Thursday, 26 March 2015

Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Blender Brush

Hi dolls, I hope you're well and having a great week so far! I'm feeling really chilled as I have a couple of days off work and have family over - it's a lovely way to relax for those precious days of holiday. Today's post is a beauty review - I'm really trying to up my makeup game at the moment and as such I'm trying out lots of new products, most of which I want to get around to reviewing on their own rather than grouped into a favourites post as I enjoy posting more thorough reviews. With that in mind, today I want to talk to you about the Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Blender Brush, something I've tried recently and completely fallen in love with.

Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Blender Brush - Beauty Bay

This brush is unlike anything I've tried before: it's very round with short bristles which makes it absolutely perfect for blending eyeshadows or kohl pencils. The shape of the brush allows absolute precision and it's become an absolute must-have for my makeup bag. I'm having a real smoky eye phase at the moment and this brush is perfect for that kind of look. It is worth noting that this brush shines most for blending as opposed to actual application of product, but this tool has proved itself invaluable for the former. The kind of brushes I usually use are more contoured with longer bristles which now seem a little flimsy by comparison - this is particularly amazing when working with darker colours as you can accurately smudge and blend to your heart's content with the short, sturdy bristles. Urban Decay are one of my absolute favourite premium beauty brands: one of the reasons that I love them is because they're cruelty free, and as such this brush has synthetic bristles and a recycled aluminium handle. It's worth noting that despite being synthetic, the bristles are still nice and soft.

The makeup artist on my local Urban Decay counter recommended this brush to me, but it's worth noting that it has actually been discontinued and the only place I've found it available online is at Beauty Bay where it is sold for the bargain price of £10. I heard about this brush through word of mouth and I'm really pleased with it, so it seemed only fair to let you guys know about it too! If you love a messy, smudgy, smoky makeup look (or just fancy an easy way to blend out your eyeliner pencil) then this may well be for you. Recommended!


PS. I'm trying out using self-explanatory post titles for my reviews and favourites posts, to make posts easier to reference and so that they have a relevant title (outfit posts will still use song lyrics of course, as I'm still a total music junkie and need to work that in here somewhere!) What do you think - better idea or weird after all this time?

Monday, 23 March 2015

Your heart's a mess.

Hi dolls, I hope you're well and had a good weekend. Wasn't the weather beautiful? Today I have a day of errands to run but all I want to be doing is sitting in the sunshine. Maybe spring is finally showing it's face, but it'll need to warm up a little bit more before I believe that! Anyway, today I've got another outfit post to share - and the sunglasses are out for the first time in 2015, yay! Enjoy!

Necklace - Regal Rose
Cardigan - H&M
Tunic - Free People
Boots/Sunglasses - Topshop (old)

When doing my makeup for this look I was feeling a really grungy, desaturated vibe which I created using the Naked 2 Basics and Cashmere Velvetine from Lime Crime (with a clear gloss on top, since everything on my face was matte and I was looking a bit too zombie-fied.) Of course I ended up covering half my face with sunglasses anyway as it was so bright out, but it was fun to have a play with darker, grungier makeup.

I wish my entire wardrobe was from Free People, I really do. I bought this beauty in the sale around Christmas time with the intention of it being one of my go-to pieces for summer worn with denim cutoffs and a bikini top. Still, I got overexcited at the merest glimpse of sunshine so I got it out earlier than planned, albeit with some slightly more weather-appropriate attire: a H&M cardigan that I'm wearing with everything, and some black tights and boots. Everything about this tunic is awesome: the strappy back detailing, the lace up front, the rose lace trim. Find this outfit on Lookbook here...

What do you like to wear when transitioning from winter to spring? Have you tried anything from Free People before?

Friday, 13 March 2015

There's no nicer witch than you...

Hi dolls, I hope you're well and not having too scary a Friday 13th! Today's post is showing off my absolute favourite outfit at the moment. I have to apologise as the pictures are a little grainy, these were taken a few weeks ago and I was a little optimistic about how much light there was left - but my inner Tumblr geek does love a good old moody, grainy photo so forgive me this once!

Dress - Topshop
Necklace - Regal Rose
Boots - Topshop (old - similar here)

Both this dress and necklace were on my mind for a long time before I finally took the plunge and purchased them. Whilst Regal Rose are a long-time favourite of mine, this dress was a risk for me, mostly because on the hanger it looks like potentially the most unflattering shape ever for anyone with curves. However, it kept catching my eye and when I tried it on it really surprised me as, belted or not, it is surprisingly flattering and makes me feel really good. The paisley print does most of the talking, making the dress really easy to chuck on with my favourite boots and jewellery (I think it's just perfect with the Cosmos necklace - I'm so pleased I bought it at last!) Find this outfit on Lookbook here...

