| Declutter : The Makeup I’m Getting Rid of & Why |

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For those of you who didn’t read my makeup collection post, you may not know that I like my entire makeup stash to be made up products that are all shown love & that actually get used. I’m not one for having so much makeup that things go off before I’ve had a good stab at them. 

With this in mind, while I was going through my makeup the other day, I realised that there were quite a few products in there that I hadn’t used in a long time because I didn’t like them quite so much or because they were a little old & perhaps past their best. So I decided that it was time to say goodbye to these items because I hate holding on to things that I just don’t need.

Here are the products that I’m saying goodbye to & why:

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The Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Liquid Lipstick in shade Doting
I previously wrote a rave review on these liquid lipsticks which you can read here, so you may be wondering why I’m getting rid of this shade. I love all of the shades of this particular liquid lipstick that I own, except this one. For those of you who have been with me for a while, you may know that I’m a pink/brown nude gal through-and-through. This particular shade is very much a peachy pink which means that it just doesn’t suit me. For whatever reason, peach just never looks cute on me so I have never reached for this & because I know it will never look good on me, it’s time for it to go.

L.A Girl Endless Semi-Permanent Lipliner in shade True Brown
As the name suggests, this eyeliner is a true brown shade & the colour is really pretty on the lips. But the colour isn’t my issue with this product; it’s the not-so-nice formula. You all know that I love the L.A Girl Pro Coverage Foundation but unfortunately this particular L.A Girl product let me down. The formula is so dry that I find it difficult to get a smooth line & it really doesn’t look good if you try to fill in your lips with it either. While the colour was pretty, the formula just wasn’t good enough & involved too much effort for me to use it any longer.

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Makeup Revolution Highlighter Palette in Radiant Lights
I am a Makeup Revolution gal through & through. I think they make amazing products for incredible prices & I’m so glad that more people are starting to hear about them. I own quite a few palettes from this brand from blush palettes to eyeshadow palettes & I had never been let down, until I got this one. There are three highlighter shades in this palette and although I love the deepest one when I have a tan, the other two just really disappointed me – especially when all of the other Makeup Revolution highlighters I’ve tried have been great. The two lighter shades had poor pigmentation & colour pay-off so I wasn’t able to achieve the poppin’ highlight that I’m usually after. I’m heading home to the UK next month & there are several palettes that I have my eye on so I decided to let this one go & make room for a better product.

 Essence Get Big Lashes Waterproof Mascara

I’ve really been enjoying Essence mascaras lately because I’ve found that they’re great mascaras for very affordable prices but one that I don’t recommend is this particular one in waterproof. The mascara itself is great as it lengthens & thickens well, doesn’t flake & wears well. But the problem is that it wears too well. This thing is a b*tch to take off. None of my makeup removers can take it off & I’m not all about pulling my eyes around & giving myself wrinkles over a stubborn mascara. Their non-waterproof mascaras are wonderful so save yourself the effort & stick with them instead!

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Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Lacquer in Charm Offensive
I really don’t have anything negative to say about this lipgloss. It really is a fantastic lipgloss – it’s pigmented, long wearing and nice & glossy. The only reason that I’m getting rid of it is because I’ve had it too long now & it’s gone off. I will repurchase another one but perhaps not in the same shade as this one was a little too pink for me.

Sleek Matte Me Liquid Lip Cream in Birthday suit (middle) & Shabby Chic (bottom)
I wrote a detailed review on these liquid lipsticks here and it was really quite negative. As you can read my full thoughts on the linked review, I’ll keep this short & sweet – I really didn’t like them. The colours are lovely but I hated the formula – dry and uncomfortable to wear. I bought these when they were first released & I’m not sure if they have since changed their formula as a few people had commented on my review saying how much they like them. But if they haven’t reformulated then I won’t be buying any more. Sorry Sleek – I still like your other products though!

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Barry M Satin Super Slick Lip Paint in Shades 171 & 170
I find that Barry M can be one of those hit or miss brands. Some of their product releases are really great & some miss the mark. Unfortunately this lipstick range is a bit of a miss for me. The colour pay off from these lipsticks is incredible but the problem is that the formula is too moisturising (I never thought I would say that!) It’s so slippery that the lipstick goes on your teeth and outside your lipline far too easily making it incredibly difficult to wear. It’s the texture of a lip balm which I don’t think is practical for such a pigmented lipstick. As I bought two purple shades I think it makes it more obvious when they slide all over my face so these lipsticks may be better in a nude shade.

NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Honeymoon
I must say that I like the Lip Lingerie range from NYX. It’s a collection of nude, liquid lipsticks so what isn’t there to like? The reason I’m no longer holding onto this particular one is because the colour just looks awful on me. It’s a greyish brown & unfortunately I just cannot pull it off. Maybe I’m not cool enough but I just look like I’m very sick when I wear this particular shade. I do recommend the Lip Lingerie lipsticks but unfortunately for me I just couldn’t make this particular shade work.

That is all of the products that I’m decluttering from my makeup stash. Unfortunately these products didn’t work for me for whatever reason & as a blogger I always prefer to be honest in my reviews, but that doesn’t mean they won’t necessarily work for you. 

