Friday, 18 November 2016

I don't feel beautiful

We all have those really shit days, weeks, months when we look in the mirror and think ‘blimey, is that really me?’.

Someone who I don’t recognise is looking back at me.

All I see is dark unwashed roots, overgrown eyebrows, unpainted nails, blemished skin and can’t help but think think that I’m unrecognisable. My mood and the effort I make with my appearance goes hand in hand. If I’m feeling low, I surprise myself if I wash my hair. My energy and motivation is currently at zero. 

The longer that I gaze into the mirror, the more I realise that it’s not just that I don’t feel beautiful, it's deeper that that, it’s that I don’t feel like myself, and being yourself is that most beautiful thing you can be. 

I ask myself if I can get back to that place where I know who I am, where I’m going and what I want my life to be. 

In a recent conversation with my Doctor about my mental health, I realised that I can’t remember that last day that I didn’t have a sinking feeling of doubt in the pit of my stomach. Constant questions caused by my own self-doubt put me under daily scrutiny. For someone who has never felt this way, it might be hard to understand or imagine. Someone said to me ‘it’s all in your head, you have control over this’. It’s simply not that easy. No one in my family has struggled with mental health, to my knowledge, so it’s not something that I ever imagined to be battling. Accepting that this is a problem is pretty recent for me and surprisingly one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to admit to myself and those closest to me. 

There’s days where I lock myself in my bedroom and don’t even think to eat or drink. Then there’s days I can’t stand sitting still or the silence. My Dad gave me some advice today, he told me to do more of what makes me happy. I need to spend some time realising what that is again. I guess that’s why I’m here tapping away on my keyboard, doing what once made me happy. Apparently writing things down can be quite therapeutic. We'll see. 

So let’s see where this goes… 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

A bit of Oskia love

Oskia is hands down one of my favourite skincare brands. The love affair started with the Renaissance cleansing gel, thanks to Anna. I have to make sure that I have one in my stash at all times, it's a real reliable gem. However, todays post is about two lesser raved about products from the Oskia range.

First up is the Renaissance mask. It's a beautifully thick and luxurious texture that boosts radiance like no other. This is the only mask that I use and see instant results. It leaves my skin feeling extremely smooth and evens out any redness. My acne prone skin doesn't respond well to manual exfoliants so the lactic acid in this product is great for getting rid of any dry patches and uneven texture. And oh God the scent! A dream.

Next we have the Bedtime Beauty Boost. Pricy? Yes. Worth it? Also yes. This isn't for you oily skinned gals, trust me. This is probably the most moisturising thing that I've ever had the pleasure of smearing onto my face. Admittedly it can sometimes be a little heavy for my combination skin but on particularly dry days, this is a life saver. The next morning my skin is left super moisturised, plump and radiant. Love it.

I have my beady little eyes on the Get Up & Glow and the Renaissance Brightlight at the moment! What have you tried from Oskia?

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Banana Coffee Shake!

Two of my great loves in life are banana and coffee. So why not put them together! I finally think I've got the recipe down, so I thought I'd share it with you in a quick blog post. The mix of the creamy banana, naturally sweet dates and the hit of the coffee is a party in your mouth!

1 or 2 Frozen banana (slightly thawed)
3 pitted Medjool dates
1-1 and 1/2 cups of your milk of choice
And the coffee! I use 2tsp of Nescafe Espresso but this can be adjusted to your desired strength.

1. Make your desired amount of coffee and leave to cool slightly.
2. Blend the frozen banana until smooth and creamy.
3. Add the dates and blend until totally combined.
4. Add the milk and coffee, blend once more and enjoy!
5. Thank me later.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Contouring is key

If I'm wearing a full face of makeup then I will probably have contoured the shit out of my cheeks. I've got a potato face and I know it. That being said, the Ilamasqua gel sculpt in silouhette is perfect for those that are either new to contouring, want a natural shadow or want their cheeks to be so cut that this is their base contour. I admit that it looks extremely intimidating in the stick, but as soon as you put it onto your face it blends like a dream. You can blend it with your fingers, a brush or a sponge for an equally beautiful finish. It also layers perfectly if you want a more striking look. If you swipe the product directly onto your face it has a lovely cooling sensation that I can really get onboard with. So much so that I can get a little overboard and end up looking like I've spent a month in the Caribbean. Jokes, I don't tan. Pasty Irish skin. But you get the picture. 

