Makeup

BEAUTY: Anastasia Brow Wiz vs Soap & Glory Archery

Posted on 2 min read

I’m sure everyone and their mother has heard of the uncanny similarities between the Anastasia Brow Wiz and Soap and Glory 2 in 1 Archery Brow Filling but as I’ve been experimenting with eyebrow pencil after eyebrow pencil and always find myself coming back to these two joint products, I thought I’d have my say.

Starting off with the packaging, they are almost identical. They both have the same twisty mechanism, a small taming brush at one end and a thin, neat pencil at the other. In terms of size, they both deliver a slim, compact sized pencil which are pretty much the same length. The practical pair have an extremely similar formula; a solid, smooth waxy type which makes it easy to build up a natural brow shape by creating fine hair strokes.

I can’t say I’ve noticed or particularly pinpointed a singular feature that is a huge variation between the two. They are both buildable and blend swiftly and steadily so suit those people with thin to thick brows. For my sparse and unshapely brows, they both do the same; allow a fuss free application and give me the eyebrows I desire. The only big difference between the couple is the colour choice and the price. Despite Soap & Glory being a bargain dupe at £8 compared to the £15.50 Brow Wiz, the shade selection is poor. With only two shades (Blondshell and Hot Chocolate) it lets the concept of the pencil down. If there was a shade in-between that, it would be perfect and most probably, the most preferred (due to the little difference, the fact it’s cheaper and that it seems to last me longer than the brow wiz which has snapped on me a fair few times). As I have non existent hair where my eyebrow shape begins, I need to add a larger dash of colour to that part and sometimes with the Soap & Glory it can look too heavy for my face. With the Brow Wiz shade range, it makes it simpler to match my eyebrow tone and I do think it has the slighter push pigment wise meaning a bolder brow with a natural colour match. I wouldn’t say I have a favourite as they are equally as effective and can even be used together but if, like me, you’re lacking in eyebrow hair, due to the 12 shade colour choice, I’d go for the Brow Wiz.

Have you tried either of these? What are your thoughts?

Bridie x

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Beauty: Maybelline Lash Sensational Multiplying Mascara – my first thoughts

Posted on 3 min read

 

As I scrolled through my Instagram a week or so ago it seemed there was a recurrent theme running through it. A few of my favourite picture takers were all raving about the new Maybelline Lash Sensational Multiplying Mascara and by the looks of things, they were just as impressed as I currently am. Being a beauty blogger means I’m easily influenced to buy the next hyped product on everyone’s love list but for me, changing my mascara was a pretty big deal. I’ve been using the same mascara (L’Oreal Telescopic) now for years and was hesitating whether or not to change my routine around (yes, I’m that fearful, clingy kind of person). The shimmering rose gold/pink packaging was enough to tempt me (as well as the £5.99 price – what a bargain!) but it turns out it was a fabulous decision all round.

 

Thankfully, I am blessed with naturally long and curved lashes so for me, this mascara emphasises the simpleness of the application. Giving the honest truth, I didn’t expect the mascara to be as nice as it is. I was pleasantly surprised upon the first test by how constructive the open fan brush worked. The side of the brush with the small bristles is perfect for those tiny lashes and the larger bristles add amazing volume and definition to the main lashes; both reaching the root of your lashes allowing them to lengthen by a great amount. I absolutely hate it when you buy a mascara and it feels as though it’s been stored in your forgotten makeup drawer for two years with how clumpy it already looks before you even begin to use. This however, is the complete opposite! With how darkened the black is, upon first view it did appear thick and too wet but once I did apply, it spread out smoothly and most importantly didn’t leave any heaps of unblended mascara stuck to my lashes. Each sweep of the formula equalised on every lash and it wasn’t a struggle to even out until I was satisfied with the finished look.

 

The ‘sensational’ in its name matches with the appearance. The boldness brings out your eyes and the gentleness of/alternate sides to the brush allows you to choose between how dramatic you’d like it. For the everyday look, it’s the ideal in between. It enables you to achieve the layered lash look without having to cake it on and gives you the perfect framed out lashes and the fullness you desire without the panda appearance which is often found in similar advertised mascaras. When it comes to the removal, it’s just as uncomplicated as my previous product. The mascara has no problem with staying put all day, it’s sturdy and there’s none of those pesky flakes under the eyes which means it takes a good few splashes of water and a rub of a potent water based eye makeup remover to get rid of the stubborn sections but it’s nothing to label as a problem.

