A Slight Real Technique Addiction?

I know these are some of the most blogged about products out there but that's not going to stop me...

If you take a close look at my 'collection' of Real Technique makeup brushes, you may get an idea of just how much use I get out of them. So much so, that the logo and writing has completely rubbed off, of all but a few. 

I love, love, love this brand. 

The brand - created by Youtuber (known as PixiWoo) and makeup artist Sam Chapman (us Chapman girls have to stick together), and her sister Nicola - was founded in 2011 and has since become a staple in the make-up bags of many girls. With the release of new products, it continues to grow, and if possible, become even more popular in the beauty world. 

Simply put: these are great quality brushes, available at a reasonable price. 

It has been over two years now since I started using the brand. I used to be treated to brushes from Clinique and other high-end brands (which, don't get me wrong, I also loved!), but after losing my makeup bag for the second or third time, it was my turn to replace everything that was missing. This made the price of the Real Technique brushes to be one of the most attractive qualities at the time. 

Although each branded brush comes with their own positives, if we are simply looking at price:

(1) Bobbi Brown Powder Brush sells for £47
(2) Clinique Powder Brush sells for £24
(3) Real Techniques Powder Brush is only £12.99

In all honestly, two years ago, I hadn't heard much about the brand itself, and although the bright colours and array of choices made the product stand out on the shelves, it was the Boots "3 for 2" offer that ultimately made me give them ago. 

And I haven't looked back!

I now own a total of 15 brushes from the range, as well as the miracle complexion sponge (their take on the beauty blender), and I have every intention of adding to my collection. 

This post will go on for far too long if I post about every single brush, so instead I will note a couple of my favourites, and most used. So here goes...

1. Powder Brush 

The powder brush was the first that I ever reached for and retails for £12.99 at Boots. It is still one of my favourites from the range, and personally, I use it for transluscent or setting powder, bronzer, and when I'm in a rush, I use it to apply powder foundation. 

The brush is so soft and fluffy (I have definitely just imagined myself saying that in the voice of the little girl from Despicable Me), meaning it is very gentle on the skin, and is not irritating on mine at all. 

When applying any type of powder to my face, this brush leaves a flawless finish as the density of the brush means the perfect amount of powder is picked up from your product of choice (i.e. your face won't end up with that chalky look). Oh and also, I have never been left with bristles stuck to my face (unlike the result from some supposedly high quality brushes that I have tried). 

2. Expert Face Brush

I love this brush and use it pretty much everyday (obviously apart from those days that don't see me leave the house, or usually the comfort of my own bed - umm, you can blog in bed, what's the point?).

The head of this brush is tapered and dense, however the softness of the bristles, still mean that when used on the skin, no irritation is caused. For me, this works best with liquid foundation, and easily buffs the product into all areas of the face, including around the nose (not missing any areas). It is also great for blending, ensuring an even coverage, with a dewy finish.

3. Stippling Brush 

I love this brush, mainly for applying cream brushes, as it gives a subtle and blended finish to the cheeks. Sometimes, I also use the stippling brush to apply liquid foundation - as it gives the skin a gorgeous, airbrushed finish.

Again, the softness of the bristles feel comfortable when used on the skin and like the other brushes I have used from the collection, I have not experienced any of the bristles shedding. 

It does not matter what brand of make-up brushes you purchase, you can never hide from the dreaded chore of cleaning. With so many brushes, this can take a good while, but it always feels worth it once completed. Real Techniques have their own cleaning products: a brush cleansing gel and a brush cleansing palette. I can't wait to get my hands on these. 

If you need any advice on how to use the brushes and other products, the girls have a number of tutorials on the website and also on their YouTube channel. 

So what brand of brushes do you lot use? And if you have experiences with Real Techniques do let me know...

Thanks for reading you gorgeous lot


Payday Wishlist (April/May)

Whoever invented a five week month?

I mean the usual twenty-eight days is long enough. And it also leaves me with an extra week to construct my even longer wish-list.

Well, here we go, just a few things to add to just that....

Cocktails in Covent Garden

Plans have finally been put in place, for a day full of shopping and cocktails with the beautiful Christina from XtinaGsays (check out her blog here!) and I am so excited. First choice - a cocktail called #Selfie at the Foundation Bar- the name is enough encouragement for me.

