Saturday, 28 May 2016

Makeup Tips for Glasses + Contacts Wearer

One thing that I always struggled with when wearing glasses was makeup. Like what's the point of wearing eyeliner when your glasses are in the way, or concealer when your lenses cast a shadow over your undereye anyway? So when I was contacted about writing a post on makeup tips for glasses or contact wearers by Feel Good Contacts, I said yes because I could have really done with these tips myself!

For a bit of background I've been wearing glasses since I was about 12, and I started wearing contacts a few years ago, mainly on weekdays. I think glasses have started being seen as more trendy in the last couple of years. However, as much as I wish I did, I really don't suit glasses at all, and hence the contacts. I think contacts do let you experiment with your makeup more, they can also be more convenient, it's better than stacking glasses on when you go to see a 3D movie! Saying that, glasses also have their positives, for example your eyes don't dry out as much when sitting at a screen all day when wearing glasses. So to sum it up I prefer both contacts or glasses based on the situation, and here's some tips if you're a fellow glasses/contacts wearer:

  • Eyebrows are said to frame your whole face, and I think this definitely applies to those who wear glasses. I'm not going to go on about how they must be precisely filled in because actually they don't! Not everyone's eyebrows need to look the same, and I've got a confession to make; I've never filled mine in! I groom them (tidy the strays away), but I like to leave the natural shape and thickness.
  • One of the tips I've heard is to go in with heavy eyeliner to bring your eyes out, but I think this assumes that everyone wears those big, round glasses. Whereas, I'm the total opposite. I have a smallish face and so I stick with the smaller glasses, so basically the Harry Potter style ones. Due to my frames being so small a finer line would work better for me.
  • Applying eyeliner in your lower waterline can also be a great trick. Sometimes it is advised not to tightline with contacts in, as the formula can get transaferred to your contacts, but I've found a creamy eyeliner with little fallout (like the Rimmel Scandaleyes range) works fine. If your lenses make your eyes look smaller, a nude liner in the waterline will help counter this.
  • If you find it difficult to play up your eyes, then try making your lips the focal point! I think a statement lip looks amazing with glasses.
I hope you enjoyed this post!
Do you have any tips for glasses/contact wearers?

Monday, 23 May 2016

L'Oreal Studio Secrets Resurfacing Primer Review

I was looking back on my posts recently, and upon realising many of my most loved products are yet to make an appearance, I thought it was about time I reviewed more of my favourite products. So here goes!  Many moons ago, when I was looking for a primer that would give me that flawless base, I heard of the L'Oreal Studio Secrets Resurfacing primer. Admittedly, I was quite shocked by the price, £14.29 for a drugstore primer (here). However, it's not everyday that I buy a primer so I decided to give it a go.

I was looking for something that would smooth over my skin, almost like a soft focus effect, and a primer that would help with the longevity of my makeup. L'Oreal claim this primer masks wrinkles and uneven textures, giving you smooth feeling skin with a velvet touch, all thanks to it's high 'elastomer' content - which basically means rubber (or silicones to you and I, you really do learn something new everyday!).

The texture of this primer is very unusual, I can't say I've come across anything quite like it! It's consistency is that of a very light, whipped mouse. It's pale pink colour is also quite unique. You get 15ml of product in the little jar, and granted it does seem like a tiny amount for the price, but you only need the tiniest bit per application. I would really start with the bare amount as it actually does a great job at spreading and smoothing over the skin, plus if you apply too much it will ball up and the texture won't be as smooth as expected. I have made a small dent in my jar but I only use it for occasions, however if you were using it more often you might find that it runs out quicker. Also, whilst I really like it, I probably wouldn't want to wear it daily because of the high silicone content.

As for application, I scoop a little bit of product out using my ring finger and just dab and smooth it over the areas where I need it most, so for me it's the nose, my cheeks and forehead. I then smooth what's left over on the rest of my face. Whilst most claims of the 'velvety-smooth' finish are often exaggerated when it comes to adverts, I can honestly say this is not the case with this primer! As crazy as it sounds, it really does leave my skin feeling soft like velvet. The texture of my skin is all evened out and it creates a really nice base for foundation and layering products up.

As for it's claims about longevity, I have noticed that my base stays on longer. It looks fresher and my blush is still where I placed it, rather than having melted off half way down my face. However, at the same time I wouldn't put this in the same category as other primers which I think are more heavy duty, I think this one is more focused on creating that flawless base for application rather than meeting a target of so many hours.

