I Got Lip Fillers

Before I write anything, I just want to make a point of the fact that I KNOW everyone is naturally beautiful and I KNOW I don’t need to have procedures to change my face. I KNOW.  That being said, I got my lips done because I wanted to.  If that bothers you then you can click off this post, but for those of you who are thinking of getting them done or want to know a little bit about how my lip fillers are then read on…

I live in Belfast and thoroughly done my research before I committed to going anywhere for the procedure.  I searched high and low on Instagram, Facebook and asked friends all about their experiences and who they went to.  I heard horror stories and dream stories and I started to prepare my should I should I not list.

I had been thinking about getting my lips done for a long time now and when I finally decided to take the plunge there was no doubt in my mind  that I wanted to get them done.  A little nervous, don’t get me wrong but excited all the same.  After my research and scrupulously dissecting before and after photos I decided to book in with Lisa Sloan at Simply Be Beautiful on the Lisburn Road, Belfast.  Lisa is an experienced and established professional who holds advanced qualifications in facial rejuvenation and anti aging treatments.  Not only that, but Lisa also has 26 years of nursing experience and 7 years of practice in the aesthetic industry.  I have heard nothing but great things about Lisa for all her treatments and all her photos, including those with lip fillers looked amazing.

Prep

Upon arrival I walked into a beautifully open reception with calm friendly greetings and was handed a numbing cream straight away and told to apply.  The cream felt like how you would imagine, cold and tingly for a few seconds and I definitely got some on my tongue by accident.

Treatment (if you are squeamish maybe don’t read…)

I was so excited by this point but due to the numbing cream I honestly wasn’t sure if I was smiling or not.  Lisa smiled and me and made me feel so at ease and walked me through all the things she had to (terms, conditions, aftercare, etc).  I told her exactly what I wanted in that I didn’t want to end up looking like a TOWIE experiment gone wrong, that I just wanted fuller looking lips and she nodded and told me not to worry.  I lay down on the comfiest bed ever and closed my eyes as Lisa began to prepare.

As the needles went into my lips I honestly didn’t feel any discomfort.  I knew that there was something happening to my lips but thanks to the decent helping of  numbing cream I couldn’t feel much.  I had been given a tissue in case of any eye watering but my eye liner remained in tact!  I had intended to receive 0.5ml of product into my lips but after a mirror was handed to me, I could definitely see a difference but decided to opt for an extra 0.5ml bringing the total to 1ml added.

So ignoring the camera quality and all that, this was a before and after picture of my lips.  As you can see from the before picture my top lip was far thinner than my bottom lip and in the after picture it certainly isn’t anymore!  Obviously, this is a photo of them as they were just done so they have still to come down and reduce the swelling but I was so happy with them.

After

After I had left I came home and thoroughly inspected my lips, then PANIC set in.  I was so worried, being like ‘what if they don’t go down?’ and immediately forgot everything that Lisa had told me about swelling and that they wouldn’t be as red when they go down.  Joel came home and his face dropped but he did his best to calm me down and through laughter he told me everything would be okay.

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This photo was taken the next day and while there is still swelling I was far more relaxed about them the next day than I had been the night before.

One Month Later

A month later and I am still loving them!  While lip fillers may not be for everyone to me it just completes my make up look and makes me feel more confident.  Below are some photos from the last week or so and they have come down greatly but they are still definitely bigger and exactly what I asked for.  I can’t thank Lisa enough for actually listening to what I wanted.

I wanted to write a post about the fact that I have had lip fillers put in because so many bloggers and make up artists talk about how amazing certain lip products are while they have clearly had their lips done and people buy these products because they want to look like that.  While clever lip tricks and certain products can change the appearance of your lips, I think it’s important people know the difference between lip fillers and a lip liner.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this and seeing my before and after pictures.  If you are thinking about getting your lips done or any other treatment I urge you to please do you research and don’t automatically go for the cheapest one just to save money!  Do what’s best for you!

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Top 5 Primers For Dry Skin

Whether you agree with the need for a primer or not, I personally think they were one of the greatest products to come to light out of the recent make up boom.  For those of you that know me, my skin is drier and at the minute the texture of my skin has been playing up.  While there are certain things that only switching up a skincare regime can fix, a primer gives a little short term help to fixing those issues.

I have used an insane variety of primers in my time and while some work great for a few months, inevitably most stop working at what they did at the start.  The list below are the ones that have stuck by my side and done the job they claimed to do.  I use these on myself and I trust them enough to use them on clients whose skin is drier also.

What is primer?  A make up primer is a product that you apply before your foundation (or you can mix with foundation!) to allow for a longer lasting finish.  Not only do primers keep your make up on for longer, but primers typically make your face look smoother and can have other benefits too like hydrating, mattifying, smoothing, etc.  Primers take a little pressure of your foundation and if anything, you’ll probably need less foundation than if you don’t use one.  So there’s that!

