Saturday, 31 December 2011

Favourite Products of 2011

So, as another year comes to an end, I thought what better way to sum it up than my favourite products of 2011. These are the products that I have been reaching for endlessly for the best part of the year and have never let me down. You may have read me mention some of these before, but it's just because they are products I know and trust and 100% recommend. Excuse some of the photos, these products are worked to the bone so some of them are not in the finest of condition. Hope you enjoy, and happy new year everyone.

I'm a picky one when it comes to what products I put on my skin. I have the strangest skin type, which can never really make its mind up, and through the winter it is simply a pain in the ass! But there are some tried and tested products that have made a regular appearance in my make up routine this year. My two favourite pressed powders are Collection 2000's Pressed Powder in Candlelight and MUA's Pressed Powder in Shade 1. I like to use two powders to set my foundation and build up the coverage, and I have discovered this combination works fantastically for me. However, I could rave about MUA's powder all day; it's the best value powder I have ever brought. So thick, with so much colour in it and it lasts all day, and all for £1. Definitely my find of the year.

Collection 2000's Perfect Finish Foundation in Ivory has been my favourite foundation of '11. I'm a creature of habit, and when I change foundation (and I like it) I tend to stick to it for quite a while. This has been my go to all year. It has a good medium coverage, which can be built up easily and a pleasing price tag. Its constancy is creamy and thick-ish, but not heavy in any such way, so very easy to apply to your skin and not drying at all.

When doing my cheeks, I like to build up the look, normally starting with a bronzer and then applying a blush over the top on the apples of my cheeks. MUA's Blush is Shade 4 is a fantastic deep pinky red. It is very pigmented so you only need a little colour on your brush. I love this colour for both day and evening as I feel it suits my skin tone well, but MUA offer a lovely range of shades all for £1 each so it's easy to test out and discover which shade suits you best. 

I've recently got into filling my eye brows in. It was never something I'd do before as I have quite dark brows, but I like the defined look as I think it really finishes your make up off. I simply colour in the inner corners of my brows with 17's Eyebrow Shaper until they look fuller and more shapely, then use the brush to soften and spread into the middle of my brow.

My favourite concealer of the year is 17's Hide and Chic in the shade light beige. It has a creamy consistency and it feels like you get a lot of product in the tube. Its brush tip is useful for application, although I like to blend it in with my finger afterwards. It has reasonable coverage, but I especially like it for evening out my skin tone underneath my eyes after apply my foundation.
My lips are a tough mistress to please, they don't get a long with many products in all honesty. I'm getting there though, it just takes patience to find what works. Nivea's Essential Care has been a real life saver for me. For years I have been a salve to good old vaseline, but to be honest, I don't think it actually does anything for my lips. I just kept apply religiously and getting no where. However, Nivea really seems to smooth and soothe my lips, and now I really swear by it. My favourite lipstick of the year is by far Maybelline's Colour Sensational in the shade Wined and Dined. I wrote a full review on it a couple weeks a go. I just love the colour so so much and think it's an amazing product.

Eye make up, the best part of doing your make up in my opinion! This year, I discovered the MUA Eye Make Up Palettes, and I think I must of mentioned them a thousand times by now. Read my reviews here and here. They're great value for money palettes and I really enjoy creating looks with them. My favourite mascara continues to be The Body Shop's Big and Curvy, mentioned in my All Time Favourites Post. Love its thin brush, making it so much easier to reach and cover all my lashes as well as its thick, waxy, black constancy. I just can't find anything that beats this mascara, it's the best one I ever discovered.

Collection 2000's Glam Crystals is a lot of fun. I have it in two shades, Funk (gold) and Glitz (silver) and both gel eye liners offer a lot of colour in just one stroke. It looks great when you've built the colour up by allowing it to dry then going back over. It really is so dazzling and eye catching, especially when you line it right the way round your eye. Just be careful not to go too close to your actual eye ball, as my eyes have streamed glittery tears quite a few times, and its painful!

The knackered old eye shadow above is Collection 2000's Intense Solo Eye Shadow in the shade Frosting. I go on about this shadow a lot, and believe me I use it every time I create any eye shadow look. Teamed with a bit of eye primer, this colour used around the inner corners of your eyes really sets your make up off and gives your eyes such a wide eyed look. I love the colour and it starts off any smokey eye perfectly. 

