Thursday, 31 January 2013

25 Random Facts About Me


As a nasty virus seems to have taken over our household, I'm going to take part in the 'twenty-five random facts about me' tag! I wasn't actually tagged, but I've enjoyed reading other peoples, so maybe you'll like mine too!


1. Some kids want to be nurses, fire-fighters, a vet; me? I wanted to be a flamenco dolly. By the time I was twenty-one I had achieved that goal and lived in Spain for twelve months to boot. 

2. I worked in a dog kennel for a year & it was the best job I ever had.

3. I once didn't brush my hair for so long it actually became matted and had to be chopped off. 

4. I'm the first person in my family to have a degree.

5. I shaved my eyebrows off when I was younger as my sister told me I had a monobrow.

6. I went through a goth/'mosher'/hippy stage in high school (didn't we all?!) and was pretty much obsessed with Kurt Cobain.

7. I've bitten my nails since I was seven, can't seem to kick the habit.

8. I cry about a lot of things, but I am quite detached from death.

9. I went through a vegan stage & it was the best I'd ever felt.

10. I don't believe in God but I believe in a spirit higher than us all & that our paths are all intertwined somehow.

11. I met my partner of four years on Twitter.

12. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind & Life of Pi are my most favourite films.

13. I prefer a night in to a night out. I am what you may call 'a young fogie'.

14. I have a strange 'party trick' in being able to know most songs & lyrics within the first few beats of the music. I was straight up called a 'weirdo' as I was singing along to a song before it had even properly started.

15. I've travelled more of Spain than I have of England. Seville is my favourite place on the planet. I know I will live there again one day.
16. I can make a whole list of cocktail, thanks to many bar jobs.

17. I know the basics of five languages (Italian, Chinese, Russian, French, Portuguese) and I'm almost fluent in one (Spanish).

18. I have the worlds sweetest tooth. Give me sugar over savoury any day of the week!

19. I was bullied by my best friend in high school... She is still my best friend.

20. Paulo Coelho is my favourite author and probably always will be. If I encounter someone that hasn't heard of him I will hand over my copy of 'The Alchemist'.

21. I'm forever day-dreaming. Normally about how many other people are day-dreaming and thinking the exact same thing.

22. I once gradually started dying my hair darker and darker brown until it was black, because my mum said I couldn't.

23. I'm not a picky eater, but if I see something has gone off, I probably wont eat that same product for a few months.

24. I take everyone as my friend until they personally give me a reason not to be. (normally takes a lot).

25. My Great Grandma is my inspiration. She's the happiest, wise old owl I've ever known & if I live half of my life as good as hers I will have achieved something.

And there you have it!

Please link me if you have done the same post, I find them weirdly fascinating!
What's a random fact about you? 
xo


ps. if you'd like to see more of my year abroad, and the feria de abril, you can do so here & here!
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Monday, 28 January 2013

My Make-up Brush Collection

As I was washing my make-up brushes the other day (living the dream on a Thursday night!) I figured I would share my collection on here.

Before I started reading beauty blogs & watching youtube tutorials I owned a grand total of two brushes. A foundation brush & an eyeshadow brush. That was it. A big part of me thought; 'why do you 'need' all those tools when you can apply it with your hands?' - and I do still think some brushes are a tad unnecessary. However after buying my first Real Techniques collection and a couple of Mac brushes I can understand why they are so loved. 

I keep all of my brushes in a Large Mac Brush Roll. This doesn't get the best reviews, but for me it is perfect. My collection consists of Real Techniques, Body Shop, Urban Decay & Mac brushes and the majority fit in the slots, a couple don't but the side zipped pouch holds all the others well. It's easy to clean & keeps everything together nicely without taking up lots of space.
The brushes:

Real Techniques Core Collection : (£21.99)
Real Techniques Starter Collection : (£21.99)
Real Techniques Powder Brush : (£12.99)

Personally I really love Real Technique brushes; they're cruelty free, don't shed and are very reasonably priced compared to most other brushes out there. The Core Collection is better used by me, although the angled brush in the Start Collection is great for applying powder to your eyebrows, although the other brushes aren't used as much as I'd like. 

Body Shop Foundation Brush : (£12)
Body Shop Eyeshadow Blender Brush : (£10)

After discovering the Real Techniques Buffing Brush (Core Collection) my foundation brush has gone a bit unused, although it is a great brush & I do like that they are affordable, don't shed & again are cruelty free. The eyeshadow blender brush is a little uncomfortable to use and I haven't particularly used this a lot. 
Mac Eye Brushes.

