Thursday, 27 February 2014

Most coveted/favourite items

Hey guys, hope you're all having a great week! So, I decided that I wanted to share with you my list of favourite affordable products, the makeup that I use most often, and the products that are on my current wish list. A lot of these products I'm unable to use at the moment, as I'm currently eight months pregnant and my skin is playing up horribly, but as soon as my hormones relax more and I have better skin I will be going straight back to these products! Some of them I have bought already, and some are still waiting to be bought. I thought that, as a present to myself, I would treat myself to a cute little hamper filled with all my favourite makeup for when my little one arrives, so I'm buying it all in preparation! After 9-10 months of baby carrying, as a new mum I will definitely deserve a treat! 

The first on the list is the set of 13 Nanshy brushes. I have heard a lot of good reviews about them, and a lot of people say they are just as good as the Real Technique brushes. This set is sold for about £30 on eBay, and comes in the super-cute branded case. I'm reluctant to buy the Real Techniques brushes as I personally consider them expensive as you only get four brushes per set (for around £30) so I'm keen to give these Nanshy brushes a go. I've been using a mix of Ecotools, BareMinerals, and The a Body Shop brushes, and I'd like to find a larger kit of professional brushes for a good price. Equally, Mac, Smashbox, and Benefit aren't selling brush sets online at the moment so it has been a real task to find a good quality affordable brush set! 


I have been getting a little concerned about wrinkles and ageing recently, I know it sounds so silly as I'm only 22 but as mum expecting a child soon I'm expecting to mature a bit, and also having a child will leave you with no sleep and I expect it will age you a bit! I swatched the Garnier Ultralift cream in the shop and it smells so good! I can't wait to be able to use it.

I swatched the Garnier Perfect Blur Primer over the Ultralift cream while I was in the shop. I wasn't expecting much if I'm honest, and I was surprised at how good a primer it was! It just blended so well into my pores and made my skin seriously silky smooth, and also really woke my skin up! I really love this product and can't wait to be using it in my daily kit!

I then swatched the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream on top of the Perfect Blur Primer. What can I say? It was so good! I personally really dislike heavy foundation, I hate the look of it, and the feel of it on my skin, but BB Cream is so light and it just gives you such a fresh, natural complexion, which I personally love the look of a lot more. Who doesn't love flawless, natural looking skin? These three Garnier products are the perfect base to achieve this. They're all so quick and easy to apply, too. As an expecting mum I know I'm not going to be able to have all the time in the world to do my makeup. I personally like to apply the Ultralift cream and Primer with my fingers, and a light layer of the BB cream with a foundation brush.

As I leave the base makeup for my face to set, I like to do my eye makeup. I start off with these Collection eyeshadow 'Work the Colour' pencils. One is just a really light shimmer that is good to apply right in the inner corners of your eye, and the other one I have is a really really light rose gold colour, which looks beautiful when blended with the initial light shimmery colour, into the crease of your eye. You could then also apply a shimmery brown colour in the outer corners for a smoky eye effect, just remember to blend, blend, blend! As they're solid-set eyeshadow pencils, it means no loose powder falls onto the rest of your face (which I find SO annoying after I've just applied my face makeup), so they're really quick and easy and quite literally, foolproof. I swatched this in store because I really like to see how long the product lasts before I buy it, and it was so easy to apply, even with the dodgy lighting and badly angled mirrors, and you don't need it to be absolutely perfect anyway, since you just blend it altogether. I will definitely be going back to buy it!

The Collection 2000 Extreme 24 hour eyeliner is another foolproof product. It is so, so easy to create so many looks, whether you want a subtle bit of definition, or the perfect feline flick, you just build it up as you go. As it's a pen it makes it so much easier and far less fiddly than trying to do any other kind of liners, whether it's the ones that come in little gel pots with brushes, or when you're trying to do a winged eyeliner with a dark shadow and wet angled brush. This is far easier - a real wonder product! 

This is my favourite mascara, ever. Max Factor sell such good quality products, and this one is no different. It opens your eyes and gives you such a beautiful finish, and at around £10, is much more affordable than the high-end mascara, and in my opinion, works just as well, if not better. I've tried Dior, YSL, and Benefit mascara's, and this one is always the one I go back to, it's amazing. I'm running low on this though so I really need to repurchase it soon - and I can't wait!

