30 November 2013

Rimmel Clear Complexion Powder

I've used Rimmel's Stay Matte Pressed Powder to set my make up for a long time. I'm talking years (way back to when I was at school!). It does a really nice job at setting your make up without making you look overly matte and at £3.99 it's an absolute bargain. After repurchasing it a countless number of times I decided to switch it up this time around and try out their 'Clear Complexion Clarifying Powder'. 

It's only available in one shade; '021 - transparent' which doesn't bother me at all because I always opt for transparent powders but if you're after something with a colour pay off it's worth noting. It claims to provide a 'pure and shine-free finish for up to 5 hours' and help minimise breakouts by clarifying the skin with their 'PureSkin' complex. 
I don't know about the 'PureSkin complex' or helping minimise my breakouts but it does a great job at mattifying the skin, setting my make up and stopping it from sliding around during the day. Dare I say it - even more so than the Stay Matte powder! I've found it lasts much longer on my skin before I have to touch up. I feel like this powder would be good for all skin types but great for those with oily/combination skins. I don't think I'll be going back to the Stay Matte powder - this one has stolen my heart. 

What's your favourite setting powder to use?

28 November 2013

Second Day Curls...

There's something so satisfying about rolling out of bed and having to do nothing but run a brush through your locks don'tcha think? I love the look of curls that have been a little 'lived in'.

To achieve this look I used my trusty 19-32mm conical wand from TRESemmé; I've had this wand for ages and I'd recommend it to anyone. I've had two Babyliss conical wands in the past and they both died on me - I think it's too much of a coincidence for it to be a fluke. So far so good with my TRESemeé one though! After letting the curls cool a little brush through them all to loosen and create a more relaxed looking 'do. Next finish it all off with a finishing spray of your choice. I'd opt for Macadamia's Healing Oil Spray to give your hair some serious shine! It should be looking pretty sweet by now, but the last (and best!) bit is to catch some zZz's and wake up to effortlessly pretty, curly hair. I'm really lucky that curls stay for ages in my hair - without having to use much hairspray (if at all) but if you're not as fortunate make sure you spritz some hair spray on to help hold the curls (I'd recommend TRESemmé 24 Hour Body).

What hair style are you lovin' at the moment?

24 November 2013

Beauty Tools I Couldn't Live Without!

Let me kick this off by saying I am not one of those girls that likes to use her fingers to apply make up. There is a time and a place for that (mainly when I've been super lazy and haven't bothered washing my brushes) but it doesn't happen very often. So today I thought I'd share with you my favourite beauty tools; everything mentioned gets some Gemma lovin' on a daily basis!

Shu Eumera Eyelash Curler
If you have stubborn eyelashes that don't hold a curl you've gotta look into investing in these curlers. I've dabbled with tons of different curlers before (mainly Primarks £1 special!) but they never gave me the result I was hoping for. Shu Eumera's eyelash curler is worth every penny. It's the perfect shape so it doesn't nip your skin at all, it creates and somehow manages to hold the curl (don't ask me how - I'm just happy it does!). 
Real Technique Brushes
Ah RT, how I love you. I'd say about 98% of my brushes are RT and I've never been disappointed. They're really soft, wash well and best of all? They're SO affordable. Of course, I have a few firm favourites that I reach for on a daily basis; mainly their Expert Face Brush, Blush Brush, Multi-Tasking Brush and Deluxe Crease Brush (great for the eyes but I love using it to buff in concealer). I also can't recommend their Core Collection enough; I get so much use out of the Buffing Brush and Contour Brush from the set. I really want their Limited Edition Duo Fibre Set next! 
Mac 217
I decided to invest in MAC's infamous 217 blending brush at the beginning of the year and I can happily say it lives up to the hype. It picks up just enough product and blends shadows seamlessly. I'm not the best when it comes to eyeshadow but this brush has helped me silly amounts! If you don't want to splash out on this particular brush RT do a brush in their Eye Starter Set that does a similar job.

What beauty tools could you not live without?

