30 September 2014

September Birchbox

I'm back! Apologies for being rather rubbish this past month with blogging. Having started my new course and continued working at the weekend, I've haven't had time to put any effort into my blog … until now! Last week I told you all I was taking a break, I'm now back and my latest news is I've resigned from my job! It was too much commitment alongside my course and having spent so much money on my course, I really want to make the most of it! Anyway, hopefully this will give me more time to blog and practice and do all the bits and pieces I want to.

Rant over, on with the post! Having been slightly absent on the blog, some of my posts have become a little backed up so you'll have to bear with me if some things seem a tad all over the place. I received my Birchbox a couple of weeks ago and have had my photos sitting around for a while so it's finally time to share with you what I received in my box this month!



How cute is the design on the box this month? Definitely makes it a lot more exciting! The theme this month is Happy Days and bringing back that nostalgic feeling to celebrate memories and capture new moments. All products intend to help you look your best for these happy days.


Urban Fruit Magnificent Mango


I was so excited to see this in my box as I absolutely love dried mango! However I can't say it was the nicest dried mango I've had and I certainly wouldn't buy it at £13.20 for 6 packs. But I'm pleased I've tried it!

Model Co Lip Lacquer in Morocco



I've not tried any of the lip lacquers from Model Co but this beautiful shade is definitely perfect for this time of year. It's also ideal for carrying around with you as it's so teeny tiny! This has the potential to become an A/W handbag staple! A full size lip lacquer will cost you £15.

Korres Citrus Shower Gel



I received some shower gel from Korres a while ago and absolutely loved it so I'm looking forward to trying this one out. I love citrus shower gels too as I find them so refreshing. A full size bottle costs £8.

Beauty Blender & Beauty Cleanser Solid


I think this was possibly the most exciting find in any Birchbox I've received. I've used the RT blender for a while now but have always wanted to give THE Beauty Blender a go. I'm absolutely loving it and it's even better that it comes with the cleanser! This would normally cost you £26. 

Birchbox Happy Days Photo Clip


These are so cute for displaying photos here and there. I have a mini collection of these from when I was younger and they were in all the shops! Perfect for displaying happy memories (or a Benefit eye cream!)

Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream


Again, I've already tried this eye cream as I received it in another box. It's ideal for taking away with you so you don't have to carry anything too bulky and heavy. I really like the formula so more than happy receiving this! A full size eye cream costs £25.50.

Agave Healing Oil Treatment


I haven't tried this hair oil, however as I've mentioned time and time again, I love hair oils. I'm always on the lookout for new ones to try and this is perfect timing as my previous one is just about to run out! It was obviously meant to be! A full size oil costs £16+. 

Do you subscribe to Birchbox? What did you get in your box? Or have you tried any of these products? 

Han
x






24 September 2014

Quote of the Day #10


Having promised I was going to make an effort with my blog, I'm currently struggling. There is a lot going on at the moment and things are changing … hopefully for the better. I'm not going into detail but I don't want you lovely readers to think I have forgotten about you! Just bear with me and I'll be back within a few days, hopefully having said YES to happiness and NO to my stresses. 

Han
x



20 September 2014

10 Step Ombré Nail Art Tutorial

Ahhh I'm so so sorry for being so rubbish on the blog this week. People will say I shouldn't apologise as it's my blog but I hate not bringing all you lovely readers new content regularly!

Anyway enough of my ranting and on with the post. As part of the 2014 Blogger Challege, this weeks post was to be a tutorial about anything. I decided to do a nail art tutorial as I haven't managed to play around with nail varnish in a long time due to having gel nails! But now they're off and I'm too poor to get them redone, I thought I would experiment a bit more. 


I know ombré nails have been around for ages now but I'm hoping this super easy, speedy way to create the effect will help you out! 

What you will need: 
★ Two contrasting nail colours
★ A piece of foil
★ An old sponge eyeshadow applicator - you know the rubbish ones you get free in palettes that are absolutely no use for applying eyeshadow.
★ Top coat or clear polish (pictured below)
★ Cotton bud & nail varnish remover (not pictured)

Step 1 - Paint nails with lighter colour. I used 2 coats so I got a nice bold colour.


Step 2 - STOP! Wait for these to dry before continuing. 

