13 October 2018

My Holy Grail Makeup Products

October 13, 2018 0 Comments

I realised recently that there are a few products that I come back to time and time again. I find them reliable and they fit easily into my makeup routine. I thought some of you may benefit from finding out what those products are, so I decided to share them here!

Urban Decay Primer Potion
As an eyeshadow addict, a good primer is a staple in my makeup bag, and this one is my absolute favourite. I use two shades: 'Eden' and 'Original', and I love them both. A little bit goes a long way, and I see a noticeable difference when I use this. My eyeshadow doesn't fade or crease throughout the day, and applying a base hides veins on my eyelids so I get a flawless appearance every time. I'd highly recommend this to anyone who wears eyeshadow.

Juvia's Place 'Masquerade' Palette
This palette is stunning. The colours are all gorgeous, and the pigmentation is second to none. The pigment isn't detrimental to the blending in my experience as well, since they all blend smoothly without much effort. I never fail to recieve a compliment or two when I'm wearing a look using this palette, and I always make a point of telling people that it's this one! It's a high quality palette that's not ridiculously expensive, and it's something I'd really recommend.
Barry M Kohl Pencils
These are my all time favourite eye liner pencils. I find the colour payoff is fantastic (especially considering they're from a drugstore brand), so you're not constantly dragging a product over your delicate eye area. They apply smoothly, without tugging, and last a long time as well. I use them in my waterline, but I've noticed if I use them on my lids they do transfer a bit, which is something to consider if you're considering using them as normal eyeliners.

Beauty Blender
Although the Real Techniques blenders are a reasonable dupe for the original Beauty Blenders, I think that the original is the one for me. The shape is just ideal for me, and I feel that the texture hasn't been duped perfectly anywhere. It's just the right density in my opinion, and I think I'll always reach for the Beauty Blender over other blenders. That's not to say the others aren't good, I've just found the one for me!

 Urban Decay Lipstick in 'Rock Steady'
I've never come across a red lipstick that suits me as much as this one; it's my perfect red shade. I don't know if Urban Decay do this shade in their other finishes, but I love their cream lipstick formula. It's hydrating and comfortable to wear, and is the standard to which I hold all lipsticks - liquid lipsticks without Vaseline just make me want to cry.

Kat Von D Lock It Creme Concealer
This concealer is the only one I've found that actually runs pale enough for me, which I adore. When you're as ghostly pale as I am, the lightest shades of most concealer and foundation ranges end up looking bright orange and ridiculous, so I really appreciate the massive range of shades this concealer offers. It's high coverage, which is exactly what I want (who wants a concealer that hides nothing?) and it doesn't dry out my already dry skin.

The Body Shop Lash Hero Fibre Extension Mascara
If you've read many of my recent makeup post, you'll no doubt know all about my adoration for this mascara! It coats every lash and makes them look fuller and longer, without clumping them up at all. And if you want a more dramatic look, you can apply the fibres on the other end after applying the mascara, and then coat them with another layer of mascara so the fibres stick. I wouldn't go back to any mascara I've tried before after discovering this one! 

The Body Shop Flat Eyeshadow Brush
I love this brush so much that I literally have three the exact same. It's perfect for packing on shadows to keep the pigment, and the edge makes it ideal for adding glitter to a cut crease. Honestly it's just my ideal eyeshadow brush, and I recommend it to everyone who asks!

So there you have it, a few of my go-to products. I come back to these time and time again, and would highly recommend them to anyone who was interested, which hopefully you are if you've read this far! Thank you so much for reading, be sure to follow me using the social media links in my side bar to see future posts like this!

6 October 2018

Analysing Animal Testing Policies (no testing pictures)

October 06, 2018 0 Comments

[This post does not contain any images of animal testing. The links I share in it also don't. This post is about the facts, not shock factor.]

I recently shared a post about the meaning of 'cruelty free beauty' and why I, and many other people, feel it's really important. However, when you're just beginning to research cruelty free beauty products, it can honestly be really hard to know what is and what isn't cruelty free. The quickest way to find out for certain is by searching for the brand's 'Animal Testing Policy' in Google, or sending them an email asking for it (although if you can't find it online, it's likely that they're hiding something).

