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Wednesday 13 June 2012

Top 10 makeup mistakes

I couldn't sleep last night and figured I'd do a little post on my top 10 makeup mistakes. Though calling it a top 10 seems kinda weird but you know what I mean!

I'd like to mention that I think makeup should be fun and give you the chance to be creative so there are no hard and fast rules - the following are just things I personally don't like! I'm prone to making the odd blunder myself and this post isn't meant to offend anyone so even if you do one or all of the following please don't take this post personally :)

1. Wrong foundation colour - I think this may actually be the worst offence when it comes to crimes against makeup because it's just so noticeable! When I was a teenager I completely avoided foundation because I knew so many girls who looked like they had literally dipped their entire face into a basin of orange liquid and then decided against blending it around the jaw/hair line

2. Badly drawn brows - As someone with ridiculously sparse, pale brows I can see why it's easy to get a little carried away with brow pencils n powders but in this case less is definitely more. I know a girl (who shall remain nameless) who's eye brows resemble little black tadpoles floating on her forehead giving her a permanent "OMG! I can't believe it!!" look. She's gorgeous but would be even more so without the scary brows

3. Clown blush - Undoubtedly one of my most common mistakes over the years! It's taken me a loong time to learn that it's much easier to add a little extra blush than it is to take some away. I always find it really distracting when it looks like someone has simply pressed a little pot of cream blush against their cheek and left it in a perfect circle shape. Though I think carrying around little blending sponges to hand out to offenders might seem a tad rude

4. Concealer that's too light - The reverse raccoon eyes look seems to have gained a lot of fans over the last few years. It's a shame really cos using a concealer that's too light does the exact opposite of what's intended and actually just draws attention to an area that is supposed to be, well, concealed :/

5. Dark lip liner and light lips - This might be the only mistake I haven't made (yet) and I sometimes wonder if people have mistaken their brown eye liners for lip liners. Surely that's the only explanation for such crazily dark lines around the lips?!

6. Spider leg mascara - Clumpy lashes totally gross me out and are the main reason I've gone back to the same Max Factor mascara over and over again for years now. There are so many things that can go wrong with mascara (clumps, smudging, flaking etc) and I can't think of anything more distracting that talking to someone who's lashes have clumped together so it looks like they only have 5 or 6 thick, dark, crispy hairs growing from their lids. Bleugh!!

7. Powder overload - As someone who suffers from pretty severe acne I used to be guilty of just piling more and more powder on my face throughout the day for fear that my spots would start to show through my makeup. Of course by 6pm and my 100th dusting of powder I looked like I'd opted for talc instead of actual makeup and it had all gathered in every single crevice and pore on my face

8. Too much lip gloss - I adore lip gloss as much as the next girl but I can't stand really thick, glittery wet-look ones because they're just sooo trashy looking. When it comes to gloss I think a nice slick of pretty colour is much better than a big slimy looking layer of bright sparkly colour that looks like it's about to drip off the lips. Yuck!

9. Lots of shimmer - Shimmer is scary. I think it deceives us by being all "hey, girl check me out! Don't you just love my awesome glittery prettiness that's totally guaranteed to leave you looking polished and glowy?" So we end up going to town with a gorgeous shimmery highlight and end up looking like a shiny sweaty mess. Highlighter is definitely the perfect name for these kinda products because although they can look absolutely gorgeous they also do a brilliant job of highlighting bumps, lines and pores on those of us with less than perfect skin!

10. 80s eye shadow - As someone who is shockingly lazy I'm all for applying as few eye shadow colours as possible but I don't think there are many occasions when you can apply one block colour from the lash line right up to the brow. Halloween and fancy dress parties are the exceptions :)

So, that's my list... Feel free to include any makeup mishaps that you've experienced or witnessed below!

Saturday 9 June 2012

Baked blush bargain

Accessorize Baked blushes in Sensation, Scandal and Diva
I reckon Accessorize has to be one of the most underrated makeup brands available. I'd never come across a single review when I first spotted the range in Superdrug but the bright shades and gorgeous packaging was reason enough for me to buy a few bits n pieces; I now own dozens of items and they are as good as (and in some cases waaay better) than lots of my high end products that cost 3 or 4 times as much

The baked blushes are a great example! They're very similar to the Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten products, which I can only get from QVC here in the UK. Each Of the Laura Geller blushes comes with a brush but at a cost of £28 each I'd rather pay a fiver for my awesome Accessorize ones cos I think a brand new brush with every blush is a tad excessive. Hmmm, I seem to have typed blush and brush about 300 times in the last 2 minutes :/ Where was I? Oh yes!...

