Monday, 29 December 2014

My Christmas Day Face

Products Used:
NYX Angel Veil Primer // Nars Sheer Glow Foundation // Nars Copacabana Illuminator // MAC Prolongwear Concealer // MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter (Light Boost) // Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit (Banana & Fawn) // MAC Peaches Blush // MAC Mineralize Skinfinish (Lightscapade) // Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (Taupe) // Urban Decay Primer Potion // Urban Decay Naked Palette (Virgin, Naked, Sin, Sidecar) // NYX Gel Liner & Smudger (Scarlette) // Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner (East End Snob) // Tom Ford Lipstick (Spanish Pink) // NYX Butter Gloss (Tirimasu) // Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray - phew!

Brace yourselves, because this is going to be one very text-heavy post with no pictures I'm afraid! *Slaps self on the wrist* bad blogger. Christmas Day is the only day of the year I find it appropriate to completely cover every inch of my face in as much makeup as I want and not feel any guilt whatsoever... So I did.

Firstly, I prepped my skin by priming with the NYX Angel Veil primer (Thank you, Kim!). This just helped to even out my skintone and smooth my skin over. In terms of increasing the life of my makeup, I do think it helped somewhat.

Next, I used my usual every-day base of Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, mixed in with a drop of their Copacabana Illuminator, but amped up the coverage by just applying more to the areas I needed it. That's the good thing about this combination, the dewiness allows you to layer it up without things getting too cakey. Then as usual, concealed under my eyes and on any blemishes using MAC Prolongwear Concealer and highlighted under my eyes, down the nose, on the cupid's bow, on my chin and the forehead using MAC's Prep + Prime Highlighter in Light Boost.

I then set any highlighted areas using the Banana shade from the ABH Contour Kit to brighten my face up further. I then set the remainder of my face, as usual, using Rimmel's Stay Matte translucent powder.

Since I'm so pale, bronzer is an absolute essential for me, especially when there may be any photos taken. I took the shade Fawn from the ABH Contour Kit to contour my face and then bronze in all the usual areas. Then to add more life to my face I used MAC Peaches blush on the apples of my cheeks, and MAC Lightscapade MSF on the tops of my cheekbones, on my brow bone, down the bridge of my nose and on my cupid's bow.

Moving onto the eyes, primer is essential for my hooded eyelids to keep everything in place with no creasing or smudging. I use Urban Decay Primer Potion to do the job. I went for a typical Alice neutral eye look using the Urban Decay Naked Palette. Naked in the crease, Sin all over the lid, Sidecar on the outer corner and Virgin in the inner corner. Then, to give my hooded eyes some definition, I used Topshop's liquid liner along my lash line without winging it out. Followed my lashings of mascara, my eyes were done. As for eyebrows, a bit of ABH Dipbrow Pomade through the tail of them and they were good to go. You know you're in need of an eyebrow threading when you don't even need to fill in your eyebrows because they're too thick as it is!

Finally, to complete my look, I lined my lips with the Rimmel lip liner that everyone seems to be going crazy over at the minute (Eastend Snob), went over them with Tom Ford's Spanish Pink Lipstick and topped it off with NYX Butter Gloss in Tirimasu.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Dear Santa, I'm A Poor Student...

I've been lusting after a lipstick from this luxury brand for a long, long time, but at nearly £40 a go, I thankfully have been resisting. I would like to think I am highly unlikely to spend this much money on a lipstick, so I've put this at the top of my Christmas list.

I'm not a fan of the original Jimmy Choo fragrance, but there's something about their limited edition releases that always reel me in. Typical! I'm not good at describing scents so I'd just recommend going and giving this one a smell, because it really is lovely. I would never buy myself a perfume (unless it was my staple Zara one), so that's why I'm asking for this this year.

I've really been favouring a glow to my skin recently and word on the blogging street is that these powders are the perfect product for the job. If anything's going to blur my imperfections and set my makeup for the day too, sign me up.

Since I get little sleep, I need some help in the under-eye department. I've heard that these MAC Prep & Prime ones are one of the best bag disguisers in the game and I've been dying to try this for ages.

I'm addicted to highlighters and once again, this is another product I've wanted for a long time. I absolutely love Soft & Gentle, so I'm sure I'm going to love this one too.

I may or may not have sneakily treated myself to this before I could publish this post, but it's just so perfect I couldn't wait! If you're looking for something that's going to last on your brows all day and give you a really defined shape, you can't get much better. The lighter shades aren't too warm toned either which is perfect for cool-toned blondes like myself.

