Thursday, 25 October 2012

Tried and Tested: Foundation For Every Occasion

I think we can all agree that Winter is officially here, and while this means we can look forward to Bonfire Night, snow days and of course Christmas, it also means that cold weather, combined with central heating, can make skin look really dull and lifeless. 
This makes it even more important then to get the perfect foundation for flawless skin. 

Now the search for the perfect foundation is something that most girls, myself included, spend YEARS on! If you haven't yet found THE ONE don't worry! Whether you like to look like a natural beauty, or you want full coverage for that airbrushed finish, I've done all the legwork for you and picked 3 foundations that are ideal for whichever look you prefer. 

The Naturally Radiant Look:
Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow- £24.50

The current trend for foundations seems to be 'brightening' or 'radiant' and while this sounds amazing, more often than not it ends up being code for 'shiny', and I don't know about you but that is NOT the look I'm going for! 
This foundation is totally different because although it is marketed as 'brightening makeup' it is also oil-free so it just gives a beautiful healthy glow, with zero shine.
With a buildable coverage, it's easy to take this foundation from day to night, and the clever ingredients mean it is really good for your skin.
Containing vitamins, minerals and a peptide, the coverage actually plumps the skin for an anti-ageing effect, as well as boosting cellular respiration and stimulating cell renewal, meaning skin looks revitalised and fresh.
Rather than containing oil, this foundation actually contains sea water instead, which means it feels much lighter on the skin, and hydrates any dry areas without adding shine to the T-Zone.
Another thing that is really important to me is sun protection, so the fact that this foundation contains SPF25 and PA+++ protection means it is brilliant for everyday use, and I can relax knowing that my skin is protected.
One thing I have found with this foundation is that when applying, it goes on really well using a powder brush rather than a foundation brush, to buff the product on for a naturally airbrushed look.


The Look That Lasts All Day:
Clarins Everlasting Foundation- £24.00

Firstly I would like to apologise for the state of the bottle in the photo, at least you can see that I really like this foundation as I've almost used it all!
This is a full-coverage foundation so it gives a really flawless finish, without feeling like you're wearing a caked on mask. It gives a matte finish but unlike some matte finishes, it is easy to blend and goes on smoothly.
This product is advertised as staying in place for 15 hours, and it really does what it says on the tin. Although I would need to touch up with powder during the day, I never need to apply more foundation when I wear this product. Containing SPF 15 and marketed as an anti-ageing foundation, this is suitable  for all skin types. It also comes in a decent range of colours to suit most skintones.

The Full Coverage Look:
Estee Lauder Double Wear- £27.50

Double Wear is pretty much the queen of foundations! It gives a completely full coverage, literally nothing is getting through this baby! While it's never going to be ideal for someone who likes a light, natural finish, for anyone who wants a hardworking foundation that is going to stay on for 15 hours and still look amazing, this is the one.
I personally think you cannot beat Double Wear for a night-out look, it stays in place all night without smudging or going patchy, and it just gives amazing coverage. 
This product is oil-free and fragrance-free, giving a totally matte finish. It works best when applied over a primer as otherwise it can be difficult to blend if you don't do it quickly enough.
With 30 shades to choose from, in categories of warm, cool and neutral, you never have to compromise to find your perfect match.
One thing I will say is that you can definitely feel this foundation on your skin, to give that level of coverage though it was never going to feel lightweight, and although I don't mind this, I can see how it might put people off who don't usually wear a lot of foundation.
With SPF 10 you still get some sun protection, and this foundation is also dermatologist-tested and non-acnegenic.

Let me know if you try any of these foundations, or if you would add any others to my list.

Take care and have a brilliant week,

Alex 
xxxx

Sunday, 30 September 2012

How To: Combat Shine for a Perfect Finish

Hello lovelies! Hope everyone is ok, I'm currently coming down with a cold but it's weird because I feel like I've been getting it all week but it hasn't actually arrived...not good! I find it really unfair that I haven't been a fresher for 5 years yet I STILL come down with Fresher's Flu!!!