...One of the best things about these is the marbled, slightly shimmery finish; it works like a blush, contour and highlight all in one so if you happen to prefer quick and easy makeup (and who doesn't?!?) then this works a treat. The shades range from pale pinks to rich berries and they're totally blendable so you never end up looking like you've let your 7 year old niece do your makeup
Swatches from top : Diva, Sensation and Scandal

Thanks to the baked texture these are extremely fine, densely packed powders so there's very little fall-out. And I can't believe how long they last! I've used Sensation loads of times yet I've hardly even made a dent in it

So if you're after a pretty bargaintastic blush then these might be worth a look. You can find them here on the official Accessorize website and they're also sold in Superdrug

Just one of my awesome dogs :)

I walked into my bedroom today to find Zoe "looking after" some makeup. For such a tiny pooch she can take up a lot of space!
She's eye-balling me cos it was raining out and she knew it was time for walkies :)

Friday 8 June 2012

Dreadful cream eye shadows

AVON Arabian Glow eye shadow quads - Golden Sands and Tropical Paradise

Happy Friday all! Hope you have a fantastic weekend lined up - even if you intend to sit with a box on your head picking up marbles with your toes (?!) it'll probably be more exciting than mine :)

I just wanted to mention a couple of truly dreadful cream eye shadow quads by AVON. I used to be an AVON rep and there are dozens of products that I adore but of course you can't try before you buy so there's always a chance you'll get a few duds

When these arrived I was well impressed by the colours cos they look so rich n pigmented in the pan. Unfortunately they aren't nearly as pretty once they have been applied but I hate chucking products that I've barely used so I've experimented with these over numerous different primers to see if I could make them work but they're always rubbish
I figured I'd swatch a few of the most vibrant looking colours so you could see just how "meh" they look once they've been blended slightly

The texture isn't bad - fairly silky n smooth - however the colour is much less concentrated than it looks in the pan and due to the creamy texture there's no way you can build on it without ending up with a thick yucky mess on your lids

Talking of which! These shadows actually seem to gravitate to the crease of my lids... within 10 minutes of applying them I have a pathetic wash of colour all over my lid and a big thick dark line of colour right along the crease. I think the only way to avoid this would be to not blink and if I'm honest I think that's just going a step too far :)

These are everything I dislike about cream eye shadows so as much as it pains me I'm just gonna have to chuck 'em.

Wednesday 6 June 2012

The "not just a primer" primer

Prime Time - Bare Minerals Neutralising Primer
Know what I love about this primer? It leaves my skin feeling smoother, creates a good base for my makeup to adhere to and helps said makeup last longer. Which is pretty much what you'd expect from any half decent primer but what makes this different - and better - is that it actually helps colour-correct problem areas on the skin before you even get to the makeup part
I kinda rediscovered Bare Mineral a few months ago and couldn't believe how the range had expanded since I last bought some BM foundation! There are like a gazillion new products so I ordered half a dozen or so and was pleasantly surprised by most of them

Prime Time looked interesting cos most of the colour-correcting/neutralising primers out there are bright green and look hideous on so the yellow tone intrigued me!
I now absolutely love this and if I'm having any skin issues at all, from dark circles to volcano like spots, then I'll always opt for this primer before I do my makeup. It doesn't hide the problems like an actual concealer but lessens the harshness of them, meaning I can usually get away with less foundation, concealer and the like
I'm all for products that can multitask so this has become a firm favourite and I'm already on my second bottle :)

Monday 4 June 2012

Fab foundations for really pale skin

I know that some of you will think this is a strange thing to post about. I mean most foundations are available in a massive variety of shades so you would be forgiven for assuming that each brand has a shade to suit everyone... Unfortunately being as pale as I am means that finding a foundation that actually matches my skin tone can be a total nightmare, I've noticed a lot of other bloggers have the same issue so I figured I may as well do a little post on foundations that are properly pale

I've included liquid and powder foundations, all of which are absolutely brilliant (and not just cos they're available in the lightest shades imaginable!) and I can always reach for these safe in the knowledge that I wont end up with orange toned demarcation lines all round my jaw line
Bare Minerals Original in Fair C10
Diorskin Forever in 010
Maybelline Super Stay 24h in Light Beige 005
Lancome Teint Miracle in 01
Laura Geller Balance n Brighten in Porcelain

Obviously everyones skin tone is completely different so, where possible, it's always worth getting a sample before you buy but if you happen to be looking for a seriously pale foundation then these could be a good starting point :)

Little makeup n beauty haul

Know what's better than sunny bank holidays spent shopping? Absolutely nothing :) Hope you're enjoying all the Jubilee celebrations - cant believe how many people in my area have gone all out with the decorations, it's good to see people really getting into the spirit of things! Kinda wish I'd been more organised cos a little back yard BBQ would've been good but I didn't have any food. Or drink. Or a BBQ. Maybe next weekend...

