What I love about Halloween makeup looks is that you don't have to be a makeup artist to achieve a convincingly creepy look. You can achieve most looks using stuff you already have in your makeup bag and even better you might actually use some of the things you have been meaning to use. For almost every Halloween makeup look I use a few essentials that come in handy for almost any look. These are also very cheap items; a black and brown eyeliner, a black and brown eyeshadow and a black liquid liner, you'd be amazed how far these can take you with a bit of creativity! My most recent play around was to achieve a werewolf attack so I thought I would share it with you broken down into a few easy steps.
All you will need is;
pencil eyeliner (black, brown & white)
eyeshadow (black, brown and a deep purple or maroon shade)
fake blood (if you don't have any don't worry, you can just use an old lipstick or lipgloss)
latex (I got mine for £2 in Superdrug)
Do your makeup as you normally would, the addition of winged eyeliner and a red lip work well. On top I found the easiest way to begin is to roughly outline here you want to place the claw marks using a white eyeliner which means you have a guide and you can easily change the placement without ruining the rest of your makeup.
Start filling in the outlines, layering on your latex to build up some texture. This is the only slightly tricky part because it's very liquid but I just poured out some and let it thicken before starting to put it on.
Once the latex is dry I outlined the marks using a brown eyeliner and then blended in some brown eyeshadow. I added some eyeshadow into the centre of the scars and around the side to create a shadow look.
Next I went in with the black eyeliner very roughly inside the claw marks to add depth but I wouldn't go too heavy handed, you want it to look rough and ragged and not too like a clean line. I also put a little purple/maroon eyeshadow blended around the edges to look like bruising.
In between the marks can get a little messy so as contrast I cleaned up the lines with some white eyeliner or concealer would do fine.
All that's left is to start putting the fake blood into the centre, I forgot to get some so I've just used an old lipgloss and lipstick. I find a darker tone works better so if all you have is a bright red then mix in some black eyeshadow to darken it down.
And that's it, so simple! The key is to just keep going in with more layers of eyeshadow/eyeliner/ fake blood to add dimension and depth and to not be too neat which is always an added bonus!
It's something we all hate to do although I have to admit I do find it rather therapeutic on occasion and there's nothing better than using a freshly washed makeup brush that seems to make your face look more flawless than ever... well maybe not flawless but it definitely makes everything go on so much better.
For the past years I, like so many, have been working my way through any makeup cleaning tips and tricks out there. From using baby shampoo to hand gel, you name it, I've tried it. Thankfully since the release of the massively popular Real Techniques brushes everyone has gone crazy about the tools we use to apply our makeup and as a result companies have quickly (and thankfully) followed up with releasing numerous products to clean them with. As I said, I have worked my way through a considerable amount of DIY types (before brush cleaners were even really a thing!) Of recent years I have had much more choice and have tried a large handful of them to discover my favorite to date.
Of all of the faves and fails, some good products, some terrible ones, I have found the one I have been searching for. This little makeup removing wizard is from Makeup Freedom. It's a solid makeup brush bath priced at £7 for a tub. While I have tried liquids and sprays I find this way out lasts those, instead of half the products going down the drain this is so much more effective. I was a little skeptical at first worrying that it would hold the dirt and end up being a mess but that couldn't be further from the reality. All you have to do is wet the brush, swirl and rinse. I tend to swirl the brush in it with the water running so that while the makeup is lifting it is constantly running the water clear. While others take a while to lift the foundation residue, this product gets straight in and totally obliterates the makeup from the brush. It's clear to see and to compare how great it is in comparison to others. It doesn't take long til your bushes are completely clean with the added fresh detergent like scent and the added bonus of it being antibacterial. While others seem to do a surface clean this brush bath from Freedom does a really deep antibacterial cleanse in half the time! Definite thumbs up from me!
While the brow game seems to still be the most popular beauty feature, companies are bringing their own game to rival the already established on the market. The ever popular Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade is something most have heard of and has long been on my to buy list. As it comes from America though it's not the easiest nor cheapest to get a hold of but before you go paying a fortune for shipping, I have a UK dupe for it.