Anyway moaning aside I will get on with this blog! I thought this time I would focus on something that I know a lot of people want to achieve, myself included, which is a shine-free perfect finish.
My own skin has a tendency towards being oily, so since I started using foundation (many years ago) I've struggled with finding the right products so I don't look shiny. I know a lot of my friends also complain of the same problems, we put our foundation on and our skin looks flawless...for about an hour. Then the dreaded shiny T-Zone starts creeping in, and after a few hours we get what I like to call 'Kebab Shop Mirror Face'...so named because after a night out when a few vodkas make you feel like you surely look like Cheryl Cole, you then get to the kebab shop (and for some reason these places ALWAYS have a mirrored wall), you look in the mirror and realise your makeup appears to have melted into your face so you now resemble Tara Reid...not good.

Poised...
...p*ssed




Over the years however I have discovered some amazing little products that really help to hold makeup in place all day/night, whilst combatting shine for a fresh finish.

The key to getting amazing coverage that actually lasts, starts with using a really good primer. I have two current faves, first of all I absolutely LOVE Benefit Porefessional. It's the best-selling primer in the UK and for good reason. It smoothes out the complexion, instantly making open pores appear invisible. Once foundation is put on top of this primer, it holds it in place so it lasts all day. The best thing about this primer though is that it actually absorbs oil, it contains an ingredient called Silica, which soaks up oil on the skin, meaning you can avoid getting a shiny T-Zone. The primer has a translucent finish once it's on the skin, meaning if you fancy having a makeup-free day, you can just wear it alone to even out the skin-tone. This primer would also suit other skin types as well as oilier skin, as it contains Vitamin E which acts like a protective barrier for the skin. Basically it's an all round wonder product!
Benefit Porefessional-£23.50

Another amazing primer, more suited to oily skin, is Boots No7 Shine Free Primer. This primer is specifically formulated to stop shine for a matte finish. It has light reflecting particles to brighten the complexion and an ingredient called Biopol absorbs oil. 
When this primer says it gives a matte finish, it doesn't lie, the finish is so matte it can be difficult to actually spread it across the skin! That's why I prefer to use this primer under a tinted moisturiser or BB cream, as the extra moisture from the coverage then makes it easier to blend. If you want to wear this primer under a foundation, I would recommend mixing a bit of moisturiser into the primer to make it easier to blend, as otherwise foundation can go a bit patchy.
Don't let this put you off though, if your skin is really oily this primer would be amazing as shine literally cannot get past it!
(Since Boots No7 had a re-brand in September this product has been re-launched and is now called Beautifully Matte Shine Free Makeup Base, it appears to be the same product though and has the same ingredients)
No7 Shine Free Primer- £10.50

 Next up is a matte foundation that lasts all day. Chances are everyone will have heard about this little gem already, and I know a lot of you have tried it/use it but I'm giving it a mention anyway because this feature wouldn't be complete without it! Yes, that's right, it's time for a bit of Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. Marketed as 'Stay-in-Place' makeup, this foundation does exactly as it says.
Once you have applied this foundation, it gives a matte finish and stays in place all day. It is a full coverage foundation that some people might find too heavy, but I absolutely love it. It's suitable for day or night-time, as you will not have to re-apply or touch it up at all.
It comes in a huge variety of shades in warm, cool and neutral tones, so it's really easy to find a shade that's perfect for you.
Estee Lauder Double Wear- £27.50


And finally it's time for a touch of powder to complete our long-wearing, shine-free, perfect finish. I've recently started using a translucent powder, rather than a coloured coverage version, and I absolutely love it. I wasn't convinced at first when the MAC makeup artist suggested a translucent powder as I didn't think it would do much for my skin, but it's amazing. It absorbs oil and gives a flawless finish, without adding any extra coverage to my foundation, so it gives a more natural look than a powder designed to give coverage. The powder contains Mica and Silica to absorb oil, and is perfect for touch ups over foundation. Although it is translucent it still gives a hint of colour, so I got the Dark shade, but because it doesn't give too much colour it always looks perfect, rather than being too dark for my natural skin tone then too light when I fake tan.
MAC Blot Powder Pressed- £20.00

So there you have it, my essential products to give skin a perfect shine-free finish. Let me know if you've tried any of the products I've mentioned, or if you have any other essentials for perfect coverage.