239 Eye Shader Brush : (19)
224 Tapered Blending Brush (£22)
217 Blending Brush x 2 : (£17)
219 Pencil Brush : (£19)
266 Angle Brush : (£16)
210 Precise Eyeliner Brush : (£16)


Of all Macs brushes I think the 'eye' brush selection is probably the best and most versatile. I can't say a bad word about any of these brushes. They all do a great job of perfecting whatever eyeshadow look you're going for. I find the 'shader brush' best for applying very pigmented shades, and the 'tapered blending brush' actually more useful for applying some powder to under my eyes once I've used my Bobbi Brown Corrector/Concealer. The angle brush is one of my favourites as it's just so precise and can be used for both eyeshadow and doing your eyebrows. 
Mac Face Brushes.

168 Large Angled Contour Brush : (£26)
187 Duo Fibre Brush : (£32.50)
130 Short Duo Fibre Brush : (£29)

I'm currently struggling with the Duo Fibre brushes (both short and large) as they shed like no other brush I've ever used before, which is a shame. These are made for lightweight application of water-based foundation, emollients etc. however the amount of time I've spent picking black hairs off my face after using these is disappointing. I'm hoping if I keep using them maybe it will stop, otherwise they'll be bald! The Large Angled Contour Brush however is lovely. It is the perfect size to... well, contour your face with! It also blends out the product very well & I've not noticed any shedding from this at all. 
Overall Favourites

If I were to condense this down to the brushes I use the most/what I find does the job (or multiple jobs) the best are; RT Powder Brush, RT Buffing Brush, Mac Contour Brush, Mac Blending Brush, Pencil Brush and Angle Brush. I'm pretty sure you could contently apply all necessary make-up with these six brushes! The rest are kind of just a luxury, and a lot were gifts I received for Christmas, which I am very grateful for. 

What are your favourite brand/brushes? 
xo

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Saturday, 26 January 2013

Snow Night

I've never seen the snow come down so fast.

I know there definitely are people who are ready to see it go, but all my child-like instinct took over last night as I shoved on a hoody over my pyjamas, put on my black boots (good job nobody could see me!) and tried to capture just how pretty the city centre looked.

It's rare that the snow settles here as it's quite 'warm' compared to small streets & villages so I was very excited to see a blanket of snow across the whole city. I couldn't stay outside long, but I followed it with a nice mug of hot chocolate and 8 Out of 10 Cats.

Is it snowy where you are? 
Hope you all have a lovely weekend.
xo

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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

15 Shades of MAC

I love eyeshadows.

I'm pretty sure I've said that before, but my collection seems to be ever growing. For Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a Mac Pro Palette with an Eye-shadow Insert and fifteen eye-shadows to complete it. Trust me, I was shocked! 

These shadows were picked out for me by the Mac mua's in Harvey Nichols, Leeds (without me knowing) only having a photo to go on, I think they did an amazing job. I never thought I'd own one of these palettes, mainly as they're quite expensive to fill, but actually they're very handy and I love the sleek, overall look of the palette itself. 

I thought I'd share with you the fifteen shades in there & which are my favourites!
Left to right.
Top row: brule, jest, wedge, soba, woodwinked.
Second row: texture, satin taupe, omega, mythology, brown down.
Third row: trax, fig, green smoke, steamy, carbon.

There are definitely a few classics in there & some best sellers (I imagine that's why they chose them). I would say my most used (my favourites) are; Brule - soft creamy beige, Wedge - soft muted brown taupe, Woodwinked - warm antique gold and Omega - soft muted beige taupe, mainly for their very versatile uses but natural shades. I still have a while to go before I'll feel confident in using green as my eye-shadow skills are definitely not the best, although they are beautiful colours! 
I can see how people get so wrapped up in filling in these palettes and creating two, four or fifteen sets, they're so addictive! It's also nice to have multiple shadows all in the same place and being able to create a lot of different looks with them.

I'd love to start an 'eyebrow' palette and put Omega and Brown Down in there as that seems to be the combo that is as close as I can get to the perfect shade! 

Do you have a Mac palette? What are your favourite shades?
xo

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Monday, 21 January 2013

Hershesons; pins, ties & spray

I've always struggled with my hair.

And by that I mean, when trying to style it I become all cack-handed and whatever I try do with this fuzz on my head - it just fails. So when I was contacted by Hershesons and asked if I'd like to try out some of their hair products I figured I would spend a bit of time trying to create some kind of style with them!


