Friday, 31 December 2010

Avon Lipstix - A fab find!

Hello mince pies!

So today on a spur of the moment I decided to try out something I came across on my dressing table while I was at home over Christmas. My lovely Mom is an Avon representative and always gets free bits and bobs or stuff on the cheap, so when I found this Avon Colortrend 'Lipstix' on my dressing table I just figured she'd got it and didn't like it, so popped it in my makeup bag and brought it back up to Scotland! Coincidentally, while I was doing my friend Jades makeup - she mentioned how she loves them! So I tried the one I have today, in shade 'Deluxe' and I really really like it! I never wear shades like this, despite it being on trend to have berry lips, I've just never fancied trying it! But lo and behold, I love it! I think it'd look loads better if I had a really nice smokey eye rather than the more nude look I have today - but even so I instantly feel loads more done up - I'll definitely be wearing this more often! Another huge plus point is that it's super soft and moisturising, and the colours very intense - plus the shape of the end means lip liner isn't too necessary, as you can be very precise :) I hope my Mom gets some more of these!
This little find has inspired me to try out more of the stuff shoved to the back of my makeup cupboard, and all you guys should too!
Here I am with it on in all its glory! - 'Avon ColorTren Lipstix in shade Deluxe'

Happy New Year guys!

Emily xoxo

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Don't Believe The Hype! Overrated Products

Hello apples and pears,
So I've been inspired by xxAliCosmeticsxx video on Youtube which is about products that are hyped up by beauty gurus and on youtube - so we've got so excited and gone out and bought them, but then been disappointed with the results. Here's the video;
Now I'm a definite sucker for things others 'in power' recommend - if a makeup artist says get it, I feel like I need to get it. However, this is my downfall! I've ended up with products that I really don't understand why I bought them, and will probably never use again.
This is a risk we all have to take though, if we want for example some expensive lipstick or eyeshadow, we have to rely on the brands name and reputation and word of mouth that the product is actually worth the money, and is going to be amazing. Since the birth of the internet, especially makeup blogs and videos, makeup companies advertising has got a whole bunch easier, as now all they need is one person to recommend it, and the word spreads like wildfire through the online makeup community!
However, for us consumers out there - this means as we lap up everything anyone recommends, we may be loosing out on our pennies to products that just aren't as good as we expected!
So, here's my list of stuff that I've been over the moon to buy, but have been very under the moon with the quality of the product in the end!

First, my biggest beauty sadness and monetary loss is Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Cleansing Oil - I spent £27 on the smaller sized bottle (the larger one is £55! :o ) and my goodness, do I regret it. It does what it says on the tin, cleanses the skin and removes makeup. Now for this job I agree it does it well, but you need a lot of squirts of the stuff and a LOT of water to get the oil off again. The scent is nice too. But in the packaging, comes instructions on how to properly cleanse your face - your rub a few squirts of this onto your face with your hands, then use as many as 30 face rinses with cool water with your hands - yes 30! Now I was like that doesn't sound too bad, but rinsing your face 30 times gets very boring, you get very wet and your clothes do, and you can still feel traces of the product on your face. Now as the cleanser is oil based, leaving extra oil on your face only leads in one direction - and that's to oily skin, which is not what I bargained for when trying to cleanse my face. For the money I feel the Skin Purifier should purify my skin, it should remove makeup quickly and efficiently, it should help reduce redness and calm any skin imperfections (as it says on the package it does), but actually it doesn't do any of these things, and if it does, it only does them to a small extent. I'm really gutted it doesn't work, as the sales lady got me so excited to use it - but 2 months later and I still really dislike it. I would recommend a million times more simple old Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser - it's cheap and I believe is the best cleanser on the market. Don't waste your money!
Cleansing Oil A/I