I've been really wanting to find a good product for my eyebrows. Mine are blonde, as is my hair, and I really want to try something to just give subtle eyebrow definition, and I came across this while perusing the Mac website. This is the brow set in Beguile - finally, an eyebrow shade for blondes! It's applied with a brush just like a mascara applicator, which is supplied in the tube. I've been so bored of just having to apply a dark brown eyebrow pencil to my brows, purely for lack of other options, so I cannot wait to give this a try! It seems like it's exactly what I've been looking for, and has five-star ratings.

After I've done my eyes, I like to go back and finish my face makeup. I left it to set at the BB cream, and I've found that this Bourjois bronzing powder is the perfect shade for contouring my cheek bones. I've used this before, I borrowed it from a friend at Uni, and I found that it just has the perfect pigmentation, isn't too dark for me, is a really good price (around £6), and smells delicious. I've been using bareMinerals bronzing powder in Skinny Dip recently, but have been wanting to find a cheaper alternative product, and this one is my favourite.

I have to say, I just haven't found a finishing powder as good as the bareMinerals mineral veil. The flawless face brush is perfect as a bronzing brush, and then used to blend the mineral veil powder into your skin. It is a translucent powder and just gives your skin the most amazing flawless finish, I really cannot rate this product highly enough! I generally find loose powders quite messy, but this is supplied with a little twisty kind of lid so you don't use too much, which I find really useful. It's pricey at £25, but is seriously worth it!

I've been wanting to buy the Burt's Bees lip wax for a while now. I swatched it in store but just haven't got round to purchasing it, but at around £3, it's definitely on my next-to-buy list! I've generally been using Vaseline but I don't like how greasy it is, or how messy the tins can get, and as the Burt's Bees lip balm is more solid-set than Vaseline, its definitely the next thing I want to buy! You get more product in the tins than the little lip balm sticks though, and when they're around the same price you definitely want more for your money! It's the perfect lip balm just on it's own, or as a base coat underneath a lipstick, and is so nourishing and moisturising.

My recent favourite lip product that I like to finish my lip makeup with, is the Max Factor Lipfinity set in the shade Angelic. My usual lip colour is a peachy-nude, and I've been really wanting to try a fresher, light pink lip for a more spring-summer look. This shade is perfect. I've done a recent review on it so I don't want to keep repeating myself, but I love this product. The lip colour is strong and lasts, I wouldn't say all day as I personally like to top up my lips throughout the day, probably a lot more than I need to as I just like to freshen up, but I did leave it for a few hours and only really needed to reapply the moisturising top coat of lip balm. The colour really does stay! I swatched it in store and swill definitely be going back to purchase it.

Finally, just for my body, I adore the Body Shop Body Butter range. I know a lot of people's favourite Butter is the Coconut butter, which does smell delicious, but as my personal favourite, I have to go with the Papaya Body Butter. There are so many different scents to choose from but the Papaya butter is just so summery, it's just such a fresh, happy scent to me, and I adore it! 

So, there you have, my favourite products, and what I'll be treating myself to next! I love every product I've listed, so if there's anything on there you were curious to try, give it a go! I promise you will not be disappointed. 

Sammii-Jane x

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Beauty wish list - Feb 2014

So, I've got a few items that I just cannot wait to be able to buy. I'm a little bit greedy when it comes to make up, as I really love to try out everything, I just adore make up and pretty packaging, good quality products, and knowing how to enhance my looks with the best products. By 'best', I don't mean necessarily mean the high-end brands. I mean, as an example, the best shade of bronzer to contour my cheekbones with, or, the best primer for my skin type, and so on.
I'm terrible with buying products, because I can never just buy one, I tend to buy a few more than that, and before I know it, I have a mountain of brand new make up products just waiting to be tried out. As I'm writing this, I know I still have reviews to write on the Miss Manga mascara, and the Dream Matte BB Cream by Maybelline. But, a few products that I have my eye on at the moment (and cannot wait to review!) are:

