Sunday, 14 September 2014

My Virtual Baby

I'm going back to University today, I'll be going into my second year so I've got a feeling it will get pretty hectic pretty fast. In an ideal world I would love to keep blogging as regularly as I have been doing this Summer, I've loved my blogging days when I've spent hours watching This Morning and other daytime TV whilst writing posts but soon I'll be writing essays instead of posts and this makes me a bit sad. However I'm going to try my hardest to keep writing at least one but hopefully two posts a week. This will be pretty difficult to make the time to do so but my blog has become my little baby and I couldn't just leave it building virtual dust till the Christmas Holidays.

I have a few draft posts that I've written for the busy weeks when I only have a few minutes to go on blogger and click publish so I'm sorry that they won't always be newly written posts. I'll get back to you as to what my new days where I will be posting as I don't know what my timetable will be like, I'll change that in my About page as soon as I know.

If you want you can read my posts about My Fresher's Week last year here and here. Good luck to anyone starting Uni this year and to anyone going back like me. I'll see you sometime in the unknown future...

Friday, 12 September 2014

The Best Brushes in my Collection

As you can see I love Real Techniques brushes, these are my all time favourite brushes that I use on a regular basis and there wasn't a single brush that wasn't RT that came close to all these. I love RT brushes because they're pretty cheap when compared to other brushes, the quality is out of this world seeing as I don't think I've ever seen a single hair ever shed from any of them. They're also a dream to wash and dry overnight.

My first favourite is the Contour Brush (front orange), it's the perfect size for contouring and giving myself the look that I do actually have some cheekbones. My next base favourite is the Buffing Brush (right orange), I use this with all my liquid foundations and it gives a beautiful flawless finish when I take the time to really buff my foundation in. My last favourite base brush is a newbie in my collection but it's brilliant. The Powder brush (right orange) is a really big brush that gives the perfect amount of powder everytime, not cakey but means that I don't get the oily look.

My other favourites are all eye brushes (the purple ones), however one is actually used for my base, that's the Deluxe Crease Brush (left) which is amazing for concealer, it's very dense so really buffs it in. My next favourite is the Fine Liner Brush (right) which I use with gel eyeliner, it's the perfect thickness and I can create quite a thin line with it although it would be easy to build it up if you prefer the thicker liner look. My final favourite is the Base Shadow Brush (middle) which I use for blending eyeshadow together, it's quite flexible and not too dense so is perfect for making sure the eyeshadow is flawlessly blended.

Have you got any brush recommendations that I should try out?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tanning Mousse

I've always had pale skin but love looking tanned so I'm permanently on the search for a great fake tan. However, so many fake tans are out of my budget so that's a no to the likes of St Tropez and Xen-Tan. I wasn't sure what would happen in my search for a budget fake tan as I don't want to look patchy and orange or smell like a biscuit. For the past few years I'd been using No7 Tanning Lotion, you can read my review here and at the time I thought it was great but now I see there are other options out there.

Cocoa Brown says that it's a one hour tan mouse although after leaving it for juts one hour it wasn't dark enough for me so I left it for three and it gives a lovely sunkissed glow which I really liked. Another time I did leave it for around six hours and it was a bit too dark for me so I gave myself a bit of a scrub in the shower and my tan looked much more natural.

The Cocoa Brown Mousse is so easy to apply, I would never use this without a tanning mitt because it helps to get a very flawless coverage and means you don't get orange hands. I tend to use a big squirt (we all know this is a very technical blog) for each limb and an extra squirt for my legs if I need it. I tend to be quite quick when working with the mousse because it dries quickly and give yourself a quick check that everywhere is all rubbed in before washing your mitt (speaking from experience here) as you realise you can't do much about it then! Also be careful around water, if any tan gets water on it it will come clean off and you'll get a patchy tan so wait till you get in the shower before you get wet.

This tan lasts for a good week depending on how deep your tan originally was and keeping your skin moisturised makes sure it doesn't get patchy, especially on elbows and knees. The tan does have a smell to it, when you're waiting for it to develop it's quite a strong smell and then once you've washed it off I can often smell it if I get too close.

