Upin’ The Ante

Beauty

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We’ve all experienced that hysteria when you’re invited to last minute dinner plans or finally get your hands on those concert tickets with an hour to spare and you realise you’ve literally no time to get ready. I’m not sure about you but I go through this every morning and swear to myself that I’ll get up earlier tomorrow, which is all well and good when we only need to be at the office but certainly won’t cut it when you need to be looking glam for an impromptu night out…

Well ladies, panic no longer – these four steps will have you red carpet ready with time for a cheeky cocktail before you leave.

Illuminating Primer. An illuminating base will instantly perk up your face and give you that ‘glow from within’ look while appearing as if you’ve put in some serious effort (no one has to know you just slapped on some primer with your fingers).

Cream Blusher. With no need to faf about with brushes, you’re cutting half the work out already. A Cream formula will blend seamlessly with fingers and will make your complexion look plump and perky in seconds.

Brown Eyeliner. Perfect for giving the eyes that crucial definition without the harshness of a black liner. Simply smudge and smoke it out along the top and bottom eyelashes and you’ll have no need to waste any boogie time on putting together an eye shadow look.

Bold Lips. Pull the whole look together by sweeping on some lipstick straight from the bullet. Pillar-box reds are great for every complexion but if you’re not into reds, a deep pink or plum shade will do the trick to!

My Current Favourites

Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow

Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Moon Beach

Mac Teddy

Loreal Blake’s Red

Pretty Honest Life Lessons

Beauty

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Recently, I’ve been enjoying closing the world out and diving into a good book and the latest addition to my collection is a far cry from my usual crime drama novels. Sally Hughes’ ‘Pretty Honest’ is the ‘straight talking beauty companion’ for everyone whether you’re completely obsessed with all things beauty or are just starting out with make up.  It covers every beauty scenario imaginable while completely debunking all the common make up myths out there. Now that I’ve discovered my new beauty bible, let me share some of the wisdom I’ve gained from the incredible make up artist turned beauty journalist, Sally Hughes.

Embrace the red lip. I’ve spoken about my love of a good ole’ fashioned red lip in a previous post when I discovered that red lips rock and I should sport them a little more often. I stand by this statement, however, I’ve never been completely sure what sort of red tone suits my pale skin best and this is where Sally steps in to save the day. Pretty Honest takes you through a step by step guide on how to choose your perfect red for all skin types so that you can be confidently bold with your sexy pout.

Make up has power in the workplace. My work make up routine has always been centred around getting me out the door as fast as possible – That extra 10 minute snooze seems totally worth it at the time… Well, not tomorrow morning! Sally takes you through certain looks for different work place situations and actually makes me feel a whole lot better about wearing make up to make an impression. I have to admit that I really don’t think my bosses would give a toss if I turned up to the office bare faced but I now don’t need to feel guilty about the fact that make up makes me feel confident which in turn helps me to perform better. I’m not entirely sure I’ll be in this mind set though when my alarm goes off at 6am tomorrow morning.

You are in control at the make up counter. Thank God it’s not just me that get’s intimidated at make up counters to the point where I make the majority of my make up purchases online not really knowing if the colour is right for me or not! I breathed a huge sigh of relief after reading that such a self assured woman like Sally has also experienced the condescending attitude of a beauty hall consultant. Don’t get me wrong, like Sally, I have had great experiences with consultants who have been extremely kind and couldn’t help me enough – I’m looking at you girls at the Armani counter in Frasers – but 9 times out of 10 they either try to sell me something that’s completely unsuitable for me or just ignore me entirely as though I’m not worthy of their assistance. Sally’s chapter on ‘Managing Counter Staff’ will completely change your outlook if you’ve ever come across a snobby sales woman and will help you to enjoy the shopping experience in the fun, care free manner it should be.

It’s okay to enjoy beauty. So what,  you enjoy beauty and like to put a little effort in to make yourself feel better… Hey, that’s great! And people really need to build a bridge and get over it! Just because I enjoy experimenting with make up and taking care of my skin, doesn’t mean I’m shallow and self centred – It means I enjoy to be creative and to feel good and if you don’t like it, I’m certainly not going to waste a perfectly fresh face of make up crying over it.

Body Shaming… Why Do We Do It?