 

Now I’ve discovered this I don’t think I’ll go back to my old options. In fact, I do prefer this to the L’Oreal Telescopic. I’ve always stuck with the drugstore brands when considering mascaras as I think there’s always a good (if not better) dupe out there to bear in mind before you go all out and splurge and this is one of them. As much as my makeup collection is gradually expanding to higher end items, I think I’ll stay with the ever so trusty Maybelline for now because I’ve certainly found a gem.

 

Have you tried the Maybelline Lash Sensational yet? What’s your favourite mascara?

 

Bridie x

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Beauty: Glitter Lips by Beauty Boulevard

Posted on 3 min read

Whilst in the hairdressers for half a day you have to find some way of occupying yourself. With me, that usually means daydreaming and taking a look around the salon with a blank expression and this time my musing came in handy. I spotted one of the staff with gorgeous sparkling red lips with that perfect inbetween ruby shade that I’ve been searching for. On further inspection I was told this was a product named ‘Glitter Lips’, sold by the beauty assistant within the salon and once I saw how lovely it looked on, I didn’t hesitate on purchasing one of my own for the upcoming Christmas party season.

Glitter Lips, created by Rachel and Paula of Beauty Boulevard is a brand new, innovative product which revolutionizes lip colour. It comes in seven stunning shades but I decided to pick up Ruby Slippers, a vibrant best seller. The application works by placing a lightweight lip gloss with a gluey consistency across the entire lip area, keeping each lip parted as you do so. Once the gloss has turned from white to clear, you can get to work at smoothering the pot of glitter all over your lips. I was a bit apprehensive at first, I thought it was just all in one sort of lipstick – I didn’t know it was a separate process and I wasn’t sure how it was going to work. Let’s just say, I was completely wrong at thinking negative.

 

Starting off with the colour, it is that glowing, bright, bold red colour that stands out from a distance (and which is hard to photograph come night time, I promise I’ll take a better photo soon). I love how complimenting this highly pigmented tone is on a pale complexion.  I’m not a huge glitter lover, but this changed my conception. As soon as you start to apply the glitter with the small double sided brush that comes with it, you get a feel of how it’s going to appear. I’m not saying it isn’t a messy procedure and that it doesn’t feel strange at first when on the lips (it’s like having the aftermath of a sugar doughnut without the licking) it is, but having some patience really does pay off in the end. For the proper effect of Glitter Lips, it does need some careful time put into it. On my first try, it didn’t go to plan, didn’t seem to cover, left patches and vanished from my lips much quicker than it should have done which is why you need to make sure your lips are clean and dry, that you apply enough gloss and use any other techniques/methods/lip brushes you find helps (I find smearing on in small amounts and using your fingers to fill in the missing parts is a huge benefit). On my second application, which was on Christmas Day,  it took me around 10 minutes to complete thoroughly. This is when the compliments came rolling in. The shine and durability it provides is amazing and it really does direct all attention to that source of communication you can make into a work of art.

 

The staying power is incredible. The entire product is waterproof and smudge proof and it is said to last 8 hours. This part is certainly not a lie. Even after eating, drinking and chatting all night, my shimmering sparkle stayed put and refused to budge. It is only with great force that it detaches (it is recommended to use an oily based make up remover for best removal). Glitter Lips is ideal for any occasion or event where you want to raise the roof. In particular, the upcoming New Years Eve night out. It’s bound to make you feel and look glamourous and give you that added WOW without the tackiness. Retailing at £12.50, it’s an inexpensive genius invention that does exactly as it says on the tin.

 

Have you tried Glitter Lips?

 

Bridie x

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Christmas Party Season: Get Ready With Me

Posted on 7 min read

Merry Christmas Eve Eve everyone! Bit of a different post from me today but one I’m excited to show you. Being inspired by the iconic YouTube ‘Get Ready With Me’ videos, I thought I’d create my own but blog post wise and via photos because speaking in front of a camera, having to listen to my god awful voice in hope of gaining in audience is certainly not something that appeals to me as of yet. Maybe sometime when I shake off my awkwardness, but for now I enjoy documenting my daily life, findings and adventures through my own personal space which just keeps on developing.

The festive season soon comes around, much faster than it used to it seems. When Christmas hits there’s so much to think about, you can easily stress yourself out with all the remembering, present buying, food shopping and squabbling which is why the party season follows on to give you the well needed break. I don’t know about anyone else, but the Christmas party season is my favourite kind of partying. It always seems to be more family orientated and it’s filled with such class and glamour. Every single year, I find myself searching for that perfect dress that fits the theme and this year was no different. This gorgeous velvet burgundy red dress from Missguided (which was only £9.99 may I add, such a bargain for how lovely the quality and fit is) was instant love at first sight. The bardot style which sits swiftly over my shoulders allows my chest area to be blazoned and open for detail and the colour has Christmas written all over it. I always associate every tone of red with Christmas and this deep berry colour makes me the ideal candidate for Mrs Clause. Another reason for me picking red is the simpleness of how to style. Black is the winner, any black shoes and clutch bag that you can dig out of your wardrobe seems to work. Just like it did for me, when I rediscovered my favourite strappy heels and vintage clutch and found they paired perfectly.

