Perfect Priming

Primers are one of those products that I never used to bother with. I just didn't see the point. However, as I have oily skin it makes a hell of a lotta sense to use them.
My favourite primers are those for eyeshadow. I have extreme oily eyelids - I've even been asked if I was wearing eyegloss before (is there even such a thing). Finding eyeshadow primer was a major beauty breakthrough in my life. No more layering eyeshadow and praying it stayed on. Now, I've tried a few, both good and bad but right now I have a few decent ones in my collection.

The Soap & Glory Its About Prime is a brightening eye primer suitable for both oily/non oily eyelids. As its slightly yellow toned, its great for neutralising redness around the lids area too. The tube is like your standard lipgloss wand. I like to apply it straight to my lids and blend in using my finger - it takes a minute or two to dry but it really helps my shadow to last longer and not crease. Another eye primer I really rate is the the E.L.F Mineral Eyeshadow Primer. For me, this is similar to the Urban Decay Primer Potion, except that the formula is thinner. I find the UDPP to be really drying, making my eyelids looking crinkly. The e.l.f mineral primer looks like a concealer but applies to leave a matte finish. It makes my shadow last longer, crease free and look smooth. I've had several tubes of this and its one I will keep repurchasing as its fantastic value for money (I cant find it online, please say it isnt discontinued). A new primer I'm currently testing is the Makeup Revolution Focus & Fix Eye Primer*. I'm currently on the fence with this one. Under cream shadow it really didn't work for me but I've yet to test under powder shadows so we'll see. The main negative for me is that it doesn't dry down, so its probably better for those with non oily eyelids. Then again there is a matte version of this, which would probably be better for oily skins but I'll keep trying to see if I can make it work.

For the face, I have two primers I currently use. The New CID Foundation Primer* is more of your standard everyday primer. This brand is so underrated, especially this primer, which is incredible for keeping foundation in place. Its essentially a clear serum, which helps to blur imperfections, smooth the skin and control oil. It helps to keep my base intact for longer and give a flawless finish. Another primer, I like is the Monu Skin Perfector*. Although this isn't a traditional foundation primer, it minimises fine lines, imperfections, smooths the skin and gives a fresh and hydrated finish. The CID primer is better for oil control, whereas this one is suitable for all skin types and those looking for a silicone free product.

A recent find of mine is the Garnier Miracle Eye Cream. This is billed as an anti-ageing eye cream, which I cant really comment on as I haven't been using it long enough. However, for an instant fix - blurring lines, brightening and smoothing then this really does a great job. I enjoy using it as an undereye primer as I find it makes my concealer apply more smoothly and it feels hydrating too. Despite my oily skin, my undereye area tends to be dry so this cream is perfect. I either use it alone or I'll mix a bit of concealer with it for a more natural look.

What are your go-to primers?

Sleek Arabian Nights Palette & Swatches

Sometimes you spy a new release and you just know you need it in your life. As a sleek palette lover, I knew I had to buy the new Arabian Nights Palette. First of all, the packaging is beautiful - I think its their nicest yet. 

The back of the packaging also has make up look ideas, which is a great idea. This palette in particular is great for a smokey eye.

Like all sleek palettes, theres 12 shades within here, a mirror and double ended sponge applicator. Generally, I find Sleek eyeshadows to be pigmented, soft and smooth. The quality of the shadows in this palette is brilliant - usually I find a few shades to be less than stellar but the pigmentation in Arabian nights is great across the board. Theres a little fallout but nothing major. 

Arabian nights has a mixture of golds, green and blues. The shades in this palette all have names, so from left to right we have:

scheherazades tale - mid beige gold
Gold souk - light gold glitter (slightly sheer than the other shades)
aladdins lamp (cutest name ever!) - mid/dark brown
sultans garden - dark green
hocus pocus - mid green
simbads seas - bold blue

genie - rich brown
black magic - navy blue
stallion - matte burgundy
sorcerer - black navy blue
valley of diamonds - wine purple
1001 nights - rich black

My swatches are pretty rubbish but honestly the shades look so much nicer in real life and for any sleek lover or fan of smokey eye palettes than this is a must have. I bought mine from this ebay seller for £7.49 thought its currently out of stock but you can also purchase directly from sleek for £7.99.