Step 3 - Dab a small amount of each colour onto the tin foil, making sure they don't mix.

Step 4 - Take your eyeshadow applicator and dip into the darker colour, start patting it over the end of your nail and work down about halfway. Keep patting it until it fades slightly in centre - don't worry if the sponge leaves the finish slightly bumpy or if the nail varnish is all around your fingers.

Step 5 - Dip the other side of the sponge applicator into the lighter colour and go over the centre of the nail where the darker shade ends. This will create a more subtle transition. 

Step 6 - Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you are happy with the transition between the two shades.


Step 7 - STOP! Allow these to dry before continuing.

Step 8 - Paint nails with a top coat or clear varnish to ensure longer lasting wear.


Step 9 - STOP! Let the top coat dry before continuing.

Step 10 - Take a cotton bud and some nail varnish remover and tidy round the edges of your nails.


And VIOLÀ! Beautiful ombré nails in 10 easy steps. 

What do you think of my nail art tutorial? Was it easy to follow? Do you have a different way of creating this effect? 

Han
x



15 September 2014

What's In My Makeup Kit?

Last week I posted all about New Beginnings & Chasing Your Dreams and told you I have finally decided what I want a career in. I am absolutely loving my course and can't believe were already in week 3! I'm hoping to give you some updates throughout the course and show you what we've been doing so watch this space! Meanwhile, I promised a little look-see into my kit so here we go...


The bits and pieces included here are what we were given by the academy, I have since added a few other items in but again we'll save that for another day.

Brushes


We received this 20 piece Silk Pro brush set from Royal & Langnickel. Apologies that not all the brushes are clean but it was such a manic week I bought them home to clean over the weekend - they will of course be clean by the time you read this! I love these brushes and can't wait to invest in some more and build up my collection. 

Foundation


Any guesses on which foundation they gave us? Of course it has to be the infamous Nars Sheer Glow foundation. We received four shades ranging from light to dark and they include: Mont Blanc, Santa Fe, Barcelona & Syracuse. I also own Siberia as I'm paler than pale so have added this into my kit. I've never really been happy using this foundation as it never sits right and I find it always looks really cakey on. However having practiced with it over the last couple of weeks, I'm actually starting to really like it. I think the problem was that although Siberia is a good colour match, it just sucks all the remaining colour out of me. I've been using Mont Blanc in class and it definitely leaves me looking much more alive than Siberia without becoming a tangerine!

Palettes



These two beauties are from Kyrolan. On the left we have a camouflage makeup palette which can be used for colour correcting and a small amount of concealing. It's amazing what these shades can do to correct different pigmentation in the skin. I never thought I would put half these colours on someones face! The palette on the right is a lipstick palette. These are so lovely and the creamy formula is amazing. My only criticism is that I would liked to have had more pink, but hey I'm not complaining!



This eyeshadow palette from Screenface is beautiful! The shades are really pigmented so you can build them up really quickly. The palette has a mix of satin, matte and shimmery shadows and its amazing what you can do with these shades! I'm definitely going to be investing in some more products from Screenface.



I get so excited every time I look at this Ben Nye blusher palette. I have had my eye on it for a while so when I saw it in the kit, it was like Christmas had come early! The shades are all lovely and so easy to mix if you want a slightly different shade. Again some more Ben Nye makeup is definitely on my wish list!



Yes, these do look very scary to me too. These are both Kryolan palettes, the top one is the Supracolour Palette B and the bottom is the Aquacolour Palette B. The top palette is made up of 12 cream colours with good coverage, which are ideal for use in TV, Film and Theatre. The Aquacolour palette is mainly used for face and body painting and should be used with either a damp sponge or brush. I'm really looking forward to trying these out as we haven't used them yet!



Finally, this palette is perfect for special effects and on set touch ups. The palette contains some flesh tones but also blood and vein tones, ideal for casualty makeup. These have to be mixed with 99% alcohol or a special activating product. Again, I haven't used this yet so it will be interesting to see what it's like to work with.

Other Makeup - Eyes, Lips & Face


These are some of the other goodies we received in our kits. From MAC we received, Prep & Prime Transparent Finishing Powder, Fluidline Gel Liner in Blacktrack, Clear Lipglass, Lip Pencils in Redd & Whirl, Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Feline and Eye Pencil in Coffee. We also received some Kryolan lashes which look amazing on and Maybelline's Great Lash mascara.

