Sunday, 29 September 2013

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Moisturiser

Ok, so like an idiot I uploaded this post the other day, which some of you might have noticed but I'm hoping not many did!! When trying to upload my blusher instalment of the So Project, I just clicked the first post on my list without looking...this is what happens when I try to be organised and pre-write posts!! Anywho let's get on with the review.

I'm just going to start this with a huge THANK GOD! I have finally found the product of all products that will stop my oily skin...oily skin you say? Hannah you've never mentioned you have oily skin?!? I know I go on about it all the time but after my eye bags it's the thing I hate the most about my skin!


I've been a fan of La Roche-Posay for a while now and love the Effaclar Duo as it really does help to reduce spot's and blemishes. I was in Boot's the other day about to repurchase it, as mine is running low, and I remembered someone out there on the interweb's mentioning the mattifying formulator, so ofcourse I had to hunt it down.

Aww this cream!!! This cream is amazing. Like most of their products, the Effaclar Mat doesn't have a distinct smell and it has the consistency of every other moisturiser out there but the effects are outstanding. I have to admit when I got it home I was very cynical and didn't believe this product would have much of an affect but I couldn't have been more wrong.


I put this on in the mornings first thing after cleansing (and sometimes toning I can be lazy with that step) and before I put any make up on just like your typical moisturiser, then continue my daily routine. There is nothing special about how you apply this at all, you just leave it to work its magic. At £14 you get 40ml but if this is anything like the Duo moisturiser it will last for months. There isn't much else to say about how to use it or what it is so lets get on to the affects it has shall we?

My hand's don't normally look this dry and wrinkled...stoopid iphone camera

OK yes, I use a fair few products to help control my oily skin (specific cleansers, primers, powder foundation and translucent powder) and I'd nearly got it down to a tee, but the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Moisturiser has made a HUGE difference that I didn't even know was possible. Basically all I can say about this is that even at the end of the day my skin looks normal. On a normal day I no longer have to top up or blot through out the day, extra long jam packed days need an odd one though. My skin still feels oily but when I look in the mirror there is no shine there what so ever and as long as I don't look oily, I'm not too fussed about what my skin feel's like. I have time to tackle that issue whilst being shine free. And one final thing, it claims to reduce the size of pours, and with my history with La Roche-Posay, I have no doubt it will!

Have you tried this product? What is your favourite La Roche-Posay product? What do you use to keep a matte looking face?

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

On A Day Like Today: Style Post

So this is my first proper styling post. I have done a outfit of the day post before but I was a bit under confident about it so thought I would use Polyvore to create some looks I usually wear, without having to take pictures of myself. So here we go...

on a day like today

On a day like today where I'm not feeling well but I had to leave the house (to go to the walk in centre) I go for a comfy look. I want something that I can feel warm and snuggley in so a big woolly jumper does the trick nicely but still looks stylish.

I go for a pair of comfy skinny jeans because, even though I'm feeling crappy, a girls got to try right!? Flat shoes are also a must as they're just practical. When you're in a rush and want to get home asap, flats mean no sore feet. Finally a woolly hat is what I wear for a little extra warmth. It's not too cold yet here in London and the sun is actually still shinning, so no coat is needed. This little accessory just keeps the heat in a little (and also hides the fact I haven't washed my hair today) and adds a small splash of colour.

As you can see I have left out any jewellery, although I love a good necklace with an outfit, and like to wear as many rings as possible on a day to day basis, on sick days jewellery just annoys me. I can't be doing with fiddly bits to my outfit so I pass on anything dainty all together.

I hope you liked my first style post, it's just something a bit simple but I like it and think I will be doing more like this. How do you find the outfit I picked? Would you wear it on a 'day like this'?

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx




Mango dark gray jeans
$40 - johnlewis.com



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Sunday, 22 September 2013

The SO Project: Blusher

Although I use blusher everyday, I don't actually have that many to say how make up obsessed I am. I have 3 in total that I actually use and 2 that I wish I never bought (but they will appear in a post at a later date). So with that mini introduction lets get on with this weeks SO Project topic, blusher!


What exactly is blusher then? We'll it is something you put on your cheeks to add a bit of colour to the face after you have put on your foundation base. Basically after we have used the foundation to cover up any colour we naturally have on our face, we use blusher to add in colour to make our faces look realistic and normal again...we are strange things aren't we?!?

Like with Bronzer (see my bronzer post here) blusher comes in many different forms, there is the common powder product, the ever increasing in popularity cream product (you can get ones which stay creamy in consistency when on the skin and others that turn to powder when applied), cheek tints and gels. Along with bronzer, blusher helps to define the cheek bones along with making your face look "naturally" flushed! The most traditional colours to use are pinky tones as this is the colour most of us naturally turn when we blush...which is mostly what we are aiming for when we apply blush. Another increasingly popular colour for your cheeks are the coral/peach shades, which are more subtle ways of wearing blusher. Finally, for a more extreme look you can delve into the red sections of the blush spectrum. Personally red's are a bit too bold for me so I stick to the first two.

