EX1 | Hauling

4/30/2014 06:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
I have a love affair with an EX1 foundation - it is to die for.  As you may or may not know, I have a LOT of yellow in my skin, and this makes it very hard to get a perfect colour match. Adding to the mix that many match me much darker than I actually am, EX1 was a particularly brilliant brand for me to try, and the colour is wonderful.  Soooo, like the little hoarder I am, I chose to haul these products:
So, we have the Pure Crushed Minerals in M200 - this is a lovely mid-coverage foundation, with perfect amounts of yellow. However, it is slightly too dark for me, making me look like a very dusky, tropical, bronzed beauty - so, I will be saving this for summer, whilst also buying the M100.  Now, onto the Delete Concealers. These come in 3 colours - myself and my sister already have the mid colour, so I had the GENIUS idea of buying the lightest and darkest for highlighting and contouring purposes, only as luck would have it, the lightest colour is perfect on me as a concealer, and the dark isn't hugely dark! However, they are beautiful concealers, that I loooooove.
So those are my first impressions, and I love the products!
Love, Ani x

The Nails | Essentials

4/29/2014 06:30:00 am
Hola Munckins!
I have never been one for taking PROPER care of my nails.  Fake care, yes - nail polish with base and top coat, and a good file, but never proper care. That has all changed. I have become a new woman with a changed view on looking after my hands.  In fact, I now even put cream on my hands. Shock horror.  Gone are the days where I recoiled in fear from hand cream (I generally only like creams on my face), and in place is a woman who now does things to her cuticles, with creams, and even occasionally oils. And this is my basic nail essential kit:
So, here we have a hand cream that I actually love - the Neom Complete Bliss Moroccan Blush Rose Organic Hand Cream. Slight mouthful of a name, but a truly lovely, highly luxurious product.  Exotically rose-y in scent, not cloying or too heady, this hand cream has a lovely, soft, silky, and ultimately thin texture that glides over the hand, enabling it to be massaged into the hands super easily, leaving a velvety, cosseted texture that is to die for.
The other two essentials are base and top coat - I never paint my nails without using both.  First up, the Nail Nurse 5 in 1 Base and Top Coat. This is a new one to my collection - I needed something more moisturising for my nails, and this seemed to fit the bill for a base coat. Of course, we end with my beloved - albeit teeny - Seche Vite, which is just the best top coat in the world, no arguments.
Much Love, Ani x

Quick Fix Beauty | Triple Threat Facial

4/28/2014 06:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
There have been some products - the Quick Fix face masks - that I observed in Tesco a few months ago, but that flitted out of my mind as quickly as they flitted in.  The other day, whilst wondering the aisles of Boots as one does, I happened to see them on offer for £3 each, and lo and behold, somehow I seem to have the entire set.  Today I share with you my current three faves that have been making up my current triple threat facial.
These are 100% my faves at the moment, and they comprise of the Calming Clay mask, which both soothes and deep cleanses, the Brightening Peel Mask, which is a peel-off mask for a lovely, bright skin tone, and the Mega Moisture Gel Mask which is intensely nourishing and seems to just really breathe life into the skin.
So, let's start with the red one - the Calming Clay Mask.  Perfect for over-sensitised skins, or skin that just won't behave itself, it contains aloe vera to reduce inflammation and add moisture, Chamomile to sooth and calm sensitivities, and Rose to help constrict any broken capillaries.  This mask, as stated, is clay - but in a much lighter way, with a more mousse-y texture to it.  In no way does it feel like it is going to smother your face, stop it from breathing, or suck the moisture from your visage, and actually aids in cooling the skin.  After 5 or 10 minutes, I remove with a hot flannel, and skin is baby soft and generally calmer looking.
The Blue one next - the Brightening Peel Mask.  Now, I wasn't actually expecting this to be an actual peel-off mask, but it is, and that surprise was a lovely one! This one contains Papaya to exfoliate, Mulberry to even the skin tone and Goji Berry for energy and radiance. This one was such fun - cooling instantly, and then the peel-off to reveal truly brightened skin! Perfect for a mid-week pick-me-up.
Lastly the Pink one - the Mega Moisture Gel Mask.  This suits my dehydrated skin to a Tee!  Hyularonic Acid for deep hydration, Vitamin E for antioxidants that help skin's condition, and Marina Collagen for moisture and elasticity.  This is literally a hug in a pink tube. Skin feels cosseted and comforted, and doesn't aggravate my oily skin.  This is the perfect anytime boost for healthy-looking, plump skin. 
Altogether, these three masks have actually beaten any high-end triple threat facial that I have done, and as such, have already earned a place in my holy grail/ forever repurchased products.
Love always, Ani x