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| 5 Foundations You Need To Buy|

foundation, best, favourite, high end, drugstore, la girl, wet n wild, estee lauder, double wear, maximum cover, vichy

As a beauty-lover I am always on the hunt for the next perfect foundation that will make my skin look as flawless as possible. But with so many options out there it can feel a little overwhelming. Over the years I’ve tried countless foundations from inexpensive to high-end & I’ve found a few solid favourites along the way. Here is my list of the 5 foundations that you must buy: 

Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation 
I have used this foundation for years & have mentioned it on here a couple of times before. Vichy Fluid Corrective Foundation is marketed as a high coverage foundation that is suitable for minor to moderate skin concerns including acne & blemishes, rosacea, vitiligo, tattoos and scars. As it is targeted in this way you can imagine how fantastic the coverage is. When I initially bought this foundation I was a little concerned that it would be incredibly heavy because of how high the coverage is but it is the complete opposite. It’s so incredibly light on the skin & that’s because it is formulated with a 25% pigment concentration (much higher than your average foundation) instead of being a thick consistency. It’s also non-comodogenic so if you suffer from acne or breakouts, it shouldn’t clog your pores & cause additional breakouts. It’s also hypoallergenic so won’t irritate sensitive skin. All in all, if you have skin concerns or if you don’t, this product is fantastic & at £20 it’s more than worth the money!

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
It’s a foundation that has won numerous awards & is famous across the world & for good reason! It’s a foundation that gives great coverage and lasts so well throughout the day – they don’t call it ‘stay-in-place makeup’ for no reason! If I’m going to an event & need my makeup to stay on the entire day without going patchy or wearing off, this is the foundation I’ll always choose because it never lets me down. It also comes in a whopping 36 shades & caters to women of colour. A big plus in my books! A word of warning however to my dry-skinned ladies out there – if you use this foundation it’s important to moisturise your skin well beforehand for a smooth finish & to avoid it clinging to any dry patches.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover
This foundation is a similar concept to the Vichy foundation in that it’s packed full of coverage and can be used to conceal scars, acne, birthmarks, sun spots and varicose veins. I personally don’t need foundation to cover these things, but I do love a high coverage foundation & that is exactly what the Maximum Cover offers. It’s incredibly light for such a high coverage foundation and it’s also non-comodogenic so won’t clog your pores. I like to use this foundation on it’s own and I also like to mix it with other foundations to up their coverage. I’ve also seen other lovely ladies using this as a concealer so it’s a versatile product! This foundation isn’t quite as long-lasting as the Double Wear Stay-In-Place foundation so I do recommend that you set this foundation with a powder to avoid transfer and to keep it in place for longer.

Wet n Wild Photofocus Foundation
If you follow me on Instagram (you can follow me here if you aren’t yet) you’ll have seen me testing this foundation on my stories for the first time. Honestly, this foundation completely blew me away! I had seen beauty bloggers raving about this foundation & I finally bought into it & they really weren’t wrong. I must say I don’t like the smell of this foundation but when the formula is so good, I can handle it. It has a medium to full coverage (it’s definitely buildable) with an almost matte finish. As a dry-skin girl I’m normally reluctant to pick up matte foundations but the finish of this foundation is beautiful & didn’t look dry on my skin at all. It lasts so well throughout the day & looks just as good when I go to take my makeup off as it did when I first applied it – I just can’t believe that its a $5 foundation! In South Africa you can pick it up at your local Clicks store but if you’re in the UK it’s a little harder to get a hold of. I found it on Amazon & I really recommend that you pick one up for yourself. It’s my best beauty find of 2018 so far!

L.A Girl Pro Coverage Foundation
I bought this foundation after the beauty community was raving about it and claiming that it was a dupe for the infamous Makeup Forever HD Foundation – Of course I had to try it too. This foundation is so lightweight yet offers high coverage with a beautiful dewy finish. It looks absolutely gorgeous on the skin & leaves me looking dewy & healthy. Although it can move around on your face if you don’t set it so I recommend using a powder to set your foundation to avoid this. L.A girl is such an affordable brand and this foundation is no different – the value for money is unbelievable! I picked up the shade Natural but it’s a little dark for me so I’ll be purchasing a shade down next time!

You may spot in the picture that there is a 6th bottle (the very first one) & notice that it is clearly a lot darker than my foundation shades. I wanted to include it in this post because I think that it’s a fantastic product that you need in your makeup bag:

The Body Shop Darkening Shade Adjusting Drops
This little wonder product, as the name explains, darkens the shade of your foundation. If like me you wear fake tan quite a lot, it’s such a wonderful product. Simply add a drop or two into your current foundation & wallah! it now matches your tan. Not only does this make life easier, it also saves a fortune on having to buy 2 or 3 different shades in a foundation in order to match your skin. The Body Shop also offer lightening drops which will lighten the shade of your foundation if it is too dark for your skin. What a great idea from The Body Shop.

I love discovering new, wonderful foundations so please feel free to leave your personal favourites in the comments. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

| My Makeup Collection |

makeup collection, acrylic containers, beauty blogger

Being a blogger who writes mostly about beauty, my makeup collection is perhaps slightly larger than the average person. However, I am by no means a hoarder & I like to think I’m pretty good at keeping my makeup addiction under control, using up products & keeping my purchasing to a minimum.
I have always loved looking at people’s makeup collections to see what they have & how they store it. Beautifully presented makeup just makes me happy. So I thought why not show you exactly what makeup I have?

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To be honest I am not completely happy with how my makeup is stored. My partner and I weren’t planning on staying long at this property but we ended up staying longer than expected & I just never got around to buying makeup drawers. But when we move I’ll give you all a storage update that is hopefully a lot prettier than my current one.

You’ll have seen this little corner of my room many times in my photos but you won’t quite have seen it like this before. This is my ‘getting ready’ corner. On the left hand side you’ll see my handheld mirror & 2 jars full of brushes (90% of which are Real Techniques – check out my Best of Real Techniques post) On the other side I’ve added some girly decorations to add a little bit more excitement to my vanity corner.