I would recommend this mousse to anyone looking for a good budget tan, I think this was around £8 and is a really easy tan to use especially if you were going out in the evening you could put this on in the morning, wash it off later and have a lovely tan that isn't orange.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Makeup for Beginners

I'm kind of writing this post to my teenage self, if when I had been first getting into makeup and all these products had been around these are the ones that I would recommend to myself. I didn't have a big budget so I couldn't afford the expensive stuff (although I don't think I even knew Mac existed and at the time thought it was stupid for people to spend lots of money on makeup, how wrong was I?) so all these products are pretty affordable and by the time you have all of them it's a pretty good collection to start off your collection with.

As I would be wearing this makeup to school I would have wanted a very light base, The Body Shop's All in One BB cream would have been perfect, it provides a very light base that evens out the colour of skin and is really easy to blend in with fingers so no brush is needed, I actually find that this works better without a brush. Another base product that is a cult product in the beauty world is Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. It's not only a great concealer for those pesky spots that I got as a younger teenager but it's also surprisingly cheap. This is a dream to work with, it's very thick so gives a very high coverage on those areas that you aren't happy with but it blends in well too.

I've always had oily skin so a powder is essential, Rimmel's Stay Matte Powder in Transparent is probably in many beauty lovers collections, it's a great product that again boasts a very cheap price tag, only a couple of pounds. This is great to dust over the t-zone or all over depending how matte you like your base to be. To add a bit of colour to my cheeks I would have recommended Sleek's Blush in Pomegranate which gives a lovely flush of colour but is very natural like the rest of this makeup so hopefully there won't be any problems with getting into trouble at school for wearing makeup.

For eyes I would recommend Maybelline The Falsies mascara, just one or two coats of this for a natural look that you can get away with at school or lashings when you want those long fluttery lashes. Another eye product that is great and so cheap is Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal. I managed to get away with wearing eyeliner in my last two years of high school (I wasn't one known for wearing too much makeup in the first few years so I was never a target for the beady eyed teachers who knew the 'rebels' and I was a goody-two-shoes so I think the teachers let me off, it's not as if wearing makeup actually affects your education anyway!) I wore it very subtly but it gave my eyes that extra definition. This eyeliner is great because it sticks around and can be smudged for a smokey look.

My final recommendation to my younger self would be Rimmel lipstick in Asia, it's a colour that any age could wear because it's very subtle but just adds that little bit extra something. Rimmel lipsticks are some of the best drugstore lipsticks around, the quality of them is amazing and they're pretty cheap too, if there's some beauty addict around that doesn't have a Rimmel lipstick in their collection I would be very surprised.

Are there any beauty recommendations you would give to your younger self?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

My Fresher's Week Experience

So I'd had my first night out as a uni student and I was feeling a bit worse for wear. I walked into the kitchen and all my flatmates were sitting there in their pjs having breakfast, it was like we'd known each other for years. I think this is one experience you can never do again, I can't think of any time where people who don't know each other are thrown together and have to live with each other 24/7.

Fresher's week went really quick for me, it was a mixture of nights out, introductory lectures, meeting so many new people who are all so lovely, it's one of the times where you feel you can talk to the person you are sitting next to as it's likely they don't know anyone the same as you, this doesn't last that long but that doesn't matter because hopefully you'll have made lots of friends.

There are a few things I would recommend taking to uni

-A door wedge, someone told me about this before I went to uni and it was the best advice someone gave me, when we were all moving in I kept my door open so I could talk to my new flatmates and there wasn't a day I didn't use it.

-A subscription to Netflix, four out of the six people in our flat had a subscription to Netflix and at only £6 a month it's good for a student budget, there are so many films and TV shows on there to watch there's guaranteed to be something for everyone. Even though there is a lot of work to do and lots of socialising it's nice to settle down watching a film in bed with a tub of Ben and Jerry's.

- A clothes airer, I forgot this and I had to keep borrowing my friends when I did some washing so I hopped off to Wilko and got myself one, I didn't hop back as it was a bit of a nightmare carrying this back to my flat, however it was the best £10 I spent as I could save £1 each time I did a wash as I didn't need to pay for the dryer.

- Tupperware, you will need lots of little boxes that you can put food, I used to open tuna and put half in the fridge for the next day, it means you can save money by not wasting food or using too much just because you don't have anywhere to put the leftovers.

-Straws, plastic cups, plastic shot glasses etc, these are best bought when you're at uni but these are all essential fora good flat party as no one wants to do the washing up the next day.

