Tuesday, 30 July 2013

July Favourites

I thought it was about time I did a post on my monthly favourites as I have never did one yet.  This month I have been loving a few summer appropriate products that I want to share with you.

The weather in the UK has been absolutely brilliant, out of this world in July.  I don't remember the last time we've ever had such an amazing summer!  Every day the temperature goes up to the high 20c and for many days it soared up to the 30c marks, impressive!

Makeup wise has been kept to a minimal especially for my base.  My skin is still healing and all that jazz so I do still need a bit of coverage.

I'm so pleased I purchased Diorskin Nude BB Creme.  It saved my face on days when I feel like wearing a foundation is a bit too much.  The texture really is one of its kind as a BB creme as I was never impressed with any BB cream that I have used in the past.  The formula is extremely hydrating.  It gives you the light coverage that one needs, it's not really a buildable base as such as it is really light.  It keeps your skin looks like your own skin but better.  I can see myself wearing it for the rest of August if we are still blessed with sunny and hot weather!

For my eye makeup although I have made a bit more of an effort this month but I remain lazy, so Kiko's long lasting stick eyeshadow  has become my go-to eye colours.  I have the shade #28 which is a very pale nude colour which comes out as a pearly white on the eyes.  I would either use it as an eye primer or wear it on its own to brighten my eyes a bit.  It's a lovely product which the application is ever so easy and it stays put well.  I am definitely going back to get some more colours of this eyeshadow stick.

I was once a fan of Bioderma Micelle Solution for removing my makeup but because of the price tag, I was on the search for a more economical alternative, you can have a read here to see what I've tried.  Then it wasn't long ago until I discovered L'Oreal 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution (£3.33).  I think I can safely say it's a dupe for Bioderma Micelle Solution but it's a fraction of the price.  It removes makeup highly effectively, even for waterproof mascara.  It doesn't dry my skin out nor does it irritate my eyes.  As we speak I'm already on my second bottle and am ready to stock up a few more soon!

Since June I have been practising a lot on contouring my face (getting those cheekbones out on my chubby face!), mainly using my Face Contour Kit by Sleek (in shade Light) then teamed up with the Crown Angel Blush Brush that I bought at IMATS to contour my face has made me as a contouring virgin slowly becoming an expert!  I love how the Angle Blush Brush is slightly slanted with works perfectly to the hollow part of my face when I contoured.  The contouring powder in the Sleek Face Contour kit is also just the right shade for me, it doesn't end up orange on my pale skin which is just what I want.

Finally, I have been wearing two nail colours interchangeably throughout July (from summer).  One of them is my favourite purple colour by L'Oreal Colour Riche Nails in colour #828 Flahsing Lilac.  I love the shade so much because it isn't a pale pastel colour as too light a pastel colour doesn't flatter my skin at all..... This lilac colour makes me a very happy lady whenever I wear this.

A bit out of my comfort zone and a shade that I don't normally opt for or it doesn't normally look nice is Essie In The Cab-Ana. I love this shade so much it's almost addictive.  It flatters my skin with the oceanic shade of blue/ green combo - such a gorgeous summer colour with a bit of difference on days when I'm bored with the usual pink and purple!

What have you been liking in the month of July?

Sunday, 28 July 2013

The no makeup makeup - summer glow

I'm loving this year's British summer weather and am not complaining about the fact that it's so hot.  It just means that I have to be clever and creative about what makeup I should be wearing to keep them fresh and in place.

I was trying out a different combination of products these days and have been quite satisfied with the result. and want to share it with you.  The key is to be natural and glowy.  I know that not everyone likes a dewy finish in the summer as things can get a little sweaty but my skin is dry so a glowy and dewy finish is something I always aim to achieve.

I hope you like this look.

I have upped my sun skincare, these days I reach for my Ultrasun Anti-Ageing Formula SPF 50  as my day moisturiser as well as a makeup primer.  It is specifically for using on the face and the texture is quite thick but not greasy and very hydrating.  I absolutely adore it.  If you have dry skin this is a product for you but for oily girls, this would definitely be too oily for you so I would recommend Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily Moisturiser SPF 50 instead which is much more light weight and of a watery texture.

I'm enjoying slightly better and improved skin at the moment so I automatically think of my Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturiser (nude).  It gives the most transparent finish ever, it melts into your skin once applied and very moisturising, too.  Then I used my Real Technique's Deluxe Crease Brush to blend my Rimmel Match Perfection Illuminating Concealer which works as a duo function product to brighten up and conceal those under the eyes, round my nose areas.  For extra coverage on blemishes and any imperfections, I used e.l.f stick concealer.

