade. Naturally, when looking for one item, I simply MUST come out with a few others, particularly since there was a 3 for 2 on in Superdrug.

Anywho, I managed to find the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in the end to replace mine which is running out. I actually have another one but it's in shade 2 and I need 1. I thought I could get away with 2 but I was oh so wrong. I'm glad I finally manage to find it. Even in Manchester which is a bigger city than where I live and would presumably have better stock, I had to go in three different stores to actually find it.

Batiste were half price or something so I stocked up. I'm always stocking up on dry shampoo. I literally have drawer full of it. I'd never tried the Oriental or Original scent so I decided to get those. I prefer the floral scent still but they're all nice and do the job.

The next thing I got was actually bought for me by my dad since I slipped it into the basket while food shopping in Sainsbury's and that is the Garnier Micellar Water. I am so glad I bought this because it is FRICKIN' AWESOME. I was previously just using a facial wash method with an oil which was great but it was so annoying and I was taking my eye makeup off with coconut oil which was super messy and also annoying so having this product felt like a life changing moment for me. It can be used on eye makeup and all over the face which makes life so much easier and it lifts it off so well and doesn't feel like it's burning my skin off or anything. Not that many products give me that sensation, but what I'm getting at is that it feels really gentle. It has now become a permanent part of my skincare regime and I am very glad of it.

Left: Revlon Balm Stain 045. Right: Revlon Lip Butter 050.

And last but 189% not least is the three Revlon products I grabbed in the 3 for 2 offer. The Lash Potion, a Balm Stain and a Lip Butter. I have not tried these products before and I think I may have fallen in love with all three.

I actually bought the mascara in brown instead of black which is seriously irritating but I just really like the formula of it since it's quite wet. The brush is great too since it's a big old fluffy thing which is what I love. I was just trying to determine what shape the brush is but it was making me feel dizzy. It sort of looked like a clover though. Or those hazard signs that are like three things on a yellow background... Probably shouldn't compare it to that. But it's not a circle. I'm pretty sure of it. I was very cross-eyed when looking at it though so who even knows. The only negative thing is that because it's so wet, it takes quite a while to dry and I am prone to sneezing while applying mascara which becomes quite problematic. 

I adore the Revlon chubby stick things. I have two of the matte balms and I reach for them so often. Mine are two very bright colours but that doesn't stop me. The only problem with the matte balms is that they can be a little drying, like any matte product, but this balm stain does not dry the lips at all. I got it in the shade '045 Romantic' which is just a deep red so it's not ideal for every day but definitely something I would wear in the evening. Plus, when it wears off you've still got that stain underneath (I still have the stain on my hand from that swatch which I did a good few hours ago and having washed my hands multiple times).

And now we are ending on a very high note. I know people have raved about the Lip Butters before but I really didn't think they were going to be that good. When swatched in store they didn't look that pigmented so I thought they'd be a waste since I normally like something with a lot of pigment. Oh, was I wrong. I'm in love. I want to marry this product. I got the shade '050 Berry Smoothie' which is a pink with a tiny sparkle in it that isn't noticeable on the lips. The reason I love this so much is because this feels just like a lip balm when it's on. They are so moisturising! I have mahoosive issues with dry lips as I mentioned in my lip care recommendations so pretty much any lipstick is going to anger me and make me want to take it off. But not this. I thought I was wearing lip balm. I'm going to buy these in every colour, I'm pretty sure. I don't know if the rest of you are this in love but I hope you are because how could you not.

And now that I've rambled about my passionate love for a lipstick, I'm going to end the post before it goes too far. Let me know your thoughts on any of the products in the comments! Also if you know of any lip products which are just as moisturising as the lip butters, PLEASE tell me because I want to try them all.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Drugstore Pale Skin Makeup Starter Kit

I was trying to think of a post to do which I hadn't done before the other day that I could photograph fairly quickly since I am very lacking in time lately, and I decided on a makeup starter kit. As I was looking through the photographs I realised a few of the items are quite good for pale skin. So this isn't necessarily only for people with pale skin but some of the items are things I think are particularly good for my fellow pale skinned beauty lovers. I've collected together all of the essential items to every makeup bag (I think), and selected the best of the drugstore. Hopefully you find this useful!

I'm gonna go in order of application here because why not? I find drugstore primers sort of hard to find. I don't know if that's just because I am blind to primers or because there aren't many. Those that there are are tend to be sort of oily and greasy and gross. I'm not a fan of that type of primer and this is the only drugstore primer I've found that I actually like. The L'Oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing primer retails at £14.29 which is fairly pricey for something from the drugstore. It's worth it and I use it every single day. I may do a full review on it some day since I don't want to go into too much detail here. It's really mattifying and erases pores better than any other primer I've ever tried - I absolutely love it.

Also from L'Oreal is the True Match foundation which is around £10. This foundation is great for somebody with pale skin who wants a medium to full coverage since it's buildable and they do shades for different undertones. I usually mix this with Mac Studio Fix in NW15 just to get the perfect shade but it looks great on its own too. If you want more details on this foundation I've got a review here. I then follow it up with the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. I can only apologise for the state of the packaging! They've recently updated it to make it look sort of more expensive anyway. It's around £4 and I'm sure you've heard great things about it before. I do find it creases a bit under my eyes but most concealers do so I can't really complain. I've just realised I forgot to photograph a powder but the Rimmel Stay Matte is a great one as I'm sure you've heard before. I've been using that since I was about eleven!

Another pale skin favourite is the Body Shop honey bronzer which is £13. I think I have this in the shade 02. I swatched all of the shades in the shop and the three lightest seemed basically exactly the same to me so I just got this shade. It'll give you a nice subtle bronzed look which is great if you're sick of putting something on for every day and ending up with excessive contouring which overpowers everything else. I use this bronzer every day but if I want something a little less subtle, NYC do some great ones for much cheaper.