Hair Colouring At Home | Pros, Cons & Tips!

I'm no stranger when it comes to hair colourants. Over the years, my hair has been many shades, using both home hair kits and going into a salon. When I was younger, I used to rope my mum into doing a home colour for me but these days I manage to do it myself. 
Now obviously, its a lot cheaper to use a hair dye at home than it is to go to a salon. You also have the choice of using a home colour whenever you want - its not always easy to get a salon appointment on the day/time you want and if you go on a Saturday, more often than not its likely to be crowded. However, colouring your hair by yourself isn't always easy - the colour may not turn out how you expected it to, it may take longer than you think and you may not always have someone available to help you. As I've used a fair few home colourants, I thought I'd share a few tips and a few things I do to make the process easier.

*When choosing a colour, I always pick a slightly lighter shade than I think I need as shades, such as dark brown can tend to look black. For best results its better to stick to a shade similar to your own colour or slight lighter unless you're going for a red or colour, such as blue, pink etc.

*Dont attempt going from dark to blonde unless you know what your doing. Trust me I've been there (my hair turned orange - not even joking!)

*Do a skin patch test and strand test before using.

*Use an old towel/wear old clothes during the process. That way it doesn't matter if you get any hair dye on you.

*Make space in your bathroom beforehand. Stand in front of a large mirror if you can and have a clock or watch nearby.

*Comb your hair before applying and split into sections using clips/pins/hairbands.

*I usually apply in sections starting at the front to back - I do the roots/top section first and the bottom half last.

*Use up all the mixture if you can.

*Dont worry about getting the mixture on your forehead, ears etc. Its easily removed with a little baby lotion and cotton wool afterwards.

*Take your time and dont panic.

Do you have any hair colouring tips?

10 Ways To Make Your Blog Reader Friendly

In my 2+ years of blogging, I've picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. I'm in no way a blogging expert but as a blogger and reader, theres a few suggestions I can make to make sure your blog is more user friendly.

1. Make sure your email address is visible on your blog. Having this makes it much easier for readers/companies/pr to get in touch with you.

2. Social media icons/ways to subscribe - make these clearly visible either near the top of your blog or on your blog posts too. It'll make it so much easier for people to subscribe and find you on twitter etc. 

3. Use clear pictures, especially on swatches. It makes it easier to see the products and shades etc.

4. Try to keep your design uncluttered. Having too many things going on, such as flashing icons that should remain in the myspace days can make your content harder to read.

5. Use a clear font - it makes your text much easier to read. 

6. Make your blog easy to load - not always easy depending on your host (blogger sometimes plays up and wont load properly) but keeping your design fairly simple and using quick loading fonts can make it easier.

7. Use sections for your blog - an about page, contact details, disclaimer, advertising etc. Any pages where further information can be found so users and new readers can learn more about you and your blog.

8. Consider linking to previous blog posts - use an archive, categories, popular posts, widgets such as linkwithin, nrelate, engageya. This is a great way of allowing users to view previous blog content and also a good way to boost your views and decrease your bounce rate.

9. Remove captcha. Its so frustrating when you comment on a blog and have to type the code afterwards, especially as they're so hard to read these days. You can put comment moderation on your blog if you want to pre-approve comments and reduce spam. 

10. Consider using your photograph on your blog. Its not necessary but its nice to see the person behind the blog and I think its adds a little something to your blogs identity. 

Ebay Beauty Bargains | Makeup Brushes

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

I haven't written one of these posts for ages but honestly, I haven't found many things until recently and I dont see the point in writing a post like this, just for the sake of it. I've bought a few makeup brushes from ebay before and I've been really impressed with the quality and even more so, the price. You can get some amazing bargains!

I really like these real techniques dupe brushes (1). You can purchase them individually for just over £1 each or buy a set of five. You can buy them in gold, blue or pink - I'm going to pick up few of these as back up brushes. I have previously purchased a set of brushes, which I reviewed in this post but I've found them in a ten piece set (2) for just under £7, a super sweet deal!The face brushes in the kit look like sigma dupes so I might buy them to see how they compare. I currently use an Ikea pot to store my makeup brushes in but I really like this acrylic anna sui style pot (3). It comes in five different colours and for under £2.50, it would make a nice little holder. I also like this brush holder case (4) too. Again, this is a sigma dupe and would be great for keeping brushes clean or for travelling with. 

