Blue Eyeliner for Wimps

blue eyeliner for wimpsNormally, the words ‘blue eyeliner’ would make me run for the hills and never look back. But ever since discovering the perfect shade, blue eye makeup no longer transports me back to the days of the Babyliss Crimping Trio and spending my pocket money on Miss Sporty liners hard enough to rip myself a new eye socket.

I saw Nicole Scherzinger on the old tellybobs last year sporting a fantastic blue eyeliner in her waterline and that’s when I cracked it. Going for a darker blue or navy rather than a turquoise pencil makes you look less Pat Butcher before the cancer got to her pancreas and more sexy and subtle Pussycat Doll.blue eyeliner for wimps blue eyeliner for wimps 3 I didn’t go for anything fancy, rather, I paid a visit to Mr Barry M and went for the Kohl Pencil in the somewhat clinically named ‘KP4′ which is a very slightly metallic dark blue. It’s not the softest kohl I’ve ever used but it does the job and really, for £1.99 who am I to grumble?
blue eyeliner for wimps
Hopefully you can rejoice in the wearability of this look as much as I’ve been. Or perhaps you’ve discovered other coloured pencils for people who don’t like coloured pencils? Let me know if you give this look a thumbs up.

Review: Gosh Boombastic Mascara

gosh boombastic reviewI mentioned Gosh Boombastic Mascara briefly in my June Favourites but seeing as I’ve used it every day for a month I thought it deserved to come out of the shadows and be publicly showered with compliments.

Horrible name aside, along with bothersome mental images of Shaggy, I’ve been entangled in a web of lust with this mascara. You can see the transformation my lashes are obviously enjoying (sorry about the poor quality of the before photo), going from shy and retiring to loud and proud. The formula is a tiny bit on the gloopy side so you need to wipe off the blob on the end (not nearly as vulgar as it sounds). The tiny, short plastic bristles really grip your lashes and help you get right in the roots so lashes are nicely coated. Because the formula is quite thick, it helps hold the curl, and I don’t experience any dreaded flaking. In the photo, I’ve put on one coat but sometimes I do two. A bit of clumping does occur if you’re too hasty between coats but I personally don’t mind spidery lashes now and again. Removal is a doddle too. I’ve had this tube for a couple of months and it hasn’t dried out or changed much in that time so it’s a big thumbs up all round.gosh boombastic mascara reviewIf you’re a fan of Max Factor False Lash Effect, I implore you try this. Even if you’re not a fan, I implore you to try this. Be warned though, it took me a couple of weeks to track this down and even then there was only one left on the shelf, so if you see it, buy two. All in all, a great mascara and definitely one to repurchase.gosh boombastic mascara review

Gosh Boombastic Mascara is available at Superdrug for £8.49

Nail Product Addict Tag

nail polish addict tag
Thanks to A Simple Mix for tagging me, I no longer feel like a saddo who never gets asked to do these!

Favourite nail treatment product?
Probably Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle. I use this as my base coat every time I do my nails. I’m not sure if it strengthens nails in the long run but it does seal up any cracks quite nicely.
Favourite luxury brand?
I’m a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to nail polish but I do love OPI. The colours are great, the brushes are fat and the names are witty.

Favourite drugstore brand?
Barry M. Super affordable and quite frankly, superb colours, formulas and finishes. A close second has to be Rimmel, the Salon Pro ones are the easiest polishes to use, I love the one-stroke application.

Best eye-catching red?
I usually go for China Glaze Hey Sailor. It’s a true, classic red and lasts for over a week without chips, which is good because chipped red nail polish is one of the biggest beauty crimes.

Most disappointing nail polish/product?
For some reason I bought OPI RapiDry topcoat thinking it would be better than my beloved Seche Vite. At the time, it was nearly £20 (I think they’ve reduced the price since then) so I was quite frankly expecting miracles. It wasn’t bad but it certainly wasn’t worth the price.

Basecoat – yes or no?
Yes! My nails have the texture of sandpaper so a smoothing base coat is a must and saves tears and frustration when removing dark nail polish.

Favourite topcoat?
Seche Vite every single time.

Favourite summer shade?
I keep going on about this and it’s getting boring but I can’t keep away from Rimmel Salon Pro in Aqua Cool (you can see it in action here) this summer. It’s one of the few pastels that doesn’t look odd on my skin tone.

Favourite winter shade?
Lincoln Park After Dark by OPI – it’s a very, very, dark blood-red that looks almost black. Gorgeous and vampy and perfect teamed with a dark red lip.

