Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Return of Me! And Some Reviews...

Hello my lovelies!

So sorry about my mini disappearing act but I arrived at home 2 days ago (hello, yummy home cooked food!) and have been caught up in a whirlwind of wedding preparations since then! However, I have got things (vaguely) under control now so I'm back to posting regularly, hopefully! :)

A couple of weeks ago I purchased 2 products that I've been using pretty regularly and feel comfortable reviewing for you - they're both at the lower end of the price spectrum (hurrah!), one is skin care and one is makeup. Let's start with makeup!

ELF Dual Cream Eyeshadow Duos: These are one and a half pounds each, and available on the ELF website. They come in a range of 9 duos so you have a fantastic range of 18 colours to choose from and I find almost all the shades wearable. However, I tried wearing these as eyeshadow on their own, and they crease and fade in 2 hours! Since I had to justify the purchase (!), I was determined to get some good out of them, so I used them as eyeshadow bases and voila! These work wonderfully as bases underneath your regular powder eyeshadow. They really bring out the colour of your eyeshadow so much more - so, for example, if you layer the dark brown under your brown eyeshadow you would get a much more intense result than if you used a colourless or skintone eyeshadow base.

This is what they look like in the packaging... (packaging feels super cheap and plastic-y but thats ok since it contributes to the low price, I just wish they had atleast put the names of the shades on the back of the containers!)

Here's a shot of all 9 without flash...

And with flash!

And ofcourse, swatches... (without and with flash, respectively)

On to the skin care product! Concealer is one thing I wear religiously and I wish I could say that I'm extremely careful when applying it and I dont tug or pull at the skin around my eye but that would just be an outright lie :( Most of the times I'm in such a hurry that I just slap the stuff on and blend pretty vigorously which, I have noticed of late, is resulting in... *sigh* ...wrinkles and fine lines :(

So I set out to rectify this horrifying, horrifying problem. Number one, I have PROMISED myself that no matter HOW much of a hurry I am in, I will NOT treat the skin around my eyes roughly. Number two, time to invest in an eye cream :D

Garnier Nutritionist Regenerating Eye Cream:
this is a drugstore product that cost me about ten pounds. Before I give you my opinion on it, I'll show you what the product claims to do for you..

So in essence, this product is making some pretty tall claims - reducing bags, dark circles and fine lines! I've found that it definitely does make a difference with the bags under your eyes as well as a pleasantly noticeable difference with the fine lines, but sadly it did nothing for my dark circles. To be fair, I dont think I've ever come across a skin care product that did anything for my dark circles! But would I buy this cream just for the fact that it visibly reduces my fine lines?

The tube looks tiiiiny but I've found that you can use a tiny dot of cream for each eye so I would predict that this will last me about 3-4 months with daily usage.

That's all from me for now, lovelies, but the next post I do will be on my makeup collection; that's a post I hadnt planned on doing myself but so many people have requested it that I decided to go ahead and do it...

Till then!

(Attn FTC! These products were purchased by me using my own money, Im not affiliated with either company nor am I being paid to do these reviews, this is my honest opinion!)

Monday, 14 December 2009

Tutorial: Chocolate Brown Smokey Eye

Hello my lovelies!!! I hope you're all well and gearing up for the winter break and holiday season... I know I am, Im flying back home at the end of this week for my brother's wedding and I cant wait!

So this morning I worked on the brown smokey eye tutorial... and since the pictures are shot in daylight the colours are kind of faded which Im not appreciating :( In real life it was a lot darker and smokier than what it looks like here...

Anyhoo... lets get started!

1. Start off with a clean, moisturized eye and apply the eyeshadow base of your choice. I used Urban Decay Primer Potion.

2. Using yor finger, apply a cream or gel based eyeshadow product which is a medium to dark brown all over your lid, but dont go above the crease. Ive used one of the Cream Eyeshadow Duos from ELF.

3. Now take a flat, stiff eyeshadow application brush and pick up some matte or shimmery dark brown eyeshadow. Whether its matte or shimmer is completely up to you, Id say if you're wearing this during the day then opt for matte because you dont want to be too over-the-top. But if its for a night look, then definitely go with shimmer because this look is BEAUTIFUL with shimmer shadows. Ive used Handwritten by MAC which is matte.