If you want to see my favourite way to apply this product then watch this video by Jamie Genevieve. I thought it was mental at first but it works so well! I used this technique in the photo below to create some natural dimension to my cheeks and forehead. Please, please, please try this product if you're scared on contouring. It's a breeze!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

What's in my Z Palette

My individual eyeshadow love started with Mac many moons ago. I still remember the excitement and feeling of satisfaction of slotting the last couple of shades into my 15 pan palette. That thing was my baby! Oh how times change. Like the rest of the beauty loving community, my addiction has moved beyond just having a sh*tload of Mac. Yes, some of their eyeshadows are still some of my favourites, but I personally believe that you can get better quality shadows for a lower price (enter Makeup Geek). Thankfully other brands jumped onto the individual pan thing! It's so much more convenient and better value than having a huge palette where you end up with a bright ugly green that you'll never use. 

This is my perfect palette. A range of neutral, brights, mattes and shimmers. So what are the shades, you might ask...

As you can see the palette is extremely well loved/filthy!

First row- MG Shimma Shimma, Anastasia Glisten, MG In The Spotlight, Anastasia Pink Champagne, MG Cosmopolitan, MG Grandstand & Mac 

Second row- MG Homecoming, Mac Sumptuous Olive, MG Mango Tango, Mac Cranberry, Anastasia Sangria & MG Showtime

Third row- Mac Brûlée, MG Peaches and Cream, MG Creme Brûlée, MG Chickadee, MG Cupcake, MG Cocoa Bear & Mac Antiqued

Fourth row- Mac Swiss Chocolate, Mac Brown Down (wouldn't really recommend), Morphe Secretive, MG Bitten, MG Corrupt, MG Flame Thrower & Anastasia Sienna

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Anastasia Glow Kit: That Glow

Highlighter is my thing! It's the product that takes me from looking like a potato to looking like a slightly healthier potato. I'm a pale girl so sometimes my foundation can make my skin look really flat and washed out, so I heavily rely on bronzer, blush and highlighter to inject some life back to my face. That being said,  I'm on a constant hunt for highlighters. I'm a strong believer of you can never have enough of a good thing and believe me, this is good. I have quite a few Anastasia products but I believe that they've outdone themselves with these palettes. The colour combinations of all three palettes available are stunning. I've been tempted by all of them but decided to settle for That Glow for now. I've had it for a while but only just started to play with all the shades. Up until now I've tended to just stick to the lightest shade. Big mistake. Big, huge! (name that quote). All four shades are beautifully pigmented and easy to blend. Great for a subtle look but the intensity can be built up quite easily. 

My favourite brush to use for highlighter is the Morphe 510. It's really small and great for a precise application, so if you aren't someone who wants to pack it on and look like the tin man then maybe try the 509 instead. The 510's slightly more voluptuous, fluffier older sister. Personally I enjoy blinding oncoming traffic with my glow. 

I use the shades Sunburst, Bubbly and Dripping in Gold as traditional highlighters. Applying them to the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, cupids bow and forehead if I'm feeling a particularly glowy look. Golden Bronze is strictly reserved for creating a tradition between by bronzer and highlighter. Excessive? Maybe, but I'm totally into it. 

What's your favourite highlighter?

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Current Favourties #1

Instead of committing to posting a monthly 'Favourites' I've decided to post my 'Currents Favourites' as and when I fancy it. So here goes the first one...

I picked up the Gucci bronzer in the shade Oriental Summer in Dubai back in April and I've been obsessed with it ever since. I tried Stacey's whilst raiding her makeup stash and immediately fell for it. I'm not gonna lie, the price tag almost put me off purchasing it. I said almost! Luckily I was with Sarah and she can be pretty persuasive when it comes to beauty purchases, thankfully. It's gives a really natural glow and colour to the skin, perfect for my pasty complexion. Gucci have created an incredibly pigmented, smooth, long lasting matte formula that I think everyone would be impressed by. I can't for the life of me find it anywhere online so happy hunting! In the same trip to Sephora I also picked up the Marc Jacobs gel Eye crayon in Blaquer. I have had a lifelong hunt for the perfect black eyeliner. Something that's highly pigmented, long lasting on the water and this is the best I've found so far. I've enjoyed using it to add intensity to a lot of different makeup looks but particularly a worn in rusty toned smoky eye. Another overseas purchase was the Kat von D metal crush eyeshadow in the shade Synergy. I picked it up in New York last Summer and I have got so much use out of it. I mean, how could you not? It's the perfect shimmery bronze shadow. It looks a little more metallic IRL than it does in the photo below. Damn camera. The only negative thing I have to say about it is that the formula is so soft that it can be prone to a little fallout.