This makeup look emphasises on highlights, so I used my Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Ecrin 4 Couleurs Long-Lasting Eyeshadow (the lightest pearly white shade) to brighten up the inner corner of my eyes, and used my Real Techniques' Contouring Brush to highlight my upper cheekbones, brow bones and temple areas with the base shadow shade from my Chantecaille The Coral Reef Palette.  I really love using the base shadow shade to highlight especially if I don't want a shimmery finish.

Whilst I am keeping things very natural, this makeup is all about a glowy and dewy finish.  Soap & Glory Love at First Blush Multi-Shade Blushing Powder is an amazingly finely milled powder, perfect for using it as a highlighting powder or as a blusher.  I enjoy applying this using my Real Technique's Blush Brush.  It's such a large brush which helps to sweep this lovely shimmery champagney coloured powder evenly all over the apple of my cheeks to give this extremely subtle glowy finish.

Other products used were:
Do you like this look?  What makeup look have you been wearing this summer?

Friday, 26 July 2013

Tried and Tested: Eucerin AQUAportin Active Moisturising Cream

I suffer from dry patches around my nose area rather badly and it is a all-year round problem.  No matter how hard I tried to inject 'hydration' back to my skin, from the use of hydrating facemask to the recent completion of the use of hydraluron the problem is still there.

Until recently I've finished my night cream, I decided to give the brand Eucerin a go and picked up this AQUAprotin Active Moisturising Cream, I chose the rich variant which is suitable for dry and sensitive skin which I have.

For those of you who are less familiar with the brand Eucerin, it is a German dermatologica skincare brand.  They are easily available at Boots.

First thing first, the packaging is not fancy nor is it elegant (agree?).  It didn't grab my attention like other high end brands.  However, I think that this honest packaging provides a professional dermalogically based image to their target market; which makes you think they invest in most of their revenues into getting the best quality of products but not some fancy designs.

Secondly, it is a reasonably priced product, at £13.50 you get 40ml of the product.  You don't need a ton of the product for your whole face, a little goes a long way.

Even though it doesn't have a pump dispenser, the squeezy tube design is user-friendly.  I was slightly concerned about the word 'RICH' when I first picked up the product as it does have a 'LIGHT' version for normal to combination skin.  However I want to pick one up for dry and sensitive skin so this one sounds more right to me.

When you first squeeze the cream out, it looks like an ordinary white cream formula, nothing weird looking.  When I blend it all over my face, it feels something in the middle of a cream and a water-based product, it is extremely light and fresh, and very easily absorbed by my skin.  15 minutes into wearing it, I feel that my skin is hydrated and plumper, no joke.
According to Eucerin, AQUAporin ACTIVE is an ingredient which provides the skin with optimal hydration, even in deeper epidermal skin layers and supports skin's own moisture network.  Whether or not the product has penetrated into the deeper epidermal layer of my skin I am not sure as I haven't clinically tested my skin out under a microscope in a laboratory.

What I have noticed, 4 weeks into using this is that my skin is significantly moisturised, I can use the word 'hydrated'.  More remarkably is that I noticed my nose area doesn't suffer from dry patches as badly.  This is especially stark as I rub my nose quite intensely every morning due to runny nose as I am a hayfever sufferer.  Even the vigorous nose rubbing actions, the skin around my nose area is still in one-piece - IMPRESSIVE!

Once I have finished my current day cream, I think I will get the day cream (contains SPF 15 + UVA) version of this to ensure my skin is hydrated 24/7.

Have you tried any products by Eucerin before?  What do you think of them?  Do you suffer from dry skin like me?  Are you convinced to give this a go?

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Story of Eyelashes #3: Volumising

Picture taken from Sasa, Hong Kong

In this final episode of a 3-part mascara series, I want to finish off by talking about what's in my volumising category of mascara.  When it comes to mascaras, there are truly hundreds and thousands of choices to choose from.  I took a picture from Sasa of this mascara heaven.  I was completely blown away and spoilt for choice which one to pick.  In the end I bought two.

Meet Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Fatal Black mascara. I never knew about Helena Rubinstein's mascara until my best friend recommended it to me 3 years ago.  This is my second tube.  Not that I loved the first one so much I had to repurchase but I wanted to give it another go to see why people are so mad about her mascaras.  The packaging is undoubtedly luxury, the snake skin design makes the tube looks like a proper high end mascara.  The wand is a curved/ S-shape wand which kind of mimic the motion when a snake moves.  It supposed to provide a muli-dimensional angel when it makes contact with the lashes which helps to give the volume the lashes need.  Its fragrance scent of the product is also very pleasing.