Take care,

Love,
Alex 
xxxx




Sunday, 23 September 2012

5 of the Best: Budget Beauty Buys That Really Work


 Hello my lovelies, sorry I've not blogged in a while, I got back off holiday last week so it's all been a bit hectic. I'm a bit depressed with the holiday blues to be honest as now I'm back it suddenly seems to have got majorly wintery all of a sudden, so I've got from laying in the sunshine in my bikini drinking cocktails, to sitting in my christmas fleecy pjs drinking endless cups of tea :(

However to cheer myself up I thought I'd do a little blog post on 5 budget beauty buys that are actually really good. Hopefully these purse friendly little wonders will cheer you up too :)


1. Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask- £1.48



I like to use this brand of facemask sometimes because they have such a wide variety of different purposes and textures, from peel off detoxifying masks, to moisturising chocolate masks. This particular mask is really good because rather than being the usual liquid that you squeeze out and spread onto your skin, it's actually a fabric mask infused with the clay mask solution.



Don't be put off by the fact that the mask looks, well, horrifying and more like something Michael Myers might put on before he goes on a murdering spree, it actually feels really nice when it's on!

One thing I would recommend is to definitely let anyone in the house know that you're putting the mask on, as it does look pretty scary. 


As you can see apparently I must have an absolute pea head because the mask is a bit big for my face, about 2 inches of the forehead piece actually covered my hair, and I had to stick a lot of it to my neck or it would've been hanging off, but for £1.48 it's a funny little treat that made my skin feel like it had a really deep cleanse.


2. Garnier Simply Essentials Soothing 2 in 1 Makeup Remover- £2.99



I first bought this makeup remover because I desperately needed some and was absolutely skint. It's safe to say I wasn't expecting great things from a makeup remover costing less than three quid, however I've got to say this is actually the best makeup remover I have ever tried! It is part oil, part cleansing liquid, that you shake up to mix before applying it with a cotton pad, and I think that's what makes it so effective. Usually I HATE oil based makeup removers as they make my skin feel greasy and when I use them to remove my eye makeup I tend to feel a bit like I'm going blind, however this product is different, it doesn't feel oily at all and is SO gentle.
It dissolves eye makeup and mascara really easily, and I usually wear at least 3-4 coats of mascara so that's saying something! It's also brilliant at removing other makeup too so you can use it all over your face.
All in all I would rate this product 10 out of 10, it literally does exactly what it says on the bottle, and you can't go wrong for £2.99.

3. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Body Lotion- £3.77


I couldn't write about budget beauty buys and not include good old Palmer's Cocoa Butter, I have loved this product for years as it is so cheap yet so effective. I love it because it really hydrates my skin, yet it absorbs easily, as I hate anything that sits on my skin and feels greasy. 
Recently it's been a lifesaver as my skin has been peeling since I've come back off holiday. I was absolutely horrified when my lovely tan suddenly started peeling off leaving me looking like I've had some sort of flesh eating tropical disease...not ideal. This has also meant that my dreams of showing off my tan have died an absolute death and I've been in long sleeves since I got back...gutted.
I was using aftersun but that did nothing, so I switched to an expensive Sanctuary body butter which smells amazing but didn't really help my skin much, so I went back to my old favourite and of course, it's worked and my tight peeling skin is starting to feel (and look) much better.


4. St Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse- approx £3 (depending where you get it from)


Speaking of tanning this brings me nicely onto my next little budget wonder, St Moriz. I'm including this although I imagine most of you will have already heard of it, simply because it's LIFE CHANGING! This is the best cheap fake tan in the actual world. It gives a gorgeous deep brown colour instantly, and then develops to give you a long lasting golden glow. I prefer the mousse formula, although the spray is also good, especially if you're not as confident with tanning. I also use the normal version as opposed to the Dark one, as although the Dark version gives an amazing tanned colour, its also an absolute b*tch to scrub off and leaves you with that awkward patchy giraffe skin when it's coming off. 
You can usually buy this tan from dubious places such as Home Bargains type stores, indoor markets etc, don't buy it from bigger shops like supermarkets as they charge about £4.99 when you get get it for as cheap as £2.99 from bargain shops.


5. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor- £4.99


And finally my last honourable mention goes to Aussie for their amazing 3 Minute Miracle range of hair reconstructors. I use the Deep Conditioning treatment for dry/damaged hair, but they also do 3 Minute Miracles for coloured hair, heat damaged hair etc, so you can pick your hair dilemma and they have a product to solve it for you. 
All Aussie products smell amazing, and this one is no different. The scent really stays on your hair as well, so your hair will be smelling sweet all day long. 
This is a really simple product to use in the place of your conditioner, I tend to put it on in the bath or shower, then tie my hair up while I faff around doing everything else I need to do like shave my legs, then just wash it off like normal conditioner. 
My hair can get a bit frazzled and look less Kim Kardashian, and more like a Fraggle from Fraggle Rock, but this treatment smoothes the hair and leaves it feeling soft and silky and really easy to style...perfect!

So there you have it, some amazing beauty buys that won't break the bank. Let me know if you've tried any of these products, and what you think to them.

Take care,

Alex xxx



Sunday, 29 July 2012

Sunday Makeup: Dare to bare with 'no makeup' makeup

I don't know about you, but on Sundays I like to relax in comfy clothes and I definitely don't want to be caked in a faceful of makeup...but equally I'm usually battling a hangover or at the very least I'm shattered after a long week, so going makeup-free would be a BAD idea.
Therefore I love the idea of 'no makeup' makeup- that is, a natural look requiring minimal makeup to make me look fresh and awake, whilst staying light and natural.

I'm going to show you my must have products and tips to create a gorgeous natural look.
Firstly I start with my usual moisturiser, at the moment I'm loving Clarins Daily Energizer Lotion. Then instead of my usual primer, because I'm not going to be wearing a heavy foundation, I go for Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. This wonder-balm instantly makes skin look more awake and glowing, and creates a perfect base for makeup.

Then I mix a little bit of highlighter with a BB cream, for a light, dewy coverage. At the moment I'm loving Benefit Sunbeam for a golden sunkissed glow, mixed with No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream for Normal/Oily skin in Medium. I prefer this to other BB creams as it is specially for oily skin so doesn't leave skin looking greasy or shiny.



To brighten my tired under eye area, and disguise my dark circles, I create another clever little cocktail, mixing Benefit Ooh La Lift which is a brightening under eye treatment with Benefit Erase Paste in 02 which is a light-reflecting concealer. The mixture feels cooling and soothing on the under eye area, whilst reflecting light away from my dark circles. 

             



I then dust a little blotting powder on my T-Zone to get rid of any shine, and then I sweep a shimmery blusher over my cheekbones, forehead and down my nose, to warm up my complexion. Today I used Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder (available at John Lewis). The shades are divided into Blondes (shimmery bronze and pink shades) and Brunettes (shimmery bronze and orange shades), I'm using Sun Blondes 04, which is the darker Blonde shade, I know obviously I'm brunette but I just prefer the pinky tone to the more coral Brunette powder.


A couple of coats of natural mascara, and a slick of brow gel adds a groomed touch, and finally the look is completed with a touch of Rosy Lips Vaseline.

And there you have it, my finished Sunday Makeup look!


What do you think? Do any of you guys use different products for a more relaxed look?

xxxxxxxx



Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Review: Fake Bake 60 Minute Tan

With the weather finally getting hotter it's starting to feel like summer might actually finally be here! I don't know about you but the sudden arrival of this hot weather made me instantly panic about having to crack the old shorts out while my pins are still pasty! 
I must admit I'd got lazy with my tanning as I have't been going out much due to be majorly skint, and obviously the weather has been awful so my pale skin has been snuggled up in loads of layers. 

Normally I'm brown all year round when I've got nights out to plan for, as I would rather not go out than go out looking anything other than bronzed. If I'm having a big night out I need at least 2-3 layers of fake tan to feel brown enough, so for me getting ready for a night out usually starts on a Thursday if I'm out on Saturday, so I can have a couple of nights applying my tan, giving it plenty of time to build up to my desired shade. 

