Friday, 29 November 2013

Makeup for a Night Out | Tips

Before I begin I'd like to say that this isn't a tutorial for how to achieve a night out look, but it is a set of tips to help make sure your makeup stays looking good all night. Having just completed my first year of university, I've been on my fair share of nights out, and it really tests your makeup. I'm sharing the things I've found useful for keeping my makeup on all night. Your makeup needs to withstand hot temperatures (from clubs), possibly liquid (possible crying/spilt drinks) and it needs to stay on the whole time which can range from 2 hours to 8+.

If you want your makeup to stay on for as long as possible, it's best to use a primer underneath your makeup. It will also help with makeup application as you have a smoother base to apply your makeup to. You may not know how long you are planning to stay out, so by using a primer you can ensure it will stay on for as long as you need it to. I don't tend to wear primer everyday as I find it's not needed, but when going out I always use it as I tend to wear more makeup and won't be able to touch it up throughout the day.

This is helpful for two reasons. Firstly it's great to increase the longevity of your makeup, and works well with primer in order to keep your makeup lasting all night. Secondly, it's important as it helps get rid of any shine you don't want (t-zone, chin, nose etc.). This is great for a night out as chances are you will get hot if you are inside a club and are more likely to be shiny. Setting your makeup with powder will make sure you avoid this.

Setting Spray
My number one tip is to use a setting spray. I love setting sprays and they are a staple in my everyday makeup bag, but they are doubly important when it comes to going out. They help your makeup stay intact, which helps it stay on longer. However, I find it also avoids eye makeup from smearing or blush fading which is great if you're wearing a very dramatic eye look that they want to stay intense and bold, and not fade. I've heard of quite a few people using hairspray to do the same thing, but I'm not sure if that's necessarily the best idea...

Gel Liner
I love to use eyeliner on my waterline, I love the effect it gives. However, I find kohl pencil often smudges and doesn't last long at all. If you do want to wear eyeliner in your waterline I suggest using a gel eyeliner. These will stay on for a long longer and are far less likely to smudge. They are also often darker and more intense so look better for nights out. You also won't need to bring your eyeliner out with you to touch up, which is better as you don't risk losing it.

Most people are going to wear lipstick, but my suggestion is the type you wear. I highly recommend the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lipstains for two reasons. Firstly, a stain is going to last far longer. If you are out chances are you going to be out for a long time and will probably have something (alcoholic or not) to drink. Most lipsticks will be gone within the first hour, a stain will not. As they are stains you also want get lipstick marks around glasses. Secondly, when you want to touch up these are far easier as it's a lot harder to get lipstick on your teeth or go outside your lips. They are also very light and easy to carry. If you do lose them (which can happen) they aren't too expensive, but if you lose your beloved YSL lipstick, that's a different story...

My final word of advice is not to carry makeup out with you for touch ups (except lipstick/lipgloss) which is why most of these products aim to prolong your makeup. It's very easy to loose makeup or drop it and when using expensive makeup, this is not at all ideal.

I hope this post was helpful, let me know if you use any of these things when going for a night out or have any tips of your own.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Beauty vs Brains | TAG

1. What is your favourite book?
Ooh this is a toughie, I can't really remember all of the books I've read. I really like The Handmaid's Tale by Magaret Atwood. I don't get much time to read anymore, most of the books I read are textbooks for my course.

2. Which mottos do you like saying a lot?
'Everything will be okay in the end, if it's not okay, it's not the end'
3. Which do you prefer: English or Maths?
English, I didn't particularly like or enjoy maths. I didn't mind algebra or things like that, but I hated anything to do with shape I could never get my head around it.

4. Which do you prefer: Science or Art?
Hmmm, I liked art but I never loved it, it took up a lot of time and it tested my patience at times. So I'd probably have to go with science, I didn't like physics though, Chemistry was my favourite.

5. Name 5 albums/artists that changed your life
I like music but I don't really listen to many artists I just tend to have the radio on and listen to whatever is in the charts. The only album I'd say I really love is Night Visions by Imagine Dragons, so of the songs on that are amazing.