Blusher Tips:

1. For powdered blushers apply with a brush. Before applying to the face dab the brush on the back of your hand to get rid of any of the excess product so it doesn't look 'too much' on your skin.

2. When applying cream blushes I find using my middle finger provides the best results. Doing this helps warm up the product which makes it easier to work with and provide a better, more natural look. Pat the cream into your skin till it starts to look more natural then use a brush to fully blend it in.

3. I know I bring this tip up each week but for pete's sake, less is definitely more!

4. When apply blusher, smile to help accentuate the apples of your cheeks. Then apply the blush, not directly on the middle of your cheek, but more towards the back of your face. What I do is smile and place my finger on the middle of my cheek, then move it back one step towards my ear and start applying from there backwards...I really hope that made scene?!?!

5. If you do go too heavy on the blush (which we all do from time to time) use a translucent powder over the top to tone the colour down a little.

My Favourites:

Here are the three blushes that I love! I don't rank them in any particular order, I love them all equally the same. I have a powder; a cream and a cream to powder and I have to say, which is very much the opposite about what I feel with most make up products, high street blusher brands in general seem to be a little better than the high end ones!!

So firstly, the first blusher I ever got was the Mac 'Stay Pretty' which is a very lovely pink tone. It's not too bold but not too subtle at the same time. The powder is so soft on the skin and provides the perfect amount of coverage. You only need a few sweeps for this to provide a natural look. Although I don't have a favourite this is the blusher I use the most and it has lasted me so long, I think I've had it pushing on 2 years now (which sounds a bit dirty but I keep it in good condition) and I've only just hit pan. At £20 I feel this is a very good investment as not only does it last for ages, it stays on your skin for most of the day.



My next most used is the E.L.F Contouring Blush and Bronzing Cream in St Lucia which I know I keep raving on about (I mentioned it last week for it's bronzer here and did a full review here) but it really is amazing. The texture and consistency feels really luxurious to say it's only £3.75. This product last's the longest on my skin and is easy to blend so it allows you to create either a bold or subtle look really really effortlessly.


Finally my third blush is another E.L.F product. This time it's the Studio Cream Blush in 'Flirt'. This is more of a powdery cream than the last so it goes on a bit stronger than the Mac but not as drastic as the St Lucia. I apply with my fingers again but it needs less work to look natural. I love this blusher on its own but also like to use it and then set it with the Mac Stay Pretty powder to make a bolder look on nights out/special occasions etc! This products feels sooo incredibly silky that it makes it a pleasure to use. It costs £5.85, which again is nice and cheap, but it doesn't last as long on the skin as either of the above two blushes.
 

What blushers do you use? Has anyone tried any of these products before? What's you verdict? Any other blush advice? I can't wait for next week's SO Project!

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

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Saturday, 21 September 2013

Space NK's Beauty Edit Event

In case you hadn't heard of the amazing event Space NK did this week, here's a little run down of what it was. Every year (I think) Space NK hold a beauty event which provides beauty treatments and advice from the amazing guys and girls that work there. The best thing about it...the GWP's (or Gifts With Purchase)! Basically if you spend over a certain amount during the night you get a fair few free goodies to take home with you...I was sold at the word Space!!

Yes, the amount you have to spend is a very big amount (£150 to be exact) but you get over £260's worth of free gifts. Now before you call me crazy for spending such an ridiculous amount, I was clever and used the opportunity to add some presents to my basket to help reach the target...I'm thinking ahead here. As my mum's birthday is coming up (well in a month and a half) and with Christmas starting to be in countable days (only 95 to go guys ahhhh) I used these to my advantage.

Now let me stop rambling and I'll get on with telling you about the event. It was a ticket only event however, there was a chance to scoop up the freebie deal online. Tickets were £15 but very kindly Space NK took this off your overall bill if you got anything in the shop. Off I hopped on the DRL to the Canary Wharf branch and I was immediately welcomed by one of the lovely ladies that worked at my favourite shop ever. We were very quickly handed a glass of bubbly, and anything that starts with a free glass of alcohol wins me over pretty quickly that's for sure. I had a few minutes to get chatting with a lovely lady that had also come to the event before I was approached by the gorgeous store manager (I think she was called Emma) who booked me in for an appointment with one of the make up artists. All us girls were given the option of having a make up session, a skin session or a hair session and due to my obsession with make up of course I went for the 1st option. Having said that, I didn't come home with a single make up item in my bag.



We were then left to wonder the shop and ponder about what we were going to purchase. My first culprit was the Diptyque stand as (if you haven't seen my review on their Eau Rose scent) I'd been dying to get my hands on the Eau Moheli perfume since I first laid nose on it. After smelling every Diptyque perfume and candle they had, not only was my new ambition to eventually own everything they sold, I had decided on my first purchase.