No brand is going to tell you straight out that they test on animals. It's not exactly good for business to shout 'Hey! We don't give a damn about cute, fuzzy animals!' - in fact, that's a sure-fire way to irk the vast majority of their consumers. Instead, they use clever language and loose answers to trick customers into thinking they don't.

"M·A·C does not test on animals. We do not own any animal testing facilities and we never ask others to test on animals for us. While some governments conduct animal testing to prove safety before they will allow us to sell our products, M·A·C has never tested on animals and we continue to be a leader in the movement to end animal testing globally."

To the untrained eye, that makes it sound as though MAC are cruelty free, and totally against the barbaric practice of testing on animals. But to those of us who have investigated the world of cruelty free beauty, (which includes you since you're reading this post!) a certain part is sticking out like a sore thumb.

"some governments conduct animal testing to prove safety before they will allow us to sell our products"

This, to a cruelty free beauty lover, means one thing: China. In China, any imported beauty products must be tested on animals before they can be sold there. Beauty products manufactured there aren't necessarily animal tested, but if the brand is based outside China and decides to sell there, their products must legally be tested on animals before they can start selling.

Any brand that chooses to sell their products in China has made the decision to care more about profits and raking in money than the welfare and treatment of animals.

Any brand that chooses to sell their products in China is NOT cruelty free.

So in your steps to a cruelty free makeup bag, pay attention to phrases like that. For an example of a cruelty free statement that's genuine, look at this one from Barry M:

"Barry M has never tested our finished products or ingredients on animals or engaged another company to do so on our behalf. We have now gone one step further and pledged not to permit our products to be sold in countries such as China whilst they require additional new animal testing."
On top of that, Barry M require an annual written notice from their suppliers that ingredients in their products have not started to be tested on animals, and are also outspoken on their social media about the cruelty of animal testing.

So, when you're researching, look for the phrase 'not sold in countries that require animal testing by law', and if you see the phrase 'unless required by law', make the decision not to support that brand.

Thank you for reading this post, be sure to follow me using the social media links in my sidebar to see more posts like this when I post them!

29 September 2018

Five Looks Using One Palette | Juvia's Place Masquerade

September 29, 2018 0 Comments

It was several years ago that I first heard about the Juvia's Place palettes, having read a review of the Saharan palette that was very promising. However, I had enough neautral or copper toned eyeshadow palettes at the time, and didn't feel the need to add to that collection. That said, a few months ago I was perusing Beauty Bay (as one does) and came across this colourful gem. The Masquerade palette piqued my interest immediately; it was bold and colourful but also had more brown tones so it would be perfect to travel with since I could do several different looks.

I've been playing around with it since, and would like to share with you in this post five looks I created using the beautiful Masquerade Palette from Juvia's Place.

1. This is a look that I whole-heartedly stole from my bestie, because every time she wears this look she looks like a goddess and so I wanted to share it with you. To start with I applied a base of the Urban Decay Primer Potion and set it with a translucent primer.

2. Using a fluffy brush, I applied the shade 'Bori' to my crease and blended it for a softer look.

3. Next, I used a flat eyeshadow brush to apply the shade 'Zola' to my lid. I applied about three layers because I wanted the maximum pigmentation.

4. Using the same brush I used in step 2, I gently blended 'Zola' and 'Bori' together. I love this step, because as you blend them, you get  really really gorgeous purple shade in between the two, and it just looks absolutely stunning!

5. I took a black pencil eyeliner into my waterline to add definition to my eye.

6. Under my lower lashline, I applied the shade 'Bori' using an angled brush, and blended it with my finger for a more smokey look.

7. As an inner corner highlight, I applied the shade 'Giza' with a very small brush. I went slightly overboard so I did use my pinky finger to remove a little bit of it, but that step isn't necessary if you control yourself!

8. I applied a black liquid liner and added a nice cat eye flick. My go-to eyeliner is from NYX.

9. Finally, I applied a bit of mascara. I love the Lash Hero Fibre Extension mascara from The Body Shop, and I made use of the fibres that come with this mascara for this look so that my lashes had maximum impact. If you were wondering what lipstick I'm wearing, it's The Body Shop's Lip Liquid in 'Nairobi Camellia'.