Marc Jacobs Undercover Perfecting Coconut Face Primer, £32

I will never forget the first time I bought this as I had read somewhere that this primer was all the rage and I wanted nothing more than to bury my face in it as I am obsessed with anything coconut scented.  I scrambled and saved every extra penny I could as at this point I was at university, a poor student.  Eventually, I bought the primer and upon the first usage my face almost sighed with relief as it was cooling.  If I am going to an event, or know that I need to look like utmost best then this is the primer I use as any foundation I have sits beautifully on top.

The primer hydrates and nourishes thanks to the coconut infused formula including cold pressed coconut water, juice and pulp that forms a natural, vitamin rich barrier between your skin and your makeup.  My skin feels fresh and natural, all day.

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Make Up For Ever Nourishing Primer, £25.50

Make Up For Ever have a vast range of primers that cater to each and every skin type and I find myself bouncing between the Nourishing Primer and the Hydrating Primer.  Where the Hydrating Primer hydrates (shocking) the nourishing primer just goes that extra mile and has a richer, creamier texture which I prefer.  The Nourishing Primer feeds skin, repairing and hydrating all day while anti oxidants actually help to prevent from the elements.  As if that’s not enough, the primer restores elasticity and revitalizes skin creating a more even textured, flawless finish.

Today for example, as I said my skin was feeling a little more textured and so this is the primer I have used today.  My make up has been on my hours now and you can’t tell, my skin still looks and feels seriously smooth.

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Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow, £38.50

Before you gasp at the price, give me a minute!  This primer is multi functional and contains an amazing blend of ingredients that can make all the different to your beautiful face!  I bought this originally as a primer but after a few uses started wearing this on it’s own also.  I am off on holidays soon and this will be firmly packed in my make up bag for daily wear!

I absolutely love a glowy finish on my skin but it can be hard to get a product that will give you that finish that lasts longer than 2 hours.  That’s why I am so glad I took the plunge with this product because my make up stays on forever – hey, if it’s good enough for Jamie Genevieve then it’s good enough for me – SEE HERE Jamie Genevieve Night Out GRWM

*NOTE* This is what I am wearing in this picture for this post

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Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Hydrating, £30

Yes, yes Laura Mercier are so much more than their loose powder.  I like this primer because all the others I have mentioned are on the thicker side and sometimes it’s nice to have products on your face that are a little thinner, especially for days where you don’t want to wear a lot of make up.  Again, it hydrates and leaves the skin nice and glowy while multi tasking to help minimize the appearance of pores, fine lines and imperfections.

I notice that as my make up wears, my make up can tend to settles into lines on my forehead but when I use this primer that doesn’t happen!  So a bonus if any of you struggle to keep foundation out of any little crevices!

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Estee Lauder The Illuminator, £26

The thing I love about this primer is that it is designed for use on top of your make up as well as a primer underneath.  It’ll always be in my kit for events and make ups that require a lot of photography as it photographs beautifully.  Not only that but it really makes your skin feel fresh and awake, so if your skin is feeling very lacklustre and needs waking up then this would be the primer for you.  It’s the only primer that I would probably mix with any foundation to thin out as it doesn’t separate on the skin.

It hydrates, smoothes and illuminates giving you that Hollywood glamorous glow and is one that you can depend on to make your skin look flawless all day long.

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Let me know if you have used any of my favourites or if you have a Primer that you absolutely adore and think I need to try out.

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Top 5 Powders

As somebody who works on a make up counter, powders seem to be the thing people question the most.  Will it give me flashback?  Do powders dry the skin out?  Do they clog my pores?  Do I use translucent or coloured powder?  Do I even need it?  Are loose and pressed powders the same?  Do I a different powder for the face and under the eyes?  The questions are endless and to be honest, how and why you use a powder should be a whole other blog post.  For now, I have picked my favourite powders that I like for different reasons and use in different ways.

To answer one of the questions before I begin, loose powders come in a jar and have smaller particles therefore giving them a lighter feel and finish.  Some can be messy and a pain in the butt to carry around so advice from me to you, keep loose in the stay at home make up bag.  Pressed powders are are compacted and tend to contain ingredients like silicones and waxes to keep them in pressed solid form.  If your skin can get irritated easily this is maybe something to be aware of!  The particles in a pressed powder and slightly bigger and can therefore look cakey when too much product is applied.

To me, loose and pressed powders are completely different so I have included a mix of these products in this list to appeal to everyone!

Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Powder, £5.99

This powder is a beauty because it comes in colour and translucent.  Personally I prefer the translucent shade as but have used the coloured on clients.  If you know anything about me at all, you’ll know my skin is on the dry/combination side which makes me annoying because I’m a little bit of everything.  I have dry skin overall but with an oilier chin and quite open pores.  That’s why I reach for this powder on a daily basis as even though it gives a matte finish and fills my pores it doesn’t dry out my skin.

Using the translucent powder stops any clogging too like I mentioned earlier and really only sets the coverage that you have already put down which is perfect if you aren’t looking full coverage.