Despite thinking I was only going to get one treatment I was given a LOVELY facial by one of the amazing Space NK girls using all Malin+Goetz products. I hadn't heard of them before but after the facial...my god some products are going on my xmas wishlist. Thankfully I didn't have to wish for too long as a mini moisturiser was one of the many freebies handed out to us. One of the creams she used actually fizzed when on the face (which sounds strange but it felt amazing) and once washed off left my skin feeling amazing. The lovely lady who did my facial gave me some amazing tips and answered some long wondered questions I had. She solved my Emma Hardie dilemma of do I go for the cleansing balm or foam (it was balm as I'm not prone to breakouts). She also help me decide which Ren product I should try which was the Mayblossom T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel as it would be better for my oily skin.

Thankfully I didn't have too much time to be conscious that I was fully make up free in public for the first time in 8 years as I was greeted by another lovely staff member who did my make up. She, again, was amazing. Not only did she make my skin look flawless, she gave me advise about my arch enemies...my dark eye circles. She was saying how she suffered too and told me what they were. Rather horribly, as they are hereditary, my bags are due to congealed blood under the skin...I know ewww right? But she tough me a trick to help reduce them by using my fingers and an eye cream to help disperse the blood. I think I actually love her for teaching me this. My main aim of the night was to try a NARZ creamy concealer, which I was planning on buying some point soon anyway. However, after trying it out on my skin we realised that all the colours available were too yellow for my skin tone and didn't look right on me so I managed to save myself a good £20+ there.  She made my skin look amazing but sadly I had already decided on what I was going to be buying that night so all the products she used were put on that every growing Christmas wish list. 


There was also a nail bar and hair stylist there  but sadly, as there was so many of us attending, I missed out on the opportunity to have these done. Actually speaking of hair, my next too purchases were hair products. As I loved the sample of Bumble and Bumbles thickening hair spray I got with a magazine (see a review here) I knew I was going to eventually get a full sized bottle so used this opportunity to do so. The rest of my budget went on presents and a sample of the much raved about Oribe Dry Texturing Spray as I'm always looking for products that can liven up my boring hair. So I'd just hit the £150 target and loved every second of the process. Here is what I bough myself and what I got as freebie's.

What I bought
Freebie's (sorry it's a wonky photo I tried so hard to sort it out but couldn't)

What I'm most excited about trying

Obviously I will be doing a review on all of these products at some point. I have left out pictures of the presents I got as (I know you do it mum/dad/Russell) my family tend to read my blog even though I ask them not too!!! All in all the Space NK beauty evening was AMAZING. I really enjoyed it and would recommend everyone to do it if they get the chance, even if they don't buy anything, just the experience makes it worth while. Finally the girls that worked there were amazing too. They were so friendly and so helpful and made everyone feel welcome so I'd like to say a big thank you to Space NK and a bigger thank you to the lovely girls at the Canary Wharf branch for making my night!

Finally I have now placed myself on a spending ban till December as I would be silly to spend any more money. Even then, I will only be using my money to buy more Christmas presents, so the next time I buy ANYTHING that isn't a necessity will be in January...god that's going to be tough!!

Did anyone else go to the Space NK event near you? Or did you take advantage of the online GWP? Have any of you been to any sort of event like this, or tried any of the products I bought/received? Let me know, I love hearing what you have to say.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx
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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The SO Project: Bronzer

It's week four of the SO project and the topic this week...Bronzer. This beauty product is one that can easily go very wrong if not used properly so hopefully I will be able to give a few tips as to how to avoid the over done look. But first of all lets get describing what it is.


Bronzer is a product that can be used for two different reasons; creating a lovely sun kissed, bronzed look and contouring the face, but more on these later.

There are many different types of bronzers available such as pressed powders, creams, loose powders, sticks and mousses but the most common is the pressed powder. They come in brown and terracotta colours but don't be fooled by that small selection...there are so many shades to choose from.


There's not too much else that can be said to describe what bronzer is without telling you how to use it so lets head straight into some tips before showing you good techniques for application.

1. No matter how you are using it (to bronze or contour) only apply bronzer to areas where the sun naturally hits and tan's your face. If you place it anywhere else, it will just look unnatural and fake.

2. As with most make up products, less is more with Bronzer. If you pile it on too much it just looks bad...really really bad! Use a light hand and a soft application.

3. Go for a nice subtle, light shade to avoid that muddy or orange look (obviously the darker your natural skin tone the darker you can go). If you go too dark it will be very obvious.

Applying for a bronzed look:

For the sun kissed look place the bronzer where the sun would naturally hit your face. As you can see from the picture below it goes softly on the apples of your cheek, down your nose and the top of your forehead.



Applying to contour:

Contouring is a technique that is used to help slim the face or make it look more sculptured and defined. For younger faces it might not be necessary to do this but it does create a great look if done right. Begin with doing the above steps but these extras create a contoured face.

So, suck in your cheeks to find where you natural cheek bones are and gently follow just underneath this bone with your bronzer. Follow this up to your temples and past your eyebrow bone. To contour a jaw/neck line apply the tinniest (and I mean tinniest) amount along your jawline to create a more define shape to the lower face.


Finally, here are my top 3 bronzers.  Thankfully they not only range in texture (cream, loose and pressed powder) but they also range in price (low, mid and high). God I'm good, I didn't even try to do that it was just a cowinky dink! 