Ebay is great for finding items that aren't available in your country. Though E.L.F is available to buy in this country, I haven't seen this snow white brush set (5). This is such a cute set, I know E.L.F US have had other Disney sets in the past but it would be awesome if we could get these on this side of the pond. Finally, I've found a great dupe of the sigma brush glove (6). The sigma version is expensive for what it is, whereas this silicone oven glove is literally the same thing for a fraction of the price. I've never used anything like this before but I guess its a good way of not getting wet shrivelled hands haha!

Summer Stripes

Dress: c/o French Connection
Sunglasses: Primark
Bag: Primark

In my attempt to feature different types of posts on here, I plonked myself in front of someones unkempt garden and got my photographer (a.k.a my mum) to take a few quick snaps. I honestly don't know how fashion bloggers do it, especially those who post on a regular basis. Fashion posts aren't my forte so that meant several moments of cringing whilst having my picture taken. Plus its too hot to even consider fixing my hair or makeup. Anyway, this dress is from French Connection - its one of those that isn't very forgiving if you're pear shaped liked me but I think it'll look nice paired with a black blazer once the colder weather sets in again. 
As these type of posts are a chance to be more chatty, I thought I'd mention that I'm considering offering advertising on here for bloggers and small businesses. I'm not even sure if anyone would be interested but its just a thought I've had, yeah I dunno ha!

Have a wonderful weekend!xoxox

Confidence Boosting Beauty

Though I believe true confidence comes from within, I think a little beauty pick me up can give you a boost of confidence in the short term.
For me personally, I'm a bit more confident when I have a bit of colour. I'm extremely pale so some fake tanning in summer is always appreciated. My current go to is the He-Shi Rapid 1 Hour Liquid Tan* - full review coming soon!I also like a bit of bronzer too to warm up my face. The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzer is my all time favourite. Its a matte finish and not too red toned so it looks really natural on my skin.
If I have a few blemishes then I always feel better with some concealer - I really rate the Becca Dual Compact Concealer (you can see my bad skin day routine in this post) as it covers any blemish.
As my eyebrows are naturally on the sparse side, I always like to fill them in with brow powder to help shape my face. I'm currently using the Beauty UK Brow Kit* which is a real steal for £3.99. I use the medium brown shade in the kit - it has great pigmentation and stays put all day, even in the current summer heatwave. If I'm using eyeshadow then I feel more confident with an eyeshadow primer, such as the Soap & Glory Its About Prime as my eyelids are really oily and without a primer, eyeshadow tends to slide straight off. This primer also has a brightening effect so it helps to perk up any darkness/discolouration on the eyelids.
One of my main makeup picks for a confidence boost is a good highlighter. My all time favourite is the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in candlelight - a gorgeous pale beige gold powder thats super subtle and gives a natural glow. I like to put a little over my cheekbones and it brightens my whole complexion. Its pretty pricey but completely worth buying.
Finally, what else gives you a boost then a red lipstick. I love popping on Clinique Matte Lipstick in mandarin as its bright, comfortable to wear and has a stunning matte finish. Mandarin is a pretty orange/red shade - you can see it swatched here.

What are your go to beauty products for a confidence boost?

A Blogging Routine...

When it comes to blogging, I've found that getting into a routine helps me to be more focused and productive. I like being organised and a routine really helps with time management. 
I've mentioned before that I keep a notebook, well two actually. One I keep for noting down ideas and the other for blog posts to write - the post title and products featured. Using this, I then know what photographs I need to take. For blog ideas, I generally write these on the go but once a week, I'll sit down (usually in the evening) and plan a weeks worth of blog posts on my blogging calender (I use the desk calender from rifle paper co featured in this post). I'm currently working a week/two weeks ahead of myself so I already have next weeks posts planned and the beginning of the week after.

On Saturdays, I take all my blog photos for the following week. I use a 16gb memory card so I can take lots of photos in bulk. I usually take several photos for each blog post and once I've taken them, I'll go and upload them to my laptop and edit. I use either picmonkey or ipiccy to edit my photos. Both of these programmes are free and easy to use. I don't edit my photographs that much. As its light at the moment, I need to do very little apart from cropping and maybe changing the curves slightly. Once I've edited, I'll upload the photos to blogger and create a draft post for each blog post I need to write up.