4. So this is what it should look like...

5. So then you pick up a slightly stiff blending brush or a crease brush (with no eyeshadow on it) and start working it back and forth on the edge of the dark brown shadow. Dont go below that or you'll lose the intensity of your lid colour. You just want to smoke out the edge and get rid of that harsh line.

6. This is what you should have...

7. With the same brush, pick up a softer, lighter brown and place it just on the edge of that line you just blended. So half the brush would be on that smoked out part and the other half would be on the bare space above it. Work your brush back and forth until you've created a nice gradient of colour.

8. It should look something like this...

9. Finally apply a highlight which is close to your skintone with a big fluffy brush. Again, apply the highlighter with a very light hand - too much can look tacky. Use a dark brown eye pencil and line your lower lash line two-thirds of the way in, and inside your waterline as well. Add mascara and you're done!
By the way! I didnt opt for heavy eyeliner or mascara because, again, this was a daytime look for me. Feel free to go as crazy as you like! ;)

And some full face shots...

Hope you enjoyed this! Try it out on yourself - this goes beautifully with all skintones and all eye colours!


Saturday, 12 December 2009

3 Makeup Things I Cant Live Without Contest!

Hello my lovelies...

So I hope you're all well!

I thought I would do a bit of an interactive post this time... and since I need an excuse to do another competition here it is!

So here's how it works... all you have to do is comment on this post and say what your three makeup products that you cannot live without are. You have till the 12th of January, 2010 to do this and on that date a winner will be selected RANDOMLY from all the comments posted! You dont have to be a follower of the blog to enter this contest but I do ask that when commenting you put your full name down or atleast the initial of your surname just so we dont have any issues with common names!

The prize is another ELF Mini Makeup Collection palette complete with eyeshadows, lipglosses, brow powder, blush and more!

And to get the ball rolling... here are my three indispensable makeup products:

1. Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach

What dark circles!? This makes me look like I havent missed an hour of sleep all my life.

2. MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural in Medium Dark

This is perfect to set my concealer and foundation, and sometimes when I want a low coverage look I just use this as foundation itself! Gives the right amount of coverage and a really nice glow!

3. MAC Brow Shader in Maple/Soft Charcoal

Perfect for filling in my brows and making them look decent!

These are 3 products that are part of my every day routine - I could leave the house having used just these and skipping on the blush, lip stuff, etc... so yeah these are probably the 3 things I couldnt live without haha!

Time to share, lovelies! And good luck for the contest!


Friday, 11 December 2009

I did it!

Hey my lovelies! Im SO excited to share this with you... I DID IT!


I decided that having presentable-looking hands was far more important to me than entertainment and socialising so Im going to cut back on my personal expenses each month to save up for the refills but I am SO HAPPY now that I have them!

My hands look so nice now! Ive NEVER had nice nails ever in my life!!!

(cant you just tell how excited I am? :P)

So here's what they look like...!

My natural nail bed is just miserably tiny and to top it off my nails are extremely weak and prone to breaking. They never grew evenly. They never looked nice. Period.

This isnt anything over-the-top of fake looking, or atleast I think not. But they just seem so unreal to me... maybe I should have done a before and after... or maybe its better I spared you the pain of looking at my natural nails :P

The entire procedure took about 40 minutes, I got it done professionally at a nail bar near my place, it set me back by about 25 pounds but I left EXTREMELY happy.

Oh, the nail colour is OPI's Mrs O Leary's BarBQ! (dont you just love OPI's crazy names?)

Till then, lovelies!


PS: CANNOT stop looking at them... ;)

Contest Winner!

The contest for the ELF Mini Makeup Collection ends today and the winner is...
Sherry Mobeen!!!

A HUGE congratulations to Sherry and thanks to everyone who participated! Sherry, you will be contacted shortly for your information and the prize will be despatched to you asap!

PS: There's another contest coming soon - another chance to win another amazing ELF Mini Makeup Collection so keep your eyes peeled!


Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Tutorial: Neutral Day-Wear Look

Hello my lovelies! Here's the neutral eye tutorial that I know so many of you have been waiting for :)

Just a warning: I dont find the pictures particularly helpful for this one simply because I feel like the colours aren't showing up as much as I'd like them to. Sorry about that! Also, the colours used for this look will vary from person to person depending on your skintone so rather than just naming shades, I've tried to explain what kind of a colour you should be using too! Enjoy ;)

1. Start off with a cleansed, moisturized eye and apply your eyeshadow base all over the lid till the browbone.

2. Taking a big fluffy brush, apply a matte eyeshadow all over your lid that is one or two shades darker than your own skintone, preferably from the reddish-brown family. Im an NC30 in MAC Foundations and I used Soft Brown eyeshadow by MAC.

3. Should end up looking like this... extremely subtle but you can just see a hint of colour.

4. Dust off the same brush you used and and use it again. Pick up a matte eyeshadow that is exactly your skintone or maybe one shade lighter and lightly dust it all over your browbone area. Ive used Malt eyeshadow by MAC.

5. Then take a slightly smaller, stiff blending brush or a crease brush, and pick up some matte dark brown eyeshadow. It should be dark enough to show up on your skintone. If you're dark skinned, use black eyeshadow instead. Ive used Handwritten by MAC.

Just PRESS the tip of the brush into the outer corner of your eye as shown below - so we're just literally depositing the colour there at this stage...

6. So now you have a nice unblended blob of brown on your outer corner... like this....

7. Dust the same brush off, and use it to feather this colour in towards the lid. What does "feathering" mean? It basically means use LIGHT, SHORT brush strokes which start from the brown and move inwards towards your lid. This is a very quick movement so no long strokes. Once youve done this for a bit, you should find that your darker colour has blended into the lid colour. Dont over blend, you dont want to lose the dark brown completely. It should look somewhat like this...

8. Using a dark brown or black gel or liquid eyeliner, apply a VERY thin line to your upper lash line. It should barely show! Ive used Blacktrack Fluidline by MAC.
(pencils can be rather messy and this look is all about subtlety so I wouldnt recommend pencils unless you're super-adept at using them!)

9. And this is your finished look! Its subtle but it really defines your eye. And it shows up more in real life than in these pictures, I promise!

Here's a clear picture! FINALLY!

This is my favorite neutral look... super easy to do and it looks so effortlessly pretty.

Im going to show you the products I used down below...

Malt Eyeshadow...

Soft Brown Eyeshadow...

Handwritten Eyeshadow...

Blacktrack Fluidline...

Big fluffy brush, smaller crease brush and bent eyeliner brush...

I hope you enjoyed this! Dark brown smokey eye coming up this weekend! :)


Monday, 7 December 2009

Short and Sweet...

Hey everyone!

I did it! I submitted my essay and Im finally free!

Till tomorrow, atleast... because I have another one due on Friday. But today is my day off, I desperately need some R&R.

So this is going to be a short and quick post just to say hello and mention some things. First off, the competition is ending in THREE DAYS! So if you havent entered do so now, and if you have then keep at it! Secondly, did you know Confessions of a Makeup Addict has a Facebook group? I'll post the link below... come join us on Facebook too!

Tomorrow is going to be all about essay prep all over again but I'm going to do the neutral eye tomorrow night so yay! Ill edit and post tomorrow night as well because so many of you are waiting for this!

A quick preview: its going to be a dead simple look, something you can do really quick in the morning when getting ready for school or university or work, extremely wearable and something that everyone (regardless of skin tone and the shape of your eye) can pull off!

Till tomorrow, lovelies!


Saturday, 5 December 2009

I'm excited about Aussie...

Hello my lovelies! I hope you're all doing well... I am bang in the middle of a huge assignment that's due on Monday and I feel like im making no headway. NOT a good feeling.

Anyhoo, I was taking my break and I thought I'd share with you something that I picked up at my local supermarket today. Its not a makeup product - its hair care!