Mention something extra!
Seeing as it’s high summer, now is the only time I’m brave enough to crack out something a bit mad. Yellow Polka Dot Bikini is an insane fluorescent yellow which always gets comments (mostly good) when I wear it. I can imagine it looking great for the beach if I ever went to the beach.

Please feel free to make any suggestions, I’m a total lemming when it comes to nail polish. Looking forward to seeing other responses to this from everyone, but in the meantime, I tag:

Khrissie
Tamira
Victoria & Tori
Ruth
Zoe
Kate
Rosy

Review: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Patina

stila stay all day liquid lipstick patinaHello pals!

Having finally gotten off my fat ass and uploaded my June favourites last night after a three-week hiatus, I can safely say I’ve been bitten by metaphorical blogging ‘bug’. To mark this huzzah-worthy occasion I’m bringing you a review which I’ve been agonising over for weeks.

Stila is one of those brands I was never really bothered about (probably because the font reminds me of a pet shop) but my rampant desire to find a nude matte liquid lipstick could not be quenched in Boots. I was passing the big Marks & Spencer on Oxford Street and remembered that trusty M&S is no longer just for the aged middle classes and big pants – they stock some surprising brands in their ‘beauty hall’ including Philip Kingsley, Nuxe and of course Stila. I picked up the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina, which is a brown-toned nude-pink – a perfect match for my natural lip colour.stila stay all day liquid lipstick patina stila stay all day liquid lipstick patina First off, the smell is incredible. I’m not usually one for such twee-ness but these lipsticks have a vanilla cupcake scent which makes you want to devour the whole tube. The formula is not at all sticky, and is extremely smooth and velvety. So smooth in fact that my hand slips and slides all over the shop, making it impossible to get a neat finish with the applicator,  so this is definitely a job for a lip brush. The formula is very liquidy but dries down to the mattest finish I’ve ever seen and really adheres to the lips. Because the formula is so opaque, any wonky lines will be extremely obvious. This is absolutely not one for moving vehicle application. As it is so opaque, it’s perfect for over-drawing your lip line and covers up the real one brilliantly, giving you Leslie Ash lips if your heart so desires. To be fair, when I put this on in the morning, it does hang around for a good few hours. However, any prolonged liquid consumption causes it to flake horribly and it leaves a bit of a line. Because Patina is nude, it’s not as obvious as it could be but I dread to think how one of the bold shades would look.

As I said, the finish is very, very matte which causes some dryness issues. The first time around, Stila Patina looked absolutely awful – my lips literally resembled an elephant’s backside. They looked super cracked and dry, it was probably the worst finish I’ve ever seen. Although it feels smooth to the touch, it’s the only lip product I’ve tried that feels genuinely uncomfortable on. I didn’t include photos of it at its worse as it would simply be too graphic. Trying again after exfoliating with a sugar scrub and moisturising with Nuxe Reve de Miel overnight improved the situation a little bit but it still didn’t look great.stila patinaI’ve found the only way to make this wearable is to intensely exfoliate and moisturise beforehand, then patting on a tiny amount, using it as more of a lip stain.

These are described on the Stila website as being ‘enriched with Vitamin E and avocado oil’ which I feel might be a bit of an exaggeration. Unless you have lips made of butter and the patience of a saint, I really don’t recommend this. Other reviewers seems to like Stila liquid lipsticks in other colours so maybe some of them fare a bit better than Patina. If anyone has had any experience with these lipsticks do let me know, I want to find away to love them!

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina is available here for £15 but honestly, you’re better off not bothering.

June 2014 Favourites

june 2014 beauty favouritesGosh Boombastic Mascara Black, £8.49

I heard about this from Zara from Mouldy Fruit, and it is truly an unsung hero. It makes my lashes super thick, long and curled and I’ve been using it every single day. The formula stays good in the tube for ages too which can’t be said for many high-end mascaras. This does clump slightly if you’re too over-zealous but I don’t mind that.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Caramel, £22

I bought this about six months ago and have been using it on and off but I wasn’t blown away by it. It was until I started experimenting with other concealers that I realised what all the fuss was about. It’s super high coverage, creamy, doesn’t look grey on and doesn’t cake – and the generous shade range deserves a round of applause (although actually tracking down the right shade you want is a bit of a pain in the ass).

Benefit The Big Easy Deep Beige, £27.50

I did a full review with before and after photos here so I won’t bang on about this. It’s still going strong and has been my saviour on sweaty days.

