Friday, 23 October 2015

♥ Kiko Last Lasting Shadow Sticks | Review

KIKO is a brand that awkward to come across in the UK. It involves online shopping and having an unclear idea of what it is you're buying or what the shades come across as in person, but on my summer holiday in Italy there were KIKO stores everywhere. I popped into one down the road from the Vatican (casual) and picked up a few things that looked interesting. One thing that I loved the sound of were the Long Lasting Shadow Sticks. They only cost a few euros each, so it's drugstore territory but they've been compared to some very expensive high end alternatives and I had heard that they were pretty good products so I picked up two.

I bought the shades Golden Taupe and Dark Taupe and I've been blown away by the quality of them both now that I've started using them. I always always use Painterly, a MAC Paint Pot to prime my eyes and this helps stop creasing of my shadows. It prevented creasing like an absolute dream with these products. The formulation of the shadow sticks are super super creamy, they glide on the lid without tugging and they set solidly wherever you apply. I apply colour one eye at a time, as they do set quite quickly, so have a brush on hand to blend straight away because they're difficult to budge once they're on and set.

Golden Taupe is a lovely mauvey purple/taupey shade. It has a lovely golden shimmer running throughout and can be blended into a nice light wash of colour or build up to something more like the above. Dark Taupe is a much greyer taupe shade and I use this to darken up the outer crease and lower lash line. My favourite is by far Golden Taupe, as I think its much more versatile than the darker shade, but I am desperate to try Dark Taupe over a matte grey toned smokey eye. I think the subtle shimmer would look excellent with matte shadows.

All in all, the quality of these shadow sticks is insane, They last all day long and do not budge an inch. They come in such a variety of shades you're sure to find something you love from the collection and coming in at under seven pounds online, I'd suggest having a look at them if shadow sticks are something you like! Or, if you're off to Italy any time soon, have a look in store.

Em x

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

♥ Get To Know Me | Beauty Blogger Tag

I'm a very nosey person. I love reality tv and I follow the lives of the Kardashian sisters religiously. I'm really into the idea of sharing lives with others and I think that's why I love those sort of shows so much. It's probably why I love youtube so much, too. Now that I'm in the habit of posting more frequently and desperately trying to stick to schedule (and failing to do so at the minute, but trust me, we'll get there) I thought you might like to find out a bit more about me. I saw this tag floating around and I thought I'd do it too!

1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight?
I have naturally straight and super fine hair. I really dislike how fine it is and my hair malts really badly, too. If there was a magic treatment to give myself a fuller head of hair I would, instantly. I'm jealous of anyone with lovely thick locks.

2. Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon?
I haven't dyed my hair in a really long time. Just under two years ago I bleached the ends after wanting a blonde ombre. I loved it, but the damage meant all my ends were breaking off and I had to have lots of it chopped off. I haven't touched my hair since dying over the bleach dark brown, and while that dye is fading, I'm happy with how my hair looks and I haven't touched it since - to try and get it to grow super long and get it really healthy.

3. Do you wear the same style everyday, or do you change it?
I keep everything pretty similar. My hair is always down and natural, or down and straight. My make up looks always stay pretty neutral and in terms of fashion I'm a jeans, vans and t shirt kinda girl.

4. Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon?
I've never had my nails done. I work in food when I'm home from university, so I can't have my nails done anyway and I don't think I'd like the damage it would do.

5. How often do you change your nail polish?
Not as often as I like. I have quite the collection of nail polish but I never find the time to just sit down and paint my nails. I'm too impatient.

6. Do you polish your toes in the winter or just the summer?
All year round! 

7. How long does it take for you to put on makeup?
It depends what I'm doing. If I'm popping into uni for a lecture or just out to tesco it'll take ten minutes to put on a slick of mascara and foundation, but for a night out it'll take maybe half hour to forty five minutes.

8. What do you do first? Face or eyes?
On a night out, always eyes. For an everyday look, I do foundation and then a nice simple, neutral eye.

9. Do you collect makeup or just buy what you need when you need it?
I collect. I'm quite bad with eye shadow and mascara - I have so many palettes that go untouched and so many tubes of mascara that I should probably throw out.

10. How often do you wear false eyelashes?
Rarely, though I'd like to use them more. I find I don't need them on a day to day basis, and I don't drink, so I rarely go on nights out where I feel obliged to dress up that much.

