Friday, 28 February 2014

Real Techniques Makeup Brushes

As with most of my beauty purchases I was convinced to buy the Real Techniques makeup brushes by the wonderful Tanya Burr. I got these for Christmas and have used them every single day. (I do wash them weekly...) Absolutely the best makeup brushes I have ever used. Soft, durable, and they make it super easy to apply your makeup giving a flawless finish.

I got the starter kit for eyes and the Core Collection initially at Christmastime. The kit for eyes contains five brushes.

1. Accent Brush
2. Pixel-Point Liner Brush
3. Brow Brush
4. Base Shadow Brush
5. Deluxe Crease Brush

I use each and every one when I apply eyeshadow and all the brushes are synthetic which means cleaning them is so easy!

Accent Brush, Pixel Point, Brow Brush, Base Shadow Brush, Crease Definer

This starter kit retails for around £20.

The Core Collection is equally as good as the eye brushes. This set has 4 brushes.

1. Contour Brush
2. Pointed Foundation Brush
3. Detailer Brush
4. Buffing Brush

Contour, Pointed Foundation, Detailer, Buffing Brush

Although the back of the case they come in says that the buffing brush should be used for mineral foundation, I predominantly use it for liquid foundation and use it to buff the liquid into my skin. It works so well for this purpose! I don't really tend to use mineral foundation in winter - so I will have to test out its application of mineral foundation in the summertime.

Again I found the same with the Pointed Foundation Brush - I find it too small for using to blend liquid foundation all over my face so I use it for blending in concealer. I've been using a liquid concealer under my eyes these past few months so this brush is perfect for that.

The contour brush is great for bronzing - I wouldn't tend to contour blush on my cheeks so I mostly use this for faking cheekbones! Then dust the bronzer off of it and use it to pop a bit of powder blush on the apples of my cheeks.

I also saw the Expert Face in Boots last month (that's the one that Tanya uses all the time for foundation) and I just had to get it after I know how great the rest of the collection was. I was NOT disappointed. It works in a very similar way to the buffing brush from the Core Collection but gives a softer, more flawless finish as it designed for liquid foundations. I absolutely adore it and have been recommending it to all of my friends.

Have you tried these brushes? If so what do you think? Leave me a little comment to tell me! :)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

MAC Lipstick Review - Creme In Your Coffee & Shy Girl

A brand new MAC store (yes... a WHOLE store of wonderful MAC goodies - not just a counter!) opened recently in Aberdeen where I live. On my first visit to the store I went wild frantically buying lipsticks, palettes, refills, and anything else I could get my mitts on.

Two of the lipsticks that really stood out for me were Creme In Your Coffee and Shy Girl. Both of these are Cremesheen and smell wonderful - there's a hint of sugar about them which you can't really taste but get a whiff of as you apply it. Which is always nice. They are very different and therefore are going to suit very different occasions.

Creme In Your Coffee
Beginning with Creme In Your Coffee: I've had a lot of wear out of this already. I've worn it on a few nights out and as its quite a dramatic lipstick I've kept my eyes reasonably free of shadow while I wore it. I find that my face tends to look a wee bit cluttered if I have both heavy eye shadow and a dark lip (but that's just me!)

Swatch of Creme In Your Coffee
All the MAC lipsticks I find (like the eye shadows) are heavily pigmented. This means that you can wear the lipstick on its own all over or add a smaller amount of it and mix with a lip balm - Vaseline is great for this as it gives your lips a lovely glossy look and also hydrates them which at this time of year is usually much needed!

Creme In Your Coffee is named quite strangely I think - its not a creamy coffee colour nor is it a pale lipstick: its a lovely dark reddy brown which emulates the colour of the natural lip but much darker. It does last well on because of how pigmented it is and you only need to reapply every few hours or so (obviously more if you are eating and drinking whilst wearing it.)

Swatch of Shy Girl
Shy Girl
Next I'm looking at Shy Girl which, like Creme In Your Coffee, is also Cremesheen. This one is much, much paler with a slight coral undertone which I think is really pretty and gives a lovely muted effect while still looking gorgeous on the lip.

I use this lipstick most days now as it goes with most make-up looks that I wear day to day.

Comparing it with Creme In Your Coffee is like comparing day and night. Shy Girl suits its name perfectly - its very understated and looks effortless on. Creme In Your Coffee is much stronger and bolder.

Both of these lipsticks are well worth a buy. They retail at £15 each from MAC Cosmetics.

Shy Girl teamed with Naked Lunch,
Satin Taupe and Shadowy Lady MAC eyeshadows
Creme In Your Coffee paired with
Woodwinked MAC eyeshadow

A BIG cheesy grin - wearing Shy Girl

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

My everyday makeup look..

I like to start with Rimmel True Match foundation in the colour Light Porcelian (I am horribly pale at the moment.) I filled in my brows using Benefit Brow Zings - I use the darkest one there is as my hair is very dark at the moment! I use Urban Decay Primer Potion on my eyelids which is an absolute godsend, it makes your eyeshadow look much more vibrant and it doesn't budge. You could practically sleep in your eye makeup and it would be perfect still the next morning. With my Mac Pro Palette I then use Naked Lunch eyeshadow all over the lid, with Satin Taupe through the crease; I also blend a little bit of Shadowy Lady through the crease for a bit of extra definition. I add a small amout of Nylon to the inner corner of my eye and also my brow bone for a highlighted effect. With my favourite gel eyeliner (by Maybelline) I line my upper lashline and flick the liner out slightly for a more feline look. I always use two coats of mascara (Maybelline The Falsies). I powder my T-zone with Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in 001 Transparent. For blush I use an extremely light dusting of Rimmel Live Pink on the apples of my cheeks. I use a small dab of Touché Éclat by Yves Saint Laurent under my eyes to lighten any dark circles. 