1. To start with, I applied a little bit of Urban Decay Primer Potion and set it in place using a translucent powder. 

2. Following that, I used a fluffy brush to apply the shade 'Zulu' to my crease and blend it thoroughly. 

3. In my inner and outer corners, I applied the shade 'Ada' in a circular motion. I then used a fluffier brush than the one I used to apply it to blend. 

4. Over the top of the two shades I applied, I lightly added the shade 'Cairo' because I wanted the look to appear more orange than brown. 

5. In the centre of my lid, I used a finger to apply the shade 'Casablanca'. If you have hooded eyes or would like to increase the pigmentation, I'd recommend putting down a little bit of eye primer or a glitter glue first so it has something to stick to. 

6. In my waterline, I applied a black eyeliner pencil for definition. 

7. Under my lower lashline, I applied the shade 'Zulu', and then over the top of it I added 'Cairo' again to make it look more orange. 

8. As an inner corner highlight, I applied the shade 'Giza' using a really small brush I have from Real Techniques.

8. I applied a generous coating of mascara, the Lash Hero Fibre Extension Mascara from The Body Shop, which is my all-time favourite! Finally I applied my lipstick, which is 'Wildfire' by Urban Decay. It's a gorgeous metallic orange.

1. To begin with, I applied a base of Urban Decay Primer Potion and set it using a translucent powder.

2. In my crease and in my inner corner, I applied the shade 'Zola' using a fluffy brush.

3. In the outer two thirds of my lid, I applied 'Dalia, and blended it to my crease with a blending brush.

4. In my outer corner, I applied the shade 'Chi' and blended it in a circular motion.

5. Under my eye, I applied 'Zola' using an angled brush. Then, on the outer two thirds of my lower lashline, I added the shade 'Dalia' on the same brush. Finally, in the outer corner of my lower lashine, I applied 'Chi'. I tried to keep the proportions of this the same as how it looks on my lid to tie the two sections of my eye together.
8. In my waterline, I applied a white eyeliner pencil. This makes your eye appear larger and more awake, which I definitely needed as I'd done two full days at work in a row, which I never normally do!

9. As an inner corner highlight, I applied the shade 'Giza' using a small brush.

10. Finally, I applied a generous layer of The Body Shop Fibre Extension Mascara, and made use of the fibres that come with this mascara for a more dramatic look.

1. As always, I started with my Urban Decay Primer Potion and set it with a translucent powder. If you were wondering why I always do this, it's because it makes my eyeshadow appear more pigmented and stops it transferring and creasing throughout the day. It also stops things like veins and blemishes showing up through your eyeshadow.

2. I blended the shade 'Burkina' in my crease with a fluffy brush as a transition shade.

3. Over the top of that, I added the shade 'Fulani' from my outer corner to the centre of my crease in order to deepen the shading slightly.

4. Using a dense brush, I packed on the shade 'Calabar' onto the outer half of my lid and blended it with my transition shades for a smokier look.

5. I used a different dense brush to apply the shade 'Dahia' to the inner half of my lid, and blended that with my transition shades too. I took a little bit of time to blend 'Calabar' and 'Dahia' together in the centre of my lid using my fingertip.

6. Under my lower lashline, I applied the shades 'Fulani' and 'Burkina', and then used the shade 'Giza' as an inner corner highlight.

7. I applied a liquid liner above my upper lashline, and decided not to do a flick, although if you'd prefer to I think that it would look fab! I also decided to skip my waterline, since I'd done eyeliner in there for the past week or so and wanted to give it a break.

8. Finally, I applied a generous amount of mascara (it's the Lash Hero Fibre Extension mascara from The Body Shop; surprise, surprise) and some lipstick. The nude shade is 'Naked' and the red is 'Mrs Mia Wallace', both by Urban Decay.

1. As always, I applied a base of Urban Decay Primer Potion for this look. I set in place using a translucent powder and a fluffy brush. One of the benefits I find of setting it with translucent powder is that it makes the shadows on top so much easier to blend. I know some peopl prefer not to set their eye primer but for me that makes the shades more difficult to blend and I do not have time in my busy life to sit there with a blending brush for hours!

