How To Break In New Shoes

We’ve all had that tedious day trudging about the workplace breaking in new shoes.  I am here to give your feet a break!  Breaking your shoes in doesn’t have to be a painful ordeal.  Do not try and wear your shoes all day straightaway, gently break them in a few hours at a time and before long they will feel like slippers!

I have recently bought myself a gorgeous new pair of Doc Marten’s and if you have a pair then you will know that they are an absolute bitch to break in.  I am currently plopped in front of the tele watching Tattoo Fixers while breaking them in, so this leads me to my first top tip…

Vaseline

We all know where our sore bits on our feet lie when it comes to breaking in new shoes.  For me, it’s the heel.  The damn Achilles Heel.  You get blisters on your feet due to a lack of moisture in those areas i.e. when friction is caused between shoe and foot that’s when the need for plasters arises.  Use lotion to moisturise before your put om your new shoes or use petroleum jelly – I always  have Vaseline lying around so I prefer to use it.

Stretching Shoes with Chunky Socks

This isn’t everyone’s first go to when it comes to breaking in shoes but it is mine!  If you can stretch your shoes while wearing thick socks sitting in your pajamas in front of the TV then why not?  Wearing your thicker socks in your new shoes allows you to stretch the shoes without getting nasty little blisters that stay with you for weeks.  Avoid wearing them for long periods of time as your feet can get warm and swell and you’ll end up with blisters anyway so every now and then wear them and have a little walk around.  I put a wash on doing this earlier, then gave my feet a break and now I am wearing them again and can feel it working already!

Blow Dry

This tip really would only apply to leather shoes but no, I don’t mean take them to the hairdressers.  Blow drying the ‘tight’ bits of your shoes can help massively as heat can help to soften the harder bits of leather.  Leading on from the last point if your shoes are being stubborn then keeping your socks on with your shoes blast the areas that hurt or rub with a hairdryer.  Normally a hairdryer will help with areas like the big toe or heel!  Keeping the hairdryer far enough away that you don’t burn yourself hold there for around 20 seconds.  Then get up and move around while the leather is still warm and flexible so that the shoe can bend to suit your foot shape.  If you still feel a good bit of rubbing then rinse and repeat!

Thin Ice

Okay, I don’t know why but I didn’t think that this would work.  My friends, it’s a bloody revelation.  I didn’t try this on leather shoes I tried it on new boots however, it worked like a dream.  So, fill two plastic bags/sandwich bags with water (leave a little room at the top) and stuff them into your shoes and put them in the freezer overnight.  Yes the freezer.  The water turns to ice obvy, and then in turn stretches your shoes without need to even put a toe in.  It’s fantastic!

Buy another pair…

They ones you bought hurt like a bitch? Buy more.

 

Best Websites For Buying Makeup

As a self confessed make up lover I have found the perfect way to successfully shop for my make up but what about you guys who are watching these YouTube videos and reading these blogs about products and have no idea where or how to buy them?

I have compiled a list of the best websites to shop online for your perfect beauty picks!

bbayLogo

https://www.beautybay.com/

This website is my immediate go to for shopping as it holds a host of beauty brands that you can’t get on the high street or even in your local department stores.  From Anastasia Beverly Hills to Sigma to Morphe to Zoeva it has it all!  Before Beauty Bay came along it was hard (and expensive) to get these amazing products but it is so easy.

You can view your products by brand and make up category making it easier to see what you are looking for and pick up a few bargains on the way.  Speaking of bargains, they have a sale on now GO GO GO!

Not only is this a fantastic and easy to use website but you get free delivery with a £15 spend.  I don’t know about you but I could spend £15 in 15 seconds so that’s not a problem for me.  This is great as it appeals to even those on a budget.

cult-beauty

https://www.cultbeauty.co.uk

When I can’t find what I need on Beauty Bay my next stop is Cult Beauty.  Serving you brands from Huda Beauty to Becca Cosmetics to Lime Crime to Farsali (you know that serum Instagrammers are dripping all over their faces?).  They also sell some of the same things that Beauty Bay has so if you are enquiring about prices be sure to check on both as you may save yourself some £’s.

What I like about Cult Beauty is that on their main page they have got such great blog posts that are interesting and entertaining to read (https://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/blog) Not only that but you can shop a trends section to stay up to date with what’s hot in the beauty industry which is extremely helpful because I feel like the trends change weekly and can be hard to keep up.  God forbid I put on a gloss when it’s back to ‘all matte everything.’

PS. There’s a sale on Cult Beauty too!

space_nk_logo

http://www.spacenk.com/uk

Us fortunate souls in the Belfast area are extremely lucky to have Space NK on our doorstep but for those who don’t or are lazier (me) then the website is perfection! What started out as a single store in Covent Garden has now graduated into 60 stores over UK & Ireland is now home to over 70 brands. Carrying some of the world’s most amazing, elusive brands Space NK provides a shopping experience like no other.  From Hourglass to Rodin (oh please tell me you have tried this brand?!  Their Jasmine & Neroli Luxury Body Oil is to die for…)

 

birchbox-highres-500x500

http://www.birchbox.com

So this is primarily a subscription service that sends subscribers five selected samples of makeup, skincare, haircare, etc.  For £10 a month/ £60 for 6 months/ £110 for 12 months you get a box of goodies that are tailored to suit you.  I love this website, it’s such a great idea to get to try products you never would have normally.  Plus, technically you’re only buying one thing, so it’s not as bad as buying 5 things.  You can also purchase products from this website like the others but this one is all about the special boxes that come every month.  I love them, it’s like getting a little surprise sent to you in the mail!

In fact if you order a box in January you get a free Pop Beauty Eyeshadow Trio with a Spectrum brush – just use the code EYES at checkout – YAY!

There are so many sites that you can use but these are a selection of my favourites and the ones that I use all the time.  Way more than I probably should.  These sites are perfect for those amazing products that you can’t get in normal stores, or if you just hate going into places like Debenhams, Boots, etc then they are perfect for you.

Happy shopping!

 

The Best False Eyelashes

From light and fluffy to thick and dramatic I have compiled a list of the best eyelashes on the market to make the most of your eye make up.

It may as well be scientific fact that all eye make up looks look better with a pair of eyelashes applied.  Whether you are a novice when it comes to picking lashes or even applying them then hopefully this post will help.  With so many styles and variety or prices it can be daunting selecting a pair that best suits to amp up your lashes.

Before I even get into the best eyelashes, it’s important that you know how best to apply them or at least the basics of applying.  I always find it best to use tweezers to remove the lashes from the packaging and then lay them on your eyelashes to measure if they fit or not.  If not then grab some small scissors and trim the band – NEVER trim the hairs on the lashes or you’ll end up with weird looking stumps.  Using eyelash glue place some on the lash band and most importantly, wait for the glue to become tacky – about 30-60 seconds is more than enough.  Don’t try to stick it on right away or it’ll become a hot mess!  When the lash is ready then using tweezers or a lash applicator tool apply to your lashes while looking down into the mirror.  I always find it best to put the lash on and put pressure onto the middle of the eyelashes and then to push down the outside, then the inner corner.  Once the lash is applied use your tweezers to press your own lashes with the false eyelashes to move them closer together.  Regarding mascara, it’s personal preference when you put it on.  I prefer to use mascara first so as not to destroy the lashes and you can get longer out of them.