Now while this means I can go out looking lovely and brown, it also means being spontaneous is a bit difficult, as if someone springs a night out on me, my immediate thought is 'but I'm not brown!' I would definitely rather stay in than go out looking pale, as I just wouldn't feel comfortable. I'm not going to lie, this does make life difficult and can be really frustrating as although instant tan is great then you have the issue of constantly panicking about some idiot spilling a drink on you, and hyperventilating at a drop of rain.

Fortunately for the tanaholics out there, Fake Bake has developed a new product to save the day! 
Fake Bake's new 60 Minute Tan Liquid is formulated to develop in just one hour. 



Fake Bake say:
"The longest lasting, most natural looking, ultimate fake tan just got even FASTER!"


Now as a Fake Bake devotee I simply HAD to try out this new wonder product. Normally I use Fake Bake Extreme Gel or Flawless Liquid, and find both to give amazing deep brown results. 
The new 60 Minute Tan is very similar to the Flawless Liquid, except obviously it develops faster.

For £24.95 you get a 236ml bottle of the tanning liquid, along with a reusable Fake Bake tanning mitt and application advice.


I should've probably taken a photo of the mitt before I used it, when it was a cute shade of bright pink, rather than an awkward dirty brown shade...oops!

Fake Bake guidelines state how long to leave the tan developing for:

One hour- a beautiful golden tan
Two hours- a bronzed tan
Three hours- a dark tan

Fake Bake DO NOT recommend leaving the tan on for longer than 3 hours.

My arm BEFORE tanning


Naturally I left the tan on overnight so it would develop as much as possible!

My arm AFTER tanning

Now I must add that these photos do not do the tan justice, it was MUCH darker in real-life, so don't be fooled and think it didn't develop much, it really did!

The tan goes on really easily, I sprayed it directly onto my skin and blended with the mitt, rather than following the instructions which suggest spraying the tan onto the mitt then applying to skin in a circular motion. This is simply because I don't like wasting any tan! The results are just as good if not better and you don't feel like you're losing all the tan into the mitt.

It's really easy to apply the tan, due to Fake Bake's "shows where it goes" colour guide. And the tan absorbs immediately so you can get dressed straight away. It doesn't smell too bad either.

Now here's the science part; the tan works so quickly as the unique formula activates the melanin to penetrate in the skin for faster results. The tanning agents dihydroxyacetone and erythulose are activated on contact with the skin.

When I showered off the base colour, I was pleasantly surprised to see that hardly any tan comes off, whereas normally I look down in the shower to see a big brown puddle where all of my hard work and application time is streaming down the plughole!

So overall I would say Fake Bake 60 Minute Tan gets a big thumbs up from me, it develops quickly but also doesn't look ludicrous if you end up leaving it on longer. The tan lasts for at least a week before it starts to fade, and it gives a really natural brown tan, rather than the orange shade that some tans can create. I would absolutely recommend this tan to anyone, the simple application means it is suitable for tanning beginners, as well as die hard tanners like myself, and the results are incredible. 

So thankfully now those of us who live our lives in accordance with our tan can now say yes to spontaneous nights out! 


Thursday, 19 July 2012

Review: Clarins Daily Energizer Skincare Range

Hi! Firstly sorry I haven't blogged in SO long, I've been super busy but I'm back now and have loads of exciting products to review for you!

I'm going to start off with some products I got a little while ago now, which are from Clarins' Daily Energizer Range. I think Clarins sometimes gets a reputation as a brand for older women, with loads of really complicated lotions and potions and science-y ingredients to tackle a myriad of issues that I'm hoping I won't have to deal with for a while yet! However this is totally not the case, Clarins have a brilliant range of products aimed at younger women, and the specific problems we can find with our skin.

The range, called Daily Energizer, is made up of a collection of simple products, aimed to help women maintain a flawless, radiant complexion, while still living our fast-paced daily lives.

Clarins market the skincare range at the younger market, to help give skin a boost against things we all suffer from...late nights, partying, stress, pollution and fatigue. This really appealed to me as I don't know about you but I can definitely see a difference in my skin the day after a night out, it's like my hangover instantly transforms my skin from alright to zombie-fied over night!