6. What were you favourite and least favourite subjects in school?
Favourite: History, Classics and RE
Least: Maths, Physics

7. Who is your favourite celebrity with a brain?
Emma Watson, she attended a Top uni in the US and also had a year at Oxford. The fact she managed to get such good grades while also fitting in her busy schedule of filming makes her an inspiration in my eyes.

8. What is your nerdy secret?
Hmmm not sure I really have one, I suppose my degree (Law) is kind of nerdy? I also really like medical/crime tv shows - the ones that actually make you think. I loved Body of Proof before they cancelled it.

9. Who are your favourite beauty/fashion gurus that you admire for more than their beauty/fashion sense?
I really admire Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter as she has been through quite a lot but still manages to remain positive, and the message she gives to her viewers/readers is a great one. I also admire Ruth from A Model Recommends, before she was discovered she was studying Law at Birmimgham uni which shows she is intelligent and this really comes across in her reviews. You can tell she knows what she's talking about and has clearly done a lot of research.

10. If you could study anything anywhere, what would you study and where?
Law at Harvard. I do a law degree, and would love to have the chance to study at the best place in the world.

11. If your blog wasn't about beauty/fashion what would it be about?
I actually think it'd be about current issues in the news. As part of my degree I need to know about current issues but find this is something I struggle with, so for a while I considered setting up a blog about current global issues.

12. Name something your obsessed with that most people find a bit nerdy?
The internet probably! I mean I know most people use it, but I use it a lot, like, a lot a lot. Literally I must spend 6 hours + on it most days which I know is bad. If I'm not at my computer then I'm on it on my phone.

13. Name 5 people, excluding family and friends, that inspire you
J K Rowling - 
One of the richest women in the world and she kept trying to get her work published even when she was rejected by so many publishers - and it really paid off for her.

Lord Sugar -
If you're not from the UK you may not know who he is, but he's a huge entrepreneur who is responsible for quite a few companies. He made his money by starting from the bottom and really had to work for everything that he got.

Tom Daley -
He managed to get A's at A level while having an Olympic career? I'd say that's pretty inspiring.

Baroness Hale -
She is the only woman to sit in the Supreme Court and for that reason I find it inspiring and see her as my academic inspiration. I'd love to be in her position when I grow up.

Steve Jobs -
I really think he was one of the most intelligent men on the planet, his creativity lead to some amazing innovations.

14. Who's your intellectual soul mate?
Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee - He's credited as creating the World Wide Web and I truly love the internet, so I'd say we are pretty well matched there.

15. Who will you tag? 
I'm going to tag anyone who feels like doing this tag! If you do this tag or have already done it, please link it in the comments I'd love to read it.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Not Entirely Sure What has Happened here... | Nails

So I'm not sure if you can see but I was pretty surprised to found that this has happened to two of my shatter nail polishes. I have a big nail polish collection but haven't touched most of it in months due to being at university a lot of the time, while my nail polish is stored at home in one of my drawers. I was looking through them earlier for a colour to paint my nails with and found this.

I'm not sure if you can tell but the nail polish has sort of curled itself around the applicator and has become kind of crispy. They are now impossible to use. I'm not why this has happened so was wondering if this has happened to any of you guys? They've been stored correctly with the rest of my nail polishes but they are all unaffected. I've had them for maybe 1-2 years if that explains it?

If you have had this happen to you or know why it has happened please let me know, I'd hate for this to happen to any of my other nail polishes!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Pale Foundation Swatches | Updated #2 Feat. MAC, Cover FX, Revlon...

If you've followed my blog for a while you may now that I have pale skin and often struggle to find good foundation for it. I've done posts before showing Pale foundation swatches (here and here) and also Pale concealer swatches (here). I like to update these posts every so often with new foundations I have to swatch, and also comparing them to previously swatched foundations so you can see the difference.

