25.9.15

Charlotte Tilbury Launch at John Lewis







And an unretouched photo so you can see just how good the make-up looked!


Last Friday I was lucky enough to attend the Charlotte Tilbury launch at John Lewis in Oxford Street, which meant testing lots of dreamy products! In recent times my mum has started taking a larger interest in make-up (under my influence of course) so I took her along with me.

On arrival we were both greeted by our lovely make-up artists and for forty-five minutes I had the opportunity to talk all things beauty related with the fabulous Sarah-Jane whilst she did my make-up from scratch. We were given a range of ten looks to choose from, which as you can imagine was so difficult, there were so many beautiful looks and products to try! In the end I chose Rock Chick - a bold smoky eye and a subtle nude lip. I will leave a list of all the products I wore at the end of the post along with the prices.

I loved that we were able to experience several skincare products as well as make-up, especially as Charlotte Tilbury skincare is so expensive. It's unlikely I will be spending £70.00 on a skincare product any time soon, although admittedly, after trying the Magic Cream it has been added to my 'When I'm Rich' beauty list. They were also kind enough to give us a sample pot which I have used everyday this week - it literally feels like heaven on your skin.

The Magic foundation in 4.5 is the perfect shade for my skin and I loved the overall look of it for the first few hours but the coverage did not last as long as I would have liked. By the evening I noticed the foundation on the bridge of my nose had turned back into liquid form, a disaster not even my powder could fix. Putting that aside, I would recommend the foundation. It is a good product, it gives good coverage and feels lightweight on the skin, just remember the coverage doesn't last that long. So if you have oily skin carry a powder or a concealer/foundation to top up.

The eyes were no doubt my favourite part of the look, I absolutely loved the eye-shadow and the liner. The eye-shadow quad in Rock Chick is absolutely beautiful and the pigmentation is incredible. The eye-liner also looked amazing. This was partly due to the products but also because Sarah-Jane was brilliant at it, I seriously wish she could do my liner every day! Two liners were used, Rock 'N' Kolh in Bedroom Black for the water line and Feline Flick in Panther for the eyelids. Both these products have incredible staying power and are both intense, bold blacks - perfect for a more dramatic eye look. I definitely rate these products highly, especially the Feline Flick, the tip is very fine which of course makes it easier to get a more precise line.

I ended up purchasing the lip liner, lipstick, highlighter/bronzer compact and a brush, all of which I will review in an upcoming post. In this post I wanted to talk about the products I loved that I didn't actually buy, not because I didn't want to but because the products I did buy took priority. Believe me, I've had my eyes on them all for a while! But let's be honest, I doubt it will be long before the other products make their way into my make-up collection too.

I love all the Charlotte Tilbury products I've tried and I had such a lovely time at the launch. My mum and I went home happy with some lovely additions to our make-up bags and two less happy bank balances!

What are your favourite Charlotte Tilbury products? I just love everything, I mean the packaging is just gorgeous. Rose gold. Need I say anymore?

Skincare:
Take It All Off - 24.00
Multi Miracle Glow Balm - 45.00
Magic Cream - 70.00

Complexion:
Magic Foundation  in 4.5- 29.00
Retoucher Concealer  in 3- 25.00 
Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder - 33.00
Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Light- 49.00
Cheek to Chic - 30.00

Eyes:
Browlift 22.50
Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in Rock Chick- 38.00
Rock 'N' Kohl Pencil in Bedroom Black - 19.00 
Feeline Flick - 22.00
Full Fat Lashes Mascara - 22.00

Lips:
Lip Cheat liner in Pillow Talk - 16.00
Lipstick in Bitch Perfect - 23.00
Lip Lustre in Blondie - 16.50

Tools:
Foundation Brush - 30.00
Bronzer Brush - 60.00
Blush Brush - 30.00
Blender Brush - 25.00
Eye-liner Brush - 18.00
Lip Brush - 18.00
Powder and Sculpt Brush - 35.00

15.9.15

Archery Brows



Above: Left Line - Soap & Glory Archery Brow Tint & Precision Shaping Pencil

Right Line - Archery Brow 2-In-1 Brow Filling Pencil



Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year and a half, you have probably noticed how popular big, bold eyebrows have become. Long gone are the days of over-plucking and waxing your eyebrows, now the bigger the eyebrows the better.
For a long time I have been filling in my brows using a dark brown eye-shadow with a MAC 266 brush. That habit stuck until a few months ago when I bought two Soap & Glory brow products and I fell in love with one of them.