On my lips I'm wearing Baby Lips by Maybelline in the colour Pink Punch.

Favourite Lip Balms of the year so far...

Winter in Scotland is rarely fun. It consists of colds, sniffles, flu and worst of all dry lips and dry skin thanks to combination of the freezing cold and the warmness of a centrally heated house or flat. I spend most of my time these days in Aberdeen for university. I read recently that Aberdeen is the 'coldest city in the UK'. This I can most definitely believe. The icy winds of the North Sea whip and tug at you as you battle through the rain and granite trying to get to your destination. Not pleasant.

Thankfully its not like this all the time and there are lots of things available to combat the dreaded dry skin and lips that winter brings! 

I have been a big fan of tinted lip balms all my life: from stealing my mum's shimmery Nivea lip salve when I was in primary school to the days of rose-tinted Vaseline in high-school. (I have never ever finished a tub of Vaseline. I always just buy a new one when the old one gets a bit grimy looking. Probably why I have zero money these days.) Safe to say I'm always on the lookout! 

I had heard a few people talking about Maybelline Baby Lips and saw it on offer in Asda for £2.50. Such a bargain! Usually they cost about £4 each. They aren't too richly pigmented which I love and your lips are left nice and smooth afterwards. Baby smooth in fact. There are loads of different colours. I have Pink Punch and I absolutely love it! It is the most beautiful, perfect bubblegum pink colour.

Similarly I'd heard heaps of good things about the Revlon Lip Butters. I popped into Superdrug one day to kill some time and ended up coming out with loads of stuff (as per usual) and amongst all that stuff was a Revlon Lip Butter in the colour Juicy Papaya. It is very different to the usual pink toned colours I'd wear with much more of an orangey undertone. I am definitely going to expand my collection of these two lip products and most likely end up buying every single colour available!

Top is a swatch of Revlon Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya, bottom is Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch

MAC Pro Palette

I'm a self confessed make-up addict. I spend far too much of my meagre student budget on beauty products (both high-street and high-end) that I cannot afford. That being said it makes me very happy when I look at the beautiful and extensive collection of make-up I have amassed.

Quite possibly the jewel of my collection (at the moment...) is my MAC Pro Palette. I have watched online tutorials (namely Tanya Burr who is a MAC diehard) and been influenced to go out and begin building up my own one. I was going to wait to do a blog post on it until it was completely full. I'm currently 3 off filling it so I think I'm allowed to cheat slightly! I don't see my purchasing of all of these eye shadows as splurging; I see it as an investment. The eye shadows are so richly pigmented that they last for a very long time.

I have 12 eye shadows in my palette so I'm going to talk about each one and describe the effect.
L-R: Cranberry, Satin Taupe, Jest, Naked Lunch (difficult to see!) Nylon, Club, Shadowy Lady, Omega, Charcoal Brown, Mystery, Woodwinked, All That Glitters

Cranberry - a rich, warm, pinky, shimmery cranberry colour that is absolutely beautiful. With pink toned eye shadows you have to be careful - no one wants to go out looking like they've been blubbing! However complimented with other colours such as Club and Mystery this eye shadow is really striking.

Satin Taupe - a super shimmery, rich, silvery-purpley colour that is perfect swept over the lid for daytime wear and also built up for evening wear. I use this eye shadow most days along with Shadowy Lady or Charcoal Brown through my crease.

Jest - a very pale pink, frosty and brilliant for using as an all over lid colour before using darker colours on top.

Naked Lunch - similar to Jest, frosty, pale pink, but a bit lighter and slightly more versatile, this looks good worn on its own with just a slick of eyeliner.

Nylon - Rich, frosty, shimmery pale vanilla colour. I use this eye shadow everyday for one thing only: a highlighter. By placing some of this in the inner corner of your eyes and around your tear ducts it works wonders for opening your eyes up. I use this on my brow bone as well.

Club - Greeny brown colour, satin, looks quite different on the lid to how it does in the pan. Slightly more brown when worn as it looks very green in the pan. Perfect for creating smoky eye that is less harsh than using dark browns and blacks, and compliments Cranberry in the most beautiful way.

Shadowy Lady - a rich dark midnight shade of purple. This is a matte shadow so worn over the top of something like Satin Taupe makes it pop. Packed onto the lid this eye shadow is very dramatic, perfect for nights out!

Omega - a very light brown, matte, good eyebrow colour for those with fair hair. I personally find it too light for my eyebrows but it is also a very versatile shadow. Works well with swept all over the lid with Charcoal Brown in the crease; this is a very good daytime look, perfect for work or school as it is gives your eyes definition without being overstated.

Charcoal Brown - perfect colour for brows, a very dark brown, matte, perfect for those with mid to dark coloured hair, I sometimes use Charcoal Brown mixed with Mystery for my brows, keeping the darker colour (Mystery) for the arch and starting off on the inside with Charcoal Brown which is a bit lighter than Mystery.

Mystery - this is a satin eye shadow but I use it all the time on my brows. I love having a dark, strong, brow and sometimes feel that Charcoal Brown alone is not enough colour for me. Mystery is much darker and gives more definition.

Woodwinked - a burnt, gold, coppery, shimmery shadow that is absolutely gorgeous packed onto the lid. This is a perfect colour for nights out, its very glamourous and eye-catching!

All That Glitters - sparkly, gold and similar to Woodwinked in the respect that it is a great eye shadow for nights out. Very shimmery and striking.

Please tell me what you think of the colours, or if there are any other cool ways to mix them so that they compliment each other even better! Also please feel free to leave suggestions of other colours to fill my last three spaces!