I'm not the kind of person that can sit down and write a weeks worth of blog posts in one go. I find it much easier and more enjoyable to write on the go. I really love sitting down in the late afternoon/evening and writing a blog post up. Sometimes I will write two posts in one go and schedule them but I prefer writing a post and publishing it as I go as sometimes blogger plays up.
This is just a little insight into how I blog. I'm not saying its the correct way, you obviously have to work to your schedule and everyone works differently. I'd love to know if you have a blogging routine or if you have a way of working that makes you most productive!

Bad Skin Day Beauty

I've had a few bad skin days recently. I generally get a few blemishes here and there anyway but I think the heat has caused the breakouts to be a little worse than normal. I've managed to keep it under control with the help of a few products.

The Sweetest Stationery

I've always loved stationery, ever since being at school. In fact it was buying new stationery that was the best bit about going back to school after the long summer holidays. As I've got older, I've still bought diaries, notebooks and other bits and bobs. Right now, I love the brand Rifle Paper Co - An American stationery and gift brand owned by husband and wife, Anna and Nathan Bond. I first fell in love with their products after purchasing their beautiful botanical notebook set on Amazon.  I've also recently purchased the Weekly Desk Pad for my blogging schedule/calendar. Its so beautiful and ideal for keeping track of blog posts. I've also got my eye on a few other Rifle Paper Co products - this Paris phone case is gorgeous, I just need an actual iphone first!

Where do you buy your stationery from?

We'll Always Have Paris...

Its only since blogging and hearing about different brands that I've become interested in french skincare. I think the cult favourite Bioderma micellar water really raised the profile of French skincare brands and luckily we don't have to take a trip across the Channel tunnel to stock up on french beauty buys.

MAC A Novel Romance Collection 2014

Myself - a bright, shiny beige (luster)
A Novel Romance-bright, cool pink (cremesheen)
Good Kisser - fuchsia (matte)
Hearts Aflame - red clay (matte)
Lingering Kiss - plum red (Matte)
Yield to Love - dark pink (cremesheen) only available online

Bared for You - delicate pink
Reckless Desire-transparent lavender with a shade of grey
Pure Fiction - purple roses
Wanting More - pale lavender
Talk Sexy - dark purple

Haute & Naughty Lash Black Too Black

Fun Ending - Neutral peach (Satin)
Animal Instincts - glossy plum (frost)


213 Fluff 
224 Tapered Blending 

Shadow Palette: A ROMANCE NOVEL
My Fantasy - Organic Olive (VELUX pearl)
Fall in Lust - pink with gray (frost)
Dance in the Dark - dark brown (matte)
Rising Passions - earthy green with gold pearl (velvet)

Sable-gold plum with bronze pearl (frost)
Sex & The Oyster - sea green (VELUX pearl)
Brawn - plum brown (Satin)
Black Tied - Black with silver flash (velvet)

The Wrong Man - a bright, cool pink (satin)
Serenade - pink with blue pearl duochrome (VELUX pearl)
Brazenly - aubergine (VELUX pearl)
Stay Sultry - dark purple (satin)


Before Dawn - green with gray
Midnight Storm - dark magenta
Sunset Sky - purple
Midnight Loss - dark purple
Midnight Ocean - royal blue
Midnight Sky - dark graphite

Atomic Ore - Gold
Earth Sign - dark brown
Deep Blue Sea - dark blue ocean
Metropolis - metallic gray
Water Willow - khaki green
Evil Twin - blue with violet
Black Brilliance - Black

242 Shader 

Electric Cool Eye Shadow
Pure Flash! - Champagne
Love Power - bright, shiny pink
Superwatt - bright, shiny gray brown
Coil - Copper Brown
Gilded Thrill - gold (frost)
Switch to Blue - an intense cobalt
Highly Charged - intense purple with pink pearl
BlackLite - black with multi-dimensional pearl

Release date: August/September 2014

Desert Island Beauty

Have you ever dreamed of yourself stuck on a desert island and wondered what beauty essentials you'd have with you. Actually, I haven't but for the purpose of the post, we'll roll with it. 