I'm a big fan of the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks and this shade is just another pinky nude from the range that I've been lusting over.

Monday, 1 December 2014

The Perfect Travel Companion

The Shimmers L-R: Silk Teddy / Push-Up / Honey Pot / Erotica / Chocolate Martini

The Mattes L-R: Heaven / Nudie / Cashmere Bunny / Sexpresso

Whenever I have the excuse to pack a travel makeup bag, the Too Faced Natural Eyes palette is the first thing I always throw in. Perfectly small and compact, it fits in any makeup bag without being too bulky and because of it's metal casing, isn't easily damaged. It also contains a small mirror should you need one.

The palette contains 9 shades, 4 being matte and 5 being shimmer (although the shimmer in Erotica and Chocolate Martini doesn't really translate too much until the light hits) so is perfect for creating any neutral eye look, whether you want a simple everyday eye, or a full on gold smokey eye for night time.

As always with Too Faced products, the eyeshadows are excellent quality. My only complaint is that I don't think the matte cream shade should be so big. I think a shade like Push-Up or Honey Pot would be much better suited. Who uses that much matte white shade?!

Packing for going home for Christmas this year will be easy this year with this palette. A good all round palette for every occasion!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Naked 3 One Year On

As soon as I saw the first sneak peaks of the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette on their Instagram last year just before Christmas, I, along with many other Urban Decay fans put the palette right at the top of my Christmas list. I was so excited to receive the palette on Christmas day, but with all the hype surrounding it, I think I was a bit too quick to pass judgement. Which is why I want to share my thoughts on the offering, one year on.

Have I used the palette as often as I'd have liked to? No. I honestly don't think the shades in the palette are all that wearable at all. They're all beautiful shades, but probably not for every day. It could be down to my colouring, but I generally don't tend to ever reach for the pink shades in the palette as much as I'd have hoped.

This being said, the second half of the palette with the darker sides are absolutely beautiful and are the real redeeming factor for it. Generally, the first half up to the rose gold colour doesn't get touched much at all unless I feel like going for a really pretty eye look. I use the darker shades way more than the pink ones, but I definitely wouldn't say that they're worth buying the palette for.

Just to clear things up, I'm not saying that I hate this palette, because that isn't the case at all. I love the packaging and I think it's beautiful. The darker shades from the palette are stunning and I really do get the use out of them. And as for the pink shades, they are equally as lovely. I just really don't see why Urban Decay would create a palette for the 'Naked' range, which really isn't that neutral at all... I just don't think it really fits in with the 'family'. If you're looking to invest in a Naked palette that's going to work for you every day and in every situation, I'd definitely recommend going for one of its two predecessors.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Products Worth All The Hype

When I was just starting out with makeup, I was one of those frugal teenagers who purchased the MUA dupe palettes in hope of saving some pennies. Gone are those days and I'm so pleased I bought one of the Urban Decay palettes. The quality of these shadows are next to none and I use every single shade in the Naked 2. I also own the Naked 3 but it very rarely sees the light of day because I like this one so much. All the shades are so wearable and so affordable, coming in at under £40 for 12 shades. When you think a MAC palette (which I don't rate the quality of) would cost you around 3 times the price, you can't go wrong.

Being a lover of all things Summer (real-life Olaf over here), I was bound to love this perfume. The only way I can describe the smell is that it takes you back to childhood holidays abroad, when your mum slathered you in suncream and you constantly tried to sneak a sip of her Miami Vice cocktail. Just me? I'm savouring every last drop of this perfume as we go into Autumn & Winter. I miss Summer!

Every single penny I paid for this serum, I would pay over and over again. It just does things to my skin that no other skincare product can. It locks in moisture, stops any under the skin spots coming out and generally controls my skin from breaking out into a red, bumpy mess. I'm just a bit scared that I'm going to be an old lady, scrimping pennies from down the cracks of the sofa to buy another bottle of the stuff. It's an expensive habit to keep up!

All the brushes from the Zoeva Rose Gold set are absolutely incredible. I used to be an avid user of Real Techniques brushes, but I now can't find a brush from them that Zoeva hasn't done 10x better. The silk finish foundation brush is my favourite of the bunch. It blends foundation like a dream and is so easy to get a good coverage from. Put these on your Christmas list if you haven't given into the hype already.