Do I Want a Tattoo?

After going to the tattoo parlour with my flatmate, I am very tempted. The problem is...what do I want? I love the idea of a small tattoo, something cute, a little bow, an infinity symbol, a couple of words? Clearly I have no idea, and I don't want to get anything that I might later regret. So maybe my mum is right, maybe I should just stick to henna.....for now anyways!!

Estée Lauder Double Wear 

One of the girls at work offered to colour match me with this ever popular foundation - it would be rude to say no, right? Having already used the sample she gave me, she can consider me a new loyal customer.

A New Pair of Trainers

When I was younger I used to hate shoe shopping - I can hear the sudden gasp, what kind of girl hates shoe shopping? But my mum and I rarely agreed on a pair, the ones that I loved would always be 'unsuitable'...apparently. 

Now is different, now I have full decision-making power. Next on my shoe list - trainers!! I mean these can be worn on a number of occasions - gym, casual.....gym, oh have I already said that?

Oh and New Gym Clothes

Talking about the gym, I've started going again, and a lot right now! If that isn't a perfect excuse for new clothes, I don't know what is! And there are some really cute items out there at the moment!!! 

What did you treat yourself to this month??

Thanks for reading

Payday Wishlist (March/April)

Payday was over a week ago now, and with a few too many nights out in the previous week, I think I'd rather lie to myself, and not even look at my bank balance right now. Until my card is declined, I don't need to worry.

This doesn't stop a girl dreaming right? Or leaving hints around the house, hoping someone believes I deserve to be treated...

This Payday Wishlist has a very girly, pink theme to it - my favourite colour, so not too surprising!

1. Nails Inc Paint Can (Hoxton Market) - This is revolutionary right? A manicure in a can...I actually can't believe this is a thing! And cannot wait to try it. I really do hope it works as well as it claims - so intrigued. At the moment, this only comes in three colours, but two are shades of pink so I won't be complaining!

2. Lancome Juicy Shaker - This really is a cute concept for lip glosses, a lipgloss in the shape of a cocktail shaker that comes in a range of beautiful colours! Slightly pricey (£18), but definitely will be trying the shade Lemon Explosion soon.

3. Kate Spade Minnie Mouse Clutch - There was a fine line between 'want' and 'need' when I saw the release of Kate Spade's Minnie Mouse Range. The clutch bag is both classy and cute, definitely my IT bag at the moment.

4. Kate Spade Minnie Mouse iPhone Case - And this is just as cute!!

5. Yankee Candle Summer Scoop - I walk past the Yankee Candle stand every day at work, and Vanilla Cupcake was always my favourite, but I can't resist this smell. Love, love, love!!!

So, what is on your payday wishlist this month?

Thank-you for reading

My March Must-Haves

This post should have been written about a week or so ago, but I suppose I've been a bit of a 'bad blogger'. Usual life drama, moving to a new department at work and a few too many nights out (followed by useless hangover days), have meant that no blog posts have been written or published. Saying that, I really need to sort out an actual schedule (oh, and stick to it of course!). 

Anyways, so on with this post!

Let's have a quick look into some of the products that I adored in March...

I love anything that gives my usually dry and damaged hair, a bit of shine, moisture, and 'life'. I used to swear by a few drops of Moroccan Oil, so when I spotted this on the shelves for a fraction of the price, I had to give it a go. 

Simply put, I won't be changing back for a while. 

This product is lightweight and doesn't leave my hair feeling greasy and in need of washing (that'd be counter-productive, right?). Shiny, non-frizzy, manageable, and healthier hair - go on pick yourself up a bottle, how can you resist?

Every girl at some point, has, or will experiment with fake tan. And most will have experienced orange palms, streaky, uneven application, and the countless other bad looks, that using fake tan can result in.

I am so pale, and although I really don't mind this, there are times that I crave a little bit of colour in my life (or more precisely, on my body).

Depending on what my budget will allow I will either reach for St Tropez gradual tan, or St Moritz bronzing mist. I love both! - maybe I'll compare and contrast in a future blog post. So what made me try something new? Honestly...

