Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Eyebrow Tinting...

I love tinting my eyebrows, It makes them so much more defined and shaped and I just think it makes a such a big difference to your face!
Naturally my eyebrows are probably a light brown colour, but some of the finer hairs are more blonde so they don't stand out at all... 
I love a strong eyebrow so I always tint mine quite dark, I just wish I had naturally thicker eyebrows!!

*I apologise for the poor picture quality and lack of makeup, I tinted my eyebrows last night after the gym so the pictures are a bit dark and grainy, and I don't look my best! But you get the idea! 

What do you need?

If you have access to a wholesalers like Alan Howard or Sally's then you will need to buy a tube of the eyelash/ eyebrow tint colour and a tint developer. If not you can buy home tinting kits from Boots/ Superdrug or ASDA, I've heard that the Eylure 'Dylash' is good.

I think if you get the at home tinting kit, you will have almost everything in there, but heres a list of everything you will need...

- Tube of brow tint
- Tint developer (3% hydrogen peroxide)
- Small mixing bowl (you could improvise and use the lid off one of your hair products or something)
- Vaseline
- Applicator, I use an orange stick, but you can use an eyeliner brush or something like that.
- Cotton buds
- Cotton pads

How to...

Firstly, you will need to mix together your 
tint colour and the tint developer, I always squeeze out a 1-2cm long amount of tint colour and mix it with around 4-5 drops of the developer. When mixed together properly they should form a paste, it can take a little while to get them to fully mix together and at first the mixture can look a bit lumpy... but just keep mixing until you get a paste.

Before applying the tint mix to your eyebrows make sure that you have removed any makeup or moisturisers from the area as these can act as a barrier and prevent it from working.

Also, put a thin layer of Vaseline around the eyebrows, making sure you do not get any on the eyebrows themselves, this will stop the product from staining your skin if you have a little accident!



I apply the tint mix to my eyebrows using an orange stick, applying small amounts at a time and keeping in with the general shape of my eyebrows. I do like to go a little bit thicker than my eyebrows are just to make sure that all those tiny fine hairs are covered too. If you make any mistakes or blob the product somewhere you don't want it to be, use a dampened cotton bud to carefully remove it.
 Leave this on for roughly 5 mins depending on how dark you want them to be (but do not leave it on longer than 10 mins), then remove the product using damp cotton pads.



I know that the pictures are not great quality, but you can still see the difference that tinting makes, my eyebrows are now a few shades darker and much more 'shaped' as the tint has also darkened all the fine surrounding hairs.

If my eyebrows are still looking a little bit sparse after this I will just fill in the gaps using a brow powder/pencil to give them extra definition.

Also, if you are going to tweeze or wax your eyebrows, make sure that you do it AFTER, otherwise it can sting if you put the tint mix onto freshly plucked skin, plus you will also be able to see some of the unwanted fine hairs better after tinting.

The bonus of doing it yourself is that the tube of tint and the activator lasts you at least 10 uses! So it literally costs you less than 75p per use! Compared to around £5- £10 per visit to a salon to have it done! And it's so easy once you get the hang of it!

Happy Tinting :)

A x

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Beauty on a budget...

I realise that not everyone has the money or even wants to spends hundreds and thousands of pounds on expensive makeup/ beauty products... like myself! 

I guess my excuse is that it is my career... well that's what I always tell myself anyway!
But, as well as expensive high end brands I do also love to try out and use 'budget' products...

So I thought I would put together a collection of good quality products, which I have tried and liked, that don't break the bank!

Every product that I have chosen costs £8 or under and can be bought from Boots or Superdrug...


Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation - £6.99

An all round great foundation for all skin types with a medium coverage and a semi-matte finish.


Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - £4.19

I am completely in love with this concealer, could not live without it! One of my favourites, great for under the eyes and covering up mild blemishes.


Rimmel Stay Matte Compact Powder - £3.99

IT WORKS... long lasting and very light so doesn't leave a heavily powdered finish, just nice and natural.


Rimmel Natural Bronzer - £5.59

A great 'no frills' bronzer, I love to use the lightest shade in winter as it leaves a nice glow on my pale skin! Not too orange, not too brown, just gives the appearance of a nice natural tan.