For those that aren't in the know about what it actually is, it's an eyebrow product in a cream type formula which you use a brush to apply. The pomade as it's called resembles something of an eyeliner gel consistency and can be used to create anything from a very natural to a strong statement brow.
Luckily my friend Jen brought me back the Anastasia one from a trip to America and I have been using it for a few months. I instantly loved it and can see why it's so popular. I also noticed a while back that the new Freedom range available exclusively in Superdrug brought out a very similar product. Curious to see if it resembled the more expensive predecessor I had a look through the shades and picked up the one I thought would suit me most. Boy was I impressed!
(My left brow is Anastasia, My right is Freedom)
I wanted to give both a fair chance and so have been using them both for a few months to give a fair review. The Freedom version comes in at £5 while the Anastasia one retails for around three times that price, not to mention shipping costs. While you can see in the above images there is a slight variation in shade I'm sure there is a more closely matched shade available, everything else, I have to say, is as close to identical in my opinion. Both have a creamy texture and apply very smoothly with the ability to blend into a much more subtle finish. Staying power is fantastic and I can see hardly any variation in longevity throughout the day. Even the packaging is almost identical. The other advantage to going with the Freedom version is that you can have a look in store at the shades available instead of taking a shot in the dark and ordering online. One piece of advice is before you buy in store though I advise checking no-one has already opened it up and tested it out! All in all, I can hardly tell the difference. It's a fantastic product regardless of price and I am loving using it, if you don't want to fork out for the Anastasia, believe me, you don't have to. Go get yourself the Freedom one. You can thank me later!
I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw these arrive! At first I thought they were a new L'Oreal eyeshadow because of their packaging but they were something much more exciting, lip powders. Recently L'Oreal have released a few new products like the range of sculpting and contouring products, but while those seem to have stolen the lime light, my attention was on the lip products. Since it's coming into better weather I love nothing more than an exciting lip colour to add a pop of colour!
I'm familiar with the usual lip products, lipstick, lip tints with the occasional novelty of a lip stain etc but these are something I have never tried before, a lip product in powder form. The range comes in a selection of 6 matte shades priced at £6.99. I picked mine up on a 3 for 2 offer on in Superdrug which is thankfully on more often than not. While I wanted to get every shade in the collection I couldn't get my hands on number 004 but for every other shade I will insert a photo.
As you can see the packaging is fairly simple and sleek and light weight to take around with you in your handbag. The applicator is very similar to that of a powder eyeshadow, a firm sponge applicator which is spring loaded. The powder pigment itself is kept in a little chamber that you simply pump the applicator into to apply more product. At first I wasn't sure the applicator would give a good finish but it gives a surprisingly precise and clean edge.
(001 Silencio, 002 Like A Virgin , 006 Disturbia, 007 Say My Name, 008 I Gotta Feeling)
I found the colour range impressive for an initial line up. L'Oreal have included a good selection which has something for most tastes including a pink purple shade for those wanting something a little different. Shade to shade there isn't much difference in formula although I found the bright tomato red shade to have a slightly different texture to the rest, but I put it down to picking up a dud with a dodgy applicator. All shades have a great pigmentation and a pure colour although the purple seems to take a little more to build up and has a slight two toned appearance.
With my pale complexion some lip colours can look totally wrong on me but with these, I liked every single shade. The application was smooth and gave good coverage with the option to have a more sheer finish for a subtle look. You don't have to wait for these to turn matte, they have an instant velvet finish, the formula I assume is an oil based powder as it seems to warm when applying and creates a light weight yet moisturising finish. If you like to experiment with lip looks then these could definitely achieve an ombre lip effect or even used on top of a lipstick to add dimension.