Till now Ive been a loyal John Frieda Brilliant Brunette fan but I noticed that in the past couple of months it wasn't really giving my hair that extra oomph anymore. Sure enough, it makes my hair super soft, moisturized and it actually does enhance the browns in my hair! But just... you know... the OOMPH...

And now that Im almost at the end of my current Brilliant Brunette, I thought I'd try something new. Aussie is a brand that has intrigued me for a while now but I just never got around to trying it... Ive definitely heard good things about it in the past... So when I saw it on offer (any 2 bottles for £5) I spontaneously picked up the Aussome Volume Shampoo and Conditioner!

Im going to try it out tonight so Im excited about this! I hope it works out well... but Id love to hear if any of you have had Aussie experiences... let me know!

Also, Im consideringgg getting *dramatic pause* acrylic nails!!! My nail bed is so small that Ive realised my nails will never grow to a nice length but Im just a bit hesistant because of the price factor. Apparently you have to get refills done every two weeks and they cost £15 every time - OUCH. But I really need to figure something out before end December because I want to have nice nails at my brothers wedding!

Help! Recommend! Suggest! Whatever!


Thursday, 3 December 2009

Tutorial: Black Smokey Eye

Hello my lovelies!

So I hope you're all having a lovely week so far. As promised, Ive prepared a step by step tutorial for a black smokey eye. Please excuse the fact that I have mascara on right from the beginning (instead of applying it right at the end, as it should be!) but I did this tutorial immediately after coming back from class... I already had mascara on... And I thought I'd just go with it...

So enjoy yourselves and leave comments, tell me what you thought and how you think I can improve before the next tutorial!

1. Start off with a clean, moisturised eye. Apply an eyeshadow base all over your eyelid and up to the browbone using your finger. You can use Urban Decay Primer Potion, Benefit FYI, Too Faced Shadow Insurance or any of MAC's paint pots or paints in a colour that resembles your skin tone.

2. Apply a coloured base for your look. This will help to really enhance the colours of the overall look. Since this is a black smokey eye, I chose to apply a black base all over my eyelid (NOT going past the crease). This is MAC's shadestick in Sharkskin but you can use any cream or gel based product. It doesnt have to be perfect or even neat as this will all get covered up!

3. Take a stiff, flat eyeshadow brush, pack on some matte or shimmery (depending on your preference, Ive used a bit of both) black eyeshadow and PAT the brush gently all over the black base. Don't drag the brush across the lid, just pat it gently. Youre packing the eyeshadow on, not sweeping it across.

4. This is what you should end up with... apply little and keep adding more if need be. Its easier to add than it is to take it off!

5. Take a fluffy, fairly stiff blending brush and sweep it back and forth in your crease, exactly on that harsh black line. We're going to blend that line out till we can't see it... keep going back and forth in a windshield wiper motion till you're satisfied that the line is completely blended.

6. This is what it should look like once you're done blending...

7. Pick up a dark grey eyeshadow with the same blending brush and sweep it across the area where you just blended out the harsh line in the same windshield wiper motion. This will create a gradient of colour... and the black will appear to be fading into grey...

8. Once you've applied and blended the dark grey, take a clean blending brush and a white or silvery highlight colour and sweep it across your browbone. Dont tap as you did earlier, that will make the highlight too intense which can look tacky. Take a flexible fluffy blending brush and just gently swish it across the browbone - the highlight should show but in a subtle, beautiful way. Something like this...

9. Take a small eyeshadow brush or a smudger brush, pick up some black eyeshadow and very carefully pat it on on your lower lash line. Again, go light and then build up as much as you like... In the next picture I have a very faint shade of black on my lower lashline but then I darkened it up... Dont go all the way in on your lower lashline. Stop where your lashes stop.

10. Now, Ive lined my inner lower waterline with black kohl pencil (MAC's Black Russian) and intensified the smudged black line on my lower lash line. Ive already got mascara on but this is the point at which you will apply your mascara. Two coats ATLEAST!

And this is your completed look - a dramatic black smokey eye!

I hope you enjoyed this - Im waiting on pins and needles to hear some feedback! ;)