Another product on my overrated products list are MAC Beauty Powders. I don't think MAC sell these constantly, they're just limited edition, and to be honest I feel it's MACs way of getting great packaging out there and bulking up their collections. The beauty powders are the most unbelievably unpigmented powders I've ever seen, and as well as being unpigmented, it's like the powder has been bound together with superglue! It's so difficult to actually get the product from the compact (this sounds ridiculous - but a normal couple of swipes of a brush or sponge will get absolutely 0 product for you). I just cannot explain to you how bad I find these products. I do think the reason they sell them in their limited edition lines is because they are larger bulkier products offering a high price tag that something smaller like an eyeshadow can't command - so therefore they get to showcase the limited edition theme brilliantly with great packaging and often the theme being somehow engraved or embossed onto the powder itself. So, all in all, if you want something incredibly beautiful to look at, get the beauty powders, but do not rely on them for anything else!

Whilst I'm on the subject of MAC, I have a couple more things that I don't like at all from them. It breaks my heart to pull MAC apart, as I love it SO much, but there are some things from them I've had to step back and think, you might be MAC, but you ain't that good!
First are their lip conditioners. I have the Lip Conditioner Stick and I absolutely love it to bits, I use it at least twice a day - but the problem I have with MAC Lip Conditioners is not with the sticks, but with the tinted lip conditioners that come in tub shapes. I have one of these in shade Petting Pink, and it cost me £10.50. Now, for the job it is trying to do (nourish lips) it does brilliantly - but there are severe problems with it. The packaging looks nice, but its so unsanitary to dip your fingers in the balm, swipe them on your lips, then dip again, it's just gross! The balm is full of vitamins and goodness just waiting for bacteria to grow on it! Eww! That's mainly why I much prefer the stick. Next is the colour, the pigment that it appears to have in the tub is not the colour it appears on your lips - it just goes a gross sheer colour that noone would want! However, the main problem I have with the tinted lip conditioners is the price. At £10.50, they are priced so sky high its actually quite shocking. It does exactly (and I mean exactly) the same job as Vaseline or Carmex or any other lip balm does - but for 10 times the price! Do not be drawn into buying them! If you really want soft lips with a slight colour, why not pop on vaseline or lip balm and then pink lip gloss or stick? You'll get exactly the same effect without the ridiculous price tag.
Another on my MAC unhitlist is an eyeshadow I've been wanting for a long time, and finally got it recently - it's in shade 'Wedge'. Now I absolutely love everything about MAC eyeshadows, but this one is probably one of the worse eyeshadows I've ever used! It's like putting the most unpigmented eyeshadow on in the world ever, and no matter how much you put on, what primer you use, anything, it just will not build up colour! I'm actually really sad that I dislike it so much as I've been so excited to try it out, and it's such a disappointment.
Another thing that I haven't actually bought or even disliked is MACs cream colour base in 'Shell'. Kandee Johnson uses this as a highlighter in so many of her videos, as do other youtube gurus I've seen, so it was something firmly on my 'want' list. However, I'm so glad I didn't invest, as I went into a MAC store and was actually shocked at the colour of it! It's like mucky pink beige with tones of white and silver in - you would look revolting with that on your cheekbones! Just swatching it on my hand made them look so mucky and just not pleasant! Instead, I went for the cream colour base in 'Pearl' and I'm so glad I did - the colour is an extremely pale gold and perfect for the tops of cheekbones and brow bone! Just steer clear of Shell! :)

Finally on my MAC rant is the swatches on their website. Some of the colours on there are pretty far out compared to what colour the actual makeup is. Now I know there's problems with stuff like screen brightness and colour contrast varying between computers - but sites such as love-makeup and gurumakeupemporium and dauphines always seem to swatch the same colours that are sold. I hope MAC can somehow sort this problem as I've ordered a lot of stuff online without seeing the product in a shop first (my local shop is 2 hours away), and it's led to me getting the most ridiculous shades! So just watch for that when ordering online :)