I know, I know it is very easy to write down how to apply them but when it comes to the actual application of them it’s much harder to get the hang of.  When you do get the hang of applying them, you will be thankful!  Your eye make up will never look better…

Ardell Demi Wispies £5.49 2299737

These eyelashes are one of the first pairs that I ever became obsessed with.  They are a staple in my Make Up Kit for clients as they perfectly suit every need and every eye shape.  They are the ‘goldilocks’ lash in that they are just right and are easily stacked (double up the lash) if you want a fuller look.  The lash band itself is incredibly lightweight which makes for an easier application.  Definitely a great starter lash and not as expensive as others which makes for a great ‘practice’ lash too.  The great thing about Ardell lashes is that they come with a mini Duo Glue in the pack.  Duo Glue is one of the more popular glues on the market and is the glue that I personally use.

http://www.boots.com/ardell-fashion-lash-demi-wispies-false-eyelashes-10099662

Eyelure Naturalites ‘107’ £5.40

downloadConsidering these eyelashes were the very first pair I ever used I couldn’t not put them into the list.  The are very full straight lashes with a slight curl on the end. The lashes themselves although fuller are still extremely lightweight so you won’t have drooping tired eyes.  The lashes create a cat eye look which is great for a smoky eye or even a winged liner look.  Again lash glue is included however, I prefer to use the Duo Glue so might be worthwhile picking up a tube of this as it is sold on it’s own.  I don’t reach for these lashes as often as I used to however, not everyone likes the wispy fullness of other lashes and these are a perfect alternative!

http://www.boots.com/eylure-naturalites-false-eyelashes-107-10007605

https://www.beautybay.com/accessories/ardell/duolashadhesive/

Red Cherry Lashes ‘Stevi #43’ £4.49 

41fj5YYTwgL._SX355_.jpgNot only are these an absolute bargain of an eyelash but they are high quality and offer more of a ‘natural’ look.  Similar to the previous two lashes mentioned the Stevi lashes offer graduated length so they look fluttery and feminine.  I find these lashes very comfortable to wear and can be reused so long as they are looked after and removed properly.  They don’t however come with glue hence the lesser price point however lash glue as previously mentioned, is easy to pick up.  A lot of beauty bloggers, you tubers, etc tend to use these eyelashes as because again they go with every eye look and even look great on their own.

Red Cherry Lashes Style #43 (Stevi)

House of Lashes ‘Iconic’ £14

house-of-lashes-iconic-1Bold.  Spiky.  Dramatic.

If that’s what you want from your eyelashes then you have come to the right place.  Although they are spikier they still create a very soft look while still being a dramatic lash.  These lashes are extremely popular with beauty You Tubers and you can get a good bit of wear out of them.  They are more expensive, but more luxurious.  Also the House of Lashes lash glue is amazing!  The glue is latex free and waterproof which makes this a perfect go to for those with more sensitive eyes with a tendancy with watery eyes.

https://www.beautybay.com/accessories/houseoflashes/iconic/

Lilly Lashes ‘Mykonos’£30

mykanos_round_yes_copy_grandeThese. Are. My. Favourite.  You can use these 20-25 times and are real 3D Mink Lashes which is why they are on the pricier side.  That being said, I think they are excellent value for money!  These lashes are flirty, fluffy and give a full finish which lifts every single eye look and transform it into an Instagram worthy look.  They are definitely on the more dramatic side but because of the fluffiness they still look normal.  Dramatic lashes are grand so long as they are fluffy, try to avoid any that are all the same length otherwise you’ll end up with caterpillar eyelashes – not a good look!  Fluffy is the way forward.

That brings my list to an end as I have a disgusting amount of eyelashes.  I hope this list helps if you are struggling to pick the perfect lash for your peepers as it took me years to realise what lashes worked and what ones don’t!

Happy lashing!

Amy xo

 

 

Snacks

Before I even say hello I just have to say that never have I been hungrier in my life than I was when writing this post.  So thanks to this post I think I gained a stone.

Hello Fellow Hungry Hippos,

You have in fact read this title correctly.  This is not about delicately delicious morsels that I cooked up in my Nigella style kitchen with methods for you to follow.  No brownies, no homemade, no nothing.  This is about those so-tasty-should-be-illegal things that you can bulk buy from the likes of B&M or Home Bargains for about £1.  If you are reading this and you don’t have B&M or Home Bargains, I pray that one day either opens near you and you can experience the wonders they have to offer.  Or go online.

Anyway, I am a snacky person.  My locker in work is full of snacks.  Hence why I am pushing into a new dress size and believe me I am going up not down.  My mouth is already watering thinking about the snacks I am going to write about.  I have compiled a list of my go to snacks but please understand I do not eat all of them every day.  Just… some of them.

WARNING! Seriously unhealthy food to follow, if you are a health freak or on a diet please know, I am sorry.  Click away.

  1. Popnotch Popcorn.  Pop-Notch-builds-new-factory-to-grow-sales-abroadSomething you must know about me… I love popcorn.  I go to the cinema just so I can have popcorn.  Is that bad? Anyway, my favourite popcorn to have actually comes from near my fabulous home in Northern Ireland.  They have so many flavours and they even have little packets for kids.  They have cute little popcorns with sayings on their packaging and to be honest, that’s what sold it to me firstly.  Now, I make it my aim to collect all the flavours!  My favourite is the Sweet & Salty Popnotch Popcorn.  If you are from Northern Ireland, do yourself a favour and pick up a pack! Nom nom nom… (PS. check out their website it is so cute http://popnotch.co.uk/ )
  2. Houmous.  Marks--Spencer-Reduced-Fat-Extra-Virgin-Olive-Oil-Houmous-best-and-worst-hummusOh my GOD, hello?  I will dip anything, anything into houmous.  Be it carrot sticks, celery or a bloody chocolate bar.  I am being serious.  A Mediteranean spread which works great with pitta breads, bread sticks, carbs, etc and my favourite comes from M&S.  The Deli Reduced Fat Extra Virgin Olive Oil Houmous is unreal.  It’s handy when you are wanting a snack that will actually fill you and not leave you full of guilt instead.  Be warned though, the garlic can be a little overpowering so maybe pop a mint after if you are on a work break.302572-Malteser-120g-box-Edit1
  3. Chocolate.  Ah duh.  All chocolate, all colours.  Say no more.  The perfect little boost to get you through the day hour.  I can’t pick one chocolate brand or bar as my favourite because… that’s crazy.  However, malteasers are a fantastic snack.  The little boxes you can get make me happy inside – that’s the kind of shit I get in B&M… they are always £1.
  4. Apple & Peanut Butter.  178388494_XSSo this CAN be a healthy snack so long as you choose a natural peanut butter.  I don’t normally pay much attention to the peanut butter I am picking and whether it’s healthy or not I just pick the one I know tastes good.
  5. Chip n Dip.  eng_pl_Doritos-Mild-Salsa-Dip-2571_2Be it Doritos and Salsa, Plain Crisps and Sour Cream Dip or Pringles and Nutella (trust me) chip and dip is seriously under rated as one of the best snacks out there.  In fact, why not go the whole 9 yards and just make nachos… oh, maybe that’s a meal and not a snack.  No matter whether it’s movie night with the gals, a hangry lunch break or a sneaky pig out sesh chip n dip is always the answer.
  6. Tayto Cheese & Onion Sandwich.  51Cijd1oJcLFirstly, if you aren’t Irish you can probably just skip this point as there is no other crisp that will suit, so don’t try.  The Tayto Factory produces one of the greatest crisps I have ever tasted, and I have tasted my fair share of crisps.  Not only is the bag of crisps itself an amazing snack, but put a bag of crisps in between two slices of bread and butter and you have got something that will make your insides warm and fuzzy.  In fact… brb making a sandwich.
  7. Cuppa and biscuits.  JS31975398Okay, so while this isn’t your average snack it’s one of the best.  There is nothing that a cup of tea can’t fix and pair it with your favourite biscuit and you are onto a winner.  I am a ginger nut, chocolate digestive lover with an occasional cookie rather than your fancy biscuit.  I like to keep it old school.  The question is do you dunk your biscuit?  If the answer is no, I can’t associate with you.  There is simply nothing better than a biscuit that has been dunked into the perfectly made cup of tea.
  8. Cheese & Crackers. My favourite end to any dinner party.  I mean, yeah sure the company and the entertainment is okay – but cheese and crackers is just the ticket.  Any cheese, any cracker and a glass of port wine (or Schloer… always Schloer) will always win.  MS_FD_F06C_00095006_NC_X_EC_0.jpgM&S always do a cracking cheese board, especially for this time of year as as I write this, it is less than a week to Christmas.  M&S have a wide variety of cheese boards that suit every taste and price.  That being said, I prefer to create my own cheese board picking my favourite cheese and crackers.  My favourite crackers to have with cheese are oldies but goodies, Jacobs crackers.  They may seem boring to some, but I love them and they suit every cheese.  William Jacob made a damn good cracker way back in 1850!   5000137415970_280_IDShot_3.jpeg

 

 

 

That brings us to the end of my list of favourite snacks because if I keep going on I will ruin my keyboard with drool.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and I didn’t make you too peckish!