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Estee Lauder Double Wear Powder, £35

This is a powder perfect for someone who wants to have a flawless base (everyone right?) so long as you like to add a little coverage.  Now, this powder is classed as a foundation before you go straight to online shopping but I love it on top of foundation too.  It’s my go to for days where I am going straight out after work and it’s always in my handbag for emergencies.  In fact, when I buy it I buy two at once because I keep one in my beauty room and one in my bag!  That’s when you know that a product is one of your must haves!

Not only is the powder itself amazing offering medium coverage and a natural finish and SPF10, but there are 28 shades of this powder which is amazing for a powder shade range making it so easy for you to find your perfect shade.

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RCMA No Colour Loose Powder, £13

My ultimate all time favourite powder for underneath my eyes and at only £13, it’s a bargain considering just how long it lasts.  With it’s extremely lightweight texture it doesn’t dry out the skin and keeps under eyes crease free.  There are several types of RCMA powders you you can get however, the no colour powder suits me best as I know that no matter whether I have tan on or not this powder will match.  I originally bought this powder because one of my favourite YouTuber’s Make Up By Jaack used it and OBVIOUSLY I had to buy it.  At a time where baking was the go to trend this powder was perfection. Trends may come and go but this great product is here to stay!

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Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder, £3.99

I don’t have much to say about this powder other than that it’s the best, most affordable powder I have ever used.  I keep this powder for daytime and for when I am just running about and don’t need my make up cemented to my face.  It has up to 5 hours wear and sits beautifully on the face.  Although it is called Stay Matte the powder doesn’t take away all the shine in the face and it’s for this reason that I actually like it so much.  With that in mind if you are very oily and reaching for it just know that in my opinion it’s not completely matte.

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Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish, £33

So, I have saved the best for last!  My favourite pressed powder of all time ever is this one from Charlotte Tilbury.  When my skin isn’t looking as great as I would like it to be this is what I use.  When my skin looks great, this powder makes it look even better.

With dry skin, I have to be careful about what powders I use so as not to make my skin dryer!  This powder sits so lightly on the skin you wouldn’t think I had it on, but it sets all my foundations perfectly giving a soft, airbrushed finish.  The powder doesn’t give you that dry powdery look either, creating a beautiful luminous finish.

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So there you have it, my top 5 powders.  Let me know if you have used any of these or if there’s a powder out there that I just HAVE to try.  You can check out my other TOP 5 posts here –

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The Ordinary Foundation Review

Isn’t it the dream for your new favourite foundation to cost less than a Starbucks order?  Well, if you are lucky enough like me then this morning you found it.  Yesterday I received my fabulous brown cardboard box from Beauty Bay and inside I was so happy to see a foundation that I have wanted to try for ages.  Sometimes, it just takes you ages to get around to testing something new, especially a foundation.

First of all, a little bit of background on The Ordinary.  I have used this brand for awhile now but have only used the skincare.  The Ordinary is a brand owned by DECEIM and focus on ‘advanced functional beauty.’  The brand contains a vast collection of effective skincare and makeup with breakthrough technologies and a holistic honest approach.  The brand should appeal to all especially considering DECIEM does not test on animals and does not pay others to do so.

The foundation stands at £5.95 for 30ml which compared to even the likes of Rimmel, Maybelline, L’oreal and other drug store brands  is definitely one of the cheapest.  Price point aside I know the reason people tend to stay away from drug store products are the restricted colour range but with The Ordinary there are 21 Shades available that cater to all skin undertones whether there are pink, yellow and neutral.  I purchased the shade Light 1.2Y on a whim as I normally pick pale yellow based shades and there is a pretty good description on each shade on the Beauty Bay website.

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I love the packaging on The Ordinary products as again, even for the price of it the boxes look so sleek.  The skincare comes in beautiful white boxes and the foundation comes in sultry black packaging.  Breaking into the box (more like ripping into because I was so excited) I pulled out a gorgeous bottle of foundation.  Thankfully, I read the instructions first as you have to shake before use – otherwise I would have had a runny mess on a my face!

Application

The foundation applied like a dream, needing very little it covered my whole face.  When testing out foundations I always use my trusty Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and this allowed this foundation to give me an even, full coverage foundation.  Normally with even my full coverage foundations I find I always have to take 2 pumps to get proper coverage but I needed so little of this foundation in comparison.  So this foundation is going to last me quite a long time!

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Finish & Wear

I had thought it was going to be a matte finish but I was presently surprised to find that it was more semi-matte as I’m not a fan of totally matte foundations.  I put it on this morning at 7am and it’s still on looking as perfect as when I first put it on and I’ve had a bit of a mental day. It hasn’t got any shinier like my makeup normally does and with my dry ass skin the foundation doesn’t gather towards any dry patches.  The foundation didn’t sit in my lines or crease up anywhere either so this foundation is really ticking all the boxes for me.  WINNING.