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The long white drawer is where I keep all of my hair stuff but the brown set of drawers underneath is where my makeup is kept! I’ll admit, before I start applying my makeup I always take out the products that I’ll be using & then I sit my bum on these drawers to do my makeup – can you tell that this was a thrown together makeup area?

acrylic containers, makeup, collection, storage

In each of my two makeup drawers I have acrylic containers to keep my makeup organised & pretty. Acrylic containers are my container of choice because I can see all of my products at one time & they’re also easy to clean. Although, the only negative is that they do show up all of the makeup marks!

I bought the acrylic container you see in the above photo from B&M (believe it or not) and is stored in my top makeup drawer along with my eye shadow palettes. This container is generally full of the products that I use on my face first (apart from the lipsticks, but I have so many that I couldn’t fit them into the one container!)

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At the very back I keep my face primers, which I have successfully whittled down to just two. TWO! (any recommendations for great primers are welcome.) I also keep my MAC Fix + back there to use before and/or after I finish my makeup. In the next compartment I keep all of my foundations, of which I only have 6, as well as my travel sized MAC strobe cream for that glow from within & The Body Shop Darkening Drops in case I have a bit of a tan & need to darken any of my foundations.

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In front of my foundations you’ll find all of my drugstore lipsticks which are predominantly Rimmel lipsticks (read my Best of Rimmel Lipsticks post) but there are also lipsticks from L’oreal, Ted Baker & Barry M back there too. I love that these acrylic containers have specific spots for my lipsticks – it makes my lipsticks look so neat & tidy which will always get a BIG thumbs up from me!

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Moving over to the other side of this container; I keep all of my eyeliners right at the back. I really don’t like to keep a lot of eyeliners because I just don’t see the need as I only ever use black or brown & it takes me forever & a day just to use up one eyeliner. That is why I only have 3 eyeliner pencils & 1 liquid eyeliner pen!
I also keep my mascaras back here & again its the same story – I never have more than 2 at a time – a waterproof & a non-waterproof one! You’ll also find my concealers next to my two tubes of mascara & in front of that are my bronzers & contour powders from Barry M, Sleek & Bourjois as well as my setting powders from MAC, Vichy & Bare Minerals. The two little pots you see there are samples of the Ben Nye powders in light pink & white because I wanted to try them before I bought the big-ass container that they normally come in. (Although Makeup Revolution have since released a white Bake & Finish powder so I think I’ll get that instead for 1/4 of the price!)

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Moving onto the second drawer of my makeup storage you’ll find two acrylic containers this time. The one in the above photo is the same container from B&M that you already saw but this one is the home of all my favourite kinds of products!

At the very back left side, although you can’t really see them, I keep all of my individual eye shadows. I don’t have lots of them, probably about 10 or so, as I prefer eye shadows in palette form. In front of that are all of my Makeup Revolution Blush Palettes (can you tell I’m a fan?) They fit so perfectly in this little spot & I still have room for one more if I want to buy another. Highly, highly recommend getting yourself a couple of these palettes!

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In front of my blush palettes you’ll find all of my MAC lipsticks as well as one lonely little Dior lipstick.  Don’t MAC lipsticks look so pretty side-by-side?! You can read about my favourites on my Favourite MAC Lipsticks post!

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To the right of my MAC lippies you’ll find my highlighters as well as any blushes I have that aren’t in palette form.  This little section includes highlighters & blushes from brands like MUA, Makeup Revolution, Topshop, Dior, The Balm & Sleek. I’m not completely happy with this little section because I’d love to be able to lay all of my highlighters side by side for easy access but unfortunately they won’t fit!

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Behind my highlighters you’ll find my lip liners. I like to separate them by brand so that I can easily find what I’m looking for. At the front you’ll see all of my MAC lip liners. I keep these at the front because they’re my most reached for liners. The formula is amazing – creamy, pigmented & lasts well on the lips. Next to that are some thick liners that I bought from Ebay (you can find them here) They’re not my favourite because they can dry out my lips from time to time but I do like the shades & generally they’re not bad when paired with a lip balm or lipstick, so they can hang around for now. Behind these I also have my drugstore liners, of which there are only a few from L.A girl, Rimmel, Maybelline & L.A Girl. I’d love some recommendations for great drugstore lip liners if you have any!

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Last but not least we move onto my last acrylic container. This one is from Clicks and is a lot smaller than my other containers but it’s perfect for storing 16 lipsticks at one time. This container houses all of my liquid lipsticks & glosses perfectly as well as my Christian Louboutin lipstick. My Louboutin lipstick takes pride of place in my makeup collection as it was a gift from my wonderful boyfriend & because it’s my own little piece of luxury. I’m not one for keeping packaging normally, but I just had to keep this lipstick in its box. I mean, look how gorgeous!
On the right you’ll see all of my liquid lipsticks & glosses. I have 13 liquid lipsticks in total from Sleek, NYX & Bourjois as well as my 5 mini liquid lipsticks from The Balm (which you can’t see in the photo). I also keep my lip glosses in this container but you can tell I’m not a massive lip gloss wearer from the fact that I only own two, total!

So that’s it folks! My whole entire makeup collection. You may or may not agree but I do think it’s pretty small for a beauty blogger but I like it that way because nothing gets neglected & things rarely go off before I’ve used them up! How big is your makeup collection? 

 

| January Empties & Mini Reviews|

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The longest month of the year has finally ended & I can hear the sighs of relief. Holy heck January sucks when it comes to finances! With this new month comes a new empties post but it’s only a little one this time as I seem to take forever to use up products.

Here is my itty bitty selection of products that I finished up in January & what I thought of them:

Dexe Lip Balm in Pineapple
This was a completely random purchase from me but it turned out to be a great one. I love the EOS lip balms but they are so freaking expensive here in South Africa so there was no way I was repurchasing another one. But much to my delight, while on my way to the checkout at Dis-chem, I spotted these lip balms because their packaging is so like that of the EOS lip balms. The difference? These are R14.95 – that’s less than £1 compared to the R200ish for an EOS lip balm! What I love about the Dexe lip balm is that it’s entirely made of natural ingredients in the form of different oils & you know me, I love as much natural as I can get. The pineapple scent of this is delightful & it’s so moisturising on the lips while giving them a pretty sheen. I’ve already purchased another scent in this range & I’m totally converted.