Amy xo

Products I Will Not Repurchase

Salut my lovely lil peaches!

So today’s blog post is not intended to be a rant in any way – but I know that’s exactly how it is going to end up.  Before we get stuck in however, let me paint you a picture and make you jealous…

It’s Friday. Friday night.  Friday nights are Amy nights.  Joel is working late, I am nursing that sweet sweet bottle of wine, I have carbs in the oven and a selection of bangin’ movies ready to be watched.  On the other end of the spectrum I lost a nail on each hand and it’s throwing me off typing properly… so in 20 seconds I’ve gone from relaxed typing in my happy place to angrily slamming the delete key because I made a mistake.

Anyway, let’s move on.

This list of products are items that I have used once or twice and effing hate and weren’t worth the money spent.  Some of the products might surprise you as some are classed as ‘Beauty Must Haves’ but they simply just didn’t work for me.  Saying that I don’t like a product doesn’t mean that I don’t like the brand itself, in fact some of the products I absolutely love the brands.

I have taken one item pretty much from every category of make up so read on to see what products I regret buying and will not repurchase!

  1. Benefit Porefessional.  232313690This one is just a serious NOPE for me and my skin which is a shame because I see SO many beauty bloggers and You Tubers rave about this product but for me, it dries me the hell out.  When I put my foundation over it, the primer lifts off and then sits patchy over it.  My skin is dryer so really I shouldn’t use this for my skin type anyway but whatever, it didn’t work for me and I will not be repurchasing!
  2. Maybelline New York Dream Liquid Mousse.  Maybelline-Dream-Satin-Liquid-Foundation-10-Ivory-30ml-555762Okay, I guarantee this foundation will be someone’s number one go to and it is so hard to get the perfect foundation but this one is so far away from perfect I could feel my skin cry.  It gave me pores and lines I didn’t even know I had.  I really tried with this one, I actually used the whole bottle trying to make it work but it just wasn’t happening.  Every time I wore it, it ended up seriously chalky.   Coverage wise it ended up blotchy too, but it was deceiving because it looked great for the first half hour and then turned to shit.
  3. Laura Mercier Powder.  s870618-main-hero  I KNOW.  I only bought this because every beauty blogger I watch uses it.  This powder I don’t mind as much but it doesn’t last long on me at all.  I bought it originally to ‘bake’ with, which was fine but it sucks so much moisture out of my skin that it makes me look even dryer than I already am.  I would repurchase if there weren’t so many other great powders out there that I already have.
  4. Benefit Hoola BronzerBenefit_Hoola_Bronzer_Powder_8g_1495706290.  Sorry to come for Benefit again, this one is just purely personal preference because I prefer a warm toned bronzer and this is probably the most cool toned bronzer I have ever used.  In saying that, I don’t mind it as a contour shade but for the amount of times I actually contour it wouldn’t be worth repurchasing.  I actually don’t like the packaging either, I always find that when I get to the end of my Benefit blushers I dig around the outside and lift too much product and it doesn’t go on nicely, you know?
  5. Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks.  charlottetilbury_beachstickgroup001Not specifically this one, but all cream blush sticks ever.  I hate them.  All of them.  I can’t get to grips with these products to be used over foundation, etc.  Also, I myself am pretty familiar with how make up works but to a regular person this is definitely a ‘lie in drawer and never wear’ kind of product.  I have tried blush sticks over and under powder, on their own with and without foundation and I just hate them. Sorry.  Although ‘Beach Stick’… I like the name.
  6. Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade.  Idipbrow-medium-brown loved this product when it first came out, it was revolutionary and while I was on the thick instagram brow trend this product was brilliant.  Since ABH came out with this, there have been so many dupes released and it just so happens that they are better.  The ABH pomade goes dry after it’s been open awhile and can be hard to spread out so because there are so many other affordable products that are in my opinion better, that’s why it’s on this list.  For those interested, my favourite dupes of this are Make Up Revolution Eye Brow Pomade and the NYX Tame and Frame Tinted Brow Pomade.
  7. Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette. fdb82e9d00942d6fe20cc0b84b6e4e2a Sooo, I will not be buying the other palettes (1,2 and 3) as well but not because I regret buying them.  They were absolutely amazing at the time, amazing for when I was just starting out doing make up.  As I have progressed in make up and learned more things and tried more brands I have just found that for the money I can get a lot more.  The Smoky Palette however, I just couldn’t do anything with it.  At the time that it came out I think that those who were interested in the Naked palettes could have done a smoky eye with the palettes they already had.  To me, this is a waste of money because you don’t need a whole palette just to do a smoky eye.  Not only that but the actual pigment in this palette wasn’t very strong and the colours were very hard to blend out and looked like a hot mess rather than a smoky eye.
  8. Kylie-New-LipKit-PenelopeKylie Jenner Lip Kits.  Oh my God. Oh my God. I just hate these.  I am not a huge liquid lipstick fan on the best of days but these ones in my opinion really suck.  All liquid lips are drying so aside from that they are always blotchy on my lips, so to get a decent colour I either have to put down a lipstick first in the same colour which – what’s the point? Or I have to put on about 4 layers of the liquid lipstick and that dry AF.  On the other hand – colours are lushhh.

 

That’s pretty much all I want to list as I don’t want this to drag on forever – because it could.  With my job I buy a lot of products to try out and then review them to hopefully help people with what they should and shouldn’t buy.  So don’t buy any of this.

LOVE YOU.  Drop me a message about any products you have tried that have been horrible for you, I weirdly like hearing about products that sucked.

Amy xo

Me, Myself & I

Hello Earthlings,

This blog post flies at you from my sofa where I am sitting cross legged with a large glass of wine on one side and a bag of salted popcorn on the other.  I felt the need to post about something and I am not lying to you when I say I look absolutely ghastly.  So, for fear of destroying my camera with my current state I have taken to writing another post.  Seeing as I have nothing planned regarding a post I think I’ll have a post about me.  Because, why not?  In fact, let’s get some questions and I’ll answer them… because I am drunk and lazy.