2. Next,  I applied the shade 'Bori' in my crease and blended it towards my brow bone. When I first got this palette, I thought that I would hardly ever use this shade but I honestly get plenty of use out of it.

3. Following that, I added the shade 'Zobo' a little bit lower down in my crease and at the very top of my lid and blended it with 'Bori' to get a nice transition between the hot pink and the vibrant purple.

4. Lower down on my lid and not quite all the way to the top of it, I packed on the shade 'Makeda' with a flat eyeshadow brush. I then took the same brush I used for 'Zobo' to blend the two shades of purple into a nice smooth gradient.

5. Under my lower lashline, I applied the shade 'Chi' with an angled brush, and smudged it with my fingertip. I did find for some reason that this shade wasn't as easy as some others to blend using my finger, so I put a bit of translucent powder on my finger and tried again and that made it slightly easier.

6. As an inner corner highlight, I applied the shade 'Giza' using a small brush.

7. I personally didn't feel that this look needed eyeliner, but if you feel like applying it, I'd do it at this stage. I have got a gold eyeliner from NYX that I thought might look really cool with this look! Instead, I skipped eyeliner and went straight to a generous coating of mascara! (If you were wondering what my lipstick is, it's a combination of 'Crete Carnation' and 'Tapei Orchid' from The Body Shop.)

So there you have it - five looks using the Juvia's Place Masquerade palette! I use this palette a lot, since it find it perfect for someone like me who enjoys a lot of creativity with their eyeshadow. I'm not afraid to experiment with colour, but at the same time I like more neutral and 'wearable' looks at the same time, and this palette offers both.

There is not a single shade in this 16 pan palette that isn't vibrantly pigmented yet easily blendable and an absolute dream to work with. You don't have to build up colour constantly since it doesn't blend away into nothingness, but at the same time you don't have harsh unblended lines between shades or your skin.

I'd really recommend this palette to those of you looking for something to help you experiment with colours, although if you're into more neutral shades, they have other palettes that aren't as colourful, and I'm sure they perform to the same high standard!

I hope you've enjoyed reading this post and have found it informative and inspiring for your future eye looks! Thank you so much for reading, be sure to follow me using the social media links in my side bar to see more posts like this one.

25 September 2018

Skincare Routine | September 2018

September 25, 2018 0 Comments

I'm sure that by now we all know the importance of a consistent skincare routine. While sometimes my routine consists of sleeping in my makeup and feeling guilty the next morning, usually I try to keep my routine consistant and tailored to my needs. It's been a long time since I shared my skincare routine, so I thought I'd do an updated version to let you know the products I use regularly!

Some things to note: my skin type is dry, so most of these products are designed to hydrate and moisturise my skin; this is not the sort of routine you want to try if you've got oily or spot-proned skin! Also, all of the following products are from The Body Shop. I'm not sponsored by them, but I used to be a consultant so I have a heck of a lot of their products and that's why my routine only includes them (they're also cruelty free and really high quality and I love you TBS please sponsor me I would cry).

1. The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil
To start with removing my makeup, I put three pumps of this on a cotton pad and gently wipe away my easily removed makeup. I actually prefer the solid version of this that's in a tin, but they were sold out of it and the lady in the store recommended this. This version certainly gets the job done but it's much messier than the solid version as it's greasy and often runs off the cotton pad!

2. The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye and Lip Makeup Remover
To remove things like mascara and liquid lipsticks, I use this makeup remover that is specifically designed to remove waterproof products. It's very effective at removing makeup, and isn't as messy as the previous cleanser so I feel more comfortable using it to get rid of my mascara (I find if I use the cleansing oil it get's dangerously close to getting in my eyes).

3. The Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner
Following cleanser, I like to use toner on a cotton pad to get rid of traces of cleanser and makeup remover on my face as well as pollution that can collect on your skin throughout the day. My favourite toner of all time is the Vitamin E Hydrating Toner from The Body Shop but that was sold out and this one does the job just as well! 