21 November 2013

An Introduction To: Macadamia Hair Care

Macadamia Rejuvenating Shampoo* Macadamia Moisturizing Rinse Conditioner* Macadamia Healing Oil Spray*
I don't know about you but if I leave my hair to its own devices after blow drying I start to resemble someone that should be part of the hair bear bunch. Since switching my usual shampoo and conditioner duo over to Macadamia I've noticed a huge difference. My hair is so much more manageable and frizz is practically non-existent. Woo-hoo! This duo helps add moisture without leaving the hair feeling heavy (I hate my hair feeling weighed down). Their paraben and sulfate free too so they're particularly good for dry, damaged and colour treated hair.

Another product I was lucky enough to be sent was their Healing Oil Spray; said to provide intense nourishment for all hair types with a weightless feel. I've gotta say their description is pretty much dead on. You can use this both on towel dried hair or mist on after you've finished styling. I've tried both and if I'm honest with you I much prefer misting it over my hair after I've styled it. It helps to get rid of any frizz and adds serious shine (something we're all after, right?!). I absolutely love it, it makes my hair look so healthy and sleek. I'm not a huge fan of using it on my wet hair though, I think I'll stick to my trusty leave-in conditioner and care spray from Dove for that. 

Have you tried anything from Macadamia before?

*Products were sent to me for consideration but opinions are 100% my own.

19 November 2013

Winter Skin Saviours

Winter has well and truly arrived; while it's my favourite season of the year it wreaks havoc with my (already troublesome) skin. Here's what I've been using to try to keep my skin in top top shape and combat the winter blues! 

Elemis Pro Radiance Cream Cleanser   £27.60
This to me feels like a more luxurious version of Liz Earle's 'Cleanse and Polish'. I bought this a few months ago but it's only now that the colder months have crept in that I've been putting it to good use. It's a super rich cleanser; so its perfect for this time of year when skin is feeling a little dry. It feels so luxurious when you're massaging it into the skin and it gently removes make up and impurities from your skin without stripping it of moisture. 

Hydraluron from Indeed Labs   £24.99
Again, I bought this back in August but it's only now that I'm really seeing the benefits from using it. I was really miffed at first because I didn't see any difference. I'm glad I persevered though because it's become a staple in my skin care routine. It helps my skin absorb moisturisers and serums so much better than when they're applied alone and my overall skin looks so much healthier and 'plumper'.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil   £16.50
I've raved and raved about this stuff! If you want a more in depth review check back to this post. I have oily, problematic and breakout prone skin and this oil works so nicely with it. It gives my skin a good dose of moisture without being too heavy. It's also a godsend for helping fade nasty scars from blemishes. 
Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream   £24.00
This is the most recent addition to my skin care stash and it couldn't have come at a better time. It's the perfect moisturiser for the cold, wintery weather. Although it feels quite rich on application it doesn't feel heavy; it feels light and silky on the skin. Check this post if you want to know more.

I couldn't write a Winter saviours post without giving Lanolips a little mention. It's my go to lip balm and I just can't recommend it enough. I'm going through my tube at an alarming rate! If you're suffering from dry or chapped lips you should definitely check it out. 

What are your seasonal skin saviours?

16 November 2013

Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion

I suffer from your normal 'everyday' breakouts and the deep (normally sore) under the skin blemishes that never want to budge. While I've tried plenty of topical treatments to combat my pesky breakouts none have been able to tackle those under the skin nasties. That was until I came across Mario Badescu's 'Buffering Lotion'; a lotion specifically designed to treat deep, cystic blemishes. It absorbs quickly into the skin as its sulfur based and aids in treating deeply rooted cystic blemishes.

I can safely say that after using this lotion religiously over the last couple of months it has successfully helped to calm and soothe any nasty blemishes. It's super easy to apply and it dries clear so it can be worn on bare skin or under a face of make up. Brill!

The first thing I noticed about this lotion was how quickly it works at reducing redness caused by the inflamed skin. The sooner you apply it to the area, the better. It can help bring the blemish to a head (which - as gross as it may sound - is quite amazing for under the skin blemishes that rarely show their ugly head) or even completely stop it in its tracks. I'd highly recommend it for anyone that suffers with sore, cystic blemishes that are impossible to budge.

What's your favourite spot buster treatment?