  1.  Tell me the 3 best things about you.  I knew this was a bad idea.  I guess I am creative, I am fuuun and I make really good roast potatoes.
  2. Are you single/in a relationship?  In a relationship, just had our 2 year anniversary
  3. On a scale of 1-10, how strict are/were your parents? Like a 6?  They weren’t relaxed but strict when they had to be, yano?
  4. Who was your worst teacher? Why? Miss Sloan, P1.  She terrified me and made my mum take me to the hospital for tests because she thought I wasn’t growing fast enough and was accused of malnutrition.  I was like, really small.
  5. Who was your favorite teacher? Why? Miss Lavery, P5.  She had a guitar and made times tables exciting.
  6. Which would you pick: being world-class attractive, a genius or famous for doing something great? I feel like I would be a genius, as a genius I can go on to do something great and become famous.  So two out of three ain’t bad.
  7. Who are the 3 greatest living musicians? Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Madonna
  8. Childhood crush? All of McFly.  I wrote to them… still waiting on my reply DOUGIE
  9. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Not a thing.
  10. What was your favorite toy growing up? I didn’t really play with toys, but the thing I always carted about with me was a case of art stuff.  I was always drawing.
  11. Name 3 celebrities you most admire. Julia Roberts, JK Rowling, Kate Winslet
  12. Name a celebrity you think is lame. Justin Bieber
  13. Which of your friends are you proudest of and why? My friend Jenna has conquered her fear of velvet.
  14. What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been? I haven’t been many places but I think Ibiza is amazing.  There’s far more to the island than meets the eye.
  15. What are your 3 favorite movies? Goodfellas, Frozen and Dirty Dancing.
  16. What’s the right age to get married? Any age, so long as you are with the right one.
  17. Tell me 3 things you remember about primary school. We did Pop Idol in school and me and my friends did Steps 5678 and it was amazing.  There were gypsys that stayed in the field beside our school and we were told to stay away from the bushes. A wasp landed on my floral headband and that was one of the scariest moments of my life.
  18. What would you do if you were invisible for a day? I’d fuck with Trump and freak him out.
  19. If you could time travel, where would you go? I’d go see dinosaurs for sure.
  20. If you could live in any TV home, what would it be? Does the White House count?  I’d probably still pick Monica’s Apartment, Friends.
  21. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Chocolate!
  22. Would you rather live for a week in the past or the future? The past, but the week chosen would have to be surprised.
  23. What’s your best childhood memory? Walking around the lane with my Granda.
  24. What’s your favorite holiday? I went down to Ballybofey with my family including my Granny and Granda.  I don’t remember a lot about that holiday but I remember I had a great time.
  25. If you could eat only 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be? Pizza, Pancakes and a jar of Nutella.
  26. If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be? Johnny Cash.
  27. What’s your favorite childhood book? Alice in Wonderland ORR Harry Potter
  28. Who would play you in a movie of your life? Ooh, Clemence Posey
  29. If you could be an Olympic athlete, in what sport would you compete? Eating.
  30. Tell the person to your right your favorite thing about them. My wine appreciates the love I have for it.
  31. Do you ever talk to yourself? When and what do you say? ALL the time.  I couldn’t even sum it up in a sentence I say so many things.
  32. What’s your favorite smell in the whole world? Joel.
  33. What’s your favorite time of day? Around 9.30, I don’t know why but I feel a sense of calm wash over me at that time every day.  Maybe it’s because I know I can go to bed soon.
  34. What’s your favorite season? End of Summer
  35. What’s the one food you could never bring yourself to eat? Fucking brussel sprouts.
  36. What is the sound you love the most? David Attenborough’s voice
  37. What 3 famous people, living or dead, would you want at your fantasy dinner party? David Bowie, Morgan Freeman and Joanna Lumley
  38. If you could ask the President one question, what would it be? Why won’t you delete your Twitter account?
  39. If you could pick a new first name, what would it be? Lara
  40. What’s your pet peeve(s)? People walking slow – I know I am not alone on this one.  I hate the word ‘moist’ and the feeling of a toenail catching on a duvet is enough to make me actually vom.
  41. Do you ever count your steps when you walk? When I was younger I did… I was curious how many steps it used to take me to get to places.
  42. What’s your favorite kind of sandwich? For me, you kinda can’t beat a ham and cheese sarnie?  But I love a Tayto Cheese & Onion crisp sandwich.
  43. What’s your dream job? Lady who lunches
  44. Cake or pie? CAKE
  45. What is the scariest movie you’ve ever seen? I can’t remember the name of it and refuse to google, but I watched it with my friend and fucking shit my self it just freaked me.  I think it was called Sinister?
  46. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? South Africa
  47. Who’s your celebrity crush? Any Marvel character (Chris Pratt and Chris Hemsworth I am looking at you boys)
  48. What fictional character do you wish you could meet? Dumbledore
  49. If you could be great at one sport which would you choose? Ultimate Frisbee
  50. What’s the first thing you do when you get home from a trip? Collapse on my bed
  51. Would you rather spend five days exploring Disney or New York City? DISNEY
  52. Whose parents do/did you wish you had? What a horrid question… my own!
  53. If you could shop for free at one store, which one would you choose? SEPHORA OBV
  54. What personal trait has gotten you in the most trouble? Being a sassy hoe
  55. Which celebrity chef would you most like to fix you a meal? Gordon Ramsey, then I would judge him
  56. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? Love yourself, no matter what
  57. What do you like to do on a rainy day? Paint or do make up
  58. What is your favorite thing about the beach? The smell.  I wish I could bottle it and sell it.
  59. What is your favorite Disney movie? Nope, too hard.  Frozen I guess because I watched it pretty much every day sometimes twice a day for two years or so.  
  60. Which of the Seven Dwarfs is most like you? Dopey 😦
  61. If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction? A comedy because I am hilarious
  62. Name a product or service you love so much that you’d happily be that company’s spokesperson. Mr Kipling…
  63. If you were guaranteed to be successful in a different profession, what would you want to do? Oh guaranteed success?  I would cure cancer, then do their makeup
  64. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up? I wanted to be in the FBI and I remember telling my Granny that I wanted to be a sausage roll.

Okay… there were so many more questions but I am at the bottom of the bottle and I just don’t think I can go on anymore answering questions otherwise I’ll start getting too honest.  I need snacks… I might go put on lil pigs in blanket now.  IT IS CHRISTMAS.

If you enjoyed this then please do let me know and I can do more posts like this, instead of JUST make up.

Peace out xo

26 Things I Learned In 26 Years

Hello Readers,

This one comes to you not from a place of ‘do what I do’ or ‘my way is the right way’ but, simply these are a collection of points that I have learned over my 26 years – fast approaching 27 – on the planet and how I have survived this long.  If any them happen to make you feel a little better, more centered and generally happier then brilliant, if not well I am sure the read will pass the time.

