Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Primark Foundation Brush || Artis Oval Brush Dupe

A couple of months back I uploaded a Primark haul on my channel (shameless plug) which I showed a new makeup brush from Primark's PS Pro makeup line. Inspired by the Artis brushes that retail for around £60 each I was intrigued.

The Primark oval brush is £4 and is a good size for applying either foundation, concealer or cream bronzer/highlight. I am personally using mine for foundation and I cannot believe how quickly I can apply my foundation with this brush. A warning for those of you like me that can be slightly heavy handed, the handle is slightly flimsy if you press too hard.  Mine hasn't broken or anything but I would just go light. However, what's great is that you don't need to apply a lot of pressure to buff in the product as this brush does most of the work for you. I really like the finish the application gives though like with any brush I do a double check to ensure no streaky patches.

I think this brush can tend to soak up the product as the bristles are so dense but I have had other brushes that have done the same. I am a bit concerned about when I have tried to wash the brush as all the hairs clumped together and has taken quite a while to dry, I was dubious as to whether it would return to its original state and I think it has mostly.  Unfortunately I don't think this brush will be as durable as say my MAC or Real Technique brushes however for the price I am glad I picked it up.

If you have been lusting over this type of brush this is a great way to try out a new technique without breaking the bank.  I do have my reservations as to whether these are as good as the originals but if like me you are always looking for something new to try I would pop down to a Primark and pick one up.  

Sunday, 12 March 2017

What I Use for My Dry Skincare Routine?

Has winter lasted a year? My skin is not liking the wet and most definitely breezy weather we are having in the UK at the moment. (Standard British weather comment) I have had a complete shake up of my skin care over the past few months and currently loving the new products I have been using on my dry skin.
Estée Lauder Daywear Cream - I received this as part of a goodie back from Debenhams. One of the first Estee Lauder skincare products that I have tried and can tell the difference from more inexpensive products that I have previously tested out.  A really good consistency that had worked wonders for the dry patches around my nose without being too heavy or makes my makeup slide off my face.
No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advance Nigh Cream - Never realised how long that name is. I was in need of a good night cream I had only really dabbled in the cheap and cheerful brands from the high street for night creams and so never truly got the hype. My skin has taken a beaten recently so I am so happy I found this, I love No 7 skincare  in general and can't believe I had tried this before.
Lancôme Tonique Douceur - Another new skin care brand for me. Debenhams had Lancôme on promotion so I thought I would pick a good toner up after I had run out of my beloved No 7 one. Really lightweight but works wonders my skin leaving it feeling clean, fresh and hydrated.
No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing brush. I bought this back in the Clarisonic hype days and I go through stages of using this. If you hold steady and go through the breakout phase I think these brushes are great I use mine when I have a shower and has really helped in exfoliating my dry skin.  I think this might be why I am loving applying my foundation at the moment, dry flaky skin doesn't go with Victoria Secret Glow.
Dermalogica Foam Wash - I have been using this with my No 7 Cleansing Brush. This does a great job of foaming and helping to deep cleanse the skin. I had a drawer of samples that I was working through when I noticed this little gem. I like products that have a more of a chemist look about them and Dermalogica is perfect for anyone that is really struggling with their skin.  It's a shame this is not as readily available as other face washes.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Red Lipstick to Suit Any Skin Tone - Universal Red Shade and High End Dupe

Anyone that picked up the stylist a couple of weeks ago would have read their article about products that claim to adapt to skin tones. They decided to send their army of Stylist bunnies out to the makeup world to see if they could find a lipstick that could universally suit anyone. They decided on Revlon Love Is On. A true pillar box red in my opinion, no orange hues but interestingly blue undertones which I normally avoid as I feel it can make teeth look yellowish.

Of course I had to try this for myself. I always bang on about finding the perfect shades for my skin tone so I had to put it to the test. I'm not the only one that was intrigued by this find as it took me a while to track this down across the Boots and Superdrugs near Tottenham Court Road,

I was pleasantly surprised I feel it does suit me and doesn't clash with my skin, Not my most favourite shade but I really love the formula and have quite a few of the Super Lustrous lipsticks from Revlon. I really like the packaging, very Chanel, however if you are not a fan of sweet smelling products the scent could put you off but I personally like it.  This is super affordable at £7.99 too.