The only negative I can see is that while wear ability is good that it may transfer while eating and drinking but on a positive note it's a very natural fade without the streaky stained look a lipstick can leave. All in all I think these are fab. It's rare I am so instantly impressed, especially when a product seems a little gimmicky but these really are a good buy. I will definitely be picking up that last shade to make my collection complete. Hopefully L'Oreal will bring out even more shades that I can get my hands on!
My makeup addiction is, well, out of hand. After having a rather ruthless (sort of) clear out of my makeup collection and the makeup trolley I have to store the majority of my collection, I promised myself no more makeup for a few months. I promise, I made this mental note with complete conviction, believing that now I have had a cleanse of what I didn't need that I would be much more selective about what I bought in future. I have a similar problem with perfume and despite already having broken that ban from now until the end of the year I hopefully won't give in again. The makeup ban however is not going as well.
Within a week or two I have already been persuaded into buying quite the generous selection of new makeup. I have come to realise that there are many strands to this spending problem with regards to makeup. One issue is that I am a hoarder, and as such I always feel the need to have a store cupboard of second and third duplicates, you know, just in case... Another problem is that I love makeup and love trying all sorts of products especially new releases. Also, if I like something I am very likely to buy it in every colour available and not forgetting who doesn't love to get a bargain? My latest spend is due to a good old classic habit, the impulse buy. With a combination of new spring releases, bright new shades, new products and good offers, not t0 mention a lack of self control, I went and bought a whole hoard of new things.
As I now also blog from time to time I find it is also a great excuse reason to pick up some new things, after all I'm doing it for everyone elses benefit right? Well anyhow, I will be sure to let you know what I thought of the things I picked up!
If you have been looking for a budget matte liquid lip product, look no more. Ok so there are a few catches as you would have to find a colour that you like within the range of 8 shades. I have been using one of these bad boys for months and have absolutely adored it. Always one to enjoy a random lip colour I was very excited to see that MUA had released a new black and lilac version. I thought why not get the whole range and do a little swatch a review type post to share with you all. So here's the details, these are a liquid, matte finish lip lacquer from MUA (Makeup Academy) which is a great value brand exclusively sold at Superdrug. While higher priced similar products such as the bourjois velvet liquid lipsticks are around £8.99 these are a snip at just £3! While I love the Bourjois and they have a fantastic range of shades (definately worth their price) if you are new to the matte look or fancy a more vibrant colour then the MUA versions may be just what you're after!
So this is the line up. There are 8 shades, all swatched on the right. The range could do with a few more subtle colours added but there is a nude option onto corals, pinks, a vivid red, two purple tones and even a black for those with an inner goth. Shade to shade the formula differs as is to be expected with every product due to different pigments used to achieve different tones etc.
From left to right, Tranquility, Zest, Moxie, Reckless, Vivacity, Symphonic, Kooky, Potent. While the colours are fairly vivid, the pigmented formula really achieves a bold lip look. The formula is very creamy and gives great coverage. The shape of the doffer applicator I think is great at applying it neatly. I tend to apply a thin layer and then reapply a second layer on top to give a full coverage. As I mentioned each shade has a slightly different formula, the best I find include the bright red, darkest pink and the darker purple. While the rest are just as good I find the black is the most tricky, it doesn't give as full coverage, appears a little streaky and isn't quite as matte as the others. When I first tried these I assumed the lasting power wouldn't be all that great considering the tiny price tag but I find they last amazingly!
My favourite has to be the shade Kooky, I've had it the longest and worn it so many times. Some other long lasting liquid lipsticks can flake off or leave a weird plastic look, I'm not a fan of the Maybelline or Maxfactor ones but these have such a lovely creamy texture that leaves your lips looking great. It's also a fab choice for wearing on a night out because if it fades a little and needs topped up you can do that so easily with these and it looks as good as when you first applied it, unlike so many others. All in all a great little find if you already love these types of liquid lipsticks, fancy a more daring colour or if you want to try out the matte look.