Sleek Makeup Blush - £4.29 (Exclusive to Superdrug)

A great range of colours to choose from, amazing pigmentation and colour payoff, because of this you only need to use a small amount so it literally lasts forever!


Gosh Brow Kit - £7.49 (Exclusive to Superdrug)

A brill eyebrow kit, contains 3 shades of brow powder, eyebrow wax, mirror and a mini applicator, it could also double up as a mini eyeshadow palette, very convenient for your makeup bag!

Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil - £2.99

I have the dark brown shade, good for filling in any gaps in the eyebrows, not too hard or too soft just a nice texture, also has a handy eyebrow brush on the lid! 

Eye Shadow

MUA (Make Up Academy) Individual Eyeshadows - £1 (Exclusive to Superdrug)

This is a relatively new brand of budget makeup, where many of the products are just £1!! Now for that amount of money you don't really expect much do you? 
BUT no joke, the eyeshadows are fantastic! Really great colour payoff and they blend nicely, they are a tad powdery but I can put up with that for the price.
They also do a few 'professional' palettes as well, which are only £4 for 12 eyeshadows... an absolute steal!! 
I've also tried several of the £1 lipsticks and pencil eyeliners, and these are also impressive... You seriously cannot beat this stuff for the price! So, if you really be-grudge spending money on makeup or just cannot part with a lot of money I would recommend checking out this brand! 


Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner - £7.99

My favourite gel eyeliner ever, as good as if not better than my expensive ones. I love it that much that I bought it in every colour for my professional kit! Comes with a small eyeliner brush to apply it with.

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner - £3.99

Again, a truly fantastic product for the price, a great range of colours and lasts all day. But most importantly they apply like a dream, so soft and pigmented... no need to drag across your eye or press on really hard like with a lot of eyeliners that I've tried!


Maybelline Rocket Volum' or Maybelline One by One - £7.99

I am a big fan of Maybelline mascaras and I have not tried a bad one yet! So I don't think you can go far wrong with any of them to be honest! My favourites are the 'Rocket Volum' and 'One by One' and 'Define a Lash, as they have my preferred plastic bristle/teeth style applicator... But if you like a proper 'brush' applicator you will probably prefer 'The Falsies' or 'Colossal'.


Barry M Lipgloss Wands - £4.49

I love these lip glosses, my favourite is number 11, Coral, they provide a sheer wash of colour and feel really 'balmy' and moisturising on the lips, and are not sticky at all. Definitely my go-to 'play it safe' lipgloss!


Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick - £5.49

Amazing lipsticks, creamy, pigmented, relatively long lasting and great choice of colours! 
I always use these on nights out!

I hope this has been useful for people wanting to update or refresh their makeup bag without spending ridiculous amounts of money :)

P.s. Superdrug and Boots currently have a 3 for 2 offer on cosmetics (YES more savings, LOVE a bargain)

A x

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Caviar Manicure...

I have seen a few different versions of the Ciate 'Caviar' manicures over the past year, but to be honest I've always thought they were a little bit too expensive for what they are! But obviously I was intrigued by them as they are something a little different! 

So, when I was wandering around the craft department in a local store, I was excited to come across a set of 'micro beads' which looked IDENTICAL to the tiny beads of the caviar manicure!! And they cost just £6 for a set of 8 colours! 

And I guess the good thing about having lots of different colours, is that you can mix whichever combination you want! 

Anyway, I decided to try it out and see what all the fuss is about!

As it was my first time trying it I decided to only do one finger on each hand, that, and the fact I didn't have the patience to sit there and do it on every finger...

So first of all I mixed two colours of the beads together and put them into a separate pot.

Next, I applied a THICK layer of my chosen nail varnish to the nail that I wanted to apply the micro beads, you need a good amount of nail varnish on the nail in order for the beads to have something to stick to (think the same as putting icing on a bun then sprinkling on hundreds and thousands)...

I then poured the beads onto my nail, using a small plastic container (the lid from a set of false eyelashes) to catch any beads that dropped down underneath.

I waited a few seconds (for the nail varnish underneath to go slightly tacky) and then very gently pressed the beads down to make sure they were properly stuck, and knocked off any excess! 