Let's go from low to high. First is the e.l.f blush and bronzing duo in Saint Lucia and for a full review see here. But in quick summary this cream bronzer has amazing effects but is hard to work with. I tent to use my thumb to apply as it's softens the product up which a brush just can't do. You only need a tiny amount and it looks pretty much like the NARZ Laguna but more matte and more extreme. It's also only £3.75 and lasts for a very long time on the face.


My mid range bronzer is more on the terracotta side. It is a pressed powder and comes from the amazing bare Minerals. At £19 it is a bit over average price, however it will last you at least a year. You only need a few specks to get high impact so I see this more of an investment then just a beauty product. 


And finally my absolute favourite bronzer is the cult product...NARZ Laguna. At £26 it definitely more natural than the other two. This product has a slight shimmer to it but not enough to detect when wearing. It creates the perfect subtle tan for your face and can be built up if you actually do manage to catch the sun. It's literally perfect! 



What bronzers do you guys use? Have you tried any of these? What are you favourite bronzer tips and secrets?

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx
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Sunday, 15 September 2013

Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation

A few weeks ago when I repurchased my There're Real Mascara, I remembered what I was told at the Benefit counter ages ago when I was searching for a new foundation..."we only do samples when you buy a product!" Now don't get me wrong I love Benefit. Their make up is amazing but if this is the case with all Benefit counters they need sort this out. I get that brands don't want to waste lots on handing out free samples but for the amount of money they do make from being so popular, and for a product like foundation which you have to try before you buy, I think they can be a bit more lenient! I, shamefully, do slightly judge companies that aren't willing to hand out samples easily because if we are spending money on something we put on our skin, we need to know it's right for us first.


Anyways, rant over! When I got the mascara I asked for a sample of their Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation (the oxygen wow part really annoys me for some reason) and was happily colour matched by the MUA and given a small pot. Due to the move and me living out a suitcase for the last month I only took bare essential make up with me, which mean this little pot had to stay in the HUGE pile of stuff that needed to be moved at a later date. Now I'm in the new flat I was happy I could finally try it out. Instead of boring you with what Benefit have to say about their foundation, here's a picture of the blurb which you can chose to skip over if you so wish.


I was sooo excited. I've heard great things about this foundation and it's even oil free! Due to my oily skin I though "brilliant." But I really hate to say that I'm just not a fan of Hello Flawless at all. I've seen it look amazing on so many people but its just not working for me and here's why:



1. I find it doesn't blend very easily. I tend to dot a few splodges all around my face when I'm applying foundation and then use my Real Techniques Expert Face brush to blend it all together. It might be that this product is just a fast drying one, so you have to move quickly with it, but I found it hard to work with. It took me a while and a lot of arm breaking buffing to stop it from looking streaky. 

2. The colour just doesn't match my skin enough. I'm not sure if I was just given the wrong colour but it's just a bit too dark for my skin tone. I asked for an exact match and in the Boots light it looked perfect. In fact in anywhere with no natural light it looks great but when I see myself in day light it is clear this colour isn't right for me. 

3. To say it is oil free it doesn't do anything for my shinny skin. I'd use primer and double powdered (Bare Minerals and Rimmel Stay Matte...both amazing products by the way) and ended up with an extremely shinny face a few hours later. Now I did try it last week when it was ROASTING so I did factor this in on the three days I tried it, however, my YSL has lasted fine in the 29 degree heat and created minimal shine. I know it not a matte finished foundation but I thought oil free would provide a matte like look with a luminous glow. I was wrong!

Despite all this I just can't give up in it yet!  For some reason (well a few actually) I want to give it another few goes. I want to see if I have got it wrong from the last few uses. I want it to prove myself wrong! And here is why I'm giving it another shot:

1. As I said above, despite not looking great in natural light, colour and blending wise, it actually looks pretty good in non natural circumstances. I feel like it would be a great foundation for nights out or times where there are lots of cameras around as it actually photographs pretty well. 

2. It has a very good coverage. It says it's a light to medium foundation but I'd say it's definitely on the medium side. 

3. It has hints of vitamins in and it's said to prevent ageing. That's got to be good for your skin in some way shape or form?!?

4. It's Benefit! All their other products I have used have served me so well, I just don't want to believe this one won't. 

So all in all I haven't made my mind up fully on this product yet but I can safely say it has disappointed me so far and this saddens me!

Does anyone else out there agree with me? Or those that love it, do you have any tips on how I can use the product better? Let me know below. 

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx 
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Thursday, 12 September 2013

This & That Tag

Hi guys, Hannah from hbbeauty tagged me in the ,This and That Tag' and, as I loved reading her's (and everyone else's I see), I couldn't wait to get cracking with it. I think this a great tag to help get to know the girls and boys behind the blogs. So I'll get straight into it.

Make Up

Blusher or Bronzer:
This is a hard one but I think I have to say blush. I don't think you're face is complete without it but, I think I could go without bronzer if I had too.

Lipgloss or Lipstick:
Lipstick without a doubt, I hate the stickiness lipgloss gives you. Your hair sticks to it and their normally too shinny for me.

