Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Summer Favourites

It's been a long time since I've blogged! Had an incredibly busy summer but now it's time for uni to start again I have a lot more free time. I used a lot of new beauty products in the Summer that I know I'll still have in my makeup bag as we come into Autumn/Winter.

1. Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder.

 I know it bronzer is already very popular with a lot of people but I just discovered it this summer. I'd been using the Rimmel Natural Bronzer but found it didn't work well contouring my face. After switching to the Bourjois one I will never ever use the Rimmel one again. For starters, this bronzer smells delicious - there's a sweet coconut/chocolatey scent to the powder that lingers on the brush too which I love! I have the shade number 52 which suits lots of different skin types. I've used this stuff every single day lately!
Me with my pout on at work - a good demonstration of the contour line!
2. technic High Lights Highlighter

I've been obsessed with highlighter for while and used the cream highlighter that came in the Real Techniques Modern Natural makeup kit but I wanted a highlighter on its own to travel with, I was browsing Amazon and saw this. For £2.99 I was very skeptical but I was ordering lots of other things at the time (mainly lots of boring uni books) so I just thought why not! I have been really impressed with it. Budget constraints meant that my dream of Benefit highlighter went out the window and this is a good dupe. Not as long lasting, but nice and shimmery and if applied the top of your cheekbones (where the sun would naturally hit your face) it looks beautiful!

3, MAC Duo Palette - Copperplate & Carbon

Two VERY useful MAC eyeshadows that I have gotten so much use out of all summer. Copperplate is a highly pigmented muted grey colour that looks great solo on the lid for day wear. I paired these two eyeshadows together a lot for nights out in the summertime. Carbon is a matte black and working a small amount of this through the crease on a MAC 217 over Copperplate swept over the lid gives a lot of depth to the eye. I use Carbon sparingly, I'm not a huge fan of black eyeshadows as sometimes it looks really heavy and can weigh your face down a bit, but a small amount just for a bit of extra definition to Copperplate is lovely.
MAC Copperplate (L) & Carbon (R)
4. Soap & Glory Hand Food Hand Cream

I've loved this product for a long time ever since my lovely friend Wendy introduced me to it a few years back - but I found myself using it lots over the summer. Working in a distillery back home meant I was constantly in between temperatures - boiling hot inside the working areas of the distillery but then outside in the rain and cold (Scottish summer...) so I found my hands to be getting quite dry. This stuff smells amazing, its sweet and fruity and smells good enough to eat!

5. MAC Studio Finish Concealer
I've played around with lots of different concealers. I love the Rimmel Wake Me Up and the Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection but I wanted something with slightly more coverage for under my eyes. Too many late nights have left them looking a bit tired so I wanted something that would really hide the dark circles! This concealer, applied using the Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush is perfect. Such amazing coverage - works great on spots and blemishes too! I have the shade NW20. 

6. Urban Decay Primer Potion

This is the Holy Grail of primers. I have used this stuff every single day since I bought it (a long time ago now) and it is literally amazing. You only need the tiniest amount of this, just rub it onto your eyelids before applying your shadow and it will not budge. That horrible line of shadow that would build up in my crease used to drive me insane and I would get so angry that no matter how I applied my shadow it would happen - this product completely changed that. I no longer have to worry about the dreaded crease line (unless you really put your shadow to the test by sweating loads at gym etc..) throughout the day. Working somewhere really hot (inside the distillery) and using a dishwasher a fair amount during the day (cleaning up all the whisky glasses) I found my eyeshadow stuck to my lids much better after using this stuff! RECOMMEND TO EVERYONE.

7. MAC Creme Cup Lipstick

I bought this lipstick after watching a few YouTube videos about the MAC lipstick range. So impressed with it. Such a pretty colour and works well with a variety of different makeup looks. The picture I've included of me wearing it is one I took last week while on a night out with my beautiful friend Ashleigh (she suits a red lip much better than me!) and I do have a fair amount of fake tan on in this picture so you can see how it works with a darker skin tone. 
Me and my lovely friend Ashleigh who I've known for almost 10 years!

If you've read this and think the same about any of the products I've talked about please let me know in the comment box below! 


Thursday, 24 April 2014

April Favourites

I feel like this is jumping on the bandwagon a little seeing as a LOT of people post their monthly favourites on their blogs - but they are just too good an opportunity to pass up and in April I got & used a lot of new things that I loved so I feel it would be wrong to just keep them all to myself.