However there comes the problem, I'm not as impressed by it as I am with other more affordable mascaras.  It is quite messy when applying this mascara.  I have to be very careful not to smudge it on my face.  The wand is a little bit too big and not a 'neat' one that I'm used to.  I didn't find the S-shape wand more helpful create bigger lashes.  I think I'm disappointed by the product.  Perhaps someone has naturally fuller lashes will find this amazing.  For me it didn't work.

I also picked up the Dolly Wink Volume Mascara.  This is a complete random pick from Sasa.  I love it.  You can also buy this from amazon and will set you back at £22 - definitely a high end price but completely worth it in my opinion.  One coat is all you need for that volume that you are longing for.  It is almost like a foolproof mascara - plump up my lashes with or without curling them beforehand.  The wand looks a little scary to me as it's quite 'bushy' looking, but surprisingly neat when applied on lashes.  The tip of the wand is narrower which provides a pointy wand effect, great for lashing out those inner corner lashes.  If you want to try something new and fun, this one is highly recommended.

 Physicians Formula's Jumbo Lash Mascara Organic Wear has a strikingly eye-catching green leaf shape design that looks completely 'organic' and one that you wouldn't miss when you see it.  After hearing Tati, also known as GlamLifeGuru (one of my favourite Youtubers) raving about this particular mascara for such a long time, I finally bought it from amazon and gave it a good try.

The formula is 100% comes from natural origin and 70% organic, so without the nasty stuff.  This is my first organic beauty product.   It has a muted pleasant scent which makes it nice to apply mascara. Without the chemical ingredients, this mascara still works but it didn't wow me like how I would expect it to be.  The wand is this short and rather fat/ full looking bristle wand which actually appeals to me.  This mascara is buildable and doesn't clump your lashes up if you try to wear many coats.  However, it gives more of a natural look rather than a dramatic look which is something I'm disappointed with.  I'd say if you have short eyelashes and prefer dramatic lashes, this one isn't for you.  Although it is water-proof it smudged on me.   The other downside is for those of you who don't live in the States, the only place to get this seem to be on amazon.co.uk  and will set you back at £16.99 which is a bit on the higher end price considering this is a drugstore product in the US and we are paying at least double the price here......

Finally  Max Factor's Clump Defy mascara.  I have heard so much about the Cover Girl Clump Crusher Water Resistant Mascara which is again only available in the States.  However ever since I found out from Fleur De Force  that Max Factor in the UK is the equivalent of Cover Girl in the US, and the Max Factor's Clump Defy mascara is the same as the Cover Girl's one; I had to give this a try.  Wow, it is amazing.  Inside this purple tube, hidden this crescent shape wand.  The combination of the bristle wand together with the crescent shape seems to be perfect for short lashes girls' dream.  The crescent shape definitely helps my lashes to lash out, i.e. volumised.  Two coats are guaranteed to a pair of full looking lashes.  There is something about the design of the wand really helps to plump up the volume.  I find it extremely easy to apply, clump free and really satisfied with the results.  I am totally in love with this and will definitely repurchase it when it runs out!

I am definitely still a drugstore mascara girl, they are affordable and they do the job well.  They, a lot of the times exceed expectations and out-perform high end mascaras by miles and miles!

Have you tried any of these before?  Which one would you choose?

Monday, 22 July 2013

The Story of Eyelashes #2: Lengthening

Let's talk 'length' this time on mascaras.

By now you should know how much I have complained about the length of my eyelashes - they are unbelievably short.  I expect mascaras which claim to lengthen, really does what it says - give my lashes the length that it needs.

High end or drugstore?  I think drugstore.

I currently own 3 lengthening mascaras that I use interchangeably, regularly and quite intimately.  The one I found myself going back to, time after time is the Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara in Black.  This fluorescent yellow tube costs a healthy £7.99 which is completely affordable.  The eye catching design wasn't the reason I went for this.  I heard a few Youtubers talking about it and have seen them wearing this in their 'Get Ready With Me' videos and often produced a miraculous result.  I want to give it a try.

I like the wand to start with.  It is a fibre wand, fairly slim design which fits well on my short eyelashes as it doesn't overwhelm them.  When I start brushing through my lashes, I can feel that it separates my lashes and gives them length.  I normally apply at least 2 coats to ensure I have maximised using the mascara and the length that my lashes can go.  I use it as a base coat before applying a volumising mascara (more on that on a separate post).  It doesn't clump on my lashes nor does it smudge on me.  I totally recommend this.