Liner or Mascara:
Mascara, I wear it everyday whereas I only use liner on special occasions.

Foundation or Concealer:
Concealer! For one, I couldn't be without it because of my under eye dark circles but secondly you can use concealer pretty much as a foundation and cover up the bits you need to. Foundation isn't thick enough to cover under eye bags.

Neutral Eyeshadow or Colour Eyeshadow:
Definitely neural, I don't think I've worn a colour on my eyes for about 10 years. I think neutrals are more flattering to my face.

Pressed or Loose Eyeshadow:
Pressed for sure, loose just goes EVERYWHERE.


Nails

OPI or China Glaze:
Well this is awkward. 1. I've never tried OPI and 2. I've never heard of China Glaze...let's move on!?!?

Long or Short Nails:
Short. Whenever I have long nails I'm always conscious I will break them and then they just go week and chip all the time.

Acrylic or Natural:
I've never had acrylic so I'm all about the natural nail.

Bright or Dark:
Oooo toughie!! I think dark...I always go back to dark nails eventually.

Flower or No Flower:
No flower, I'm awful at nail art.


Body

Perfume or Body Spray:
Perfume as I think they give more sophisticated smells. For some reason body sprays just remind me of being a teenager.

Lotion or Body Butter:
Lotion as I find Body Butters too thick for me and they take too long to dry. I don't particularly have dry skin so very rarely use either though to be honest.

Body Wash or Soap:
I have to admit I much prefer soap. I think soaps are more sensitive to the skin plus there are cheaper. My favourite are dove soaps, they leave the skin feeling naturally smooth and smell lovely but subtle.

Lush or Other Bath Companies:
Neither to be honest. I'm not a bath kind of person so don't buy any bath products. I get bored and irritated in the bath and would much rather hop in and out of the shower ASAP.



Fashion:

Jeans or Sweat Pants:
Well both but for separate occasions. Jeans for out the house, sweats for in.

Long Sleeves or Short Sleeves:
Short, you can always add long sleeves in the form of a jumper/jacket etc but long sleeve tops just feel so restricting to me.

Dresses or Skirts:
Skirts, you can dress them up or dress them down whereas I find dresses are either day or night style.

Stripes or Plaid
I'd say plaid because I don't actually think I've got anything striped in my wardrobe.

Flip Flops or Sandals:
I think I'd have to say flip flops. They are just comfy and I love the sound they make. Plus they remind me of being on holiday which can't be a bad thing right?

Scarves or Hats:
HATS. I love wooly hats so I'm glad it's coming up to the time where I can wear them again...yay!

Studs or Dangly Earrings:
Studs as I very rarely wear earrings, I just leave my studs in all the time. Whenever I've worn dangly ones they just seem to irritate me.

Necklace's or Bracelets
Necklace's, again I find Bracelets can get in the way, especially at work, they are always knocking against the desk or keyboard.

Heels or Flats:
This is probably not going to go down well but flats. I've very tall so I feel a bit like a man in heels sometimes.

Jackets or Hoodies:
Again this depends on if I'm in or out of the house. Jackets can make an outfit but hoodies are just so comfy to snuggle in on the sofa.


Hair

Curly or Straight:
Curly because you always want what you can't have right!?!

Bun or Ponytail:
I love both so can't decide...it's like Sophie's choice...well not quite.

Bobby Pins or Bufferfly Clips:
I only ever use Bobby Pins so I'd have to go with them. They're like little saviours for the hair.

Hair Spray or Gel:
I don't think I've ever heard of a girl using a hair gel. I've only ever used hair spray.

Long or Short:
I think I'd have to say long because I can't have too short hair due to my HUGE HEAD.

Light or Dark:
Well I've always had pretty dark hair and only coloured it recently. I had it ombred about a year ago so can I say both?

Side Sweep or Full Bangs (Fringe):
For myself I'd say side sweep but I absolutely love a full fringe on other people.

Up or Down:
I feel like I've been asked this question before and the answer is still the same. I always feel like I prefer it down but have tied it up by the end of the day so would have to go with up.

Random

Rain or Shine:
Obviously shine. I don't think I've ever heard anyone seriously say "Oh what a lovely rainy day it is today!"

Summer or Winter:
Summer purely because I love being able to whip my RayBans out.

Autumn or Spring:
Autumn because Spring is just a long annoying wait till the nice weather in Summer, whereas Autumn is that lovely time where everything is pretty and you can start getting cosy but it's not the horrible, cold, miserable Winter.

Chocolate or Vanilla:
Chocolate...nothing else more needs to be said on the matter :D


So that was the tag. I really enjoyed doing it however I did cut out the bits that were clearly American.