Removal

One thing that never really gets mentioned when talking about foundations is how easy or difficult they are to get off.  So having just removed the foundation it was so easy to take off compared to how many pads I go through with my other foundations.  There’s nothing I hate more than having to spend ages (and loads of product) on removing a face of makeup.  I used my Estee Lauder Take It Away Make Up Remover like normal and it did an amazing job of taking it off.

*Fear not if full coverage isn’t for you then there’s a more natural coverage foundation available by The Ordinary.  Will definitely be trying this one next! – The Ordinary Serum Foundation*

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Top 5 Foundations

The perfect foundation?  Does this exist?  I don’t know about you but I have spent years trying to find thee foundation, the one that does it all.  I’m not going to lie to you, I have come very close.  I have a top few foundations that I wouldn’t  go without but none of them I can honestly say are the ONE.

I don’t think it’s possible to have just ONE foundation that’s the one for everyone as everyone’s skin is too different and we have too many different wishes.  For example, not every is oily and dreams of perfect matte skin.  Not everyone is dry and wants luminious skin.  It’s not even that simple, I have dry skin and sometimes my mood will send me towards a matte finish.  Therefore, it’s far too hard to have just one foundation that does it all.  So I have narrowed down my top 5 foundations as it’s not possible to have one!

Yves Saint Laurent All Hours Foundation, £35

An oil free, matte finish foundation that surprisingly does not dry out the skin when worn.  This foundation could cover mistakes of the past, that’s how good the coverage is.  It blends so easily into the skin and you really do need very little.  In fact I find with this foundation it’s best to build it, rather than going in with loads of product.  Using the foundation this way gives an insanely flawless base!  My skin isn’t bad, but is by no means perfect but when I wear this foundation you really wouldn’t know!  I have been wearing this foundation a lot recently and have gotten a lot of  messages on Instagram asking about it because it photographs so well too.

Getting down to the science, the foundation contains a skincare complex and UV filter which is what leaves the skin fresh and smooth.  It contains an SPF 20 and does give a little flashback but what’s a little flashback when your skin looks so fab in real life?

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Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation Stick, £30

You know when you see people walking down the street or even in your magazines and on Instagram and they look fabulously glowy and healthy?  Well, that’s what this foundation will do for you.  I am not even kidding, my skin has literally never looked better than when I wear this foundation.  The texture of the foundation is so creamy that it glides effortlessly onto the skin to conceal any imperfections making it excellent for touch ups also.  As it leaves a satin finish, it’s perfect for my dry skin!

It’s fairly long lasting, for me personally it’s not an all day foundation because it’s creamier it has a tendency to move but so long as you don’t mind setting it with powder it’ll be perfect.  If you love the sound of this foundation but you have oilier skin or want to make sure it stays on all day might I suggest Make Up For Ever Step One Mattifying Primer £25.50 to put underneath.  The foundation itself was created for the latest high definition technologies of the film and TV industry to look invisible on 4K camera and in person so it’s a perfect foundation to add to your collection.

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Rimmel London Lasting Finish Breathable Foundation, £8.99

I first tried this foundation a few months ago when Rimmel very kindly sent me a little parcel and I filmed a first impressions video which can be found here.

So if you want an in depth review on this foundation then you can watch that but this is my favourite drug store ‘affordable’ foundation.  A light to medium coverage foundation which similar to YSL’s All hours is extremely buildable.  The foundation claims to moisturise for up to 25 hours and to be honest, this could be true but I haven’t had to wear a foundation for that long.  If I did I would probably have to claw it off by the 25 hour mark.  Anyway, this is my go to foundation for something to throw on daytime or when I want a little bit less coverage!

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Estée Lauder Re Nutriv Ultra Radiance Makeup SPF15, £76

Every now and then, just like any gal I want a little luxury in my life.  That for me, comes in the form of this Estée Lauder foundation.  A gloriously smooth foundation, this gives flawless radiance to the wearer and a fabulous medium to full coverage.  It glides on effortlessly and feels amazing on the skin.  It coats over all my texture and leaves my skin glowing.  In fact, I normally use this foundation mixing it into the others that I have mentioned to add a little fabulousness to my face.  On it’s own however, it is a stunning foundation.

Seriously luxurious it contains precious micro-fine gems for a flawless finish and jewel-like radiance.  It contains benefits from the Re Nutriv Skincare range by Estee Lauder itself, it reduces appearance of fine lines and imperfections,  enveloping skin in comfort and care.

I’m aware it’s on the pricier side so if you want something similar but not just as expensive then might I suggest Estée Lauder Perfectionist Foundation £41 but trust me, you’ll not regret the Re Nutriv!

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 L’Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Foundation, £9.99

I found it pretty hard to pick the last one to complete my Top 5 so I went upstairs and due to the fact that I have two bottles of this foundation on the go at once and a further 3 in the drawer as a back up that this one has made the list.  Without realising it, this foundation is probably my most used.  I love how lightweight it is and it’s another great one to mix into other foundations to lighter/darken.  It’s honestly just a nice foundation for every day.  I use it more as the throw it on, heading into town, going to the shops kind of foundation.  I don’t really use it for nights out as it doesn’t pass the long lasting test for me but is great to throw on to save wasting those that are a little on the pricier side – see Estée Lauder!