The Palest:
The palest foundations swatched here are (palest first):
1. Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation in 115
2. Illamasqua Skin Base in 2.0
3. Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation in N10
4. Revlon Colourstay (New formulation) in 110 Ivory

The best match for my skin is the Revlon. Illamasqua's foundations run very pale (the shades pictured here are the third lightest in the range) and are actually a bit too light for me. If you are incredibly pale I suggest looking into their foundations. The Rich Liquid formulation is very thick and super high coverage, while the Skin base provides a more natural base. The Cover FX is also one of the palest I've come across. This has very high coverage and blends into the skin beautifully. The shades are catergorised into Netural (N), Golden (G) and Pink (P) undertones so you can get one better suited to your skin. I have N10, which is the second palest of the neutral range. It's slightly darker than the Illamasqua and is a very good fit for my skintone. If you are pale, Cover FX is another brand to look into.

On the cheaper side, it's worth looking at the Revlon colourstay it's half the price of the other foundations and the lightest shade is a great fit for pale people.

The Darkest:
The Darkest Foundations swatched here are (darkest first):
1. Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in 51 Vanille Claire
2. MAC Mineralise Satinfinish in NC15
3. YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat in BR20
4. Revlon Colourstay in 110 Ivory (old formulation)

The darkest foundation is the Bourjois, this is far too dark for my skintone. I've often heard it being known as a pale shade, but for those really fair, it is simply too dark and is the lightest shade in the range. The MAC is also too dark. I've often heard the Mineralise foundations run slightly lighter than the other foundations (studio fix, studio tech etc) and this is the lightest warm tone shade they offer. This is much too dark for me, and makes me wary of trying other MAC foundations if this formulation runs paler.

The YSL is too dark but it is the second lightest shade in the pink undertone range (BR = pink, BD = yellow, B = neutral). I was colour matched to this by a MUA and think it's the wrong shade for my skin. I'm more netural-warm toned than pink toned (because I'm pale most assume I have pink undertones, I don't) so I think the B or BD range would fit me better. I also think I should have been matched to the lighter shade, so although this is darker than the paler foundations, I think the lightest shades would be a good match for pale skin.

The old formulation Revlon would fit well for pale skins, only being more pink toned and a bit darker than the new Revlon formulation.

One More Foundation
I have one final pale suggestion that isn't swatched here (I no longer have it in my possession) but the L'oreal Infallible in the palest shade (15 - Porcelain) is also very pale and is similar in colour to the Illamasqua Skinbase. I have it swatched here if you would like to check it out. If you are looking for cheaper foundations, I recommend this along with the Revlon. It's the cheapest of the whole lot pictured here at £12.29.

So that's it for my pale foundation swatches. I hope this has helped you if your fair skinned and looking for a new foundation. I'd love to hear any foundations you find good for pale skins, I've heard a lot about Nars Sheer Glow in Siberia in particular. If you have any questions about any of the foundations, feel free to ask in the comments.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner | Review

I picked up the Eyeko liquid eyeliner in the August 2013 edition of Marie Claire. I was so excited to pick this up as I had heard so many good reviews and felt it was a great deal to get a good liquid eyeliner for just over £2.

The Claim:
'Our easy-to-apply, pen-style nib allows you to create thick feline flicks or fine defined lines to accentuate your eyes.  With our unique long-lasting formula featuring key ingredient Sodium Hyaluronate for a gratifying, colour-intense smudge-proof finish.  Dot along the lash line for subtle definition or press the pen gently on its side and glide on colour in a single stroke. Best used on clean, oil-free lids.'

I love the packaging of this eyeliner, it stands out from the typical all black eyeliner packaging that a lot of brands have. It is also incredibly lightweight and easy to carry around with you. It has a felt tip nib instead of a traditional eyeliner brush, which for some is an advantage as it makes it easier to use.

In the swatches above I've compared the Eyeko eyeliner with my favourite Benefit Magic Ink eyeliner (which I posted about HERE) and also the Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil Eyeliner in zero. As you can see, the colour is far less intense than that of the Benefit eyeliner and is more similar to the pencil eyeliner. I'm disappointed in the colour of this, I expected a true black colour, but instead what you get is a faded black colour. I only like to wear true black liquid eyeliner, and for me this eyeliner does not deliver that. If you prefer a less intense look from your eyeliner you may like this.