I went for the Wake-Up Booster (£15.50), which is like a tonic but it's also designed to 'wake-up' the skin, and anything that's going to make my skin look a bit more lively in the morning is fine by me! The brilliant thing about this product is...it actually works! As soon as I splash it on my face and pat it all over (I don't use cotton wool as it doesn't feel as good) I instantly feel more awake and refreshed, and my skin responds to my moisturiser much more than usual.

Daily Energizer Wake-Up Booster


Clarins also do a selection of moisturisers within this range:
Daily Energizer Cream (winner of an Elle Beauty Award)
Daily Energizer Cream-Gel
Daily Energizer Lotion SPF15

I went for the Lotion (£20), as it is the lightest of the three and as my skin can get quite oily I need a moisturiser that is nice and light. The SPF15 is also an added benefit, whereas the other moisturisers do not contain SPF.
I have been using the Lotion for a little while now and it makes my skin feel really healthy. It absorbs quickly so my skin isn't left feeling greasy, it also smells amazing and a little bit goes a long way.

Daily Energizer Lotion


Probably the best thing about these products, is that I got an amazing free gift!
Usually, free gifts tend to be tiny miniatures of stuff you will never use, just to con you into buying an extra product, but with this Clarins offer, the customer had the choice of three decent sized products from a wide range of ten products to suit various ages and skin types, as well as a cute bag perfect for holidays or picnics.



I chose Clarins' famous Beauty Flash Balm, a product beloved by celebrities (and my mum), a Moisture-Rich Body Lotion (which smells divine) and a One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, which is also absolutely gorgeous and gentle enough to use every day. I've been using all of these products since I got them and I have to say I've been really impressed.

Have any of you tried any Clarins products? What would you like to see me review next?


Alex xxx

Monday, 30 April 2012

InStyle 100 Best Beauty Buys 2012: Review

Hello lovelies, sorry I've not blogged in a while I've been really busy but I'm back now with a post on the best of the best.
Having had a little look through InStyle magazine's 100 Best Beauty Buys 2012, you can check it out here I particularly liked the introduction of the Hall of Fame, for products that have won awards in their category for the last three years in a row.



I couldn't help but notice that several of these products are currently snuggled up nicely in my own makeup bag, so thought I'd share reviews of them with you.

Best Cream/Gel Blusher:
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge (£17)
I actually got Powder Pink which is the middle shade on this picture, for Christmas. Although I don't usually wear a pink blusher, I tend to go for a more coral shade, I really like this as it has a nice creamy consistency and gives a rich colour from just a little bit of product. It looks pretty worn on its own or under a powder blush. It's a versatile product as well as it can be worn on both cheeks and lips.




Best Lipstick Range:
MAC (£13.50)

Now it's no secret that I love MAC lipsticks, other brands just can't touch them in terms of variety of shades. You can guarantee that for any lipstick trend, MAC is ahead of the game and has several shades to suit all skin tones. They are long-wearing, don't dry the lips, and come in an array of finishes such as matte, frost, lustre and satin. I've photographed a (small) selection of my MAC favourites, the shades are listen underneath.

Shades L to R: Costa Chic, Angel, Saint Germain, Impassioned,  Vegas Volt, Chatterbox.
The same shades above swatched on my hand:



Best Inexpensive Foundation:
L’OrĂ©al Paris True Match (£10.20)


This foundation is quite nice for a natural look, what I'd call Sunday makeup. This is just because personally when it comes to foundation I like a really full coverage. The foundation itself is light and dewy. It comes in an excellent range of colours and does well to match to the skin tone of the wearer. For the price it's a really nice everyday foundation for someone who prefers a more natural look.


Having read through the 100 Best Beauty Buys 2012, I want SO many new things! However I think I'll have to limit myself to just a couple. I really want to try the Best Eye De-Puffer: Origins No Puffery Cooling Mask for Puffy Eyes (£19) as apparently it's great for tired or hungover eyes, something I'm definitely no stranger to!

