Tuesday, 31 December 2013

• 2013 beauty favourites •

This year has definitely been my year for makeup. I've really enjoyed experimenting with new looks (mainly me daring to try out gel eyeliner - it's actually not that bad!) and have been spending much of my student loan on hauls to John Lewis, Boots and Space NK.
Here is a little peek into my favourite products of 2013:
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in 52 (Vanilla)
Currently £10.99 from Superdrug, click here to be directed to the site!
I have really been enjoying this foundation/serum. It markets itself as a buildable coverage foundation and I totally agree. I use it with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (more on that later) to get a sheer coverage, and then apply some more onto my problem areas, where I have acne scarring, with my Beauty Blender dupe. After I have applied the foundation, I leave it for 10 minutes while I complete my eye make up, and come back to it. By this time, it has usually dried to a semi-matte finish, and I just have to powder my t-zone. I've been reaching for this product every day since it came out - no oxidisation, no shimmer, and promises to do amazing things for your skin - this foundation's a winner in my eyes. For £10.99 I don't think you can go wrong, and compared to my MAC Studio Sculpt, I'd say this definitely wins hands down.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Currently £9.99 from Boots, click here to be directed to the site!
Wayne Goss, my favourite make up artist and a pleasure to watch on YouTube once said that if you're on a budget, always spend that little bit more on brushes, because you can make cheaper make up look flawless with a decent brush. I totally agree with him. Although the Expert Face Brush is not as expensive as, say, MAC or NARS brushes, it is not as cheap as ELF brushes (I've reviewed the ELF brushes here!), so I'd say it's probably mid-range pricewise. The creator of the brushes, one of the Pixiwoo sisters Samantha Chapman, has managed to create a flawless brush that makes applying foundation an absolute dream. The bristles are densely packed but still soft enough on the face, and because of the slight dome shape to the brush, it does most of the blending work for you. I can't recommend it enough, and if there is one thing I'd recommend you buy from this post, it is this brush. Now to get my hands on the rest of the collection...

Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick in 107
Currently £5.49 from Boots, click here to be directed to the site!
Most of you have probably seen or heard about this lipstick. Seen on the lips of the likes of Zoe Sugg (Zoella) and Anna (Vivianna Does Makeup), it truly is a firm favourite among beauty bloggers. On some, it is a beautiful wine colour, however on me it is sort of a purple-y colour. With my pale skin, it makes for the perfect bold lip, and with a thin flick of black gel eyeliner, I'm good to go. The formula is matte and before you cringe and worry about making your lips dry, this doesn't tend to happen to me. Before bed, I always use Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream on my lips, which makes for matte-lipstick application-ready lips in the morning. It's just the perfect lipstick! I could (and do) go on about it for ages so perhaps I should stop...

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner
Currently £7.99 from Boots, click here to be directed to the site!
Firstly, what a long name. I never realised how much of a mouthful it was until I searched for the link for it! I've never been one for liquid liners as I just think they are really messy and I just haven't yet got the hang of them. I always played it safe with pencil eye liners as I found I had the most control with them and they were easily smudgeable for a smokey look. When this came on the scene in 2013, I was so excited to try it because the little brush seemed so tiny that I thought I could get maximum control with it. And boy was I right. With the teeny brush, the application of the eyeliner is so precise and I have yet to make a mistake when applying it. The formula of the eyeliner is great as it is not as moveable as liquid liner as it is thicker, so it never transfers onto my lid or under my crease when I blink. It stays on all day, and with a job like mine where I apply it at 6.30 in the morning and take it off at 10.30 at night, it still looks just as good as when I had just applied it. It is the darkest deepest black and the colour doesn't fade throughout the day at all. Maybelline have also realised the liner in purple and brown, and with my dark brown eyes, I think I may have to pick up the purple colour.

Benefit 10 Bronzing and Highlighting Face Powder Duo
Discontinued (for some ridiculous reason??) sorry guys!
I have a bone to pick with Benefit. This product was my all time favourite Benefit product since I received it as a birthday gift in March 2012. Next thing I know, they go and discontinue it? Whyyy?! *cries a little*. I'll just go on to tell you a bit about why it was so amazing. The bronzer is a very light bronzer which matches my skin tone perfectly as I am so pale. The highlighter is a pale pink shimmer and compliments the bronzer perfectly, as I personally don't think that gold or silver shimmer works well with a bronzer. The powder is so finely milled (sorry, I know this term is used way too often, but it really is finely milled!) that it never looks cakey and always adds just the right amount of glow to an otherwise matte and flat face. I'm truly gutted that it has been discontinued, however if you are hopping across the pond any time soon, I know that it hasn't been discontinued in the US. I feel like this product has always taken a back-burner to the other boxed blushes, in particular Hoola, but I think it really deserves a mention as I have used it pretty much every day this year (and I've only JUST hit pan - bonus!)

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl Face Primer
Currently £24.50 from Boots, click here to be directed to the site!
I usually apply this under my make up, after my moisturiser. I only apply it to the tops of my cheekbones, in the centre of my forehead and down the bridge of my nose. Who knew such a small amount of product could make such a dramatic change to your face? When foundation is applied on top of Girl Meets Pearl it instantly transforms into a glowy, youthful finish. It sounds cliché, but I am 100% telling the truth. I always notice when I have it on and when I don't, and it catches the light perfectly whilst being really subtle. I have applied it on top of foundation before but I don't think this is the most effective or economic way to use the product, as it can look cakey that way, does not sit well on top of powder, and you end up using a lot more product that way too. The twist up applicator makes for easy application as it comes out in tiny little holes. It is a silvery highlighter, and looking at it now on the back of my hand, it also has a touch of pink to it. A really lovely piece to add to the collection. And now I feel slightly awful about having a bone to pick with Benefit...oops.

So that's it for the 2013 beauty favourites. I have really enjoyed playing with make up a bit more this year and I will dabble with new make up in 2014.

What are your beauty favourites of 2013?


• New year; new resolutions •

I cant be doing with any more "I need to eat more sprouts", "I'll eat less chocolate", "I'm going to go to the gym 3 times a week". Because they do not work! (well, for me they don't anyway).

More realistic and practical resolutions of mine include:

1) dress more girly - my £239 (eep) ASOS order should arrive any minute now with a coat, some boots and 8 dresses (click here for the blog post)
2) write one thing down every day that has made me smile
3) paint my nails as soon as they chip (this is purely for practical purposes...I bite them otherwise).

Quite honestly, I feel like people spend too much time worrying about their new years resolutions. There's too much pressure to have one and to "change" who you are. Just be happy. Do things that make you happy, simple. No resolution needed.

In my opinion, everyday you should try to be a better person  than you were the day before.

And with that thought...I hope you all have a fantastic and safe time tonight, welcoming the new year in!


• The start of the scribbles •

The start of 2014 promises big things for many. New hopes, new dreams, new relationships, new changes. The most important of all though, to me, is to create new happiness.

With this blog, my aim is to document pieces of my life into little scribbles so I can look back over the years and think "yeah, that year was a good one."

Prepare yourself for a bombardment of my interests; beauty, food, teacher-y, life and rabbit-related posts. Can't forget about my two little furry friends (you'll see lots of them I'm sure).

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I will enjoy writing it,