The foundation has an impressive 28 shades so there will be something to suit pretty much everyone!

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Note Cosmetics Review

One Friday evening after work I trudged home and coming through my door, it got stuck on something.  Now if you live in Belfast you can imagine my thoughts when I thought someone has shoved a paper through my door and I HUFFED and sighed and turned the light on.  To my surprise there lay a beautiful little pink box, which Joel had left on the floor – good of him.  Inside the box was an array of fab Note Cosmetics products.

NOTE Cosmetics for those of you who don’t know, is a brand with products that are 

       Enriched with essential oils and vitamins

       Paraben-free

       Environmentally friendly

       Dermatologically Tested

       Never tested on animals

So if  you are an animal lover then you will be pleased to see that last one!  Not only all of these things, but the products are extremely affordable.  NOTE is available in selected pharmacies but if there aren’t any near you online is as good as anything.

Luminous Moisturising Foundation SPF15 Shade 5, £7.95

The first product I opened was this beautiful foundation – as soon as I opened the box I had to dig straight into the products and get them on my face!  As well as protecting your skin with SPF15, this foundation also contains Macademia Oil and Sweet Almond Oil.  Due to these ingredients the foundation leaves your skin highly moisturised.  The foundation itself is classed as luminous and I agree having worn it for a few days now.  There are eight shades available in the range and hopefully the brand comes out with more shades soon!

My Thoughts

I love it.  I am a very snobby foundation person and so it can be difficult for me to find one that I am not only willing to try but actually will go as far as writing about it.  I have dry/combination skin and this foundation is honestly long lasting.  I put it on yesterday for example at 7.30am and it was still looking flawless at 7pm that evening albeit a little on the shiny side – not hard when it’s a luminous finish.  I have tried the foundation with and without powder and to be honest the finish is much the same, so if you are someone who doesn’t like a  lot of product you could probably hold off on the powder.

I was SO surprised at the level of coverage this foundation gave me as it felt very thin and lightweight as it came out of the tube.  I would class it as medium to full but you can definitely build on it for a fuller coverage.  The shade I received was perfect to match with my tan which was great but I haven’t seen any of the other colours, hopefully you’ll be able to get one that matches you.

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Full Coverage Stick Concealer Shade 3, £5.50

This concealer is designed for all skin types and any age range and has a very creamy consistency to help hide any nasties that need concealing.  Containing Argan Oil and Soy Protein this helps to protect the eye area of free radicals and environmental factors.  The soya protein also helps strengthen the skins structure by increasing collagenous and hyaluronic acid level.  I know right?  SO much more than just a concealer…

My Thoughts

Again, pleasantly surprised by this product.  After an incident with a Rimmel Concealer Stick when I was younger I thought I had sworn them of for good.  It wasn’t a good look for me when I was younger as I just waved it all over my face including on my lips and I thought I was great.  It seems I have learned a little bit about make up in the 20 years since that point and actually know what to do with the stick concealer.  I tried the concealer under my eyes but unfortunately it creased a little too much for my sad tired eyes but I thought it was amazing for spot concealing.  It now has a permanent position in my hand  bag for emergencies blemishes! 

The coverage itself is amazing and even covers my little red veins around my nose and a seriously red blemish that has popped up courtesy of TOM.  Ladies, you know.  Even though I couldn’t use it around my eyes doesn’t mean that you can’t so if you do try this product then let me know your uses for it!

Mineral Blusher Shade 101, £10.95

A magical blush with a cocktail of ingrediants from Coral Seaweed to Vitamin E allows the blush to leave the skin with a natural healthy glow.  It’s a silky, fine blusher that gives a very light finish which is perfect for those who don’t want to end up looking like Aunt Sally.

My Thoughts

The blusher applies like a dream without looking powdery and dry.  A little luminosity comes off it which is again perfect for my dryer skin.  There isn’t much to say about blushers but this one gets my vote and I spy a nice peachier shade online that i’ll probably buy now too… 

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Precision Eyeliner, £7.95

An eyeliner pen that is designed to give precise application with no muss no fuss, perfect for those that like a bright black line.  The liquid formula sets very quickly to leave a waterproof finish that should last all day.  

My Thoughts

Obsessed.  This is a brilliant liner, it’s very hard to find a liner that can leave you with a mistake proof finish but here you go… found it!  The liner itself is a thin formula which is good for no cracking lines!  Try to avoid going over and over your line as this will lead your liner to being too thick and will therefore crack and not last as long.

I love my NOTE Cosmetics products and can’t wait to try more in the future.  Leave me a comment or send me a message to let me know whether you have tried any NOTE Products yourself!