Speaking of hangovers I'll leave you with a photo from my night out on Thursday. I went to a fashion show in Menzels (cocktail bar in Sheffield) with my friend Claudia. Her blog is hilarious you can have a look at it here.


Ok lovelies have a good week! Let me know if you've tried out any of the InStyle Best Beauty Buys!

Love
Alex xxx







Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

Hi! Ok so I've been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by GlamGal. I still can't actually believe that anyone cares enough to read my blog so to be recognised is such a fab achievement, thanks so much!



Please take a moment to check out my nominator's blog BeautyBoxBlog.

Ok so here are the rules:

1. Nominate 10 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging.
2. Let them know you have nominated them.
3. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
4. Thank the bloggers that have nominated you.
5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post.

Right so here are my random facts:

1. I absolutely hate polystyrene with a burning passion, if something comes packaged in it I want to actually be sick.
2. I've seen the film She's The Man so many times I pretty much know the words.
3. My initials are AOK.
4. My cat hates me.
5. I can touch my nose with my tongue.
6. I would rather stay in than go out without fake tan.
7. My favourite possessions are my Tiffany bracelet and my Mulberry Bayswater.

And finally I would like to nominate the following blogs for this award:

sunjunkie
BeautyWondersUK
geekyfashionista
Rianne's Reviews
Paradis
Confessions of a 20 something

If anyone else writes a blog or knows any good blogs to follow let me know
Alex xxx



Sunday, 8 April 2012

Cheap, Quick and Easy Nail Art

Hi lovelies! So it's Easter Bank Holiday Weekend and most people will be making the effort and going out. To mark the occasion I've tried out some nail art, I couldn't quite decide which design I wanted to go for so I experimented on each nail.
I'm no nail art pro so I can assume you that this look was quick and easy, I didn't even buy any new nail polishes I just used colours I had at home already.
Here is the overall look:

The nail polishes I used are as follows:
For the base colour on most of my nails I used a nude that I love as it's just the right balance between pink and brown.

Boots 17 Lasting Fix in Forever
For the base colour for my ring fingers I used a nude metallic which is kind of between silver and gold so goes with everything.
Models Own in Champagne
For the metallic tips on my thumbs and little fingers I used a pinky bronze.
Leighton Denny in Sugar Daddy
And finally for the nail art lines and leopard print bits I used a black polish with gold shimmer in it which I actually got free with a magazine a while ago.
Missguided in Missfit
I got the bows and pearls in a little wheel of nail accessories which I bought off Ebay from Hong Kong, it's really easy to find if you just type in 'nail bows' or 'nail gems' etc, there's loads of different styles and they're pretty cheap. I just glued them on with nail glue and pressed them down when my polish was still a little tacky.

The nails themselves are just acrylic extensions.

So which nail design do you prefer? Has anyone else tried out any interesting nail art recently?

Have a good Easter Weekend love Alex xx





Thursday, 5 April 2012

Blog Hop: What's in my makeup bag

So I've never done a 'blog hop' before but apparently they're a great way to find new blogs and get more followers so I thought I'd give it a try.

This is a blog hop from BlogLoveTherapy, the rules seem quite simple and are as follows:
1. Please follow BlogLoveTherapy (blog and twitter) and leave a comment on the blog.
2. Post about this hop on your blog, twitter, and facebook. This will help drive traffic to the hop. The more people know about it, the more likely you will be discovered.
*Don't forget to mention the hop throughout the week.*
3. Hop around and be inspired.

Ok then so the theme of the blog hop is what's in your makeup bag. I'm currently between makeup bags as I am desperate for a cute Ted Baker one but I'm a bit skint so won't be getting one just yet. Sooo I've just tipped my makeup out on the floor for you.


Now this is by no means ALL my makeup it's just the essentials as my makeup collection spans 2 makeup bags, one wicker basket and a huge plastic storage box under the bed, however this is my day to day set of products I couldn't live without.