  1. Cherish your friends and family.  I cannot stress this enough because to mad lib Kelly Rowland, when life takes over it’s easy to get swept up in day to day life.  Don’t forget about the ones who loved you  before your current distractions ie. Binge watching Stranger Things instead of eating family dinner.  Don’t roll your eyes at your mother when she tells you to phone your Grandparents because one day, not everyone will be around that dinner table or at the other end of a phone call and you will regret the time not spent together.
  2. Don’t give in to peer pressure.  Obviously, you say?  Think back… how many times have you done something just because someone else did it?  From small things to the biggest of things, never let anyone influence you heavily enough to sway your opinion from what you want and don’t want to do.  Your friends are going to Uni?  Great, you don’t have to right now.  All the troops are going out on the sesh?  So what?  Make every decision because you want to, don’t be a follower.
  3. Nobody is perfect.  No body is perfect.  For the longest time I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin.  It took a lot to get over judging myself based on appearances and how I looked in clothes, what way I had my hair, etc.  Now?  How you see me is how I am.  I worked hard to become confident no matter what size I am, what my skin is doing and how those jeans look on me.  Years ago, I would use bags to cover my stomach and drown myself in clothing that was unflattering to try and hide what I thought were ugly parts of my body.  Ironically, the size I was then is now my goal weight and even though I know changes can be made for a healthier lifestyle – I remain confident in myself as I am.
  4. It’s OK to make mistakes.  As Bob Ross once said, “we don’t make mistakes, we have happy accidents.”  It’s down to those happy accidents in the last 26 years that I have the personality that I have, the views that I have and I honestly don’t regret a single thing.  Even the really bad mistakes.  As any right minded adult would have told you when you were younger ‘mistakes are there to be made’ and it’s from those mistakes that we learn and grow.  Basically, regret nothing.
  5. Never apologise for being yourself.  This is something I realised that I can do recently.  To me, I am unapologetically me – I shouldn’t have to explain myself to anyone, or have to apologise for the actions that I do.  Unless the actions you do are horrific, but on the whole I will not apologise for who I am.  If you don’t like it, then it won’t affect me if I don’t see or hear from you again.  Life is short, I will not waste it apologising.
  6. ‘It’s not like it is in the movies.’  Sometimes it is.  Some will tell you not to get hung up on looking for that fairy tale movie kind of life.  I’m telling you, never give up.  Who says your life can’t be like a movie?  Make your own God damn movie.  Our lives are exactly like the movies, it’s just that a movie is 90 minutes or so long compared to a life of 90 years or so (hopefully).  Don’t rush, your movie scene is coming and when it does and you find what you have been looking for all that heartache and uncertainty will all have been for something.  It led you to this point.  Granted, Ryan Gosling or whoever your on screen crush is (John Cusack) will probably not pop up but something or someone even better will.
  7. Be. Happy.  Find what makes you truly euphoric and surround yourself in it.  This is why my house is filled with fairy lights – Joel drew the short straw when we moved in as I pay for the TV each month but he pays for the electric… sorry.  Whether you take 10 minutes out of your day to do a crossword puzzle or you go for a walk to clear your head or you just simply watch your favourite TV show to be happy – I recommend you do it.  It’s the only way we will actually get through our day.
  8. Dance.  Not only is it seriously fun but research shows that dancing can actually improve your mental health.  I’m not saying you need to go out and take ballet lessons but dancing is freeing, and so fun.  I dance while making dinner, standing in work, doing my makeup and even when I am not listening to music I break out into spontaneous dance.  I went out last night sober as a judge just so I could dance.  That’s dedication.
  9. You don’t have to be married young like your Facebook friends.  A new day, a new engagement or pregnancy blasted all over social media from people 23 and under.  While this is perfectly normal and acceptable, it doesn’t mean everyone has to be at it.
  10. You don’t have to pick one thing to be good at.  When I was in school I thought I was going to have to label myself as one thing career wise.  Like, people are good at cooking and are a Chef, people are good with math so they are an Accountant. Why do we have to pick one thing to be good at?  I am a Make Up Artist, that’s not all I am.  I learned that I am good at loads of things and don’t want to label myself as just one.
  11. It’s OK to not make picture worthy dinners.   Leading on from the last post, this is something I am not good at.  Don’t get me wrong, I can feed myself (a lil too much) and make tasty dinners but they look so unappetising whereas every plate of food on Instagram and Pinterest looks like it walked straight off an à la carte menu – and that’s ok!  I’m just surprised I haven’t burned the house down.
  12. Surround yourself with people that will support your interests.  One of my earliest memories is using my grandparents wooden staircase as a table, my legs fit through and I would sit there for hours upon hours drawing.  Drawing anything.  I was a very creative child and didn’t come from an overly creative family.  SURE, they liked my drawings and told me I was good but when I got to secondary school and I was doing Art at GCSE and A Level for example, I became more of a hindrance.  My art got in the way, it covered the dining table and was a mess, basically.  I wasn’t encouraged to do anything with my love for art and it was treated as a hobby.  7 years later, I can’t help but wonder where it could have taken me career wise had I stuck with it or been encouraged.  My point is, whatever your passion is and whatever makes you happy (see #7 again) surround yourself where possible with people who encourage and nurture.
  13. Pancakes & Pizza.  Are my happy foods.
  14. Social Media is bullshit.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing and the impact it has had on our lives is detrimental to our relationships and businesses but all in all, a lot of it is bullshit.  More specifically, the lifestyle gurus and the people you follow on instagram because they talk about how amazing their life is and how they got their shit together, they are here to motivate you and help you get your life on track too.  Bullshit.  They are normal people, with normal lives with Final Cut Pro and Photoshop.  Do not compare yourselves to strangers on the internet.  Get off the app and go live your life.  I post make up on my Instagram – I do not have a made up face all the time.  I am sitting in sweats and a tshirt that should have been in yesterday’s wash and I have yet to remove last night’s crumbly mascara from my under eye.  It’s 12.34pm.  IDGAF.
  15. Don’t resent your job.  We all have our bad days, do not get me wrong but just remember this, if you are unhappy in it – get a new job.  Your job pays for your rent, car, clothes, heating, food and drink.  Think of those less fortunate unable to get a job, are homeless and starving (I know, I know… dramatic) the next time you moan about getting paid to be somewhere.  Also, remember you are more than likely replaceable so be careful who you moan to.
  16. Listen to music you like.  My Dad introduced me to some of the greatest music I have ever heard and I will be eternally grateful to him for that.  In school, I was made fun of for liking artists like Stevie Wonder, Paul Weller and Elvis Presley while everyone else was in love with some boy from 5ive.  Because I was made fun of I tried to pretend that I didn’t like the music I liked.  Oh God, I have to stop this is making me sound like a sad child.  The point is, don’t listen to music or watch movies just because the are the norm.  Listen and watch because you want to.
  17. Teenagers are so annoying.  On the bus, on the street and probably in their own houses they are so annoying.  I like to think that when I was that age I wasn’t as annoying as they are but the reality is that if anything, I was probably more of a pain in the arse than all of them put together.  I think I am jealous… youth! Yoooouth!
  18. The ups and downs of getting ID’d.  When I was Under 18 it caused me to sweat profusely when I was ID’d because I would hate getting denied.  There is very little more humiliating than having to put back the alcohol that you were denied.  18 years old hits and sees a smug Amy walking into Winemark and skulking out with a a large bottle of WKD and West Coast Cooler because honestly, that’s all it took.  Skip forward to now, and I can’t even get ID’d getting into a damn nightclub.  I told the security guard last night that I didn’t have ID, sorry and he simply shot me down with ‘and? on you go’.  I’m done.
  19. It’s OK to not be OK.  Yes, although you should always strive to be happy, live your best life, bla bla bla…  It is still OK to not be OK.  It’s OK to want to have a duvet day.  It’s OK to do nothing on your day off because you’re too tired.  It’s OK to struggle, to reach out and talk to someone.  Without this blog post taking a turn, just promise yourself that if you are having a bad day you will talk to someone and not let it eat you up inside.
  20. Primark leggings are not your friend.  I learned the hard way that they are see through and I need to stop buying them.
  21. Failing is normal.    When I flopped out of Uni, I thought this was the worst thing but as my mum told  me everything happens for a reason.  J K Rowling (hero) in her twenties was broke, suicidal and felt like she was failing.  As of last year she is worth £650 million.  Steve Jobs was fired.  Everyone fails at something, it’s having the courage and the strength to pick yourself back up and try again is something that I learned how to do in my twenties.
  22. Take care of yourself. Take that vitamin, eat that veg, walk that ass, buy the better skincare and take better care of yourself. The inevitable is happening, you are getting older. That McDonald’s you ate when you were 16 evaporated off your hips, and now it clings to them like white on rice. In order to have a happy, long life you may need to make some changes!
  23. Opinions are opinions. Believe what you want to believe and respect that others will not have the same opinion. From what kind of apple is best to politics, listen to others opinions.
  24. Save. Save what you can, when you can. My advice? To set up a direct debit to a savings account for yourself no matter the amount. It all adds up and when the time comes that you’ll need a few extra coins it’ll be there waiting for you.
  25. Sleep. It was uncool to have a bedtime when you were younger. Now it’s the part I most look forward to. Not only does it feel great climbing into bed, especially with new PJs and fresh sheets but a good night’s sleep really does contribute to our overall health. So away and have a nap!
  26. Love yourself. Similar to a few points already but I just really mean it. Love yourself for everything that you are and everything that you do. Once you accomplish that my friends, you can accomplish anything.