Not so long ago I did a post about the infamous Pixi Glow Tonic and my instant love for it. While I fell head over heels for it I also noticed a new cheaper priced "dupe" by the brand Makeup Freedom. The hotly anticipated range finally came into stock at my local Superdrug and before it could hit the shelf I bagged myself a bottle. To give a bit of perspective the Pixi version retails at about £18 for 250ml while the MUF version comes in at £6 for 200ml. (If you are interested in hearing my thoughts on the fabulous Pixi Glow Tonic you can check out my original post about it.)
It's a very deliberate dupe which if you haven't tried the original it may make you think it's the same, but it isn't. It's advertised I think for people that would really like to try the Pixi but would prefer a more reasonably priced alternative. I usually completely embrace a cheaper alternative but this one is a little disappointing. It could be in part because I adore the original Pixi so much that the other falls short of my expectations.
While I often come across cheaper alternatives that are just as good if not dare I say better than their more expensive version, I'm afraid it is not the case for this comparison. I find the MUF isn't quite as refreshing, there isn't the same boost of hydration that I find with the Pixi. The Pixi seems to glide across the face leaving a really fresh clean and soothing feel to the skin that dries to a weightless kiss of hydration. The MUF doesn't feel as smooth when applying across the face, it's moisturising qualities seem to be a little lacking. I don't feel the same weightlessness that I find with the Pixi, it instead leaves an ever so slightly sticky residue. It's almost like if you were to compare a freshly made fruit juice to a slightly old bottled smoothie, there's just something a little false or synthetic feeling to the MUF one. While the Pixi has a fresh gentle scent the MUF has a more sugary sweet scent that I'm not so keen on which makes it even more synthetic.
While I looked forward to treating my skin each morning and night with the Pixi Glow Tonic, I really didn't enjoy using the Makeup Freedom version and found myself wanting to go back to the Pixi. All in all I am definitely going to repurchase the original, more expensive Pixi. While some might not want or need a toner at all, if you are going to spend your pennies to add that extra step I would invest a little more to get a better one (Pixi or not) While getting the Freedom in trade for the Pixi may be almost a third of the price, I would take one bottle of the Pixi over three of the Freedom any day! I myself wasn't an avid user of toners previously but after using the Pixi one I can't be without it. In this case the cheaper alternative falls short but there are plenty of cheaper brands to rival those that are more expensive and I will absolutely share some of my finds with you. In fact the Makeup Freedom range has some great little treasures so while the skincare selection isn't to my taste the makeup selection is fab!
This time last year I declared my New Years motto as it were, "Febuary is the new January" and once again, a year on, I stand by this belief. January is too often branded the month of new beginnings but no matter when you decide to start doing something new or making an improvement it is never too late. This year, and this somewhat lost January for want of a better phrase was out of my control. I had planned to make a few adjustments, do the New Year clean and clear out of my wardrobe yada yada, all those types of things. I'm well known in my family for being "the messy one" but as a creative (my fellow artistic hoarders will agree) I believe it to always be an organised mess. When I get stressed or feel like I've lots to do I enjoy nothing more than having a major clean up.
I started January full of excitement to get through that to do list and looked forward to an exciting little girls trip to Prague with two of my closest friends. My plans have been somewhat scuppered by a rather nasty chest infection of late. I did get to Prague thankfully and despite having to miss out on some of the fun adventures, instead opting for the hotel bed, it was undoubtedly a stunningly beautiful place. The day I was able to venture out for a few hours it snowed and was such a magical place. I am a little gutted I wasn't able to enjoy it in full but as always it was lovely to spend time with my besties and I'm sure I will visit again.
On return I was completely wiped out and exhausted and retired to my sick bed and very uncharacteristically even had to take some time off work to recover. It's so strange to me, as someone that has never taken a single day off work sick to have my body feel like it is failing me and after more than 2 weeks it still didn't seem to be improving despite my efforts. Anyhow I am feeling better but if you are under the weather I really feel for you it totally messes up your plans, I'm so thankful it wasn't anything more serious.
