Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Brow Edit #2


One of my very first and most popular posts to date was a guide to perfecting brows, which is still available to view here. A lot has changed since then as brows take time to get right and are the one feature that I really feel can make the biggest difference. Brows are probably my most prominent feature as they are naturally quite strong and dark, and need regular maintenance. If my brows are undone my whole face looks different and I feel completely naked. I love a naturally strong brow that has not been overworked. I think it is important that brows still look like brows, i.e with hair intact, as opposed to appearing as if they have been completely drawn on from scratch. Of course, if you do not have super strong brows already you can still create the illusion with some practice. 

Eyebrows frame your eyes and enhance them further, so it is something important to get absolutely right as it can really transform your appearance. Defined brows just make everything appear neater and more polished. I think well-groomed brows can also make you look older in a more mature kind of way, a great way to look more sophisticated. Personally, I have always dealt with mine myself which has been a long process to get them to the stage where I am happy with. I dealt with mine myself because back in the day I had no clue what I was doing and then over-plucked. I also was not aware of things like threading/waxing. However, If you have never messed about with your brows before and would like them shaped, I would advise visiting a professional to get a good shape initially, which you can then try and maintain. I have heard great things about threading, but have never tried it myself although I am intrigued. I stick to tweezing now that I am happy with my natural shape, but waxing and threading is a good way to start. The most important thing is to avoid the temptation of over-plucking as your brows may never grow back in the same way. Take it from me, thick brows are a blessing but do require some maintenance. 

Here is how I fill in my brows on the regular basis. I usually move on to brows after my base make-up is in place as I instantly feel more ready with my brows complete. I start by brushing them upwards and then across to find their natural shape. In doing so, you can also see any pesky hairs underneath the brow that need tweezing. (Note: don't pluck above the brow!) 
For ages now I have been using Beauty UK's High Brow kit. This is the perfect all in one brow kit, complete with an array of 3 powder shades ranging from light brown to almost black, a wax, and also tweezers and a duo-sided applicator. I found this in Superdrug and it instantly struck me as a bit of a dupe for the likes of that from Sleek, a popular favourite among here. What is absolutely amazing is that this kit is only £3.99, which is unbelievable value for money. This Beauty UK kit is great if you are on a budget. I find powder is best suited to me because I have a lot of brow hair already so only really need a touch up, whereas pencils are great to give the illusion of more hair. First, I use the wax to set the brows in their natural shape. I then go in with the lightest shade and use this throughout with an angled brush from Real Techniques. You want to go in light, feathery upward strokes, gently filling in any sparse areas . I then use the darker brown shade more on the underneath of the brow to add definition. I take the brow up to its arched point, and then extend this down to the tail end to create a defined arch. Finally I set my brows with Maybelline's Brow Mascara to add texture to the hair and to ultimately keep the brows intact. I find that my brows do not budge whatsoever by using both the wax and this gel. When I go on to do my eyes, I highlight under the brow  with a light cream shade, something akin to Foxy from the Naked 2 palette. This will simply raise the brow and emphasize the arch. 

In terms of upkeep, once you are happy with your shape it's easy to maintain. Tweezerman tweezers are the best by a long shot. They are super precise and manage to get hairs that are so tiny that they have only just come through, and almost never miss. If you ever have really long, wild hairs that simply get in the way, instead of plucking, carefully go in with nail scissors, cutting at an angle to tidy things up. 

Here's some browspiration to leave you with!

I hope you found this post useful/interesting, what are your brow savior products?

Saturday, 12 July 2014

What's In My Summer Make-Up Bag?

In summer a primer for me is essential to make things last as long as possible in the summer heat. I have been using Maybelline's Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser for a while now and, although I don't find it as good as Benefit's Porefessional, it does a fairly good job of evening out my skin. It has a lovely silky texture and does provide a nice base for foundation, but as for making the make up last a super long time I'm not as convinced. My foundation of choice this season is L'Oreal True Match which is just wonderful, my favourite foundation as of yet. I find the texture perfect, it goes over dry patches and lasts a long time, and what's more they have a great colour range. Of course, I do get oily throughout the day but I keep this under control with Maybelline's The Matte Maker which is a really nice solid translucent pressed powder. As for concealer, I use Collection Lasting Perfection no matter what season as it is my all time favourite. I use the lightest shade for concealing under my eye area, and the medium shade works brilliantly at covering blemishes and scars. 

For bronzer, I've tried to switch things up from my usual Body Shop Honey bronzer (which is unbelievable!) and I have found a new love with L'Oreal Glam Bronze. Although the picture above looks slightly orange, that is due to slight editing in saturation it is actually a really natural tan colour. I love using this all around my face for a tanned glow. I use the lightest shade in 00 Blond Sun which I think would be a great shade for pale-medium skin tones as it looks most natural. A long with this I like to switch up to cream blush in summer for a nice dewy and long lasting finish. Max Factor Miracle Touch cream blush in the shade Soft Pink is divine. It blends out really easily and creates a nice sheen on the skin. I finish this combination off with a dash of Soap & Glory's Glow All Out Luminizing Radiance Face Powder for a soft, really gentle highlight.