I didn't have much planned for today so decided to head into town to get an eye-makeup remover as I've completely run out (shocking when you consider I have like a spare 6 month supply of every other product under the sun!) Of course it's scientifically impossible to buy just one item when there's so much gorgeous stuff out there so, as you can see, I picked up a few other bits n pieces; Good Things deep clean blackhead exfoliator
Garnier simply essentials 2 in 1 makeup remover
No7 beautiful skin exfoliator
Olay essentials eye makeup remover
Collection 2000 lasting colour lipstick in Bubblegum
Collection 2000 CreamPuff lip cream in Cotton Candy
Bourjois colorissimo lip palette in Roses Muses
Revlon colorburst lip butter in Sweet Tart
Natural Collection lip gloss in Raspberry Ripple Nkd Skin fabulous foundation in shade 01
Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation in shade 52
Bourjois Healthy Mix concealer in shade 52

I have tomorrow off work which should give me plenty of time to play around with my new purchases! :)

Sunday 3 June 2012

How had I lived without this for so long?!

Ultrasun - SPF 30 face
Here in Belfast we've had the most fantastically gorgeous weather over the last while and it got me thinking about SPF. When the sun is out I've always applied plenty of sun cream with a high SPF (even as a teenager it beat listening to my dads nagging) It was only when I read that the incidents of skin cancer in the UK each year currently exceed those of lung, prostrate, colon and breast combined that I started applying an SPF to my face and neck every single day.
The only one that's really worked for me is Ultrasun. This stuff is genius! It only needs to be applied once a day and gives 8 hours protection. That one little thing was reason enough for me to buy a bottle but there are soooo many other things that make this better than normal sun cream;

The texture is fantastic and blends easily (yep, even the high SPFs)
It's moisturising so can be used in place of a regular moisturiser
Protects against UVB (the rays that burn) and UVA (the rays that age the skin)
Fragrance free
The face version includes anti-aging ingredients
Once opened the products can be used for 3 years - most other brands can only be used for 12 months after opening
Absorbed quickly so you aren't left with a horrid greasy residue
Even though I have acne prone skin this hasn't caused any breakouts

At first glance Ultrasun seems quite expensive but when you consider that this is only applied once every day instead of once every couple of hours each bottle lasts ages. As soon as I discovered the brand I was like How have I not heard of this before?!? I mean why on earth have we all been faffing about with a regular sun cream when this is available?!

Saturday 2 June 2012

Yay for free beauty goodies!

Happy Saturday all! Having a nice weekend so far? I've had the busiest day ever... Normally that's a good thing but in this case I was just cleaning and trying to sort out the garden, which was even less fun than it sounds. I'm just about to get a nice long, hot bath with my new copy of Glamour which should make up for the rest of the day being sucky

Talking of Glamour... I was browsing the magazines at Tesco today and loads of them have awesome freebies this month! I always feel guilty spending a fortune on mags in one go so I only got two today. I'll pick up another couple tomorrow. Oddly that's all that's required to assuage the guilt :) I wanted to mention the ones I got cos I was so chuffed with my little extras
Red magazine......Comes with a choice of Jemma Kidd mascara or eye liner. I decided on the mascara cos I think I currently own 365,988 liners. Thats just a rough guesstimate though. It's probably more
Glamour magazine...
...Comes with a choice of Benefits The Pore Fessional, Bad Gal mascara or That Gal primer. I hate the mascara but I've wanted to try the other two products for ages! So of course they didn't have the primer. Bloody typical, eh?

Friday 1 June 2012

Top 5 full-coverage foundations

A while back I did a post on my favourite natural looking foundations that look great but usually fall into the light/medium coverage categories. Unfortunately my skin has been bad recently. I'm not one to be overly dramatic but I can safely say that my skin is pure evil. That's right, EVIL. That's the only explanation I can come up with for it constantly inflicting yucky spots on me even though I treat it really well. Stupid ungrateful skin! GRRR!!!

On the plus side my cruel skin has forced me to find some extremely high coverage foundations so I figured I share my top 5 today (as requested by the lovely Katrina) I'm afraid the majority of these are kinda pricey... As a general rule I've found that the high end brands tend to do better quality full-coverage foundations than the drug store brands

When I'm looking for a full-coverage product I want one that will hide EVERYTHING. I know people say they cant wear foundations that give a mask-like finish and I totally understand why but my skin can be so bad that sometimes I need something that will essentially leave my face looking like a blank canvas. Of course that means I have to add my features using blush, highlighter etc but I find that easier than using a concealer to hide unwanted areas. When my skin is being particularly horrid that could mean covering most of my face with concealer!

Anywho, these are products that I absolutely adore and the coverage is amazing... I think I'll do separate reviews for each one cos although they're all very full coverage they differ in many ways. So, in no particular order these are my top 5...
Vichy - Dermablend in Opal 15
Estee Lauder - Double Wear in Fresco 01
Max Factor - Pan Stik in Fair 25
Diorskin - Forever in 010
Estee Lauder - Maximum Cover in Light 01

If you happen to have a favourite that I haven't included feel free to mention it in the comments! I'm always on the look out for new ones to try