Sponges & Powder Puffs


I know this is pretty boring compared to the rest of the kit but I wasn't going to leave it out! We received a bag of wedge sponges, 3 powder puffs, a natural sponge, 2 different types of stippling sponge and a rounded sponge.

Hair


The course covers a lot of hair both styling and cutting so we've been given a few tools to get us started. We received 3 combs, 2 brushes and a pin box filled with different colour hair slides. Again I haven't used any of these yet as we haven't done any hair, however our hair modules start today so I can see these coming in handy over the next couple of months. 

So there you have the contents of my makeup kit. I'm hoping to post about each palette individually to review them and tell you a bit more about what some of them do once I've used them. It will also give me a chance to swatch them for you as there was far too much to swatch in this post! If there are any particular products/palettes you want swatches of then let me know in the comments!

What do you think of my kit? Have you got any product recommendations for me?

Han
x



13 September 2014

Winter Warmers - The Chunky Cardigan

I absolutely love this time of year, purely for the fact that chunky cardi's are back in … not so much for the cold, wet weather! I have a multitude of chunky knit cardigans lining my wardrobe but theres something so cosy and satisfying about wearing them that I can't seem to stop myself buying more!

I've trawled the internet for some more cardigans to add to my collection and thought I would share with you my favourites. Yes, there's 10 but it was too hard to pick any less!



5. Black Waterfall Cardigan - New Look
8. Cable Knit Shrug - Lipsy at Next

I've already bought 2 new chunky cardigans in the last couple of months and no doubt my cupboard will slowly fill up with more as we progress into the depths of winter. I may even have to post a chunky cardigan lookbook just to showcase my mini collection!

Do you love chunky cardigans? If not, what's your favourite winter warmer?

Han
x


9 September 2014

Dior Allocation

In July, I was finally able to get my hands on my Dior allocation. We get £200 worth of product (discounted) and can choose whatever we like from fragrance, skincare and makeup. I'm not bragging in any way, I just know some of you like product recommendations and these are all favourites of mine!


I wasn't too sure what to go for as there were so many bits and pieces I wanted to try. I'm really pleased with all the bits I chose, however there are definitely some other bits I've got my eye on for next time!


I chose:

Miss Dior EDP 30ml
I absolutely love this perfume and am always wearing it on counter. I don't really need anymore perfume but I thought I would treat myself to a small bottle!

Diorshow Maximiser Lash Plumping Serum
I love this lash primer and now I've started using it, I'm addicted. If I don't use this before my mascara then I'm never happy with how my lashes turn out. It's a definite must have of mine! I posted about it here.

Diorshow Blackout Mascara
This mascara has a bristle wand which I'm usually not a fan of, however I tried this on counter one day as I fancied a change and absolutely love the bold look it gives. This isn't necessarily a mascara I would wear on a daily basis but I love having one that is great for evenings.

Airflash Spray Foundation
As soon as I mention to customers about our spray foundation they usually poo-poo it and say it freaks them out. Well ladies (and gents if you like a bit of foundation) you do not know what you're missing out on. This has become my favourite foundation. It's so quick easy to apply and you can layer it as much or as little as you want dependent on the coverage you like. It's staying power is also amazing. 

Hydra Life Close-Up Pore Reducing Moisturiser
This is a relatively new product as it was only launched a couple of months ago. I'm always on the look out for anything to reduce the appearance of pores as I have quite large ones around my nose and on my cheeks. This moisturiser is so lightweight and blurs the appearance of pores perfectly without feeling like your clogging your skin up. A definite thumbs up from me!

Capture Totale Dream Skin
This is by far one of my favourite Dior products. If you haven't tried this, head to your local Dior counter and ask for a sample. This stuff is amazing! It's an anti ageing product which deals with fine lines, wrinkles and pores but it also helps with reducing the appearance of redness, darkness and blemishes as well as giving radiance. I use this as a primer substitute, however you can use it as a primer and moisturiser in one.

Fluid Stick in 373 Rieuse
Fluid Stick in 869 Vie D'Enfer
These bad boys are relatively new to Dior too and are amazing. They have the high impact colour of a lipstick but the shine of a gloss, without being sticky. These are one of my favourite lip products and my colour collection is slowly growing … oops!

