Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Body Shop Makeup Brushes

I’ve never really ever mentioned the makeup brushes I use so this post is well due.  I have been using TBS brushes for the past five years and they are staple pieces I use daily to apply my makeup.

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Face and Body brush – The softest big brush I’ve ever come across.  Isn’t scratchy at all so it doesn’t hurt after applying powder which has happened with a few other brushes I’ve tested (Bare Minerals powder brush for example I found quite irritating!).  This brush holds my powder and lets it apply easily all over the face.  Nice fat long handle which is good for application but makes it hard to carry around if you’re travelling.  I’ve photographed it with the blusher brush below so you can see the size comparison.

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Blusher brush – Love it, perfect size to apply blusher or to contour your cheeks.  Saying this, I am tempted to try a smaller dome/cone shaped blusher brush, just because I think I might find the shape easier to work with.  I have about three of these blusher brushes and I do use it everyday.

Foundation brush – I don’t use a foundation brush anymore, but when I do fancy using one I’ll use this or GOSH’s foundation brush.  This one is quite thin, depth wise, but applies foundation nicely, albeit a tiny bit streaky if you don’t blend it in properly.  I just find nowadays that using my fingers to apply foundation is a whole lot easier.

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Smudger brush – My least favourite brush, I never ever use this.  I find it really unnecessary, just a bigger version of those cheap brushes you get in eyeshadow palettes.  I’d rather just use a normal eyeshadow brush, however I know a lot of girls who do use and love this brush, I just personally can’t see it!

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Eyeshadow Blender brush – I have two favourite eyeshadow brushes and this is the first.  I adore it, its fluffy and just the perfect shape and density for blending out smokey eyes.  I use this daily to either apply a darker colour to the outer corners of my eyes, or just to blend it in general.  I also have another one of these brushes which I sometimes use to apply concealer – it works just as well as you can blend the foundation in directly to problem areas.  I’ve had this brush for about four years now and its still in great condition.

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Eyeshadow brush – Nice, simple eyeshadow brush.  Nothing flashy, does the trick of applying shadow well.

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Nature’s Minerals Eyeshadow brush – This is my other favourite eyeshadow brush.  Its like the normal one above, but because it’s intended to be used with mineral eye shadows, the hairs are denser and thicker, so they pick up more colour/pigment.  I use this daily and I love it.  You can tell them apart as this handle is sparkly and comes with a little pouch.

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Slanted brush – I use this to apply eye shadow on top of my eyeliner to help keep it in place all day long and I’ve just started using this more when I do makeovers at work and I actually have grown to like it.  I’ve never used it with a gel liner but can’t see it being that fantastic for that, but its good for apply lines with powder eyeshadow.

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Lipstick & Concealer brush – Standard lipstick and concealer brush!!

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Line Softener – I think this is one of TBS’ unique applicators, just a spongey dome perfect for smudging eyeliner (like those you find on the end of some kohl pencils).  Perfect for that grunge, rock look.  I haven’t been using this as much lately as I’ve just purchased the No7 Smokey Eyeliner brush (which you can see here).  Basically does the same thing though!

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Brow & Lash Comb – My brows are so unruly, so when I remember I use this to comb them through.

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What I think – I really like all of TBS’s brushes; I think they are affordable (they range from about £7-£16) and will last you forever if you keep them in good condition (just wash them when you remember, I’m terrible at remembering but so far they are all still pretty perfect).  I love the fact that they are man-made hairs and not animals hairs, and yet they are soooo ridiculously soft, especially F&B and blusher brush.  Thumbs up from me!!

Do you have any of these?  Where do you buy your brushes? XX

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Monday, 14 February 2011

Ghost Hunting…

This will be a slightly different post – it’s not about beauty or makeup, but about what I’ve been up to and the work that I’ve recently been creating! 

Those of you who follow my Twitter will know that for my Final Major Project (in my BA Photography Degree at LCC), I’ve been ghost hunting!  I’ve always been fascinated with the supernatural and ghosts, haunted houses, séances etc and so to spend a whole year ghost hunting for a project has been very exciting for me. 

For the first part of my ghost hunting adventure I travelled to England’s ‘Most Haunted Village’, Pluckley in Kent, and I visited the sites of where the village’s 12 ghosts have been seen.  I photographed the ‘haunted landscapes’ on a digital, film and disposable camera, hoping for some proof of the afterlife or some spectral beings to appear in my images!  I’ll show you a few photographs that I took there -

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In the photograph below I definitely think I have photographed some sort of paranormal activity.  Can any of you see the ghost(s)???

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Many people can see the faint outline of a man with his back to the camera, behind the bridge (supposedly haunted by the watercress lady).  I can also see another outline next to him, maybe his partner?  WHO ELSE CAN SEE HIM?

I also got another picture of a scary face at the same bridge -

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And an aura that I captured on my digital camera in a haunted pub, The Dering Arms -

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(Please note that NONE of the photographs above have been edited in any way, shape or form other than the red circles/arrows pointing to the ghosts, and the accidental over contrast of the first image– I have not faked any of them!)