Happy living,

Amy xo

Favourite Make Up For Ever Products

Aloha, beautiful people,

Today’s topic will be on the beauty of the brand MAKE UP FOR EVER.  Not a lot of people know about the brand, other than the odd stick foundation being used by their favourite You Tubers.  Considering a new counter opened up in Debenhams, Belfast and it is where I work, I thought it would only be fair that I share a little bit about the products and tell you my favourites (all views are my own!)

First up, a little background on the company.  MAKE UP FOR EVER is a brand that was created in 1984 by an amazing lady – Parisian Dany Sanz.  Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy has since taken over the brand however, Dany still plays a crucial role in the inner workings of the brand.  MAKE UP FOR EVER is a brand that allows their users to be creative and play with make up in a way they never have before.  They provide the tools and products for make up professionals and make up fanatics alike.

verticalIn the 1980’s there were very few products available for the working professional and those that were actually available only came in certain shades.  Dany took it upon herself to create her own products that she could use –  and MAN did that take off!  Dany got so many requests from fellow makeup artists and students that she opened up a boutique in Paris.  MAKE UP FOR EVER was born.

Fast forward 33 years and MAKE UP FOR EVER is available in 52 countries and is a widely accredited make up brand.  To have a counter in Belfast is a real treat as it is one of only 3 stores in the whole of Ireland, the others being in Cork and Dublin.  I currently work, as I have said in the store in Debenhams and it has been amazing so far.  The counter opened in June and has created a major buzz already!  The products reputation and popularity allowed us to jump straight in with our customers and we have had the most creative nearly 6 months –  which you will know if my Instagram is anything to go by (@cosmetics.junkiee)

I am going to stop giving you the run down on the company and get on to the good bits that you fellow make up junkies will be gasping for!  These are simply a list of my top picks from the counter and all opinions on the products do remain my own!

PRIMERS

Pictured are a select few of the primers that MAKE UP FOR EVER carry but I have pictures my favourites to use.  The Mattifying, Smoother and Hydrating Primers are my immediate go tos and actually have them in my kit for freelancing.  They do exactly what they say on the tin and you have GOT to appreciate the simplicity of them.  As a Make Up Artist I want something quick and easy that I can put on my clients so I can move on to the base but you don’t have to be a Make Up Artist to enjoy these products.  That’s the beauty of them!  do not be sucked in by primers that claim to do 100 things to your skin.  Take the Mattifying Primer for example – can you guess what it does?  Mattifies.  The Hydrating?  Brilliant,  great for dry skin (my personal favourite.)

Also pictured we have the Redness Correcting,  Nourishing and the Radiant Primer.  These I don’t tend to reach for as often however, they are fantastic to have on hand.  I have a touch of rosacea and use the redness primer, this is also another staple in my kit.  The Nourishing is great if you are a bit of an inbetween skin type and you want something that covers all bases ie.if you aren’t overly oily  or aren’t overly dry  but would still like a primer!  MAKE UP FOR EVER has quite a few Radiant Primers however, I reach for the pink one more often as I personally find it great for brightening up dull skin and this is a common concern in good ol’ Northern Ireland. *retails £14.20-£22.50*

FOUNDATION

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We have a good few foundations under our belts here at MAKE UP FOR EVER however, the one that resonates with everyone is most definitely the multiple award winning Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation.  If I had £1 for how many times I get asked about this amazing foundation a day I could probably buy one!  It’s the most recognisable foundation on the counter and for good reason.  I describe it as the Goldilocks foundation in that, it’s ‘just right’ for everything.  Coverage? Just right.  Creaminess?  Just right.  Colour?  Just right.  It’s thee go to medium coverage foundation with a natural finish on the market. It just happens to photograph beautifully as it was designed specifically for film and TV also so it is perfect for that selfie!  Ever wanted to look like your favourite on screen celeb? Well look no further!  Even when I am freelancing I use it as it suits all skin types, especially considering I have so many amazing primers to go underneath.  Of course if medium everything isn’t your bag then there are plenty of other foundations at MAKE UP FOR EVER that will suit you, so you are best popping in to see one of us and we can talk you through them.  *retails at £30*

CONCEALER

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Pictured here is my favourite concealer of all time.  I was exhausted from trying out concealers that could do it all as in, cover dark circles under the eyes without settling into lines but also be heavy enough that it will cover up those demon blemishes.  After years of searching,  awhile ago I finally came across it!  Behold, the again award winning Ultra HD Invisible Cover Concealer.  Not only is it a perfect concealer but it just so happens to be a fab match to the foundation.  The extensive shade range will cater to every skin need and I have collected quite a few colours as  I tend to contour slightly with this product as well.  I like that it comes in a tube as a lot of concealers that twist like a pen do my head in and any others that pump out I always waste so much product.  The concealer may seem small at 7ml however, I cannot stress enough how little you need!  A must have in my kit and on my face and for my customers – if you are ever in visiting the counter and are served by me I guarantee I end up talking about this!  *retails at £20.50*

POWDER

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You can’t never have seen this before?  If you haven’t – have you been living under a rock?  The Ultra HD Loose Powder – One of the more controversial products on the counter as there are amazing reviews and some not so amazing reviews.  The product itself was recently updated to leave an ultra fine powder that to me almost feels like Talc x1000.  It is the softest powder on earth.  Honestly, go into a counter and tip some on your hand and I swear you will never have tried a powder like it.  If that’s what it can do to your face then imagine what it will do for your eyes!  The more negative reviews boast that it gave really bad flashback and can leave the face very powdery.  From personal experience, this hasn’t happened to me however, there is a right and a wrong way to apply it.  If you apply too much with the wrong kind of brush for example, it will make your foundation a little lighter.   This powder works best in small doses and therefore will last you ages, so just be sure to ask advice when you are in store to get the best out of your products.  This works amazing under the eyes also if you suffer from creasing!  *retails at £24.50*

BRONZER

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SO, Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer.  Honestly, I hated this bronzer at first.  I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t see the orange stripes on my face anymore until somebody complimented my subtle glow when I was wearing it and I was like ‘ohhhh’.  So when I want a subtle bronzed look that I can build up, I use the MAKE UP FOR EVER bronzer in the shade 20M.  I recently used it at the lastfew weddings I did and it also photographed beautifully.  Plus, Jamie Genevieve uses it… So I use it.  I would recommend a very soft brush to apply as I used a more dense brush and it lifted off too much product and left me grey looking.  You know that grey cheek look? Not cute.  I recommend the MAKE UP FOR EVER brush in #128.

ARTIST FACE COLOR

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Oh my GOD I love these!  I use them every day!  There’s a vast selection of blushers, highlighters both matte and luminous and contour shades.  They are magnetic and you can either stick them in a palette you already have or purchase the case.  Anything that is compact and refillable gets my vote, especially as someone who requires everything to be small and organised.  This is brilliant for people who travel also because it has everything!  This one is actually the Jessie J Limited Edition palette but it contains all of my favourite colours from the range.  I use it for highlighter, contour and blush however, there ain’t nothing stopping you peeps from filling it up with all blush or whatever you want!  Each retails at £18 however the Jessie J Limited Edition palette is £54 – which is amazing!