I seem to love most blushers as long as they're not excessively bright and pigmented, especially lately. I've even been liking the Bourjois Little Round Pots which previously I hadn't been a huge fan of. This Sleek palette is definitely my most used though. The mirror is really useful since it's such a good size. This is the Pink Lemonade palette and it costs £9.99. They also do a lot of other palettes but I chose this one for the shade on the left since it's a pale pink which looks great on pale skin. I don't use the shade in the middle much but the one on the right gets a lot of use too. They've got just the right amount of pigment and stay on the face for a good few hours. I've got a review of this palette up here if you want to find out more!

I am a huuuuge fan of the Maybelline Color Tattoos. The one pictured is Pink Gold but I also love On and On Bronze and Permanent Taupe. They make great bases for eyeshadow or can be worn alone and they're so quick and easy to apply. I just use my finger to apply them. I know a lot of people use brushes but I actually prefer to use my finger and it saves on brush cleaning. The MUA palettes are amazing things. They're £4 which is just amazing for 12 shades and I've been using mine for months and haven't hit pan on any of the colours. The particular one photographed is Undress Me Too but I'm sure they're all equally as good so it's all down to personal choice. The low price makes them great for somebody starting out with makeup. The palette underneath is the Matte Palette which I use for my eyebrows. I prefer to use a powder for my brows and I prefer this to any other colour I've used before. I choose it over Mac's Charcoal Brown which is £10 just for the one. I also sometimes use Permanent Taupe of the Maybelline Colour Tattoos for my brows too if I want something a little bolder.

I am telling you that this L'Oreal Super Liner is the greatest thing ever. I've had it for aaages and it hasn't run out yet. The thin tip makes it easy to apply and it's long-lasting. It stays put all day. Can't say anything bad about this at all.

A lip balm, lip stick and lip gloss are essential. Carmex is a great one for lip balm and I've got a bit of a review here if you want to know more about Carmex lip balm and other lip care essentials. I chose a Revlon Colourburst Matte balm which I cannot remember the name of and I can't locate it currently, but it's orange. I think this is a good one because it's really bright but if you wanted just a bit of colour you could dab it on with your finger and follow up with a gloss, such as this Barry M lip gloss which is colourless with a sparkle to it. Since taking these pictures I've picked up a Revlon lip butter and I think I'd choose that over the matte balms in retrospect since it's a much easier product to wear which feels much more comfortable and isn't nearly as bold.

And of course, BRUSHES! Before I actually got into the enjoyment of makeup, I didn't own any brushes apart from those crappy ones which literally feel like a shoe brush or something. And of course, the classic sponge eyeshadow brush thing. But brushes are definitely needed and I do not know what I was thinking. Left to right: Real Techniques powder brush, Barbara Daly brush (don't know the name), Barbara Daly brush (don't know the name again), Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Ecotools eyeliner brush, Real Techniques shading brush. I use the RT powder brush for powder and the expert face brush for foundation. I wouldn't use any other brush for foundation currently since I love the size of it and how densely packed the bristles are (is bristles the right word. I'm so awful with words, I always forget them when blogging...). These two Barbara Daly brushes were so cheap, like less then £2. I think I got them when there was some kind of offer on from Tesco. They're not the softest brushes or the best but I just wanted a couple of backups and I've actually started using them more. The first one would make a good contour brush and the other a blush brush. They give good control when applying product and they're actually amazing for the price, in my opinion. I use the Ecotools brush for my brows. I use this in preference to any other brush like this since it is very thin and small so it's easy to control. And the RT eyeshadow brush I use for packing on colour. All of their eyeshadow brushes are great and so soft and they are my most used brushes!

I tried to keep this quite basic and minimal but at the same time cover all essential areas. Let me know in the comments what you'd include in your makeup starter kits or what you think of any of the products mentioned here!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Summer Playlist

With exams happening currently, it's a little difficult for me to get blog posts up, so I apologise for that. But don't worry, I'll be back to my every other day schedule by the 11th. And then I'll have a looooad of posts to do because I'll be going on holiday soon after! Hopefully that holiday will generate some good blog posts too though so it'll all be alright. I'm just not sure if I'll be able to actually upload the pictures and everything while there since I don't have a laptop to take with me. Who knows though!

Anyway, away from the usual fashion and beauty, I thought I'd share with you some of the songs I've been listening to lately and will probably listen to through Summer. I've put a playlist together with some of the songs I'm loving lately on which you can listen to here (I think).

I have a pretty varied music taste as I've said on here before. I listen to bands like One Direction, Bring Me The Horizon, Kodaline, Skrillex, T Mills... kind of literally everything. Recently I've been more into the sort of pop/indie/electronic kind of music though. If that's how you'd describe it. The playlist contains bands such as Kodaline, The Lumineers, The 1975 and Bastille. They're all my favourites and have been for a while with a few new additions like Foxes and Kiesza.

Of all the bands in the playlist I think Purity Ring and Kodaline are two you should definitely listen to. They might be a little different to what you're used to but I love them. I'd recommend Fineshrine by Purity Ring and High Hopes by Kodaline. They're not necessarily my favourites but I don't usually like the most popular songs best. Harry Styles wrote a few songs with Kodaline and, being a MAHOOSIVE One Direction and Kodaline fan, I can't tell you how excited I am for those songs.

P.S. I went to see One Direction on Sunday and I feel I need to mention it on my blog because it was amazing. Sadly Harry was ill so he couldn't sing too much but the others sang his parts. I can't really remember much apart from a lot of dancing from Harry and Louis being super hot since I was basically just drooling over Louis for the entire gig. But they're a great band live, as are 5 Seconds of Summer who supported them.