Queue me getting ready, last minute, for the usual pay day drinks with the girls, pressing the nozzle of my usual tan, and realising the bottle was completely empty. With it being 8pm, most shops were shut and the Rimmel Sun Shimmer was one of the few that I could find on Sainsbury's shelves.

This is an instant tan so the end colour is visible straight away (perfect for these time precious moments). I love the fact that this tan is also waterproof, espectially as that night, I was caught in the rain between getting out of the cab and into the club (for less than a minute but still - you don't want streaks). Oh and it also doesn't have that horrible tell-tell fake tan smell.

So I definitely recommend this for a quick fake tan fix - go on, glow for it! (god, that was cheesy). The only thing I would say, with instant tan, the application process has to be careful, even, but also very speedy, so if you are a fake tan virgin, I recommend a gradual tanner to start with!. 

I think that a lipstick (or some other sort of lip beauty product) will always make an appearance in these monthly posts. It's the kind of product that I can't resist trying something new. 

When I was blonde, I would stick to the pinks, I have probably 10 lipsticks in almost the exact same shade, convincing myself that they are different at the checkout. Now that I am brunette, I am definitely experimenting, learning that I can definitely wear more daring, brighter and darker colours!

Now this is red, red!!! I mean it is called bad blood after all! 

I have a lot of love for matte lipsticks at the moment, especially ones that don't dry out my lips (unfortunately a common result!). This range of Urban Decay lipsticks include shea butter, avocado and olive oil (to ensure added moisture) in the list of ingredients - sounds, and (honestly) feels perfect!

This lipstick is so pigmented and gives a beautiful, glamorous red look to the lips - perfect to add a bold look to an otherwise simple make-up look. It is also very long wearing, though I do find myself checking whether I have smeared it across my face. Should be noted that this tends to be the case with all bright colour lipsticks - I mean no one wants to look like a clown, right?

This is a slightly different addition to my 'favourite' posts. But, I am a complete coffee addict and my Nescafe Dolce Gusto Coffee machine acts as my morning saviour most days.

I roll over in bed, turn off my alarm, and switch the machine on. In a matter of seconds, you are hit with the smell of coffee as the mug is filled - don't be too jealous guys. 

There are so many different capsule flavours to choose from and when I first treated myself to the machine, I went a bit crazy and ordered a box of every flavour available. My faves are : Caramel Latte Macchiato, Chococino and Light Cappuccino. Oh and right now, I am seriously loving the Chai Latte flavour.

If you're a coffee addict like me, you should definitely treat yourself too!!

So from my February Favourites post, you will know that I'm not much of a reader, especially in recent years. Starting off my book journey with an easy, light, funny read of Charlotte Crosby's autobiography, I have tried to move on to other choices.

I actually loved this book, so much so, that I read it within 4 days. This is how I measure how much I enjoy a book, if I can't get into the story, then it can take months, and by the end I usually don't understand, or even remember what happened. That was definitely not the case with this one!!

This was a very popular book when released so I am sure many of you have already given it a read. But for those of you that haven't, I won't give anything away or tell you anymore, just to say that you should definitely give it a go!

So, sorry there has been a delay in this post, and hope you enjoyed. What were your favourites this month? Have you tried any new hair products? What are your favourite self-tan products? And any new book recommendations?

Thank-you for reading gorgeous girls and guys


Beauty on a Budget: L'oreal Infallible Sculpt Review

Now, me, I LOVE buying new make-up...finding, trying and loving new products, new colours and new formulas. My bank balance, on the other hand, must seriously hate it! Especially when, that dreaded situation occurs, when all my 'necessities' need replacing at one time. This is an occurrence that happens all too often - last weekend, for example.

This, teamed with my wish to start saving and my current 'lack of available funds' (the term that my online banking like to keep reminding me about - I mean I get it already!!), led me to step away from the Benefit counter (for now anyways), and found me walking down the brightly lit aisles of Superdrug

With the current '3 for 2' offer across all cosmetics, I was able to get a lot more for my money, and this gave me the chance to try some new things.

Advertising for L'Oreal's New Infallible Sculpt range was everywhere, and as I love a bit of contouring, I thought I would give it a go...