BROWS

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MAKE UP FOR EVER aren’t known massively for their brow products, you know like Benefit or Anastasia Beverly Hills are, etc.  but they damn well should be!  I fell in love instantly with the Aqua Brow, which is like pomade in a tube which I prefer than a little jar as it doesn’t dry out at all!  There really is something or everyone with the brows here, I go through phases of which I prefer.  Today I used the Brow Pencil with the Brow Liner to create a fluffier brow and when I want a more sculpted brow I will use the Aqua Brow.  When you buy the Aqua Brow it comes in the cutest little set!  It has a pouch with a small spoolie and small angled brush – a make up bag must have!  One thing I always use on my brows regardless of what makeup look I am doing or whether I am even wearing makeup is the Brow Gel.  It instantly makes me feel better about myself, also considering my brows are feral, it keeps them at bay! *retails from £14-£33*

DIAMOND POWDER

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Glitters will come… glitters will go but holy crap this glitter I will keep repurchasing!  There are so many beautiful colours, I can’t cope.  The glitter sticks on itself, without the need of an adhesive which comes in really handy and doesn’t leave eye makeup looking chunky!  The pot seems small but you need so little of it that it will last you ages – plus it’s really nice to look at!  Some advice, please don’t keep it in a make up bag as if it opens everything will be covered! *retails at £18.50*

AQUA XL PAINTS

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These wouldn’t be something that you would run to pick up but the range of these face paints are amazing.  They can be used on the eyes, lips and face and are so versatile.  I used them a lot over Halloween creating different looks and they are surprisingly easy to use.  I can recommend MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Seal to go along with them as it’s like a mixing agent, so it thins out the cream so it applies easier.  Pictured are my two favourites to use as a cream highlight, they are so beautiful!

LIP

Liiiiips – who doesn’t love lipstick?  It’s the one accessory I carry around in my handbag and am probably never seen without.  I cleared out my handbag yesterday and I took out 11 lipsticks and about 5 lip liners.  These are some of my favourite colours from MAKE UP FOR EVER’s lip range – we have the Artist Rouge Creme lipstick M300 and the Aqua Lip Waterproof Liner in 8C.  The lip is an amazing creamy matte that does NOT move.  If you are looking for that all day lipstick then yaaaay I found it!  I have also pictured the latest launch of the Artist Liquid Matte (L-R) 101, 105, 301, 401, 501.  The world has fallen in love with liquid lipsticks and while they can be a little on the drier side these liquid lipsticks aren’t!  Now, when they hit the like, 8 hour wear mark they can be a little dry and I normally take them off and reapply and I am good to go!  So 8 hours out of one application of a liquid lipstick is pretty good going!  They are seriously creamy also when you apply them which is an added bonus!

SO ANYWAY, that’s quite enough rambling about my favourite products!  What are your favourite products, if any from MAKE UP FOR EVER?  I would love to hear! Drop a comment or send me a message!  If you are in the Belfast/Northern Ireland area and are wanting to get your make up done – YOU CAN.  Come in and see us in Debenhams, Belfast to have a look at our amazing products and book for a make up application or a make up lesson.  See below for prices which are redeemable on products on the day!

Eyes/Base – £25

Full Make Up – £45

Make Up Lesson – £45

Can’t wait to see you all chicas!

Amy xo

 

Face Mask Magic

I am sitting here on my day off resting up before a crazy week ahead for a Black Friday week in retail.  In anticipation of the rush ahead and the effect it will have on my skin, I have a day planned of extreme skin focus using my favourite face masks.  If my skin doesn’t feel like a baby’s backside by the end of the day I will be extremely disappointed.

It took me a long time to realise that face masks were an essential part of my skincare regime but I am so glad I did.  It’s easy to overlook a face mask as you leave them on for 10 minutes, wash it off and forget about it but they have long lasting benefits that can really give your skin a boost.  Have you ever just felt so run down and exhausted?  I am telling you a glass of hot water and lemon wine and a face mask will do the trick to help.

With so many kinds of face masks you are sure to be overwhelmed so let me break it down for you.

For dry, dull and dehydrated skin like mine a mask that gently peels off is best as it will buff off the dead skin and dullness leaving your skin feeling seriously smooth and glowin’ without being too harsh like an exfoliator.  On dry skin there is nothing worse than scrubbing ferociously on your skin and this can lead to more damage.  The Origins GinZing Peel Off Mask (£25) is perfect for this as it helps to lift away those stubborn dead skin cells and contains coffee beans extract which helps to waken the skin.

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Sheet masks are something I have been crazy obsessed with.  No joke, I have about 10 upstairs just waiting to be used and I like them all for different reasons.  Some are for when my skin just needs that boost, some are for when I am having a spotty patch and some are just because I want to use a god damn sheet mask.  The Koreans back in 2015 or so definitely spearheaded the trend of this ever so slight Phantom of the Opera look of a sheet mask craze.  Not only where they the hottest skin trend but they actually made an amazing difference to the skin!  Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Powerfoil Mask (£16-£60) are up there with my absolute favourite mask of all time – not JUST because I want to look like Victoria Beckham while wearing them…

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Packed full of Hyaluronic Acid this mask delivers an intense surge of revitalisation and hydration in just one mask.  The fact that this sheet mask has a layer of foil over it just helps to seal and lock in all of that hydration – think of yourself like chicken in the oven.  You want to trap all of the moisture so it doesn’t escape, and your skin is the same.

Another favourite is the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask 18).  I became obsessed with this mask as, even though I love face masks they can be a little on the sloppy side whereas this mask is dry.  DRY.

 

236827126It is infused with product containing vitamins, floral extract, peptides, oils and butters – I know right?  The effects of this mask last for up to 8 hours which is incredible!  Meaning I can put it on at night before bed, go to sleep and wake up with pristine skin.  Plus, I love the way Charlotte says ‘Darlings’, so there’s that.

 

Hopping on the face mask trend came the eye mask trend.  This one, I haven’t became just as obsessed with (yet), I think it’s just because my face would be more of a concern to me than my eyes would be.  That being said I have used The Body Shop Cooling Gel Eye Mask (£6) for years before knowing it would actually do anything.  If I am being honest, I kept it in the fridge and put it on my face when I was hungover.  So it helped that way?  So now that I know they have a purpose I am currently using the Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye Masks (£39, 8 pairs) which aim to de-puff under the eyes and hydrate and tone.  Similar to the Estee Lauder Face Mask they contain Hyaluronic Acid which binds water to create hydration.  They are an intense burst of amazingness for the eye and I would highly recommend them, even if you only use them every so often.

Away from sheet masks for awhile let’s get back to a good old jar of cream.  For those of you on the oilier side of things why not take a look at some great clay or charcoal masks like the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque (£23.50).  This mask clears out Rare_Earth_Masque_alt2blackheads like you wouldn’t believe!  Even though I have dryer skin I do get the occasional oily breakout and with that comes blackheads.   This cleansing mask is the bomb diggity for drawing out dirt, oil and toxins which is what normally clog pores and is formulated with the amazing Amazonian White Clay.  Aloe Vera is added into the mask to help to calm and smooth the skin also, leaving skin beaming.

 

Acne prone skin can cause a lot of stress to the person and to the skin so a good skincare regime can become great with the addition of a mask to suit.  When finding a mask to suit this skin type you want to make sure you

41W-dAAZWRL._SY355_are getting one that contains Salicylic Acid.  Salicylic Acid in layman’s terms is an absolute pimple buster.  This may not be sound advice but when I get a pimple or a spot and I later the area with my masks, by morning it has dried up and I can start moving on.  The acid loosens what holds cells together so that they can be cleared away with ease.  I have used a variety of these kinds of masks/treatment in my time however, always revert back to Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask (£9.99).  It’s one of the more affordable masks that I have come across and really does the trick.  Something like this really can be used once or twice a week however, now that I kind of have my skin under control I only reach for it when I have a spot screaming at me.

I hope you found this list of face masks interesting and if you have tried anything I have mentioned or have anything you think I should try then please let me know as I love trying new products.