Next up, let's talk high end, let's talk Chanel Sublime De Chanel Waterproof Length and Curl Mascara in Black.  I didn't intend to get it but somehow I ended up having it (so let's not go into this long story).  I'm not a big fan of a high end mascaras as I have been pretty satisfied with my drugstores' ones and it seems like a general feeling amongst mascara-wearers.  I didn't have high expectation on this but I was actually really worried if the wand was suitable.  When I first opened this up, I was relieved to see a bristle wand which is the type of wand which suits my short lashes the most.

In comparison with the Rimmel one, the bristle in the Chanel's wand are a bit more concentrated.  Both of them have just the right amount of coating of mascaras on, adequate to put on my lashes every time when I take the wand out from the tube.  It does give me length, I'm not sure about the curl.  However I have to work quite hard to get the length that I want.  3 coats are the minimum I need to give a satisfactory result.  I will still finish using this as it is expensive, it will set you back at £24.  I won't repurchase it.  With this price, I can buy 3 Rimmel mascara to just one of the Chanel's one but the Rimmel one is definitely more effective in lengthening my lashes.  Even it is a waterproof one but it does smudge on me unfortunately.

Finally, meet my Australian (Korean made) brand mascara, Mikatonk Collagen Mascara Volume.  This was a random purchase when I was visiting Hong Kong.  I spent most of my time shopping in Sasa (A beauty supermarkets, similar to Sephora which we don't get in the UK; which sells all the imaginable beauty and skincare products, from Western brands to Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese brands).

Funny enough I actually have been mistakenly using this as a lengthening mascara even it says 'volume' on the tube.  I heard nothing about this brand and mascara before.  It was simply on sale (around the £8 mark) and I grabbed it.  It is a simple deep royal blue design, very subtle but the result is remarkable I have to say.  It is more of a brush wand and it picks up the most product compare to the other two mascaras.  One coat is all you need to get the length, 2 coats will perfect it.  If I have curled my lashes properly beforehand, the result is even more stark.  It doesn't smudge on me either.  I think the collagen which it claims it contains is the key ingredients to help lengthening my lashes.  This line also has the curling and ordinary mascaras.  I will definitely want to give them a go if I have the chance.

All in all, I am very satisfied with the lengthening mascaras that I have, they do what they say they do.  I will still go for a drugstore mascaras as opposed to a high end one.

Have you used any of these mascaras before?

Which one will you pick?  Do you have good recommendations of a lengthening mascara that gives amazing result?

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The story of eyelashes #1: Bottom Lash Mascara

I think I own just the right amount of mascaras in my collection - I have a handful of it!

Mascara is one of the most important makeup products to me.  I have painfully short eyelashes, even after clipping them I still need the magic injected by an effective mascara.  

I always use two types of mascara in any eyemake look - volumising and lengthening to ensure my eyelashes are at least visible.

Recently I turned my attention to my bottom lashes, too.  People say it is unnecessary but for me, I need them although I don't wear it everyday.  They do make those eyelashes pop during special occasions.

So,  let's get down, I mean get to the 'bottom lash mascara' by Clinique.

This is easily the smallest mascara available.  It has been around for ages but it is also a controversial product.  Clinique's Bottom Lash mascara is definitely every 'short eyelashes girls' dream'.  This tiny tube only measures for a short 8.5cm.  Look at the wand, it is only 1cm short.

Size matters when it comes to filling in those bottom lashes.  The length is perfect to brush through those lashes.  The wand is effective in combing through the lashes, defining them and elongating them. It can also be used to brush through those lashes near the inner corner of your eyes if you find a normal size mascara a little too fiddly to handle.  They don't smudge or clump up your lashes at all either.  They are very user-friendly and it would surely amaze you if you use it for the first time.

I don't see any other brands doing the same product so my guess is that Clinique has this product patented?  Anyone knows?  I'd say well done Clinique, you've done a grand job!

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara comes in two colours: black and brown, priced at £11.
Available in most department stores, Selfridges, Boots and Superdrug.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The BorB guide to Starter Makeup Kit - Picks from the UK High Streets

I was totally inspired after watching a video by Lily Pebbles from What I Heart Today about Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit.  I liked the simplicity of it and the honest opinions that she gave during that video. I wish I had watched something similar produced before I ventured out to the world of makeup when I first started!  If you haven't watched her video(s) yet you should definitely do!

As a result, I want to have my own take on the highstreet makeup and provide a little guide to you out there who are just starting to explore makeups but not quite sure where to start!