This really is my go-to piece at the moment: it's been worn to a friend's birthday drinks, for a London date night, and will be worn again at the weekend for a family meal. So whilst it's a little more than I usually like to spend on a dress, I like to think the cost-per-wear has justified it a little! How are you feeling about the paisley trend - up your street or a little too much?

Monday, 9 March 2015

Your beast of burden.

Hi dolls, I hope you're well! Today I'm sharing an outfit post from yesterday - I went shopping with my boy and treated him to lunch as it felt like ages since I'd gone out and done something other than errands on my day off. That's the problem with having Sundays off - they usually end up as lazy family days which I love, but sometimes you need to just get out the house. Here's what I wore...

Necklace - Nude Jewellery*
Wrap Top - Topshop
Cardigan/Skirt - H&M
Overknee Boots - Topshop

Earrings -Accessorize 
Lately I've been particularly enjoying Queen Michelle's posts on Danseuse Balletwear, which is probably why I felt drawn to this wrap top. To me it has a real off-duty ballet dancer vibe and will hopefully tide me over until I can get my hands on one of the Misty skirts (which, no apologies, I plan to wear as regular daywear unless I'm brave enough to drag myself to a beginners ballet class - I'm the least co-ordinated person in the world but God knows I could use the toning up.) This created quite a feminine silhouette which needed some overknee biker boots (aptly named Destroy, they look as though they could do just that) to toughen things up a little. I'm obsessed with these H&M cardigans, too, which are only £7.99 but layer in a really chic way with just about anything.

Nude Jewellery is a London Jewellers which offers a whole host of beautiful and unique jewellery - as a sucker for quirky accessories it's right up my street, but there are some classic pieces too. This necklace falls somewhere in between - it feels modern yet still works with everything - it hangs at a lovely length and I love it with this outfit. I really love the effect of hammered metal as it catches the light so perfectly. Find this outfit on Lookbook here...

So, in other news, did anyone get their hands on anything from the MAC Cinderella collection? I hear it sold out in 20 minutes! We don't have a counter near where I live so I decided to treat myself to the Urban Decay Shadow Box instead (which cost about half the price and has encouraged me to play with colour so maybe it all worked out for the best...) It's hard to tell here but I'm wearing a purple smoky eye which I'm relatively pleased with (in that I don't think I look like I've been punched in the face too badly.) Do you like to go out on Sundays, or are they strictly onesie and movie days?

Monday, 2 March 2015

Spinning senseless through an endless black sky...

Hi dolls, and welcome to my February favourites post. If February is the month of love, I've certainly been loving a lot this month and I can't wait to share these items with you so let's get stuck in!

Lime Crime Velvetines in Cashmere
So, I'm blaming Harley for this one: I've finally tried the Lime Crime Velvetines and I cannot fault the formula. It smells like cookies, is long-lasting without feeling drying, with perfect colour payoff after just a single application. I want one in every colour and highly recommend these for those who are a fan of a bold, matte lip. *I'd written this post a little while before the awkward Lime Crime scandal unfolded. Years ago, I was a huge fan of Doe Deere's blog but over time witnessed some very dubious drama unfold. Seemingly history has repeated itself and I would highly recommend using a secure payment method such as Paypal if you plan to order from the Lime Crime website.

The Body Book by Cameron Diaz
To be quite honest, I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did - I feel completely enlightened by it. Separated into sections to do with nutrition, body and mind, I feel it has totally opened my eyes on the subject of health and fitness. Rather than suggesting a specific diet plan or exercise regime, this book goes into detail as to what our bodies need to truly flourish, and explaining how a modern-day lifestyle actually has it's downfalls regarding health and fitness which we can remedy by eating well and moving more. This book has encouraged me to pay more attention to what my body needs, and for the first time I understand just how much I will benefit from treating it well.

Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Cosmic
Filled with fine sparkle, this Moondust shadow is so, so beautiful. I opted for Cosmic which is the perfect highlight shade for a night out, giving lids a beautiful glimmer without straying into the realms of tacky, chunky glitter. I love this.

Sekonda Rose Gold Watch - via Topshop // Links of London Rose Gold Pendant*
Like just about everybody else, I'm loving the influx of rose gold everything at the moment - it warms up my usual silver choices without clashing, which makes a pleasant change - so I've been really pleased to add a couple of extra pieces to my collection lately. The Links of London pendant is beautifully reflective, whilst I love the pyramid stud strap of the Sekonda watch.