Having really hooded, oily eyelids, I'm really surprised it took me so long to invest in a damn good primer. You need the tiniest amount of this to keep your eyeshadow on all day and night. The stuff's virtually bullet-proof and incredible value for money. I can't see myself ever running out of this.

I'm not a lip gloss girl in the slightest but this offering from Clarins converted me. They give just the right amount of colour, gloss and moisture and smell absolutely insane. They are pricey, but 100% worth it. I only have this and a few other glosses in my collection because this satisfies my gloss needs completely.

Every time I heard yet another beauty blogger talk about yet another Nars blush, I rolled my eyes in disbelief. "Could they really be that good?" Yes. YES YES YES YES YES. They are just the nicest quality blushes and blend like a dream. I only own Douceur at the moment, which unfortunately has now been discontinued, but I definitely want to try some more. Deep Throat is next on my list - ooh err!

Finally, this little beauty. I saved up all my Boots points for this back in the day and it was a purchase well made. I've used it so much and it's one of those nudes I always turn to if I'm not sure what lipstick to wear. The quality of these lipsticks are second to none and apply so nicely. I've only just realised that this is the only colour from this range I own and I'm not even sure why. I'm definitely on the hunt for another so if you have any recommendations, do let me know!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Making A University House A Home

You'll have to excuse the awful photography and editing on this one (I have asked for a new camera for Christmas!) but I really wanted to write a post on how I achieved a homely bedroom at university when I'm 3 hours away from home.

Everyone who's gone to university will understand the struggle of being given a plain, clinical-looking room and having to attempt to make it somewhat homely in fear of going insane before the year's out. I have been so lucky this year to have found a really lovely home in Bath, but for those who haven't been so lucky, I've got a few tips to make your room seem much more live-able in.

My first year bedroom was way beyond the point of being calm. With clashing pink floral prints everywhere, it was almost enough to give you a headache. This year my taste has changed a lot and I opted for a grey and white colour scheme. Some people would probably say that grey's really boring and cold but for me, it's just really clean looking and calm. Make sure you try to stick to the colour scheme as well as possible. It will look much better in the long run.

Honestly, this makes such a difference to how cosy your room feels. I'm speaking from experience when I say that you'll be so thankful you have all those throws and cushions to keep your bed as warm as possible at night time. I've definitely been wrapped up in 3 throws and a 13 tog duvet on numerous occasions, so bear that in mind! They not only keep you warm but they definitely make your room feel less empty and much more homely.

For me, of course it's my makeup. Without my Muji stack taking pride of place on my desk, I'd probably just have to put uni stationery there and that's not nice for anyone to look at all day.

Being a real home/family gal, it's really hard for me to be such a long way away from home for such long periods of time. For me, having photos of all my best friends and family in my room made things much easier last year. This year I don't have as many photos out simply due to space, but whenever I look at the photo of my baby brother smiling away, it always warms my heart.

Whether it's something you've brought from home, or a letter from home, it always helps to have something from home in your room reminding you of what there is to go back to. Last year I used to pin all my letters from home on my pin board so that when I was feeling particularly homesick I could go back, read the letters, and you know... feel even more homesick! Not really, it does help.

The world is a whole lot better when you come home from uni, walk into your room and it smells really nice. Sometimes student houses can be really old and often damp, so having a nice reed diffuser and candle in the room just really helps to mask the smell when there's very little else you can do to get rid of it. I'm not saying to go crazy and buy a Jo Malone reed diffuser and a Diptyque candle, but you can get some really nice and affordable candles that really make the room smell lovely and much more homely.

With me, this is a bit of a 'practise what you preach' situation, as the majority of the time I have underwear and worn clothes spread all over the floor and makeup I used that morning still on my desk. However, if I have the chance, I do like to tidy my room and make sure it's nice and clean. I know if any of my housemates are reading this, they'll laugh at the hypocrisy of me! It's not always easy to keep your room 100% tidy 100% of the time, but it's true what they say. Tidy room, tidy mind.

Friday, 14 November 2014

You Need This: Nars Copacabana Illuminator

It's very rare that I find products that I would go out and recommend to absolutely everyone. With so many new beauty products constantly on offer, I never really get the chance to fall in love with certain products the way I used to. This is why, as soon as I find a firm favourite in my collection, I feel the need to shout it from the rooftops. And thus, a new series in my blog was formed: You Need This.