Number 1

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

I know this one is a bit of a given as its universally used and is extremely popular but I had no idea of its amazing effects and only just recently found out that it was originally developed by Elizabeth Arden herself for her thoroughbred horses - she used it on their bruises.

I use it every night on my lips before I go to bed and always wake up in the morning with a baby soft pout which I LOVE.

I suffer from really dry skin on nose and this stuff works a treat on that too. 

You can use it on mild burns and cuts and scrapes too as it has soothing properties and was even named so after a customer claimed it healed her son's cut in 'Eight Hours'.

I badly burnt my leg cooking steak for my boyfriend and myself (burning hot oil, a wobbly frying pan and a gas cooker - we'll say no more) and I found that 8 hour cream soothed the burns from the word go. 

This product really speaks for itself. Try it.

Number 2

This isn't a beauty product - its an item of clothing that I lusted after for ages! Topshop's Light Green Embellished Jumper. I saw Tanya Burr wearing it in one of her videos and I knew I loved it there and then. It cost £46 which for one jumper I suppose is a little expensive (it is Topshop after all...) but it is so worth it. Beautiful colour and has an embellished neckline. It's super soft and cosy and not too heavy so I'll wearing it right into Summer. The green colour is really fresh and this will be nice in Spring too!

It comes in a few different colours but out of them all I liked this one best. I'm wearing it as I type this post. Only downside is (on account of the embellishment) it's handwash only and as I'm super lazy that's a hassle buuuuuuut I love the jumper so much its something I'm dealing with.

Number 3

Barry M Gelly Nail Polish
 -colour Sugar Apple
Zara Taylor Turquoise Ring,
 Zara Taylor Initial Earrings
For as long as I can remember I have been OBSESSED with the colour turquoise. All my friends know this - turquoise rings, turquoise clothes, turquoise earrings.. the list goes on and on. Unsurprisingly I have amassed a fair collection of turquoise coloured things!
Accessorize Turquoise Earrings

Number 4

Nivea's Regenerating Night Cream has seen me through the last few months. I have slightly oily skin but it tends to get really dry on and around my nose which in turn makes my foundation look cakey at times which I HATE with a passion. This stuff has Nivea's signature scent - it always reminds me of my mum. She used Nivea Creme on her hands each night before bed and the smell every time I open the tub conjures memories of my mum when I was little. After I've cleansed and toned my face each evening I apply this cream and smooth it into the skin in small circle like motions with my fingertips avoiding the delicate eye area. I've been using NSpa's Youthful Eye Cream around my eye area for the last wee while - I'm not even 21 yet but I'm paranoid about getting wrinkles! 

Number 5

2013 wasn't the best year for me. I lost many things, and people, who meant a lot to me. I discovered a lot about myself, about who my real friends were, how to ditch toxic people from my life and most importantly of all, how to pick yourself up when it seems like the whole world is against you. I have been at home working for the last 3 weeks at Aberlour Distillery as a tour guide. I worked there last summer too and reaaaaaaaally enjoy it. I feel its something that I'm really good at - I'm passionate about whisky (learning to love it) and am always looking to expand my knowledge on the subject. Working at Aberlour has allowed me to develop so many different skills and further my learning on the topic too which, for me, in the past year, has really shifted my priorities for the better. Anyone looking to do a whisky visit to Speyside I cannot recommend Aberlour enough - we are a small distillery in the heart of beautiful Speyside and run two tours per day (10am and 2pm). 

So those were my favourites for this month, drop me a comment and let me know if you're into the same things? 

Emma x

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Healthy living..

Getting a wee bit tired of yoghurt but it's great for snacking!
I have been an extremely lazy person for most of my life. There's nothing I enjoy more than long lies, pajama days, Xbox marathons... and eating.

I've always been self-conscious about my weight. I'm nowhere near overweight but I'm no skinny Minnie. I instinctively flinch away if anyone tries to touch my tummy or tickle me because I'm scared they'll think me fat. This is really silly, and I know that, but I can't help feeling a bit insecure. After all, what better a feeling could there be than slipping on a nice dress and knowing that you look amazing. 

I'm a complete chocoholic. I would eat chocolate everyday if I could get away with it - some days I did. I love crisps, and popcorn and fizzy juice and ice cream and basically every other snack you can imagine. 