14 November 2013

Winter Blues

*or should I say Winter Blue? I have to tell you all about the perfect winter blue nail polish colour to grace my collection. Aptly named 'Frostbite' its a deep royal blue that certainly has the 'wow' factor. It's also a one coat wonder; the swatches below only took one coat of polish. I'm not wearing a top coat either, so you can see it in its natural glory. I bought this over three years ago from my local Sally's. Granted, it's getting a little bit gloopy now but three years is pretty impressive right?! I reckon I'll be able to squeeze a couple more uses out of it before I have to say bon voyage. 

This is the only polish I've tried by China Glaze but I must say if this is anything to go by I'm very impressed. It's opaque within one coat, offers a glossy finish and lasts relatively long on my nails. I always get so many compliments when I wear this polish. It's definitely 'out there' but I think Winter is a time for rockin' richer shades like this!

What have you been loving on your nails recently?

You can pick up 'Frostbite' here for £7.95.

12 November 2013

MAC Pink Nouveau Lipstick

I just had to share my excitement with you... I actually WON a giveaway! I couldn't believe it when Amy contacted me telling me I'd won her 'Lipstick Lover' giveaway. As a celebration for reaching a whopping 600 followers(!) she very kindly offered her followers the chance to win a lipstick of their choice from either MAC or Urban Decay.
As I'm starting to (slowly) build a collection of MAC lippies there was no question as to what I would pick. After a lot of time deliberating over what shade to choose I finally decided on 'Pink Nouveau'. I originally chose 'Girl About Town' but thankfully Amy emailed me to double check as (in her words) 'us bloggers can change our minds'! 

If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know that my favourite shades of pink lippie always have cool blue undertones; and Pink Nouveau is just that. I swear that it really does make your teeth appear nice and white(r). It was love at first application. For a long time I avoided pink lipsticks for fear that they'd look silly and clash with my auburn hair. Now I can't get enough of them. I'm finding it hard to put this baby down!

Pink Nouveau is a true barbie doll pink. It applies smoothly, is opaque within one swipe and stays put for a decent length of time. It offers a semi-matte finish so it does feel a little bit drying on the lips but it's nothing to write home about. I'm a little under the weather at the moment - so my lips are pretty dry as it is - and this lipstick has still applied smoothly without clinging to any dry patches. It ticks all the boxes! 

What's your favourite MAC lipstick?

9 November 2013

NYX Blush in 'Red'

I thought it was about time I tried some NYX products. I've heard so many rave reviews about the brand and after hearing Gemma say that they were her fave makeup brand I just knew I had to get my mitts on some of their products! Her word is like gospel to me haha.

I knew I wanted to pick up their Jumbo Eye Pencil in 'Milk' and 'Taupe' Blush, but this? Well this blush was ordered on a complete whim. It's totally out of my normal comfort zone of pink and mauve shades.

NYX Blush in the shade 'Red' £6.00

I bought it in the hopes that it would help me achieve the perfect 'English rose' look. Pale skin? Check. Rosy red cheeks? ...CHECK! This blush is everything that I'd hoped. It gives the loveliest rosy flush to the cheeks. It makes me feel like snow white (I'm not quite sure why but I'll go with it).
The pigmentation is absolutely ridiculous. It is so so good! After applying way too much the first time I used this I soon learnt that you need to use a really light hand; 'cus it's super pigmented and soft making it so easy to apply. This is quickly becoming one of my fave blushes and I can see this getting a whole lot of Gemma lovin' throughout the rest of Winter! 

What do you think of red blushes? Yay or nay?

7 November 2013

WOMF: Date Night

Does anyone else go through phases where you're just not that fussed about makeup and then the next month you're all for it? Well, this month I'm all for experimenting with my make up! This is a look I wore earlier this week for a date night with my boyfriend, Craig.
So I figured it was about time I put together a WOMF (what's on my face) post. I love reading posts like this on other blogs but I've always been put off (purely for the fact that I'm not that great at applying make up). But hey ho, I thought I'd give it a bash anyway.
I'm all for working with my eyes at the minute. I'm normally super boring with eye makeup (a light wash of colour and maybe a slick of eyeliner) but I'm trying to step out of my comfort zone and try out some bolder looks.