I am tagging anyone who wants to do this tag, but more specifically:
Steph at Steph's Inside Voice
Daniella at Polkadella
Heyfa at London Loafers
Ami Rose at Beauty Loves UK
Beth at Perpetual Style

I absolutely love reading all their blogs and would love to get to know more about them

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx
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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The SO Project: Foundation

Welcome to my Foundation instalment of the SO Project. I've haven't tried that many foundations in my time as I tend to find one I really like and stick to it. I also only buy high end foundation, which I know isn't perfect for the SO project and for newbies to make up as you are probably better suited to high street products, if they don't work well for you you aren't waisting too much money. However I've heard rave reviews about certain high street foundations. So in this post I will give a brief run down on what foundation is, give some tips I've learnt along the way and talk about my favourite foundations and which I've heard are great. I have split these into two sections depending on how much you want to spend, so there is a low, medium and full coverage option for each of the high end and high street products.

First of all, what is foundation?!? It's the base that helps start to create you whole make up look . It is what you put on before everything else (concealer, blusher, brozer...the list goes on). It is also the main thing that hides any blemishes and even outs your skin tone. At a younger age you do not need a heavy foundation unless you have real skin issues. A lighter foundation is always best for beginners as there is less chance it will irritate you skin. There are several types of foundation; powder which is a more gentler approach to foundation, liquid which can be used to build a heavier look but clogs your pores more; tinted moisturisers which are moisturisers with a hint of colour in them to create a softer look and BB creams which are a mix between a liquid foundation and a tinted moisturiser.

Tips:

1. Apply with a good brush or your fingers, either creates a great effect. If you are going to use your fingers though make sure they are clean, you're only going to spred bacteria on your face if they're not.

2. Always get a sample first. Unfortuantly you can only do this with the higher end products but they usually do decent sized ones (see below). This allows you to make sure you have the right colour and means you can test the foundation for a lengthy period of time to see how it works for you. These samples can last you weeks if your clever with them and they are really good things for those that can't afford high end to actually get to wear it. Don't be cheeky though, talk to the MUA's and ask for their advise, most of all act interested. If you just act like your only there for the sample you will really annoy the lovely ladies that work at the counters who are trying to do their jobs.



3. For high street always try the colours yourself, and not just on the back of your hand! I'm afraid, to get the perfect colour match without an MUA, you need to apply the foundation to your face (around about the jaw line preferably) and then go outside to natural light to see if the colour matches. Unfortunately the lighting in drugstores do not let you see a true representation of the colour and you could come away with a foundation that makes you look orange in natural light (and that's really not a good look). This natural light technique applies at home too. Make sure you are doing your make up near a window and not in artificial light or your chances of getting 'THAT LINE' will increase.

4. Turn your foundation into a 3 in 1 product. If the above does happen and you do come out with a shade too dark for you, you can always mix it with a blob of moisturiser on the back of your hand to lighten the colour. This technique is also good if you have a full coverage foundation but you're wanting more of a natural look one day, it thins out the foundation and turns it into more of a BB cream. If you add more moisturiser than foundation you will create the perfect tinted moisturiser for yourself.

And finally...

5. Always remember if you have sensitive or spot prone skin, try to stay away from foundations that are heavily scented. The fragrance in foundations has a higher chance of aggravating you skin and cause negative side effects.

High End Foundations:

Low Coverage:
Aww, my trusty best make up friend. Bare Minerals Original Power Foundation has served me well for so many years now. I can't remember when I first got it because it was so long ago, but me and all my friends use it. It just creates the perfect base as you don't look like you're wearing any foundation at all but it makes your skin glow!! I use this now as a setting powder (you know...oily skin and all that jazz) over my YSL because I have started to get into the liquid foundations, but for younger, fresher skin I think Bare Minerals is all you need. The minerals are good for your skin and this make up pretty much lets your skin breath instead of clogging up those pours that are easier to aggravate at a younger age. You can build this to a decent coverage as well, but I don't think it really needs more than one layer. And finally, at £25, with 20 shades and an SPF of 15, it's certainly worth the money...it last's for MONTHS!!!



Medium Coverage:
My all time favourite foundation is the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation. At £29 it's pricey but I really think it's the perfect all round foundation. It has good coverage that can be build to a heavier look if needed. They do a HUGE range of colours (22 shades to be exact) so you can find the perfect, and I mean perfect, match. It also last's all day and only needs the one touch up if you have oily skin like me, which with most other foundations needs more than that. Finally the bottle is so classic, how can you resist. One of my favourite things about YSL is that they are more than happy to give samples. The only thing that let's this down is there is no SPF in it.


Full Coverage:
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation is a much much much heavier foundation. I didn't like it to begin with but now I have tried it a few times I've realised less is more with this product, and at £28.50 I'm glad that's the case. The coverage for this foundation is amazing, it really hides any issues you might have. However, you have to work fast with it and even the tinniest amount goes a long way so just watch out for that as it can be streaky and cakey if you're not careful. I only have a sample of this as I only use it for nights out or when I know I have to look fresh faced all day because when they said it lasts 15 hour, they meant it!!  Another good thing about this is it has SPF10 in which we all need, no matter how young our skin is. Giving a semi matte finish, this product perfect for those that want a glow and those whi are the oilyest of oily like me!



High Street 

As I said before, all these products below are heard through the grape vine products (apart from the next paragraph). As I don't use high street foundation, these are all products that are constantly raved about in the blogging community and with friends.