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Extreme Pads
Saying farewell to this product means saying farewell to the last of my Nip + Fab stash from back home. I bought these pads after getting hooked on the Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing pads when I lived in the UK but to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t blown away by these. At £15 they aren’t the cheapest for only 30 pads & with the more concentrated blend of glycolic acid, I expected more results. I liked to use them as a chemical exfoliation & I did feel that something was working when I used them (in the form of a light sting) & my skin did feel nice afterwards, but I just didn’t see a difference in my skin the next morning. I haven’t given up on glycolic acid yet because it’s benefits are raved about but I just wouldn’t repurchase these as I didn’t see enough of a difference. The hunt continues!

Supersalve Cell Care Oil
Supersalve was a brand that I had never heard of until I wandered into a random little health store & wallah! there it was. Turns out that they have a whole range of products which you can find here. This product is packed full of natural ingredients including avocado oil, calendula oil, lavender oil, grapeseed oil & tea tree oil & claims to do many wonderful things for your skin including:

  • Alleviate dryness, itching & flaking
  • Repair sun-damaged skin
  • Reduce age spots
  • Rejuvenate & regenerate cells
  • Soften & moisturise
  • Reduce stretch marks

That’s a list of pretty damn impressive things if I do say! I orginally bought this little bottle of goodness when I was going through my natural oil skincare phase but as it turns out, my face doesn’t like oils so I had to find another use for it. Turns out it’s a great body oil to lather yourself in at night – my skin felt so moisturised & it completely got rid of my dry, itchy skin. I can’t vouch for it’s age spot & stretch mark reducing properties but I did enjoy using this product. It also smells divine – you know that natural, essential oils smell? Yeah, just like that! Would I repurchase this product? Probably not, because it’s not easy to get your hands on but I would recommend it.

African Extracts Rooibos Pore-Clearing Face Scrub
Being a dry skin girl it is so important that I give my face a good exfoliation about twice a week to get rid of all the dull, dead cells that can turn into a flaky, ugly mess if I’m not careful. When it comes to face scrubs I can be quite fussy. I want them to be really gritty but with natural grit. By that I mean that I refuse to buy any scrub that contains little plastic beads as they go down the drain & kill marine life & I’m not about that life. If you want more information on this you can find it here. This African Extracts scrub doesn’t contain any cruel plastic beads and instead has that gritty, sugary texture which is why it made it into my bathroom cupboard & has been well loved since. I love that this scrub contains vitamin B3 & salicylic acid, is paraben free & is cruelty free & it left my skin feeling so soft & clean. I would absolutely recommend this scrub as it’s great for getting rid of dead skin at the very affordable price of R64.99!

 

Review | Celltone Moisturiser & Xtra Hydrating Treatment

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As a dry skin girl I have very high standards when it comes to a moisturiser & I’m not an easy woman to please. When I finished up the last of my moisturiser I fancied trying something new & went on the hunt for a new product I could fall in love with. So while shopping in Dis-chem I came across the brand Celltone.

Being from the UK I’d never heard of this brand before & the reason for that is because they are a South African company who only sell here. Celltone became well known because they use snail gel extract in their products which has been known to soften, smooth & anti-age the skin – all the things I want & need. 

Here’s what I thought of their Daily Moisturiser & Xtra Hydrating Treatment:

Daily Moisturising Facial Lotion

What Celltone claim

‘Celltone Daily Moisturiser contains a medley of oils, Argan, Calendula & Olive. It contains UVA & UVB sunscreen filters. Enriched with Anti-Oxidants and Vitamins A, B3, C & E to soften & moisturise the skin. Snail Extract enriched. Paraben & perfume free.’

What attracted me to this product was the amount of natural oils that are in this moisturiser. I’m a firm believer in using as much of what mother nature gave us as possible so I always love to see products filled with natural products & without parabens. This product also has SPF 15 & protects against both UVA & UVB rays which is so important for keeping our faces fresh & young.
When I first opened the box I was so shocked at how generous Celltone are with the amount of product they give you – there’s a whopping 125ml of product in that bottle! After trying the product I realised why this is the case – it’s a very thin moisturiser & I tend to use a full pump with every application. Which brings me onto my next point, it has a pump! Woohoo! I don’t know what it is about beauty bloggers & pumps but we just love them for how easy they make using a product.
While this moisturiser has a thin consistency it still moisturises my dry skin really well without making it look greasy. In fact, it leaves my skin looking healthy & glowy. It also sinks in super fast which makes it the perfect moisturiser to apply before putting on your makeup!
I also wanted to note that Celltone is against animal testing. It’s so difficult to find companies who don’t test on animals these days & I like to buy as many animal testing free products as I can. Thankfully I’ve found one!
The only negative things I have to say about this product are that I would have loved a higher SPF than 15 and also the scent isn’t my favourite. I love natural scents but I find the rose scent of this moisturiser a little too much as I’m not such a fan of rose scents. I don’t find it offensive, it’s just not my favourite.