I saw that my babe April picked up Mac's Faux lipstick a while back so when she visited it only seemed right that I purchased it! It's a beautiful muted mauve-pink in a satin finish, which makes it incredibly wearable and perfect for everyday use. Whilst in Birmingham with April, we popped to the Charlotte Tilbury counter in Selfridges (heaven). The lead Makeup Artist for the counter, Waj gave me a luxury sample of the new Legendary Lashes mascara. It's pretty legendary. It does everything that I like a mascara to do. Adds length, ups the volume and holds a curl. What more could you ask for? I definitely need the pick up the full-size when I'm next in store. I also took April and Laura to Cocktail Cosmetics during their visits and I picked up the Morphe 510 brush which is perfect for giving that blowy AF look, which I strive for.

I've recently rekindled my love for the Ilamasqua brow gel in Awe. It's a great taupe colour that helps create a perfectly sculpted, yet natural looking brow. I've had mine since it was released last year and I've hardly made a dent in it. It seems I'll have it for a lifetime (or until it dries out).

Finally, I've been loving a pastel nail. Spring/Summer comes, so out comes all the pastels. Only in nail form for me though, I'm more of a monochrome dresser. My recent favourite has been Essie's Fiji which is creamy pale pink. If you don't have it then buy it, seriously. It's great for enhancing a tan too. Which I of course don't possess. 

(L-R) Mac Faux lipstick, Marc Jacobs gel liner, Kat Von D Synergy eyeshadow, Gucci Oritental Summer bronzer & Ilamasqua Awe brow gel

What are your current favourites?

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Cocktail Cosmetics Haul: Morphe, Jeffree Star, Violet Voss & Pastello

 If you've never heard of Cocktails Cosmetics then I'm afraid we can't be friends. Their website is amazing but their store in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham is beyond your wildest dreams. They house some of the most sought after brands such as Jeffree Star, Morphe, Milani, Gerard Cosmetics and many more! You can order products online but there is nothing like a good old swatch sesh. It's a true makeup haven. I recently visited the shop with April, Laura and Sarah and this is what I picked up...

I have gone crazy over highlighter recently! My record is 4 highlighting products in one face of makeup. Excessive? Perhaps. The Morphe 510 brush is EVERYWHERE right now. Jeffree Star and Nikkie Tutorials use it in pretty much every one of their videos, so of course I needed it. It's great for adding serious, serious glow. Great quality brush for a reasonable price.

I featured the Violet Voss Holy grail palette in my last post so you're already well aware that I am addicted to it! I hate when people describe products as buttery but holy sh*t they're like butter. Seriously incredible shades too.

First row 

Second row 

Third row 

Fourth row 

I have a couple of the Pastello lipliners already and this one in the shade Mauve is by far the driest one. If I pop a lip balm on first then it's fine and I love the colour, so it's totally worth it.

I have been a fan of liquid lipsticks for years and Jeffree Star's are definitely my favourite. If you haven't tried them before then you need to have a serious word with yourself because it's completely unacceptable. His range has a mix of nudes, bolds and totally out there amazingness. I picked up the shade Doll Parts which is a wearable cool toned pink. I know that I'm going to get so much wear out of this shade. I also picked up the new shade Gemini, which is a terracotta nude. 90's grungy makeup perfection. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Get them! Get all of them!

(L-R) Pastello lipliner in Mauve, Jeffree Star liquid lipstick in Doll Parts & Gemini

Have you ever been to Cocktail Cosmetics?