I find application of this difficult, I tend to find felt tip eyeliners easier to use but this was an exception. I tried using it on its side and straight on and I find it hard to get a smooth line or much pigment. I've seen other reviews of this which have found it easy to use so my technique may just be wrong or I got a bad batch.

Availability & Pricing:
The full-size Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner is available from Eyeko for £10 and is available in black, purple, brown and blue.

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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

My Best Beauty Buys for Christmas 2013

Hi all,

I can't believe it's nearly that time again. The John Lewis advert has been released and the Christmas lights have started to be put up in the town centers. It seems like this year has absolutely flown by. December is by far my favourite month of the year, not only is it Christmas (which I still get stupidly excited about even though I'm no longer a kid) but it's also my birthday. This year I'm turning the big 2-0 and I'm a bit nervous. Anyway, one of my favourite things about this time of year are all the amazing gift sets that the makeup brands come out with. There's so many to choose from that I thought I'd show you what I consider to be the cream of the crop when it comes to makeup giftsets this Christmas.

1. Nars Promiscuous Lip Coffret - £30
Nars have truly outdone themselves this season, with all of the kits with their new Guy Bourdin collection being both stunning and great value for money. I already purchased this as I absolutely had to have it. I've never tried Nars lip pencils before but I have heard so much about them. For £30 you get 5 mini lip pencils which are a decent size and will last you a long time. It's a great kit for anyone who loves their lip products or anyone who loves Nars. I'd get it quick though as I can see this one going fast.

2. MAC Stroke of Midnight Eye Bag - Nude - £39.50
Well it wouldn't quite be right to have a Christmas list featuring makeup and not include MAC would it? I always love MAC's Christmas collections, a great way to try out new products with good value for money. The one that caught my eye this year was the eye bag in nude. For just under £40 you get: Pro Longwear Paintpot in Utterly Becoming; Fluidline in Past Twilight; In Extreme Dimension Lash and a double-ended 209 Eyeliner Brush/239SE Eyeshader brush. I think this is great value and the products are all something I would use everyday. I love the bag that it comes with too.

3. Benefit Little Love Potions Gift Set - £29.50
If you love Benefit or want to try more of their products I think this is such a great idea. It contains miniature versions of all of their products and is valued at £73. Benefit is pretty expensive so it's a great way to try out their best-selling products before deciding if you want to splurge on the full size item.

4. Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood Eye Palette - £59
This is the priciest offering, but wow it is worth every single penny. It's a bit out of my price range at the moment but I just think this is gorgeous. All of the shades are incredibly wearable, and you could easily wear them on both a day time and a night out. There's a range of finishes and both warm and cool tones. The packaging is also really nice. I think this would be a great gift for anyone who loves their eyeshadow.

5. Urban Decay Shattered Face Case - £30
You know that you can never go wrong with an Urban Decay gift set. I really love this face case. It has 5 eyeshadows, a Zero Eyeliner, a Super Saturated High gloss lip colour, 2 blushes and a highlighter. I think for £30 this is incredible value as you are getting a lot of high quality products. It allows you to sample all of Urban Decay's range and it will be particularly useful if you travel a lot.

6. Yankee Candle Snowflake Cookie Medium Jar - £16.99
While this isn't a gift set, I think that a Yankee Candle is always a great present. In particular, I love this one called Snowflake Cookie and I think it'd be a great present for anyone this year. It smells lovely and would make a good stocking filler.

7. Burt's Bees Festive Edition Tips and Toes Kit - £13.49
Okay, so this is no different to their usual tip and toes kit except it's in festive packaging, but I still think it's a great buy. I have this kit and really love it. It's a great introduction to the range and the products last forever. My favourites are the lemon cuticle cream and hand salve. My must have products and this is a great way to try them.

