Saturday, 29 March 2014

Mothers Day, and general makeup shopping!

Heya! So, I thought I would share with you what I purchased for my mum for Mothers Day, and the few bits I cheekily got for myself on my mooch about town earlier!

Originally, I had wanted to get her the Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet perfume (£54), but she actually ended up preferring the scent of the Beyoncé Heat Rush (£20) fragrance instead! So, as I still had a little cash to spare, I ended up also buying her the Honeymania gift set from The Body Shop, which contains the 300ml body butter, the 30ml eau de toilette, and the 250ml shower gel.

For myself, I ended up walking into Boots, and repurchased the Palmers Cocoa Butter - I've been going through so much of this of late, and I have loved it through my pregnancy! 

From Lush, I purchased the Blooming Beautiful gift box - I don't know why, I just really liked the scents of the products, and it was only £5.95. It comes with a bath bomb and a bath bar, I think, and it was just really pretty! 

From Clinique, I purchased the Anti-blemish solutions clinical gel. I've been using the anti-blemish cleansing range to clear up my skin, and it has been working - but I feel I could do with a little extra help! My skin has gone from light acne to a little red and blotchy, the anti-blemish range has completely stopped my spots coming through, but I needed something to get rid of the few little stubborn ones that just haven't quite left yet. I also purchased the anti-redness Superprimer. When my spots and blemishes do go down, my skin will still probably be a little red in places, so I'm hoping this will help to balance my skin tone.

With any purchase from The Body Shop, they were giving out free testers. They literally chucked 5 sample pots into my carrier bag and wished me a nice day! They were really busy because of all the Mothers Day promotions going on at the moment, so they were incredibly generous to give 5 samples! I was given samples of the mini face mask, the aloe body butter, the white musk hand and nail lotion, the satsuma body purée, and the honey and oat mask. So far I've only smelt the products but haven't actually used them, but I can tell you that both the satsuma body purée and the honey and oat mask smell absolutely delicious, so I'm really glad I was given them to sample!

So, these are my purchases of today - I hope you've all bought your mothers something nice for Mothers Day! Mine deserves the world, she's done so much for me over the past 22 years, and still prioritises her children over everything else! She's been really supportive of my pregnancy, and has been amazing, particularly over these past six months. She's come to every antenatal class, every hospital trip, and every doctors appointment, and has always made time for me at the drop of a hat. So, I hope your mothers are equally as amazing as mine! Have a great weekend guys!

Sammii-Jane x

Friday, 28 March 2014

Clinique wish list - March 2014!

So, as you guys will know, I am a huge, huge, huge, Clinique fan! As I have such problematic skin, I love the fact that Clinique products are allergy tested, and fragrance free, as this means there are no irritants in their products. I always feel like my skin is really clean after using Clinique, and the skin care products feel so refreshing on my skin. On a recent Boots haul, I stopped by one of the Clinique counters, and on impulse, I managed to purchase 3 skin care products, 1 fragrance, and was given 6 free travel sample products from the purchase, which I was highly impressed with! I've been using Clinique for perhaps the last month now, and I have to say, the skin care and beauty products are so good, I am hooked! They've made such a huge difference to my skin, and I just really love the product range! Which means (as you guys can imagine), I now have a Clinique wish list as long as my arm. These are the products I've bought/been given so far...

Top row: Clinique glosswear for lips, Superbalm moisturising gloss in Grapefruit, Superbalm moisturising gloss in Raspberry, the Anti-blemish Solutions 3 step system (cleansing lotion, facial wash, and moisturiser), the Even better makeup foundation, and the High Impact mascara. 
Middle row: Rinse off foaming cleanser, Dramatically different moisturising lotion, and the All about eyes eye creme. 
Bottom row: Clinique Happy in bloom eau de parfum, 30ml.

I've also recently purchased the Quickliner eyeliner from the Clinique website - I've been after an eyeliner pencil with a smudging applicator for ages, so this is perfect! I only ordered it this morning though so I am waiting for it to arrive. 

Now, however, I have decided that actually, I'd really like to purchase a few more of their products! This is going to take some serious saving!