4. The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream
This is my go-to moisturiser. It's intensely hydrating, and I honestly can see the difference in my skin if I forget to use this or take a break from it. They have a day version and a night version, so I like to use the night version before I go to bed, and I'll go for the day version in the morning (if I remember). I'd really recommend this moisturiser for those of you with dry skin like me.

5. The Body Shop Drops of Life Youth Essence-Lotion
For the time being, I've stopped wearing concealer and foundation, so to improve the appearance of my undereyes, which can get very dark since I'm incredibly pale, I apply this. It's intended for older women I think, but I don't think it's ever too early to take care of signs of aging on your skin. I've got pretty deep smile lines as well and I like to apply a bit of this to those as well as I feel it sort of plumps the skin and improves the appearance of them.

6. The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil
 I've written a review of this product, and (spoiler alert!) I still love it as much as I did then. It's silky and hydrating and smells lovely and makes me feel fancy and I adore using this stuff, as you can probably tell. It also has great benefits for your skin such as smoothing fine lines and making skin appear more radiant and healthy.

7. The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Eye Cream-Gel
The final step in my routine is again concentrating on helping my undereyes look a bit more lively (if that's something undereyes can be). Since I loved the Facial Oil so much, I decided to go for this eye cream to improve the appearance of my dark circles and prevent myself getting eye wrinkles before I'm twenty. This eye cream feels really silky and luxurious and is nice and cooling on the eyes - it's the perfect final step for me to unwind and relax at the end of the day.

I do recommend that you find your own skincare routine that works for your skin and your routine, but I think this is a good place to start if you have dry skin like me! The basics you need are a cleanser/makeup remover, a toner and a moisturiser (even if your skin is oily), but there are plenty of extras out there tailored to specific needs!

20 September 2018

Show Makeup | 'Our House'

September 20, 2018 0 Comments

Today I wanted to showcase the makeup look I wore while playing Billie in 'Our House'. I adored this role because she's so different to myself; she's chavvy, brash, and outspoken, and it was a really fun and entertaining role to play.

The first thing I applied was my base. I started off with two primers. One was to smoothe my pores, and the other was to leave my skin with a tacky finish so the following layers of makeup would have something to stick to. 

When that had settled, I moved on to foundation. I used the Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation, which I feel is perfect for shows because it's so high coverage and lasts for ages. I don't like it for everyday use because it oxidises really badly, but that was actually perfect for this as I was playing a chavvy character. I actually mixed in a bit of the same foundation from one of my more tanned friends to make the shade darker so that I could get that hideous unblended line of foundation that doesn't match. Disgusting in real life - perfect for the role.

Following that, I applied concealer over my flaws and baked my undereyes and smile lines using loose powder. I applied a generous dusting of pressed powder on the other areas of my face.

At the time of the show, I hadn't yet learned how to do 'Instagram brows', so I had a friend apply my eyebrows for me. She used eyeshadow to apply bold and big brows, and I discovered that I loved this look on me! I don't do them quite as dramatic in real life, but I think I suit big dramatic brows, which was an interesting development.

After my brows were on, I brushed away the powder and applied some harsh contour and blusher using my Too Faced 'Sweet Peach Glow Kit'. I don't apply highlight for shows because the stage lights make it pure white and you end up looking like a ghost. To make the contour/bronzer darker, I used some of the matte brown shades towards the bottom of my Juvia's Place 'Masquerade' eyeshadow palette.

Moving on to eyes, I put down a base of the Urban Decay Primer Potion, and went for my Juvia's Place 'Masquerade' palette. I chose different colours every night, but I went for the bold and beautiful vibrant shades. I did a pink/purple look, a blue look, and a green look throughout the duration of the show. (This palette is incredible if you love bold and colourful looks by the way -  I use it on and offstage all the time.)

Next, I applied some winged liner, as well as a bit of pencil liner in my waterline. After that, I applied some ultra-dramatic false lashes, and a generous coat of mascara. To set all of my hard work in place, I used a generous amount of Urban Decay's 'Chill' setting spray, and finished up by applying some pink/nude lipstick that I don't think suits me in real life but is brilliant for a role like this.

As I said further up, I loved playing Billie. It's definitely a role I would return to in the future! I hope you're enjoying this series of makeup I've work for shows. Please feel free to leave any feedback in the comments!