When it comes to getting ready, I like to maintain a steady routine and make sure I leave myself plenty of time to dress myself up to the max. Once I’ve had a pampering bath and splashed myself in perfume and body lotion I always start off by doing my makeup first, followed by hair and then finally getting dressed (that’s if the item of clothing I’ve chosen has a wide enough neck area to fit over my head without messing my freshly done hair up, if not the dress goes on first!). I tend to paint my nails the night before just so I’m not rushing around trying to complete a million tasks with wet, tacky nails.

 

 

It goes without saying that I’m the sort of person who likes to stick to a makeup look I am comfortable with. This usually includes neutral shades and a not too heavy base. For the Christmas and the New Year period however, I prefer to raise the basics and create a more enhanced appearance. Once I’ve moisturized my face and applied my Rimmel Stay Matte Primer, it’s time for my base. For this look I used my current favourite foundation, Estee Lauder Double Wear. It provides such amazing coverage but with a smooth, matte finish that makes your skin look effortlessly flawless. To cover up my dark circles and unwanted blemishes, I used the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer and the Seventeen Phwoarr Paint. My dark circles are still visible but these two mixed together help disguise the harshness.

 

Once that is done, I start on my eye makeup which when exceeded is more carefully defined and this tends to be what I spend the most time on. The main shade I went with was MAC Amber Lights, I love how the golden copper tone brings out my eye colour and it’s a gorgeous vibrant shade which can be worn alone or built up. Using my beloved Naked palette I blended the shade Smog into my crease to add that smidgen of shimmered smokiness to the rust colour. Then, using my Zoeva 221 Soft Crease brush I fluffed across the very top of my eyelid towards the brow bone with a dust of Buck and finished off by highlighting the corner and the end of my eye with Half Baked. With that, comes a flick of winged eyeliner. I’ve recently moved on to Soap and Glory Supercat Eyeliner which I adore, I’m still not a professional eyeliner artist and it takes me a good few tries to get it right but the shape of this liner makes it much easier to apply. Finally, for the eye I use my long time favourite mascara L’Oreal Telescopic to intensify my already lengthy eyelashes. For the brows I use the famous Anastasia Brow Wiz as well as a Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil to create the best natural shapely brow I can as my non growing eyebrow hairs are very sparse and broken.

Once the top half of my face is complete, I move on to the tricky parts or on more simpler terms, the contouring/highlighting of my cheeks. It’s something I’m still trying to get a hold of but I’m slowly but surely improving. I only recently purchased the Sleek Face Form in Light which is what I started with. Using my Zoeva Sheer Cheek Brush I swept a dash of the darker colour across the bottom of my cheekbone structure and above that I applied the lighter shade to direct the illumination to that area. I also use my Soap and Glory Solar Powder and my Topshop Glow Stick in Play Up just to give my skin that extra glow and to highlight the rest of my face that is going to be captured. On my brow bone, down the length of my nose and around my jawline and chin are the main areas I focus on.

Now the contouring/bronzing is intact, I powder my face with the Soap and Glory One Heck Of A Blot. It’s overtaken my previous favourite powders, Rimmel Stay Matte and Seventeen Miracle Matte and has become the first on my list of ‘powders to maintain a smooth finish and control oiliness’. Until I discover some higher end brands, this stays a firm choice. Then, to finish off my face I use Nars Douceur to add a flush of rose pink colour to the cheeks which also compliments my contour.

For the lips, I ventured out to the red lip world. You can never have enough as there’s so much variation. Even the slightest brighter, darker or softer tint can make a difference to how it views on the lips. Nars Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil is a new addition to my collection and although it didn’t truly match the colour of my dress I thought the contrast worked well. It’s a cool toned, highly pigmented red lip and one of those which you could get away with using as a staple with any achieved makeup design. Then, with a quick check back in the mirror, I’m ready to finish off the rest of my chores.