For summer, Urban Decay's Naked 2 Palette is simply gorgeous. It has all the bronze shades you could possibly want, and I have not used another palette at all this season, even Naked 3 has been neglected. I have been particularly obsessed with the beautiful golden shade,everyone's favourite, Half Baked,as well as Bootycall for an inner corner highlight, and Foxy across the browbone. The staying power and pigment of these shadows is brilliant but I still use a base to last all day, using either my fail safe Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and on Bronze, or Rimmel ScandalEyes Shadowstick in 002 Bulletproof Beige. For eyeliner I've been enjoying using Eyeko's Skinny liquid liner which I received in Glamour magazine. It is super intense in colour and I find the felt tip applicator really easy to use. As for mascara, I need waterproof in the summer and I particularly love using Max Factor's Clump Defy, and then Maybelline's The Rocket to create super volumised lashes that will last all day. 

For brows, my routine has stayed the same for a while now and I'm planning a new brow guide as I am really happy with this High Brow kit from Beauty UK. This kit has everything needed to achieve a perfect brow, wax to shape and then three shadows. I follow this up with Maybelline's Brow Drama Mascara to keep everything in place and find that this lasts all day and creates a perfectly shaped brow.

For lips I have been loving red this summer. I think it looks great with bronzed skin and golden eye make-up, which is pretty much been my standard look. For a casual day I will wear Maybelline Baby Lips in the shade Cherry Me for a natural tint, or Revlon's Lip Butter in the shade Wild Watermelon. Both leave a lovely hint of colour in a slightly pinky red shade, with a nice glossy effect which I adore for summer. For an evening look I will pair Max Factor's gloss in the shade 30 Captivating Ruby. This is seriously pigmented alone but when paired a colour underneath it gives a lovely rich effect with lasting colour. 

Hope your all having a wonderful summer!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Summer Lipstick Picks

Now I am a fan of a bold lip pretty much all year round, but summer is certainly the best time to try a more adventurous bright lip as it is always on trend. These are my pick of the best daring shades to really make you stand out this season. The Revlon colorburst lip butters are pretty much a firm favourite with most beauty junkies. They are the perfect combination of a lipstick and balm; good enough colour pay off yet still moisturizing which is why they are perfect for summer. My favourite summer shade is 063 Wild Watermelon, a really nice muted red that borderlines the pink shade of things. It is really easy to apply, just like a balm and has fairly good staying power too, leaving your lips with a glossy finish which I love for summer. Another winner from Revlon is a firm love of mine, Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in the shade 020 Lovesick. This is one of the best staying lip products I have ever came across,(there is still a mark on my arm where I struggled to get all this swatch off). I wore this non stop on holiday of an evening and didn't even have to take it out with me to top up. The bright fuchsia is just perfect for this season, not to mention how great it compliments a tan. Next is a shade that I am only brave enough to wear this season, Maybelline's colorsensational in 902 Fuchsia Flash. It is the brightest of pinks, much more Barbie than lovesick which is why I find it less wearable. It is super pigmented however and lasts a long time too, not to mention how amazing these lipsticks smell! Another favourite again comes from Revlon, and it is their lip gloss in the shade 046 Sizzle, a great orange shade which is still quite wearable as it verges on the red side of things. I love wearing this over the top of a bright coral or red shade to really make it stand out. These lip glosses from Revlon have amazing pigment for a lip gloss, albeit they are slightly sticky. Next is Max Factor in the shade 830 Dusky Rose, a muted pink with shimmer which again, looks wonderful with tanned skin. I adore Max Factor lipsticks because they are extremely creamy in formula, not at all drying and they last a long time with a finish that is not at all matte which I quite like for summer. Finally is a super bold shade from Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate, in the shade 110. This is a shockingly bright coral red, which again I find looks at its best with a tanned glow. I wore this non stop on my holiday as I feel it brightens up any look, even if you have fairly downplayed makeup this will make you stand out. These matte lipsticks also have unbelievable staying power which i find to be one of the most important factors of a summer lipstick. This shade looks beautiful paired with the lip gloss in Sizzle. 


The Summer Playlist

Needless to say, I am a major music fan and I thought it would be a good idea to share all the songs that I cannot stop listening to this summer. I recently went on a gals holiday to Malia and these songs compiled my holiday playlist; some of my favourite current songs which really remind me of being on holiday, or just that feel good summer feeling in general. I defy anybody to listen to this playlist and not feel in a good summer mood- especially cruise which is my all time favourite feel good jam! Hope you enjoy, and are having a wonderful summer.