Before we get started, I want to confess that it wasn't that long ago I launched myself fully to the world of makeup.  Although I've always had an interest in wearing makeup, I was often intimidated by how much I need to know before I get cracked on.   Thanks to all beauty gurus on youtube, I have totally been inspired and converted.  Makeup to me now isn't the be all and end all, they are there to enhance your features, they are not there to cover your naturally beautiful faces.  As long as you choose carefully what to use and how much, you don't need to become a slave to makeup - that's what I think anyway.  Makeup is fun to do and browse at anyway!  So I hope you enjoy this post. I'm also preparing for another post along the line of 'What's worth your investment?: High end makeup'.  Be sure to stay tuned!

You don't need to buy everything featured here and you can tailor it to your own need.  Omit or include a few more things as you wish.  For example, if you don't want to wear eye shadows, you can skip that part.  As you can see the makeup bag (I got this clear makeup bag from one of the long haul flights I was on some times ago but I cannot remember which airlines, however you can pick up one of these easily these days at Boots, M&S Beauty Hall, Superdrug and Muji) that I picked isn't huge and all the makeup I chose was able to fit in it very comfortably.

So, without me rumbling on more, let's dive in to see what's in my starter makeup bag:

I have tried and tested all these products, they are easily obtainable from either Boots or Superdrug with a reasonable and affordable price (apart from one item).  Some of these are products I've used right from the beginning when I first started wearing makeup, some were purchased as I got more adventurous and my appetite for makeup started to grow, or I discovered as I got a little more confidence and products that I found myself using day in, day out.

The base work

It took me ages to finally convince myself to wear a foundation all over my face as the thought of my face looking very 'made up', and ended up looking like someone else really freaked me out.  After doing loads of research, I finally bought Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation.  I believe that they have now been discontinued t as they have launched a better formulated version called Bourjois Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix Foundation.  However they are essentially the same thing.

I really like it, some experts say that this foundation is a dupe for Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation (also a firmed favourite of mine) and I think they are not wrong.  But for now let's focus on this foundation.

It is a very light and almost feels like a gel textured foundation which gives a light to medium coverage, I would say it is buildable.  The coverage ability of this foundation is enough for freckles and some light duty blemish and scars. This foundation gives a dewy finish so it's great for dry skin.  A little bit of these goes a long way so it's best not to be greedy and pump these out and apply on your face bit by bit.  It says it is a gel foundation, I think what it means in layman term is that it doesn't feel like a thick foundation and certainly it doesn't on the face.  It stays put well, I'm not sure about the 16 hour duration but it certainly stays on my face really well.  It doesn't, however contain any SPF in so make sure you wear a moisturiser that does.

It comes in 8 shades which is fantastic as a drugstore brand.  The only downside of buying a foundation on the high street is that you need to colour match yourself and the lighting in the store isn't on your side either.  So make sure if you can, bring a friend who knows a bit about makeup with you, try it on your neck (instead of at the back of your hands), bring an empty small tub with you and ask a member of staff in the shop if it is OK to bring some sample at home.  You really need to wear this on a normal day and observe and have a feel of your skin as the foundation develops during the day.

Some other alternatives I would suggest for a foundation would be: Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation for a glowy and dewy finish and Revlon Nearly Naked Make Up Foundation on days when you need a bit more coverage.

Before I started wearing foundation, I relied on Rimmel Match Perfection Illuminating Concealer.  It worked amazingly well as an alternative to wearing foundation.  I would wear this under my eyes, round my nose to cover those little imperfections, as well as giving those areas a bit cover-up.  This can be doubled up as a concealer as well as a highlighter.  I would totally recommend this if you don't want to wear a foundation yet but there are areas on your face which you want a bit of cover up.  This one is my second tub and has become a fail-safe concealing product for me especially for my under eye areas.

For a more serious blemishes and scars cover up, I totally recommend Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Cover Stick.  After I dabbed this little magic wand on my blemishes and scars, it seems like they have magical power which completely disguises all blemishes.  The great thing about this product is that whilst it conceals, it also heals as it contains salicylic acid which dries the spots out.  This brand is perfect especially if your skin is a little on the sensitive side like me.  They are gentle yet effective.

Eyes On You

Love me some eye makeup products!  Eye makeups are the most interesting and fascinating areas in my opinion (despite my obsession with my beloved blushers) but a skill which seems difficult to master.