Next, a product everyone in the world seems to rant and rave about is YSL's Touche Eclat. Well I will let you into a secret, please don't gasp haha, I HATE IT! Aaah that feels better :) It is so unpigmented, so sheer and just so plain wrong! It doesn't conceal stuff - it goes on either too shiny or to cakey and dry, and is just so bad! The mix is too sheer and ends up bringing the eye to the place you've tried to conceal and look better - so everyone notices the bad stuff more! Plus one thing a find pretty revolting about Touche Eclat is that its constantly dispensed via a brush that's permanently attached to the product. This means that everytime new product comes through, it immediately mixes with the stuff you've previously used and left over, and mixes with the bacteria and grossness that the brush has taken from before when being swiped on your skin. That's just plain gross.
The final thing on my hitlist are elf eye liners. First off, their Brightening Eye Liner. Now for a start the name is just ridiculous, if you're buying a black eye liner - it's not going to brighten your eyes! Now for the actual product - it is so unpigmented that I was actually shocked they even sold it, it stays on the water line for all of two seconds, and stays on the upper lid for about a minute before it starts creasing, melting, and moving around your eyelid - not what you want your eye liner to do. Another eye liner product from elf I really dislike is their Waterproof Eyeliner Pen. Now I should probably get them done for fraudulent advertising - because it is not waterproof, it does not line eyes, and it is the most ridiculously unrefined pen fibre tip I've ever seen. It is so difficult to use as the tip is bushy, scratchy on the eye and is never fully saturated with the product, the product that does come out is very unpigmented and like a very watered down black, and it lasts about ten minutes! Looks like elf had a bit of a disaster making their eyeliners!

So that's my list of overrated products, or products I quite simply HATE haha please don't take offence if you love the products I've mentioned - it's just my opinion after all.

What are your worst beauty products?

Emily xoxo

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Picture Challenge

Hello lovelies,

So I stole this idea from facebook but it looks so much fun! So here goes...

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with 15 interesting facts about you.
15 Interesting Facts -
1. I have an OCD called trichotillomania, along with stupid ones like I have to tap stuff the same amount of times with each hand.
2. I take my tea very milky with no sugars.
3. I'm OBSESSED with killer whales and know so much about them :)
4. My favourite film is Beauty and the Beast.
5. My favourite crisps are Wotsits!
6. On my next birthday I'll be 20!
7. I'm born on the cusp which means I'm in the middle of being a Cancer and a Gemini! I'm more Cancer though, but it means I can get a horoscope all of my own for those people on the cusp! :)
8. I don't like Thorntons chocolates very much, but love Tesco ones!
9. My favourite place in the world is Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island in Canada and I want to live there some day.
10. When I was 14 I travelled for two hours on a train alone without telling anyone to get some high heels hahaha!
11. I love picking spots haha
12. I'm scared of the dark :(
13. I wash my hair once a week cos it's more dry and doesn't get greasy easily.
14. I'd only been with Dan for four months before we moved in together - but we both just knew it was right.
15. I have a serious problem with an addiction to makeup and shopping for it online!

Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been close with for the longest.
Me and one of my best friends Amy, I love her so much :)

Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show.
Gossip Girl - but I could have put the cast of Eastenders, Corrie, The Only Way Is Essex, The Hills... :)

Day 04 - A picture of your night.
Me and Dan went for Indian here, it was delicious :)

Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory.
Working in Canada for a month alone on Whale Watching boats :) I got to see this everyday.

Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day.
Alexandra Morton, the most AMAZING marine mammal biologist and just scientist in general, she's so inspiring. Plus she lives in my favourite place in the world! :)

Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item.
He's not really an item, but my gorgeous little Wallace!

Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh.

Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most.
Tom - we don't talk anymore but boy he got me through so much and really helped me through my ups and downs of life! Plus he has a psychic way of always being right haha.

Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the most messed up things with.
Eloise haha I've had some very messed up times with her! :)

Day 11 - A picture of something you hate.
Not really a good picture for this but I really hate the stigma and taboo surrounding mental health. It makes sufferers feel so much more isolated and like freaks :(

Day 12 - A picture of something you love.
I've had a life long love affair with red leicester cheese! And I hope it never ends haha

Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist.
Not really a band or artist, but a general genre of music - Niche! :)

Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.
Dan - the most wonderful person I've ever met and I'll never let him go :) There was a Dan shaped hole in my life before!

Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die.
Swim with killer whales :)

Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you.
Kandee Johnson - she's so full of light and happiness constantly, and does the most fun costume makeup - and is not scared what haters or mean people say! She's like a ray of sunshine, and I hope one day I can make people feel so happy too :)

Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently.
Makeup - the more I study it and do freelance work, the more I love it and get addicted to it!

Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity.
A mental disorder I can't control :(

Day 19 - A picture of you when you were little.
Here's me and my lovely cousin Nick. Sadly Nick's not with us anymore, but I think about him so much and miss him :(

Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel.
Anywhere to see the aurora borealis / northern lights :) I bet it's incredible.

Day 21 - A picture of s
omething you wish you could forget.
Not something I really want to go into.

Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at.
Painting, drawing, just being creative in general. I wish I had the motivation and more time and patience for it :)
i love everything about this picture

Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book.
Alexandra Morton - Listening to Whales. The most inspirational and incredible book ever, it just completely puts my heart and mind at peace.

Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change.
Poverty and sadness in the world :(

Day 25 - A picture of your day.
I've spent it ordering makeup off the internet with my Christmas money!

Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you.
The ocean - no matter where I am or what's going on in my life, it always inspires me and makes me feel so much better. I can just stare out at it for hours and just feel at peace. Plus I can swim in it at ridiculous temperatures just because I have so much adrenaline coursing through my veins that I'm in the sea, I swear I should have been a whale or dolphin or something! :)

Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member.
Me and my Momma! :)

Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of.

Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile.
The cutest photo EVER!

Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss
My brother Duncan and Wallace the bunny, and all my family too!

Presents Presents Presents!

Hello my pear drops!

I've been so ill since Christmas - sore throat, snotty nose, dry skin - just that general grotty gross feeling! So after having the hugest lie in EVER (till 2pm!) I have decided that it's time to get 2011's makeup adventures on the road! I've been meaning to do loads of character and special effects work for my portfolio, so a good few hours spent on eBay has led to the abolishment of my Christmas money, but the addition of loads of fun wigs to my collection!
I'm mainly inspired by Kandee Johnson for the character looks - she does fun character makeup like no other!
Wigs are usually so expensive in fancy dress shops, but I managed to get all these beauties for £20! :) I'm so excited for themselves to wing their way to my postbox! I'm fancying the long silver wig to go with Lady Gaga makeup - and can't wait to do Japanese style makeup too with the geisha wig! :) It should be fun making Dan up as a clown aswell! :)

I've also bought a few other bits and bobs that I've been meaning to get for a while;
A large size zebra Z Palette, a bottle of Beauty So Clean Cosmetic Sanitiser, palette knives, eyebrow/nose wax, NYX lipsticks, NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencils, Stars Makeup Haven Eyeshadow Refil Pans, Yaby eyeshadow refil pans, Sugarpill eyeshadow, NYX Lipglosses, OCC Lip Tars, NYX Pigments, Lime Crime Lipstick... Aaah so much stuff winging its way to me in the post! I went slightly mad on :) it's so addictive! Can't wait for my package to come through :)
I got so many wonderous Christmas presents too that I can't wait to tell you all about like a Crown Master Brush Set, Yaby Palette, MAC lipsticks and eyeshadows... I'm officially the most spoilt girl in the world!
I love makeup so much and can't wait to try out all this new stuff! I find it so odd how some people confine themselves to one make up brand, or with clothes to just one shop - there's so much fun to be had out there! So many cute and amazing things to discover!
I'll keep you guys posted on the makeup looks I did - quite simply CAN'T WAIT! :)
Happy holidays everyone,

Emily xoxo

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Things I Can't Live Without

Hello sweetpeas!