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Xtra Hydrating Treatment

What Celltone Claim

‘A superior hydrating treatment cream made for face & body providing an invisible mesh on the skin. The mesh releases hydrating agents bringing moisture to even the driest skin. Soothing BCA Blend (Bisabalol, Calendula & Allantoin) – known for its soothing properties has been added to assist in relieving discomfort of dry skin. Beautifully silky emolients may increase aquaporin synthesis & therefore improve the water channels into the skin’

I don’t know about you but that description sounds like witchcraft!
I bought this moisturiser in addition to the daily moisturiser as I prefer a richer moisturiser in the evening & also on days when my skin is extra dry. This product is of a much thicker consistency which you can (hopefully) see in the photo below:

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Left – Daily Moisturising Lotion. Right – Xtra Hydrating Treatment

While this  product is of a much thicker consistency than the daily moisturiser it still absorbs quickly into the skin & leaves it feeling so hydrated. I really loved how my skin felt after this product & it got rid of any dry patches I had. I was initially worried that such a rich moisturiser would clog my easily clogged pores but thankfully its full of non-comedogenic ingredients that haven’t left me with breakouts. While Celltone call this a treatment rather than a moisturiser it can still be used every day as a moisturiser & it contains SPF 15 so it can be worn during the day on extra dry skin days too.
Like the Daily Moisturiser the Xtra Hydrating Treatment is scented but it has a much more subtle rose scent along with that ‘face cream’ smell so its much less offensive which I prefer.

The Final Verdict

These two products were the first that I ever bought from Celltone & I’m very much enjoying using them in my daily routine. It’s great to have found an affordable brand that’s full of natural ingredients, is paraben free & that is against animal testing. I’ll definitely be trying a few more of their products because I really am impressed!

| The Best of Real Techniques Makeup Brushes |

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I go on & on about makeup here on Beauty & The Blouse but what good is makeup if you don’t have good brushes to apply it with!

Over the years I’ve tried a bunch of brushes from different brands but I always find myself reaching for my Real Techniques brushes. From the moment I bought my first Real Techniques set I completely fell in love & a long love affair began. They offer so many different brushes, superb quality, affordable prices & not to mention they look cute too. I just can’t fault them!

So lets get into my Real Techniques favourites:

Real Techniques Nic’s Picks Limited Edition Brush Set

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I hate talking about limited addition products in case you guys can’t get a hold of them so I’m sorry that I’m mentioning these but you can still buy them online if you want them! In the Nic’s Picks collection there are 5 brushes but it is only 3 of these that made it into my Ride or Die selection; the Cheek Brush, the Angled Eyeshadow Brush & the Base Shadow Brush.

The Cheek Brush (set exclusive): (1st photo above) This is my absolute go-to blush brush. It’s so dense & picks up a lot of product (so be careful with those super pigmented blushes) & blends out my blush beautifully to give me the understated look that I always go for when it comes to my blush.
The Angled Eyeshadow Brush (set exclusive): (2nd photo above left) Holy moly this brush is so unbelievable soft & fluffy. It’s a very easy brush to work with in that it provides plenty of movement for blending but I would say that for those with smaller eyelids, this may be a little more difficult to work with. I love using this to apply my dark, outer corner shade.
The Base Shadow Brush: (2nd photo above right) This product does exactly what it says on the tin & more. Again like the brush above its so soft & fluffy. It is the perfect shape & size & has the perfect density to apply your base shadow quickly & effortlessly. It’s also great to help you draw out your crease colour & you can then blend it out too. It can be a really versatile brush if you want it to.

 

Real Techniques Sculpting Brush Set

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Yet another set from real techniques that sucked me in was the Sculpting Brush Set. I love a good contour & a set of brushes that was designed to help me contour & sculpt my face was always going to be a winner! In this set there are 3 brushes but there are only 2 of these that I use almost every day; The Setting Brush (above left) & the Sculpting Brush (above right)

The Setting Brush: This brush was of course designed to add powder to the skin whether it be setting powder or highlight. This brush is the perfect size for setting specific areas of the face & I personally use it to set my under-eye concealer on a daily basis.
The Sculpting Brush: This brush is a super dense, wide brush that is perfect for my contour powder. Because of it’s slanted shape it fits into the hollows of my cheeks easily & because of its density it blends out my contour shade effortlessly. The only thing I want to mention is that because of the thickness of the brush you need to concentrate a little if you want a sharp contour to avoid it going above your cheekbones.

 

Real Techniques Core Collection

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These were the first brushes that I ever bought from Real Techniques & were what started my long love affair with the brand. These brushes are marketed as 4 steps to complete coverage & the set includes 4 brushes of which I’ve included 2; the Buffing Brush (above middle) & the Contour Brush (above right)

The Buffing Brush: This brush is great for applying powder because of it’s slightly flattened top & because of the density. I previous used it with my setting powder to set my foundation however I have recently started using it with my bronzer because the density of the brush picks up a lot of product to give me that bronzed look that I love in the summer. It’s also fantastic for blending out my bronzer so that my skin looks naturally sun-kissed.
The Contour Brush: This little domed brush is my go-to for my powder highlighters. It is the right size for the tops of my cheekbones, picks up enough product & blends the highlighting powder perfectly to give me that seamless, popping highlight that I love. It’s also a small enough size to apply highlight down the centre of the nose.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (above left)

There’s a reason why this is Real Techniques #1 best-selling brush – it is a dream for foundation. When it comes to foundation brushes I’m incredibly fussy. I want a brush that doesn’t waste too much product, that isn’t too small, that is dense & soft, that effortlessly blends my foundation & that leaves a beautiful streak-free finish (I’m not asking for much am I!) This brush gives me all of those things. It’s perfect for liquid foundations & it’s the right shape & density to make applying my foundation the effortless task I want it to be while giving me a perfectly flawless finish.

What are your favourite Real Techniques brushes?

 

 

| Review: Sleek Matte Me Lip Creams|

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You all know that I love a good liquid lipstick. I love how effortless & pigmented they are & how well they last throughout the day (if of course they are a good formula.) I bought a couple of the Sleek Matte Me lipsticks a while back & I felt obliged to tell you about my experience with them. Here is my experience:

What Sleek Claim

Sleek describe their Matte Me lip cream as:

‘A matte finish liquid lipstick that glides on in one smooth application, with no need for a second coat. The light as air texture provides you with comfortable wear for hours, that doesn’t cake, flake or dry out, ensuring long lasting colour all day.’