Now that I am on the mend I seem to be well behind on my list of to do's and it is time to recoup the few weeks I've been MIA. I've realised that sometimes things just have to be put on the back burner. I love giving myself tasks but sometimes you just have to admit defeat and when you are back to full power just pick up where you left off and start again. It's so easy as someone that often stresses to let everything get ontop of you but it will take as long as it will take. With this, in usual form, I am beginning with a cleanse of my makeup trolley. I know it's ridiculous to some but this is genuinely what makes me feel back on track! I'd love to know what things you do to make you feel back on track?! As I said last year, Febuary is the new January and so it will continue to be so! Maybe next year I'll be more organised but we will see...
Every year we all make the same promises to ourselves, basically to become a whole new person in the year ahead. I do it myself, I always try and make changes in the coming year and while I maintain having a "to do" list is one of life's great joys (lists are kind of my thing) I think sometimes we need to stop telling ourselves to be a completely different person but appreciate what we already are, the things you have done already alongside the things you have yet to achieve, appreciate the qualities you like in yourself alongside the things you want to improve on. Goodness knows there are plenty of things I would change about myself but as a person, I'm pretty happy with my lot.While I still have a list of things I want to achieve next year I think it's all too easy to forget what you have already done to get to where you are. I suppose we shouldn't neglect to appreciate the steps we have taken and evaluate what was done in the year gone by. My thoughts are thankful ones. While I feel like the past year has flown past me and as if I have done nothing much I'm reminded that I actually have ticked off a few things I really wanted to do. This blog being one of them. Starting this blog has been something I had been meaning to do and because I was unsure and to be truthful a little scared I had put it off so many times before but 2015 was my time to start, I still have a long way to go but it's up and running. Another goal of 2015 was to set up my Youtube channel, filming videos and posting them to the world and while I haven't really advertised the fact, I have actually been doing it! I haven't told many people in truth I was far too embarrassed to tell everyone but I have got to the stage where I don't mind anymore, it is what it is, maybe in 2016 I will announce it properly but at least I have at last begun.Two other changes I made in 2015 that I am really grateful for are that I moved out with my boyfriend in February, so far both of us are still alive and with minimal arguments (my friends and family will be surprised to know) and I have just loved it, while I miss my family home I love having my own space and my own studio room to create and film videos, design dresses and generally surround myself with pretty things. And the last achievement of sorts of 2015 was my absolute favourite, I finally got myself a little buddy in the form of a French Bulldog. Jax, a little grey puppy has been a total joy and is firmly part of our family. He was well worth my sister and I travelling thousands of miles in the space of 24hrs to get him, thanks again Nicole I know not everyone has crazy siblings and parents like I do.My point really is that I am thankful. While most will be waving 2015 a fond farewell I will be thanking it for the steps forward it allowed me. For the friends it brought me and for the family it surrounded me with. I look forward to the new year ahead, the next steps I will take and all it will bring. But a new year, new me? No thanks, I'm lucky as I am! Happy new year, I hope it's a good one. Im off to celebrate in style, mainly watching youtube in a onesie and drinking a cup of tea, perhaps dye my hair...start as you mean to go on eh?
Oh dear it's that time again when we have a desperate last minute dash around the shops for something, anything to wear for the long awaited Christmas party. Every year is the same, well before the season even begins we think to ourselves this year will be different, organised and well planned out. But no. It never, EVER is. I personally hold the shops responsible because I have found that there hasn't been much in the way of choice on the highstreet. Everything is too short, too small, too oversized or even worse, cropped! But sure what would Christmas be without all the rushing around for that perfect Christmas outfit? This year I will not be worrying myself over it all, but instead just enjoying all the festivities. It all goes so quickly and life is too short to stress out about what colour of lipstick to wear! Speaking of makeup, I've really been feeling like trying out something I would usually shudder at the thought of, glitter. I've noticed a lot of people and friends really embracing glitter eyeliner recently and I think I may try it out for myself... I'll let you know if I end up looking like a glitter pro or someone that's spilt a pot of glitter glue on my face!