Hershesons aren't a brand I've heard of before, if I'm being completely honest, but their website & product range instantly impressed me and has made me wish I did more with my hair!
The products I tried out are their hair pins (£6) hair bands (£6.50) and Hershesons ♥ Batiste dry shampoo (£5.50)

Now, I've never used hair 'pins' before, hair grips on the other hand are my best friend, however I was pleasantly surprised how easy they are to use and how well they hold your hair in place. They also kindly coloured matched them to my hair so they blend in nicely! The pins (and bands) come in very cute little tins that are so handy! I'm a nightmare for leaving grips & ties all over the place so these will stop that problem.
The hair bands (not used in this 'style' its all thanks to the pins!) are great quality and I'd struggle to see how they'd ever snap. They're thick & tight so hold your hair in place all day very well, plus again there are a few colour variations, which is always nice. 
As for dry shampoo, I've never seen it as a necessity, but then I'd never really tried a good one, until now. I think this collaboration is great and can we just say; how cute is the packaging? Very chic but yet girly so it doesn't look out of place on your dressing table (which is quite the opposite of most of Batiste very bright, patterned bottles). I used this on 'second day' hair and it worked a treat and added a bit of extra volume which was needed with this hair style!
Overall I'm very impressed with what Hershesons has to offer and I'll definitely be looking out for more of their products! Oh and if you're wondering, I tried to copy this hairstyle, although with a bit more of a 'messy' edge! 

What do you think? Have you tried Hershesons before?
xo
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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Life Lately

A little update!

I think this little pile of books sums my life up quite nicely at the moment; driving lessons, Life of Pi & more driving lesson things.

So last night I got in contact with a driving instructor. If we rewind back six years or so, I started to learn to drive - I had a terrible instructor (and generally couldn't afford to be shouted at) so I dropped after seven lessons and never really spoke about it again. Until recently. 

I feel like driving will give me a lot of freedom, and as a Gemini / a person with 'Wanderlust' that is pretty important to me! Also, I have this year 'free' as I didn't get onto my PGCE Primary course (every cloud & all that), so it seems like the perfect time to do it. I have my DVA Theory Test disc & AA books at the ready to help me, as I'm definitely starting from scratch again! My first lesson is on Monday and I'm really kinda nervous, although this new teacher seems nice & friendly so I'm sure all will be ok.

Next up is Life of Pi. I went to see the film last Wednesday and fell in love with it. I'm guilty of not reading the book beforehand, but as soon as I got home from the cinema I went straight online & bought it. I couldn't recommend everyone go see it enough. Take tissues - is all I'm saying. 3D glasses can only hide you for so long! (although you might not all be such big babies as me). It's a truly beautiful film, and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to the book. 

Speaking of buying, I figured I would talk about the spending ban! The only thing I have bought is said book, which I didn't particularly mention in my personal 'rules' (aka. in my eyes I haven't cheated!). I don't think I could have resisted buying it, the film just touched me too much not to give it a go. Apart from that I genuinely haven't spent a penny of makeup, skincare or eating out in town.

I thought I'd do a little collection of things I would have probably already bought by now if wasn't for the little nagging voice in the back of head saying, "wait until April!"

I've wanted Russian Red for so long now, I can't wait until this is over so I can buy it! Nail Envy is because I'm hoping to grow my nails, finally, this year and this looks like a product that will help battle many years of chewing them. The lip perfectors have always looked lovely and they're still there in my 'must buy soon' part of my mind! What are you lusting after?

How is your spending ban going, if you're doing it, and what are you looking forward to achieving this year?
xo
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Monday, 14 January 2013

My Winter Lipstick Saviours.

I'm a sucker for a good lipstick. 

Sheer ones, bright ones, nude, muted ones, I pretty much love them all, but my favourite have got to be ones that don't dry out my lips.

For some reason it seems to be a little difficult to find ones that nourish instead of just sit there. We all know which lip balms help you out in Winter (Nuxe Reve de Miel, I'm looking at you), but what about lipsticks? Through much trial and error I've put together my top four lipsticks that help keep your pout looking healthy & moisturised, all while adding some colour!
Right to left, in the order as shown below. 

4. MAC Cremesheen / Colour Creme in Your Coffee (£14): I've reviewed this lipstick before, but it definitely needed shouting about again. The colour is beautiful berry red, but more than that it has great longevity, highly pigmented AND moisturises. It isn't the most intense moisturiser but it is one of the best Mac categories within the lipstick range for applying smoothly and nourishing at the same time. If my lips aren't too dry I definitely use this when I'm out as a quick top up.