The first product on my wish list is the Colour corrects redness Superprimer. I've been using the anti-blemish skin care, which has completely stopped my spots, but my skin is still a little red and blotchy - not a lot though, so I'm really hoping this will cover it. The range of Superprimer's are sold at £20 each.

So, I am loving the look of the Clinique Cheek Pop. My preferred shade would be the plum pop. I'm fairly pale so coral, orangey tones like Peach Pop just don't suit me, and both Berry Pop and Ginger Pop are far too dark. I've been wanting to try a darker pinky shade of blush for a while, as I usually just shy away from colour and use bronzer instead, but this just looks like such a lovely bright shade to revive my daily makeup! Powder blushes do generally last me a really long time, so £16.50 seems like a fair price!

I've been looking at eyeshadows, too. The shadow duo in Beach Plum would be great for a day-to-night transitional palette, as you have a neutral shade, and then a more interesting, fun shade, too. This palette would go perfectly with the Plum Pop Cheek Pop blush. The range of eyeshadow duos are retailed at £22. 

The last thing (maybe actually the first), on my Clinique wish list, is the Paired in Purple set! I've been wanting to try a deep plum/grape lip colour for a while, and I think that the shade of the nail enamel is just so pretty! This is £20 from the Clinique website.

All of these items would just really complete my makeup set, and I just can't decide which products I like most! I'll definitely be getting the Superprimer, the Cheek Pop, and the Paired in Purple set soon though! 

Sammii-Jane x

The very best makeup products for £5 or less!

This post is aimed more for the younger viewers, or for those of you who have very little left over after paying the bills! These are my top beauty products for £5 or less, and as they're so cheap, it's practically guilt-free! Don't be fooled though - where these products may well be cheap, no one is compromising on quality! These are all really good quality products - tried and tested by myself! 

1. The skin care

Most products from the Clean and Clear range are sold at around £2.50 per product. So with a fiver, you can treat yourself to two! Good skin care is so important, and these are my picks for more problematic skin. Equally, if you have relatively good skin, the Simple range would probably be better for you, and the prices are about the same! Both brands are sold in Boots and Superdug.

2. The body lotion

Palmers cocoa butter smells amazing and feels so good on your skin! This 400ml bottle is £5.49 from Superdrug, but the 250ml bottle can be purchased for £3.99. Alternatively, The Body Shop usually sell mini tubs of their Body Butters (100ml tubs I think?), for £5, and these are great if you like fruity scents. My favourite is the Papaya butter as it's just so softening, too.

3. The lip product

Burt's Bees lip wax is my favourite lip product ever. It is so nourishing and smells so good, where it does smell like peppermint I also find that it's faintly sweet, and to me it smells like candy canes! It is £1.80 from Amazon, and it is so cheap and good quality I do feel guilty buying anything else!

4. The concealer

Rimmel's Wake Me Up concealer is sold at £4.99 from Superdrug. It's really great for applying just under your eyes and over blemishes for a brighter, fresher look. This is probably the best concealer I've used, even compared to pricier brands. 

5. The blusher

If you ask any beauty blogger for their favourite blusher for under a fiver, they will tell you Sleek. Sleek blushers are sold at £4.49 on both their website and in Superdrug. These blushers are highly pigmented and very similar to the Nars blushers. Beware that these aren't supplied with a brush though, so you will need to purchase one of those too if you don't own one already.

6. The brush

Luckily for you, I've found you the best bronzing brush for under a fiver, to go with your Sleek brush. I find that a bronzing brush is the most versatile brush - I use a foundation brush to apply my foundation over my face, and then blend with a bronzing brush to create the most natural look. I also use it for my blusher, for my bronzer, and generally as a face blending brush. Mine is well used and well loved, and was £2.99 from the Seventeen brand at Boots. These brushes are also really, really, soft, and they feel so nice and fluffy! 

7. The mascara

Maybelline's the Falsies mascara is my new favourite mascara. Before this, I was using Max Factor's Masterpiece mascara (£11), and before that, one from YSL (£21). This is slightly over a fiver (at £5.99) but is the one I'd recommend if you can afford it. However, if you literally have only a fiver, then Collection's Does It All mascara is £4.99 and is a good alternative. These can both be purchased from either Boots or Superdrug.