I have included 4 products, one of which is an essential tool; in this category.  First up, mascara and an eyelash curler.  Mascaras, in my opinion is the single most effective product that instantly opens up and brightens your eyes to the whole total makeup look.  My absolute favourite mascaras (trust me I have tried at least 15 mascaras so far) and Max Factor Clump Defy mascara has totally won me over.  Not only does it lengthen my lashes, it also volumises them by giving my lashes the fuller and dramatic look that it needs.  The good thing about this mascara is that if you want a more natural look, you can apply 1-2 coats then stop, if you opt for a more dramatic look, you can certainly build it up by putting more coats on as they don't clump your lashes at all like what it says on the tin!

I have included only one tool in this guide as I do think fingers are your best companion for applying makeup, especially when you might be a little confused with what brushes to use at the beginning.  However, when it comes to longer and curler lashes, you simply can fault it without prepping them using an eyelash curler.  I have the Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura eyelash curler (limited edition) and I curl my lashes religiously before I put my mascaras on as it does make a huge difference especially if your lashes are on the shorter side like mine.  I don't have a drugstore eyelash curler to recommend but for my readers living in Asian countries, I have to say some random Japanese brand eyelash curler are normally very good and hugely reliable, so you might want to pick one up from them.

If you want your eyes looking even bigger and brighter, an eye pencil is totally the way to go.  I recommend Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Dark Brown.  The reason I chose dark brown over a jet black one is because, a dark brown colour is a little less harsh than a black eyeliner pencil but is equally effective in creating a brighter pair of eyes.  With drawing eye liners, it really is practice makes perfect.  I still remember the first time I draw liners on my eyes............   Another alternative of eye pencil I would recommend and I absolutely love, albeit a little more difficult to get hold of is by Kiko, Precision Eye Pencil.  Kiko is a popular Italian brand which currently only has one shop in the UK, and is situated in Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherds Bush.  A new shop will be opening soon on Regent's Street.  I cannot rave enough about their Precision Eye Pencil.  I have one in dark brown and have repurchased already.  It is a very soft pencil but not too soft that you can make mistakes when applying the liners.  It is so easy to control and it glides on your liners like a dream.  If you can get hold of it, please do give it a go!

Now if you want to be a little adventurous and feel a little more daring on the eye shadow front, I suggest you invest in a Soap and Glory eyeshadow quad called Lid Stuff (What's Nude).  This quad comes in 4 colours, 3 matte and one shimmer.

On a lazy day, I use my fingers to apply my eye makeup from this palette and it works perfectly well.  You can use all the colours to create a more complex, soft or dramatic smokey eye looks but at the same time, each colour can be used on its own by sweeping them all over the eyelids.  Aubersheen is the shade that I reach to the most as it blends to the eyelids seamlessly.   An alternative range of eye shadow (single colour) is L'Oreal Infalliable Eye Shadow, they come in small pots and the colour range is big, and the colours are exciting!  They are similar to this quad that I have, pigmented and yet very easy to blend.

Cheeky blushers

Hooray!  If you are still reading, give a pat to yourself at the back of your shoulder!  I'm sorry this blogpost has become so long but there's so much I want to share with you.

Onto cheek products, my favourite of all beauty products.

I have two blushers I want to share with you, they are fantastic pieces to get as part of your starter kit.

Sleek Sweet Cheeks Blush palette is their latest limited collection candy collection.  The beauty of this palette is that it contains two powder blush and one cream blush.  If there is any blusher to buy it would be this one as for just £9.99 you get three products in one packaging and a combo of two type.  Sleek beauty products are all very pigmented so a light hand is absolutely essential.  If you want to see a fuller review and swatches, please click here.  Sleek does a ton of shades for blusher so do make sure you check them out in a store!  If you are thinking what brush to get for applying blusher, I would recommend Real Technique's Stippling Brush, they are great for both powder and cream blushes.

On the other hand, if you don't want the fuss about getting yourself some makeup tools just yet, a cream blusher will be a great product to start off with.  Revlon Photoready Cream blush will be the one to get.  It is the best cream blush product you can find on the high street.  It is pigmented yet easy to blend, most important of all it stays put extremely well.  I did a fuller review (featuring it as a dupe for Diorblush cheek cream), which you can click here to read the insider's story.

The finishing touches: Lippies

When it comes to lip products, the high street is full of this colour, that shade; this design or that packaging.  There is so much but where should you start?

I picked out two that I think will be a safe choice and the range of colour is not too overwhelming huge that you want to give up.

Meet Rimmel Kate Moss Lipsticks, I have it in a shade #03 Rossetto.  It's a natural nude colour, which is not too pale.  I like it not only because it is moisturising, the colour pay off is able to bring the best from whatever make up you are wearing.

Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick, I have this in shade #025 Socialite.  It is a corally pink shade, which I think is great for all year round especially if you just want your lip colours look healthy without worrying about pulling off a bright red lips look.