I hope if you're going to Uni this year that you have an amazing time and you come back with memories as good as mine! Remember if you're worried about it, you're not on your own, most people go to uni knowing no one and everyone is thrown in at the deep end!

Friday, 5 September 2014

So You're Off to Uni...

First of all, Congratulations! You've done so well to get this far.

Secondly, don't panic, thousands of people are in the same boat as you (yes it's a very big boat) and the're all nervous like you. I'm going into my second year at uni and I remember last year well, I had everything packed, the car was so full (with fourteen pairs of shoes which my dad couldn't believe I would need them all, I'm sure I wore the majority of them and then bought more too). I was so nervous, it was a lovely hot day and it was only the second time I'd ever been to the University so I'd forgotten what it looked like.

We went to the campus where I was living and collected the keys then with bags we walked up the stairs into the flat I was about to spend the next seven months in. I went and found my room, opened the door and was a bit in shock, it wasn't as nice as the ones I'd seen on the open day (they obviously show the nicest flats) but it was still nice and clean. My parents and I took many journeys from the car to my room and soon it was all dumped in my room and I made my mum make my bed so at least it looked a bit cosier. I started to unpack things in the kitchen and was speaking to a few of my new flatmates. I would like to say now that I was so lucky to be put with some of the loveliest people, we're all really good friends and I'm living with the girls this year. We went to get some food and then my parents left me to it (I actually told them to go because I was having such a good time!) A couple of the girls and I went to get our ID cards and our wristbands for Freshers week and we didn't stop talking, we instantly clicked talking about friends we'd left at home and our boyfriends (we'd all left them at home, two of us are still with our boyfriends so don't worry if you're leaving a loved one behind, it's hard but I couldn't chose between uni and my boyfriend). I remember my parents walking past us after having some lunch in town and they could see how happy I was.

Later we went back to the flat and made some tea and we all started talking, we all got along really well and then decided to get ready, we soon started drinking and having a really good time, I was so nervous I didn't drink that much because I didn't want to do something stupid, later in the year we were talking about Fresher's week and my other flatmate said she did the same thing and barely drank anything. I remember being out that night and it was the weirdest feeling, I had never met any of these people, spoke to a few on Facebook, but I was going out with them, it's hard to describe but I'm sure those of you off to uni will know what I mean when you get to that situation.

I'll finish the story of my Fresher's week soon.

I'd love to hear your stories about starting uni

Ta ta for now!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Autumnal Nails

As much as I love bright pinks and pastels for in the summer my love is Autumn/Winter nails, I love my deep, dark colours too much. I've had a love of red nails for years and for as long as I can remember it's always been No7 that I've gone to for my reds, they do the boldest reds that are a regular occurrence in the colder months. You can tell I have a fond spot in my heart for them seeing as I named my blog after them! The shade here is No7 in Devil's Delight and this is at least my third bottle of it, I think this one will be making an appearance when I next paint my nails.

Another old favourite is deep purples, it's usually my toe nail colour of choice in the winter time although I think this year I need to vary this a bit more. I've had No7 Vivid Violet in my stash for a good while now and this is my second bottle, I've also got this one for my mum and she loves it. I like purples to be very deep so this needs two or three coats but then sticks around for ages.

Another purple I love in the winter time is Barry M Magnetic Violet, the clue is in the name here- it's a magnetic nail varnish. I love nail art but having a job where I'm not supposed to wear nail varnish as well as a degree means I don't have that much time on my hands so in the days where I can spare a bit of time to do my nails this is one to go for when I want something different. I have three different shades of these and each one has a different pattern that the magnet will make so I have a variety of looks I can go for. My only problem with these is they don't last very long but when I only have my nails painted for a few days it's not too bad.

Over the past year or two I've really got into grey nails, I haven't been able to pull it off in the summer so I'm excited to get my greys out. I have two favourites, first is Essie Power Clutch which is a very new addition but I've got a feeling it will be a favourite. This one is a simple grey that will go with any outfit (that's one of the things I don't like about summer shades, it's hard to match green nails with some outfits) because it's quite a neutral colour.