8. The fragrance

The Body Shop Love Etc Purse Spray is £5, smells really floral and pretty, and is great for just popping in your bag and freshening up while on the go. I really love using this in the Summer season as it's just such a light, pretty scent!

9. The hair product

Denman compact hair brushes are sold from £3.49 in both Boots and Superdrug. These brushes are also great for popping in your bag and freshening up your 'do while on the go! Mine is always in my handbag - no one likes tangled hair while out and about! Equally, if you can spare it, the travel size Batiste sprays are only around £1.50, and I carry one around in my bag at all times, too, and both products do literally come to a fiver!

10. The nail product

How could I do a best products for a fiver blog post, without including these little beauties?! Topshop's Nails range are highly pigmented nail varnishes and are sold at £5 each, and the range is absolutely huge! These are only a few of the colours, and I can promise you there really is a shade for everyone! It is virtually impossible to walk past the stand without being drawn into it!

Additional tips

- if you have any money leftover, and are new to makeup and skin care, it is also good to purchase a few basics - a deodorant, a body spray, gentle face wipes, and cotton wool pads are all around £1 each, and are really handy to have.
- if you're going on holiday soon, it's good to get a few products for that. Superdrug and Boots generally have a travel product aisle, and most of the products are sold at around £1. Make sure you get a shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, and moisturiser (one that is suitable for both body and face is best!). Travel deodorant and hair serum are great too if you can afford it, but if not, you can always use your mums!
- if you feel okay for makeup, like you don't really need anything, you could always get a cheap treatment done! Most large Superdrug and Boots stores now offer eyebrow threading/waxing for £5. Most eyebrow bars offer it for the same price too, and it is really important to have the right shape brows to frame your face! Just remember to apply something anti-bacterial over the top (I just use hand sanitiser). As they are pulling out hairs from your face, it opens up the pore where the hair was, and it can get clogged fairly easily if you don't put a cleanser on it! And remember, after having your eyebrows threaded/waxed, it can take at least half an hour to go down - so don't be arranging to meet your boyfriend or potential love interest straight after! 
- as a final tip, if you haven't found anything makeup-wise you like, save the money you do have, and wait until next week, when you can afford to buy more!

I hope you've enjoyed reading something slightly different, and if you've been struggling to find something small to spend your last bit of money on, I hope this has helped!

Sammii-Jane x

Thursday, 27 March 2014

7 deadly sins of Beauty

Ive seen the '7 deadly sins of beauty' tags going around on other blog sites, and via Facebook, and although mine is a little late, I thought I'd share mine too!

Greed - What is your most expensive beauty item, and what is your least expensive?

Most of my good quality products range from about £25-£30, and although I wasn't too sure on the exact prices of these products, I know that they are all in that range somewhere! I believe the Clinique anti-blemish set was £25 (although I personally consider that a fair price for three products), the Stila eyeshadow palette was also £25, Benefit's total moisture moisturiser was £27.50, and the Estée Lauder invisible fluid makeup was at the top of the price range, at £29. As for my least expensive (but also one of my strong favourites, ever), is my Burt's Bees lip wax, at £1.80 from Amazon!

Wrath - What beauty product do you have a love/hate relationship with? What product has been the hardest to get?

My Percy & Reed hair primer is such an amazing product, I absolutely adore it, but at £18 I find it incredibly hard to justify buying it! Plus, it really isn't easy to get - I've only seen it for sale on Amazon, BeautyBay, and in large John Lewis department stores. I'm hoping to be able to buy a Percy & Reed travel hair care set soon, so that I can sample a few more products from the range, because the products are just such good quality!

Gluttony - What are your most delicious beauty products? 

For taste, the Lush bubblegum lip scrub! I think I eat more of this than I actually use - not intentionally! I don't quite spoon it out the jar, but if any lands on my lips, I'm always more likely to eat it than scrub it! Fragrance-wise, I can't believe I didn't include it in the picture, but I've only just thought of it - my Palmers Cocoa body butter. Colour-wise, Max Factor's Glossfinity nail polish in Coral Cutie is such a pretty shade, and Rimmel's colour rush lip pen in Rumour Has It, has such a gorgeous raspberry tone.

Sloth - What product do you neglect, due to laziness?