It is a colour stay matte lipstick so it is slightly on the dry side.  I normally wear a lip balm underneath for whatever lipsticks or even lip gloss I will put on, and that completely solves the problem.

Makeup Tools
I have deliberately left out a section on my recommendations on makeup brushes, this is because for my as a makeup starter in the past, I used mainly my fingers to apply my makeup.  As I got more confident with the texture of different products and the kind of looks I created for myself, I then ventured out into buying different brushes.  I found that this way worked better for me.  However, I also want to say that if brushes are something that you want to think about it at the same time as buying your starter kit, Real Techniques (Sam Chapman created these, she is one of the Pixiwoo sisters) does some amazing quality but completely affordable brushes that you should check them out.  Another brand called EcoTools produce brushes that are environmentally friendly, they are at the similar price points as Real Techniques' brushes and are equally amazing.

Well, I really do hope that you find this guide useful and that you are able to find inspirations from all the products featured on this post.

I know it may be daunting to apply makeup on yourself for the first time.  But you will only get better at it and you will get to learn so much in the process - it's fun and totally recommended to everyone!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Lippy edit #2: Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick

I am a fan of Soap and Glory products.  I have used its hand cream which smells heavenly, light weight but hydrating.  I have also used S&P shower cream, shampoo and condition.  Makeup wise, I am currently enjoying their Lid Stuff Flawless Finish Shadow, Archery Brow Tint and Pencil which I use religiously everyday, and the very pretty Love at First Blush Multi-Shade Blushing Powder which gives such a natural glow finish, great for using it alone or on top of any blusher you already have on your face.

So, what's next?

This time, I caved in to Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick.  I have been hearing so much about this for such a long time, everyone seems to only have .  I thought let's give it a try.

Whilst everyone loves bright lips in this summer, I am constantly searching for my perfect nude colour. This is why I chose the shade 'Nudist' for this Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick.

It comes in a pencil shape, like a chubby stick.  I am not a massive fan of chubby stick myself so I wasn't drawn to it because of the design.

Similar to other S&P products, it carries a sweet scent to it.  This lip gloss is no exception - it's sweet but not intensely sweet that you want to 'eat your lipsticks'...... I like it.  So far, so good!

The colour pay off is sheer, as you can see on the swatch on my hand in the picture below.  It is a pale nude-pink colour, it's got a glossy finish which lives up to the product's intention: a 3D lip volume effect.

Under natural light

It is a very moisturising and hydrating lip gloss yet it isn't sticky - I guess it's great for wear on a windy day - no hair sticking to your lips.  I don't need to wear a lip balm underneath and my lips won't go drying just wearing this lip gloss.  Another plus point from me!  It is also very easy to wear - you don't have to use a mirror to put this on - slap it on and you are good to go!

You can pick up Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick from Boots or Harvey Nichols at £8.  This gloss stick is available in 5 colours.

Are you a fan of the chubby stick trend?  Is this one that you would pick or have used?

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Summer makup additions: Paul & Joe

I have buried myself completely in the recent mid-season sale. I picked up one after another bargain beauty and fashion items.

This time I want to share with you two makeup items by Paul & Joe that I picked up at the Fenwick's sale.

They are absolutely adorable - let's get that straight to the point, the packaging, even the boxes that hold the products; is strikingly pretty, screams summer all over it!

I have always wanted something from Paul & Joe, purely because of its girly packaging, yes I know I can be shallow like this.  I haven't heard too many people discussed this brand in the past so I randomly picked up two items from the sale lot that I thought I would enjoy using.

I got myself a lipstick N Rouge A Levres N and a blusher (Poudre Visage).  Paul & Joe's beauty products are extremely romantically designed with this muted pink packaging together with discreet floral patterns imprinted on the case.  The packaging of the blusher is rather compact and is great for travelling I think.

The lipstick I bought is #02 (it doesn't have a name to it).  It looks like a pink colour with some glitters on the bullet.  It is not scented or anything which is great actually.

This pink glittery colour wears really sheer with an extremely light pink colour finish.   The texture of the lipstick is very creamy and feels very moisturising.  I haven't worn it yet but I'd imagine I could probably get away without wearing a lip balm underneath.  It's almost like a lipstick + lipgloss feel to it.

Next up is the blusher and I got it in #07 (again it doesn't have a name to it).  I used to like orange blusher quite a lot but recently I'm drawn to pink toned blusher more.  One colour is more of a soft pink tone and the other is a light champagne colour.  It will work perfectly as a blusher and highlight combo - again great to use for travelling.  Both shades have fine glitter on it which makes this blusher great for a summer night time look!

