Monday, 30 June 2014

feeling breezy.

It feels like forever since I've done a fashion post but the truth is my bedroom is currently under construction so it's been a bit difficult. Nonetheless the sun has really started to come out to play, so with that in mind, I've had to adapt my wardrobe for it. It's all about the mixed denim and ombré for my latest street style. 
Friday, 13 June 2014

matte effect.

Ever since trying out Lime Crime's Velvetines I have been obsessing over liquid lipsticks. Not only are they quicker to apply but they last all day long. So when I saw that Illamasqua came out with their own collection for summer 2014 I knew I had to test them out myself. I'm all for a bold lip!

These are part of their 'Matte Effect' summer line which is full of bright pinks and corals. They cost £18.50 (so a bit pricey) and have three different colours in the range. I purchased 'Exotic' and 'Surrender' but opted out of Forbidden. It was like a bubblegum pink so I knew this would be something that wouldn't suit my complexion. Exotic is a super bright deep orange whilst Surrender is a neon peach. The first thing that instantly caught my attention was how pigmented these are. The colour on this is so extreme- I don't even think my camera is illustrating this so much- that you'll be spotted from a mile away. So any summer parties, local or abroad, that you're attending this is absolutely perfect for them! I myself tend to stay clear of overly bright lipsticks but this is an exception. As soon as I put them on (and I hope my pictures showed this) I just feel like they brightened my complexion immensely. They made my big lips look even bigger, not like I'm complaining, so anyone with small lips this will be great for you! When they are applied though it can be a bit tricky because they tend to come across quite patchy instead of smooth. My tip to avoid this is to apply a thin layer first, wait for it to dry slightly and then apply another layer until you feel happy with the result.  

In terms of colour I would say Exotic is my favourite. It's exactly what it says on the tin- all tropical and exotic. This looks great with bronzed lids and cheeks like I've done here with my own look. Whereas I would probably wear this one more often, Surrender on the other hand really didn't flatter my lip shape. However the problem I found with it is how tacky in texture it is. In feels like it's never properly settled so I couldn't relax with it on. And I don't want to compare it with the Lime Crime ones but I can't help it! As soon as the Velvetines dry out (and that's within seconds) this takes like ten minutes in comparison. So if you want to apply another layer once it's totally dry, you can't because it just ends up going very flaky. And they can seem very confusing because the tackiness gives the impression that it hasn't dried but when you do dry and take it off it's like peeling off paint! Not the nicest sensation. However Surrender is a lot more smoother in texture and feels quite soft so I don't know why Exotic is such a disappointment. Again though it is still very tacky which can be quite off-putting. It almost reminds me of the same sensation as putting water over oil. Anyone with dry and cracked lips will find this quite daunting when wearing this- it shows every fine line.

I think the colour is exactly what is expected from Illamasqua- bold and full of pigmentation. It is just unbelievably vivid more so then anything I've ever worn before. Which is what makes this such a big shame. I just do not like the texture of it whatsoever so for £18.50 I don't think it is exactly the best value for that price. But I do want to give it another go so maybe I'll try it out with a bit of lip primer beforehand. 

Drop a comment if you've tried this yourself or if you have any questions about this product. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

team ombré.

For me summer can be such a pain because if you haven't noticed already I love black. I've just never really been into bright colours and tend to go grunge rather than girly. However one thing I keep consistent throughout my style is a bold lip. No matter how plain my outfit is, a slick of lipstick always brings the whole look up. I've come up with a combination of my own trend and a big trend of the summer to get a fun result- ombré lips. Ombré is great during the warmer season because it just gives the illusion of those summer skies. Not only has it been popping up on this years runway but I've noticed it a lot on Instagram- whether that it is ombré hair, clothes, nails and indeed lips. It's all about creativity!

So I've decided to use a combination of burgundy and black. This way I'm incorporating a few different colours whilst maintaining the one I want to the most. To achieve this look you can use any type of lipstick, but I would recommend something with a satin finish. This way you can build up a strong colour but the glossy texture helps to blend it all in. I've decided to use three different coloured Lip Tars from the brand OCC. I think these are a must for blending or mixing up some of your own colours because the tube element of it works like paint. Also they come in a handy plastic case with a travel-size lip applicator- so perfect to put in your handbag. The shade I chose for the outer corners was Sebastian. This is described as a 'plum-toned taupe' with a matte finish (although I think it was quite glossy). The reason why I went for this rather than a classic nude or pink because I thought the purple undertones would compliment the red better. So next is Vintage which is a deep burgundy with also a matte finish. Then last but not least was Batty for the inner part of my mouth. This is a metallic black with silver sparkly pigments in it. Instead of just choosing a plain black I think this just makes the look a lot more fun as well as making it stand out more. Then the extra products I used for this look (not essential) was this light pink lip liner by Look Beauty called Toffee Cup, Benefit Boi-ing concealer and Creep eyeshadow from the Naked 1 palette

I started off applying the lip liner and some translucent powder as a base for the Lip Tar. This way everything will hopefully last longer as well as giving the colours an extra pop. Then I worked my way inwards first with Sebastian and then gradually adding Vintage and batty. You want to blend whilst your going along but I wouldn't worry about perfecting it until the end. Also try not to overload with them because it can tend to get very messy. Once you've finished to your satisfaction- I went in with a little bit of Creep over Batty just to get the look slightly more Matte- its then time to conceal round your lips to make everything a little more sharp. 