Soap & Glory Archery Brow Tint & Precision Shaping Pencil
I might be alone in this but I really am not a fan of this product. One end of the product is a stain with a fine tip which I thought I would like, but both the look and feel of it really do remind me of a felt tip pen. Where the stain is wet it draws quite a harsh line which doesn't look natural and although I like my eyebrows to look defined, I don't like them to look drawn on. I also found the stain ran out pretty fast, especially compared to the pencil on the other side. The pencil is a little better than the tint, it has quite a waxy feel and doesn't look as harsh as the stain does, making it pretty good for filling in the brows. What I didn't like about the pencil is that you have to press quite hard for the product to actually become visible on the brows, and to keep drawing over and over is quite irritating.
I bought the darker shade of the two available called Brownie Points which is directed at those who are looking to create bold and defined eyebrows. I thought this colour would suit my brows as they are naturally very dark but as you can see in the picture featured above, the product is more of a warmish brown. I think Soap & Glory could do with creating an even darker shade as the two shades available suit warm brown and blonde hairs.
The product was only £10.00 which I am pretty pleased about, now I don't feel like I've wasted too much money... I would not buy this product again but I am pleased to say I found a better, cheaper alternative from Soap & Glory!

Archery Brow Pencil 2-In-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush 
After my disappointment with the first brow product I was quite apprehensive to try this one, especially as it's cheaper! Thankfully this brow pencil is more impressive. I especially love the brush side. I am probably behind with this but I did not realise how big of a difference using a brush on your eyebrows makes! It really allows you to create a nice, neat brow and I've found it helps create more of an arch too. The brush doesn't feel too harsh and it's really easy to quickly comb them into place in the morning's. The opposite end of this product is a pencil and it is much thinner than the previous product, giving you more precision and control. The pencil is very easy to use and the product comes out straight away. I like to line the bottom of my eyebrows with the pencil so they look neat and then fill in the brows where necessary.
I bought the shade Hot Chocolate which is a dark, deep brown - a good colour for me. They also do a lighter shade for those with light brown/blonde hairs called Blondeshell.
I just absolutely love this product, I am such a fan! It makes it so easy to create bold, thick brows and it only costs £8.00! I am seriously impressed.

Let me know what you've loved and hated using on your brows this year and what you would recommend, high-end or budget!


7.9.15

Nars Face






Nars Sheer Glow Foundation
I finally got my hands on a bottle of Nars Sheer Glow last week and I could not be happier! Believe it or not, this is the first time I have ever owned a Nars foundation and I am pleased to say the product really does live up to its hype.
I love blending the foundation with my Real Techniques buffing brush but it blends just as nicely using your fingers. It gives good coverage and doesn't feel heavy on the skin. The shade Santa Fe suits my skin perfectly but there's such a large range of shades, I'm sure there's one to suit every skin tone. I'd definitely recommend going to your nearest Nars counter and getting shade matched before purchasing though, there's nothing worse than buying a foundation in the wrong shade.
The only thing I don't like about this foundation is the fact it doesn't have a pump, which makes it difficult to get the right amount of product out. I know Nars sell pumps for only £3.00 so I'm going to grab one this weekend, but come on Nars, just put a pump on it!
The product is a little pricey at £31.00 but for a brilliant product, I'd say it's worth it. I definitely see myself repurchasing whenever it runs out (hopefully never) but I'll keep you updated on that one.
Overall I would say to anyone no matter your age, skin type or skin tone, give this foundation a try. I'm head over heels in love with it!

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
I've been on the search for a good concealer for a while now and although this concealer isn't perfect for me, it's not far off. I got the shade Ginger which mixes nicely with the Santa Fe foundation but I think I could have even gone down a shade to Custard. The formula itself is quite thick, it gives medium to heavy coverage, which I was aiming for, but it can be quite drying and cling to any dry patches you have. That being said, once I apply the Sheer Glow foundation on top, I'm super happy with the result (which may say more about the foundation than the concealer).
I think the packaging is beautiful, it definitely looks high-end. I usually love a wand but when using this product I prefer to dip my concealer brush on the end of the wand and then blend it in. This is because the wand feels quite harsh on the skin and I prefer a softer feel which I get from my brush.
The product again is quite pricey at £22.00 but I definitely prefer it to my last high end concealers which were similar prices, Benefit Erase Paste (£20.50) and Clinique Even Better Concealer (£19.00).
Overall, I wouldn't say I'm dead impressed with this concealer, but it's the best I've tried in a while. I guess I'll have to continue my hunt for the perfect concealer!

Let me know what you think of the above products and what foundations and concealers you prefer. I'm open to lots of concealer suggestions, high-end or high street!