As you can see I have placed this next to Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense in Moulin Rouge 43 (£16) as I think the Revlon Love Is On is quite a good dupe. Both creamy on the lips perfect for those dry lips out there but opaque enough to give a strong payoff of colour.  The Revlon is not as long lasting I don't think but for the price difference its quite easy to forgive.  I love stumbling across a dupe.

What do you think? Could this be the one we have been waiting for?
Article available online here to check out some other interesting finds

Friday, 10 February 2017

Where to Eat This Valentines Day - London

Valentines Day can be a lovely time for couples, something to look forward to during the cold winter months. For singletons its build up to the most depressing time of the year. However, no matter your situation everyone enjoys a good evening out having dinner, trust me my friends always book a table for three if them on valentines jut to be awkward.

Here are some of my favourite places to go if you are looking for somewhere a little different in London.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Secret Salma Lipstick

Charlotte Tilbury must be one of the fastest growing brands, not only by beauty bloggers but by those that don't even know the beauty bloggersphere even exists. Who can blame us with rose gold packaging, quality that is on point and shades that are just on another level.

Today I am sharing my views on the B-E-A-Utiful Secret Salma Lipstick which I have been referring to as Secret Selma, my first Charlotte Tilbury item of course it had to be a lipstick.  I am so happy with how opaque this shade is a lovely almost dusky nude pink.  The sales assistant said this is a great colour for Spanish skin, que bien.  I love the creamy formula, a matte finish but its not drying. Possibly not the most log lasting lipstick as it is so creamy but for me this how I prefer my lipsticks to be. I am really enjoying wearing this through Winter during the day and evening. I think the shade and formula are perfect for transitioning into spring makeup, if we ever get there.
Let's talk packaging, I mentioned the rose gold tube that is just so Instagramable who can resist? I also get that warm fuzzy feeling in my belly when I see a lipstick with something embossed on the barrel.  In this case a whopper set of lips are perfectly detailed on the tube I think its a great idea that the end of the lipstick instead of the standard round tip, Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks have a square finish.  I have found this helpful when trying to get a crisp edge around my lips.

At £24 these are at the higher end of the pricing bracket but all in all I think this is such a classy makeup product I fully understand the price tag. I am so happy I think I am going to pick up a red shade and a darker shade too.  If you have any recommendations on any Charlotte Tilbury products please leave suggestions below.  


Thursday, 2 February 2017

No7 City Lights Beauty Collection

No 7 is such a unique brand to me.  Not because I have some emotional connection or a quirky anecdote that I can share but their products very rarely disappoint.  I haven't tried any of their bath products that I can remember but some of my all time favourite makeup and skincare are No 7.  I was lucky enough to receive the No 7 City Lights Beauty Collection from my parents this year.Included was 250ml No7 Beautiful Skin Blissful Body Wash, like all of the No7 products this has a really fresh, clean scent that I don't think very many people would find offensive.
Bath - 200ml No7 Beautiful Skin Perfecting Body Polish which has a good amount of scrub that you know this will help exfoliate that skin though as all body scrubs I would not recommend for the face.  200ml No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Body Serum, leave your skin feeling so soft you just want to walk around stroking your own arm.       
Skincare - 50ml No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advance Day Cream I have used this before and is a staple in my mums skincare routine too.  50ml No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advance Night Crream, I was in need of a good night cream and you can feel the difference between the two creams. Perfect for my dry skin I already have noticed a positive difference.
Makeup - 30ml No7 Airbrush Away Primer great for making your makeup last longer but not silicon based like most primers this one helps to moisturise the skin as it prolongs your makeup.  10ml No7 Gel Finish Nail Polish in Deep Wine for me a great Winter colour but for those that get their nails done professionally probably not going to be a winner for them. 7ml No7 Midnight Lash Mascara in Black No7 mascaras are my favourite, the wands are perfect for lengthening and the formulas always last well on me so really happy there was one included.  Double bonus its in Black and not a wacky glittery purple.  Finally 2.8g No7 Lovely Lips Lip Balm in Parisian Pink again a fabulous addition for me as I prefer something light on my lips.  I was surprised not to see a matte formula included as they are super popular at the moment but I guess they went with the bestseller.
I love the presentation of this gift, as the name would suggest its a mini city creating a skyscraper effect with the different shape boxes. I was slightly shocked my Dad picked this up for me as the outside box is covered in black glitter, he was probably washing his hands for a week afterwards. 

