Saturday, 28 June 2014

Prom OOTD and FOTD

On Friday it was my Year 13 prom, marking the end of my time at school. It wasn't as formal as Year 11 prom - there were no fancy floor length dresses and some of the guys even wore jeans. Regardless, I still tried to put in a bit of effort and thought I'd write my first OOTD post, sharing what I wore with you. I wore one of my favourite dresses and spent a horrid length of time on the tedious task of curling my hair with my straighteners. For my makeup, I created a brown smokey eye with a slightly vampy lip to match my burgundy nails. I did debate wearing a darker and so more vampy lipstick which would better match my nails but decided this would be too autumnal. 
I did wear tights which strike some as a little odd considering that it's Summer. I will wear tights whatever the season due to the fact I'm rather self concious about my legs - I bruise extremely easy so I am always covered in bruises, I have a rather prominent scar from cutting myself on a mirror last year and, let's face it, tights are pretty slimming! I've been forcing myself to wear tights less recently and am becoming more and more comfortable showing my legs but I decided that for prom I wanted to feel as confident as possible and opted for tights.

Dress - Select
Shoes - New Look

MUA Smokin Palette (Fantasy) - Lightly patted onto entire lid to set the liquid eyeshadow
Sleek Ultra Mattes V2 (Paper Bag) - Blended into crease
Sleek Ultra Mattes V2 (Noir) - Blended into outer corner and outer part of crease

Have you had/ will soon have your end of school prom?

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Friday, 27 June 2014

Review: H&M Makeup Brushes

Recently I lost my eyeliner brush and after struggling to apply my gel liner with the brush that came with it for a few days, I took a trip to H&M to buy a replacement. Of course, I found it as soon as I got home (typical, right?) which was super irritating but, since I also bought the BB cream foundation brush, foundation and blush brush, and spent a fair amount of time looking at them in-store, I thought I'd write a little review on the H&M range of brushes for you guys.

The first thing you may notice when looking at the H&M brushes is that there are two types - brushes with lighter cream coloured handles and fibres and the slightly cheaper brushes with black handles and darker fibres. Generally, if there is a lighter version and darker version of the brush, go for the lighter one. They are usually only slightly more expensive (one or two pounds) and the quality is far superior. I find that the brush fibres of the darker brushes are generally a lot less soft and harsher on the skin. There are some exceptions to this, for example the BB cream brush and the angled brush on the double-ended smokey eye brush. However, even with the smokey eye brush, I'd recommend getting the cream coloured brush which is only £1 more as, if you bought the cheaper one, you'd only really want to use the angled end.

These brushes are very affordable without sacrificing quality (excepting the examples previously mentioned) and range from £1.99 for smaller and eyeshadow brushes to £5.99 for face brushes. The fibres are synthetic and (generally) very soft and the density of the fibres in the BB cream foundation brush was particularly impressive, giving your foundation a flawless, airbrushed look. It also has a fairly small head, enabling you to get around every part of your face, for example the sides of the nose. Some of these brushes are also double ended, such as the smokey eye brush and foundation and blusher brush, meaning you really get your money's worth from these already-cheap makeup brushes.

Overall I really love the makeup brushes from H&M and recommend them to anyone who is looking for affordable brushes that are still good quality.

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Saturday, 21 June 2014

Old Photos and Nostalgia

I recently discovered a folder on the network where my dad had stored photos dating back to 2002 and even included some I'd taken myself and lost due to crashed computers etc. So for a few days or so I went  through these photos, feeling crushed by that nostalgic mix of happiness and sadness. I loved looking back at these old pictures, rediscovering memories I thought I'd forgotten and it made me sad that there are a lot less of these photos in recent years. I've been the typical teenager, hiding my face when a camera has been pointed at me and when I take photos, all I do is upload them to facebook, delete them a couple years later and then they're lost forever. I don't want that anymore. I don't want all my memories to be lost with no reminders. For this reason, I have made a 'half-year resolution' of sorts - I want to take more pictures and with a decent camera rather than just my phone (which is why I bought the camera mentioned in this post). I want pictures of everything. I want those memories.