Whilst waiting for the nail varnish to dry I painted the other nails, with the dark blue colour I had chosen...

If you were to do every nail with the caviar manicure then you would have to do each nail individually, which would be quite time consuming, but it is definitely a nice effect!

However, I do think it is a bit of a novelty concept as it is not very practical, the beads seem to catch on a lot of things and for this reason start to drop off! By the end of the day it looked very patchy as half of the beads had fallen off!

So in conclusion, a great idea, which looks very cool, but in practice not that great! Although, I do think if you are going to a special occasion or a night out then it would probably be nice for something a bit different for one night! But other than that it's not really worth all the effort in my opinion!

But, if you do fancy giving it a try I noticed that the brand MUA, in Superdrug, now do their own version called 'nail constellations', for £3 per pre mixed pot, which isn't bad! Who knows you might be less of a faffer than me and actually be able to keep them on your nails for longer than a day!

A x

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

February Favourites...

These are the products that I have been loving and using non-stop throughout February...

I'll start with MAKEUP...

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation - My favourite everyday foundation at the moment, gives a nice light to medium coverage and creates a natural looking healthy complexion! I apply it using a Real Techniques buffing brush.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - Literally used this concealer pretty much everyday for the past year, haven't yet found anything that I like as much for covering under eye circles or redness! Nice smooth creamy formula with a medium coverage, I apply it using a RT eye shading brush.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder - I use the shade Translucent, which is great as it eliminates shine without getting that 'cakey' powdery look! Creates a natural looking matte finish which lasts pretty much all day.

Louise Young Essential Eye Palette - Love love love this palette, I use it for my eyebrows, everyday eyeshadow looks, smokey eyes... It is such a versatile palette and very compact so perfect for putting in your makeup bag. I've pretty much used it everyday since I bought it!!

Sleek Blush, Pixie Pink - It looks a really scary bright barbie pink colour in the pan, BUT if you use it sparingly with a light hand and tap off the excess before you apply it, it gives a lovely glowing pinky flush! I've been loving this the past few months to brighten up my dull pale winter skin!

Maxfactor Clump Defy Mascara - Now, I only bought this half way through February, but I really have been enjoying using it! It is the newest addition to the Maxfactor mascara collection, so I had to try it given my obsession with these mascaras! I'm glad I did, it adds lots of length and separation to the lashes plus a touch of volume, making it the perfect everyday mascara for me! 

NYX Mega Shine Lipgloss, Beige - I really like the formula of this lipgloss, its lovely and creamy and not sticky! But it's the shade that I particularly like, it's a soft natural pink colour (not at all beige like its name suggests) It goes really well with a smokey eye look for an evening out, or even just to wear everyday to get a natural look.

Apivita Lip Balms - These lip balms have been my saviour over winter! I have had really dry sore lips with all the cold weather we have been having so I've been using these non stop! The formula is really rich and soft and keeps the lips moisturised for a good few hours! Another thing I love is that some of the 'flavours' are tinted giving a sheer touch of colour on the lips! I tried one at christmas time and loved it so much that I pretty much bought every one in the collection! These aren't the cheapest at £5 a pop, but for me it's so rare to find a lip balm that actually works, so I think they are worth every penny!!


Bedhead Hard Head Hairspray - My favourite strong hold hairspray EVER, great for updos, the hair will literally not move after a good coating of this!

Tresemme Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo - Does the job without leaving any powdery white residue and it smells nice and fresh!

Tresemme Heat Protectant - Again, does its job without leaving the hair feeling sticky or 'crispy'.

Moroccan Oil - After having my hair blonde for over a year my hair started to get quite dry and damaged at the ends, this has really rescued it! I apply a small amount to damp hair after washing and it leaves my hair looking healthy and shiny! 

V05 Give Me Texture Powder - I've been loving this for giving my hair and extra boost! It adds volume and texture at the roots, also good to use before backcombing to give extra hold and oomph!


Bioderma Sensibo H2O - My favourite cleanser, just feels like water no stinging or tingling and no scent, yet it removes even the most stubborn makeup! Amazing!

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo - I've already expressed my love for this many a time, really great for clearing up and also preventing breakouts! 

Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream - Just a lovely moisturiser for dehydrated skin, leaves skin feeling smooth and hydrated! 

