Monday, 29 August 2011

ahhhh - GCSE results!

After hours of revision and hard work, I got...
1 C in Foundation-level Statistics
2 B's in Maths and French
3 A's in Geography, History and Science
6 A*'s in English, Science, Business and RE

So 12 A*-C's, 9 of which A and above!
Am I proud? Yes!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

DIY Lip Palette for £2... in 5 easy steps!

If you're anything like me, lip palettes are a great option; each day I add a new lipstick from my collection into my bag to match my look, and by the end of the month I discover that my entire lipstick collection has accumulated at the bottom of my bag. However, decent lip palettes are often expensive. Making your own means that the lipsticks you already own do not get neglected, while saving money at the same time!

Step 1: Get yourself an eyeshadow palette.
It goes without saying that you’re going to need something to put your lipsticks in, so pop down to the shops and pick yourself up an eyeshadow palette. Claire’s, H&M, Boots and Superdrug all sell palettes, and the size of palette you choose is totally up to you. I’d definitely recommend something relatively sturdy, so it doesn’t shatter in your bag, and one with a mirror, so that you don’t have to bring a compact mirror too.

As you can see by the picture above, I chose to use a Sleek palette for mine for multiple reasons. Firstly, I found it in the “Damaged Goods” section, which resulted in me getting it for just £2! Although many of the shadows were shattered, the palette itself was fine. The Sleek palettes are also very well made, contain a HUGE mirror which is perfect for on the go, and are surprisingly compact considering how much product you can squeeze into them.

Step 2: Scrape out the eyeshadows.
Just to warn you in advance: this is the boring part. I found that the quickest way to get rid of the eyeshadow was by making an X shape in the shadow, then scooping around the perimeter of the pan. The four quadrants should fall out, but it doesn’t matter that some of the eyeshadow will stay in the pan.

Step 3: Clean & sterilise the pans.
Next just run the palette under running water; this washes off some of the left-over eyeshadow, and the force of the water helps to break-up the remaining product. Use a q-tip to ‘scrub-out’ the shadow that may be stuck between the base and the side of the pan, and if you’re finding it particularly difficult then dip the q-tip in makeup remover first.

Give the palette a last quick rinse, then thoroughly dry it and sterilise the pans by lightly spraying each one with alcohol.

Step 4: Cut and squish!
Now here’s the fun part! You’ll need to decide what colours you want to put in your palette which, of course, is totally up to you. I tried to pick a range of colours so that I’d have a colour for every look, and I also included two lip balms; a super moisturising one, and a waxy one for underneath lipsticks. I also tried to include a range of finishes, and I made sure that I included glossy-finishes so that I could wear them over the top of my matte lipsticks if I wished.

To get the lipstick into the palette, all you need to do is scoop or chop the product and then squish it into the pan with clean fingers or a spatula.

Alternatively, you could melt the lipstick into the palette. To do this, just hold a spoon containing the lipstick over a candle, then pour the liquid lipstick into the pan. However, I tried this in the past and it changed the quality of the product. I found that some lipsticks were not as pigmented as they originally were, others dried up, and some shimmery shades became gritty. The melting-method will make your palette look far more professional and neat, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it; I’d much rather my palette look slightly messy than look nice with bad quality products!

Step 5: Clean up, and you’re done!
All that’s left to do now is tidy up; just take a little toilet tissue (unused, preferably) and wipe-off any lipstick that has escaped from of the pan.

You’ve now got yourself a great, personalised lip palette without having to spend more than a couple of quid!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Do Sleek blushes really live up to the hype?... YES!

Sleek really are the best drugstore blushes and, if I'm totally honest, I find myself reaching for them far more frequently than my higher-end, more expensive blushes. Before I get blabbering on, here's the ones I have...

Okay, first up let's talk about how great value they are; you get a whopping 8g of product for just £4.30. To put things into perspective, at MAC you'll pay £17 for a 6g product, and at NARS you'll pay £20.50 for just 4.8g of product.

What's more is that Sleek blushes are seriously pigmented, so you need only use a tiny amount; lightly tap your brush in once and you'll have more than enough. The staying power is also amazing, and there really is no need at all to re-apply/'top-up' your blush throughout the day. They last significantly longer than both my MAC and Benefit blush, and they honestly do last all day. I also noticed that they fade extremely slowly but evenly, meaning the remaining product won't cling onto dry patches of skin and make you look like you've got some unusual skin condition.

I also love that they make a lot of matte shades. As much as I love shimmery blushes, it's great to find high-quality matte blushes from the drugstore. Most are either chalky or unpigmented (or both, in many cases), but Sleek blushes are neither. You can always dust a little highlighter over the top if you do decide that you want a shimmery shade.