11. Do you do a full face of makeup everyday?
Not at all. I'm really lazy. If I'm at home all day doing uni work, I won't bother at all. If I'm off to university but feeling lazy I'll just do foundation, mascara and eye liner but I'll only but on a fuller face if I really feel like it, which isn't very often.

12. Do you wear makeup when you're home alone or with family?
Nope! I'll only wear makeup when I'm certain I'll be leaving the house.

13. Will you leave the house without makeup?
All the time. It doesn't bother me too much. I'd rather save my acne prone skin.

14. How many high-end products do you have?
A few. I have a decent MAC collection (if you count that) a few Urban Decay palettes, my Estee Lauder Double Wear, but for the most part I'm a drugstore girl!

15. Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide when you're getting dressed?
 I decide right before I leave, or just shove whatever on. I'm useless with fashion.

16. How often do you change your handbag?
Not very often at all. It'll take me years to find a bag I like, and then I don't even like it that much. 

17. What time do you wake up and go to sleep?
I try to sleep between midnight and one am, and I try to wake up at eight. 

18. How often or when do you workout?
I used to work out loads, as going to the gym back in Birmingham is cheap and easy. but my universities gym is too small and expensive for what it is, so i haven't been since summer.

19. Left handed or right handed?

20. How tall are you?
Maybe 5"6? Average. 

21. Do you speak any foreign languages?
I did a GCSE in french and can remember a little bit, but other than that, no!

22. How many pets do you have?
I have a cat called Misty.

23. How often are you on Blogger?
Every day, though I don't post as much as I wish I could - life and university gets in the way.

24. Do you read comments posted on blogs?
Yes. I love to read not only the opinion of the blogger, but of other girls who have tried out the same thing. It always means you find out new uses and it's a great way to find other blogs.

25. Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts?
I keep a wish list on my phone and try and pin things I'd like to look more into. If someone mentions a mac product, I'll put it in my favourites online or if something mentions something from the drug store I'll note it on my phone. 

26. How did you come up with your blog name?
I don't know, I like beauty bits and i tend to waffle on and bullshit my way through life, so it came from that  i guess.

27. What kind of camera do you use for your photographs?
I use my iPhone or my Samsung NX3000

28. How often do you clean your house?
All the time. Every day. At university, I live with four of my friends and I always clean my bedroom because it can be a communal space, too and I always clean the kitchen because it's my favourite place.

29. What's your favourite colour?
Pink, though you wouldn't guess it!

30. Do you swear?
All the time. It's a horrible habit.

31. What are you doing with the rest of your day?
As I'm writing this, It's half ten in the morning, so I'm going to have a shower and get the three books I need to read for university done, and start planning an essay. How exciting!

So, there's a little insight into my life and the girl behind the words. I hope you enjoyed and if you do the tag too, let me know. Come back and comment and let me read a bit more about you.

Em x

Monday, 12 October 2015

♥ The Rosie Project | Book Review

Romance isn't my sort of thing. I used to lap it up when I was younger - Nicholas Sparks and his tales of true love that would suck you in and inevitably break your heart when a character died, or was diagnosed with a deadly disease? Yeah... So I soon grew out of the habit of reading romance novels. It just felt cliche and predictable and boring, I guess. But when I started my Mass Market Fiction module for university, I was told I had to get back into it. I had to choose a contemporary romance novel (of my choice) and read. The Rosie Project is a book I first picked up a few years back. It didn't really grab my attention and the opening pages bored me, just as i expected they would. I put the book down and lost it in my ever growing collection of unread titles. I always knew it was there, and I convinced myself that I'd get back around to reading it, eventually, and now I have.

The Rosie Project tells the tale of Don Tillman, a quirky protagonist with a few peculiar traits. Though it's never stated whether he has Asperger's or not, I read the character as though he did have autism and it doesn't poke fun at the idea of Don's situation, either, which I love. The book will make you laugh out loud, though. Don is a really special man. He's obsessed with the idea of finding the perfect life partner and goes on a quest to find her, though his high expectations and his thorough demands mean he'll never really find his perfect woman - because he's asking far too much of women. However, the introduction of Rosie into his life sends Don into a frenzy. He is all too convinced that himself and Rosie are absolutely not compatible and that made me will their romance on. Romance isn't the only plot strand in this novel, though. In fact, it's barely even detectable and that's probably why I enjoyed it. There are huge emotional elements and plot strands running throughout and it kept me intrigued and excited for the ending. I managed to read this book in just a few sittings and it put a few grins on my face along the way.