Garnier Intensive 7 Days Softening Lotion - Now I don't agree that is keeps you moisturised for 7 days, but it certainly leaves you skin feeling soft and moisturised for a couple of days, has a nice texture, smell and absorbs quickly so you don't get that sticky feeling! There are also different ones available for different skin types, mine is the shea butter formula for dry skin.

Apivita Face Masks - A great little treat for you skin when it needs a pick me up, there are loads of different ones suited to different skin types. They cost £2.50 for two sachets which I think is pretty reasonable, especially as I get two uses out of each sachet!

Any products which I have not linked to a website can be purchased from Boots/ a supermarket.

A x

Friday, 8 March 2013

Bdellium Green Bambu Makeup Brushes

Yep, you guessed it,
I've been online shopping yet again... I may need to put myself of a self imposed spending ban! 

I've had my eye on the Smokey Eyes Brush Set from Bdellium Tools for a while, as I love the smokey eye brush that I already have from this range... 
The Green Bambu Series of brushes are all synthetic, eco friendly and 100% cruelty free and not to mention super duper soft! 

The brushes came in this tube/tub thing, there are 5 brushes in this particular smokey eyes set, but they also do a set with face brushes (which truth be told is likely to be next on my list)

All I can say is that I have only had these brushes a few days and I love them already!

(From L-R)

Smokey Eyeliner Brush - This is the same as the brush that I already have, it's amazing for smudging out your eyeliner to get that grungey smokey look. It blends eyeliner like a dream! Could also be used to get a really defined 'cut' crease.

Shadow Brush - This would be great for placing eyeshadow on the eyelid or even to apply liquid or cream concealers under the eyes to get a flawless finish.

Crease Brush - I would use this brush to blend eyeshadow when creating a smokey eye, it is nice and small so it can get into the crease of the eye but is also quite fluffy to help create a nice blended look. It's quite rare to find a good small blending brush most tend to be quite big so you can't be as precise with your blending.

Angled Contour Brush - For me this brush is a little bit to big to be used on the eyes, but maybe I just have small eyes? Although, I do think it would be great for precision contouring, under the cheekbones and down the sides of the nose, or even great for applying cream highlighter to the tops of the cheekbones.

Liner/ Brow Brush - As the name suggests great for lining the eyes with gel liner or filling in the eyebrows, but it also would be great for getting a precise lip line when applying lipstick.

So all in all, really great brushes and for £25 they are a steal, that works out at only £5 per brush!! I bought mine from CutECOsmetics.co.uk which has free delivery over for £15 purchases, can't ask for more than that! 

P.S. use the code KARLA15 to get 15% off this website until Sunday :)

A x

New Skincare...

So, I was browsing the Escentual.com site last week (For those that don't know Escentual is a website that sells hair/beauty products), and I noticed that there was a 1/3rd off French skincare brands... Now if you didn't already know I'm a sucker for a bargain... 

At the moment I've been having loads of problems with my skin, mainly with my eczema around my eyes, which is driving me mental! But the rest of my skin also seems to be quite dry... So I thought it was time to have a switch up with my skincare and see what else is out there that may be even better for my skin, surely it can't hurt to try?!

When I was browsing the French skincare brands I came across the La Roche Posay range of products, I have used the 'Effaclar Duo' from this brand before and it did great things for my skin when I was having a bout of nasty breakouts! SO I figured that I would check out the products that they do for drier skins whilst they were on offer!

These are the products that I ended up purchasing...

Oh, and I also chose a face wash from Bioderma, which is another brand which I have tried before, and I love their Micellar water cleansers! I liked the sound of this cleanser as it is aimed at dry, sensitive skin, prone to eczema!

Nutritic Intense - A moisturiser aimed at dry, sensitive skin, claims to soothe and relieve painful symptoms associated with dry skin.

Lipikar Cleansing Oil - For use in the bath or shower in place of a body wash, claims to gently cleanse the skin and protect it from drying out.

Bioderma Atoderm Ultra Rich Foaming Gel - Soap free cleanser, claims to remove irritants that aggravate dry skin, gentle enough to use on babys (always a good sign), keeps the skins natural pH balance to prevent it from drying out.

