July 31, 2015

30 Photos from Paris

A long overdue post, back in February my partner and I decided to hop on the Eurostar and celebrate our 3 year anniversary in Paris. I've visited Paris at least twice before and it took the 3rd time for me to fall in love with the city which had a lot to do with the company. Since we were celebrating our time together, I thought I'd keep it simple and just share my favourite photos during the trip rather than over share. 

Travelling was a rather spur of the moment decision as we had found a good deal online. At the time, I would have preferred to have visited somewhere else as I've had some mediocre trips there. Ultimately, I was pretty grateful just to leave the UK as it's been over 2 years since I last travelled anywhere. Which may have been why I loved the city so much this time around.

Paris had a bit of a Beauty and the Beast vibe, particularly the inside of the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Grand Opera House. Even though the Opera House is meant to be the one that inspired the story of the phantom of the opera, it reminded me of the Beauty and the Beast castle in the Disney film during the Tale as old as time scene and after the curse had been lifted. Notre Dame's chandelier's and gothic vibes made me feel like I had walked into the Beast's castle on a dark and stormy night like Maurice did.

I think if I were to ever move to a major city for a few months or so, I'd love it to be Paris. The people are incredibly polite, the food is mouthwatering and the architecture gorgeous. I've gone from never wanting to revisit the city to wishing I could live there. 
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July 29, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Look & Palette

Back when Charlotte Tilbury first launched, I admit to being a terrible beauty blogger and aspiring makeup artist as I had never heard of her before. However, I was intrigued by her products. For whatever reason though, I found that a lot of Charlotte Tilbury products on counter weren't very pigmented whenever I swatched a few products. With everyone raving about the brand online, I decided to book myself in for an appointment to see how they fair when applied. As you can see, I ended up being won over & purchased a fair few products way back during the winter Selfridges sale.

If you're unfamiliar with the brand, they have 10 signature looks with corresponding products to achieve each of them. It took the longest time for me to check out any Charlotte Tilbury products as I could never settle on which look I preferred. For the longest time it was a toss up between the Vintage Vamp and the Rebel. Ultimately, I decided to just go for a completely different option, the Rock Chick.

The Rock Chick is inspired by the likes of Brigitte Bardot & Debbie Harry. It's a combination of a smoky eye, eyeliner or a cat eye, paired with a nude lip. It's my basic go to look that I do when I don't have an hour or so to do my face up. If I was going to splurge on a luxury brand, I may as well make sure I'm capable of incorporating it into my daily routine. 

Although the palettes only have 4 shadows, they're rather versatile as you can create a day look, an evening look and a somewhere in between dusk look. The shadows are rather pigmented but I wouldn't describe them as the best on the market. I've definitely tried even better ones. They're nice but nothing particularly special. I found the smoke shade requires extra work to blend.

They also aren't individually named but each have a prime, enhance, smoke and pop shadow. For a day look you use a combination of prime and enhance, for a dusk you add in the smoke and for an evening look you use the pop. If you find yourself overwhelmed for choice with larger eyeshadow palettes, it may be worth trying out. It's a great idiot proof palette with the exception of the glittery 'pop' shadow. I find I experience a lot of fallout with it, even if I apply it perfectly, throughout the day the glitter tends to fall off the lids and go everywhere. Those who prefer being more experimental may want to skip.
I originally never planned on purchasing any of the blushers, call me immature but they just remind me of a boob. However, I kind of fell in love with 'Love Glow' during my makeover. As a medium skin tone, I assumed it wouldn't suit me at all as the blush looks so light in the pan. However, it somehow gives a gorgeous glow to the cheeks without coming off ashy or pale.

You can find Charlotte Tilbury at select Selfridges counters in the UK or on the official website.
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July 26, 2015

My 5 Beauty Favourites This Summer

As my skin changes between summer time and the harsh winters we experience in the UK, I find my beauty routine tends to change during the year. Admittedly, this year has to be the wettest summer I've experienced since permanently moving here with a weird mixture of sun and rain. These products are my favourite ones for the warmer days.

Gel Eyeliners | Summer for me usually means having a really bad reaction to all the pollen. I had no idea I was a hay fever sufferer until 2 years of living in the UK. After going through several liquid liners over summer, I've found the sure fire way of keeping my eyeliner in check, is gel liners! We've been using them a lot on each other at makeup school. The gel liner doesn't mess up whenever I get my watery eyes and it doesn't melt away with the heat.

Jeffree Star Liquid Lipsticks | Have I raved enough about these Jeffree Star liquid lipsticks yet? I've yet to review them on the blog but I do feature them a lot on Instagram. These are super budge proof and are perfect if you find that heat makes your lipstick bleed. I've already mentioned that I prefer Redrum to my previous holy grail liquid lipstick. If you find liquid lipsticks tend to be super drying, these are significantly more comfortable on the lips. 

MAC Face Protect Primer | Over summer, I tend to abandon my holy grail moisturiser as it does too good a job and causes my skin to break out. I've been using MAC's Face Protect primer as suggested by a friend. Not only does it have oil control (although you need to apply a little) but it doubles as sunscreen as it has SPF 50. While it works well for me, I would definitely advise against it if you have dry skin.

L'Oreal Extraordinary Oil | Admittedly, this isn't exclusive to summer and I've featured this in my bleached hair regime. As I mentioned then, I use it as a finishing product after straightening my hair. If it's warm though, I am guaranteed to use this as it's great to battle heat induced frizzy-ness.