The packaging is pretty great too. As the same suggests, they're sleek; black matte packaging with "Sleek" written in shiny lettering, and "blush" written in matte gold. They're also great for travelling, as there is absolutely no 'air-space' or domes of wasted space and plastic. The clasp can be a little tricky to open, but having used mine for a while now, they seemed to have loosened up a little. The packaging is also extremely sturdy, and it contains a handy little mirror.

Sleek blushes can be purchased at most Superdrug stores, or at

I'll now talk about the individual shades...

Pixie Pink (above) - Very 'barbie'! A light, very cool-toned, bubble gum pink; perfect for pale, cool-toned girls. It's the lightest of the bunch, yet still smooth and pigmented. Pixie Pink is matte, with a particularly smooth texture.

Rose Gold (above) - A supposed dupe of NARS Orgasm, this one is perfect for summer. Rose Gold is pretty much just a medium/dark pink blush with golden shimmer and slightly red undertones. The gold shimmer is very obvious on the cheeks but not to the point where it looks obnoxious, and the shimmer particles give a sheen to the skin, as opposed to the chunks of glitter many drugstore blushes contain. The slight red undertones scared me initially, but it looks so healthy - almost like sunburn, but in a good way! I also have a lot of redness in my cheeks, but the redness in this blush does not highlight this or make my redness look worse.

Flamingo (above) - My favourite! This is a warm-toned hot pink, and it gives the prettiest flush to the cheek. I reach for this one everyday; you can apply it with a heavier hand for nights out, or apply a small amount during the day for a really natural look. Flamingo is definitely matte, yet I feel like it has a slightly healthy, dewy finish to it... I can't quite place my finger on it, but it's definitely not as matte as the others!

Santorini (above) - This was/is limited edition from the Mediterranean collection, and unfortunately I'm not as in love with it as I expected to be. In the pan it's a fantastic bright neon fuschia, but it does not transfer to the cheeks this colour. It's still extremely pigmented, but on the cheeks it's more of a cool-toned hot pink. The texture is also nowhere near as smooth, soft or blendable as my other Sleek blushes. Having said this, Santorini is still a very good quality product and a gorgeous colour, just not what I expected to be. If you love the look of Flamingo but you're cool toned, this is perfect for you as they are fairly similar, with exception to the undertones. I can also see Santorini looking gorgeous on darker skintones.

Pan Tao (above) - I know it's a terrifying colour in the pan, but this is my second favourite Sleek blush! This blush was/is limited edition from the Avoir la Peche collection. It's a delicious peachy-orange colour, and is a perfect summer shade. You can be brave and fashion-forward by wearing it more heavily, or wear it lightly during the day, which gives a surprisingly natural look. The main reason I love Pan Tao is because it's wonderful for layering; put a small amount of Pan Tao on your cheeks, then pop a little pink blush over the top and you've got a gorgeous coral. Doing this means that all your pink blushes are now corals, too! Pan Tao is such a versatile and surprisingly wearable colour, and I honestly would recommend it to everyone, even if you only end up using it for layering under other blushes.

I hope I've created new cravings and I honestly do hope you run (don't walk!) out and pick up some Sleek blushes. The only downside to Sleek blushes?... I now have all the ones I want!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

£1 Blush? Hmm....

So picture the scene; you're wandering through Primark, and amongst the sequined hairbands and plastic hoop earings, and you spot a seriously gorgeous blush... for a quid. You're gunna' get it, right?

It was initially the colour that drew me in, as as you can see from the pictures above, I'm sure you can understand why. In the pan, the blush looks like a strong coral pink, and it reminds me of the blush from the ELF 'bronze and blush' duo, but lighter, pinker and without the sparkles.

On the cheeks, however, it is so much prettier. The blush gives an extremely radiant, healthy pink glow, and it's super natural looking. It's pretty sheer so it suits my pale-ish skin perfectly, while remaining buildable, so it'd work for darker skintones too. There's no "name", but there was only a small selection of colours, and none similar - so you'd be able to identify it easily.

The quality, however, isn't so amazing. The blush is rather chalky, and very badly pressed. As you can see in the third picture above, a single swipe of the brush gives you loads of blush loose on the pan, and even a very light tap lives you with a pile of powder. Not only does this waste a lot of product, but is actually really irritating, and you have to keep blowing off the excess if you want even application.

If you are happy so spend a couple of extra minuite applying it, then this really is a great everyday blush. And hey, for that price, you can't really go wrong.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

ELF Review and Swatches

I was super-dooper excited for my birthday, and ELF was one of the reasons. I'd say I got a range of items, and I'm due to do a video on it for my youtube channel.

The brushes (above) were what I was most excited about, and I'm going to do a separate review for them. I bought the studio line powder brush, studio line fan brush, eye shadow brush, defining eyes brush and the blending eye brush. I won't natter too much about them, but the powder brush is my total 'holy-grail' brush at the moment, and I've got mixed opinions on the eye brushes.