Here is a link to my latest blog post with https://cosmeticsjunkiee.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/current-skincare-regime/

Enjoy!

Amy xo

 

Current Skincare Regime

Hello beauty babes!

I hope you are all well and are having a great start to the week.  This post is just going to be a little list of my current skincare regime.  My go tos and my favourite things to use on my skin.  My skin is having a little mental breakdown at the minute and I blame it on having a cold and not being very well recently.  All the more reason to remind myself of how important a good skincare regime is.

A lot of people can be discouraged by having a skincare regime because some things are too expensive but something you need to remember is there is always a cheaper, purse friendly option of something so there really is something to suit everyones budget.  I can’t stress the importance of going in and having a consultation at your favourite counter or getting some samples to make sure that what you are spending your hard earned cash on is worth it.  A lot of counters actually will set aside time and book you in for an appointment for a facial, etc so definitely do your research before heading to Debenhams, House of Fraser, Boots, etc to treat yo self.

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So my morning regime and night time regime are fairly similar, there are just some things I don’t use in the mornings eg. make up remover because… obvy I have no make up on.

Now, my skin falls under the dehydrated/normal category with a chance of breakouts at any given moment so what works for me, may certainly not work for you.  As I said, definitely carve out an hour of your week to go to a counter or skin specialist to figure out what it is you would like your skin products to do for you.  For years I thought I was oily until I went to someone and they were like ‘No dear, you dry.’  On the whole, I am pretty lucky with my skin and I do think a lot of it comes down to genetics, my mum has amazing skin and so does my granny.  I really don’t think it’s down to the glass of wine I am currently chugging.

Anyway, firstly at night I always remove my eye makeup.  You don’t neccessarily need an eye makeup remover specifically for the eyes however, your eye area is so delicate that face products could be too heavy for the eyes and lead to problems in the future.  I use an eye makeup remover because due to working with make up and wearing a fair bit I need something a little more heavy duty than your average 2 in 1 style product to remove everything.  At the minute I am using Lancome Bi-ficil Eye Make Up Remover (£21.50) as it removes even the darkest of smokey eyes on one pad.  I really love the Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make Up Remover (£3.89) also – I find this is a great dupe for the Lancome one.  Perfect for those on a budget!  I find I need to use a lot more product with Nivea and so do go through it very quickly whereas my Lancome one lasts AGES!

Now that my eye makeup is off and my eyes look like pee holes in the snow, I have to remove the rest of my makeup.  Up there with peeling off eyelashes this is one of the more satisfying parts of my day!  I use my all time favourite Estee Lauder Take It Away Make Up Remover Lotion (£23.50) as it leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean!  As I have dry skin I try to avoid water on my face at all costs but for those of you that love the fresh feeling of using water of course I am going to recommend Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (£16).  My mum swears by this stuff!  If I am wearing a lot of makeup that day, like more than normal I tend to use the Garnier Miscellar Cleanser Water (£3.29ish) roughly all over my face and then go in with the Estee Lauder.  Unneccessary step? Maybe.  Again, you could just use the Miscellar Water just on it’s own and it still gets the job done for a fraction of the price.

Now that your skin is squeaky clean… you’re ready for the actually skincare products now.  Le sigh.  So many products.  So, for cleanser I love love love my The Body Shop Aloe Vera Cream Cleanser (£7.50).  It leaves me skin feeling seriously silky and smooth and there is genuinely always an offer on when I go in so I am stocked up for life with this!  They have a whole range of skincare items that suits a variety of skin types and I used to use the entire Aloe Vera range – it was perfect for me when I was in school!  When I am feeling like I want to treat myself (errday) I always revert back to my Kiehl’s Centella Skin-Calming Facial Cleanser (£28).  It’s so lightweight and leaves my skin feeling so soft that I want to run around and get people to stroke my face.  It contains Aloe, much like The Body Shop cleanser so is amazing for sensitive skins.  I feel that Kiehl’s moisturises my face more than the Aloe Vera cleanser but for the price of The Body Shop you can’t complain!

Toner – do you need it or don’t you?  Up to you.  When I worked for Estee Lauder a common complaint was that toner stung the skin or made the skin feel tight or uncomfortable.  For me, I am a little obsessed with toners because I am gross and like to look at the cotton pads to see just how much dirt is coming off.  It’s disgusting.  We all do it.  Toners are great because they buff off dead skin cells so that our serums and moisturisers go onto a newer layer of skin allowing your products to work more effectively.  Again, keep yourself right and go have a chat to figure out what’s best for you.  I have only tried maybe 3 or 4 toners in my life but at the minute I am using Kiehls Ultra Facial Toner (£17).  I can’t say much about it other than the fact that it leaves my skin feeling really hydrated and supple.  It’s a non alcohol formula which works great on my skin as I am so sensitive!

Ultra_Facial_Toner_3605970024574_8.4fl.oz.

I have two night time serums – no one judge me ok – I use the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (£52) and the Kiehls (Sorry I am obsessed…) Midnight Recovery Concentrate (£38).  I’m not a loser, I can use one without the other I just don’t want to.  Advanced Night Repair is like liquid gold on the face.  It helps with every single key sign of aging and acts like a moisture magnet so that when you apply your moisturiser it sucks it all in so it works harder, better, faster and stronger.  It is the number one for absolutely everyone, no matter the skin type!  Midnight Recovery Concentrate on the other hand is like taking a little trip to a spa in the comfort of your own home with the beautiful natural scent and make your skin look seriously radiant.  A few drops of this honestly will give you younger looking skin by morning – I stole that.  They say that.

For moisturiser I used to use Estee Lauder’s Re Nutriv Ultimate Diamond Transformative Energy Creme (£265).  The reason I no longer use it is honestly just the price.  I ‘d rather pay my rent.  Now, if I could afford it I would buy two!  The cream itself it B-E-A-U-tiful!  I’m not going to go into why it’s on the more expensive side but basically the Re Nutriv range contains 24 Carat gold…

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It feels absolutely effing fantastic on my skin, it has never looked fresher, more awake and been more hydrated.  The moisturiser itself lasts absolutely ages because you need so little of it to push into the skin.  A 50ml jar lasted me around 4 and a half months!  So if you are looking something extremely lavish and amazing then look no further than this!  I am struggling to find a moisturiser that I love at the minute but I do really like Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Fortifying Hydrator (£34).  It does exactly what it says on the tin so if you are after a moisturiser that will seriously hydrate then that’s the one!  Based on the rest of my regime then I’ll probably go out and try a Kiehls moisturiser!

Eye cream is something that I don’t mind paying a little extra on because it’s always the problem area people talk about when they get older that they wish they had focused on when they were younger.  I use the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum  (£47) because I love what the face serum does so I want the same results for my eyes.  Plus, the beauty of this is because it’s a serum  much like the face, you can put another eye cream over the top.  You don’t have to, but sometimes I do!  The eye serum hydrates immediately and feels seriously cooling on the eyes.  I keep mine in the fridge and it feels unreal!  When I put an eye cream over top I use the Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream (£15).  As it is enriched with Hyaluronic Acid and has an Aloe Vera base it will intensely hydrate and revitalise tired eyes.  I always use the excess on my lips for extra hydration before bed!

That’s it for my night time regime, the only other thing I use on my skin is the Skinkissed Vitamin C Serum (£39.95) during the day before my Clinique moisturiser.  I have already written a post about this serum so I won’t go into much detail but you can read the post here – https://cosmeticsjunkiee.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/skinkissed-la-meor-vitamin-c-serum/

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SO I really think that this might be enough skincare chat for one day…

I hope you enjoy this little insight into what I use on my face on the daily!  If anyone has any recommendations of skincare products that they like or think there is something I should try then please comment and let me know! I love trying new products!

Thanks for reading!

Amy xo