This is the only high street foundation/powder I use (actually I use it as a setting powder) and it's the cult favourite, Rimmel Stay Matte Powder. This little miracle in a pot helps with those dreaded shiny areas that occur through out the day. It has been a god send this hot summer and I have one on my dressing table and keep one in my handbag for on the go (as it's only £3.99). If you take just one thing out of this post it is that every girl needs this in their lives. It's not going to give you much coverage at all really as it's not technically a foundation, but it will make your face look gorgeous and doesn't look powdery at all.


Low Coverage:
The Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum (Not the original Healthy Mix Foundation) is a high street foundation that has received massively amazing reviews. It's meant to last 16 hours and from what I've heard it has a decent run but doesn't last quite that long! Like with the Bare Mineral's it is meant to be good for your skin along with being extremely moisturising and it's a light foundation. Best of all it is known for letting your skin breath, and as I said that is essential for young skin. However, there are only 8 different shades so it might be a little difficult to find a decent match for you tone. Also, due to its dewy finish it's not to be the best for oily skin. At £10.99 it's an OK price for a pharmacy product.


Medium Coverage:
Rimmel's Wake Me Up Foundation is another product I see all the time in beauty blogs and it's always getting great reviews. It's £8.99 which is a very good price and is said to be very long lasting (which means money well spent in my eyes). The coverage is a medium one that can be build up if need's be, but those with oily skin are told to be weary of this foundation. Due to its dewy finish and hint of shimmer (which is said to be undetectable but creates a glowing look) it's not the best for hiding the shine. The most common thing said about this product is, surprise surprise, it makes you look more awake, and no one want's to look half asleep now do they?!? It's only downfall, it has the least amount of shades available out of this lot, only 6 so good luck trying to get an exact match!


Full Coverage:
The final foundation I will be mentioning is the Revlon ColourStay Foundation. At £12.49 it's a bit of an outrage that you don't get a pump with this product but, despite the pretty pricey price tag, Revlon have managed to make this foundation cater to every skin type. They do two ranges of this foundation, one for dry to normal skin and one for combination to oily skin (click above). To me that is the best thing a company can do, make their foundation accessible to everyone. I think both types tend to have a matte ish finish but if you add some highlight after, you can easily get a glowing look. This has a medium to full coverage and has no fragrance at all so should be great for anyone with acne probe or sensitive skin as it won't aggravate it. I really really want to try this foundation so will be popping out to get it soon. Just another little negative, again, there are limited shades (only 9).




So...that was another long post there. Sorry about that but these SO Project posts just get me so excited and I find I can't stop rambling. Hope this helped with finding the perfect foundation for you, and stopped you from making mistakes that I certainly made when I was younger (I spend a good 6 months of my life being very orange!)

Has anyone used the foundation's I've mentioned? What are your thoughts on them? Any other foundation tips I've missed?

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

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Friday, 6 September 2013

The Barry M White Nail Look

So I was having a conversation with Kammi from Beauty Book Blog and Sophie from Sophie Rosee the other day about Sophie's lovely brown nail polish and it persuaded me to take the plunge I was umming and ahhring about taking for a while now. And that was to use the Barry M while nail polish I got the other week. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not hence why it stayed in my draw until the girls helped me pluck up the courage! And on the 2nd of September (haha such a geek for writing the date) I did.



I've seen this look on many blogs and YouTube video's and in many magazines and it's always looked so nice, but I just had the feeling it would look so harsh on me. Despite this I bit the bullet and started painting. Now I don't know if it was because this is such a light colour, although it hasn't happened with any nude varnishes I use (my favourite is Ciate's Cookies and Cream, for a review see here), but the first layer seemed very streaky and looked very messy. It actually sort of looked like I'd pained my nails with an icing sugar mix!!!


However, I powered through as I could see it's potential, and decided to go for a much thinker layer for the second attempt. This approach to applying the polish made a huge difference. The colour went on smooth and there were not cracks or gaps, there wasn't any need or a third coat after this.



I did put a top coat on these nails but unfortunately after just two days they have started to chip the tiniest bit (like most BarryM polishes), but not enough to really bother me. I have also had many complements since Monday when I painted them so it's (thankfully) not just me who seems to like them, unless people are telling porkies to me!?!? The best thing about this colour is that your nails go with everything. Any outfit, any colour, any trend you wear and they just blend in perfectly...that's got to be a big plus right?!?

So I would say...go out and try some white polish before it's popularity fades, or before the sun disappears and the autumn colours come out (which I can't wait for by the way!!!)

What do you guys think? Has anyone else out there tried the white nail trend? Let me know how you found them?

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx
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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The SO Project: Concealer

Welcome to my fist post for the SO Project! I'm a little late to this but to see more and why check here...