Let me know if you're going to try this lip look or work with ombré in other ways this summer. Have fun!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

may favourites.

May has definitely been a month where I've revisited old loves rather than discovering new ones. This month the weather has been absolutely unpredictable in the UK- going cold one minute and then hot the next. So these favourites were all the tools I needed to deal with it...

1) These Heels are the Dorothy Perkins ones that I actually featured on the blog a while ago. But I have to admit as much as I loved them at the time I didn't get that much use out of them- until this month. The past three weeks I have literally been wearing these heels all the time! (hence the foot imprints) I just think because they are cream they can go with mostly anything. They have the element of comfort as well as glamour, turning a plain outfit into a chic one. And when I say comfortable- I honestly mean it. I went shopping in London with these babies and my feet were fine. Once I started uni, I ditched the heels for my Nikes but these have reinstalled my love in them. And it's a rule that tan heels give the illusion of longer legs, which is great for someone like me who is quite short!

2) I can't get enough of these Forever 21 sunnies! I normally go for boxy sunglasses with a thin frame because my cheeks are really chubby. So whenever I have tried a thicker frame my chubby cheeks always end up getting squashed. However these are my new favourites. They are a transparent cat-eye retro pair and they are just so stylish. Not only that, they also leave enough room for me to smile. I was always going to buy them but the price put it in concrete for me- they were only £4.50! So a total bargain! I highly suggest these for the summer.

3) I featured this Mac Lip liner in my 'latest lip combos' post. At the time I teamed this with up with Mac Diva Lipstick but since then I've used this with other lipsticks. It is a deep purple, so lovely on its own, but under different coloured lipsticks it adds another dimension. Lately on my Instagram I've been wearing this a lot and get people asking me about it. Not only is the colour edgy but it makes my lipsticks last for so much more longer. And even when it does start to fade, this still as a base means that you still have another layer of colour. If you want to find out more about this product, click on the link for more details. 

4) I reviewed this back in April and it's been an essential ever since! This Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade is a waterproof/ smudge proof brow cream formula. This does not budge at all! And since the sun has decided to come out my face grease has too. But thankfully this manages to keep everything in place even in the most humid times. My shade is 'Dark Brown' which is a cool toned brown. I love it because it's the only product that both shapes my brows as well as covering the patches and missing hairs. 

5) This is the Mac Paint Pot in the shade 'Quite Natural'. I actually purchased this years ago and was into it for a while and then just stopped. This past month I rediscovered it and have been wearing it whenever I want to achieve a quick smokey eye look. It's a warm brown and is highly pigmented. I wear it under eyeshadows as a base or even on its own if I'm in a rush. I am such a big fan of paint pot eyeshadows because they can really accentuate the colour. I love to use this and then pat on a bit of Smog from the Urban Decay Naked palette 1 for a hint of shimmer. It's just something I turn to for a glamorous evening look or even a daytime grunge. Plus it lasts through anything so you can wear it through day to night during the summer without feeling that its come off.   

6) Last but certainly not least is this t-shirt dress from Urban Outfitters. Because of my religion I have to cover so during those times of heat it can be unbearable! But I've been really digging t-shirt dresses. Normal t-shirts are way too short so the dress form helps to still cover certain areas. This one is just super easy to chuck on under a boyfriend denim coat and skinny jeans. I'll finish it off with my lovely cream Dorothy Perkins heels. That way I'm not having to wear a long sleeve top and I feel all nice and airy. The fabric is not super thin so it doesn't stick to any lumps and bumps whilst still giving a bit of structure- and I have many so thumbs up. This was £33 which I think is great considering I wear it constantly!  

So what has helped maintain you looking fresh in the summer heat so far?
Wednesday, 4 June 2014

a designer lift.

Recently I went to Selfridges in London in hope of possibly splurging out a bit. I have to say, considering I spent nearly three hours in there and only came out with one product, I was a little disappointed. I just feel like that is one of the places you have to go a few times to really get what you want- and luckily enough for me I'm going back again this Saturday. Anyway I entered the mayhem knowing that I wanted a good foundation. Lately I've been having a few troubles with my skin: the humidity of this lovely British weather means that my Illamasqua foundation is way to heavy but my drugstore ones aren't enough coverage. Last year I was obsessed with the Garnier BB Cream, but that has sadly left me becoming bored of it. So going back to my dilemma, I was looking for a foundation that gave a full coverage whilst still feeling light on the skin. So after much debate I settled on this Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Foundation.