31.8.15

Florida

When I first woke up this morning I was quite enjoying hearing the rain against my window. Come this afternoon, I was already tired of it. After cuddling up on the sofa watching Once Upon A Time for several hours I decided to have a look over the photographs I took in Florida last month and now, I've decided to share them with you.
I've been to Florida before but it was a good decade ago and I remember very little, so when my friend Sarah asked me to meet her out there a few weeks ago I couldn't say yes fast enough. 
We went to some lovely restaurants and had a few enjoyable nights at the karaoke bar at City Walk. I don't know if it's the same with every karaoke bar in America but everyone could sing so well. At first I thought the whole thing was staged! It's safe to say, the karaoke bars there were not like the ones I've been to in England, and I can happily report that we didn't go up and sing. Honestly, I think the audience would have been more mortified than us!
I absolutely loved all the theme parks, they are like a dream world. I even managed to go on every ride, which was a complete contrast to my first visit (the only thing I managed to go on was the tea cups, sorry mum and dad) but the Tower of Terror almost got me again! Luckily I had to try and hide my fear from the little boy next to us who like me, really did not want to get on the ride, but I think we both enjoyed it in the end... I even kept my Disney ears on my head the whole time! 
It was honestly such an amazing holiday. I just had so much fun and met some lovely people from different places across the world. I love how easy it is to get talking to people in America and it was so interesting to hear about people's different cultures and lifestyles. I even had time to read a few books in between all the busy days at the theme parks which I was very happy about!
 If you haven't been to Florida yet, go as soon as you get the chance! Even if you don't like rides, it's so fun just to walk around all the parks and watch the shows and fireworks and eat all the delicious food.  I don't know how anyone couldn't love it! 
So although today started pretty miserable, I've loved looking back at these photos and reminding myself how fun this summer has been and how lucky I am.

I just wish I could wear my pink Disney ears all the time!
Enjoy!
Let me know where your favourite summer holiday has been.
































26.7.15

Book Review - Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl



I have wanted to read this book since it came out last year and now that I have graduated and have more time on my hands, I finally got round to it.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from the book when I started reading it. To be totally honest I don't tend to read many autobiographies, if I'm ever wrapped up in a book it's normally going to be fiction. But I love Lena and I admire her for her work ethic and her achievements and I definitely wanted to give it a read. For those of you who don't know much about Lena Dunham, she's an American actress, writer, director, producer and screenwriter. She is most well-known for creating, writing, directing and acting in the American TV show Girls and probably more recently for hanging out with Taylor Swift a lot.

I found the book reflected Girls in several ways. It was honest, funny, entertaining and sometimes a little odd. The book discusses Dunham's thoughts and feelings on love, sex, the female body, friendship, family and work. The honesty in the book is definitely something to be admired and although sometimes I questioned if some of stories were actually true, I liked how few details were left out, whether they were TMI or not. I think some readers will find comfort in reading about Dunham's more relatable experiences, whether this is struggling with your body image, experimenting with drugs or sex for the first time, dealing with mental health issues or falling in love, and those that aren't relatable are enlightening and other times just simply entertaining.

I guess my only criticism of the book would be that I sometimes found the structure difficult to follow. This could just be personal preference but I found the book jumped to and from different periods too much and this could make things quite confusing. Other than that I'd say I enjoyed the book. I loved Dunham's honesty on both her good and bad experiences, her humour, and her love and support for other women. I would definitely recommend picking up a copy. It's kind of like reliving your teenage years, some parts are sad, cringey, but more than anything pretty hilarious.

Let me know if you give it a read or have any book recommendations for me. I'm going to read Amy Poehler's Yes Please next and I cannot wait! 

15.7.15

Best Cookies Ever!

I first made these cookies in February 2014 after the beautiful Tanya Burr posted the recipe on her website and I am yet to find any that taste better! They are so easy to make and everyone loves them, whenever I've made them they disappear so fast (I swear I don't eat them all to myself). It's the perfect recipe to make for when you have family/friends coming over or for the ultimate lazy day.

What you need:
Weighing scales
Grease proof paper
Two baking trays
200g butter
300g caster sugar
1 large egg
275g self-raising flour
75g cocoa powder
A large bar of white, milk and dark chocolate  (if you don't like one I'd say leave it out because you will definitely taste it!)
3 Daim bars 


Instructions:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius/gas mark 6.

2. Whisk the butter and sugar together until smooth. I usually do this by hand rather than use an electric whisk but both do the job. 


3. Crack in the egg.


4. Add the self-raising flour and cocoa powder.


5. Blend in the dry ingredients, if it's too dry add a little bit of milk.


6. Break up the chocolate into individual squares and add to the mixing bowl. Try to refrain from eating half the bar whilst adding it, you'll just wish you hadn't when you are eating the cookies (definitely not advice from personal experience...)



7. Mix the chocolate with the rest of the ingredients, I usually end up doing this with my hands so the chocolate separates better.


8. Line two baking trays with grease proof paper. 

9. Separate the mixture into twelve equal sized balls and add to the baking trays.



10. Place the trays in the oven and let them bake for 11 minutes then leave them to cool. 
If you like your cookies crispy on the outside then leave them for a bit longer but personally I like them better when they are soft. As Tanya points out, it is vital to know that they don't look properly baked when they come out of the oven but trust me leave them, when they are cool they taste amazing! 



11. Enjoy!