My Mac brow set, definitely! I remember being so excited to use it, but in all honesty it is fiddly, and I haven't had the time to practise and get the knack of using it, so I've just continued to pencil my eyebrows in. Saying that, I had my eyebrows waxed yesterday, so I haven't bothered to even pencil them today, either...

Pride - What beauty product gives you the most self confidence?

Having good, clear skin makes me feel comfortable with myself. If I have good, clear skin, neat eyebrows, and a little flick of mascara, I can feel ready to take on the world. I've had really problematic skin of late, but at the moment, the Clinique anti-blemish solutions 3 step system is helping me to achieve clearer skin.

Lust - What product are you lusting after at the moment?

I'm a huge Clinique fan, and I've honestly got my eye on atleast... Half of their product range?... But while the anti-blemish kit is working for me by clearing up my spots, I still do have a bit of redness, so the redness solutions daily relief cream would be great if I could afford it (at £37), and I would love the all about eyes eye creme - mine always look so tired! I've used the travel-sized pot and it's so refreshing, I love it! As I'm expecting a baby soon, I would also like to have quick and easy makeup products that I can do while on the go - the quick blush is a little compact blush and brush, and the quickliner has a smudging stick attached to the bottom - both products would be great for when you're short on time.

Envy - What makeup things do you wish you could do better?

A lot of bloggers have answered this with 'winged eyeliner' - but I don't really have this problem. For me, I'm envious of those with really good skin, and those who are really great at makeup application. Where I can wing eyeliner, blend eyeshadow to create a smokey eye effect, apply false lashes, and create a flawless makeup base, I'd really love to be know how to wax my own eyebrows, too. It's fairly cheap at the salon, and in all honesty I like having it done, but I would also really like the option of being able to do it myself, for ease.

So, there's my 7 deadly sins - I hope you've enjoyed reading something slightly different!

Sammii-Jane x

Clinique anti-blemish solutions 3 step system review

Recently, I purchased the Clinique anti-blemish solutions 3 step system pack, as yet another way of trying to clear up my skin. The pack contains 3 half size bottles of products from the anti-blemish range, the daily facial wash, the cleansing lotion, and the moisturiser. It contains a months worth for £25, which is a good way to see if it is suitable for you. I've now been using it for the past 8 days, so I thought I'd show you how it's working for me. I am a huge Clinique fan, I love that it's so well researched, I love that it's fragrance-free so doesn't contain any irritants, and generally I just love the products, and I'm hoping to love this product as much as I love the rest of the range!

After 8 days...

On the left, is the picture of how my skin looked before, and on the right, is the picture of how my skin is looking after eight days. I know that just by the pictures, it doesn't look like the product has actually made all that much difference - but actually, it has. I've had no active break-outs since using it, and it also (slowly) seems to be calming the redness. I'm not going to give a full review at this point as I haven't been using the product long enough to be able to give you a fully accurate review, but what I can say, is that so far I do really like it, it has made a positive difference to my skin, and it is something I fully expect myself to be purchasing again. However, where it is working nicely on keeping my spots at bay, I feel that I may need to use another product in conjunction with this one, to combat the redness. I'm currently looking at the Clinique anti-redness solutions daily moisturising cream, or the anti-redness primer, that has a bit of a yellow tint to it that reduces the appearance of redness, but I'm going to continue using this for the next three weeks, and really hope that it does just clear up just from using this!

5 weeks later... 

I've been using this set for around five weeks now, and I have to say my skin is looking so much better! To give you a full review, I'm going to talk about the products separately. The main product I love from this set is the foaming cleanser, it is so gentle yet so effective I think it's great, and it's the best face wash I've ever used, and I love how it's fragrance free, too. I just feel so fresh when I use it, and it cleanses off the oily skin (and I have a lot of it!), and I find that it's quite a mattifying wash, which really helps my skin. As it's irritant free as well, it's been really good at calming my red, blotchy patches too. This foaming cleanser will be a definite repurchase, as I adore it, it has really worked for my skin!

The cleansing lotion is also a mattifying product as it contains talcum powder (you do have to shake the bottle before each use to get the powder to float to the top though), and as it's really gentle, the lotion doesn't sting when you apply it, as many harsher cheap cleansers can do - but is equally, as you can see, pretty powerful! It has given really good results, and I am generally quite pleased with it!