The Bourjouis evening in Paris set- £29.99

The Bourjois evening in Paris set is retailed at £29.99 and can be purchased from Selfridges. It doesn't contain any face products like foundation or concealer, but it does contain a timeless red lipstick, a classic staple Bourjois little round pot blush, a dark smoky eye trio palette (which I would love to try out a smoky eye effect with a feline flick of eyeliner), a volume glamour Max mascara, and a complementary nail varnish. I love to try out new looks with make up, and I love the effortless chic timeless glamour that is everything this set sounds like it has. I've been really wanting to try a red lipstick and winged eyeliner make up look for a while now, so I can't wait to purchase this product.

The Benefit Porefessional Primer- £25

I've used the Porefessional Primer from Benefit before, and loved the effect. As it's a tinted primer, it blends your imperfections and light blemishes better than a clear primer would, and if you have relatively clear skin, this is a great product that just makes you look like you have fresh, natural, beautiful looking skin. My skin is in really bad condition at the moment, so I need more coverage than this product provides, but for when my skin does get clearer, this is probably my favourite ever product. The Benefit moisturiser is equally a really beautiful feeling moisturiser, it is rich and buttery feeling when you have it on your fingers, and it is incredibly hydrating for your skin, it gives you an amazing glow and lasts all day, and again, when my skin is clear, this is my favourite moisturiser.

The Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub - £5.50

I've heard really good reviews about the Lush lip scrub. The only negative I've heard about it (and I do an extensive amount of research on all things I want to buy, so one negative is barely anything compared to the 90% of reviews that contain 5 stars) is that some of the customers that bought the product didn't like how it came in a little pot, and would have preferred it to have come in a lipstick form instead, for ease of use when out and about. I personally doubt I would take it out of my house, I would personally leave it stored in my indoors make up bag, so the negative isn't really an issue for me. The good things I've heard about it, like all Lush products, are that it smells amazing, the sugar is a natural exfoliator so it's really good for your skin, and that it's a really effective lip scrub, and, at £5.50, it is the cheapest thing on my wish list, so it will probably be one of the next products that I will buy.

And finally, the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual- £16.75

So, the last thing on my current wish list is the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual. As much as I love to purchase make up, it would be really great to be able to be shown how to apply the make up in the best way to enhance my personal features, and there are just so many make up looks I want to try! Plus, I really want to study Beauty Therapy in September, so this book would be really beneficial for at least part of course content, and I believe, would only benefit me in a career in Beauty. I generally don't tend to read many books as I find they don't interest me, but I imagine this one will keep me interested for a while.

There you have it - my complete current wish list (for this month at least!) what products are you looking forward to purchasing? Do you have reviews on any of the products? I'd love to hear what you thought of them.

Sammii-Jane x

Saturday, 22 February 2014

BareMinerals make-up review

I had a huge splurge yesterday in the make-up department of Bentalls, Kingston. There is every reputable cosmetics counter imaginable there, Benefit; Clarins; Clinique; Dior; Mac; Chanel; BareMinerals; and YSL; to name a few. I'm generally pretty loyal to the Benefit counter, however, I really wanted to try the BareMinerals products.
I had heard really good things about the BareMinerals brand, that it was the most natural and healthiest make-up you could buy for your skin; that it makes oily skin more matte without drying the skin; and that it leaves you with a flawless finish.
I approached the counter yesterday, fairly close to tears. I have had such problems of late with really bad skin, and it has really knocked my confidence. I showed the make-up consultant my blotchy, cracked, red forehead, which is my biggest problem area. I was extremely conscious of it but I was desperate for a solution. The consultant assured me that it wasn't as noticeable as I felt it was, and that she had seen a lot worse, and kindly proceeded to give me a full make-over, as she could see I really needed the confidence boost. She also showed me how to correctly apply my make-up, by demonstrating on one half of my face, and letting me practise the technique myself on the other half.
This is the finished make-over she gave me: 