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Magazine Freebies

I haven’t read a magazine in ages. I’m talking years, guys. I’m pretty sure the last magazine I bought was 'Shout' - one of those cheesy magazines aimed at girls in their early teens which nowadays has One Direction splashed across every page. I've just found them to be very overpriced (£4 for something I'm gunna read in half an hour and never look at again? No thanks. I'll just get a book) and the freebies always seem to be cheap crap or non existent now. But recently, I've been missing them and have really fancied something light and gossipy to read, and I'm not gunna lie, I'm a superficial girl - I wanna read those beauty and fashion articles so I can lust after all the products mentioned! So when I read a couple of blog posts mentioning that Glamour was giving away an eyeko liquid eyeliner (and I wear winged liner EVERY day), I decided to venture out of the house and take a voyage to Tesco to get me that magazine!

 I was actually pleasantly surprised by this month's magazine freebie offerings and *ahem* accidentally bought Marie Claire too as a result. I was also very tempted by the other magazines, especially InStyle which was giving away REN Hot Cloth cleanser and one of the magazines giving away sunglasses. However, these magazines were more expensive than the two I did buy, I would probably enjoy the magazines themselves less, and honestly I knew I didn't want or need the freebies. In truth, the sole reason for their appeal was the fact that "oh-my-gosh! They're free!", skipping over the fact that I'd still be paying £4 for the magazine. Don't trick yourself into buying something you don't want, people! Nonetheless, I've noted down the magazine freebies floating around this month for you guys, just in case there's something tempting enough that you'd buy the magazine just for the freebie:

Price: £2
Freebie: Eyeko Liquid Eyeliner Pen in Navy Blue or Black, RRP £12. Some people have complained their eyeliner was dried up but I have no problems with mine and for £2, it's worth the risk in my opinion. For those who don't want to look like an idiot searching for the colour they want, I noticed all of the copies with Alexa Chung on the cover came with the black eyeliner. You’re welcome. This may have been a coincidence though so it’d be wise to double check before you buy it.

Marie Claire 
Special Price: £2.50 (usually £3.70)
Freebie: Choice of 3 Ciate Manicure Sets, RRP £10. This consists of one 5ml pot of nail polish and one pot of micro-pearls. I'm not sure how one would use the micro-pearls without making a mess but I look forward to finding out.

Price: £4
Freebie: One Mavala Nail Polish in a choice of 4 colours, £4.75 in Boots.

Price: £3.70
Freebie: One pair of sunglasses available in 3 different styles and a pack of Mentos (random, right?).

Price: £4.30
Freebie: One pair of 'designer' sunglasses available in 3 different styles. I'm sceptical that they would give away designer sunglasses and all the sunglasses are branded with the magazine name, 'Tatler'. My theory is they figured "hey, someone designed them, right? So that makes them designer...right?" No. No it does not. However, the sunglasses do look nice and I was very tempted, but I already have one pair of sunglasses that I never wear so I managed to restrain myself.

Price: £3.90
Freebie: REN Hot Cloth Cleanser and cloth. The full size 150ml bottle and cloth sells for £16 but do bear in mind that this freebie one is only 30ml.

 Are there any magazine freebies you've spotted this month that I've missed off the list? Feel free to comment and I'll add them to this list.

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Friday, 13 June 2014

Experimenting with a nail art pen

Around a month or so ago, I bought the Barry M Nail Art Pen in black. This nail art pen is different from most in that it is a marker rather than having a metal point and does not contain actual nail varnish but some kind of ink I beieve. I personally thing this is better than most nail art pens as the ink comes out evenly, it does not get thick and clumpy, and the felt nib is generally a lot easier to use. I also found that the designs smudged far less when a top coat was applied. However, as this pen is essentially a marker, I'm not sure I would buy it again, having seen people achieve the same result with Sharpies which would be far cheaper to buy and which I may buy in the future. Nonetheless, I've been playing around with it a lot and wanted to show you guys the designs I've been wearing on my nails.

They aren't perfect - bear in mind it's pretty darn hard to draw on such a small little canvas, especially on your right hand! I've been loving using this to cover up imperfections in my nail varnish, whether it be from smudging during application or from chipping and it has meant I have got a lot more use out of my polishes with less wastage. I've also found this pen to be extremely good for french tips, achieving a much neater line than one would with the brush from a nail polish.

Base Colour - Barry M Gelly Paint Green Berry

Base Colour - MUA Bright Coral

Base Colour - Collection 2 in 1 Base and Ridge Filler

Base Colour - Fearne Minty Maggie

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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

25 Things Secondary School Taught Me

I am now coming to the end of my time at secondary school, having had my official 'last day at school' and having only two exams remaining. It's a very odd feeling, with school having been a large part of my life for as long as I can remember and as such, I have recently been looking back and reflecting on my time at school, motivating me to write this post. I have omitted things I have learnt from primary school due to my memory of those years being significantly less clear. Some of these points are a bit silly, but I hope the majority will be useful those soon to start secondary school/ already attending or at least provide a laugh to those who read it.