The moisturiser - I don't know how to word it in a positive way (it's not a negative thing, just something small that I found with the product), is that as it's also quite mattifying, it's also a little dry, which didn't give enough moisture for my skin, personally. I doubt I would buy the moisturiser as an individual purchase as I didn't really find that it did anything, but I do like to have a base anti-blemish moisturiser under a slightly richer moisturiser, just to keep my skin cleansed but also soft. As the whole set is £25, I do find it a really good price for a really great product, and then I just use the Dramatically Different daily moisturiser on top (£9.50 for 30ml). Luckily I haven't had to pay for the moisturiser yet as I do have a couple of sample bottles, but they have been working together for me really well! So if you find the anti-blemish moisturiser quite drying as I did then I think this would be the next best thing for you to try, as the ingredients would be fairly similar as it's an allergen/fragrance free, tested, reputable brand. 

So, you can see the results for yourself, and all I can do is encourage you to give it a try! It's such a great set and has solved my skin care problems, it works for me and now I don't feel the need to try anything else! I suppose everything else I was using was just too harsh, but you would never know until you try a more gentle product! I hope you guys are having a great week! 

Sammii-Jane x

Monday, 24 March 2014

Loreal Miss Manga mascara review

So, pretty much every time a new product comes out and catches my eye, I really can't wait to try it. I love to review my recent purchases, as I personally love to read other reviews, but equally know how to make full use of the product, and how it will best enhance my features, so reading other reviews is a good way to learn about the product.
As soon as the Loreal Miss Manga mascara arrived on the shelves at my local drugstore, I couldn't wait to try it. I normally never buy products from drugstores, as I personally find the make-up irritates my skin, and if I'm honest, I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to cheap make up. I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for, so I tend to only buy from good quality reputable brands.
However, the Miss Manga mascara had been advertised literally everywhere, and with the super cute packaging and anime panda, I had been really looking forward to purchasing it and trying it out.

In all honesty, I really wanted to love the product. I hate giving negative reviews about make up, but I am always honest in what I say and think of a product. I had heard really good reviews about the Miss Manga mascara and wanted to match the positive opinions of everyone else.

 A lot of customers who bought the product saw a really positive difference from using this mascara, but I personally could think of at least two mascara's that I had used for the same kind of price range that I thought were far better. My favourite ever mascara is the Max Factor Masterpiece mascara, which is retailed at around £11. I've tried high end mascara and drugstore mascara, but this one has always been my favourite. It enhances my lashes and makes them all thick, fluttery, long and beautiful, and I just adore it. My second favourite mascara is slightly cheaper (retailed at around £6) and is the Maybelline Falsies mascara, which is the one I'm using at the moment. Where the Max Factor mascara is my favourite, I'm  always open to trying new mascara's, too.

For me, I just didn't love the product as much as I wanted to. I didn't feel by any means that it was a bad mascara, but I thought it was just a standard 'does what it says on the tin' kind of mascara. It is retailed at around £6, so it is cheaper than the mascara's that I personally prefer, and for the price it isn't bad at all. It does give good, thick coverage on your lashes, and it does last, so I think that if you were to wear it out for an evening then it would be a really good product. But for me, personally, I just didn't get on with it as well as I had to my preferred mascara. I am, however, going to include a picture of me, with one eye make-up free, and the other eye with the Miss Manga mascara, to give you a fair idea of the coverage and effect of this Loreal mascara.

It does also have an interesting shape brush, where it's shaped to be long-bristled on the outer corners of your eye, connecting with shorter bristles for the delicate inner corners of your eye, which I thought was a really good detail. The first picture in this post shows you the shape of the brush.

The Miss Manga mascara does have really good reviews, so just because I didn't like it that much doesn't mean that you won't, and I would still encourage you to try it, for such a reasonable price. It has a 4/5 star rating from Boots, and with plenty of the nation loving it, I'm sure you will, too.

I hope you've all had a great weekend! 

Sammii-Jane x

March/April 2014 beauty wish list!