I have to actually admit something- I'm actually an Armani virgin. I've just never felt the need to buy any of their products as they've never really appealed to me. However I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and try something a little new. Now I am every sales advisor's worst nightmare because when they try to help me at makeup counters I just like doing my own thing (not to mention they've given terrible advice in the past). I can be super picky and to be honest don't tend to agree with their choices. But seeing as I was out of my element in the Armani section I thought why not get a little assistance if they're offering it! I gave the lovely makeup artist the list of characteristics I desired and that's when she suggested the Designer Lift Foundation. As well as ticking all the above boxes, it also has SPF 20 and P+++ (which means that it is protecting me from the sun rays all summer). She recommended shade 4 for me and for once I actually agree with her. I would describe it as a fair shade with yellow undertones, so absolutely great for me. My complexion looked a lot brighter and my skin felt so smooth! I could tell that this would make an amazing base for makeup. The downfall to this product is that it's slightly on the pricey end at £41 for 30ml. However Selfriges are clever at placing bright lights all around the store so I had to see if this worked just as well in everyday settings. 

At Home...
There's always this feeling of secret worry if the product was just all an illusion. And yes I did notice a few negatives that I didn't in the store. But first I want to talk about the good before the ugly. Still my complexion looked much more brighter than before, and I love how this foundation enhances the yellow tone in my skin. A problem I find with dewiness in general is that sometimes that can translate to sticky instead. However this looks glowy, in particular my cheeks caught the light, whilst still maintaining a matte finish.  You'll notice this more if you let it dry a little, and once it sunk into my skin my god did it make me feel soft! Unbelievably soft! I have to warn you that it can look greasy at first but as soon as it sets in the skin it actually feels quite matte. Because of the great texture it made an amazing base for the rest of my makeup. This might be a little pricier than other foundations but I teamed up a cheap Rimmel London concealer with it and it worked really well- better than it ever looked before actually. So in that respect it kind of balances everything else out. This is a medium to full finish coverage, however that all depends how many layers you put. Personally I got the best results when I used two small pumps rather than one big one- this way you can build it up. But if you did want more of a sheer look one layer is totally enough. Also this foundation smells incredible! It has a citrus scent to it that reminds me a lot of an Aveda foundation I used to own a while back and loved at the time. The major problem I had with this though was that it didn't particularly work with the dry patches on my skin. I did make a point of telling the sales assistant that I suffered from combination skin, which she said would not be a problem. However I noticed the cracks in my skin slightly more than usual. Not that I want it to be a miracle worker, but for the price it should help my skin instead of creating issues that I would expect from drugstore ones. So anyone with dry or acne skin I would not recommend this if I'm honest. Which is disappointing really considering it does look great in pictures. 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

*brow in the spotlight- may addition*

If you read my Elf Haul post you would know that I went on a bit of a splurge on their website. And one of the products that caught my eye was their Elf Studio Eyebrow Kit. One of the reasons for this is the fact that it's an absolute bargain at £3.95 for a wax and powder set. Also I've never really use this type of brow product so I thought why not start at the lower end of the budget scale. So here are my swatches and impressions from the month I gave this a go.

What instantly drew me to this- apart from the price itself- was that the colours looked very cool toned which I love! I chose to go with something a little different and chose the darkest shade 'Dark'. I thought seeing as the powder looked quite ashy and then the wax offered a dark brown I was getting the best of both worlds. However looks can be very deceiving- they are actually very warm, in particular the powder. I wouldn't mind if it was maybe a chocolate brown but I found that it had an orange tinge to it. So much so that parts of my brows looked like a tan gone wrong! Not only that but I just found that the texture was very chalky. When I tried to apply the powder first it came on very patchy and the pigmentation wasn't great. I'm not sure what everybody else's preferences are regarding this kind of combo but with this one, if you choose to put on the powder then wax you don't really get the best out of either. So I played around a bit and found that by applying the wax first I was able to build up a nice colour and then the orange from the shadow showed much less.

In terms of how well it defined my eyebrows: yeahh pretty much non-existent really. It is quite thin so it's hard to get some kind of shade from it because the colour really isn't that pigmented or strong. So for anyone with patches or scarring round the brow area this really won't help at all. But at the same time I wouldn't even recommend this for a natural look because by the time you've applied layer after layer to get some kind of result you end up with over the top brows. For mine in particular it didn't blend in well which made the mistakes in my brows more obvious than before. Also the poor pigmentation meant that I was taking much longer to do my brows than normally, which isn't great for me personally because I don't get a lot of time. And like a knock on effect, this also meant that it really did not last that long once I got it looking good. However bad it was though, true to my word I did try and give this a go for the whole month- even if I was tempted a few times to turn back to my Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow. Another major problem with this is the brush applicator it comes with. Yes it is fantastic for them to include this but I found there to be no point really. It is a miniature one which is a plus, but it is such bad quality. The brush hairs are so fine that it makes it so difficult to use. So I ended up just having to use my Avon angled brush instead. 

What I did find great about this kit was the size. It is probably the length of my palm so super handy to just pop into my handbag if I'm in a rush. Another thing is that I was fairly surprised how much I loved the colour of the wax. There was times that I just used that instead of the powder as well. I think if I take anything away from this product is that I might start going for darker colours more often!  

Colour Selection



Lasting Power


And the Brow's overall comment: 
"The price might be right but if it isn't doing anything for the brows it's a no-go!"


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