Cocktail Cosmetics
26 High Street
Sutton Coldfield
B72 1UP
Twitter -Great for stock updates

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

What's On My Face: Violet Voss Holy Grail Palette

Ever since I saw my Queen (Nikkie Tutorials) use the Violet Voss Holy Grail palette a while back in one of her videos, I knew I wanted/needed it. It's basically every kind of shade I love, the palette is full of insanely pigmented warm mattes and shimmers. I had planned a trip to Cocktail Cosmetics on Saturday anyway so when I saw on Twitter that they had the palette in store I could've cried (pathetic I know, but seriously). As soon as I saw it I ran over and believe me, I don't run. Sarah, Laura and April picked it up too of course. I obviously picked up a few more things but you'll see that in my next post!

I'm being a bit of a tease to be completely honest because unfortunately Violet Voss have stopped supplying to international stockists! Fuming. But if you can get your hands on it then please do! You will not regret it.

Now this is A LOT of makeup but I was really inspired by this palette (and I've been watching a lot of Ru Paul's Drag Race). So brace yourself for the breakdown!

Niod Photography Fluid
Marc Jacobs Remarcable Foundation
Charlotte Tilbury light Wonder Foundation

Ilamasqua Gel Sculpt in Silhouette 
Gucci Bronzer in Oriental Sienna
Daniel Sandler watercolour blush in Cherub
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (liquid version)
Anastasia That Glow palette

Ilamasqua Brow Cake in Motto
Maybelline Brow Drama in Medium Brown

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden
Trish McEvoy cream shadow in Glamorous
Violet Voss Holy Grail palette- Bestie in the crease, Wine and Dine in the outer corner and So Jelly in the inner two thirds (on a wet brush)
Mac pigment in Vanilla in the inner corner
Marc Jacobs Gel Eye Crayon in Blaqeur smudged on the upper and lower lash line
Loreal False Lash Telescopic mascara (no longer available)
Huda Beauty Scarlett lashes

Colourpop liquid lipstick in Tulle (doesn't ship internationally but theres many dupes!)


Saturday, 7 May 2016

RI Plus, will you marry me?

I have wanted to introduce fashion into my blog for a while but have always worried that in front of the camera I will turn into a shy awkward robot. Which I kinda did to be fair, but my lovely photographer friend Nicky managed to get a few decent snaps (I think, please go easy on me its my first time!). Thanks to the fantastic British weather it was absolutely freezing and raining, excellent conditions. Bring on Summer! Anyway, onto the clothes.

When River Island announced they were bringing out the RI Plus range I was a little excited to say the least. Then when I saw Candice Huffine modelling for them I knew I would want everything. Around the launch date I was saving up for my upcoming holiday so I didn't make any orders but I happened to be in Birmingham the weekend after so I just popped in to have a browse, you know just for fun/window shopping/teasing. I tried on the navy tapered trousers, striped asymmetric top and the blue trench. It was love at first sight. Quality and fit are sometimes compromised with plus size clothes unfortunately, but not with this range. I genuinely had a smile on my face in the changing room. To find timeless, high quality, on trend pieces IN STORE for a plus size woman is a rare occasion! I usually have to rely on ASOS. I am going to stop gushing now and show you the actual clothes. 

What I'm wearing

What's your favourite piece from the RI Plus range?

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Budget Liquid Lips: Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets

Top row (L-R)- 01 & 06  Bottom row (L-R) 04, 03 & 10

If you see me wearing a matte lip, it's more than likely a liquid lipstick. They have absolutely taken there beauty industry by storm and pretty every brand have their version. Some great, some not so much. It's a bit of an addiction, I'm on a constant search for THE BEST formula and I think I've found the best high street version. Don't get me wrong, I prefer Kat Von D, Anastasia, Colour Pop, Limecrime and so on but they are all a little harder to get hold of or a lot more expensive. So if you are looking for great quality, large colour selection and easily accessible, then the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets are a real winner.

The texture is quite different to others on the market, it's more of a mousse than a liquid. Don't let the word mousse put you off though, it's a really light yet opaque formula. Unlike other similar products, it can easily be layered and topped up throughout the day. You won't end up with any flaking, cracking or chunks hanging about on your chin (Sarah I'm looking at you). The lasting power isn't absolutely magnificent but taking into consideration the price and how easy it is to layer, it's not really an issue for me.

The colour options are seriously impressive. They have everything from a light neutral pink to a classic deep red. There's something for everyone. So do yourself a favour and have a wander into Boots or Superdrug!

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