Hey guys! So, I thought I would share with you my beauty wish list for March/April. Makeup-wise, I'm generally pretty happy with everything I've got - I have a lot of makeup, and I've been lucky enough to be able to purchase/sample a lot of really great makeup this past month. However, my bank balance is not very happy with me now because of it, so I may need to wait just a couple more weeks until I can buy everything else!

Recently, I purchased the Real Techniques retractable bronzing brush. But I didn't want to use it until I had other brushes from the set, so I have my eye on the eye shading brush, and retractable lip brush, both £6 (via Google shopping). These brushes would be a fantastic addition to my makeup bag, as my eyeshadow brush is incredibly old, and I don't even own a lip brush, yet I have been wearing a lot more lip products of late.

I've also been wanting The Body Shop Papaya Body Butter for a long time now - but I always find something else that seems a better use of £13 whenever I go to buy it! Last time I went in store I also tried on a coral coloured lipstick - I have been loving coral of late and this Colour Crush Lipstick is more of an orangey shade than pink, which is a nice change from the usual pink tones! The Colour Crush Lipstick is £10, but The Body Shop are doing online discounts at the moment of up to 40% off - it does help to shop around! So these products together would usually cost £23, but online it comes to £14.95 with free delivery. 

My skin has been getting better of late, and I would love to be able to repurchase Benefit's Porefessional Primer. As it's a tinted primer, it blends the redness of your pores so it appears smoother and more blurred, where a usual non-tinted primer just sits on top of your skin, but doesn't cover anything. I personally don't like heavy makeup, so this would be a really nice alternative to be able to use on my skin, when it does clear up.

The last thing on my list would be the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual. It shows you how to apply your makeup, what you should use for your skin type, how to properly use and clean your brushes, everything! So I would really love to purchase this book, I'm hoping it's like a makeup masterclass manual! 

So, these are the products I would love to purchase - but I think I'll be waiting a little while to! What's on your wish lists? Hope you're having a great week!

Sammii-Jane x

Sunday, 23 March 2014

My top 5 beauty products - March/April 2014

Morning everyone! So, these are my favourite beauty products for March/April 2014! I'm really hoping you'll be interested in trying some of these products, as they're just too good to miss out on!

1. Clinique anti-blemish solutions 3 step system 
My top favourite has to be this set from Clinique, which is retailed at £25. It is the best thing I've used for my skin so far - clearing it up has been an ongoing battle but this has been the best thing for it. I've only been using it a week as I'm writing this now, and my mum commented today saying my skin was looking much clearer! All Clinique products are fragrance free and allergy tested. As my skin is so problematic (I have an oily T-zone and dry cheeks, and generally get break-outs all the time because of it) I thought that would be a great product to try, and so far, I've had no break outs because of it, and my skin seems to be clearing up! Yay!

2. Clinique Happy in Bloom
I am a huge fan of Clinique products - and I love the smell of the new Happy in Bloom fragrance. It just smells so fresh, and floral, and the smell of it is just so pretty it really does make me quite happy! It is retailed at £26.50, and is definitely my second favourite product of the month.

3. Burt's Bees Lip Wax
This just makes my lips feel so incredibly soft and nourished! It is made from beeswax which is a natural skin softener. I've learned recently that petroleum-based products (such as Vaseline) don't actually moisturise your lips - they just grease them. This Burt's Bees lip wax is so softening, and doesn't make your lips look really shiny, it just gives a natural, pretty, soft finish. It contains peppermint extract, so it does make your lips feel slightly tingly - but I really like this product, and the way it smells is just so good! 

4. Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm
This product is amazing! My hair is incredibly curly, untame, and naturally messy. This product came free with the purchase of Elle magazine, and I'm so glad I bought it! It makes my hair so much easier to manage, softer, and shinier. It just looks in so much better condition from using this product! The Wonder Balm is retailed at £18 for a full size bottle. I have also done a recent review if you're interested in reading more about this product!

5. A back-combing brush
I was very inquisitive to these on-trend back-combing brushes, so I bought a cheap one from Primark to try out at home, which cost only £1! I am loving it - where my hair is incredibly curly it can also lay quite flat due to the weight of it, but using one of these brushes to tease my roots, and a bit of hair spray, really works wonders for my hair! I still haven't gotten over the novelty of using it, either!

So, these are my favourite products for March/April 2014! Do you have any favourites? Or, any suggestions of really good products to try out? I hope you've all had a great weekend!