All in all, I ended up really enjoying Graeme Simsion's debut novel but I won't be reading the sequel, The Rosie Effect, any time soon. Romance is a genre that to me is all about the chase and happy ending, and this book had the happy ending I was after. I don't want to read of any troubles that could come after the happy ending that was given in The Rosie Project, and I didn't enjoy the book enough to want to delve more into the story. It was a nice light hearted read though, so if you're into romance, or after an easy read I'd recommend picking this up!

Em x

Sunday, 11 October 2015

♥ Weekly Roundup #3

This week was tough. I had to create a sixteen page children's picture book, read Fifty Shades of Grey and a whole load of Yeats' poetry. Could it get any more diverse? I doubt it very much. It was my boyfriends twenty second birthday, though I'm yet to see him (hurry up Wednesday) and the GBBO final. I wanted Tamal to win, but enjoyed the final despite the outcome.

I bought a few new pieces too, The Balm's Mary Lou Manizer had been on my wishlist for an awfully long time so it was time to cough up and buy into the hype and I wanted to know whether or not the Beauty Blender is as good as everyone insists it is, so I picked up that, too. I posted my favourite Autumnal makeup look - going with a lovely, soft, golden eye and I watched the BBC's Doctor Foster in one sitting. I absolutely loved it and if you didn't catch it, watch it while it's on iPlayer!

I followed the lovely Chloe, from Dublin as I follow her on Instagram and was totally unaware she was the author of a blog. She posted a brilliant make up tutorial using MAC's Cranberry and I am totally in awe of how the shade transfers onto the lid and it's now in my wishlist online. I can't wait to purchase it and have a go at the look that Chloe created. I loved Charlee's post on her beauty and makeup bits for the Autumn, too. She mentioned her lip combo of Soar lip liner and Mehr lipstick, a combination that I'm a massive fan on. She also made me want to purchase the first Naked palette, but that's going to have to stay on my wishlist for a rather long while.

Em x

Friday, 9 October 2015

♥ How I Clean My Makeup Brushes

Cleaning make up brushes a boring task we should all do much more often than we do. I'll be the first to admit it - I can go a scarily long time before convincing myself that the brushes I use on a day to day basis really do need to be cleaned. I am getting much better at implementing a frequent routine when it comes to my brushes though, and I thought I'd share how it is I clean them with you. Firstly, let's talk about what to use. Shampoo is an option, but it's something I've never tried. I have used soap before - a bar of Simple's soap and that worked brilliantly. I really like using a solid for foundation brushes or brushes that are really stubborn. To spot clean, in between big washes I've recently purchased B.'s Makeup Brush Cleanser (I spoke about this in my September Favourites) and it's incredible. Just a few sprays really do clean every last bit of product out of brushes. But my holy grail for washing my brushes has to be the Dr.Bronner's Magic Soap. I have the Tea Tree scent, as I'm sort of obsessed with anything Tea Tree. It lathers up a dream and a little goes such a long way with this stuff. It's organic and all natural so I know it won't damage my brushes and it has so many other uses. It can be used for shampoo, shower wash, they are safe to use on babies and pets and you can use them to wash floors, too. It's a perfect all rounder and if you haven't tried it yet I suggest you do. It'll change your brushing habits! To clean my brushes, I fill my sink with water, put a flannel on the side and drop some soap into the palm of my hand and swill the brush around, until it's nice a soapy. I'll rinse and repeat, until water runs clear and then swirl the brush around on the flannel to ensure there's no more product coming out. This step also helps to kick start the drying process - an essential when you live in a freezing cold student house! I leave them to dry on the flannel, lying flat and so far, I've had no issues with shedding. The only issue I have had is that my Sephora face brush doesn't clean as nicely as I'd like it to, but a few sprays of the B. cleanser after washing it solved the issue.

What do you use to clean your brushes? Or have you tried one of the other scents Dr.Bronner have on offer? Let me know in the comments, ladies!

Em x

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

♥ Golden Eyes: Easy Autumn Makeup Look

I love Autumn. It means the darker shades of lipstick come out and you have every reason to spend every night snuggled up with hot chocolate and disney movies. I also love that it means I can wear gold toned shadows and not feel weird about it. I've always preferred a neutral/brown toned eye and bronzes and browns are what I opt to wear the majority of the time, so I really am in my element through Autumn and Winter. I created this super soft, golden eye with the help of Urban Decay's Smoky palette and boy, do I love it.