1) Don't let your dad to convince you that you need a massive man's backpack that makes you look a turtle.
2) You don't need to bring in ALL of your books every single day, just the ones for the lessons you have that day. Otherwise you'll kill your back.
3) You will cringe when you look back at your Year 7 photos a few years later. That's just a fact. Case in point:
4) All of the older years will go 'awww' when they see you on your first day in Year 7. And it will be embarrassing.
5) Your first assembly will stink of leather from everyone's new shoes.
6) You may initially enjoy the independence of walking on your own to school and feel all grown up but it will not be long before you're begging for lifts.
7) If you get a locker you will never use it after the first few weeks.
8) You will forget your keys, lock yourself out, and spend an hour sitting on the doorstep waiting for your parents to get home multiple times.
9) If you wear red glasses, everyone will call you Ugly Betty.
10) Detentions aren't as bad as your primary teacher warns you. They're an annoying inconvenience. Nonetheless, don't take this as an excuse to do something that'll get you into detention. It could lead to more severe punishments.
11) Don't get cocky in Year 8 because you're not a Year 7 anymore. You will piss off everyone in the other years.
13) You will go through a phase of having awful makeup when you just start using it and the pictures will haunt you. I'm talking tangoed foundation and clumpy mascara.
14) Year 9 is the best year. You will do no work.
15) There's no need to be scared of the Sixth Formers. Although they secretly kind of like that you're intimidated by them.
16) GCSEs/ A levels aren't as bad as your teachers tell you they're going to be. Yes, you'll have to put the work in but you aren't going to be overloaded with impossible work and hours and hours of homework with no free time. Ignore their scare tactics.
17) Don't feel pressure to achieve the grades other people tell you you should be getting/ need. You aren't underachieving if you don't get these grades - they're your grades and no-one else's. All that matters is that you do the best you can.
18) If you do last minute revision and still get a decent grade, that's great. But don't think you can now do this for all your exams because you're "just good at last minute revision".
19) If you have a panic attack and don't go to your Year 11 prom, you will still look longingly at your prom dress 2 years later.
20) Don't pick a subject you don't enjoy for A Levels even if you got good grades in it at GCSE. You wont want to put in the work required and will likely ultimately end up dropping it.
21) If you were the sort of person who could coast through your GSCEs with little revision, don't expect that to happen with your A Levels. Come to terms with this now as realizing it too late will cause a lot of unnecessary stress.
22) You will practically need a suitcase to carry all your folders in Sixth Form. Your little handbag ain't gunna cut it.
23) Essays suck. And you will get a lot of them in Sixth Form
24) Exams suck.
25) Results days suck

What did Secondary School teach you?

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Review and Swatches: MUA Smokin Palette

MUA have made dupes of Urban Decay palettes in the past and the Smokin palette is yet another blatant rip-off with a very similar name and even the order of the eyeshadows being identical to the Urban Decay Smoked palette. At £6 from Superdrug, it is more expensive than most MUA palettes which are usually only £4 but is still incredibly cheap and £30 less than its high-end counterpart.

Despite the price, quality is not sacrificed and, as you can tell from the swatches, these eyeshadows have incredible colour pay off and are not chalky. The black shade especially is of similar quality to Sleek eyeshadows and is easily blended. There is a mixture of 4 matte and 6 jeweled tone eyeshadows in both more neutral and more vivid shades, enabling one to create a variety of looks for both daytime and evening, making this a very good basic palette. My favourite shades are Icon and Chaos and are admittedly why I bought this palette.

As with the Urban Decay palette, Smokin comes with a full sized eyeliner pencil which is very soft and pigmented. However, it annoyingly does not come with lid and so you may need to find one from somewhere else to prevent it drying up. The eyeliner also been criticised for being too easily smudged. However, as this palette is intended for use in creating a smokey eye, I think one would want an eyeliner that is blendable. Nonetheless, I would recommend setting the liner with the black eyeshadow in order to ensure it stays in place.

 Overall this palette is of impressive quality and I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a cheap alternative to the Smoked palette that doesn't sacrifice quality. This may be my favourite MUA palette to date.

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