Today's You Need This comes in the form of Nars Copacabana Illuminator.
Have you ever sat and watched a Hannah Maggs vlog in awe of her dewy complexion? You're not the only one. As I knew this was one of her favourite products, I decided to just take the plunge and purchase it. As someone with oily skin, I never ever thought that I'd be putting something like this on my face and I certainly never expected to fall as in love with it as I have.

I personally mix a small amount of this in with my Nars Sheer Glow foundation for the perfect amount of dewy-ness. Then, just to give my face some more life after bronzing, I stipple a small amount onto the tops of my cheekbones, on my brow bones, on my cupid's bow and down the bridge of my nose.

Not only is it such a long-lasting formula, which is really surprising for a liquid product, but it is crammed full of good ingredients;
Polar Berries - known for their antioxidant properties
Bisabolol - a good anti-inflammatory
Indian Frankincense - good for soothing and comforting the skin
Vitamin B5 - conditions skin
Sodium Hyaluronate - hydrates the skin

This illuminator alone converted me to cream highlighters and as a product that I think will suit everyone, you couldn't get a more natural looking glow.

Monday, 10 November 2014

I've Finally Sussed Cream Highlighter

I've said it before, highlighter is my thing. With a whole Muji drawer dedicated to giving my dull skin a healthy glow, I have all sort of formulas tucked away. However, as much as I loved a lot of them, I could just NEVER get cream or liquid formulas to work for me. You know that streaky line you get when you try and blend your Benefit High Beam into your foundation? That was me. Day. After day. After day.

I recently found the solution to this in something I've had in my makeup brush pot for the longest time. The Real Techniques Stippling Brush. Simply dab your cream highlighter onto the tops of your cheek bones sparingly, stipple in and blend carefully, add more if need-be and voila! Without fail it blends the product into other products seamlessly and there are no horrible streaks in sight.

I'm so glad I've finally found a way that I can make the use of my cream highlighter formulas without looking like half of my foundation has smeared across my face!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Autumn Shades for the Faint-Hearted

Left-Right: Benefit Rockateur / Nars Douceur / Chanel Inspiration

Left-Right: Rimmel East End Snob / MAC Peach Blossom / Rimmel 107
Eyeshadow: Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow - Birthday Suit

There are some people in this world that can pull off everything. Doesn't matter how dark of a lip colour, how bright a blush, it will still look good. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. As much as I adore makeup, I'm not one to go out and buy the likes of MAC Rebel because a) I don't think it would suit me and b) I'm just too scared to ever don a colour so daring. Autumn is the time of year when all these lucky can-pull-off-anything people start wearing all the typical dark seasonal shades. But, I've rifled through my collection to find some products I can wear this season without being too scared to leave the house.

For cheeks I've picked three staple blushes. Benefit Rockateur, Nars Douceur and Chanel Inspiration. Rockateur is your classic rose gold blush that gives so much life to a pale face. It's glowwy sheen makes the darker shade that bit more wearable. Nars Douceur gives a similar bronzing effect but without the sheen, so if you're going for that typical Autumn/Winter matte look, this will be a great shade. Finally, a really un-typical blush to chose for Autumn, Chanel's cream blush in Inspiration. I love cream blushes more in the colder months as I find they sit much nicer on my skin when it tends to get drier. The colour is one of those pink shades that gives you an 'English rose I've-just-been-for-a-brisk-walk-in-the-woods' flush to your cheeks and because it has a nice velvet finish, it gives a really nice look to your face.

Next, lip products. My favourite Autumn lip pick is Rimmel's Exaggerate Lip Liner in East End Snob. It's a dark dusky pink that looks really nice and velvety on the lips. It's like your nude 'my lips but better' shade, but even better than that. Also, it's perfect if you need something that's going to last all day. MAC's Peach Blossom is my nude choice for the colder months as it's a little bit more brown toned than I'd normally go for and it looks really nice paired with all my Autumn blush choices. It wouldn't be an Autumn post without a mention of Rimmel's 107 berry shade. I much prefer this dabbed on and blended into the lips as it's a much more fail-safe way to rock a burgundy lip.

Finally, I tend to switch up my eyelid primer as the seasons change, and I've been loving Benefit's Creaseless Cream Shadow in Birthday Suit. It's a really nice taupe-y champagne shade that goes perfectly with all my lip and blusher choices and it really does live up to it's name. Crease-free and really easy to blend.