Cicaplast Skin Recovery Accelerator - Multi purpose skin reconstructor, claims to heal dry patches, skin irritations and chapped skin, has a lightweight gel like formula.

Effaclar Duo - I bought this as I was running out of the one that I have at the moment, love this product! It really speeds up the healing of spots!

Physiological Ultra Fine Face Scrub - Aimed at sensitive skins.

These sound awesome, right?!
I can't really give much of a 'review' on these products yet as I have only been using them a few days, but the initial impressions are good, none of the products have strong fragrances, they are free from parabens and all the other nasties, and none have them have irritated my skin... So now i'll just have to wait and see if they improve my skin at all! 

I'll have to keep you posted on whether they make it into my everyday skincare routine... But I just wanted to do a little haul for you now just incase you wanted to try any of the French pharmacy products from Escentual as they are still on offer at the moment until the end of March!! 

Don't ask me why French skincare brands are so good, I have no idea, but I really am loving the La Roche Posay range, and the great thing is they have products to suit all types of problem skins!

A x

Monday, 4 March 2013

Maybelline Colour Show Nail Polish

I noticed these new Maybelline nail polishes when I was in Boots (surprise surprise) this week.

I haven't really invested in any new ones for a while as pretty much every nail polish that I have chips on me after a day or two which is annoying!

The reason I was drawn to these was because of their 'gel base' I was hoping this may mean that they would last longer on my nails.

The colours that I bought (L-R) are Burgundy Kiss, Power Red and Latte. (They were on 3 for 2... are you seeing a pattern here? Offers + makeup = sucker)

To be honest, first impressions, I am not overly enamoured of these, the texture of the polish itself just isn't quite right for me, it's just too thin and 'runny' making it run down into your cuticles if you're not REALLY careful, and definitely no good if your in a rush.

Also, you need at least two coats to get an opaque finish, I would say three coats is probably best to ensure full opacity, depending on the colour! Then after all that it chipped a little on the tips of my nails after just over a day (FYI I did not use a topcoat)...

To be fair though for £2.99, they are ok, there is a great colour range, and the applicator brush is nice and wide which is loads easier than those fiddly thin brushes that some nail polishes come with! And they do leave a nice glossy finish, It's just a shame that they don't last long on my nails!! 

To the left I have Burgundy Kiss and Latte on my nails, I also put a glitter topcoat (Barry M) over the top of the nude as it looked a little it bland next to the rich dark wine colour!

So all in all, these aren't terrible, but they definitely aren't amazing either! I mean nail polish never lasts very long on me anyway, no matter what the brand, and if you were just using them for a night out they would be fine, as there are some great colours to be had! I guess I set my expectations too high with these... But who knows overtime the polishes may thicken up a little bit or I may learn to love them! 

For now, however, I am not in a hurry to rush out and buy anymore...

A x

My Evening Out Hair/Makeup Look...

This is kind of a follow up to my previous 'everyday hair' post...

I thought you may be interested to see the result of using a smaller conical wand to create a more glamorous look for a night out! I did exactly the same method as in my last post, but I also used VO5 Instant Oomph Powder and my backcombing brush just to give that little bit extra volume at the roots. This is the style of hair and makeup I wore for an evening out with the girls...

I suppose while I'm at it I may as well explain what I used for the makeup too...

Base - Smashbox Photofinish Primer, Clarins Skin Illusion Foundation, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer under the eyes, Soap and Glory Kick Ass concealer on my blemishes, Rimmel Stay Matte Powder.

Brows - Louise Young Essential Eye Palette, MUA Clear Mascara.

Eyes - I smudged Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Mildew (Khaki colour) all around my lash line and in the water line, I then took black eyeshadow on an angled brush as close as I could to the lash line to add further definition. Maxfactor Clump Defy Mascara, Two sets of natural false eyelashes, Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara.

Face - Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel (Bronzer) under the cheekbones, temples, chin and neck, Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow Creme Highlighter on cheekbones and brow bone, Sleek Makeup Blusher Pixie Pink on apples of the cheek.

Lips - Here I am wearing Avon Glazewear Sparkle Lip Gloss in Shimmering Amethyst, however I actually ended up wearing a red Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick (01)... to match my red handbag, of course.

A x