Coloured Hair | Schwarzkopf Ultime

4/27/2014 06:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Hair care is something that I've really only just gotten into properly - my hair has more or less (apart from dry shampoo) taken care of itself.  But since I've super-ombred the bottom of my hair to a serious blonde, it NEEDS care. Constantly dehydrated, always getting tangled, I have now tried more or less the whole of the hair care section in Boots, and the new Schwarzkopf Ultime range is actually the creme de la creme of all that I have tried.  
What actually drew me in was 1) Claudia Schiffer and her super-blonde hair and 2) the 3 for £10 offer in Boots! I have to be honest and say I wasn't expecting much, but this range is now my ultimate - so much so that I will be going back to repurchase the entire range!  First of all, we have from left to right - the Shine Spray, The Illuminating Oil, and the Hair Mask.  Now, I adore the mask - you literally leave it on for one minute on wet hair, and it does the ultimate hydration and softening treatment on my wild mane.  Leave it on for longer and you see even more of a result - shiny, soft, soft hair.  The Oil is absolutely lovely - I was actually using a L'oreal Ever Riche Oil, but found it to be more of a superficial oil, rather than one that actually treated the hair.  This one act to work deeper within the hair, and is so much more noticeable, and is perfect for blonder hair as it brings out the tones and highlights so much more - creating a healthy, 3-d look.  I use this on wet, damp and dry hair - it is perfection. The Shine Spray is a lovely finishing spray that really does add shine and light to the hair. All together, these have really helped the condition and colour of my hair, and the smell is to die for - completely exotic and spa-like.
Much love, Ani x

Essentials | The Daily Brushes

4/26/2014 06:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Lately, I have been noticing myself reaching for the same brushes day in, day out, and seeing as they seem to work for me, I thought I'd share them with you =).
So, starting from Left to Right:
Prestige Brush  - used for contouring and highlighting, this is the perfect medium size for a defined, but soft contour that is perfect for everyday use.
Crown brush - an angled brush that I use mostly for my cream blush. It stipples the cream blush on in a natural way that can easily be built up for a more dramatic, or doll-like look. 
Bobbi Brown Cream Eyeshadow Brush - perfect for a base like my Mac Paint Pots, or for packing on colour, especially a shimmer or glitter-based eyeshadow.
Crown Brush - the absolute perfect blending brush. Wonderful for sweeping on a wash of colour, or blending out any colour, especially for a smoky eye.
Sigma F82 - the most perfect foundation brush ever.  Buffs, stipples, and makes your foundation look absolutely flawless.  
Cosmopolitan Beauty Blender - a rediscovery and absolute new obsession. Makes all foundations, even the thinnest and lightest formulas, look absolutely flawless. Works best when spritzed with water or toner first.
And that is my everyday brush kit.
Love Ani x

The Prime Files | Face and Eyes

4/25/2014 06:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Priming is something that I've only recently gotten in to - sure, I've dabbled with a few primers, but there's never been one that has captured my heart (and face).  However, I have now come across a winning eye and face primer combo that is a) less expensive than many I have tried and b) actually seems to work.  
Rimmel seems to really have hit the nail on the head when it comes to priming issues. The Stay Matte Primer is absolutely lovely - feels more like skincare than a primer: soft, slightly slippery, and almost serum-like in texture, this dispels with all the silicone-primer nonsense that tend not to work on my oilier skin.  It really does seem to help lengthen the life of my foundation - of course, especially on oily skin like mine, it is never going to work 24 hour miracles, but it does definitely help, and is something I would definitely recommend.  The Exaggerate Eye Shadow Primer is however, the bomb when it comes to eye priming.  I now notice the difference when I do forget to use it - shadow smudges, and seems to travel to parts of my face that I don't think shadow should ever travel to.  With it, however, eyeshadow stays vibrant for more or less the whole of a working day or night out!
Definitely two products that I would wholeheartedly recommend.
Much love, Ani x

Hitting Pan | Bourjois Blush Exclusif

4/24/2014 06:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Oftentimes, I switch between products like an actual mad woman - it is that make-up and skincare junkie thing where one thinks there is always something better to come along.  Unusually, this is more or less the only pink blush I use, and testament to how much I love it is the fact that I have hit pan on it - something that I more or less never do.
Blush Exclusif uses pH technology to adjust it to what should be your perfect pink, and despite my initial doubts, I must say this little gem never fails to please me, or suit whatever make up look I go for.  As you can see in the above pictures, it has been well love - pan is now showing, and it will be one of those products I will never be without. Creating  a perfect flush of pink that can be sheered out, or built out as much as you like, this little gem is wonderful.
Much love, Ani x