Recently, for the same project I’ve been experimenting with performing to the camera (I love doing self portraits as I don’t need to rely on anyone but myself and I can get exactly what I want out of each picture).  I’ve been trying to play around with paranormal activities, such as levitating, which you can see a preview of below -

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There we have it – a sneak peak of some of the work I’ve been busy creating!  The project is not finished just yet and I only have a month and two weeks left to shoot everything, so I hope you can forgive me for not posting as much latelyI will definitely be posting more often after my degree finishes in June!

A lot of you are probably now thinking – OHMGZ SHE CRAZAAY.  I’m not, well, okay, I am probably just a little mental, trying to prove the existence of ghosts.  I do believe in the paranormal, although I can’t say that I’ve yet seen an actual ghost yet, so I’m becoming less scared of the unknown, which is good.  But hopefully in the next few weeks of shooting I’ll capture something scary on camera!  Please wish me luck finding some ghouls!!!

Have you ever seen a ghost or experienced something paranormal?  Can you see the ghosts in my images?  Got any scary stories?

XXX

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Friday, 11 February 2011

Beau Bronz Fake Tan!

So you girls probably now know that I’m as pale as casper and I love it.  BUT, that doesn’t stop me wanting to look naturally bronzed and golden every now and again.  I have steered clear of all tanning products since my last tan review (which you can read here), which bought me up in terrible eczema after.  However I decided to take the leap and try out a few fake tan products from the Beau Bronz range.

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One of the main reasons I decided to try this range was because of their great company values and the fact that the gradual tans are free from parabens, harsh chemicals and alcohol, and each solution is 95% natural – which sounds perfect for sensitive skin like mine!

I’ve been using a starter pack which includes a hydrating spray exfoliator, and three tanning solutions; 1 for everyday use (also can be used as an after sun), 4 Medium for a natural glow and 8 for a golden bronzed look.  I’ll show you through each step and then reveal the results!

STEP 1

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Use the ‘Exfoliese’ on bare skin!  The spray is made from natural fruit acids and aloe vera and hydrates the skin as well as removing dead particles leaving you ready for tanning.  I was nervous about this making my skin irritated and itchy but it was fine – much less hassle than a normal messy body scrub (TBS Raspberry Scrub, I’m looking at you!).  I sprayed this on my legs and arms and removed it with a towel in circular motions to help scrub.  This smells really nice, natural and fruity.

STEP 2

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I applied the number 4 ‘Advanced Medium’ gradual tan all over my legs with a little mitt.  Again, it smells really nice, not at all like that weird mushroom smell you get with other fake tans.  On the beaubronz website it says this is perfect for English Rose complexions, which is great for me.  One little niggle I had about this was that once you’ve rubbed it in, you can’t see where you’ve already put it, which is difficult for someone forgetful and clumsy like me, but I thankfully managed to apply it evenly.

STEP 3

I then applied number 1 all over my arms and on my ankles and wrists.  I was told that you can fade #4 out into #1 to give a more natural tanned appearance.  Again, I couldn’t tell where I was putting it, but it didn’t take long to cover the whole surface area.  You can also apply #1 daily to keep your tan topped up.

RESULTS

So, after those three simple steps, all I had to do was wait for my tan to appear.  Here are the before and after pictures!

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^ The palest part of my arm compared to my new tanned legs!

WHAT I THINK

I LOVE the results!!  I was expecting to go a nice shade of tangerine but instead I feel like my legs looked naturally glowing.  It doesn’t look orange in the slightest in real life and I’m very happy that I now know that I can use a product to make me look naturally tanned.  The smell doesn’t linger on the skin much after application and didn’t transfer onto my white sheets which was good.  And I’m most happy to say that my skin didn’t react at all to this tan - It didn’t irritate my eczema at all which I’m over the moon about.

So if any one has sensitive, irritable skin then give this a try, I’d definitely recommend it. When I run out of my travel sizes I’ll  def be purchasing a big #4 to see me through this summer!  If you wanted a darker tan – then I’d recommend #8 which is a darker more intense tan shade.  I love how Beau Bronz accommodates for all skin types and colours – something quite rare in beauty companies!  Each full size product retails at about £23, which is cheaper than St Tropez and around the same price as Xen Tan I believe, so I think its quite affordable.  Thumbs up from me!

Have you tried Beau Bronz?  Which fake tan products do you use? XX

Please note I was given these samples for free but all opinions are honest and respectable

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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Body Shop – Brush with Fashion

I have been SO excited for this collection. So in every season of the year The Body Shop releases a Limited Edition makeup range and this one is super special for me because it was created in collaboration with my university!