I wasn't too impressed with the 'elements' eyeshadows. You basically purchase the plastic packaging, which I think looks great, for £1.50, then pay another £1.50 for each for the pans that fit into it, which include blushes, eyeshadows and lip palettes. I chose 'Golden Glow', which is a orangey-yellow gold, 'Moondust', which is a shimmery brown, 'Periwinkle', which is a zero-pigment midnight blue/indigo, and 'Pink Ice' which is a pretty light-pink shade.

Pink Ice is the only shade that I really like, partly because it is the only one similar to the picture on ELF's website. Pink Ice, however, did randomly crack and crumble into the wind, despite the fact that I had been careful with it. The eyeshadows I tryed had very little pigment, and it takes a lot of work for the colours to be as vivid as in the swatches above. The middle photo above shows the shadows having been swatched a few times, and they were not very well pressed.

Although the colours are pretty, I am not particularly impressed.

Now I was extremely curious about the next product. Above is the Duo Eye Shadow Cream in 'Butter Pecan', and it's got a load of mixed reviews. Like many have said previously, they crease so easily. My eye lids are pretty dry, so they don't crease too badly, but I honestly wouldn't recommend for those with oily/grease lids.

Having said that, they are not as bad as a lot of people have said. They remain creamy, so you can easily just blend it back in again. Good pigmentation, lightly shimmered, and very pretty.

Ahh, now for one of my favorite products - the Mineral Lipstick in 'Natural Nymph'. The swatch above doesn't ring quite true, as it is lighter and less peach than shown, but you can still tell by the photo how pretty it is. If you are not a fan of pale nudes, then this probably isn't for you, but if you are, then run out and buy one now.

Not only is the colour beautiful, but the quality is also great. It feels as if you are wearing a thick lip balm on your lips, and although it may not be, it feels as if it is moisturising your lips. It glides on lovely and smoothly, and I really can't find any faults with it. Will definitely be re-ordering, and I can't wait to dry other colours and shades too.

Sleek packaging, great colour, superb quality.

I also got the Mineral Foundation in 'Light', and I'm pretty keen on it. It gives good coverage, and it's great at evening out skin-tones. I have a lot of redness and my skin is pretty uneven, and this smoothes it totally over. I wear it with a dusting of light powder over the top to get rid of any shine, but it looks fine without it. I've got a feeling I'm going to love this for summer, as it's light, you can barely feel it on your skin, and it had spf 15, which is always an added bonus.

There are, however, a few downsides that I have come across. This doesn't cover too well on spots, so I probably wouldn't use it if you have acne or break-outs, but it isn't bad. Although you don't have to use much, the pot is pretty small - only 3.4g. I personally would rather a larger pot and having to pay a little bit more, as I'd rather not have to re-order so frequently.

The last product I am going to share with you is the Studio Line Bronzer and Blush Compact. I love how compact and slim-line this is, while you still get a lot of product for your bucks. A great one for taking travelling, or simply chucking into your bag before you leave the house

The blush is a gorgeous coral pink colour, although it looks less peach in reality than the swatch shown above. It gives a super pretty glow to your face, and looks adorable applied to the apples of your cheeks. It's pretty strong, so I'd maybe give it a miss or make sure you blend it in properly if you have porcelain skin. The bronzing side is too dark for the entire face, but it's superb as a contour, and does not leave the face looking 'muddy'. The bronzer is pretty dark, so be sparing with it if you are pale. Both the blush and bronzer have pretty gold shimmer, but it is barely noticeable in the bronze.

I hope this has all been of help to you, enjoy!

I have absolutely no idea who 'alice+olivia' are, but their new range from MAC looks hot. It's due to be released July 8th, so I'm pretty suprised there aren't more summery shades. They may have done 'at the beach', but it's still summer - why the dark colours? Either way, I love the look of 'em anyways.


But wait... is that a lime green dazzleglass creme gloss I see? Never understood why MAC make so many unwearable colours. I so want to lay my hands on the other two colours though, by the looks of it a bright (summery, hurrah) pink, and a light bubblegum/candy floss coloured one. Cute.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Body Shop Haul

I happily jumped at the opportunity when I 'spotted' these great deals! The Body Shop had 30% off, free shipping and a free cosmetics bag when you purchase 4 minis. Unfortunately they now only have free shipping for over £15, and I am unsure on how much longer the 'free bag/30% off' deal is going to be on for. I did, however, get all of the above for under £20 - which I am really chuffed with!


I bought...

+ Shea Butter Body Butter (200ml)

+ Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel/Cream (60ml)

+ Coconut Bath/Shower Cream (60ml)

+ Shea Butter Body Scrub (50ml)

+ Cocoa Butter Body Butter (50ml)

+ and received a summery pink and orange cosmetics bag for free.