Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Year that Changed Britain

Now, I am aware that we are only 8 months into 2012, but we've passed the half-way mark, which means it will be December before we know it.

As cliche as it may sound, this year has truly made me realise what a wonderful place Great Britain is. Through the many celebrations which have taken place here during 2012, we have been brought together as a country and, I think I can speak for the majority of people, I have never been so proud to call myself British.

I have always been a huge fan of the royal family, particularly Prince Harry, and even in 2011 we found ourselves glued to our TV screens awaiting the marriage of Kate and Wills. This year, the Queens Jubilee made a huge impact on the British public, with street parties across the country, crowds gathering across the streets of London to show their support and traditional English foods and beverages being marketed across retail outlets (the list could go on). This alone was enough for me to realise what a fantastic country we live in...

...But then came the Olympics. For months we have been unable to escape this event, and that is advertising alone. Of course, what could be a more perfect opportunity to entice the British consumer? I have to admit, I have never been the biggest follower of sport, however it would seem rude to ignore a once in a lifetime experience which is happening right under our noses! And, with all this new found British pride inside me, I have even found myself edging off my seat with anticipation and screaming at the TV screen. The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games was truly spectacular, bringing a tear to my eye, and I have to say, I expect the closing ceremony will be equally as emotional, but mainly because I will be gutted it's all over!

2012 will be a year that stays with us for along time. A year that brought us together as a country. A year that brought other countries to us. A year that made us proud.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Current Nail Colour - Topshop

I've decided to give myself a break from the beautiful lilac colour in my previous 'Current Nail Colour' post. As much as I could wear it continuously, I wouldn't want to out-wear it!

So, I decided to venture over to the Topshop make-up range, which has been oh so raved about across the internet. Initially, I was ready to try out a blue shade, which is new to me, but decided on a vibrant orange/coral. Now, be careful when finding this exact shade, because there are two orange shades which are almost too similar. I opted for the colour 'Causing a Stir'.

Excuse the slightly chipped nails, but on the plus side, I applied this nail colour last Sunday, which makes it a week today, without a top coat! Now, I don't know about you, but for my nail colour to still be in 'almost' perfect condition a week down the line is a first for me.

I have to be honest, when first applying this colour, I wasn't too sure how I felt. When looking through my nail collection, it seems that I have been playing it very safe with lots of 'pretty' pinks/reds/neutrals. It took me a day or so, but I now absolutely love this shade! It gives a pop of colour to any look and is very 'statement', I almost feel as though it has given me a burst of confidence.

At the moment I am working a fairly pale complexion and it looks great, but we all know how amazing vibrant colours look on darker skin tones too. So, in a nutshell, if you are looking for an uplifting, positive colour, 'Causing a Stir' is the one for you.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

July Favourites

I have decided to join the 'Favourites' bandwagon and share a few of my top products from July. Horah!

Estée Lauder - Double Wear Light 
The first item which I will swiftly run by, as I have written a review post for this below, is Estée Lauder's Double Wear Light foundation. I cannot say enough about this, and either can my colleagues and friends - I don't think I've ever been complimented so much in my life - it's almost embarrassing (not). Let's be honest, we all love to pretend we have no idea why we 'suddenly' look so radiant, when really we are high-fiving ourselves in our head and thanking God somebody noticed as we have spent a small fortune.

Soap & Glory - Sexy Mother Pucker (Yummy Plum)
Next on the list is Sexy Mother Pucker in the shade Yummy Plum. And yes, this is yummy. Not in an edible way, but it certainly does make your lips look yummy. I will warn you, as with MAC Plushglass', you will have to get used to the 'tingling' sensation, however I genuinely believe this product does plump and enhance your lips, without the risk of looking like Leslie Ash (I'm a huge fan of Men Behaving Badly, don't shoot me). It is still on the pricier side of high street at £10.00, however they have numerous shades available and putting aside the plumping, they are genuinely pretty lip glosses.

Natural Collection Blush (Pink Cloud)
Here is a cheap and cheerful addition - Natural Collection's powder blush in the shade Pink Cloud. For a fabulous £1.99, you really can't go wrong with this product. It is a beautiful and light-weight powder which gives you with perfect flush of colour. Natural Collection have various shades, which I also own some of, and this is my current favourite. If blind testing, which really wouldn't be advisable if you are planning on leaving the house, I would genuinely believe this would belong to a high-end brand as the texture is so smooth with minuscule particles. I urge you to try!

No.7 Fanomenal Lashes
Last, but not least, in my favourites of July is No.7's Fanomenal Lashes mascara. I have to say, I am a swapper when it comes to mascaras. Once I use one up, I tend to move onto the next new thing. However that doesn't go to say I don't know a great mascara when I use one. Fanomenal Lashes really does enhance every lash from the lusciously long, to the tiny lashes which we don't even know are there. My eyes look wider, lighter and almost glowing (if that is even possible). And yes, I did use my Boots five pound off No.7 voucher when purchasing this, but this is certainly a product which I would have no doubts in re-purchasing at full price.

So, there we have it. You now know which products I've been loving over the last month, and I'm sure they will be joining me throughout August too.

Goodbye July, it's been truly emotional.

Torn Between Lovers

Well... not quite. But almost.

Okay, so following my raving review about Chanel's Vitalumiére Aqua, which I still stand by, I found myself browsing the make-up counters of my local department store, trying to dissuade myself from buying anything MAC. Next thing I know, I am walking out £27.00 lighter with a new Estée Lauder foundation which goes by the name of Double Wear Light.