Photographed are as follows:

Bourjois Delice de Soleil- Facial bronzing spray (shade 14 for Olive/Tanned skin) This is a fab alternative to powder bronzer as it sets makeup in place and gives a natural airbrushed glow. It also smells like holidays :)
Clarins Everlasting- Foundation(shade 112 Amber) Gives amazing full coverage without looking or feeling heavy, lasts all day and also has SPF 15.
Benefit Browzings- Brow defining kit (shade Dark) The combination of wax and powder lets you really define brows for a natural to dramatic look, much more user friendly than a pencil.
Benefit They're Real- Mascara Amazing mascara for length, volume, lift and curl, stays put all day without flaking or smudging.
O.P.I Avoplex- Nail and cuticle replenishing oil Smells amazing and conditions nails and cuticles for healthy nails.
Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker- Plumping lip gloss (shade Half Naked) Gorgeous suits-everyone shade, the plumping action does tingle but this isn't unpleasant like some plumping glosses.
Benefit Boi-ing- Concealer (shade 02) Blendable concealer which covers even the reddest blemishes, multi-use product, I often use it to disguise eyebrow re-growth.
Benefit Porefessional- Pore-minimising primer Absolute godsend for oily skin as it mattifies and helps foundation to last all day.
Diesel Loverdose- Perfume Gorgeous fragrance which is ideal for day or night.
Ms Makeup Eyelash Curlers Brilliant curlers, I've had them for years and they're still great.
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm I love this on no-makeup days to boost my complexion.
Bare Escentuals- Powder brush Great little brush for applying powder, blusher or bronzer.
MAC- Lipstick (shade Costa Chic) I love all MAC lipsticks, fab range of colours, Costa Chic is my pick for Spring as it looks gorgeous with a tan.
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge- Cream blusher (shade Powder Pink) Really nice multi-use product, I use it on lips and cheeks and it blends so easily.

What's in your makeup bag? Visit BlogLoveTherapy to check out the Hop.



The best mascara in the world FACT!

Hi lovelies, sorry I haven't blogged for a while but I'm back now with a fab post so hopefully you'll forgive me!

A Vogue poll this morning revealed that mascara is their readers' top make-up essential, now this doesn't surprise me at all, I don't actually know anyone who wears make-up who doesn't wear mascara!

I am actually obsessed by mascara, my mum and sister laugh at me and find it a constant source of amusement that I get through a mascara a month, but what can I say I'm addicted!
So NOT the one


Recent statistics from NPD Group (a market research group with data from over 2,000 of the world's most recognizable brands) have revealed Benefit's They're Real is the world's number one top best-selling mascara.

This does not surprise me at all, I've tried pretty much every mascara and hadn't found The One, I never go back to the same one...yet I'm currently on my THIRD tube of They're Real!


According to Benefit They're Real (£18.50) is the 2 in 1 mascara that's beyond belief. It lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts and separates. The glossy jet-black formula is long-wearing and doesn't flake or smudge.

Benefit claims that:
94% saw dramatic length & volume*
90% saw base-to-tip curl*
94% saw visible lift*
100% saw long-wearing results*
*Results observed in a consumer panel survey


In my opinion the thing that makes They're Real so special is the brush, it has a combination of long and short bristles which really make the most of every lash. It also has bristles on the end of the brush which are brilliant for picking up all the corner lashes which other mascaras often miss.


The bristles are so cleverly placed that it's pretty much impossible to get clumpy lashes with this mascara. You can layer it up, (I usually wear 4 coats) and it builds amazing volume whilst still keeping lashes separated and defined.

Don't just take my word for it though I've taken some pictures to show you the amazing results.

To start with here is my eye with no mascara on, as you can see I literally have about 4 stumpy eyelashes that you can barely even spot.

Now let's look at my eye with one coat of They're Real mascara.

And to fully show the difference we can compare the two. (Excuse the fact that a lot of these photos make me look like I have a lazy eye, I don't it's just hard to focus when the camera is so close!)

Now I've put two coats of mascara on to show how easily you can build up the mascara to create a more dramatic look.

And to fully appreciate what a difference this makes I've compared two coats of mascara to a naked eye.




So there you have it! Dramatic lashes in just a few minutes.
Let me know if you have tried They're Real, or if you have found a different mascara that you can't live without.

Love Alex x