8.Stila Color Me Glossy Lip Glaze Set - £29.50
Stila is a brand that makes great quality products, and their lip glazes are highly regarded. I think this would be a great set as for 6 13.5ml lip glazes. There's a huge variety of colours and you are bound to find something you love. For £29.50 it's a bargain.

So there we go, all of my personal best beauty buys for Christmas 2013, which I think would make great presents for any makeup-lovers out there.

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Monday, 11 November 2013

Benefit Magic Ink Liquid Eyeliner | Review

Left to Right: Benefit Magic Ink | Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner | Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil Eyeliner in Zero

Benefit are known for many makeup items. Their erase paste is known as a Holy Grail Concealer and both of their mascaras are also raved about. However, something which I see less talked about is their liquid eyeliner. Their Magic Ink Eyeliner is one of my favouite Benefit products and is my go to Black Liquid Eyeliner due to its true black colour and staying power.

This is benefit, so of course the packaging is nice. Benefit have a reputation for having nice packaging, with their bright colours and cute images. The eyeliner packaging is not bright or cute, but that wouldn't reflect the type of product it is. It is a black liquid eyeliner and that needs to be reflected in the packaging, considering most liquid eyeliner packaging is all black with a brand name, benefit stands out.

The Magic Ink applicator is a wand rather than a felt tip eyeliner. For some people, this is a negative as these types of applicators are known as being much harder to use. I don't find the Benefit applicator to be hard to use at all, and I'm not the best at applying liquid eyeliner. It can be a bit harder to get a really fine line with the brush though, but practicing with the brush makes it easier.

To me, this is where the Benefit Magic Ink eyeliner really sets it self apart from all other liquid eyeliners out there. Benefit claim it is a  jet-black eyeliner, and it really is. As you can tell from the swatch, it really is a true black eyeliner, rather than a dark grey or 'light' black as some brands are. This is probably the blackest liquid eyeliner I've used and is why I love this eyeliner. I hate nothing more than a dark grey eyeliner disguised as a black eyeliner. If I want a black eyeliner for my upper lashes, I want it jet black. And Magic Ink delivers on this.

I've tried to swatch it next to two of my other eyeliners (1 liquid, 1 pencil) to show you how much of a true black this eyeliner is.

Lasting Power:
This eyeliner lasts well on my upper lash line. The intense black colour does slowly start to fade a bit after 6+ hours but it still remains on the upper lash line. It also doesn't smudge or flake off which is always a plus.

Availability and Pricing:
The Benefit Magic Ink Eyeliner is available for £15.50 from Benefit Cosmetics.

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Thursday, 7 November 2013

Approaching Makeup Counters

Source. Edited by me 
If you're anything like me, you'll hate approaching makeup counters. In fact, I hardly ever do it except where I have to. I tend to buy most of my makeup online, even for things like foundation. I'll research and read every review under the planet to make sure I get the right product. And it usually works, however, I know going to makeup counters should be a pleasant experience and would help me get what I want every time, but there are certain worries I have about makeup counters, that some of you might have too.

*Before I start the post I am in no way dissing those who work on makeup counters, I am simply saying things based on my experience and others I have heard*

Worries that I'll be Judged
This is the biggest reason that I refrain from approaching makeup counters. As nice as the sales assistants may be I'm always worried that I'll be secretly judged. For example, I'm nearly 20 years old but as I'm quite short in height and have a young looking face, people have told me I look 15-16 years old before. I worry that when approaching high end brands, they will think I'm too young to be wearing the makeup and so not take me seriously, when in reality I'm probably a similar age to some of them. I also worry that they will be judging me based on my makeup and what I'm wearing. I worry that because I don't look like a model, they will think I'm not good enough to be wearing their expensive makeup. I know in reality a lot of this is probably just made up in my head, but I still worry about it.

Worries I'll be pressured into buying something
A common reason people are afraid of approaching makeup counter is that they are worried of getting the hard-sell. That is, people pressuring them into buying products that they don't actually want or actually need. As a student, I don't have a lot of money to spend on products, so have to be really strict on what I can buy and what I can't. Therefore, being pressured into buying something I don't want just because I can't say no is not ideal. I always worry that I'll feel guilty for not buying a product, even if I've read bad reviews on it, or know I won't use it often.