The Shades

The shade selection of these lipsticks is really quite good with 21 shades available including nudes, reds, pinks, purples & brown shades from light to dark. The two colours that I oped for were Birthday Suit & Shabby Chic. 
Birthday Suit is is a nude shade that leans a lot more on the peachy orange side. This is definitely not my favourite colour on me. I have never suited peachy tones because of my cooler toned skin & this just didn’t compliment my skin tone.
Shabby Chic is a mid-toned pink with a lot of purple undertones. It truly is a gorgeous shade that added a lot of warmth & colour to my face. It’s definitely my kind of colour.

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The Formula

This is where these lipsticks seriously let me down. Quite frankly the formula really isn’t great. When first applied they look very pretty. They don’t go on streaky & they’re very pigmented so initially I was impressed. Then they just went south. They dry quickly but once dried they showed up every single line on my lips & they became so dry. I was very aware that the product was on my lips as they weren’t comfortable to wear. When I kept applying lip balm to Shabby Chic I could deal with it because the colour was so nice & it is a slightly (and I mean slightly) better formula but with Birthday Suit there was just no saving it.

Put to the Test

The Eating Test – After I had this product on my lips for about 20 minutes & it was completely dry I ate my breakfast to test how well it held up. Well basically, it didn’t. You know after you’ve had a lip product on for a long time you can get that line half way down your lips where half your lips have lipstick & half don’t? That’s what happened. So it didn’t quite pass the eating test but it wasn’t completely gone either! Just make sure you carry around a mirror for touch-ups!

The Wear Test – So I wore this lipstick for about 3 hours & then I could wear it no longer. It had gone patchy, dry & just didn’t look cute at all so I had to take it off before I left the house. Again, Shabby Chic tends to wear better but Birthday Suit was just a massive no after a few hours.

The Verdict

Generally Sleek are a good brand with a lot going for them when it comes to their products & there are many products of theirs that I really like. (They also don’t test on animals which gets a big YAY from me) However, they really let me down on their Matte Me liquid lipsticks. I wouldn’t purchase any more shades because they’re just too much fuss for me. If a liquid lipstick makes my lips look incredibly dehydrated when in fact they’re not & if it doesn’t wear well, then unfortunately I cannot recommend it. Sorry Sleek but these get a big thumbs down from me!

Have you tried the Matte Me liquid lip creams? What did you think? 

| My Everyday Makeup Routine |

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I don’t know about you guys, but I love to know what other women keep in their everyday makeup bag. It contains the products that we reach for over & over again & that our daily routine doesn’t feel complete with out. So I thought – why not show you what I use every day?

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When I apply my makeup in the morning my goal is always to make my skin look glowy, make my eyes stand out & to make my lips look more defined which is why I tend to reach for the products in this post. While I tend to use quite a few products every day I like my makeup to still look fairly natural so I use them all quite sparingly – minus my setting spray because THE GLOW! So without further ado, let’s get into my every day makeup routine!

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The Foundation | L.A Girl Pro Coverage HD Foundation

I have literally been obsessed with this foundation for the past couple of months. When I look for a foundation I want something that gives me full coverage to cover my freckles without being heavy to avoid causing spots on my easily clogged pores. This foundation provides both of those things. It has a more dewy finish than some of my other foundations which is great for giving my skin a glowy sheen but it will definitely move if it’s not set so make sure to set it with a powder! ( I bought the shade Natural although it’s a little too dark for me so I’ll be opting for a slightly lighter shade when I repurchase.)

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The Concealer | Collection Lasting Finish Concealer

First of all, let’s ignore the worse-for-wear packaging as unfortunately the writing always wears off on this concealer but because the product inside is so good, we’ll let that slide. This has been my holy grail concealer for the longest time & I try to stock up on them when I travel home to N.Ireland. I use the lightest shade (Shade 1 Fair) & it is perfect for brightening up my under-eye without being too light & it covers everything including the dark veining on my eyelids. It’s also lightweight & easy to blend out & isn’t tacky or sticky.

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The Under-Eye Setting Powder | MAC Studio Fix Powder

When I last repurchased this product I accidentally bought the wrong shade (NC20) which turned out to be the perfect shade to set my under eyes & keep them looking bright. This powder is actually a powder foundation but as I prefer to use liquid foundation, I like to use this as a setting powder as it provides extra coverage. It sets my under eyes so well & keeps my concealer in place all day. If you do want to use this as a face powder it’s very mattifying so it will keep oils at bay if you have oily skin.

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The Bronzer | Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder

I cannot finish any makeup look without applying bronzer to my temples & around the outside of my face as it brings life to my face & stops me looking sickly pale. I originally bought this bronzer because of the massive hype around it & honestly, I hate it but because I don’t like wasting products I’ve been working on using it up (which is the only reason it’s in this post.) It is so hard to actually pick the product up on a brush so I end up spending more time than I’d like working my brush in the pan. I also find the shade a bit too orangey for my liking so I definitely won’t be repurchasing this product but it’s mentioned only because of how important bronzer is in my daily face routine!

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The Blush | Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Hot Spice

I raved about this blush palette in my Top Favourite Blushes post & I’m still obsessed with it. It’s full of gorgeous peachy shades that look beautiful on the cheeks & I’ve found myself reaching for it even more with the arrival of our summer months. The great thing about these blushes is that they are also so pigmented which is why this palette looks almost untouched. This palette is a big favourite of mine & I definitely recommend to anyone!