Maybelline Lash Sensational | Last but not least, my least favourite makeup item on the planet, mascara. I can not stand this stuff! I always manage to get it everywhere but the lashes. However, a load of people have been name dropping this particular mascara since Benefit's Roller Lash mascara released. I decided to give it a try and it's by far the only one I'm capable of tolerating and maybe even liking a little bit.

What are your favourite beauty products for summer? Check out how similar this year's favourites compared to two years ago.

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July 24, 2015

How I Look After My Bleached Hair

As someone with rather dark hair, I ended up bleaching my hair four times (over 3 months) to get my hair light enough for a blue based dye. Considering how terrified I originally was to bleach my hair at all, I'm surprised to say that there's not too much of a difference in the condition of the hair on my roots to the bleached bits (ignoring my split ends). Admittedly, this is mostly due to being patient during the bleaching process. However, good products and a proper haircare regime play an equally important part. 

When it came to looking after my hair prior to bleaching, I didn't do much. I'd mostly alternate between L'Oreal products. However, after my first bleach session, it was time to really invest in my hair products. I've been using a brand called SexyHair, who are impossible to find in any store. You'll only find them online in the UK or in select salons. If you're in the US though, they seem to be available in Ulta. They have a few different ranges within the brand but the one I use is 'Smooth' Sexy Hair which contains coconut oil. The smooth range specialises in taming frizzy hair. The line is also sulphate free which is especially useful for those of us with dyed hair.

The major downside if that they're not affordable but damn do they do wonders! The shampoo and conditioner cost just under £10 each and the nourishing mask is over £16. Occasionally you'll find the range on a 3 for 2 offer on BeautyBay. I only ever wash my hair twice a week to keep my colour vibrant but each time I do I always shampoo, condition and use the hair mask. I didn't realise how well these worked for me until I used everything up and went back to my L'Oreal shampoos. Within a week, my hair felt ultra dry and frizzy. Using pure coconut oil didn't particularly help either. I quickly reordered these again and the condition of my hair significantly improved yet again. 

I'll also use pure coconut oil overnight on my hair once a month. Although, this is something I save for things like if I have a hair appointment at a salon for either bleaching or a blowdry. I find the most damage to my hair isn't the bleach, it's how tough and violently I tug on my hair whenever I brush it. Naturally, bleach strips the hair of pigment and it makes it more brittle, being so tough on my hair doesn't do any favours. I try to be more patient and use a Tangle Teezer to brush out any knots.

You'd think having bleached hair I'd ease up on heating and styling it so much. However, I don't think there's been a single week where I've not used heat on it. I've began using the Soya Want Flat Hair Iron Spray from the Healthy sexy hair range. I use it as both a heat a protector and a finishing spray. I find you need very little product and applying too much makes it too stick firm. 

I use a mixture of products for calming frizzy hair. My favourite item is the L'Oreal extraordinary oil. Which I always use as a finishing product. I bought the smooth sexy hair frizz eliminator serum as a replacement for the extraordinary oil but I'm not a fan and would not recommend it at all! It's probably fine for virgin hair but I find it's too lightweight for bleached hair. The John Frieda Secret Agent Perfecting Creme is a family favourite, one that my mum who's bleached her hair for years has used on the ends. It's a lot heavier than the L'Oreal Extraordinary oil range, so I tend to only use it 2 days after not washing my hair. 
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July 14, 2015

IMATS London 2015 Photos & Haul

Last year I attended IMATS solo on a Saturday, this year I went with a few friends so this year's coverage isn't as picture heavy as last year's. This year I was slightly less star struck with all the beautiful makeup demos and focused on what to get for the kit. I felt like the discounts this year were a lot better and that I made back my ticket money and more. Admittedly, as a makeup student, I was able to sign up for student pro cards at MAC and Bobbi Brown so I ended up with a slightly larger discount than the general public would have been.

Since we arrived quite early, we decided to go to the NYX stall first as the queue is always quite ridiculous and tends to curve around a few other stalls. The stall didn't seem as big as last year's but they did have some of the newer products available like the NYX Butter Lipsticks and Macaron Lippies. I ended up picking up a lip liner, a cream illuminator and one eyeliner to match my hair. At the MAC counter, I signed up for my student pro card which entitled me to a one off 35% discount. I only picked up the concealer pro palettes in light and medium deep to go with my medium palette.

Next up, I went to the Urban Decay stand who had a 20% discount for the public, pro card holders and proper makeup artists got 30%. I picked up a few glosses for the kit, a standard nude, a deep bright red for vintage looks and a berry. Instead of picking up a naked palette for a kit, I decided to go for the naked2 basics palette as the naked palettes have too many shimmery shadows and this was a good all matte palette to have. These were the only eyeshadows I picked up and it killed me not picking up any rainbow bright shadows. The only thing naughty purchase that I made for myself was the turquoise deep end eyeliner.

The Makeup Forever stand was our next stop. I picked up the Makeup Forever HD Foundation as I love the coverage it gives in class. I also picked up a camouflage palette for colour correcting. Again, I made a naughty purchase for myself, which was yet another eyeliner. I eyed this up last year and it's a stunning gold green colour. After this, I headed to the Lit Cosmetics stall to pick up a load of beautiful glitters! 

The last two bits I picked up were these pretty purple brushes in a set for £10. Afterall, you can never have too many right? Next, I picked up a white mehron tub for face and body painting.

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