OK so here we go...let's face it, there are only two things we need concealer for:

1. Hiding the bane's of everyone's lives, spots and blemishes 

and

2. Covering up the bane's of my life, those under eye bags and dark circles. 

Let's not beat around the bush here, concealer doesn't enhance any part of our faces, it doesn't add a slash of colour to create a statement look and it's just a bit of a chore to use. I think we all hate using concealer deep down because it means we are trying to hide something "wrong" on our faces, but we always have to remember that no one has perfect skin. It's something people of all ages will have to use and we will keep using it all our lives, be that to cover spots as teenagers (and I hate to break it to you young ones out there...as adults too, they just keep coming but thankfully not as frequently!) and to cover discolouration as we get older. 

Concealer was the first make up item I bought and used as a teenager because all I needed to do was to cover up the odd imperfections. Now in my mid 20's unfortunately a lot more make up is needed, *sighs at the thought of my own bare face*.

Now I have recently done a post on what I use to cover my extreme dark circles which you can see here. But for the purposes of the SO project I will cover a wider range of products and techniques I think will help you out. I would also like to assure you that due to my almost black under eye circles I have had for my whole life, you are in good hands when it comes to concealer advise. Trust me I've tried EVERYTHING! 

1. Under the eye

First things first, if you want to keep that concealer on all day and stop it from caking you need to use a primer. Any primer will do but my personal favourite is MUA Pro-Base Eye Primer... and its cheap too (£2.50). Swipe a little bit under your eye and you're good to go with the concealer.



If you're looking to cover darkness under your eyes a corrector can be used to balance out the discolouration and bring it back to a less noticeable darkness. Bobbi Browns Creamy Corrector is what I use and it is amazing but it's a fair amount of money's (£18.50 in fact) so a good alternative is the Nip + Fab Complexion Corrector Cream Eye. This corrector is a concealer and corrector combined so may be good enough for you to skip the concealer stage. At £9.95 it is cheaper than the Bobbie Brown (and is on offer at Boots for £6.63 right now). It's not quite as effective but still does a really good job. I must say that for those with younger skin you do not need to spend lots of money on products. There are great high street buys out there and your younger skin will work better with the cheaper products. Only buy high end if you can afford it...it's really not that different.



On top of a corrector use a concealer. If you have mild dark circles this step is all you will need, so skip on the above. My go to liquid concealer is the Origins Plantscription Anti-Ageing Concealer. Again it's a little pricey at £17 but a good cult alternative is the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer for a lovely £4.19. They both cover extremely well and both blend very easily, the origins slightly more so than the collection but that's what that extra money I was talking about does to a product, easier to work with.




For those of you out there that are lucky enough to not have dark circles you will only need a brightener to make your eyes stand out. My favourite is the cult favourite YSL Touché Éclat. Again it's extremely pricey at £25 so I found a great alternative in the Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch at £6.99. YSL and Maybelline are made by the same people so they pretty much have the exact same effect. I can't stress how little of these highlighting concealers are needed under the eye. Too much and you look a bit silly as your under eyes look almost white! Especially if there are camera flashes going off.



Under Eye Tips:

1. Using you finger to blend is a much better way to get a smoother finish. It warms the product up and makes it much easier to use. 

2. Always use your ring finger (it's next to your pinky in case you weren't sure what I meant). It is the lightest and gentlest finger to use and means less pressure on the sensitive under eye skin. 

3. Less is most certainly more. If you pile on layer after layer it will just go cakey and show the darkness more. A thin layer will make for a softer yet higher coverage look. Trust me I've piled it on many a times before and I just looked absolutely awful for doing so.

4. Use a setting powder under the eye it will make the concealer last even longer. This can be any powder that works for you.

2. Cover Up

Thankfully I've never had a major issue with spots or acne on the face so for those with real issues I can't be much help I'm afraid...apart from saying if you have a big problem with it go and see your doctor, they can help. I had back acne and they gave me a cream that cleared it right up. Therefore this section will be shorted than the last.

The main concealer I use to cover up imperfections, dark spots and red spots is the Bobbi Brown (again) Creamy Concealer. It is the same price as the corrector (and has the option of coming with a setting powder) but it really works for covering a imperfection all day long. As its a cream rather than a liquid it stays on longer and is easier to work with. I find liquid concealers fade faster, which is a bit annoying when you have spots as you have to reapply through out the day. Despite this a good cheaper liquid concealer that I find works well, and lasts a decent amount of time, is the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. At £5.99 it does a great job for coverage.



Cover Up Tips:

1. Again, use your finger to apply to spots. Using a brush can spread any bacteria that is on the spot and transfer it to the rest of the skin. Wash you finger if you're going to be using it for applying something else later.

2. Get an exact skin colour match. For some reason (and I was guilty of it too) people think getting a lighter shade with hide spots better..it doesn't! It makes them so much more obvious.

3. Apply concealer after you foundation. The foundation gives it something to stick too and it will hold better.

4. Only apply to the exact spot! Don't bother trying to blend the concealer out too much around the surrounding area it will make the redness more obvious. If you literally use your finger to pat the concealer onto the spot, and the spot alone, it will hide that imperfection significantly better.

I hope you liked my first SO Project instalment. I am so excited to be part of it. I hope this helps someone out there who is starting off with make up, or anyone else for that matter. Does anyone out there use any of these product? What do you think of them?

Thanks for reading guys.

Hannah xxx
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