Seventeen Trio Eyeshadow Metallic Toffee, £5.49

I don’t even remember buying this but I think I just chucked it in my basket during a Boots 3 for 2 frenzy. Three buttery nude shades and all you need for an on-the-go smoky eye, this has been a godsend. I’ve been wearing all three shades to work almost every day, and the lightest shade makes a superb inner corner highlighter. A great find!

Benefit Hoola, £23.50

I understand that this has been enjoying a bit of a second wind thanks to a recent PR push. So, I dug out my old Hoola and gave it a second chance after demoting it to the back of the drawer a few years ago. I don’t know why I didn’t like it before but I’m really liking it now. I use it as a natural contour for daytime and it really helps to slim down by saggy jowls.

Maybelline Gel Liner Black, £7.99

I’ve been banging on about this for a while but don’t think I’ve ever included it in a favourites post. After discovering the least frustrating method of application a few months ago, I can’t be without it now. I’ve had strangers come up to me asking me what eyeliner I’ve used for my cat eye and it’s always this. You can see it in action here.

FOTD: Daytime Orange Lips

daytime orange lipGoing to have to keep this short as I need to go wax my ‘tache but today signalled the first daytime bright lip of the season so I felt it deserved a post. Keep a’scrollin’ to see what products I used.

COMPLEXION
Benefit The Big Easy Deep Beige (review here)
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer 25
Sleek Face Form Contour Kit Medium
Accessorize Merged Baked Blusher Scandal (review here)

EYES
Maybelline Gel Liner Black
Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Eyeliner Nude
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara Black
GOSH Boombastic Mascara Black

EYEBROWS
Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil Black/Brown

LIPS
Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm Audacious

Nude Pink Lipsticks for Darker Skin

nude pinks for darker skin 3.jpg Aside from wiping out global hunger, my goal in life is to find the perfect pinky-nude for my skin. As most ‘women of colour’ will know, most nudes are geared towards fair skin and what might look like the ideal lipstick to start a lusty love affair with, usually looks completely wrong once on. I feel like I’m still searching for The One but I do have a few in my cosmetics cornucopia that I feel work with my skintone. The ones I’ve picked would probably work with most skintones but if you’re around the same as me (NC42) these would work as good nude-pinks.nude pink lipsticks for darker skinnude pink lipsticks for darker skin pink nudes for darker skin 3.jpg

MAC Matte Lipstick Mehr

I wear this one the most because I can put it on with my eyes closed and it still looks acceptable. It’s purple-based so balances my yellow tones well and has just the right amount of pink. Opaque and creamy and a joy to wear.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm Elusive

Another matte but a bit more pink than Mehr and not as easy to pull off but I like it all the same. Unlike Mehr, I don’t like to pile this on otherwise it just looks wrong with my colour. This one is definitely one for dabbing on or mixing with other colours. Nice formula but prone to patchiness.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Pink in the Afternoon

If you want a particular lipstick colour or texture, Revlon is the brazen harlot of the drugstore and will almost always have something to tickle your fancy. This one is the only non-matte of the bunch and definitely more peachy than the others. Pretty non-offensive and universal, so would look good on everyone.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Patina

(Review here) A brown-toned nude pink that is most true to my lip colour. It’s the most matte and opaque of the bunch, meaning you can over-draw your lip line realistically if your heart so desires the lip-job look. So smooth it’s very messy to use and needs a lip brush and intense exfoliation beforehand but once it’s on, it’s not going anywhere till kingdom come.

If anyone has any other suggestions do let me know, I have a feeling I won’t stop buying nude lipsticks until Kim Kardashian decides to stop injecting her butt with silicone-based filler.

Morning Makeup Time Savers

makeup time saversDespite my mammoth 10-hour sleeps of recent times, I really struggle to drag myself out of my pit in the mornings but today was on a whole new level. I had exactly seven minutes to do my face and I was forced to cut corners, however my face ended up looking much the same as when I spend half an hour doing it…what gives? To celebrate this merry achievement, I’m giving you the tips you need to get your face on in record time.