My last Autumnal shade is No7 in Thunderstorm, isn't that name perfect, I can see where they were coming from when naming this as it looks like the clouds when there's thunder. This one is another grey that I've fallen in love with but has undertones of purple (I think, I'm not great with seeing undertones, can you even get undertones of purple?) I've currently got this on my toes and it looks lovely, especially with some nice peep toe heels. It also has great lasting power as it's been on for six days and not a chip in sight.

What are your favourite nail varnishes for Autumn?

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

September Wishlist - The University Addition

As if it's already September, it doesn't seem like three months ago that I was moving back home after my first year at Uni but in a couple of weeks I'll be returning back to uni and the hard work will start again!

I'm not the type of person that can pack lightly so I need lots of storage boxes to put under my bed or in the wardrobe, these Storage Boxes from Argos look perfect, they're cute with a nice pattern and quite cheap too at £9.99 for three which is great for someone on a student budget.

I love getting cosy at uni under a nice blanket with some chocolate to watch a good girly film. I spotted this blanket and I'm so tempted to buy it. It's so cute and I love all the colours. This is from Cath Kidston and it looks so warm to snuggle under when it gets colder in the winter time. If you're a student you can get 10% off with Unidays too.

I can't remember if my room at my new house has any lights other than a big main light so I've been researching lamps and at Homebase they have some really simple lamps that are so cheap (from £2.43!) I found this lamp that is £4.99 and they have various colours too but I really liked the Jellybean Blue colour.

There aren't many products that I'm wanting for uni because I can't fit too much in the car and I'm on a student budget so it's just the necessities for me. It also helps that I've already been at uni for a year so I have all the main items I need.

No pictures in this post are mine, they can all be found in the links describing the product.

Monday, 1 September 2014

August Favourites

August has been quite a good month for finding new products I like or rediscovering new ones. There's a mix of makeup, brushes and a DVD thrown in. I've recently written a post about The Perfect Base where I talked about a few of my perfect base products. I was going to include all those products in my favourites but seeing as I've already done quite a detailed review of it I just included The Body Shop's Instablur which I have worn everyday in August and I can't fault.

I discovered Revlon Lash Potion mascara when I realised I didn't have any waterproof mascaras at all and after browsing the aisles of Boots I found this one, I really like the packaging, it's simple but I love the colours, I admit I'm one of those people that the packaging can either put me off buying a product or entice me in and this mascara was the latter. I tend to wear this one over a non waterproof mascara to keep it on longer. I do find that because this is waterproof it takes quite a while to remove but it does keep my mascara on for longer without it flaking off.

A rediscovery this month has been Maybelline Brow Drama, I gave up on this one a couple of months ago because me and the brush just didn't get on, it has a large round bit at the top and then it's thinner below but after having brows that wouldn't stay in place I decided to give it a go again and fell in love, it works well on its own to keep brows natural or with another brow product.

Two brushes that I've been reaching for most days have been Real Techniques Brow Brush and Deluxe Crease Brush. As the name says the Brow Brush is used for my brows with an eyeshadow, I'm using Soap and Glory Lid Stuff in Mudhoney and then use Maybelline Brow Drama to keep them in place. I use the Deluxe Crease Brush with concealer, specifically this month has been Mac Pro Longwear Concealer, this brush is the perfect size to blend in a small amount.

 Included in a No7 set that my mum kindly gave me for my birthday was the No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Duck Egg Blue. I've been wearing this colour none stop this month, I'm not usually fond of blue nail varnish but this is a perfect colour, I've been loving pastel colours this summer and it's a great addition to my rather large nail varnish collection. Another birthday present but this time to myself was a Mac lipstick in Peach Blossom, I love this colour, the texture is perfect (I now want many more Mac lipsticks) and it's my perfect nude with a subtle pink tone.

You may know that I am an eyeliner lover and I got the Eyeko felt tip liner free with a magazine a couple of months ago, this has been a firm favourite since I got it, it's so easy to use either having a thin line or by making it thicker, it also lasts for ages which is a must and doesn't smudge. I can't believe I got this free as it's an amazing eyeliner, I will repurchase this when it runs out because I reach for it everyday and it will be missed when it's gone.

My final favourite of the month has been Divergent, I read the books earlier this month and couldn't put any of them down and then the film came out soon after I'd finished the books so as soon as this was delivered through the door (yes I pre-ordered it) it was watched.