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The Highlighter | The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer

I’ve mentioned this highlighter in my Best of the Best Highlighters post so I’ll try not to go into too much detail here. Can you see how much of a creature of habit I am? I’m always using the same products! Basically, this is my ride or die highlighter and I am absolutely obsessed with it. It’s a pale gold shade that can be worn on any skin tone & it gives the most gorgeous sheen to the skin than can easily be built up if you love to blind people with your highlight. I really cannot be without this product. Like ever.

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The Brows | FREEDOM Eyebrow Pomade

I bought this product about a year and half ago & I’ve used it everyday since & it’s still going strong as it’s so pigmented that I only need a small amount of product each time! It’s a fantastic dupe for the Anastasia Dip Brow but at only £5 it is only a fraction of the cost. I use the shade Medium Brown & it is a perfect shade for my brows. I like my brows to look as natural as possible rather than being heavily filled-in so I simply use an angled brush, outline my eyebrows very lightly & fill them in with light-handed strokes. It’s a very easy to use product for an even better price!

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The Eyeshadow | Zoeva Smoky Eyeshadow Palette 

I like to change up my everyda0y eye shadows now & again but I’m a creature of habit & I’ve been reaching for this palette the most over the past few months as it is absolutely stunning. The quality of these eye shadows are fantastic as they’re highly pigmented, easily blended & I don’t have any fall out. For my everyday look I like to use brown shadows that make my eyes stand out & that give definition while being fairly natural. To do this I apply:

Relieve The Moon (top left) | All over the lid up to the brow bone
Sweet Smell (top row, 2nd from right) | In the crease & slightly above
Ashes Awake (bottom row, 2nd from right) | In the outer corner
Real Light (Black) | In a thin line along my lash line to thicken appearance of my lashes

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The Lip Liner | MAC Lip Liner in Soar

You can tell how much I love this lip liner by how small it’s gotten – I think it’s almost time I bought a replacement don’t you? This is one of the famous ‘Kylie Jenner’ lip products & for good reason. It’s a stunning mid-tone pinkish brown shade that looks absolutely stunning on the lips. It makes my lips stand out & is the perfect shade against my skin tone. MAC Lip Liners are also very pigmented, easy to work with and last really well throughout the day so even if I’m not reaching for Soar, I’m generally reaching for another shade of MAC Lip Liner.

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The Lipstick | MAC Lipstick in Brave

The perfect for pairing for Soar lip liner is MAC’s lipstick in Brave which is yet another famous ‘Kylie Jenner’ shade. MAC describe Brave as a pink-beige shade with white pearl and it is a satin finish. Satin finishes have always been my favourite MAC lipstick finish as they’re highly pigmented while being moisturising on the lips. Just like Soar it looks beautiful against my skin tone & I think it would look good against almost all skin tones for that matter. When I wear this lipstick with Soar lip liner it’s a killer combo that I just can’t get enough of!

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The Finishing Spray | MAC Fix +

This is one of those MAC products that is raved about time & time again across the world & until I bought this product for the first time a few years back, I didn’t know just how much I needed it in my life. It’s a finishing spray that takes away the powdery look that can be left by your makeup & leaves your makeup looking dewy, glowy & gorgeous. I also sometimes use it under makeup too when I need that extra moisture blast & it makes my foundation glide on. I mentioned that I love my every day makeup to look glowy & this product finishes my makeup & gives me the healthy sheen that I love so much.

 

| Body Image by The Skinny Girl |

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Let’s talk body image. It’s one of those topics that can touch every woman because whether we admit it or not, it has played a big part in our lives growing up. I want to talk about body image from one perspective & one perspective only. It’s the side of body image confidence that we never really hear about because the media has twisted it completely. It’s the side of body image that doesn’t always have a voice & by writing this post I intend to give it a voice – it’s the body image of the ‘skinny’ girl.I hate the word skinny & I always have. For me it has so many negative connotations around it & my insides continue to squirm when I hear it even at the ripe old age of 25, but I’m going to use it for the purpose of this post.

So let me give you a little bit of a background – I’m that skinny girl. I have been very slim my whole life which has a lot to do with a thyroid condition that I was born with (but we’ll not get into that) so I have never been this slim by choice. Now when I say slim I don’t just mean slightly smaller than average – I mean that my legs were minuscule & shockingly tiny. I hated them more than could imagine. Growing up I had serious confidence issues & was so self-conscious about my body. While I am no longer as skinny as I was as a teen, I’m still tiny but I’ve just learnt to accept it & deal with it. But I’ll never forget the things that people called me, the sly comments & the judgemental stares. That is the reason for this blog post – I want to talk about what it’s like to be a skinny girl in today’s society & how harmful it can be.

Now I want to add a little disclaimer here because body image can be a sensitive topic for many: I am in no way undermining those who are overweight or what they go through mentally when it comes to body image. I am simply giving my perspective from someone on the opposite end of the spectrum because it’s something that is rarely talked about.

The media has shaped society’s thinking around weight massively. We’re constantly seeing and reading about celebrities losing & gaining weight featuring unflattering photos & nasty articles. It’s a horrible world & can hurt so many peoples self-esteem. A pattern that you’ll notice if you pay attention, is that according to the media anyone who is too thin MUST have an eating disorder because no one can naturally be that thin. It is this thinking that can be so detrimental to people like me who are naturally  underweight. Throughout my life I had to constantly explain myself when people made comments like ‘you’re so skinny, do you not eat?’, ‘you’re too thin, you need to go eat lots of burgers’ & so on. The problem was that because the media had shaped society in such a way no one could understand that I could possibly be this size if I ate a normal diet.