Now, for the hair… you’ll have to excuse the terrible roots. I didn’t have much choice but to include my badly faded, discoloured, dull and ‘in need of some treatment’ barnet in my stages of getting ready. I am having it done (will most likely have had it done as this is posted) today and I couldn’t leave the photo taking till last minute. I promise it’s not always like this and I can’t wait to feel like me again! Ignoring that, I always bring out my treasured Enrapture Totem Styler on an occasion. Soft curls which form into waves as they drop is what I almost always strive for. For this, I use the settings 1-2-1, start from the bottom and twirl a medium section of my hair under the clip. This hair tool is an absolute dream, it’s so straight forward to use, it gives me the curls I aim for in around 20 minutes and it never ends up looking anything less than neat and in place.

 

As it’s winter, it’s too cold/windy/rainy to shoot outside and the opportunity of getting a clear shot in natural lighting is near enough impossible, so the accomplished look makes it difficult to capture yourself in the right light (you’ll have to look past the poor quality, oh how I wish summer would hurry up!). That’s the only downside to the Christmas season, so you just have to go through a few poses before it becomes acceptable to post on social networking sites and eventually you just have to go by what your mirror and other people say and walk out on your adventures for the night, ready to show off your sparkle and have some obligated fun.

 

As this will be my last post before the Christmas activities kick off, I’d like to wish you all a brilliant Christmas and a healthy, prosperous new year. I more than likely will be posting again before 2015 arrives but for the time being I want to forget about the constant thought of what I need to do to complete a blog post, take a short break and enjoy Christmas with my friends and family. It’s not that I’m shoving everything away, it’s just I enjoy being a lazy mare from time to time and what better way to take advantage than at Christmas time?! If any fellow bloggers have some parties to attend, I hope the process of glamming up goes smoothly because I know just how flustering it can get, and do let me know your going out routines too as I’d love to know those little unique traits that everyone seems to have to make life around the Xmas period that bit more bearable.

Bridie x

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Beauty: Kiko Lip Products

Posted on 3 min read

 

The first time I heard of Kiko was earlier this year when I was on my holidays. The only piece of makeup I picked up was their highlighter stick (which you can read about here) and I was pleasantly pleased with the results of that. Fast forward a few months and a Kiko store appears in my local town (my excitement tripled) and since then I can’t go into town without bobbing in and being drawn to the beautiful selection. I’m always the one to be behind on discovering brands but boy am I glad I now have access to Kiko!

 

This Autumn/Winter I’m on the lookout for a bunch of dark (preferably red) toned lip shades. I don’t think I can particularly rock the whole vamp look and I have to be careful balancing the light to the dark otherwise I’ll end up looking like a cross between Miranda Sings and a clown but I really want to move on from the neutrals and make my lips look a little bolder. What I did do a few weeks back were pick up 3 of Kiko’s lip cosmetics, at such a reasonable price and lovely quality it’s hard to turn away.

 

First up is the Velvet Mat Satin Lipstick in the shade 608 Apple Red. Can we start off by talking about how much of a luxurious appearance the rose gold packaging has to it? It was definitely one of those ‘I cannot touch it until I have photographed it’ moment (that was until clumsy old me dropped it and half the bloody lipstick smudged onto the floor). It is a classy rich red colour, perfect for every day wear and it has excellent pigmentation to build up for a more glam occasion too. To say it’s a matte lipstick, it is a creamy formula so it isn’t too drying on the lips and it does have a strong lasting power (I’d say a good couple of hours). The velvety, smooth sheen finish it leaves on the lips is lovely and natural, it throws out just the right amount of colour and the edged shape the lipstick has to it makes application and precision easy.

Moving on to the lip liners, these allow you to form a base to define the lips before you apply the lipstick. I picked up two of the Smart Lip Pencils in shade 707 Strawberry Red and 703 Rosewood. Although they make the perfect highlight for the line of the lips, they are also creamy and blendable enough to use on the entire lip, They do the job quick and simple and leave behind no smudge so you don’t have to worry about any smearing throughout the day.

They have such a wide range of choice at KIKO MILANO and as time passes on I’m planning on building up my collection. I’m hoping to try out more of their lip products as well as heading towards the eyes and the face. Everything is so neatly organised when you walk into a Kiko store and it’s guaranteed there is something for everyone. Have you ever tried anything from them?

Bridie x

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Beauty: Paul Mitchell and New CID Cosmetics Review

Posted on 5 min read

Following on from the Paul Mitchell Gift of Style event I wrote about here, comes a blog post dedicated to the snazzy goody bag filled with luxurious products that we were kindly given to take home with us and try out. The products I got given included Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner, Paul Mitchell’s Extra Body Daily Boost Spray and New CID Cosmetics i-gloss Light-Up Lip Gloss with Mirror. Over the past week I’ve had the chance to trial the four beauties and feel the individual benefits of each one, all ready for me to come and chat about on my beloved blog.