Worries that I'll be constantly harrassed
I have heard horror stories of people being constantly talked at or asked if they need help multiple times during their brief experiences at a makeup counter. While it is polite to ask if a customer needs help, doing so more than once is not necessary. I want to be able to browse in peace, not constantly hounded.

Worries that If I get a Makeover, I'll look awful
This is a big worry and not one that is totally unfounded. I've had my makeup done at counters before and looked awful. I remember one time I went to get my brows filled in (as I never filled in my brows then and don't really now) and by the time I left my brows looked awful. I have very fair skin and blonde hair, but the makeup artist had chosen to fill my brows in with dark brown pencil. It looked unnatural and I looked like I had slugs for eyebrows. Luckily I didn't buy the eyebrow products as I was already buying a lip product so didn't feel guilty. I do feel guilty for not buying something if a makeup artist spends the time in applying the makeup to me, and in some situations I think I'd just buy the product out of guilt, no matter how much I disliked it. To avoid buying unwanted products, I don't tend to get my makeup done at counters.

Those are just some of my worries about approaching makeup counters. I know a lot of these worries are unfounded and some of the girls I've spoken to on makeup counters are truly nice and very helpful. I just can never get over these worries and just prefer to buy things online from the comfort of my own home. What about you? Do you find it easy approaching makeup counters and have you had good/bad experiences? Let me know in the comments!
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Monday, 4 November 2013

Illamasqua Intense Lipglosses in Frenzy + Succubus | Review and Swatch

Illamasqua Intense lipglosses are one of my all time favorite lip products. Like most beauty lovers, I'm constantly on the look out for the perfect lipgloss/lipstick that will give my lips that 'wow' look. Put simply, I'm a lipjunkie.

During this time, around a year ago I discovered this product by Illamasqua. marketed as a 'liquid lipstick' that 'create lips that look full and glossy, without feeling sticky'. Intrigued by this, I picked up two colours, a bold red in 'Succubus' and a bright pink in 'Frenzy'. 

Make no mistake, these lipglosses are exactly what they say - intense. Bear this in mind when choosing the colours,  as a silver colour in this formula won't give a sheer silver tint to your lipstick - your lips will literally be silver. Luckily, for the most part, Illamasqua has lip swatches on their websites so you can check how the product will look before purchasing.

As said, these lipglosses are intense and as such the pigment pay off is excellent. I often wear 'Succubus' on its own without red lipstick underneath and find it looks and wears fine. There is no weak colour pay off (at least in the two I have), the colour in the tube is what you get on your lips.

As you can see in the swatch, these lipglosses offer very intense pigmentation and are a lot thicker than traditional lipglosses. To demonstrate this I've swatched Illamasqua's Sheer Lipgloss in 'Divine' and Soap and Glory's Sexy MotherPucker in 'Punch Bowl' next to them to show just how much thicker and more pigmented they are than a traditional gloss.

Wear Time:
The wear time on these is more of that of a lipstick than a lipgloss. I found most lipglosses are mostly gone within an hour, but I find these stay put for 6+ hours depending on whether you eat/drink. This is definitely good wear time for a product marketed as a lipgloss.

As for the claim that the lipgloss is glossy without being sticky, I would have to agree. These aren't sticky in the slightest (unless you apply too much). They do offer gloss, however I would say that while they offer more shine that most lipsticks, they aren't as glossy as most lipglosses.

As my lips are right below my nose, it's important for me a product doesn't smell bad if it's going to be so close to nose. Luckily there isn't any smell with these products as far as I can tell. They also have no discernible taste too.

The packaging on these are unlike most lipglosses. Instead of using the traditional doe-foot applicator these come with a hard cap which you squeeze the product out of. Illamasqua often brand themselves as a brand for professional makeup artists and this is clear in the packaging. Traditional lipgloss wands can't be use on clients due to hygiene reasons, whereas these are a lot more hygienic in that the product can be squeeze onto the back of your hand and a lip brush to apply the product to the lips. Of course, if you are only using the product on yourself you can apply directly to yours lips, but as these colours are so intense, any mistakes will be visible.