Bra and shorts - Ann Summers
Bra fitting has always been something I've painstakingly avoided but after my own measurements just weren't adding up I went into Ann Summers and asked to be fitted. The experience was so helpful, I learnt a lot about how to determine whether a bra is the correct size, and I learnt that it really isn't a case of one-size-fits-all - a DD in one style might be perfect whilst another comes up tiny. Personally, the plunge styles made at Ann Summers fit me perfectly, they feel both sexy and supportive, and having bought the classic black and white options a few months ago and still loving them I decided to treat myself to this red set. I'd wholly advise getting fitted in there as I feel like a weight has been lifted (very literally!)

The Glam Guide by Fleur De Force
Somehow I'd never heard of Fleur de Force either through blogging or YouTube. But being an illustration geek who's madly in love with Sally Faye's work I felt I needed this book as soon as I'd read that she'd illustrated it (and hey, any kind of advice on how to be effortlessly glamorous is always welcome.) In total honesty I don't really feel like the content of this book goes into a whole lot of depth, maybe it's just not my cup of tea, but it's probably a really great option for beginners - teenagers or anyone not too sure about their personal style. For those already interested in fashion and beauty there probably isn't a lot you'll learn from this book, but with that said, it's a pleasant enough read and the illustrations are just lovely.

Have you tried any of these items? What were your February favourites, and will you be giving any of these a go?

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

With lips like morphine...

Hi dolls, I hope you're well! Today I'm posting a different kind of wishlist to usual: this time it's all about not clothes, but cosmetics. Despite being makeup mad, beauty can end up taking a real back seat here on my blog aside from in my monthly favourites posts, so today I wanted to share an insight into the beauty products I'm craving right now.

-Stroke of Midnight Eyeshadow Palette by MAC Cosmetics - I often find that MAC palettes from collaboration collections contain eyeshadows that are a bit out-there for my taste - I can't say I regularly stray away from neutral shades when it comes to eye makeup - but the colours in the upcoming MAC x Cinderella collection (available in stores March 13th!) are really very safe and therefore up my street. As the proud owner of two Naked palettes and their baby Basics palette I'm not sure I need this, but I certainly want it.
-Soar Lip Pencil by MAC Cosmetics - this is a result of the phenomenon known as The Kylie Jenner Effect - her full lined lips have set the beauty world on fire and suddenly Soar (her choice of lip pencil) has become coveted by everyone including me.
-Lancome La Base Pro Hydra Glow Primer - I've been trialling this from a sample tube for a week or so now and I love the hydration and luminescence it gives my skin. But for me personally, its really expensive for a primer - I just wish I could find something equally as good!
-Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin - Urban Decay's primer potions are all fantastic and I'd love them all, but I suspect Sin has the edge for me as it's gorgeous day or night.
-Duwop Lip Venom - This has mixed reviews - has anyone tried it? I'd love a really effective lip plumper and I love that crazy tingling sensation, but I'm curious if this would be any better than high street favourite Sexy Mother Pucker.
-Lime Crime Velvetines in Riot and Red Velvet - I recently acquired my first Velvetine, which smells like cookies and has a fantastic, long lasting effect and beautiful yet edgy colour. I need these next two shades in my life - Riot is an earthy brown-red, whilst Red Velvet is a true red. Swooning.
-Origins Make A Difference Plus Moisturiser - I've heard fantastic things about this moisturiser and it's time to see if it can make a difference on my dry skin.
-Nails Inc Polishes in Chelsea Square and Alexa Hearts - I recently had a glitter manicure painted using Chelsea Square, an amazing full coverage rose gold glitter, whilst Alexa Hearts is an adorable topcoat I've been lusting over for a while.
-TIGI Oatmeal and Honey Hair Mask - a friend uses the Oatmeal and Honey range from TIGI and rumour has it they smell incredible. As a TIGI fan and a sucker for any kind of hair mask, I'd love to try this.
-NARS Lip/Nail/Cheek Gift Set in Roman Holiday - I'm not the kind of girl that is obsessed with pink, but this Roman Holiday shade looks really interesting - slightly offset with a purple tone (at least to my eyes) it takes away some of that sickly sweet edge. I think this trio would make a real impact paired with a black or monochrome outfit.

And there you have it - these are some of my beauty lust-haves right now! Have you tried any of these products? Which would you recommend?