I have to say, I was so impressed with the make-up, I bought the set. I was a little wary as I assumed that powder products would really dry out my skin, but she assured me that with the right skin care, it wouldn't be an issue. She cleansed my face, and applied a layer of moisturiser, serum, and primer, giving each layer a little time to set before applying the next product, and explained to me what each product was for. 
After deciding what shade of foundation would complement my skin tone best, she then applied the powder foundation to my face, blending it in circular motions with the powder brush. She then used a concealer brush to apply the foundation to my problem areas, and then used the powder brush to blend it all in again. 
She then showed me how to correctly apply the bronzer powder she selected for my skin tone, buffing the brush against my skin in a "3" motion, starting on the outer edges of my forehead, sweeping down across my cheeks, and finishing just before the powder reached my chin. She then applied two shades of eyeshadow to my eyelids, to create a light smoky effect. She then applied lipstick and lipgloss in a dusky rose hue to my lips, and lightly pencilled in over my eyebrows to complete the look. 
The make-up lasted all day, I had it applied at around 11am and didn't take it off until after midnight, so I know it lasts for at least 12 hours (with the exception of topping up my lips a few times, as to be expected). The product hasn't made my skin crack or dry out, as some cheaper products tend to do. I am really pleased with how well it has stayed, and hasn't transferred at all. 
The set that I bought was the BareMinerals customisable 8 piece get started kit, as shown below. 

The kit (retailed at £50) contained: 
- The Ready SPF 20 foundation
- The Prime Time foundation primer
- The Mineral Veil powder
- The Warmth all-over face colour
- The Flawless application face brush
- The full Flawless face brush
- The Maximum Coverage concealer brush

The kit also contained a handy leaflet on how to apply the make-up, plus a tutorial DVD. 
As the set was a little pricey for me, I couldn't also afford the moisturiser and serum on top (at another £25 each), so I popped into Superdrug to find a cheaper alternative product. I tested a couple of moisturising serums on the back of my hands, and left them to set for a couple of minutes so I could compare the smoothness of each product. I ended up settling on the Naturally a Radiant 2 in 1 moisturiser and serum, costing £3. I also bought a couple of Dead Sea Purifying face masks, a Kate Moss Rimmel lipstick in Shade 08 (£5), and a collection 2000 eyeshadow trio palette in Chocolate Chip (another £3). 

While I would still love to buy the original BareMinerals eyeshadow palette I sampled, it will have to wait for another payday, at a further £25, so the Collection 2000 palette will do for now. 

As the make-over was done yesterday, I spent today trying the cheaper moisturiser and serum I bought, and then using the make-up I bought to apply it how I would like to wear it. This is the make-up look I created.

The BareMinerals products really do give you flawless coverage, and it really is so easy to apply. I started by cleansing my face, and applying the moisturiser and serum, and then the primer, trying to replicate the technique the consultant had used. I applied the foundation, bronzer, and mineral veil as she did, and opted for a lighter eye colour on the inners of my eyes, blending a darker shade into the outers. I then pencilled my eyebrows slightly heavier than she did to create more definition, and curled my lashes and applied a thicker coat of mascara than the day before. I then finished my lips with a base coat of lip balm, a light layer of the Kate Moss lipstick, and a layer of a BareMinerals Moxie lip gloss I purchased a while ago.

So, all I can do, is encourage you to try the BareMinerals products! I would definitely recommend having the make-up professionally done at one of the counters, just so you know exactly how to make the most of the products. The consultant was so friendly and helpful, and the products are perfect for my skin, and I will definitely be returning for more, as one happy customer! This is honestly the best make-up I've ever tried - a huge thumbs up to BareMinerals! :)

Sammii-Jane x

Friday, 21 February 2014

Introductory post!

I am in no way whatsoever a professional make up artist, consultant, or expert. I am, however, a beauty-obsessed make-up fanatic, an experimental make-up amateur, and a regular at all the major beauty department stores of London.
I've loved make-up for as long as I can remember. What girl doesn't remember playing with her mothers make up set as a child? I remember the faint, delicate scent that always lingered on my mothers powder brush. I remember feeling envious of the cherry-red lipstick she applied, which always made me think she was so glamorous. I remember her telling me that it would be my turn soon enough. I couldn't wait for that day to come. I wanted to feel beautiful, glamorous, and feminine. I wanted to be every inch the woman she was.