BASE: Mix of Vichy Dermablend foundation and Dr Jart+ BB Cream // Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer // Bobbi Brown Corrector // Sleek Highlighter // The Body Shop Blush in '03' // Rimmel Setting Powder
EYES: Maybelline Color Tattoo in 'Permanently Taupe' // Urban Decay 'Snakebite' and 'Busted' Shadows // Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Black // L'oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara // Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

BROWS: Benefit Brow Zings in 'Medium' // Maybelline Brow Drama Mascara in 'Medium Brown' 

LIPS: Revlon Matte Lipstick in 'Pink Pout' (aka my favourite nude pink lippie of all time!)

What have you been wearing lately?

5 November 2013

£2.99 Bargain Matte Lip!

I don't feel like this gem of a lip product gets the credit that it deserves; sold at just £2.99 it's an absolute bargain. As matte lip products go, this is quite a moisturising one. It looks completely matte on application but it doesn't crease or dry the lips out. It's offers a great colour pay off and it's opaque within one swipe.
I'd recommend exfoliating your lips before using this product though to make sure it doesn't cling to any dry patches (as you would expect with any matte lip product). There isn't a huge colour range with only four shades available but I'm sure there will be at least one to tickle your fancy. Yep, I did just say that and yep, I'm cringing too. I have the shade 'Cotton Candy' a sweet blue toned pink shade (the best sort of pink on my opinion!).
I'd definitely recommend this lip cream if you're a fan of matte lips or if you're just starting out; at £2.99 it's a steal! 

4 November 2013

Mixing Foundations To Create The Perfect Base

I know it's nothing groundbreaking but I've recently started mixing together a couple of my foundations/base products. I've found a combination of products that creates a perfect buildable medium coverage with a dewy (but not greasy) finish. 

...Roll up Vichy's Dermablend Foundation and Dr Jarts Regenerating BB cream; it seems my two favourite bases mixed together create the perfect hybrid!

I've talked about my love for Vichy's Dermablend foundation here but sometimes I find it can be a little too heavy on the skin and it's just a tad too dark for me. Mixing it together with Dr Jart's BB Cream helps lighten the shade and creates a really lovely finish. I simply dispense about half of the amount I'd usually use of each product (let's say half a pump) and mix them together with my finger before dotting it around my face and blending with one of my much loved RT brushes. I just love the finish this combo gives! 
Have you ever tried mixing together your base products?

2 November 2013

Zombie Tutorial

This Halloween I'm actually going out and gore-ing myself up. Wahoo! After much deliberation on what to dress up as, I finally decided on a walker (or zombie if you don't know The Walking Dead lingo!). Not the cutest of fancy dress options but it is Halloween after all! 

To create this look you'll need; face paint, brown/purple eyeshadow, tissues, skin friendly glue (latex or eyelash glue will do the job) and lots of fake blood. I used a combination of techniques found in these two YouTube videos (1 // 2). If you want a more in depth 'step by step' tutorial I recommend you check them out. 

So to kick things off, apply a light coating of white face paint. Stipple it around your face, and be sure to keep things messy. You don't want to completely coat your face in white; we don't want to look like Caspar - just a little worse for wear.
Next, we're going to create that awesome 'my face has just been ripped apart' look. I applied my theatrical glue to the areas I wanted and pressed a thin layer of tissue over it. You're gonna want to do this a fair few times (about 5-6 layers). On the last layer apply a coating of PVA glue (be extra careful not to get it on your skin) and let it set.

While our wound sets we'll move on to the make up. It goes against every bone in my body but we really wanna accentuate those under eye bags ladies! I mixed together some brown, grey and purple eyeshadows to create mine. Again, be as messy as you like, don't worry about keeping it neat. You wanna look like you've been in 10 rounds with Mike Tyson. 

Now being extra careful snip a little hole into the wound and gently rip it open. I know it looks crazy right now but once you've added the red lippie and tons of fake blood it's gonna look bloody awesome (get it? Hahah, I'm so witty). 

All that's left now is to gore that thing up! I painted on some teeth and bloodied everything up. I'd highly recommend checking out this video to see how to do it in action. I got a little carried away with the fake blood and created some splatters down my neck, arms and all over my (white) dress. 

I'm no pro by any means, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! I was even told by a stranger that I looked 'gross'. Mission = complete. What do you think?