Lifestyle

body-love

Image courtesy of www.hercampus.com

This is a bit of a different post for me, so if you came here for a beauty related post, I do apologise, but once I get an idea about something, there’s just no putting me back in my box…

So unless you’ve been living under a rock or in the mountains, my guess is that you’ve probably heard Meghan Traynor’s new song ‘All About That Bass’. And now you’re singing it in your head because it’s just so infectious. So for that, I pay my second and last apology of this post because I won’t apologise for what I’m about to say next…

Like most of us, when I’m in the car on the way to work, I just skim over the verses and belt out the chorus and give passing drivers a taste of my superb singing skills (more like a drowning cat impression), so I had never really thought about the words of the verses until a friend pointed it out which prompted me to think about the message that it’s sending to women and young girls (and boys for that matter, however the song is aimed at women)

Before I go into it, let’s get one thing straight, I am absolutely, 100% all for loving yourself and embracing your body and I fully encourage other women to do the same so it makes me incredibly sad that in this day and age, we have lines on the radio such as ‘Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size. She says, Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.’ That’s great and all, if you’re someone like me who’s got a little extra padding we’ll say, however, this is effectively saying that all men find ‘skinny’ girls undesirable… Is it just me that thinks this is a bad message to be sending?

I completely get what Meghan is trying to do with the aim of this song and I applaud her for it. I think empowering woman to be comfortable with their curves is amazing, especially in a time where we are bombarded with photoshopped pictures of unattainable figures in the media, to stand up against that should be credited, although, am I alone in thinking that she went about it the wrong way?

It’s hard enough being a modern day women and having to live up to unrealistic expectations without having other women put us down and we shouldn’t be told that because we are a certain body type that we’re not as attractive/desirable than other women! So whatever body shape, skin colour/type etc. you are, it shouldn’t matter to anyone else and you should certainly not be judged by anyone else, let alone another woman who very probably experiences the same insecurities you do. It’s time we took a stand against all the ugly messages that main stream media puts out there and just be happy with who we are! Right?

Why Charlotte Tilbury Rocks!

Beauty

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“Make up is a woman’s secret weapon” – Charlotte Tilbury

You can probably guess by the plethora of make up I have from her collection that I am obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury, and what’s not to love?! She’s the sassy, self assured red head that we have all grown to love having worked her way through the make up industry to become one of the top make up artists with her own line. She’s well and truly nailed it!

I’m extremely picky when it comes to make up and will shun any product that just doesn’t cut it for me … You could say my make up needs are very particular, though I haven’t stumbled across any of her products that I haven’t fallen completely in love with! In her own words, her formulas are “King”, she has colours to suit every skin shade/eye colour and her packing is just stunning, who doesn’t love a good bit of packaging?!

The line is dedicated to making women be at their most beautiful and whenever I’m feeling a bit rotten, I just pop on some CT products and know that I’ll instantly feel a bit better, even the process of applying them feels luxurious! Often, the 10 minutes it takes to apply my make up in the morning is the only me time I’ll get the whole day so it’s nice to break out the good stuff every once in a while :)

Skin 180°

Beauty, Skincare

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I’ve spoken before about my skin type and how my cheeks and forehead are ‘normal’ and my T-Zone is oily… Well now, I’m happily retracting that statement as I think I’ve found a way to curb the unwanted excess oil that plagues my complexion. Instead of reaching for my usual ‘oil-free’, light options, I’ve switched things up and now find myself embracing the more hydrating, rich skin care products… Who would have thought?

Following from a conversation with my mum, who has the most beautiful, soft, perfect skin, I have ever laid eyes on (she clearly didn’t pass that gene onto her daughter), I decided to be brave and switch up my routine in a bid to get rid of some of the oil that lurks around my nose. Instead of stripping every morsel of oil out of my face, we both agreed that surely, it must be healthier to nourish my skin and maybe then it won’t feel the need to over produce oil. Don’t tell my mum, but I think she was right!!! My skin care routine has been completely targeted towards hydration for just over a week now and already I’ve noticed a massive difference in my T-Zone area! I don’t have to touch up my make up throughout the day, and when you work a 10 hour day, that my friend is a God send! Sure, I still blot… Probably out of habbit, though it’s not required nearly as much as before, maybe only once or twice a day.

Of course everyone’s skin type is different and flooding your face with hydration may be too much if you have really oily skin, but with the Winter months looming, a little shouldn’t hurt and will act as a barrier against the cold harsh weather and all the nasties that come with it!

The Dream Team!

Beauty

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I have to admit, it took me a while to jump on the GA Luminous Silk bandwagon but better late than never right?? In this case, definitely right. I’ve already babbled about my love for the foundation in my First Impressions post so I won’t bore you with the same details but let’s just say that I love it even more now than I did then and for reference, I’m now shade 2.

Paired with the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, there is no other adjective to describe the duo other than flawless! I wouldn’t wear these every day, not only due to the high price tag (I’ll be taking no prisoners when it comes to scraping the bottom of the tubes) but I like to reserve them for special occasions as I really feel like they add that little edge to make my complexion appear seamless and like I’ve made an effort without going over board.

These two are the perfect night out combo as there’s no SPF that will ruin your photos and just enough coverage to cover any blemishes without that horrible cakey finish, cause really, who wants that?

Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne

Beauty

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It’s not often I allow myself to indulge in the wonders of Jo Malone fragrances but sometimes you just have to treat yourself… It’s just a thing, roll with it!

I always walk past the Jo Malone section in stores with my head down, trying not to be lured in by the spectacular scents, but as I walked past the other day, my will power just wasn’t enough and I found myself perusing for almost 20 minutes before convincing myself that the world was not going to stop spinning if I bought myself a sneaky wee treat.

So that’s the story of how their newest fragrance landed in my collection and I don’t regret it for one minute! My first experience of the Sage Wood and Sea Salt cologne was from a tester in a magazine and it made me feel somewhat nostalgic… It wasn’t till I brought the bottle home and realised that upon first spritz it smells similar to Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue though much more refreshing. Once left to settle on the skin, it no longer smells like D&G and the longer you wear it, the better it seems to smell!

This is perfect for those of you who are looking for a more sophisticated, fresh scent, however, if you’re looking for something sweet or fruity, I wouldn’t pick this up!

I am in love with this scent and will be using it sparingly until I pluck up the courage to make my next Jo Malone purchase. Like my mum always says, its something that you receive as a gift… I’m hoping she’s taking notes, Christmas isn’t too far away ;)

Colour Correctin’

Beauty

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We’ve all been there… You go into a store and buy the latest foundation you’ve had your eye for too long. It’s been hyped up by everyone and their granny, promises to conceal every imperfection on your face and answer all of your skin care dilemmas. You swatch it on your hand and casually stroll to the pay point to hand over your tenner for your new wonder bottle only to step outside in the natural light to discover that the shade is actually 3 times too dark for your skin!!! Yup, you’ve done it again…

Not to worry, here’s how to wear your favourite foundation and make it match your skin tone perfectly. It’s time to say goodbye to the days of unused bases clogging up your storage, taunting you and serving as a reminder of all your wasted money.

It’s really simple. If your make up is too dark, lighten it… Just like that! My favourite methods are to mix my base with either a whitening BB creme or a pure white foundation so that I still experience my desired coverage/texture from my chosen foundation and achieve my perfect colour match by adding the appropriate amount of mixer foundation. Of course the amount of mixer required will depend on just how much you need the colour to change.

If you don’t want to clutter your space with more products, a few other tried and tested methods are using a brightening concealer to highlight or a highlighting powder to lighten your base.

Of course, the same techniques apply when you need to make your foundation darker. When I’m fake tanned, I mix my foundation with a dark BB creme or use bronzers to give the illusion of darker skin.

Happy mixing!!!

 

Faking It…

Beauty, Lifestyle

mornings

I’m talking about appearances, get your minds out the gutter ;)…

Whether you’re a morning person or not (which I definitely am not!) we’ve all been there. That feeling where you’d rather chew your arm off than get up and get ready for work… So we hit the snooze button once or maybe six times and turn up at the office looking as disheveled as we feel!

Well ladies, here’s how to snooze till your heat’s content and still turn up to work looking somewhat put together without being late.

Dry Shampoo If you don’t have time for curling irons in your life at 6am, this will be your God send. Just spritz some dry shampoo through your roots, massage it in and off you go. No one wants to turn up to work looking like they haven’t been home yet…

Highlight Pop some of your favourite highlighter at the tops of your cheekbones and the inner corner of your eyes to help look wide awake and ready to take on the day.

Mascara This is a personal preference but for me mascara completes any look. Remember to coat the bottom lashes to open up your eyes.

Drops Speaking of opening up your eyes, there are plenty of eye brightening drops on the market to help get rid of that bloodshot, puffy look that greets us in the mirror when we wake up.

Lips You can do this step walking to your car… A tinted lip balm doesn’t even require a mirror . I always feel ready to face the world after applying my lipstick.

Prepare I admit, I don’t prepare my things often the night before but when I do my mornings seem to run a lot smoother. Iron your clothes and lay everything out in the evenings. You won’t regret it the next day…

All About Autumn | The Contour

Beauty

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I’m back with my third Autumn update and this time I want to talk about the glorious trend that it contouring… Yup, that one that makes your face all golden and sculpted.

This Autumn, the colour and drama on the catwalks have been saved for the eyes and the blush has taken a bit of a back seat but don’t think for a second that the cheeks haven’t been getting some lovin’…

Bronzing/contouring will be a trend that will follow us into the New Year because lets face it, it’s every woman’s secret weapon to adding some dimension and slimming down the face.

Here are the products I’ve been reaching for recently to create a healthy glow.

Mac MSF Medium Dark

Nars Laguna

Dior Nude Tan BB Creme 02

Benefit Boi-ing 03