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Ultrabland Challenge: Before

When I first heard about the Ultrabland Challenge, my skin was in a pretty bad way. This is why, without hesitation, I headed into town the next day to purchase the biggest tub possible. Basically, the whole concept of the 'Ultrabland challenge' is to use the cleanser alone (with no other skincare products) for an entire month.

Honestly, the thought of going a whole month without putting a drop of my beloved Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair or even a bit of moisturiser on my face made me want to cry a little bit. As a product junkie, I couldn't imagine using just a cleanser for a month. The whole concept of the challenge is to starve your skin from all the products you put on your skin to alter it, and take your skin back to it's natural, acne free state. That's why I decided to give up the gun (or the cupboard full of skincare products) and take the Ultrabland challenge.

As I type this I've been doing the challenge for just under a week and I'm starting to notice a difference in my skin. However, I'm going to be doing a full post on my experience when the month is up. I've done some research and seen some incredible results, so I really have got my hopes high for this.

Have you done the Ultrabland challenge and has it worked for you?

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Ones That Always Work For Me

When it comes to makeup, I get stuck in silly little ruts more often than I probably should. I often just get so overwhelmed with choice that I actually don't know what to use anymore. That's why I have my trusty line up of products that I always gravitate towards when I need something that I can guarantee will work for me.

Foundation wise, it has to be MAC Studio Fix. Not the most longwearing on my skin, despite its ability to probably survive bullets on other people's skins but it's a formula that I love. Because of how good of a colour match it is for my skin, it's my fail safe foundation. I'll probably continue to repurchase this foundation until I find something I prefer that suits my skin tone as good as this does.

For brows, it's the Soap & Glory Archery pencil. I'm not a fan of the tint version of this at all (you know, the one with the 'felt tip' on the end that everyone and their dog seems to love) but this one is a dream to work with. It's been dubbed as an Anastasia Brow Whiz dupe, so it has that really fine tip that's perfect for mimicking natural brow hairs. It's really tiny & compact and also has a spoolie (the best ever) so is perfect for travelling.

I couldn't choose between blushers because I like my two chosen ones for two different reasons. Benefit Dandelion is my all time favourite blusher and one of my first ever 'high(er) end' beauty purchases. It's the most natural pinky blush, so is perfect for no matter what makeup look you go for and it gives a pretty, radiant sheen to the cheeks. Then I chose Douceur by Nars for its ability to completely give life to my face. It's a really muddy rosy pink shade, to the point where it's nearly brown (I'm really selling this shade aren't I?!) but because of this it gives you those chiseled cheek bones that everyone strives for. I love them both but if I was forced to choose one it would undoubtedly be Dandelion.

On the subject of cheekbones, Benefit Hoola is my favourite bronzer I've come across. Being a pale gal, it can be really frustrating trying to find a bronzer to match my skin tone but this one's just such a universal matte shade, I'm yet to find someone who this doesn't look good on. I have my fair share of bronzers in my collection but this is my favourite, no matter how 'basic' and standard it may seem.

I still find it weird that I've grown to love MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle as much as I have, because when I first purchased it, it definitely wasn't love at first use. It really warms up the face, gives a really pretty glow when swept over the tops of your cheekbones and I think it would suit most skin tones. As much as I love my other highlighters, I always trust powder ones over cream ones as I sometimes find creams more difficult to apply. This is my pick of the powders.

And finally, my lipstick that goes with every possible makeup look you could do, the cult classic, MAC Hue. It's that perfect pinky-peach nude that everyone loves and I'll definitely repurchase this as soon as it runs out.

What are your fail-safe products that you turn to over and over again?

Friday, 17 October 2014

My Most Coveted Beauty Product Ever

You'll have to excuse the rubbish iPhone photos for this post, but I was just way too excited to get my hands on this blusher and swatch it before I could get home and properly set up some pictures.

With most beauty products I usually write a list and tick off things I've bought as I go along. I usually last about a week before I finally cave and buy things, so it really surprised me that despite being on my list for a good year, I'd never gotten round to actually purchasing this cream blush by Chanel. Or more eloquently put 'Le Blush Crème De Chanel'.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Budget Kylie Jenner Lip

Ever since Kylie Jenner's Instagram posts started circulating the Internet fuelling speculation about lip fillers, I was OBSESSED. Not with her lips, but with the colour constantly on them. With weeks of searching Twitter for 'Kylie lip colour', I finally found that she supposedly wears MAC Whirl Lip Liner, but when I tried it on myself, it just wasn't right. I'm not Kylie's colouring to any extent so it just didn't sit right against my skin tone. So, I took to my lipstick stash and came across a combination that works well for me and comes in at a cheaper cost.