I haven't changed my favourite eye liner since I was about 16. It's always been Collection 2000's Kohl Pencil in black. The above is the current one I am using called Intense Colour. Collection 2000's Kohl pencil's are the best, I always get compliments on my eye liner and it's all down to this little baby. I rarely use liquid eye liner, as I find the definition I get from this pencil unbeatable. My secret is to simply keep it nice and sharp when drawing a winged line. 

I go through a million different nail varnishes a year, but this year I think its fair to say everyone's been obsessing over glitter varnishes, and I am no exception. Enter Barry M's Limited Edition Nail Paint. You get SO much glitter in this top coat varnish, and its so strong so your nails rarely chip when you have a couple of coats on. I just love it, its the best glitter nail varnish I've had and makes it so easy to make any old varnish glitzy! 

I was so happy when I discovered Sally Hansen's Nail Art Pen. This pen is so much fun and really just a fantastic product. I can't fault it, it does exactly what it says on the tin! I have a full review of the pen here.

2011 has been quite a year for me, full of my usual highs and lows. I'll keep powering through as I always do! I really appreciate the really supportive feedback I've been receiving from my friends and peers as well as my followers. Looking forward to blogging in 2012, I've got lots of ideas planned to share with my readers, so here's to hoping things will only get better!

Happy New Year, wishing you a prosperous 2012.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

I've spent the whole day in my Christmas onesie, win!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Maybelline Colour Sensational

This is my new favourite lipstick, it's the one I mentioned in my vignette and beauty tag post previously. It's Maybelline's Colour Sensational, in the shade Wined and Dined. I love this lipstick, for a number of reasons, but for some reason they don't sell this shade in the UK, the closest it looks like they've got is the shade Fatal Red. But if you want Wined and Dined, like me you can get it off eBay for a fraction of the price!

I think this colour is perfect for this time of year, such a warm, deep red for these cold winter nights! I feel like I'm channelling my inner Khloe Kardashian here, and I'm loving it! I went for a darker red, as it's normally said that darker shades of red suit darker skin tones like my own. I wore this lipstick when I went out for lunch with my friends yesterday, might of been a bit much for the day but who cares, it's Christmas! The colour lasted all day, from when I put it on at 12 o'clock til about 6 in the evening. In this time I'd been eating, drinking and even patted it off a couple times with tissue, and the colour remained. 

The lipstick itself is very soft on my often dry lips. It smells very lightly like play dough, which I don't mind as the smell doesn't transfer onto your lips. It's not drying in the slightest, which I tend to have a problem with when it comes to wearing lipsticks, hence why I often avoid doing so. It didn't crack and stayed smooth all day, which I'm really pleased about.

I'll definitely be buying more from the Maybelline Colour Sensation range, I just think it's fantastic and I'm so pleased to have finally found a brand that suits my lips. 

Thursday, 22 December 2011

M is for Marie

Adore this dress from Lavish Alice! The first time I'd ever looked on the site I brought it straight away! Couldn't resist a bit of animal print, especially if it's a skater dress. Love the belt that comes with it as well. I'm really into tan leather at the moment and I like it against the animal print of the dress, plus a belt to nip you in at the waist is always a good look to give your figure more definition. I think its only £20 plus packaging, so with prices like that you can't really argue!

My rings were a Christmas present from my lovely friend Alice. She's making loads of jewellery and selling bits to raise money for her final project. I also brought a cute button ring from her, which I tweeted about. I love my scrabble ring so much, I've wanted one for ages! Head over to their facebook page here for details!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Navy Lace

Here's one of my favourite dresses as of recent, my lace long sleeve skater dress from Ark. I brought this back in September for my friends 21st, and ever since it's been all over the press! Caroline Flack wore it on the Xtra Factor in pink and Perrie from Little Mix was snapped it in just the other night! I can't see the dress on the Ark site anymore, but I know the lovely people at Lavish Alice are selling it.

I really love my lace, I especially love the long sleeves on this dress, it's so gorgeous and sultry, and then the skater flare skirt makes it a lot of fun. I'm so in to the skater dress style, I just think it's really flattering. I wore my fur stole from Primark with it, to add a bit more glamour. I love this stole, it's so so soft and cuddly! I'm hoping to get a new one for christmas though that'll sit more firmly round my shoulders, as this one has a tendency to slip away from me!

Today I did a little decoration shopping with my mumma - we've already set up the table for christmas day! Excited much? It was so lovely to spend a couple hours just the two of us, we're like two peas in a pod!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Vignette 001

Had a failed outfit post today, which I put up then took straight down. So thought I'd start a weekly portrait blog post! Because it's a spur of the moment post, I thought I'd fill it with a beauty tag post for a little fun! So, here we go.