There it is the No7 City Lights Collection a great present and I am sure Boots will have similar ones for mothers day and Christmas.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Smart Casj on a Saturday

So my first outfit post, and I look so out of proportion its silly but I like the outfit and have wanted to do an outfit post for ever.  I went for a family dinner the other night and then on to a casj party so I thought this was perfect.
Pink Satin Blouse - Zara
Black Clouttes - Forever 21 (before the boycot)
Snake Print Boots - Debenhams

I will be working on the photography but I'm so happy I've broken a bit of a milestone.


Saturday, 21 January 2017

Tanya Burr 12 Days of Christmas Beauty Calendar

The new year is here, resolutions have been made and fitness goals locked in. On the week of Blue Monday I refuse to let go of Christmas so I want to talk about the Beauty Advent calendar I was lucky enough to receive from my boyfriend this year. Beauty Advent Calendars have really up their game these last few years and there are so many varieties and brands.

As the name suggests Tanya's 12 Days of Christmas consists of 12 doors with Tanya Burr's own cosmetic products behind each one.  I was really excited to try out her brand as I have heard so much about it. As this is Christmas themed there was a lot of glitter and sparkle.  

The best find for me is probably the nail varnishes as they apply nicely, are opaque and lasted well.  I also like the lip products a lot the two glosses are not sticky and provide a good colour payoff.  I wasn't expecting a matte lip colour but the colour is lovely with a soft velvety consistency.

The little mirror and nail file are good additions to a beauty calendar as they are staples in everyone's makeup bag and perfect handbag size.

As mentioned there were products with a lot of sparkle in them which for Christmas is lovely but will probably be the items that I reach for less throughout the year.  I'm not too familiar with glitter liquid eyeliners, but I was pleasantly surprised that glitter was applied and wasn't solely wet liquid across my eye.  The little pots of eye glitter remind me of the old school Barry M Dazzle Dusts, I used MAC fix+ to get a solid colour but generally good payoff without the fix+.

I am really impressed with Tanya's collection for the calendar, and reasonably priced at £15 I think this is a great present to receive. However if you are buying as a present for someone I would be careful about that age range. Anyone that is just getting into more luxury brands might think this is slightly too young for them.

I think the main thing that is brilliant about this calendar are the colours that have been selected, being colour shy its something I always think about when I have seen releases of beauty calendars. Even though there is a Christmas colour palette I feel there was a good mix of silver and gold for the metallic element and a very wearable pink/red that a lot of people could feel comfortable wearing. 
Well done Tan!

The Beauty Calendar along with Tanya Burr Cosmetics are available at Superdrug.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Beauty Blender - Best Purchase of 2016

Start of a new year is a good time to reflect on the previous 12 months.  Though I have reflected on personal things I also have had a think about what products I have discovered in 2016.  I know I am a little late on the sponge in the shape of an egg bandwagon, I have tried many 'dupes' and never saw the fascination.  Well that's because they aren't the real deal. I noticed a difference between the real one and others as soon as I felt it.

The basic principal is a small egg shape sponge (the original was pink but I have the nude colour to avoid looking super dirty with foundation) that is really soft and flexible.  For me best results come from wetting the sponge so that it expanse to about a third larger.  This stops any liquid/cream products from being absorb into the sponge. Then using a bouncing technique the sponge blends out the makeup to create a flawless look.  It's so much quicker than I expected. I use the round bottom for foundation, the tip at the top for under eye concealer and the sides for cream contour or concealer.