BASE
Forget the creamy moisturiser, primer and foundation, and put down the trowel, little one. The key to time saving is to use products that serve more than one function. Nivea Daily Essentials Hydration Primer (review here) is a moisturiser and primer in one and dries quicker than Kerry Katona’s bank account. Next, you want to use a tinted moisturiser or BB cream with SPF as your base. I’ve been reaching for Benefit The Big Easy (review here) as it’s got sun protection, it blends in easily and quickly with fingers and the liquid-to-powder formula means I can skip the powder, shaving vital seconds off the morning routine. To hide dark circles quickly, I use a creamy concealer a couple of shades lighter than my skin tone and bring it down towards my cheekbones to highlight my face at the same time. If I’ve got time I’ll quickly swirl on some bronzer but on mornings like today, quite frankly I have better things to do.

BROWS
Not compulsory for everyone but for me they’re a must. I feel they require most attention to detail so after I’ve done my base I always do my eyebrows to save time later on. I also feel better about myself when they’ve been filled in, fuelling me to go on with the rest of my face. There’s no time for eyeshadow and an angled brush so it’s pencil or pen at this stage. When I’m rushed I can make do with the felt tip on the Soap & Glory Archery eyebrow pen which is subtle enough to not make any mistakes too noticeable.

EYES
Let’s face it, you won’t be able to recreate your finest Kim Kardashian smoky eye but you can make yourself look a bit more done. Don’t even think about doing any crease work, you will 100% mess up in your rushed state and will simply waste time. Multi-dimensional, neutral eyeshadows are your friend here – they give the illusion of a contoured eye when all you’ve done is rubbed on a bit of product. Maybelline Color Tattoo in On and On Bronze blended onto eyelids with your fingers is optimum in these situations and the gel formula and muted colour means it’s simply impossible to go wrong. A bit of mascara and you’re done with the eyes!

LIPS
All you need here is a neutral pink gloss – do not try and perfect a matte lip at this stage, it’ll only end in tears and stains. Surprisingly, I’ve been loving MUA Sheer Finish Lipgloss in Happy Days (review here) which adds shine, volume and just a hint of colour.

There you have it, this should take you between five and ten minutes, unless you attempt too much and it all goes horribly wrong. Do let me know if you have any more tips that will enable me to have another few minutes in my snuggly duvet-cave!

Review: MUA Sheer Finish Lipgloss Happy Days

mua lipgloss happy daysDespite being a matte girl at heart, the recent glorious weather and reduced wind speed have made lipgloss-wearing conditions a lot more favourable. I woke up one morning and decided I need a pale pink, pornstar worthy glossy lipgloss so off to Superdrug I trotted. After much rummaging, I found MUA Sheer Finish Lipgloss in Happy Days which appeared to be exactly what I was looking for. And at a heart attack-inducing £1 I simply had to try it.mua lipgloss happy daysThe lipgloss comes in a squeezy tube (no fancy applicator here) which is never going to give you precise application but for a neutral gloss I feel this doesn’t matter. The colour ‘Happy Days’ is a pale pink with a peachy undertone and looks quite opaque in the tube. However, once on the lips, it’s more translucent, giving the tiniest hint of colour but huge levels of glossiness. I like to go over my upper lip slightly to make it look bigger, and I really do think it makes my lips look super full.mua sheer finish lipgloss  happy daysAt just £1 I fully expected this gloss to be gloopy and sticky, but it’s not! If you’re familiar with Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker lipglosses, you’ll know what sticky means. It’s smooth, moisturising and comfortable to wear. It beautifully fills in the fine lines in my lips as you can see from the close-up, giving a great plumpy effect. Wear time is standard for a gloss, so quite short but it’s pretty fuss-free to reapply.mua lipgloss happy daysAll in all, I am loving this gloss, both on its own or over a pink or nude lipstick (the first photo shows me wearing it alone on the left and over Revlon Pink Pout (review here) on the left).

MUA Sheer Finish Lipgloss is available in 7 shades and costs £1 from Superdrug.

NOTD: Pastel Polka Dots

pastel polka dot nail art.Just a quick one today because I’ve been summoned to iron questionable images onto t-shirts for a stag party Mr TBL is organising because apparently I ‘can do it better’. God help me.pastel polka dot nail art3pastel polka dot nail art2Anyway after I mentioned Rimmel Salon Pro nail varnish in Aqua Cool in my 5 Beauty Favourites Under £5 post, I had a hankering to use it again. I was in a nail art mood but wanted something a little less garish than the neon leopard print that sprung to mind. Polka dots seemed to fit the bill so I stuck to a pastel theme and dug out some white nail polish. I used one from Natural Collection (think it’s the nail tip whitener) along with an unbent kirby grip to dot on the spots. Simples really, any fool could do it, although the spots on my right hand were a little more haphazard. pastel polka dot nail art.