8 Quotes To Get You Through A Monday...

Its that time of week again where you're left wondering how the hell the weekend flew by so quickly, the Sunday night lull hits and the prospect of waking up early on a Monday morning isn't exactly inviting. So, lets sprinkle a bit of positivity around here with a few quotes to give your week a kick start (sort of - a lot of coffee and chocolate helps too!).

MAC Viva Glam Rihanna Dupe

Theres something satisfying about finding a dupe of a mid/high end product. Today, I have a great dupe of MAC's Viva Glam Rihanna Lipstick.

Two in one...

Finding a makeup product that has more than one use isn't always easy. I love both lip products and blush, so combining them into one is a genius idea!

The Perfect Hair Oil?


Hair products and I have had a very love/hate relationship over the years. There's only a few hair products that have really wowed me. Having oily roots and dry ends is a tough task to manage and a few years ago, I would have never entertained the thought of using a hair oil but these days, its a different story.

The Underrated Beauty Tool

Sometimes, the least exciting purchase is the one thats most practical. Enter, cotton buds. Cottons buds are probably the least exciting things to buy - well, alongside pans which are the most boring things ever (can you tell I dont cook!) but you know what cotton buds are extremely underrated in the beauty world.

Love Me Beauty Box July 2014

This months Love Me Beauty Box arrived this morning and I thought I'd share what I got in my box. To recap, every month, Love Me Beauty offers three beauty boxes with a variation on products so you can choose the box which suits you best. Unlike a few other beauty box brands, you know exactly which items you're going to be receiving. Although this takes away the surprise element, you know what you're spending your money on and everyone gets offered the same three boxes.

Finding Inspiration as a Blogger

Staying inspired as a blogger is not always easy. I find blogging can be a bit of a rollercoaster - when your creating exciting and fresh content it feels amazing but alongside that comes the lulls and 'blogging blocks'. Personally I like to post fresh content every day, though I'm partial to taking a few days or a week off here and there as its good to take a break now and then - sometimes taking a step back can help you to rediscover your passion for blogging and motivation.

Loreal Casting Sunkiss Jelly Review

Since I was 15, I've been colouring my hair on and off at home. Sure, I like to go to the salon every so often, especially if I want a lighter hair colour - a bad experience with a home pre lightener once left my hair looking brighter than the sun! However, sometimes you spot something and you want to give it try. 
Loreal Casting Sunkiss Jelly is a new product to the beauty market, designed to give hair a natural sunkissed effect. Unlike other hair lighteners, Casting Sunkiss Jelly is a leave in cream with no ammonia and the main lightening ingredient being hydrogen peroxide. 
There are three shades in the Loreal sunkiss range - 01 for light brown to dark blonde, 02 for dark blonde to light blonde and 03 for light blonde to very light blonde.

Who its recommended for?
Loreal sunkiss jelly is recommended for naturally light brown to blonde hair. My hair is dark brown but lighter at the ends where my ombre has grown out. I haven't had my hair coloured for almost a year so I decided to give this a try anyway. The loreal website states that sunkiss jelly can be used on dark hair but a subtle result is to be expected - its best to do a strand test to see what the end result would be as the final colour may be warm toned.

How it works?
Sunkiss jelly is a thickish jelly/cream that to me smells like a strong aftersun lotion. It can be applied to both wet and dry hair but a more subtle result is likely on wetter hair as water will dilute the lightening agents. 
You can either apply to stands of hair for a highlighted effect, the ends of hair for an ombre effect or all over for a full lightening effect. As sunkiss jelly is a leave in product, there is no need to rinse so after applying - just dry your hair with a hairdryer or if its warm outside, step out into the sun to dry.

How often to apply?
Sunkiss jelly is a gradual lightener so it needs to be applied over a period of time to give a lightening effect and depending how light you want your hair. On the first application, you may not notice a difference. Sunkiss jelly is best applied every two to three days and as needed to give a desired effect. Its suggested that you'll get a lightening effect within three to five uses.