My hair has always been overly greasy so unfortunately that means I have to face the choice of A) Looking like a gremlin who needs a good wash or B) Washing my hair frequently despite it draining the natural moisture out of it. I choose the latter, so naturally the Lavender Mint Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner was the first duo I tested. Upon first impression I loved the convenient and easily storable packaging and praised the fact the conditioner had a pump meaning I can control the amount I need (why it wasn’t the same for the shampoo though I don’t know because we all know the trouble of finishing a shampoo bottle way before a conditioner!).

The shampoo and conditioner has a very strong tea tree, herbal scent to it which of course was expected due to it being a mixture of lavender and mint. I can’t say I’m overly struck on this kind of smell for a hair product but once I started to apply I did begin to warm to it and once your hair is dry after you’ve used it, it leaves your hair smelling divine. As I started to massage the shampoo into my scalp I could feel it working wonders straight away, it felt different to how it usually feels – less dry and more hydrated. With the added conditioner on my ends (which I didn’t need much of as the shampoo was so smoothing) I could tell it was going to live up to its name. That it did indeed; once I’d left my hair to dry naturally (as per) I noticed a big difference in the healthy shine it displayed. Every chunk of hair felt silky soft and completely clean and it left such a refreshing feeling. There were less fly away, problematic frizz and it made my hair manageable, even after a couple of days. My hair definitely had that bounce to it and according to my mum (aka the one person I turn to for honest opinion), my hair not just felt moisturised, but appeared it too. I even noticed less hair fell out when washing, usually it feels as though my hair is been teared out and I often wonder how I’m not bald but this is so gentle. The only negative thing is the fact it didn’t change the frequent greasiness and after 2-3 days it still felt like I had a massive buildup but I do think that’s just my hair type and my habit of piling on too much product. Everything else I would give 5 stars to, the shampoo and conditioner being gluten free, vegan and colour safe on top of all its credits deserves a gold star.

I had been searching for that HG product that boosts and volumes my ever so flat hair for so long now, then uncannily I opened my gift bag to find the Paul Mitchell Extra Body Daily Boost standing there with open arms. As mentioned before, I haven’t blow dried my hair in about a year but I do feel this is best used once applied to damp hair and then dried with heat and a brush so to give it its best experiment, I blew away the gathering dust and whipped out the hairdryer. A little goes a long way with this product, you only need to spray a few squirts of the bubbled water like texture onto the roots to get that nicely added bounce but you have to be careful not to use too much as you might not get the desired result. As I have heavy, thick hair I’m often guilty for this. I’m always dubious when using a product that works so well for fine hair and think something best suited for thicker hair would be better. However, I was pleased with how this made my hair turn out. It gave it that extra push of volume without that build up of stickiness and stiffness that some products can leave and there were no signs of any unwanted residue. My boring, poker straight hair takes a lot of work to bring some fullness into and I’m often annoyed at my hair rejecting any attempts at volumising/never staying that way even when I do try but this did the job so easily and satisfyingly and seemed to last all day. Although it didn’t hugely change my hair, it lifted the roots so I don’t look as though I have constant hat hair – and that is certainly good enough for me.

 

Finally, we have the New CID Cosmetics i-gloss Lipgloss in the shade Coral Candy. Before I begin, I just want to point out the excitement I felt when I was shown how these lit up during the event itself. I’d forgotten all about it until I took this out of the packet and was greeted with a bright welcome. The bottle itself even has a small mirror on the side for you to flick over. Such a handy little feature for when there’s gloomy lighting (aka all the time in winter), you can really see the fine detail of the gloss when applying. The colour I was given is so pretty, it’s a deep coral colour and is that sort of versatile staple shade that is ideal for all seasons. Application of the gloss is also just as nice, although visibly it does look like your average lipgloss, it’s so much more than that. Admittedly, I’ve never really been a big fan of lipgloss because I dislike the sticky aftermath it leaves but with this you don’t have to worry about your hair sticking to your lips as you venture on outdoors. You still get a sheen appearance but it doesn’t feel loaded with heaviness, it instead leaves a super smooth feeling with a sparkle of highlighted colour that really stands out; the pigmentation is brilliant! The brush is also lovely and soft to the lips, it has gliding bristles so allows steady and precise application. All in all, I can’t find any faults, it’s even persuaded me to crawl back to my teenage days and look into using more lipgloss again!

Have you ever tried any of these products? What are your thoughts?

 

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