The Body Shop have teamed up with University of the Arts London(woooo!!), London College of Fashion to create this range based on ‘on the go’ makeup. Every product in the range comes with a brush so its quick and easy to apply when your out and about. The Body Shop say - 'Brush with Fashion is the ultimate portable, ultra-stylish make-up in spring's irresistible colour palette. This must-have collection combines The Body Shop make-up know-how with London College of Fashion's cutting-edge fashion and design expertise. This on-trend make-up is ready to wear!'. I’ll show you what I picked up from the range!

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Brush with Fashion Bag of Passion, Makeup bag in two sizes, Tailored Cheek tint and Eyeshadow palette in A La Mode (not pictured above).

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Tailored Cheek Tint – So glad that TBS have done something creative like this. This little product is basically a cheek tint, which matches your own skin’s natural PH blushing colour. I don’t quite think that my natural blush is this pink, but its a cute colour and fun product none the less. Its comes with a brush applicator so you just squeeze some product out on to your finger and pat into the apples of your cheeks. The formula itself is a really silky gel and blends in nicely, but you need to act fast once its on so that your not left with an obvious splodge on your face! This retails at £8.50 for 10ml so its quite pricey but really cute and will probably last a while because it is quite pigmented.

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Eyeshadow palette in A La Mode – I knew I had to get this as soon as I first saw it, the colours are perfect for my statement smokey eyes. These shadows are all really pigmented, the silver in particular is just stunning. The set also has a mirror, a black eyeliner and eyeshadow brush. Can’t ask for more! Quite pricey at £18 but your getting four shadows, a brush and mini liner so I think its worth it!

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Makeup Bags – I’ve been using the big one to hold the makeup I wear daily and its perfect – LCF have obviously thought well about the kind of bags they use to hold their makeup and have designed it so that it zips all the way down and has material at the bottom to stop everything falling out (pictured above). The print is alright, pretty repetitive but it has my uni’s name on it so I don’t care, ahah! The bigger bag is £5 and the smaller one is £3.

Also in the range there are my two favourite Hi-Shine Lip-glosses with brush applicator (which I want), an Illuminating Face Base (which I want) and another Eyeshadow quad with brown shadows and a brown mini liner.

I really love this quirky range and it’s been really hard to resist buying it all. The range comes out on Wednesday 16th February in The Body Shop stores and will be available until it all goes (its Limited Edition remember).

Will you be purchasing from this range? Who else would you like to see collaborate with The Body Shop?

Please note I bought all of these products with my own money! xxx

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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

January 2011 Favourites!

I feel like the older I get, the worse my memory gets!!  I can’t remember much of January already and I’ve been so worried about forgetting everything that I’ve been writing in my journal lots, just to remind myself of all the things I’ve been getting up to!  Is anyone else having this problem?  I had to think long and hard about what products I’ve been enjoying using the most this month, but I finally remembered, haha!

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Stargazer Nail varnish – Still obsessed with nude natural nails, I found this in New Look and have been wearing it ever since.  One coat is natural looking, two coats gives you a nice natural colour but you can still see the white of your nails through it which is a nice touch – they don’t look too mannequin-like.  I know it will go with everything I wear so I’ve had no reason to take it off!  Will post swatches soon!

MAC Peaches Blush – I’ve wanted this blush for ages and I’ve been wearing it all January.  Its so so pigmented so I know this is going to last me forever before hitting the pan, and the colour is just gorgeous.  It really is just an orange peach shade, which will look lovely in spring/summer too!

MAC Morange Lipstick – The only red I’ve been wearing all month, you can lightly dab it on your lips for a flush of orange-red, or you can layer it up for a stunning, glamorous look.

MAC Please Me Lipstick – I find this very easy to wear no matter what colours I decide to use on my eyes, it goes really well with either brown or black eye shadows.  I actually think this colour would suit anyone!

MAC Select Cover-up Concealer in NC15 – My skin has been pretty terrible lately due to trying out new skin care products and stress of my last term at University and this little concealer has been a lifesaver.  Its really pigmented so you only need a tiny amount and I just pat it directly onto any redness or spots and they immediately vanish.  It doesn’t work as well when you just rub it into the skin, so try patting it on instead!  Will definitely be purchasing another when I run out.

No7 Smokey Eyeliner Brush – I managed to get around 5 of those Boots vouchers in January and I only used one of them – stupid huh!  I got this brush with my voucher and so I only paid something like £1.64 for it, and its quickly become my favourite brush.  Its perfect for adding a darker colour to the crease of my eye and for applying powder shadows around my eyes to line them.  Love it!

The Body Shop Black Liquid Liner – My staple liquid liner! I forgot how much I loved this product until I used a Rimmel liquid liner for a whole month before realising it just wasn’t as good as my trusty TBS one.  The black is the most perfect black, the nib of the liner is great and it lasts pretty well on my eyes.

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I apologise for the amount of MAC products in this post – I understand that its not very affordable, but I’ve really adored these products this month!  But don’t fret, I’m still a high-street make-up lover at heart! 

What’s your favourite nude nail polish and liquid liner?  Can you recommend me any gel eye liners?  I’m tempted to purchase one!

XXX

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