My experience
So despite having dark and coloured hair, I thought I'd give this a go. I picked up no2 which is meant for dark blonde to light blonde - I would have opted for no1 but it was out of stock at the time! I decided to apply to wet hair for a subtle look as I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. You get a pair of gloves in the box, which is a good idea, especially if you have sensitive skin. The gloves are just the standard plastic ones that you get with hair dyes but they're fine for using with this product. The cream was easy to apply and didn't drip or feel messy. I applied to the ends of my hair where its lighter anyway due to my previous ombre. Once I applied to wet hair, I dried my hair with a hairdryer. After the first application, I didn't notice much difference but the smell is quite strong that it lingers on your hair. Its not unpleasant but kinda like a very strong aftersun lotion scent. I've used sunkiss jelly around four times now and I've definitely noticed a subtle lightening effect at the ends of my hair. It is quite warm toned but the ends of my hair were like this before so its something I was expecting and I like having warm tones in my hair anyway. 
I would say, sunkiss jelly will definitely lighten dark/coloured hair but for anyone who doesn't like warm tones, then a strand test is a must before using. On natural brown and blonde hair, I'm sure a blonder effect would be the result. Sunkiss jelly didn't dry my hair out, though I've been trying to really condition my hair just in case. If you're planning to use this all over your hair then you may need more than one tube. I found one tube was enough for the ends of my hair for my desired effect but my hair is incredibly thick, so I would 100% have needed another bottle if I wanted to extra lightening or an all over effect.

Personally, I wouldnt recommend this for anyone with dark hair wanting to go blonde - the end result isn't guaranteed and it may take a lot of product for that result - from experience its so much easier to visit a salon and have it professionally done. However, for £5.99 Loreal Sunkiss Jelly is the ideal solution for anyone wanting a subtle lightening effect with less hair damage. For natural blondes/light brunettes especially, this is well worth trying for a lovely sunkissed effect.

A Fresh Start...

After selling a few things in my blog sale, I feel a lot more organised with the beauty products I have. As a beauty blogger/beauty lover however, theres always room for a few more items. I've stopped buying just random things I spy as its such a waste, so I'm only opting to purchase things I know I will use or just generally get a lot of use from.

July Homeware Haul

After taking a week off from writing, I'm back with a few homeware buys. I've really been enjoying buying/looking at homeware things. A few accessories here and there can make such a difference. 
The main thing I've been searching for is bedding. In this heat, a thick duvet isn't practical but I like having some sort of cover as I find it more snug and easier to nod off at night. I finally found this white boho summer duvet/throw in Sainsburys. Its ideal for the warmer weather as its thinner than a duvet yet looks really stylish too. Sainsburys has really shot up my list of places to shop for home accessories. Supermarkets in general have really raised their game in terms of affordable yet pretty homeware. I also picked up this white double mount frame for just £2.50. I've been looking everywhere for months for a few prints/pictures to hang in my bedroom and nothing has caught my eye so I've decided to buy a few blank frames instead. My plan is to purchase some pretty prints from etsy - I've just ordered one for this frame. Etsy is an amazing place to find beautiful and unique items!
Back on the bedding front, I purchased this duvet cover set from ebay - ebay isn't normally my first port of call for bedding but I've yet to find anything I like elsewhere. This one has a blue floral print on one side with blue stripes on the other. Its a little more expensive than I would normally buy but I really like the print and the french feel it has to it. 
I'm not sure if I've mentioned on here before but I'm a huge fan of classic novels. One of my favourite authors is Jane Austen (Pride & Prejudice is my all time fave) so when I spotted this cloth bound version of persuasion, I had to have it. I've since found the P&P version, which will definitely be coming home with me at some point. Theres something beautiful about a special edition book - its something you can have as a keepsake and treasure for years. 
I've picked up a few other little bits and bobs along the way but currently I'm on a cushion buying mission - if you know where I can find any reasonably priced monochrome cushions let me know!

Worth The Hype?

Whenever I see a beauty product given lots of attention by bloggers, I always wonder if its worth the hype given. Theres a few products I own that definitely fit in the hyped category.

No7 Shade & Define Shadow Pencils


Eye shadow pencils seem to be a bit of a 'thing' at the moment. In fact, any kind of chubby pencil is having its moment.

Hot Lips!


At this time of year, a bright lippie is always on my radar. A few years ago I would have never have looked twice at a bright lip colour but these days, I have a few options in my makeup collection.