Sammii-Jane x

How to apply false eyelashes correctly - Tutorial

Hey everyone!

This is a tutorial/guide on how to apply false eyelashes correctly. I think that false eyelashes are such a great way to make your look completely flawless, they can finish your makeup look and you can look so put together if they're applied correctly. They're just as important as having the right eyebrow shape for your face. They aren't really something you should wear every day, as it can be quite expensive, and using the same eyelash glue every day can lead to bad hygiene, and as your eyes are just so delicate that isn't something you should want to risk every day. However, on occasions, like if you're going out for the night, or a wedding, or photoshoot, they can complete your look, and help you achieve that flawless perfection you've been after. 

As you can see from pretty much every photo from my blog, I do wear false eyelashes a fair amount of the time - I love how they look, I don't wear them more than twice a week though. Equally, for just a little more definition for those of you with short, stumpy lashes (like mine), individual lashes are perfect if you want to opt for a more subtle look. Strip lashes are the ones used most often, as they give you such a high impact of definition. You can get these on eBay quite cheap (they're usually sold in packs of ten, shipped from China, for around £2, free p&p). 

The things you will need are your pair of false strip eyelashes, a pair of good tweezers, and good eyelash curlers. 

The pre-steps you want to take is to start with a completely naked, makeup free eye. The first thing you want to do is size the eyelash to your eye. Strip lashes usually come quite long, and I have small eyes, so I need to cut them down. Strip lashes are shaped for one side to be a little more sparse (that's the side designed for the inner corner of your eye), and then it flares out, getting thicker and fuller (that's the end designed for your outer corners). If you cut a little off the fuller side, this will help you create the most natural look.

Then, if you use an eyelash curler to curl your natural lashes, this will help your strip lashes to sit better on top of them. If you use an eyelash comb to comb through your lashes, this wil help create the most flawless look. 

You're now ready to apply your false eyelashes!

The first step is to apply a thin strip of eyelash glue to the joining strip of the eyelash. This can be done by holding the eyelash with a pair of tweezers. I like to use Eyelure Eyelash glue, which is around £7, from Superdrug and Boots. If you leave the glue to dry on it for around 15 seconds before applying it to your lash, it becomes quite tacky instead of liquidy, which makes it easier for applying.

When the glue is tacky, you can use a pair of tweezers to apply the lash to your eyelid. Apply it directly on top of your lash line, but be careful to apply it to the skin and not your lashes, as this can cause damage and breakage to your lashes. If you hold the strip lash there with the tweezers for around another fifteen seconds, it has a better chance of staying there all day. 

I then like to gently press the lashes using my fingers, so that they hold better. It is then best to leave them to dry for a couple of minutes, before the final steps. You don't want to rush it or you might have to start again. 

For the final steps, I like to curl my lashes all together again. You have to do this really gently as you don't want to risk the strip lash coming off, so instead of holding the eyelash curler to your lashes, pump it lightly a few times on your lashes. You can then apply your eyeshadow on to your eyelids, and draw a line of eyeliner directly above your lash line, to create the best definition, and most flawless look. The last thing (this is optional, but creates the best results), is to apply a black mascara to your lashes, to match the real and the false ones together. You can use an eyelash comb to separate your lashes again if you feel you need to, or have managed to create a few unwanted clumps of mascara. This should give you the most flawless look.

I hope that if you've been struggling with applying false eyelashes, that this guide has helped you! I hope you're all having a great weekend.

Sammii-Jane x

Friday, 21 March 2014

Percy & Reed Wonder Balm Review

Hey guys! So, you might have seen in your local shops that the April edition of Elle magazine comes with a free sample. I was browsing the magazine section when I saw it; when a magazine is sealed then you know it usually comes with a free gift. I picked it up to see what it was, and it was the Percy & Reed Wonder Balm. 

It claimed to be a "miracle hair product, worth £18, a primer that works for everyone", and on the front of the bottle it names itself as the "perfectly perfecting wonder balm". I found these to be very big claims to make, but, Elle magazine would never promote a product if it wasn't good quality. So, although I was sceptical, I was also interested. My hair is very frizzy, very untame, and very difficult to manage, so of late, I've been looking into trying a bunch of different products that help keep it in good condition, and make it easier to style. 