To give an even base, I went in with Beauty Bay's Primer. I got this as a free gift when I ordered my Zoeva brushes and it's not a bad product. It's a silicon based primer, so it does feel like it evens out my skin, it's nothing to write home about, though! I then went in with L'Oreal's Blur Cream on my t zone, just to really make sure my pores weren't too visible. The Blur Cream is something I absolutely rave about (read a little more about it here) because it's so similar to Benefit's Porefection, but a fraction of the price. I used my brand new Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation and buffed it into my skin with my Sephora Multitasker Complexion (#45) brush. I then primed my lids with my MAC Paint Pot in Painterly. I always, always pick up this to prime my eyes. It gives a nice neutral base and there's so much product I feel like it'll take a lifetime to get through - whereas other primer's like the Too Faced Shadow Insurance is super easy to use up. For the transition/crease colour on my eyes I went in with the shade Frisk from Urban Decay's Naked Basics 2 palette. To brighten up my lid I used the lovely light golden shade Dirtysweet from Naked Smoky. Then I added a little but more depth and darkness into my crease and outer corner of my lid with the shade Radar from the same palette. I set my brows in place with Maybelline Brow Drama (the clear one) and used a tiny bit of Bootycall from the Naked 2 palette on my brow bone, inner corner and above the cheekbone to highlight. I used Rimmel's Glam Eyes liquid liner, as I always do and their Lash Accelerator mascara. To add some colour to my face and finish off the look, I used the Max Factor Creme Puff Blush on my cheeks in the shade Lavish Mauve.

As you can see I went without anything on my lips as I very rarely put anything on them for just a normal daytime. I can see myself going for this sort of look on an every day basis this month. I've also done a similar look using the shade Gild from the MUA Undressed palette, which is only four quid, and full of gold and brown shades, so it'd be easy to recreate the look with that and it wouldn't set you back half as much as the Urban Decay palettes would! Let me know what you think, or tell me how else I can use golden tones through the winter in the comments, I'd love to hear from you.

Em x

Friday, 2 October 2015

♥ September Favourites

September was such a whirlwind. I worked my arse off and got a promotion at work (it only took me four years), it was my best friends twenty first birthday (I don't know how that crept up on us) and I started the third and final year of my degree (absolutely terrifying). Despite the craziness of the month, I was still able to fall head over heels in love with a few make up bits and other things, too. Here's the lowdown:

I had been after a high end foundation forever and after trying out a Double Wear tester from a magazine, I was completely sold. A few friends had also insisted that it's an incredible foundation and that it stays put all day - exactly what I want out of a £30 foundation. I picked this up from the Estee Lauder counter at Boots in Birmingham and the ladies there were so friendly and helpful and they didn't intimidate me at all. I always get terribly anxious and feel so looked down on whenever I go into beauty halls so I was pleasantly surprised when the girls all stood and had a chat with me about my tattoos and what it was I was after! Another thing I've not been able to get enough of recently is the Naked Basics 2. It's also something I had been thinking of purchasing for quite a while and when I went to the Urban Decay counter in Selfridges to pick up a birthday present for my best friend I walked out with two... Purely because it would have caused me actual pain to get one for her but not have one of my own. Pretty silly but I've used it most days since buying it and I'm obsessed. With it, I've been using the Luxe Petit Crease Brush from Zoeva. It's a tiny crease brush and it's ideal for putting just a small wash of colour over your lids. Look at this post for the collection of brushes it came with. To spot clean my brushes in between uses, I've been using this B. Makeup Brush Cleanser. It was super cheap and works wonders on brushes. Just a few spritzes and a swirl into tissue brings them up super clean without the inconvenience of waiting for them to dry after washing. Finally, I've been having an absolute nightmare with my skin recently. I have awful acne that just won't budge from around my mouth and chin so Tea Tree Oil has been my best friend. This is just one I picked up from Superdrug and I've just been putting it on problem areas before bed time in a bid to try and clear my skin up.

At the end of the month I read The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. It took me around three days and I just couldn't wait to find out how it would end. It was a lovely read and I might just have to pick up the next book. I haven't stopped listening to Foo Fighters and I've watched Paper Towns four times now... Calm down, Emily!

What are the products you've been turning to time and time again this month? Let me know in the comments!

Em x

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