Face of the Day | 'Slutty' Pink Lipstick for steak at Malmaison

4/15/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
When I tried to give one of my friends a red lip, she felt uncomfortable, and decided that a 'Slutty' pink lip would be easier to wear in terms of confidence.  So that got me thinking about my love of pink, and inspired this slutty-lipped face of the evening, for dinner and drinks: 

 Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder, Famous Shimmer Brick in Mariah, Nars Eyeshadow Palette in Night Series, NYC Blue Rose Lipstick, Mac Blackground Paint Pot, L'oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Endless Chocolate, Rimmel Lip Liner in East End Snob, Clarins Lip Gloss.
I bloody love this lip - it's my new NYC lippy, and it is gorrrrrrrrrrrrgeous, you'll see it popping up again and again because it is most definitely my fave (blurry pic courtesy of my phone), and just in case you were wondering, here is what I did with that lip:
My most favourite meal - steak and amaretto! 
Happy bunny.
Love A.x

Chilling | Montagne Jeunesse Iced Crystal Mask

4/14/2013 12:00:00 pm
Hola Munchkins!
I'm just gonna put this out there - I really, really love this mask.  I wasn't expecting to at all, I only picked it up because it was near the New Look till whilst I was paying (I'm a sucker for things displayed near tills), and it's actually not a mask that I would generally consider on account of the fact that I hate being cold.  But this little beauty is just lovely.  It's not your normal clay mask, nor your general hydrating mask, but it's a scrub/mask combo that doesn't dry at all, but imparts a lovely cool freshness to the face, I suppose its as refreshing as ice but in a softer way!
You squeeze out some mask, massage it into the skin, so the exfoliation process is started, then leave on for about 15 mins, before massaging and rinsing.  I found after this my stresses skin seemed calm and relaxed, and soft to OMG proportions.  My skin looked as if imperfections had been blurred, and generally looked more healthy.  I think I might just give up the stress factors that I shove on my skin on a daily basis (AHAs, brightening serums etc etc), and go back to basics with simple cleanser and masks for a week or so, just to restore the harmony.
Love A.x

Saturday's Six Days of | Skincare

4/13/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
I have a blackberry which I love to pieces, HOWEVER I do get jealous of the iphone girlies with their ability to instagram instantly!  So this week I have kept a little running picture-taking-on-the-camera-going of my skincare every evening/afternoon, and thought it might make a good little feature every week, so here goes the first Six days of skincare (name negotiable depending on how many days of pics I take!)

I hope you found this interesting, I know I like to be a litttttle bit nosey as to other people's skincare!
Love A.x

Restrained | Plunder

4/12/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
I am trying, generally in life, to be more wise with the few pennies I have.  People will tell you I fail at this.  That I am still failing.  But I say to you that I am WISER with the pennies than I have been in the past.  Today's little splurge is quite that - a little one:
I had been after the new Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation for a while, but savviness led me to not buy it, but fate must have been shining down on me today - a brand new, untouched bottle, reduced to £5 because the lid was missing.  Lid I ask you, lid?! I need not such a thing, plus it was still included in the wonderful 3 for 2 at Boots.  I picked up an Eco Tools retractable foundation brush, which is a gorgeous thing to behold, but the main reason for its purchase is its rounded, pointed head, which is much smaller than my Sigma F82.  Last of all, the Seventeen (renamed from 17) Rock Hard Nail Effects Nail Polish in Black, as a supposed dupe for the Leather Effect Nails Inc (LOVE).
So a little haul to satisfy my plunder craving!
Love A.x