This is what the wonder balm looks like. On the back of the product it describes itself as "A miracle leave-in balm, which helps give you moisture, shine, smoothness, definition, softness, light hold, high humidity protection, and manageability." The idea of it is that it acts as a primer for your hair, after washing and conditioning, you apply this product and it helps tame your hair, and give smoothness and shine, etc. You can use this alone or as a base under other products. I used this product, and Tresemme Heat Defense spray. I combed my hair into three layers and blow-dried it on the diffuser setting of my hair dryer - I've heard that blow-drying it on low heat retains shine and keeps it in good condition as no heat is being used.

have to say, I love this product! For me, I noticed straight away that it made my hair so much easier to style, and the finish was a lot softer than my hair would usually have felt. It does smooth, it does make your hair feel softer, it does tame, and, it does smell amazing! When i blow-dried it last night it felt so mush smoother, and swishy, like I'd just stepped out of a salon, and it smelled so good! It has retained the style well overnight, all I've done this morning is brushed my hair through, clipped my fringe back, and ran some argan oil through my hair, using my fingers. It was so easy, and so manageable, and just what I've been looking for to make styling my hair easier! Honestly, I would buy this product again - it just did everything I was hoping it would, the only criticism I have is that it seems a very small bottle for the price. I'm unsure if this sample bottle (75ml), is a full size of the product or not, but if it is, it's a lot to pay for so little product, but I am going to look into it. If the product is a bigger size I will definitely be purchasing it! 

I hope you guys do give this product a try - for the £4 that the magazine costs, it is well worth sampling! I love it, and I hope you guys do too! Have a great weekend!

Sammii-Jane x

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Stila In the Light eyeshadow palette tutorial

Hey everyone! Today I thought that I would try my Stila eyeshadow palette for the first time, and show you guys the steps I took to create the look. Stila have various eyeshadow palette collections, but the palette I used today was called 'In the Light', which contains 10 different neutral tones, and it is retailed at £25. I think this set is the best alternative to the Urban Decay Naked palette ranges, if you just don't want to pay the £37 that they cost, and in all honesty, I already prefer my Stila palette! The shades are beautiful, and the powders are a really good quality and consistency, and it has a good variety of shades. It does however contain 10 different shades, where the Naked palette contains 12 shades. I have used the Naked palette before and can't really fault it except for the price, but I find the Stila palette just as good, if not better.

So, this is what the box looks like, and makeup wise, I only applied my face makeup (bareMinerals Primer, Ready foundation, Bronzing powder, and Mineral veil), and lightly defined my eyebrows, keeping my eyes bare. 

This is what the inside of the palette looks like, and the variety of colours it contains. It also has a Waterproof Smudge Stick eyeliner.

Using just a normal eyeshadow brush, the first step I took was to apply the shade 'Bare' all over my eyelids. This was to create an initial base powder.

I then applied 'Sandstone', blending it out lightly to the corners of my eye.

I then applied 'Gilded Gold' to the bottom half of my eyelids, keeping the brush close to my lash line. I then neatened up the edges using a cotton bud, and applied the shade 'Kitten' to the inner corners of my eye, and brow bone, blending it through.

I then used my Maybelline Lasting Drama gel eyeliner, and the little brush that comes with it, to apply a thin flicked line, keeping close to my natural lash line. I think the part that people can find difficult with gel eyeliners, is the concept of a fiddly brush, but for me, I found that this Maybelline set is one of the easiest products I've ever used. Also, as long as you apply the liner over your natural lash line, at least initially (instead of maybe trying to create something heavier), then the flick should just naturally glide on and out, fairly easily.

I then curled my lashes using an eyelash curler, and applied Maybelline's Falsies mascara's my upper lashes. I applied two coats. I love this mascara, it has a flared brush which makes the application for your lashes really easy, because the brush flicks out naturally the same way your lashes do - this is definitely my favourite high-street mascara.

I then just used my powder brush to brush away any loose bits of eyeshadow under my eyes, and this was the finished makeup look! I'll definitely be trying out some more styles with my Stila eyeshadow palette soon.

Hope you guys are having a great week,

Sammii-Jane x