Another thing to note is that a little of this product goes a long way, you only need a small amount to completely cover your lips.

Availability and Prices:
These are available from Illamasqua for £13.00 (they also ship internationally). In my opinion, considering these have the consistency and feel of a lipstick this is fair price and these are definitely worth the extra bit of cash!

Overall, I highly recommend this lipsticks for anybody who likes the bold lip look, if you are into sheer lips this may not be for you, however, Illamasqua do stock another set of lipglosses which are called 'sheer lipglosses' which may be more suited to you. For the price, these are great value as you only need a small amount and the colour pay-off is excellent.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

My Top 5 | Brushes You Need to Own

Hey everyone,

I've already done a few posts of my Top 3/Top 5  favourite products (Blushes - here, Highlighters - here, Mascaras - here). I thought today I'd show you my favourite brushes which I use daily. I'm not so much concerned with the brand (for reference all of those pictured are Sigma apart from the blurring brush which is from Urban Decay) but the type of brush and why I think they can make a big difference to your makeup routine. I've also given a few options of where to buy these types of brushes, but there are tons of brands that stock all of these types of brushes.I haven't tried all of these by any means, I simply chose a range of brushes available on the market.

1. Tapered Blending
There's many different names for this, but this is your basic eyeshadow blending brush. If you don't have one of these in your eyeshadow routine, this single handedly can make a huge difference to your eyeshadow application. You will be able to blend the eyeshadows together so it looks more natural, blending the crease shadow into the lid eyeshadow. You can also use it to blend out any harsh lines you may have created by the edge of your eyes so the makeup seems more seamless.You can also use it for other things, because of it's small size you can use it to powder smaller areas, or to highlight things such as the bridge of your nose. I've also heard it being used for blending out your concealer too.


2. Angled Contour
I love this brush. The angle on it means that its perfect for contouring the cheeks. It makes it easy to get into the cheek bones and around the edges of the face. It is also perfect for precise blush application as you can easily apply it onto the cheeks and sweep it up to the cheek bones. I find this brush much easier to use than normal blush/bronzer brushes as I find them far more precise and better at distributing product. You can also use these to apply highlight to the top of the cheekbones too.


 3. Duo-Fibre/Stippling
 I remember when I first saw these brushes in actions I was amazed. I was so used to only using a flat foundation brush to apply my makeup and this blew everything I thought I knew out of the water. The idea of these brushe are that the bottom part is made from natural hair while the top is made from synthetic hair. You use these brushes in a stippling motion. You can use these brushes to stipple your foundation onto your face providing a different application. I also find this works very well for stippling blush onto your face. It's great for use with very pigmented blushes as it gives a lighter handed application. As the top of the brush is synthetic, these can be used with cream products too.


4. Optical Blurring / Buffing Brush
Now this is my favourite brush. There's lots of names for it, the most famous probably being the buffing brush. It's basically a very dense round brush which is great for both applying foundation and for blending it into the skin. I love this brush, I love it for when I want to do fuller coverage foundation as it's great for blending. I also love it for blending my bronzer and blush into my foundation so that it looks more subtle and less harsh. It's a very versatile brush that is a must-have in any collection.


5. Pencil Brush
Okay so this last brush is possible the least 'makeup life changing' brush out of the ones mentioned, but I love this brush for all of its different uses. My main use of this brush is to apply eyeshadow to either the inner corner of the eyes or just under the eyes for a smudgy effect. The precise tip allows you to have precise application of the eyeshadow to smaller areas. However, this brush can also be used for highlighting, I like it for highlighting the browbone and cupid's bow as it allows for more precise application than most highlighter brushes. It's also great for concealing too as it is much more precise than most concealer brushes.


So that's it for my must have brushes! I hope this post was helpful to you, let me know what your must have brushes are in the comments down below!