L'Oreal claim the studio secrets primer gives a matte look and a silky finish to the skin, making it suitable for combination and oily skin, however I would say the finish is more on the semi-matte or satin side. Even with my dry skin I don't find it uncomfortable at all, and I don't find it so matte it removes all the shine either.

Overall, I realise it might not sound like it but I really do enjoy this primer! I think that when thinking of primers you tend to think about extending the wear of your make up, but this primer offers something that's a bit more different. By smoothing over any uneven textures it gives me more of a flawless base before I've even applied any foundation or concealer. It is however a pricey product for a drugstore range, and it seems to be disappearing from my local drugstores which is a shame.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Which primers would you recommend?

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Updating my S/S 16 Wardrobe

I'm one of those people who will normally just throw something simple on when I go out, I use the argument that British weather means you're wearing a coat most of the time anyway.. Whilst I do like buying clothes, especially dresses, I really don't know how to pair items together. Also, let's face it, most of the time it's freezing! So I can either dress up like I'm dropping into London Fashion Week or just dress prepared for a long day at work.

However, due to my lack of fashion expertise paired with an overwhelming desire to hoard clothes, I've ended up with quite a lot of things that I either never end up wearing or which leave me feeling quite stupefied, like what on earth was I thinking?! Previously I also tended to shop more on the affordable side of the high street, and whilst I've picked up a few things I love, there have also been a few occasions where the quality has left me wanting. Since then I've realised that expensive doesn't always mean a waste of money, I'm not talking about overpriced hipster stores here, but shops where you might pay a little more, like Warehouse/Oasis, but you end up with things that last that bit longer and the material is better quality.

This is where my wardrobe upheaval begins! I'm not going to throw away everything I own because that would be a waste and plus I'll be thinking of any excuse to hold on to them. However, I only want to buy things where I'm 100% certain on them, even if that means trying on items for 10 minutes or having to return stuff (I did have to return the entirety of two recent orders as the quality of the clothing was so flimsy compared to what the images depicted!).

I also want to buy more statement pieces, almost like a capsule wardrobe, items that are timeless, of a good quality and those that can be dressed up or down.

So far on the upheavel journey, I've picked up two shirt dresses. I love these because they're so elegant and quite modest, i.e. they don't have holes cut out in the most random of places. They also have sleeves which is a rarity on the high street, and it means they can be worn throughout the year as well!

The first floral printed blue shirt dress is from Fashion Union. I was always dubious about whether the quality would be up there as it's a solely online store I think, but when I saw they had 50% off Brand Attic I decided to give is a go (here). First of all, one thing it doesn't mention on the website is that the dress is entirely see through! As soon as the initial shock faded I realised there was also a slip dress included in the parcel to be worn underneath. I fell in love with it when I tried it on with the slip, it does need to be adjusted with the strings around the waist but it's very flattering, (plus I was also a bit secretly pleased to get two dresses in one).

I also really like this Flowing shirt dress from an online store called Esprit (see here) for £59 which has a satin look. I think a satin finish makes any garment look more expensive than it is, and it will be perfect for Summer.

The second striped shirt dress is from Oasis. I believe this one has been in adverts everywhere but as much as I wanted it initially, I wasn't prepared to pay nearly £50 for something that wasn't the correct size. I have found that Oasis sizing can be a bit all over the place, but I'm generally happy to overlook this for the sake of their beautiful camisoles. Just as I was loosing hope I saw that they had a sale on and so I picked it up for £28 from House of Fraser (with free collect + I tell you) here. This is just as beautiful on and again, very classy!

Speaking of classy, how elegant does this pocket dress from Warehouse for £49 look (see here)! Definitely something I would consider for formal wear.

Lastly, I picked up a denim dungaree dress, also from Oasis, and whilst it is a trendy item, it's also something that I grew up wearing and so it brings back many happy memories. This is the only one that I brought without researching as it's almost an exact copy of the one I had as a kid. It's available for £45 here.

Finally, for some fun, if I could only pick one party dress to have in my wardrobe, it would be this amazing 2 in 1 dress with a tulle skirt also from Esprit (here)!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Do you have any advice when it comes to clothes shopping, and which stores would you recommend?

Thursday, 28 April 2016

#FACETheDay with Balance Me

In a recent post of mine I talked about the new Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream (here). For me it was something new, a skincare/makeup hybrid that was unlike anything I've tried before but I was amazed at the effect it had on my under eye area. The post was also one of my favourites to write as I actually enjoyed doing the comparison pictures, even though editing zoomed in pictures of your eye can be a tad odd! Anyway, the post was all written and done, and then out of the blue, whilst I was under piles of essay writing, I got an email from Balance Me to say that they'd love me to try out some more goodies from the range. I was absolutely fangirling at this point and when I received the parcel I was in awe of the immense effort they went to. There were treats in there and a lovely handwritten note that made my day. It's definitely one of the nicest gestures I've had throughout my blogging journey where a brand has reached out after reading a post of mine.