What a revelation, and why haven't I discovered this before!? Of course, I have heard the name flown around from time to time, but I have never found myself eager to try. When swatching on the back of my hand (awful idea, I know) the lovely lady pounced on me and that was that. My 'can't say no' nature must be plastered over my forehead - I'm a saleswo/man's dream!

Moving onto the foundation, although I have to admit, the texture and consistency doesn't come close to Chanel, the staying power really is on another level. You may remember me mentioning my oily complexion and paranoia of the looking like a disco ball? Banished. I apply this foundation at around 7am most morning's and when I return home from work, with absolutely no touch ups, I still look as fresh faced as first thing in the morning. How is that even possible? I'm even starting to contemplate whether my skin complexion has magically swapped overnight to 'normal'!

The consistency is noticeably thicker when first applied to your skin which, when compared to the luxury of Vitalumiére Aqua, is a slight negative, however this is to be expected with a long-lasting foundation. The description on the packaging states:
"15 hour wear" check
"Lightweight, comfortable make up controls oil and stays vibrant and fresh throughout your active day." check
"Won't clog pores" check (as of yet)
"Transfer resistant, won't 'melt' off through heat and humidity" huge check

For your information, my shade in Estée Lauder Double Wear Light is 'Intensity 02'. I shall now insert the generic image of the packaging.

I have to say, out of naivety, I truly thought no other foundation could make me part with my beloved Chanel Vitalumiére Aqua, but maybe this was just lust? Obviously, I would hate for Double Wear Light to just be a mere rebound, and I will certainly bare in mind the grass may not be greener on the other side. I just hope that if this is the case, Chanel will take me back?

Monday, 23 July 2012

MAC Chatterbox

After pining over MAC's Chatterbox for quite some time, I decided to take the plunge and 'invest'... and I am glad I did!

First of all, I will talk about the colour - a perfect pink which is completely wearable for both day and night. This may be controversial to some, but I have to admit I am not a fan of 'Barbie' shades, especially on myself. Chatterbox is effortless and elegant, however it still does have the ability to turn heads. Rather than a 'bright' or 'baby' pink, I would describe the colour as slightly deeper. A pink with depth, and warmer, almost purple, undertones, which would suit a variation of skin tones, from dark to light.

The finish to the lipstick is 'Amplified', drying to a slightly matte texture, which ensures the colour is long-lasting and extremely pigmented. As much as I love a smooth, moisturised feel to the lip, I have never taken to Cremesheen finishes as I find they slide off my lip after no time. Although the Amplified finish is slightly matte, it really doesn't leave your lips feeling dry or crumbly. That alone is a huge positive!

I ordered the lipstick through the MAC website, which is always a worry considering the swatches are, lets just say, less than accurate. However, after my usual routine of researching blogs and swatches, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.

In a nutshell, I really would recommend Chatterbox to anyone who is looking for an everyday, wearable pink with fantastic staying power, and without the Barbie resemblance.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

It's what's on the Inside...

Today I write about beauty. Not physical, but true beauty.

Although I am a self diagnosed beauty addict, obsessed with products, magazines and all things 'pretty', I also believe that there is no such thing as perfection. Having developed a skin condition, Vitiligo, at a young age, I found it hard to feel comfortable and happy with myself for a long time. Now, I couldn't be happier or more content. Not becuase I am vain, but because I have learned to love the things that make me different.

Insecurities can cover many things, for both men and women, whether this be weight, height, body hair or acne, and we will all have insecurites that stay with us for the duration of our lives. What to you may be a huge, obvious imperfection, may to others be unnoticeable, or even beautiful. My skin condition isn't something 'on show', however during my teenage years, made me feel ugly, abnormal and singular. However, through time, and great family and friends, I have learned to become confident about my uniqueness. 

We are all guilty of judging people at the first glance, whether that be in a good, or bad, way. However, I think there becomes a time in everyone's life where you become aware of the important things in life. Anyone can make themselves look beautiful, however it takes a lot for one to become a kind, loving person.

Rather than using make up items to cover up any 'imperfections' or draw attention away from a certain areas, it should be used to complient and enhance your features - something which I have learned over many years. Of course, products are there to be used for the 'feel good' factor, and for times of endulgance, however you should always remember that even if you are the definition of perfect on the outside, your personality is the key.

If you look around, and feel overwhelmed by the fantastic family and friends you have, this is because they love who you are as a person. Not because you look perfect. So, always remember, they will be the people supporting you for the rest of your life. You will also (or may have already) meet that certain someone who decides they would like to share the rest of their life with you - and that is becuase they think you are beautiful, inside and out. Your imperfections will be perfect to them.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Current Nail Colour - Rimmel

Just a light and breasy post for a Sunday!

I made the bold move of cutting my nails (sob). The reason for the 'chop' is because I find it hard for bolder nail colours to look wearable on longer length nails.

I have been a fan of Rimmel 60 Second nail polishes for a while now. I find them affordable, very pigmented and they do genuinely dry in 1-2 minutes. Let's be honest, who really enjoys waiting around, unable to touch anything until your nail colour has dried? I certainly don't.

With the summer trend of pastel and light coloured nails, I have been eager to pick up a lilac varnish. Originally close to purchasing Essie's 'St Lucia Lilac', I decided to just go for Rimmel on the basis I wasn't sure how often it would be worn, and at half the price, you can't go wrong.

The colour is '620 HOW DO YOU LILAC IT?', and I am in love with it. With cheaper polishes, you do have to be wary of chipping, however for the price, let's be honest, you really can't complain! A decent top coat varnish will do the trick for staying power.

Happy Sunday all - my roast dinner is calling!