The sculpt range currently includes seven make-up products, as well as the introduction of L'Oreal's first make-up brush. Here is a quick review of three of the mentioned products.

1. Infallible Sculpt Contouring Base

Currently this product only comes in a choice of two shades:

a. Light
b. Medium/Dark

It has smart pigments that are used to match various skin tones. As I am quite fair skinned (at least before I apply bronzer) and it is cold outside (therefore I am taking a break from fake tan), I find that the light option acts as a perfect colour match to my skin tone. 

The contouring base is intended to be used prior to the contouring/sculpting stage, and offers a light coverage (half the thickness of a regular foundation), and a beautiful finish - the face does not look 'caked' in make-up. 

Personally, it depends how much coverage I am after, when deciding how to use the product. For everyday use, and my work make-up, I choose to use only this product as my foundation. But it can also be used on top of your foundation - this is the choice I opt for on a 'going out, OUT' night, when I am after a higher amount of coverage. 

I use my Real Technique Expert Face Brush to apply this base - giving a flawless and luminous complexion (even if I say so myself!). It is easily blendable, which preps the skin for a seamless contour to be blended on top, and also contains grip technologies, that ensure your contouring hard work stays in place. So much so, L'Oreal claims that it last 24 hours (if you plan on being awake and wearing your make-up for that long).

2. Infallible Sculpt Contouring Palette

The main contour effect is created using the contouring palette. Like the base, this also comes in two shades:

a. Light-Medium
b. Medium-Dark

The palette offers two colours in each: the lighter, used to highlight, and the darker, used to contour. I use the light-medium shade, as it offers a cool tone, that is easily buildable, and therefore can work well on a number of different skin-tones. The medium-darker palette offers warmer/orange tones. 

One of the best aspects of this product is the cream-to-powder finish - offering the benefits of both types of product. Unlike a simple cream contour, the powder aspect ensures long-lasting wear and there is no need to use a setting powder or spray to ensure the product lasts. However you still benefit from the natural look achieved from using a cream.

L'Oreal have also introduced their first brush to the range, a dual ended sculpt brush, perfect for this stage of application:

- The tapered end - used for blush or contour application
- The flat end - designed to blend together the contour

Unfortunately, this brush is currently out of stock in my local store, so for now, I am using my Real Techniques brushes (my pointed foundation brush, sculpting brush, and contour brush) for application, and my magical complexion sponge for blending. 

I won't lie, normally in the week I tend to oversleep, so don't have much time to contour before work, but this offers one of the quickest applications and is my go to in the week! I use the dark colour in the hollows of my cheek, under my hairline, a little under my bottom lip, across my jawline, and down the middle-sides of my nose. While the lighter shade is used under my eyes, in the middle of my forehead, down the middle of my nose, on my cupids bow and on my chin (this product also comes with instructions). 

And then blend, blend, blend...

This creates a natural look: natural light and shadow. There is also no shimmer in this product, so you don't go around sparkling (in a bad way)!!

3. Infallible Sculpt Blush

Now to add some colour to the cheeks.

This comes in 3 colours:

a. Soft Sand
b. Soft Rosy 
c. Natural Beige

And then each blush has 3 colours in 1: a cheek highlighter, and 2 complimenting blush colours.

I'm beginning to move towards more peachy colour blushers (especially since becoming a brunette). However, it was still the Soft Rosy colour that I reached for from the shelf. This has a light pink colour, a slightly orange tone, and a darker pink. And I love it!

You can use this product in two ways...either with a sweep across all 3 shades or using each colour individually. Personally, I sweep across all the colours (giving a flushed look on the cheeks) and then use my Real Techniques Fan Brush to sweep even more of the highlighter across my cheekbones.

If you want to see how the pros contour, click the link here to learn Mario Dedivanovic's (MUA behind Kim K's contoured look) tips and tricks on how to get the best looks from these products. 

I seriously recommend these products. They are easy to apply, and give a beautiful, natural, yet sculpted look. Other products in the range include: Superliner Black n Sculpt, Infallible Matte Max Designer Lip Pens, Sculpt Brow Artist, and False Lash Sculpt Mascara - these are next on my list...!!

Have any of you tried these products? Or anything similar? Let me know what you think...

Thank-you for reading