I have to admit that I have fallen in love with Balance Me's ethos. Their aim is to promote natural skincare, their products don't contain any parabens, sulphates, mineral oils, silicones or artificial fragrances. I'm not entirely sure but I think this could perhaps be the reason why the products feel so lightweight on my skin, they absorb without a trace. Balance Me is also about finding that healthy balance in our lives, and their products are designed to enhance our natural beauty.

One of the products I received is their new Instant Lift Pore Minimiser*. It's designed for all skin type to smooth, blur and prime the skin. Whilst minimising pores is it's main claim, it also claims to plump fine lines thus reducing the appearance of them. I don't have any fine lines just yet so I can't comment on that, but my skin does feel a lot smoother to the touch, it doesn't feel uneven or bumpy. The primer has a lovely creamy texture so you can massage it in just like you would do with any other facial cream, the texture also makes it perfect for dry skin as it doesn't stick to certain areas but glides on uniformly. There is a slight scent that's hard to place when you first apply it but it soon disappears. The primer has a satin finish which gives off a lovely natural glow and a slight dewy look on it's own but it's not too noticeable.

The main ingredients in the pore minimiser are;

  • Acacia Gum - blurs over pores and helps plump fine lines, lifting the skin's surface.
  • Acmella Oleracea - relaxes muscle contractions to prevent future signs of ageing, this sounds a lot scarier than it is! I didn't notice any of my muscles freezing and I have massive cheeks which I could still move.
  • Hyaluronic Acid - one of the most talked about ingredients that plumps and hydrates the skin.
  • Blackberry Leaf extract - boosts collagen production.

So how did the minimised pores claim stand up? First of all, I have some clusters of enlarged pores which are around my nose. They're much worse on my left side for some reason. After applying the Instant Lift Pore Minimiser* my pores on my right side had disappeared, however on my left side, whilst they are noticeably reduced, I can still see a few peeking out.

The 15ml which I have costs £22 here. Whilst it is on the pricier end of the spectrum you're essentially getting two products in one, a skincare item and a makeup primer. It might also be good for those who like investing in skincare. The primer also wears well throughout the day and creates a smooth surface for applying your makeup over.

The second product I received to try is their Tinted Wonder Eye Cream*. The reason I have three of these is because I brought another back up in Glamour after loving it so much, you can't have enough of a good thing right? I'm also interested to see how it fares in the long run, and I might put an update in this post. For the detailed review, with comparison pictures, click here. To sum it up however, I used to wear glasses and so I have slight hallows around my eyes, and whilst concealer covers up the discolouration, it doesn't lift that area up so to speak. This eye cream with it's reflective particles however does just that! It makes my eye area seem a lot brighter and I'm not as reliant on concealer as I would be without it.

Overall, I'm really glad I got to try out these products. Not only do they prep the skin perfectly for makeup but they can also be used on their own. It might seem strange using a a primer without foundation but I've found that the primer smooths over any little problem areas and just gives me a more even looking base. Yes it might not be flawless, but it's quick and easy. The eye cream also means that there are days when I'll go out without concealer, and I won't worry about looking like a panda so much.

As if the above wasn't cool enough, I was also sent some snacks. The Beond cherry bites* are my favourites, they're basically raw fruit bars that are suitable for everyone, whether you're gluten free, soya free or vegan. They're not too sour and have quite a filling texture. The Pulsin Raw Choc Brownie* did come as a taste shock as it did truly taste raw, if that makes sense! It doesn't have any flour in it, and the flavour come across like dark chocolate so it's not as sweet as the brownie bars I normally pick up (I don't even want to imagine how much sugar is in those!). It is a nice alternative to normal chocolate bars though if you don't mind it being sweetened down, it was like more of a patty that you can break in chunks. They really do have Coconut everything nowadays! These coconut curls* are a bit like flakes, they don't taste like any crisps I've had before but they're a good snack to fill you up between meals without feeling like you're junking out. The flavour I had was lightly salted, although the more of them you eat the more you can taste the salt.

Lastly, Joe's Tea Co is an organic tea supplier in London and if you asked me what was the most British thing I did, it would be my tea and biscuits time, everyday without fail! This matchbox range is a great way to try some some other teas, which means I'll be having a break from my usual breakfast tea.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have you tried any products from Balance Me?