It can get a bit messy once you have used the Beauty Blender for a while especially if you are using all the sides so I tend to try and keep mine as clean as possible.  There is a Beauty Blender cleanser but currently I am using baby shampoo which works for all my normal brushes.

For someone with dry skin this is my new best friend I can feel my skin lapping up the extra hydration compromising only a slight amount of coverage from my foundation.  Because of the additional hydration I have found with products such as Estee Lauder Double Wear don't tend to as perfect as when I use a normal buffing brush so I am getting in the habit of using lasting sprays which have helped.

I have seen people applying powder to help bake under their eyes and I didn't like it for that I felt mixing dry powder, water and liquid was starting to make the sponge feel heavy and could make application harder so now I only use wet,

I filmed a first impression video which will be on my Youtube (ButtonsAndBowX) shortly.  

I purchased mine from Selfridges but Beauty Bay also stock individual and sets. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christmas 2016 Gift Guide for Girls - Girlfriend Mum Sister Friend Daughter

It still not too late to pick up those last remaining pressies, unless you're planning on posting them to Australia for Xmas day of course. I have put together a gift guide where there is something for female in your life.

Lush - Need I say more?  Unless she is highly allergic I'm sure you will find something in any Lush store, and the advisors are super helpful too.
Pyjamas - I love new pjs anytime of year but I think there's something snug about having a fresh set for winter.
Naked Palettes - Every year they bring another one out and every year I want to get it. Fabulous quality and is one of those presents that can be given as one main present or alongside a few smaller gifts.
Candles - Had to include it, I know they are literally burning money away but I think they make for great presents especially the ones that boarder more towards the luxury end as its not something everyone buys for themselves.
Jewellery - This can be quite an overwhelming task, my advise would be to keep it simple. Find out the colour jewellery she likes, for me I wear silver or white gold (if there is a certain stone she likes such as her birthstone that's a good place to check out too). If she's anything like my mum and would prefer something practical than something on trend and you really don't want to risk it for a chocolate biscuit, keep it classic.
Handbag - This can be another tricky one as some women can be quite particular especially if you are buying their 'everyday' bag.  Go with a brand you know she likes as she will be familiar with the quality and styling. 
Diary - As a stationary lover this would be a big winner in my book (no pun). Depending on the recipient there are some really cute styles around or the classic engraved are equally as lovely.
Tickets - Musicals, Concerts, Afternoon teas, for some people activities and days out are far more important that physical gifts. All about the memory making.

I have also shared my top tips on buying for guys here.
Merry Christmas

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Favourite Christmas Songs - Blogmas

What would Christmas be without the songs to spread the festive cheer?  We all know come the Christmas party we'll be screeching 'all I want for Christmas is yoooooooooooooou' Standard.  Whenever I hear what other people's favourite festive song is its never the same as mine so thought I would share and would love to find anyone else that agrees to my top 5.

1. Driving home for Christmas - This always reminds me off old American Christmas films where someone is desperately trying to make their way through the blizzards to get home for Christmas day.  The sob in me loves the happy endings.

2. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - It's not Christmas until I have sung this at least 20 times (in November). Perfect song choice when putting up the decorations or wrapping the presents.

3. Christmas (baby please come home) - I know this is a random one but an upbeat one (even if a tad sad).  I think I just like yelling CHRISTMAS at random times

4. Fairytale of New York - A sad story again but so easy to sing along to even if you can't understand all of the words

5. Wish it could be Christmas Everyday - Whenever I hear this I have to sing its a brilliant party song and again a great one just to have on in the background while getting on with Christmas chores


Friday, 16 December 2016

Christmas Decorations 2016 - Blogmas

One of my most favourite things about Christmas are the decorations. The lights, ornaments and colour themes.  Every year I search through Instagram and Pinterest gathering inspiration.  I have also been fortunate enough to visit other countries around Christmas time and I never get bored of turning a corner and gasping at how 'lovely this building is'. 
I wanted to shared some of my finds that I hope you will like to.  As you can tell I'm still loving the grey theme.

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