3. MAC Sheen Supreme / Colour Bare Again (£14.50): Overall I would say this is my favourite version of Macs lipstick. Sheen Supreme is definitely a great name for them; they apply wonderfully, they have a real creamy texture - almost like a lip balm, and the pigmentation is great. If I wasn't on a 'spending ban' I would have definitely expanded my collection by now. Possibly my most reached for lipstick!

2. L'Oreal Rouge Caresse / Colour Sweet Berry (£8.19): These have a great texture, almost water like but with a hint of colour, I'd say these are the most sheer of the bunch but feel great on the lips. Plus, they are a fairly reasonable price. There isn't the best colour range available but Sweet Berry is a great 'your lips but better' shade.

1. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine / Colour Deauville (£24): The number one of all lipsticks is this, and I guess you'd hope so for the price, but if I had the money, (they're definitely a treat), I'd buy another in a heartbeat! The texture is similar to the L'Oreal Rouge Caresse but with more colour and lot more hydration for your lips. I try wear this for special occasions but it is also lovely to have in your bag with you feel the dreaded dryness come along!
Chanel, L'Oreal, Mac Bare Again & Mac Creme in Your Coffee.

What are your favourite hydrating lipsticks?
xo

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Monday, 7 January 2013

A Peachy Makeup Tutorial

I would say 60% of my makeup collection is peach based.

I think it looks great all year round & a swipe of peach blush can brighten up your face in an instant.

So here are my favourite products to get a minimal effort, fresh faced look!

I start off with my all time favourite foundation; NARS Sheerglow in Ceylan applied with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush, followed by Mac Select Cover Up in NC20 for any blemishes that need hiding! Next I stick on some Urban Decay Primer Potion, which is new to me but I am loving it and let that sink in while I move on to my brows. 

I've found it quite hard to find an accurate eyebrow colour using powders, but so far Omega by Mac is doing the job nicely, applied with the Real Teachniques angled eyebrow brush which I think is amazing! Finished off with a little bit of Clear Definition by 17, which I kind of use as a spooly and a setting agent all in one. 
As for eyeshadow I love Woodwinked, again by Mac, at the minute, it's a beautiful 'antique gold' which has just a nice amount of shimmer and isn't too dark even when all over the lid. I apply this with a Mac 217 and 239 for applying under the bottom lashes. After this I curl them, followed by Macs Liquid Eyeliner, which I have used for years & years and never changed. A little bit of Models Own white eyeliner to open the eyes up and lots of Maybelline's The Falsies mascara finishes off that section!

The final touches are blush; my favourite being Laura Mercier Lush NectarineBobbi Brown Corrector & Concealer and a swipe of Mac Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Bare Again, the only nude lipstick I have ever liked!

And there you have it. I promise it is quicker to apply than it probably was to read!

What is your favourite base make-up colour? :)
xo

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Goodbye Under Eye Bags!

Hello Bobbi Brown Corrector & Concealer!

The one thing I asked for for Christmas was the very hyped up ; Bobbi Brown Corrector & Creamy Concealer (£18 each). It's safe to say it is extremely talked about as being one of the key things for sorting out those pesky dark circles, and I wanted in!

As I regularly struggle to have a good nights sleep, my under eye baggage is terrible, I suffer from having them constantly anyway as I seem to have a large eye socket (party trick No. 1 - being able to hold some tea-lights in there). So, I was very excited to try this product out. 

I got matched as Light Bisque Corrector & Ivory Concealer, for reference! 
The Corrector (top) is a light pink colour, helping to eliminate blues & greens that form around the eye, the Concealer is extremely creamy (as it says in the name!) and blends like a dream. I tend to apply them both with my finger as they seem a bit more manageable that way. You only need such a small amount of both products too, and they do an excellent job when combined. They make my eyes stand out & the bags completely gone, what more could you want?

I dont own anything else like these two. I am so pleased with them that I can't see them leaving my make-up essentials any time soon. I've noticed they do crease slightly, but when I add a bit of Mac MSF Natural powder that stops that, but it's a very forgivable small flaw. 
(sorry for the creepy eyes)
In order; just foundation, corrector, corrector & concealer.

Overall? One of my favourite products I've tried in a long, long, time and completely worth all the hype it is given. I'd recommend it to anyone & everyone that is suffering with under eye colour that you just can't seem to get rid of, this is for you!

What do you think? Whats your favourite under-eye concealer?
xo
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