Amazing fruit salad I made for myself
 - was so yummy.
I weighed myself two weeks ago after my mum remarked that she thought I had maybe put weight on and got the shock of my life. I hadn't noticed the weight creeping on. I felt a wee bit more cuddly sure, but was very upset when I looked at the scales and did what most girls would do in that situation: cry... lots.

Nike trainers I bought - excuse the frilly socks -
I was trying them on after I'd been wearing boots!
After much thought and self pep talking I decided to do something about it. The thought of being a gym bunny has never appealed to me in the slightest. I would see people jogging in the rain and think 'Why bother with that?'. I know that the only way to lose weight healthily is to exercise and eat a sensible diet. So that's what I've been doing. I'm on Day 8 of my healthy eating plan and feel fantastic. I've been eating lots and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and having so much fun planning healthy and tasty meals for myself.
I even went out and bought lots of super cool gym gear for myself - including some lovely Nike trainers that I've been wearing to the gym.

I live beside a gym and have been going most days - just pacing myself to begin with but I feel like I am really getting somewhere. I would suggest to all the other couch potatoes out there to do the same thing. Your body is the most important, and valuable tool you'll ever own: look after it and it'll look after you.

Tuna salad - also mega
Standard breakfast -
Special K with a
chopped banana.

Oat and pumpkin seed flapjacks I made -
super duper healthy!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

My Very First (Proper...) Makeup Job...

This afternoon I got to do my beautiful friend Rebecca's makeup for her Law Ball - as part of the Law Society of Aberdeen University. Rebecca is in her fourth year so she will be graduating in May time and then will be doing her diploma to become to fully fledged lawyer. I'm super proud of how committed she is - always doing work... unlike me. I mostly sit around in my pajamas playing Xbox and watching boxsets on Netflix during exam time. And at all other points of the year too.

Rebecca doesn't tend to wear a lot of makeup on a day to day basis - she has lovely skin so most of the time she doesn't need to, and she's very sporty so being at the gym most days makeup is a hassle. I was so happy she asked me to do her makeup for her ball - I get to play around with different looks which makes me so happy. She'd sent me a picture of her dress (ASOS) so I knew I wanted to stick within the parameters of a silver/purple eyeshadow look.

I deliberated for a while but eventually settled for blending three eyeshadows together: MAC Naked Lunch, MAC Satin Taupe, and Gunmetal from the Urban Decay Naked Palette. I also dotted some MAC nylon on the inner corners of her eyes to give a little highlight. We decided that as lots of pictures would be taken of the night to use a false lash as her to make her really stand out! Rebecca's natural brows are incredible anyway, but I ran some MAC Mystery through them for a slightly more dramatic look.
MAC Naked Lunch & Satin Taupe, Urban Decay Gunmetal (Naked Palette) MAC Nylon - inner corner
Dress - ASOS

Friday, 28 February 2014

Real Techniques Makeup Brushes

As with most of my beauty purchases I was convinced to buy the Real Techniques makeup brushes by the wonderful Tanya Burr. I got these for Christmas and have used them every single day. (I do wash them weekly...) Absolutely the best makeup brushes I have ever used. Soft, durable, and they make it super easy to apply your makeup giving a flawless finish.

I got the starter kit for eyes and the Core Collection initially at Christmastime. The kit for eyes contains five brushes.

1. Accent Brush
2. Pixel-Point Liner Brush
3. Brow Brush
4. Base Shadow Brush
5. Deluxe Crease Brush

I use each and every one when I apply eyeshadow and all the brushes are synthetic which means cleaning them is so easy!

Accent Brush, Pixel Point, Brow Brush, Base Shadow Brush, Crease Definer

This starter kit retails for around £20.

The Core Collection is equally as good as the eye brushes. This set has 4 brushes.

1. Contour Brush
2. Pointed Foundation Brush
3. Detailer Brush
4. Buffing Brush

Contour, Pointed Foundation, Detailer, Buffing Brush

Although the back of the case they come in says that the buffing brush should be used for mineral foundation, I predominantly use it for liquid foundation and use it to buff the liquid into my skin. It works so well for this purpose! I don't really tend to use mineral foundation in winter - so I will have to test out its application of mineral foundation in the summertime.

Again I found the same with the Pointed Foundation Brush - I find it too small for using to blend liquid foundation all over my face so I use it for blending in concealer. I've been using a liquid concealer under my eyes these past few months so this brush is perfect for that.