Rouge Dior Lipstick in 277 Rose Déclamation
Rouge Dior are my favourite Dior lipsticks. They are so moisturising and the colour lasts for hours. I was so stuck with what colour to go for but I figured I would get a shade that I don't have anything similar to (well … not quite). 

Diorshow Mono Eyeshadow in 760 Tweed
I don't tend to wear single eyeshadows, it's all a bit 90s! I much prefer using 2 or 3 shades but this colour was just too beaut to pass up. I also love the mono shades as they can be used both wet and dry so you can create a lovely smokey eye with just this shade but starting off using it dry and graduating it into a bolder colour (used wet). 

Top-Bottom: Mono Eyeshadow 760, Rouge Dior 277, Fluid Stick 373 & Fluid Stick 869

What do you think of the bits I chose for my allocation? Have you tried any of these products? If so, which ones? Would you like to see any of these items reviewed?

Han
x



7 September 2014

Haircare Review: Coconut Oil


If you've been reading my blog for a while now, you'll know that I love finding new haircare products to tame frizz and encourage growth. I was recently recommended coconut oil by a colleague at work who uses it and absolutely loves it. I went out that lunch time and bought myself some. I bought mine from a health food shop as it was much cheaper than buying a coconut oil haircare product. I managed to get 2 of these huge jars for just over £10 - admittedly I really don't need 2 but they were by one get one free! 


The coconut oil is a solid white substance that doesn't look all too appealing to smother over your hair. However, once heated between hands it melts into an oil and is the perfect consistency for running through your hair. I have to admit it's a pretty grim feeling as you look like you haven't washed your hair for about 2 weeks or you've had an argument with a deep fat frier! 

I tend to leave the oil on for about 20 minutes before washing my hair as I find this is a sufficient amount of time and not too inconvenient either. I have tried leaving it on overnight but it was an absolute pain to wash out. After using this my hair is definitely so much softer than it was before and I love that it's a completely natural product rather than something with millions of ingredients that claims to do x, y and z. 

I use this about once a week or maybe slightly less as I find it maintains softness quite well in-between normal washes. My hair feels a lot healthier from using this, it also seems to be breaking less and I'm certainly not getting as much fallout as I used to. I would definitely recommend trying this as a natural alternative to some of the more expensive branded haircare. 

Have you ever used coconut oil? What do you think of it?

Han
x





4 September 2014

New Beginnings & Chasing Your Dreams

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was going to start a makeup course. Well I'm now 3 days in and thought I would tell you a little more…

Having done a Geography degree, I decided that I didn't really want a career in Geography because it wasn't hands on enough or interactive. I love interacting with people and I also love love love makeup so I decided to invest my life savings into going to one of the best makeup schools in London to train to be a MUA. Many people have asked what the point of doing a degree was but I wouldn't change the way I have done things (I could rant forever about this but that's for another day). 

Source: Delamar Website

I'm studying at Delamar Academy which is located at Ealing Studios. I'm on the 22 week course which is full time Monday to Friday and full on! I don't think I've ever learnt so much information in 3 days! The course doesn't just cover makeup. It also covers basic hair, period hair and makeup, prosthetics and bald caps, casualty and character makeup, hollywood hair, hair styling, hair dressing/barbering, fashion makeup, camouflage, facial hair, wigs, body painting and airbrushing. 

And we've certainly put our kit to good use already...


This was one of the most exciting parts of the first day. We couldn't wait to get our hands on our kits and have a look through to see what we had been given. I guarantee many of you will be intrigued as to what is in some of these boxes and palettes so I will do a kit post so you can see them in more detail. 

I already know, just a mere 3 days in that this is for me. I'm loving it and although it's very tiring driving an hour there and back as well as soaking up so much information, it goes so quickly as it's so enjoyable. I think no matter what you've done, you should always do what makes you happy and what you want to do. Just because you have a qualification in one subject, it doesn't mean you should stick with it and be unhappy. Life is too short to look back and think I wish I had done that when I had the chance. Grab every opportunity with both hands. The journey may be hard but if you put the work in, the outcome will be worth it. 

Ok, so now I've had a deep life rant at you I'm going to head off and get stuck into another day of making people up. 

Han
x