How many times do you wash your face daily? Every other day in all honestly! I use cleansing facial wipes everyday, but my face other than that gets a proper scrub every other day.
What skin type do you have? I have bizarre skin, it used to be oily, so I treat it like oily skin by using shine control products. But in actual fact, it's quite dry in places, well in winter it definitely is. I guess that means I have combination skin?
What is your current facial wash? Beauty Formulas Shine Control Facial Wash (again with the shine control!) 
Is it really important to moisturise? Yes, really important. I get such dry skin, especially this time of year so I really can't afford not to!
How often do you moisturise your face? Everyday.
What foundation do you use? I'm always changing my foundation, currently I'm on Collection 2000's Perfect Finish. It's supposed to leave your skin looking airbrushed, and while it does have a fairly decent medium coverage, I am looking for a 'drug store' brand that's a higher coverage.
How about concealer? I've always used 17 concealers for some reason. I'm currently using 17's Hide Away and Hide & Chic!
What do you think of fake eyelashes? I love fake eyelashes, the longer and thicker your eyelashes the better in my opinion! The problem for me is that I'm awful at applying them, and I don't know if I've just picked bad brands in the past or if its just me, but I can't figure them out. If anyone recommends any to me for Christmas that would be fantastic.
Did you know that you are suppose to change your mascara every 3 months? No, I didn't actually know that! But I get through mascaras quicker than that anyway, so I think I'm safe!
What brand of mascara do you use? Body Shop's Big and Curvy, mentioned in my favourites post.
What make up tools do you use in make up application? Eye shadow brushes and my body shop blusher and powder brushes.
Do you use make up base/primer for the eyes? I use an eye make up primer to make my eye shadow more vivid and for a lasting finish. My favourite is Urban Decay Primer Potion which I got with my Naked palette. I also have a Revlon primer, but I don't get on too well with that one, it just doesn't go onto my eyes very smoothly. I also some times find with Urban Decay that it takes away my foundation base over my eyes a little which can be irritating. I spose this proves the most expensive aren't always the best. Although both primers seem to hold the pigments of the eye shadow to my eye lids, I'm looking to try MUA's eye primer and face primer as I've heard good things, plus they're so cheap!
What is your favourite eye shadow? Absolutely the MUA palettes are my favourite eye shadows at the moment, I've got the Dusk til Dawn, Glitter Ball and Immaculate palettes, and I'm in love with them all.  
Do you line your eyes? Yes, I wear eye liner practically every day. When I have a bare eye I usually just draw on some winged liner and lots of mascara.
Do you use pencil or liquid eye liner? Mainly pencil, and I just keep it really sharp to get a nice dark and defined look, as I don't usually have the patience to use liquid liner as I feel I have less control when I use it. However, I do have a few liquid liners I love, and do like to use it every now and again when I'm in the mood. The rest of the time I use Collection 2000's Kohl eye liner, and have done for years and it's never let me down.
How often do you poke your eyes with an eye liner pencil? I never get myself with my eye liner, but I have got myself a few times with my mascara brush, getting too close to the base of the lashes. My god, that hurts! 
What is your favourite lipstick? I do love lipsticks so much, and I'm always looking at them when I'm shopping for make up, but I often don't wear them because I'm worried I look too done up. I'm really trying to push myself to wear them more, and I did get an amazing red the other day from Maybelline in the shade Wined and Dined! It's defiantly a colour for Christmas so I'll make an effort to get it out this season!
How about lip gloss? I love Collection 2000's Hotlights lip gloss in the shade Star. I love wearing it over my Revlon matt lipstick, Nude Attitude.
What blush on do you use? I'm using a couple of the MUA Blushers at the moment, and I always put on a bronzer underneath, either Natural Collection or MUA Bronzer which I really like at the moment.
Do you buy your make up on eBay? I do buy some make up from eBay. It's a useful place to look if you're looking for a brand that's a little pricey and you're trying a product out for the first time.
Do you like drug store make up? Yes, I really do. I love looking for bargains and playing around with different brands. I could never afford to always spend on high end brands, especially being a student! 

Monday, 19 December 2011

Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen

Here's a look a created on my nails with the help of Sally Hansen's Nail Art Pen in White! I ordered this pen after trying out an ordinary dotting tool but really struggling to get to grips with it! I don't know how others do it! I love doing my nails different, and being inventive with my nail style, so in an effort to make things a lot easier for myself, I brought the Sally Hansen pen.