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Top 5 Highlighters

Whether you like your glow subtle and daytime appropriate or whether you like your glow to be seen from the International Space Station then you have come to the right place.  Highlighters are probably the item of makeup that I have tried and tested the most considering it’s the most requested item when working on clients.  Dewy, wet, beaming, luminous, radiant, glowing and gleaming are the words people want to hear when someone is talking about their skin and that’s arguably all down to highlighter.  You might love it or hate it but there is no doubt that adding a little pop of highlight can make all the difference.

Of course, highlighting in the make up industry has been around for decades upon decades and this glow hasn’t only come around in recent years.  However, as everyone is now a mooah all the tricks and tips of the trade have leaked out for anyone and everyone to use.

With so many highlighters available from so many different brands it can be hard to truly find the best one for you.  With that in mind I have compiled a list of my personal Top 5 Highlighters so if you are in highlighter limbo and have no idea which highlighter to go for, or you simply want to add another to your collection then scroll down for more!

  1. Mac Cosmetics Extra Dimension Skinfinish £25.50
    More specifically the shade Oh, Darling.  If you are a regular viewer on my Instagram or even on my YouTube channel you might know that this highlighter is probably my most used item, let alone highlighter.  I get carried away and honestly out it everywhere.  The highlighter itself is one of the most stunning sights.  I myself prefer anything warm toned so that’s why I tend to reach for this baby a lot considering the gorgeous, golden glow it leaves on your skin.  If you are after that perfectly wet, sexy sweaty skin then this is the highlighter for you.  I do find that the brush you use is important for this one as it is such a strong colour I find it best using a fan brush like the Make Up For Ever Fan Brush 120 (£21.50) as it doesn’t apply too much product causing the tin man look.

2. Sleek Solstice Palette, £9.99

Before I even begin – this is the BEST highlighter for the price of it.  So if you are someone on a budget and looking a little more bang for your buck I am telling you look no further.  Congratulations, you have found the perfect highlighter.  My jaw hit the floor the very first time I used this palette, I couldn’t believe a highlighter that cost me less than £10 was this good.  Price aside, the highlighter itself is unbelievable.  Now, inside this palette there are 3 powder shades (two baked and one shimmer) and one cream shade.  I’ll be honest when I say that I have never touched the cream one, only by accident when I have been getting ready in a rush but I use the powder shades nearly every day.  It’s an extremely strong palette so it’s not for the faint hearted!  If you only like a light bit of highlighter please do just take a small amount as I have known myself on occasion to go totally overboard.  There are not many drugstore products other than foundations that I repurchase because there are so many out there to try, but I am on my fourth solstice palette.  I also love the packaging – that’s what sold it to me in the first place!

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3. Estée Lauder Victoria Beckham Modern Mercury, £55

I may be being biased considering my love for former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham and her outstanding line with Estée Lauder but this highlighter certainly had to appear i my Top 5.  The second I got it I ripped through the packaging and I nearly wept and how beautiful it was, I was almost scared to ruin the beauty of it.  I got over myself pretty quickly, grabbed my Illamasqua Highlighter Buffing Brush (£26) and delicately placed this beautiful creamy powder on my cheekbones.  It was love at first sight!  I keep this highlighter for when I don’t want my cheeks to be so wet looking, it’s is perfect for those of you who like to keep it a little more on the ‘natural’ side while still looking gorgeously glowy.  As I wrote this I got so excited about it that I ran upstairs just to check on it, make sure it was safe, swatched it and came back down… obsessed much?

4. Iconic London Illuminator Shine, £30

I used to hate cream or liquid illuminators.  Ladies and Gents, that was before Iconic launched their illuminators.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t quite nailed the application like some of the beauty gurus on Instagram and YouTube – how to they look so attractive dripping it down their face?! – but, I am quite happy throwing it all over my face any way I want.  I love this product for two reasons… it is fantastic as a primer underneath your foundation as it creates a serious glorious shine through your foundation.  Not only that, but it’s beautiful on top of your foundation – even over powder.  It’s the only liquid highlighter I have come across that does not lift or disturb ANY foundation that lies underneath.  There’s nothing worse than spending ages bouncing your foundation in to your skin to then use something that lifts your hard earned work.  It comes in a few shades, I use ‘Original‘ and have ‘Glow‘ if I am using it to darken foundation or use as a bronzer.  When adding on top of your foundation, might I suggest using a beauty blender if you have one as it sits beautifully on the skin.  I use the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Make Up Sponge (£5.99).

5. Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color H102/H106, £18

The thing I like about these highlighters more than anything are their compactibility and ease of use.  The Artist Face Color collection are magnetic and so can be swapped and changed into different pans and carriers, as a Make Up Artist this is extremely handy for heading to and from events, clients, etc.  Not only are they then refillable but the product itself is beautiful!  They have a vast range of highlighters, matte and shimmery to blushers and bronzers and contour shades that can be placed and made into a palette of their own.  Focusing on just the highlighters, they are extremely buttery and so blendable that it doesn’t require a lot of work.  My favourite colour is H106, again a warm golden colour,  and it’s the only highlighter I have that looks like skin.  All the others have that obvious highlighter look but this one in daylight looks like it could really be my skin that’s glowing.  Even the Victoria Beckham highlighter has that hint of glitter that lets slide that it’s a highlighter whereas the Make Up For Ever is so smooth that it looks like skin.