Although in the pictures, the colour comes across more pink than it is IRL, the combination of Avon's Ultra Colour lipstick in Blush Nude and L'Oreal Collection Privée Lipstick in Cheryl's Nude, blotted down with a tissue or a translucent powder for a matte finish is pretty much spot on for a Kylie Jenner lip colour. Not as drying as a lip liner, not as expensive and just as long lasting. Now all I need is Kylie's lifestyle and I'll be on to a winner.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Be the Best Version of You: How I Gained Confidence

I want to talk about something today that's very much a topic close to my heart. Without this turning into a full blown pity party, confidence is something I've struggled with for as long as I can remember. Being a shy person all my life turned into the belief that somehow I wasn't good enough and that I couldn't be confident in myself. My main confidence issues concerned my appearance and my belief in myself, so I wanted to share a few tips on how I've slowly but surely began to accept myself for who I am and learned to love myself. Ps. this is going to be a long old post, so grab yourself a glass of water and a snack before you start reading!

For the longest time, I wouldn't leave the house without makeup on and I'd constantly beat myself up over things I had absolutely no control over. I've always been insecure about my body and it's something I've only recently accepted. Being naturally slim due to a fast metabolism, I've always been told that I either a) need to eat a burger or b) need to go and see someone - when in reality, there was nothing wrong with me at all. I've began to accept that I am the shape I am because of my biology and there's little I can do to change it, so why not accept it? In terms of my face, I've accepted that I don't have the smallest nose or the smallest eyes, my front teeth cross over slightly after I chipped them as a child, my eyebrows aren't even, I do have spots occasionally - but this is me, and the day I stopped beating myself up over things I cannot change was the day I began to love my imperfections and see that they're what make me who I am.

Part of the issue with not being able to accept myself was that I didn't really know what I was like without a good primer, heavy duty foundation, different shades of concealer to hide and highlight, bronzer, blusher, highlighter, eyebrow powder, eyebrow gel, lipstick, lip gloss, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara. You get the idea. I'd set up the belief for myself that I wasn't good enough without makeup and that I should be embarrassed of what I look like when I'm not dressed up to the nines. Obviously, this was where I was going wrong. These days, if I'm not going anywhere particularly special I won't even wear any makeup. If I'm going to leave the house and need to look presentable, I'll just put on a bit of concealer, bronzer, blusher and mascara. Now that I don't put the pressure on myself to look 100% presentable 100% of the time, I feel so much happier and more confident in myself. Of course, I love makeup, but I love it so much more when I don't feel like I NEED it in my life.

I've always worried about what other people think about me, but I have one word for you. DON'T. I know it's easier said than done, but these days the only thing I'm really concerned about is being healthy & happy, and not caring what people who have no real relevance to my life think about me. It's really helped me on my way to being truly happy. I know there are people out there who don't like me and have opinions on me, but truthfully, I couldn't care less. The only opinions I care for are of the people who really hold a special place in my life. If you can feel confident about yourself not wearing any makeup and casual clothes in front of someone, only their opinion on you matters, not a total stranger's. I used to be so preoccupied with what people thought of me when I left the house, but it didn't take me too long to see that nobody even cares. I can't say I've ever seen someone when I've been in the supermarket and thought "god their skin looks awful" or "their eyeliner isn't very neat". If someone sees you and thinks that, then their opinions shouldn't matter to you. They probably have much worse things in their life that they need to sort out before they are entitled to have an opinion on you.

I've seen a lot of tweets recently saying things along the lines of 'dress like you're going to see your enemy everyday'. I don't agree with this at all. If you're constantly putting pressure on yourself to look perfect and impress other people constantly then you're never going to be happy and confident. YOU should be the only person to care what you look like. Don't allow other people to dictate how you should look and how you should feel about yourself. Be yourself and don't be too concerned about impressing other people - no one looks perfect all the time and no one needs to look perfect all the time. You are who you are and you don't need to aspire to be any different.