Travel Edition | Cleansing and Mask-ing

4/10/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
It's quite enjoyable to do a series of posts, normally my mind just works in no particular order, there is no rhyme nor reason to what I do, and I really genuinely enjoy working that way, but a little bit of a shake-up every now and again makes for an interesting, and somewhat eye-opening experience (not meant to sound as deep and profound as it does!).  So, for the one bit of order that may be in my life ever, we carry on the travel series with my chosen cleansers and masks.
The Cleansing Line Up:
Clarins Instant Eye Make Up Remover - the best eye make up remover bar none, and I have tried eye make up removers the world over.
Clarins Cleansing Milk for Combo or Oily Skin - beautiful, soft, baby-scented.  Love it.
Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash - exfoliates without the grains, perks the skin up a treat.
The Mask selection:
Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask - with pink clay, this beautiful mask is thick, cooling, and leaves the skin smooth and supple.
The REN Clearcalm 3 Clarity Restoring Mask - a bit of an old fave, I've always had a load of these running around in sample form - clay-like, but with an additional property of soothing and calming the skin, this is lovely for when skin is stressed.
Good Things 5 Minute Facial Mask - one of my all-time faves, I just love it.  Very thick, very tight whilst drying, but really draws out so much rubbish from the skin - perfect for fixing commute-addled skin like mine, plus it's a 5-minuter, so fits easily into a day.
Elemis Tri Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask - a mask that you can feel working, tingle, tingle, tingle, almost like you've shoved a tube of toothpaste on the face - not to be overdone!
Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask - containing 2 of my fave ingredients, glycolic and lactic acids: I am a sucker for a soft acid!  This perks up sad-looking skin in a jiffy!
And therein lies my selection - many of them can be found in my March Faves and in my Face Mask Love-in!
Love A.x

Travel Edition | The Lips

4/09/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Post 2 in our travel series ("travel" series really!), and today we shall focus on lips.  You will see, as per usual, that I have packed lips of every colour, texture, and shininess to see me through forever and a day.  All eventualities have been covered, as you may now see!:

As you can see - lipsticks covering deep red, true red, bright pink, nude pink, lilac pink and definitely nude!
I then packed a gloss/other texture that would complement one or more of my lippies - the matte red of Amsterdam, the blue-toned-pink of the Clarins Gloss Appeal, and the Milky yumminess of the Nars Turkish Delight.  I think you may just agree, all lip eventualities are well and truly anticipated and covered!
Love A.x

Travel Edition | Travel Make Up Bag

4/08/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
This week I am doing something I don't normally do - i am house-and-child-sitting.  My aunty and uncle are off on a far east adventure, and I am helping out with my cousin for 2 weeks, which leads to this series of posts - the Travel Editions.  I know I am not actually travelling, and that I am in actual fact, only 20 minutes from my own abode, but a girl needs to take her essentials with her.  And essentials I have brought with me. Essentials and more.  I do not, and this is a complete and utter fact, know how to pack light.  In fact, I think the thought of packing light leads me to pack heavy - for those just-in-case-moments.  Just-in-case-what I do not know, I mean what kind of just-in-cases could appear 20 minutes from home, but just-in-case none the less.
This post centres around my travel make up bag.  Now, that's a little bit misleading - this is the bag I carry around day-to-day in my handbag (my actual travel make-up bag aka the one with all my bits and bobs in) will be discussed later on this week.  So, here we go, my actually everyday, but travel in the sense that it travels around with me everyday, make-up bag.
Ok, so this merry bunch of misfits is contained in my lovely dark blue Elemis travel bag - we have the shine busting essentials - the Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets, the 17 Miracle Matte Pressed Powder, and it's perfect partner, the Bobbi Brown Kabuki Brush.
Moving on to other essentials, the bag contains the Blistex Relief Cream, Optrex Rehydrating Eye Drops (I am a constant contact lens wearer), Kiko Double Barrelled Sharpener, a sachet of Australian Bodycare Hand & Body Lotion (literally, as the kids would say, the bomb - review to come), paracetamol and Kerstin Florian Caviar Rose Damascena Mist.
I carry a variety of lips on me, just in case a quick-change is needed: as pictured today we have the L'oreal Rouge Caresse in Nude Ingenue, one of the Clarins Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm (can't find the name of the shade), plus a pink lip liner - Rimmel East End Snob, and 2 nude lip liners, by 17 and No7 I believe.
Last up - the eyes.  We have the Rimmel Scandaleyes eyeliners in black and nude - black for touching up, nude for looking awake.  Lastly, Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow in Bad Girl Bronze!
Ohmygoodness, what a lot of stuff, but as I said - just-in-case!
Skincare and make-up of the travel variety coming up on the ASAP!
Love A.x

Shine | Busters!