The list could go on however, these are the highlighters that I use on a near daily basis and are worth bringing into your own make up bag.  If you have any other highlighters that you think I might not have tried please send me a message as of course, I would love to try them!  If you have used any of the highlighters I have mentioned send me a message as well and let me know what you think!

Til next time,

Amy xo

How To Grow Out Your Bangs In Style

I don’t know about you, but I am one of those I love my fringe, I hate my fringe, I love my fringe, I hate my fringe kind of people.  So I am forever getting a fringe, then deciding that I am bored and need a change.

If you have ever graced your head with the presence of a fringe then you know how difficult and moreover, annoying it is to grow out when you don’t like it anymore.  I am here to give you some top tips on growing out a fringe in style as growing it out can be a huge pain in the ass.

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Depending on how you want the end result to look will depend on how you grow them out so I really only know what I do to keep my hair looking cute.  If I want my bangs to eventually taper off the to the side then you are going to want to keep trimming your fringe in the middle only à la Alexa Chung.  This will not only keep your hair out of your eyes but when it is long enough, it will be easier to sweep to the sides.

Currently I am trying to create a side fringe so I have my hair clipped back with a bobby pin until it is long enough to take down.  When it gets a little longer then I will have the option of having cute little hairstyles instead of a boring clip.  Whether it’s keeping it up with a half knot on top of my head or the many different styles of plaits starting at the base of the fringe my hair will get more interesting with every millimetre of hair growth.

 

It’s a dark few weeks when you decide to grow out your fringe but with commitment I know you can pull through!  If in doubt, hair spray my friend.  Hairspray.  I always use L’Oreal Elnett Precious Oil Hairspray (contains Argan Oil to help with smoothing and shininess) or the Supreme Hold Hairspray.

Happy fringing!

 

Long Nail Problems

One of my favourite things to do to relax is sit and get my nails done.  There is something extremely soothing about sitting in a little chair, picking the perfect colours to wear for a few weeks.  I could almost fall asleep in the chair.

If you are local to me or around the Belfast area then you should take advantage of my gal Cara at @clawed_by_cara on Instagram.  She works out of Topshop, Victoria Square and all images in this blog post are hers, just so you can get a little snippet of how amazing she is!  I will leave more of her details down below!

My favourite style to get on my nails is anything long.  The longer the better however, having long nails can really get in the way of normal day to day activities.  Let’s start with the one that is affecting me right now…

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Typing

I have to type like my grandmother would type, almost on the tips of my nails because they are so long and so it takes me about twice as long to write a post than if I had short nails.  Not only that but it makes a horrendous noise when a nail tip collides with the keys, to the point of extreme annoyance.  Don’t even get me started on typing a message on my phone… Worth it.

Moisturising

Moisturising the body is important but is so hard to do with nails like mine.  It always gets stuck under the nails and is rank.  Then you have to go through the process of picking it all out.  Worth it.

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Clothing

I have had to modify my wardrobe so that it doesn’t include anything with a clasp otherwise I would have to set my alarm in the morning for half an hour earlier.  I am not a jewelry person because I favor nails over bling.  Worth it.

Clothing 2.0

Jeans.  More specifically, new jeans.  I can’t even deal with the thought of trying on new jeans in a fitting room never mind the fear of getting my nails caught or stuck in the zip.  Worth it.

Washing Hair

Now obviously as the nails grow if you don’t get them done, they can

25038188_2024978707512312_4520655432129183744_nstart to chip away, etc.  In the days leading up to nail day when you wash your hair there is no feeling more horrid that having a great time feeling like a Herbal Essence advert when AGH there it is… your hair gets tangled underneath your nail extension, then you have to drag it out with a harsh slam back into reality standing there in your own damn shower.  Worth it.  Long nails forever.

 

 

Itching

We all have to have a little stratch every now and then, itchy head, itchy finger, itchy boob, whatever.  This is totally fine and normal.  What isn’t normal is having a scratch and then looking at yourself and realising you are now covered in a tonne of red marks.  I swear, you look like you have been mauled by 11 kittens.  Not a good look but again, worth it.

Earrings

Small studs? Forget about it.  I’ve been subjected to wearing J-Lo worthy size earrings because my nails can’t get wrapped around the backs of studs.  Worth it.

Dropping money

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Okay, I live in a city centre.  My money is not expendable, neither is my threshold for embarrassment when I drop money, or anything for that matter and I can’t pick it up.  Picture it – I am bent over ass in the air struggling to pick something up.  I’ll be honest, sometimes I’ll just leave it because my nails can’t take that kind of pressure.

 

All jokes aside, all the goodness that comes with long nails more than make up for the lil problems we gotta deal with on a daily basis.  I love having long nails, let’s face it they are kind of like having a Swiss Army Knife at the end of your fingers.