Most importantly...
More than likely, the people you care about most in your life couldn't care less about how you look or how you dress, they care about you as a person. If someone doesn't accept you despite all your flaws then they're not worthy of being in your life. You don't need people like that. I know for a fact that I'm not an oil painting. There are people out there who are 10x better looking, 10x more toned and have 10x more money than I'll ever have, but I know that I am a good, kind, caring person who is loved and that's all that really matters to me.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Having A Minute With Chanel Mutine

From the Rouge Coco Shine range comes my new current love, Chanel Mutine. After hearing Suzie from HelloOctober talk about this a few times, I went into 'I'm gon' need that' mode and went on the hunt. I'd never seen it on a counter before until the other day and it just so happened on a day I was feeling frivolous and bought it. Boy, am I happy I did? It's such a classy, understated colour that fits into the 'my-lips-but-better' bracket perfectly and the formula is absolutely flawless. I love teaming it with my Benefit Dandelion blusher and matte eyeshadow for a really pretty, simple, 60s style makeup look. I can definitely see this being one I'll be repurchasing over and over again.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Friday Favourite Five #001

It's no secret to those who know me that I'm an absolute YouTube addict. I don't even watch TV anymore. (Okay, with the exception of Gogglebox and a bit of Made In Chelsea) My way of relaxing is by sticking on my YouTube 'watch later' playlist and catching up with all my favourite beauty vloggers and daily vloggers with a bowl of ice cream, a candle on in the background and a nail varnish on the side ready to paint my nails. I want to make a weekly feature on here where every Friday I share five of my favourite YouTube videos I've watched throughout the week. Enjoy!

I'm a big fan of the Bourjois nail varnish remover pot and mine is running out rapidly, so Gemma posted this at just the right time for me. It looks so simple to make and I'd never thought of doing it myself, so I'm really excited to try this out and see if it works as well as my beloved Bourjois offering.

I've got a post up my sleeve in the next few weeks on my experience at the Katy Perry concert, so you'll then see why I've been loving this video so much this week. Being 5 foot nothing and standing at the concert, I didn't get to see quite as much of the show as I wanted to, so this video has been my own way of re-living the perfect night. If you're not going to any of the shows in the tour, you need to take some time out of your weekend and give this a watch because it really is an incredible tour.

Like a lot of people, I was completely o b s e s s e d with Millie Mackintosh's makeup for the BAFTAS this year and as soon as I saw a tutorial from the makeup artist herself on YouTube, I squealed for joy. I always find it so interesting to see the exact products that were used and how they were applied. I love recreations of looks by other people and their own interpretations, but there's nothing quite like seeing the exact makeup look by the professional.

Q&A WITH MARK // Viviannadoesmakeup
Forget Brangelina, forget Zalfie, even forget Jay-Z and Beyoncé - Anna and Mark are beginning to take the top spot of my favourite couple ever. I found this video so cute and I love how they are with one another. It's so nice to watch. Not to mention the fact that Mark looks a lot like Ryan Gosling...

You'll soon see with these Friday Favourite Five posts that there's probably going to be at least one Shaytards video in every one. They are my absolute favourites and oddly, they've become a big part of my life watching them all every single day (and having marathons of old ones on the weekends when they don't upload). I loved Rocktard so much in this video, especially when he's got the spider in the cup and he's too scared to flush him down the toilet. Aside from my baby brother, I think he's one of the cutest little boys ever.

What videos have you loved this week?

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Swapping Pink for Peach

A bit of an unusual premise for a blog post, but hear me out. Up until recently in my quest to own more and more makeup, I don't even think I owned a single peach item. Having light blonde hair and bright blue eyes, I'm naturally more drawn to the pink shades that compliment my colouring best. Benefit Dandelion on my cheeks and MAC Creme Cup or Hue on my lips. That was my every day make up look down and very rarely strayed from. However, as soon as I bought my first peach blush shade Benefit Sugarbomb, I was immediately hooked (it is the UK's best selling blush after all) and straight away started switching up my routine for the spring/summer months. AND, to my surprise, it actually suited me.

I like to play it safe and stick to what I know instead of just going crazy when trying new things and use either Sugarbomb or Coralista from Benefit as they're just a subtle hint of peach rather than a bright orange glow across my cheek. My main gripe with peachy colours is that no matter how nice they were, lipsticks always managed to make my reasonably white teeth look like I'd just smoked 100 packets of cigarettes. I think I may have found my resolution to this though. Again, sticking to what I know in terms of a nude lipstick, I like to pair my peachy cheeks with MAC Pure Zen lipstick as it gives me enough of a peach look to my lips but is never too overpowering as it's still on the nude side. Some other peach lip options I've been enjoying are Bourjois Colour Boost in Peach on the Beach, NYX Xtreme Lip Cream in Nude Peach Fuzz, Maybelline Baby Lips in Peach Kiss and Tanya Burr Lipgloss in Just Peachy. While I generally prefer high-end makeup (ooh, get me), I'm yet to invest in anything peach as I'm too scared to spend the money and not really get the use from it.