This pen is absolutely amazing! You get so much colour from one dab of it on your nail, making it so easy and quick to use. As you can see above, I used the pen to do polka dots on my nails - one of my favourite things to do on my nails! Usually, I just dab the nail varnish brush on my nails very carefully with little polish on the actual brush to achieve the dotted effect, but with this pen you can create the look in seconds and get a much more clean finish.
I've already ordered another pen in blue, and am looking forward to having a play around with the two of them and creating some more exciting styles! Unfortunately, I couldn't find it in black, which is a shame! If anyone happens to come across one, please let me know! 

On my ring finger, I used Collection 2000's Shimmy Shake with Barry M's Nail Paint Glitter top coat, which I think turned out gorgeous, so just had to give it a mention! I think it would be a fantastic combination on all your nails over the Christmas period! 

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A Poor Girl's Wishlist 15.12.11

Now it's the end of the uni term, and all my Christmas presents have be brought, I'm sad to say, I officially have no pennies. I'm working a few extra shifts at work over the next few days before I go home for the Christmas break to my family's, but I don't think I'll scrape enough together for all these beauts! A girl can dream, can't she...

001. On the Miss Selfridge site it says it's an Aztec print dress, but I definitely get a modern twist on a 60s/70s tie-dye look from this. I think it's amazing, so different and eye catching. I really like the colours used on it, colourful but not too bright, and full of all the major shades of the season.

002. I love this necklace from temporary:secretary, I feel like it's so 1930s inspired and the colours are just adorable. It would brighten any outfit up on these deary winter nights!

003. This dress has to be one of the most gorgeous things I have ever seen! I just think it's a real show stopper! I can't think of an occasion I could wear this and get away with it though. But the biggest deterrent is it's price tag; for £160 I think it'll be remaining on my wish list for a very long time yet :(

004. I'm pretty crazy for loafers at the moment, and I love me a bit of suede, so these babies seem to fit the bill quite nicely! I'd also love a pair of the Topshop studded slippers as well, and well the list just goes on, and on, and on, and on...

005. I'm a major sucker for satchels, I just think they're the most practical yet stylish hand bag style there is at the moment, and I'd love this River Island one to add to my collection! The colour is so so yummy, and it just looks expensive with the gold buckles and so on which I adore.

006. Really into headbands at the moment, and as always, loving my animal prints, so don't think I could do better than this Topshop headband! It's a bit of a hit and miss when it comes to me and hats, so headbands are the next best alternative! Plus, I love anything furry, as it's my current obsession. Oh, please please please will someone buy it for me!  

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

MUA Glitter Ball Eye Palette

Second post in a row for MUA, I know! But I just can't get enough of these eye palettes, or their make up range in general!

My boyfriend and myself had a mock Christmas day yesterday in our flat, as we won't get the spend the real deal together as our families live different ends of the country! boo :( One of my lovely presents was MUA's Glitter Ball palette (as well as this CUTE owl jumper).

I won't go into too much detail, as I've already spoken about another MUA palette here, but this palette comes with 12 glitterly shades, so so exciting for Christmas! I went for a golden smokey eyed look when we went out for Christmas dinner yesterday. I started with Urban Decay's Primer Potion, then covered the eye with Collection 2000's Frosting again. I then hit the corners of my eyes with the off-white shimmer on the furtherest right on the top row. I then moved across my eye and built up the colour with the third bronze along on the bottom row, then the next shade a long and went into my crease with that, then hit the outer corners with the gold (second along on bottom row) and around the bottom of my eyes.

Hope you like the look! I am still LOVING these MUA palettes, managed to get myself the immaculate palette the other day too :)  
p.s. In these photos I'm also wearing MUA's pressed powder and bronzer on my cheeks!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

MUA Dusk til Dawn Eye Palette

The MUA eye shadow palettes have been receiving a lot of attention these past few weeks, and being a sucker for eye make up, I had to see what all the fuss was about!

I'm already a fan of MUA, I brought some blushers by them (for a pound each!) in the summer and was really impressed with the colour payout I got from them. So when I heard they had released a range of £4 eye shadow palettes, how could I say no?