CLAWED BY CARA

Instagram @clawed_by_cara https://www.instagram.com/clawed_by_cara/

Facebook Clawed Nail Bar https://www.facebook.com/clawedbycara/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Up Trends SS18

January is well and truly over, let’s all breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate by taking a look at the up and coming trends in Make Up for Spring/Summer 2018.  Some of the trends are not anything new, some trends are wildly out of your everyday comfort zone and some trends are so easy that even those who aren’t make up gurus can master.

Read on for my favourites from the trends, and shop my favourite products to recreate.

Bullet Is Back

I for one, am extremely happy that the liquid lipstick trend is fading fast.  My lips have been cracked and dry for too long now that a year of intense creamy application is exactly what I need.  Even the liquid lipstick Queens of the beauty world are swapping out the sponge applicators to the creamy bullets.  From Kylie Cosmetics favouring their newest range of hard lipsticks to the iconic Kat Von D relaunching her Studded Kiss lipstick bullet collection.  Move over liquid lipstick.

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SHOP THE LOOK

https://www.katvondbeauty.com/lip/lipstick/studded-kiss-creme-lipstick/40006.html

https://www.kyliecosmetics.com/collections/lipstick

Glitter

I’m here to tell you guys, glitter isn’t going anywhere.  You may get used to particles of glitter being permanently ingrained in so many of your other make up products (and your carpet…)

As seen on a variety of models at an ecclectic mix of fashion shows for SS18, glitter is everywhere.  At Anna Sui for example, Pat McGrath took to using turquoise shimmer glitter down the centre of the lid.  So it’s a little less airy fairy glitter and a little more grunge glitter is what we will be seeing more of come Spring /Summer.  My favourite glitters right now are that from Helen-E and Make Up For Ever.  Both brands are leading the way in terms of glitter – Head to Helen E for your chunkier glitters and Make Up For Ever for the Diamond Powders for a beautiful shimmering effect.  Nikkietutorials herself was first on the ball mentioning them in her Hits and Oh God No’s video 2 years ago!

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SHOP THE LOOK

https://www.helen-e.com/cosmetics/eyes/sparkle-glitter-pots.htm

https://www.makeupforever.com/int/en-int/make-up/eyes/eye-shadow/diamond-powder

Liner Everything

Panic not people!  If you aren’t the most comfortable with your eyeliner then this could be the trend for you as it would seem the more OTT and the more grungy the better.  We have come on leaps and bounds since the oh so seemingly simple winged liner.  We have now developed into graphic liner territory, a look which seems terrifying but can be extremely fun to create.  Sarah Tanno (Lady Gaga’s MUA) created a rounded graphic liner for Gaga at the start of her Joanne Tour and not long after Pat McGrath created a similar look to make it’s way on to Tom Ford SS18 Show.  As intense as these looks were some designers restrained and took a more natural approach by placing coloured liners under the eye to keep it wearable.  My advice is have a little browse on the internet or through your Instagram feed to get some inspo, and get creating.

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SHOP THE LOOK

http://www.boots.com/maybelline-master-precise-liquid-eyeliner-10172265

https://www.esteelauder.co.uk/product/631/35578/product-catalog/makeup/little-black-liner/thick-thin-ultra-fine#/shade/Onyx

Natural ‘Supermodel’ Skin

To be honest, we say this every year.  This will be the year of fresh, glowing skin.  This will be the year of no caked foundation.  This will not be the year, even for what the trends may suggest.  As a Make Up Artist I guarantee that every ‘Saturday Night Make Up’ I do will be based on photograph I’ve been shown from an account like Plouise or Stacey Marie MUA on Instagram.  As amazing as these accounts are (and as fun as these looks are to do) and their artistry skills are insane, accounts like these have changed the way younger girls see their faces and their make ups.  Since when did it become acceptable to wear a full  blown glitter cut crease to go to the shop to buy bread and milk?  Anyway, what I am trying to say is that this year is the year we should embrace our natural skins and let a little more of ourselves show.

Oilier skins rejoice as the desired look is seriously glowing, sweat like skin.  Invest in some glowing hydrating skin base products this year to give your skin that happy, healthy glow.  You will also start to see the decline of the strong intense highlighter… Not sure if I am happy with this one, as I have to confess… the more the better with me.  It’s like a drug, I can’t put my Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color H-106 down.  It’s like gorgeous, shiny melted butter.

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SHOP THE LOOK

Estee Lauder Doublewear Nude https://www.esteelauder.co.uk/product/631/49039/product-catalog/makeup/double-wear-nude/water-fresh-makeup-spf-30#/shade/1N0-Porcelain

Make Up For Ever Highlighter https://www.makeupforever.com/int/en-int/make-up/face/blush/artist-face-color-refill

Make Up For Ever Liquid Illuminator https://www.makeupforever.com/fr/fr-fr/make-up/teint/enlumineurs/ultra-hd-soft-light

So there you are guys, my top picks from the top trends of SS18, let me know what your favourite make up trends are and which ones you are excited play with!