I don't think I'll ever really give up my love for pink makeup, but I'm currently really enjoying being a little floozie and having my little fling with all things peach. It's a refreshing change to walk into a shop and not be immediately drawn to the same old colours all the time and to be able to buy and experiment with different things. My makeup drawers are looking a little more diverse these days!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

As I'm currently cooped up in bed with viral gastroenteritis, no thanks to my baby brother, I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to share my thoughts on the ever-popular Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector (and breathe). Oh, and mine's in the shade 01 Rose Shimmer.

Never a lip gloss lover, I've always shied away from the sticky tubes of evil since I was about 11 and opted for a more creamy lipstick offering instead. All until I got my hands on two Tanya Burr lipglosses and that's where it all changed for me. A lot more expensive than the TB ones (£18! SHHH, don't tell my mum...), you can definitely tell the difference in quality. Whereas most lipglosses are always tacky on the lips, and god FORBID you step out into a slight bit of wind, this is the complete opposite. It's a real balmy texture on the lips and glides over any dry patches like a dream (I always use my Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub beforehand though, just to be on the safe side) and when on the lips, it's barely detectable in terms of how it feels. I never worry when I'm wearing this about my hair sticking to it when I go outside, and it looks perfect worn over most of my lipstick collection. In particular, I love teaming it with Hue by MAC. The smell of the two products together - this one smells like the nicest mix of caramel and vanilla, mmm - is just incredible and makes me want to lick it off as soon as I've applied it. I also love the fuss-free applicator - a much more fool-proof application than the usual doe foot ones.

I can definitely see the well-deserved hype surrounding these lip glosses and despite the eye-watering price tag for a past lipgloss hater, I'm definitely considering buying into a few more. I'm looking at you shade 04...

Friday, 21 March 2014

My Top 5 Highlighters

L-R: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
As far as pretty makeup goes, this one takes the cake for me. Even in my extensive collection, this in-your-face highlighter is probably the prettiest item of makeup I own. Full of chunky glitter particles, this highlighter isn't for the faint-hearted and if you like a natural looking glow to your skin, this certainly isn't for you. However, this is the perfect party highlight and I love wearing it over the top of eyeshadow when I'm going out to give it a nice glitter too.

This baby sat unloved in my collection for the longest time before I encouraged myself to wear it more often. At £22, it's not cheap. Not by any stretch. But the amount you get (10g) is going to last you forever and ever. This is the most bronze toned highlighter I own, and I sometimes feel like it doesn't suit my pale complexion too well, but applied subtly it really helps to warm up my face. I think this is going to be the perfect summer highlight when I'm slightly more tanned.

High Beam is one of those classic makeup products which everyone should try at some point. With its pink toned sheen, it's definitely one for paler, pinker skintones (yellow tones would probably suit Sun Beam more). I like applying this just under foundation on the tops of my cheekbones, brow bone and cupid's bow, as I find blending it on top of foundation can sometimes move the foundation around a bit, making it look like it's worn away. Like Soft and Gentle, I can see this lasting me forever and a day.

I only bought this a few weeks ago but it's already become my absolute favourite highlight of choice. It has a strange mousse-y consistency but that makes it all that nicer to work with and blend. Because of how pigmented it is, you only need a tiny amount to give the face a lit-from-within glow, and the champagne colour looks beautiful with so many different makeup looks.

This is practically the Topshop highlighter in powder form and the only reason I don't like it as much is because powder highlighters tend to sit funny on my face. Again, incredibly pigmented so you don't need a great deal at all to give your face a subtle glow. The only down-side to this for me is that you can't buy it individually, you can only buy it with the contour shade that's not all that great for pale skins. However, at just under £6.50 for the two, it's worth investing in the kit just for the beautiful highlight shade.

What are your favourite highlighters?...

Monday, 17 March 2014

From A Handful of Alice to Alice Dainty

I'm currently in the process of re-vamping my blog. There will be a change of name (from A Handful of Alice to simply 'Alice Dainty') and a change of layout, of course. The content I post will not change, apart from there being a whole lot more beauty and lifestyle posts, just less fashion posts. I hope you welcome the change and will embark on this new journey with me!