I chose to go with the Dusk til Dawn palette, they have a really beautiful range so it was really hard to pick one! I'm really into the smokey eye look, so I thought the colours in this palette would achieve that look well. A lot of people have been saying the Heaven and Earth palette was a cheap alternative to Urban Decay's Naked palette, but seeing as I already have that, I wanted to go for something a bit different than warm neutral shades. 

So, a little about the palette. It's got 12 separate shades in there, seven of which are shimmer shades with some glitter in them (which I love). The rest are matte, and you've got some really vibrant colours in there like the turquoise green, navy blue and purple which is what really made this palette stand out to me. I was a little disappointed that the shadows didn't have individual names (but beggars can't be choosers aye?) The palette also comes with your standard sponge applicator. It's a double ended one, which can be useful for going from the lighter to darker shades, but I prefer to use eye make up brushes instead personally.

Above, I have pictured a look I did with the palette so you can see what you're working with here. Let me just say firstly, I was OVERLY IMPRESSED with this palette. To give the colours a fair chance, I did put primer on my eyes first, and applied a base coat of one of my favourite eye shadows ever, Collection 2000's Colour Intense in Frosting, which is this off-white shimmery colour. Then I hit the inner corners of my eyes with the white-ish shade, which is 4th along the top row. This colour appeared to come out a similar shade to the collection 2000 shadow I had applied underneath. I then moved a long the eyes and layered up the colours with the bronze next to it, then the golden bronze shade which is next a long in the palette, then moved on to the brighter gold on the next row. I have to say that this gold is gorgeous, and although you can't see too much of it in the photo, I think it would be a gorgeous all over colour on you lids with some primer on. I then hit the outer corners and my crease slightly with the navy blue, and ohhhh was I excited to use this colour! GEE WHIZ this blue is the BOMB! Madly pigmented, I was actually surprised by the amount of colour I got on my lids with just a few dabs on my brush. 

Overall, this palette is outstanding value for money! I could not recommend it more to any make up enthusiast! The eye shadow lasted all night, with no need to reapply and I've even woke up this morning with the look still intact (I know, naughty naughty for not taking my make up off before bed!)

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Garnier Summer Body

So, it's definitely winter isn't it? In a bid to bring a little sunshine to my life, I've pulled out the fake tan! 

Pictured above is the last time I used Garnier Summer Body back in September for my 21st. Now, I'm not an avid user of fake tan, I don't like that organgy look and I suppose most people will tell me I don't even need it, but I do enjoy a touch of the fake stuff every now and again! I think the tanned look is slimming, and seeing as I'm never going to look pale, I might as well embrace my olive complexion! 

Being part Lebanese means, as I mentioned before, I have a little colour to my skin already. Therefore, when I do use fake tan I don't like to go the whole hog and layer on the instant stuff as I find the colour on top of my skin colour far too over bearing. I also don't enjoy the smell of instant tanners, the smell of rich tea biscuits just isn't the one. 

This Garnier gradual tanner is the most perfect tanning product in my eyes. There is nothing gradual about it - say I put it on after I shower before I go to bed, I will wake up in the morning tanned and ready to go! The colour just develops so quickly that there is no need to reapply. One appliance of this moisturising tan will give me an all over brown glow, which is just the amount of tan I like to have (unless its a real tan). You can get this tanner in two types, dark and light. I always go for the darker option because of my olive skin and because I know for sure that the colour always turns out perfectly for me. I would recommend for paler skins that if you want a subtle glow that you should go for the lighter option. 

The product has apricot exact in it, which gives it a gorgeous fruity smell - so much better than old biscuits! The cream is also so easy to rub in, you just need to make sure you wash your palms and in between fingers thoroughly after applying. Also, because it is a moisturiser as well, I always get the silkiest feeling skin after using it! I do suffer with sensitive skin and do come up with eczema every now and again, but this is one of the few scented products that doesn't aggravate my skin, so I really do recommend it for others who suffer with similar issues.

There are a couple down sides to the product, which I think are pretty minor. Obviously because it is a cream, you can't see where it has been applied as the colour doesn't appear straight away like an instant tan. So, it's important that you are thorough when applying the moisturiser, and apply it liberally all over. Another issue would be that the cream can sit in your pores for a good few hours after applying, making you feel clammy. So I'd recommend keeping yourself cool with little clothing on whilst waiting for it to dry!

These are just minor issues, and have not deterred me from buying and using Garnier Summer Body for the last 3-4 years. Yesterday I put some on for my friends Christmas party tonight (which I'm very excited about!), and its looking good this morning!

Fantastic product, and no brown bed sheets in the morning - perfect!