As you can see the pink colour is quite soft and it is buildable.  The light champagne colour came out quite sheer and the shimmer comes through quite subtly.   This blusher has a very mild scent to it which gains a big plus from me.

Have you used any products by Paul & Joe before?  I want to hear from you!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Confession of a blusher junkie #1: Diorblush Cheek Cream vs Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush

Hi, my name is Cynthy and I have an addiction for Blusher.

I am on a little journey of collecting cheek products by every beauty brand - a long but a highly self-indulging journey of mine.

Just for a heads up, I currently own 34 blushers (they come in all shapes and sizes, textures and colours) - crazy, eh?  But, each of them have their own individual characters and serve a different purpose on different day, according to different moods.

Today, I want to start off by talking about 2 of my most recent additions to my (slowly and surely growing) blusher collection.

One day after I woke up, I decided that I needed the Diorblush Cheek Creme in my life.  It didn't stay on my wishlist for long at all, I made it to a Dior beauty counter the very next day, I sat down, I tried, fell in love and adopted it.

The new Diorblush Cheek Creme comes in 4 shades, I picked up shade #971 in Pareo.  A bright dolly fuchsia pink I would describe it.

It looks rather dramatic to my usual liking on the pot but the humorous French guy who worked at the Dior counter said this would be the best colour match to me.  I tried and instantly thought this was made for me.  I thanked him for opening up a whole array of new dimension to cheek colour matching for me from now on.

Let's talk packaging, shall we?  It's a classic Christian Dior packaging compare to its Dior Addict line.  It is a small little pot which weighs 7g.  I must say this little glass pot is heavier than it looks.  I'm not going to be carrying around this in my handbag so this isn't a problem.  It is got a slight jasmine scent to it which fades away after application.  When you smear your fingers on it or attempt to slightly press the product down, it feels somewhat spongey like - very cute!  The best thing of all, it doesn't leave any fingers marks on the surface, making it like a brand new product every time when you open it.

Whilst I was bathing in and adoring my Diorblush Cheek Creme on a daily basis, not long after that I discovered Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush on an unnecessary trip to Boots.  I swear I have walked pass this product so many times but have never taken any notice to it.  This time, the strikingly bright pink colour attracted my attention.

I immediately thought, 'a dupe for my Diorblush Cheek Creme!'.  I bought it and swatched them on my arms side by side - I simply couldn't tell which was which.

The Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush is in a shade #200 Flushed Rougissant.  It comes in 3 shades, just one shade less than Diorblush Cheek Creme.  I would describe the colour of my Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush exactly the way I described the Diorblush Cheek Creme, 'a bright dolly fuchsia pink'.

The Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush is not as heavy as Diorblush Cheek Creme so if you were to bring it with you on the go, this might be a better one for you.  It doesn't have any fragranced scent to it so for those of you who are a little conscious on the scent side of thing, this again might be for you.  However it does leave fingers marks on the surface of the blush itself as you can see from the photo above.  It shouldn't bother anyone too much I guess but if you are a perfectionist this might not work for you.

So, what about the formula, the texture, the colour pay off and the finish?

The texture of both cream blushes are very similar, Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush is slightly more creamier to touch and feels a little bit of a silicon-based product, similar texture to some primer product such as Becca resurfacing primer.    It is not sticky at all, and if anything the finish looks matte and feels slightly powdery.  On the other hand Diorblush Cheek Creme is more of a dry cream product compared to Revlon PhotoReady.  Diorblush Cheek Creme is a bit more pigmented than Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush, and the intensity of the colour is slight more concentrated.  The colour pay off are extremely similar, if you are wearing both products on either side of your cheeks, I bet no one would be able to tell you are not wearing the same cream blush.  I would say this colour suits any skin tone as it is quite pigmented.  It gives your cheeks this natural flush, rosy glow finish - definitely a great product for summer!

Both products are very easily blended and doesn't stain and dry quickly on the face so you have a bit of time to blend it out.  Because Diorblush Cheek Creme is slight more pigemented than Revlon PhotoReady cream blush, you don't need dab as much product.  Both products wear really well and stay put at least 7+ hours.  I have dry skin, normally my makeup stay put pretty well; so it might work differently on other skin types.

Price wise, there is a huge difference!  Diorblush Cheek Creme will set you back at £24.99 whereas Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush is £7.99, 3 times less expensive!

I would say both products are highly recommended, dependent on your budget either one is a good one to snap up to update your summer makeup collection!