This is where society is so wrong. As a ‘skinny’ girl I have received as much criticism, as much judgement & as much hurtfulness as someone who is over weight but people struggle to or can’t see or understand that. People assume that we couldn’t possibly understand how a larger person feels but I’ve stood in front of the mirror & cried about how I look, I’ve felt self-conscious in every outfit I tried on and I tried to hide my body because I felt it was ugly. So the reality is that those of us who are very underweight can relate to those who are overweight more than you think.

There has also become an acceptance in society that if someone is too slim, that it’s okay to tell them. You would never go up to an overweight person & say nasty things but if it’s a ‘skinny’ person it’s perfectly fine to do that. I am not saying that overweight people never get horrible comments made at them by lowlifes, I’m just saying that people feel like they have a right to tell someone that they’re too thin because ‘its for their own interest’ or because ‘society says it’s okay’. I’m here to tell you that you have no right to comment on anyone’s weight. Ever.

This may have been a slightly long-winded blog post but I just wanted to create awareness about what you say & how you act towards ‘skinny’ people. We have feelings, we’re sensitive about our size & we feel body issues like anyone else. I didn’t choose to be this size & it’s very, very difficult for me to change it. My challenge to you is that if you don’t already, treat ‘skinny’ people with the same respect as you would anyone else because you have no idea how they feel about themselves. Don’t make comments about their weight. Don’t make them feel inferior, worthless or bad about themselves.  If I ever have a daughter with a similar body shape to mine, I would never want her to feel what I have felt & neither would you.
Basically, be nice & don’t be a dick!

| The Best of Rimmel Lipsticks |

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For many of us who have tried a Rimmel lipstick or two it’s not difficult to see why they’re incredibly popular. In recent years I became obsessed with MAC lipsticks & as a result I don’t tend to purchase many drugstore lipsticks as in many cases the formula just doesn’t compare. However I haven’t stopped buying my Rimmel lipsticks as they are just fantastic & in my opinion offer some of the best drugstore lipsticks on the market. 

Rimmel’s formula is in most cases great, offering high pigmentation & longevity while being non-drying. They also have a large shade range & they tend to release new collections that keep up with the ‘it’ shades of the season. From the long list of Rimmel lipsticks that I’ve tried I have come up with a small list of what I deem to be their best of the best lipsticks. Now this list is in no way exhaustive as there are shades that I haven’t tried from their ever-growing range but out of the many that I have tried – the below list contains the shades that I really loved. 

Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss

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So let’s start with the Kate Lasting Finish lipsticks. Kate’s collaboration with Rimmel has been incredibly successful & for good reason as she creates beautiful, wearable & unique shades that I am always attracted to.

From this particular range my favourites ended up being the darker, more bold shades not only because of their wearable tones but also because of their long-wearing formula, their moisturising finish & their pigmentation. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I will only reach for a bold lipstick over a nude if it’s easy to wear & hastle free. These lipsticks are perfect for that!

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From left to right: 30, 01, 107

Shade 30 – This lipstick is a beautiful plum-berry shade with pink undertones making it extremely easy to wear for most skin tones. When it comes to these kind of colours I can be incredibly fussy but shade 30 is a great berry shade as it is warm toned & isn’t too vampy. It also leaves a semi-matte moisturising finish that doesn’t need a lip balm underneath & that doesn’t dry out making it a great easy to wear lipstick!

Shade 01 – If you’re looking for a classic pillar box red lipstick, then look no further. Shade 01 couldn’t be a more perfect shade of red & for this reason it will go with all skin tones. Like the previous lipstick, shade 01 also has a semi-matte finish that glides on easily & wears easily throughout the day. It really is beautiful!

Shade 107 – This is an unusual shade of red but one that has been given a lot of love from me. I love a deep red but I find that most have brown undertones which don’t tend to suite my complexion. However shade 107 is a deep red with plum undertones that leans slightly more on the vampy side of red while being incredibly easy to wear. It has more of a matte finish than the previous two lipsticks without being drying. A perfect shade for the autumn & winter months!

Lasting Finish by Kate – Nude Collection 

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Anyone who has followed my blog for a little while will know that I just love a nude lipstick so this collection was one that I got incredibly excited about when I heard about it. Unfortunately for me most of the lipstick shades in this collection weren’t ones that I would wear as they were either too light or too dark but from the shades that I picked, they certainly didn’t let me down.

 

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Top shade: 45 Bottom Shade: 43

Shade 45 – This is a great ‘my lips but better’ lipstick for me. It is a mid toned pink nude with blue undertones & a semi-matte finish. This particular shade isn’t as pigmented as other Rimmel lipsticks but it’s very easy to build up. This is a great ‘throw on’ lipstick that is easy to wear & will go with all makeup looks.

Shade 43 – This is a lighter shade of nude than I would normally reach for but while it is light, it is also wearable & doesn’t give you ‘concealer lips’. 43 is a warm toned beige lipstick with peachy undertones that looks great on my warm skin-toned ladies. This is a great lipstick to wear with a dark smokey eye or I love to pair it with a slightly darker lip liner (Tiramasu by Rimmel to be exact.)

Lasting Finish Lipsticks 

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These are the original Lasting Finish lipsticks & there are many shades available in this range. One thing that I do notice when shopping this range is that there are many metallic shades which I’m just not such a fan of. But the formula, like all Rimmel lipsticks, is creamy & moisturising with great colour pay off.

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Shade 077 Asia – This is the perfect dupe for MAC’s Brave lipstick which is one of my all time favourites (which you can tell from the almost finished bullet.) It is the perfect mid toned warm pink nude with slight blue undertones & is one of the most flattering lipsticks I own. It goes with any kind of makeup look, wears really well & is so moisturising. Out of all the lipsticks I have mentioned in this post, I would recommend this one the most.

I’m always on the hunt for new Rimmel lipsticks that I can fall in love with. What are your favourites?