So while the lasagnes in the oven and Dan's on the bus home from work, I thought I'd write a list of things that I can't live without. Now before I write this - I could live without them - after all, the only things we need to survive are water, food and a little shelter and warmth - but aside from these essentials, here's a list of things I love having in my day to day life, and wouldn't like to imagine my days without them.

First up is cups of tea! Anyone that drinks a lovely cup of tea knows that when you've had a bad day, when you've been on your feet all day, when you're tired out, when you've had a shock, well no matter what the situation is - a tea will always soothe you and make you feel better! I like a cup with no sugars (I'm sweet enough hahaha) and lots of milk :) And some bourbon or hobnob biscuits never go amiss!
Next, I love my home comforts like blankets, dressing gowns and slippers. Whenever I don't have to go out, I'll be found snuggled up and not bothering to get dressed. I just love feeling warm and cosy!

I like my lips to always feel soft and lovely - so I always have Vaseline close by :) I put it on before I go to sleep, so when I wake up in the morning my lips are soft and luxuorious! I've recently tried the new Vaseline Lip Therapy with Cocoa Butter - it's delicious!

Next up, soppy and quite predictable from an old romantic like me, is my lovely boyfriend Dan and my family and pets. People are a gazillion times more important than any material objects - and these people are the things I'd find so difficult to be without. I hate living so far away from my family and my beloved pets Wallace and Jack, and from Dans family too. They're all so special to me and have made me who I am :) And Dan is the most special wonderful person ever - he makes me feel better when I'm down, we have giggles together, and I get to cuddle up to him every night - live's perfect with him :)

I suffer badly with eczema and dry skin, so I need a moisture cream that'll sort my skin out and inject some much needed moisture into it! However, my skin's super sensitive to fragrances and certain brands, and after much deliberation I've finally found a soul mate for my skin - Soap and Glory's Collagen Overhall Wish Upon a Jar Cream - at £14 it's more expensive that your average moisture cream, but it's lasted me four months with use twice a day, so that's like £3.50 a month for wonderous skin! Definitely worth it! My skin gets so sad and dry without it - so it's definitely a must have for my skin.

My signature makeup look - and my go to makeup every day is simple winged pin up style eyes. No matter what eye makeup I have on otherwise, I always have a nice cat eye flick :) I do this with MACs Blacktrack Fluidline and a 210 brush - and it lasts all day with no smudging :)

Whenever I'm feeling a bit bummed out, or feel like I want to rest and recuperate I buy myself a magazine. Now I like the expensive glossy ones to cut out pictures for makeup inspiration, but for fun and daft gossip to cheer me up I always get Reveal - it's my absolute favourite! It's so cheap and fun to read, and always brightens my day up! :)
No matter what I do in the day, me and Dan always get cuddled up with a cuppa at the end of it to watch the soaps, Coronation Street and Eastenders! I'm so addicted to them! :) No matter what's going on in our lives, it's fun to detract and concentrate on the characters troubles for half hour or so :)

Now something I wanted to include, not to lower the tone, but more as something that actually has become a necessity in my life, whether I want it to or not, is my antidepressant/bipolar medication. I tried spending time in Summer without being on meds, but I found it too hard and now I'm back on them. I don't feel like they rule or control my life - but I feel as though they definitely benefit it and make me enjoy life so much more! :) At first it terrified me that I was on such taboo medication, but now I just see it as another part of me, like popping lipstick on, it's just something I do :) I'd like to think one day I'll be med free but the truth is I probably never will be. That makes me feel sad, but at the same time, if it makes me feel better I guess tablets are necessary :)

There are so many things in life that I love so much and that make me days so much more enjoyable I just can't fit them all on one list! It's so nice to think about them though, and really consider how fun they make your life! And it's interesting to think how different others lists would be :)

Write yours - and let me know!

Emily xoxo