The Line Up | Dehydrated Skin

4/23/2014 06:30:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
I'm sure like me, many of you have skin that just does not react well to extreme changes in weather, or constant changes in weather - and unfortunately, current conditions are ultimately unsettled, and don't look to be changing anytime soon. Dehydration hits skin, and unfortunately, likes to stick around for a while, and as such I tend to treat my skin with products I know will really help, and that have really stood the test of time for me!
Hardest hit will always be my eyes and lips - eczema-prone, and perpetually dry, my go-to's are the all-natural Lush Enchanted Eye Cream, which is a HUGE bottle of thin eye cream that does miracles for dehydration and soothing around the eye ares.  Dr Lipp Nipple Balm is a thick, lanolin ointment that naturally moisturises the lips - perfect for night time.  In terms of skin, my go-to's are always, always the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, which sinks into the skin, plumping it almost immediately, and showing results the next morning, and the Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, which works to help almost any skin ailment you have.  Beautifully scented, soft and hugely spreadable in texture, a tiny bit goes a long way and improves the condition and look of skin instantly.
Love Ani x

New Skincare | Soap & Glory - the Creams

4/22/2014 07:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
As you may know, I am a skincare junkie - it is what I do, and it is what (I like to think) I know.  Soap & Glory first stole my heart with their Peaches and Clean Cleanser, but I never really ventured out of the cleanser arena until now.  
The repackaging is lovely, and the inclusion of a SPF 50 had me from hello, and I've fallen literally hook, line and sinker. A lovely, thin fluid, slightly tinted, the Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF 50+ is the perfect non-greasy everyday sun protection - I use it each and every day without fail, over my moisturiser and under my make up.  The Fab Pore Daily Micro Smoothing moisture lotion is something I picked up to alternate with my Clarins Ultra Matte moisturiser, and in truth is quite the dupe for it. Cooling and hydrating, with the ability to help keep oil away for that little bit longer, I absolutely love it!
I also have a cleanser edition of Soap & Glory coming up - the love affair continues!
Love Ani x

What's In My Bag | The Night Out Edition

4/21/2014 07:48:00 pm
Hola Munchkins!
Today we have a little peek into my handbag, or to be more precise, my night out clutch.  Last night we had a little trip to Love & Liquor in Kilburn, and these are what made the final bag cut.

Lee Stafford Backcombing Comb | Hair Grip | Hair Band | No7 Candyfloss Lip Gloss | Nars Turkish Delight Lip Gloss | Mac Angel Lipstick | Burts Bees Lip Balm | Sleek Brow Pencil | Maybelline Matte Maker | Bobbi Brown Kabuki Brush | Purse.
Love Ani x

Playlist | Live

4/17/2014 08:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Today is a litttttle bit of a different post - I know in life I "do" beauty everyday, but - believe it or not - oftentimes, the beauty runs along the same lines as the previous day.  Sooooo I thought, for both cogency and honesty's sake, why don't we introduce a little variety into the old blog.  And so commences the first Playlist Live!  This is the current CD of choice in my car:
Faves definitely being 1 - John Legend All of me, 6 - Nicki Minaj ft Lil Wayne, High School, 7 - Mariah ft Miguel, Beautiful and 18 - Plies ft Ne-Yo, Bust It Baby.
Wonderful songs for sunny days =)
Love Ani x

From Day | To Night | Face(s) of the Day

4/16/2014 09:23:00 pm
Hola Munchkins!
I have been away from my beloved blog corner for quite some time. I don't really know why - life gets in the way, work gets busy, weather gets sunny - but, I love make up. This is absolutely no secret. And I could not stay away.  I like to think that I do have a way with a brush - that I can use my skills to beautify myself.  It is also absolutely no secret that Kimmy K is my face, body and clothing idol.  I adore her face, and have recently sought to continually recreate her look.
Day | Night
Base: L'oreal Infallible Foundation, Vichy Dermablend Powder, Ben NYE Banana Powder (same for both)
Contour: The Balm Bahama Mama, Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder Medium (same for both)
Highlight: ELF (same for both)
Blush: Rimmel Blush Santa Rose, Bourjois Cream Blush (same for both)
Eyes: Mac Paintpot Blackground, Nars, Bourjois Khol Kajal, Revlon Lash Potion (same for both)
Lips: Mac Angel, Nars Turkish Delight (day) | Rimmel Kate Moss 107 (night)

Love Ani x