The contour brush is great for bronzing - I wouldn't tend to contour blush on my cheeks so I mostly use this for faking cheekbones! Then dust the bronzer off of it and use it to pop a bit of powder blush on the apples of my cheeks.

I also saw the Expert Face in Boots last month (that's the one that Tanya uses all the time for foundation) and I just had to get it after I know how great the rest of the collection was. I was NOT disappointed. It works in a very similar way to the buffing brush from the Core Collection but gives a softer, more flawless finish as it designed for liquid foundations. I absolutely adore it and have been recommending it to all of my friends.

Have you tried these brushes? If so what do you think? Leave me a little comment to tell me! :)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

MAC Lipstick Review - Creme In Your Coffee & Shy Girl

A brand new MAC store (yes... a WHOLE store of wonderful MAC goodies - not just a counter!) opened recently in Aberdeen where I live. On my first visit to the store I went wild frantically buying lipsticks, palettes, refills, and anything else I could get my mitts on.

Two of the lipsticks that really stood out for me were Creme In Your Coffee and Shy Girl. Both of these are Cremesheen and smell wonderful - there's a hint of sugar about them which you can't really taste but get a whiff of as you apply it. Which is always nice. They are very different and therefore are going to suit very different occasions.

Creme In Your Coffee
Beginning with Creme In Your Coffee: I've had a lot of wear out of this already. I've worn it on a few nights out and as its quite a dramatic lipstick I've kept my eyes reasonably free of shadow while I wore it. I find that my face tends to look a wee bit cluttered if I have both heavy eye shadow and a dark lip (but that's just me!)

Swatch of Creme In Your Coffee
All the MAC lipsticks I find (like the eye shadows) are heavily pigmented. This means that you can wear the lipstick on its own all over or add a smaller amount of it and mix with a lip balm - Vaseline is great for this as it gives your lips a lovely glossy look and also hydrates them which at this time of year is usually much needed!

Creme In Your Coffee is named quite strangely I think - its not a creamy coffee colour nor is it a pale lipstick: its a lovely dark reddy brown which emulates the colour of the natural lip but much darker. It does last well on because of how pigmented it is and you only need to reapply every few hours or so (obviously more if you are eating and drinking whilst wearing it.)

Swatch of Shy Girl
Shy Girl
Next I'm looking at Shy Girl which, like Creme In Your Coffee, is also Cremesheen. This one is much, much paler with a slight coral undertone which I think is really pretty and gives a lovely muted effect while still looking gorgeous on the lip.

I use this lipstick most days now as it goes with most make-up looks that I wear day to day.

Comparing it with Creme In Your Coffee is like comparing day and night. Shy Girl suits its name perfectly - its very understated and looks effortless on. Creme In Your Coffee is much stronger and bolder.

Both of these lipsticks are well worth a buy. They retail at £15 each from MAC Cosmetics.

Shy Girl teamed with Naked Lunch,
Satin Taupe and Shadowy Lady MAC eyeshadows
Creme In Your Coffee paired with
Woodwinked MAC eyeshadow

A BIG cheesy grin - wearing Shy Girl

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

My everyday makeup look..

I like to start with Rimmel True Match foundation in the colour Light Porcelian (I am horribly pale at the moment.) I filled in my brows using Benefit Brow Zings - I use the darkest one there is as my hair is very dark at the moment! I use Urban Decay Primer Potion on my eyelids which is an absolute godsend, it makes your eyeshadow look much more vibrant and it doesn't budge. You could practically sleep in your eye makeup and it would be perfect still the next morning. With my Mac Pro Palette I then use Naked Lunch eyeshadow all over the lid, with Satin Taupe through the crease; I also blend a little bit of Shadowy Lady through the crease for a bit of extra definition. I add a small amout of Nylon to the inner corner of my eye and also my brow bone for a highlighted effect. With my favourite gel eyeliner (by Maybelline) I line my upper lashline and flick the liner out slightly for a more feline look. I always use two coats of mascara (Maybelline The Falsies). I powder my T-zone with Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in 001 Transparent. For blush I use an extremely light dusting of Rimmel Live Pink on the apples of my cheeks. I use a small dab of Touché Éclat by Yves Saint Laurent under my eyes to lighten any dark circles. 

On my lips I'm wearing Baby Lips by Maybelline in the colour Pink Punch.