4/06/2013 06:00:00 am
So this came into my head today "When there's something weird.. In your neighbourhood.. Who you gonna call?  Ghostbusters!"  And therein lies the inspiration for today's post - the Shinebusters!
I am an oily-skinned girl - something that I often have to remind myself will see me into old age well, but something I do not enjoy in this day and age.  After much experimentation, this is my little touch up the old shine kit that I carry around with me day after day, and it's not a bad little kit - providing that I remember/ bother to use them!
First of all, when shine peeks through I blot with my Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets, which are pretty incredible at removing excess shine from my skin.  I find it is important to blot before applying the 17 Miracle Matte pressed powder as otherwise a layer of oil is trapped between two layers of powder - a little bit yuk if you ask me!  So I blot and then I swirl the Kabuki in the powder and gently press the powder into my skin.  And if I have done this is a timely and ordered fashion then I find my make up stays nice allllll day long.  Again, emphasis on the IF!
Love A.x

Balmy Balmy Balm | Weleda Skin Food

4/05/2013 06:00:00 am
Hola Munchkins!
Today I have for you a review of the infamous Weleda Skin Food.  Now, first thing I know about this is that Victoria Beckham loves it, and I love Victoria Beckham, so from the start I figured this was going to be a little bit of a match made in heaven.  And let me tell you, I am thoroughly enjoying this little tube of joy.
Now, this actually turned out not to be exactly as I expected it to be in terms of texture - I suppose I was expecting a rich, nourishing cream.  What I was faced with was a balm, obviously rich in oils, that needs a little work to spread across the face, but that leaves the skin deeply nourished.  Now, I have oily, oily skin, but it is still dehydrated, and of a night where I am not using Liquid Gold, I love a good dose of moisture, and that is exactly what Skin Food provides.
Herbally, but somewhat familiar in scent, I actually find it a lovely, comforting product to use at night, a product that leaves me with beautiful skin in the morning!
Love A.x

Re-Discovering | Beauty Blender

4/04/2013 06:00:00 am
Sometimes, like many, I get stuck in my ways.  I use something, or don't use something, for so long, that I keep using or not using said product.  Little bit rambly, but in essence, I gave up the use of my Beauty Blender when someone I knew kept on using mine.  Now this has more to do with someone being a thief than not sharing my things, but essentially the Beauty Blender was dead to me!  Fast  forward about a year and staring at me from the shelves of Superdrug was the blender, and sigh, it had to be mine again.
So, what is special about the blender?  Basically, it presses the foundation into your skin in sheer layers, allowing it to set slightly between layers, whilst the curved shape means that the foundation glides over the skin, as opposed to settling in lines and on spots.  The fact that you use this damp means less product is absorbed by the sponge AND the setting of the layers is aided as the water starts to evaporate on the skin.
It provides a lovely, airbrushed finish that can also help the longevity of the foundation on the skin through the way in which it sheers out the layers.
Hope you liked my re-discovery!
Love A.x

Most Used | Brushes

4/03/2013 06:00:00 am
So today I realise, I never really talk about the tools I use in creating my painted-on face.  Of course, this varies from fingers, to beauty blenders (which will be having it's own little post), to today's topic of choice - the humble brush.  I picked through my many brushes, and decided that this little lot are the ones I use on constant rotation:
As you can see, they are quite a varied little bunch, and the mixture of all of them could create a whole range of complete make up looks.  
Sigma F82 is one that I've had for a good few years now, and is more or less the sole brush I use for my foundation application, and for blending larger areas of concealer a la Kimmy K.  Super soft, hugely dense, this makes light work of foundation application, and allows easy layering.  The downfall here is that the density collects a lot of product which builds up, and truth be told, I should wash it more often than I do - but drying takes tooooo long and I hate to be without it!
The Elf Studio Powder Brush was bought on a whim in the only Elf order I have ever made, and was easily the standout product of the bunch.  Flat headed and super soft, I use this to finish off my foundation as the flat-head buffs the foundation in slightly further that the F82 with its round head does.  I also use it of a morning to apply all my loose and pressed powders.  Bad point here?  Within a month the brush head was coming loose from the handle, and Elf refused me an exchange, pointing me towards a youtube video of a random person using glue and a hairdryer to stick the pieces back together.  Health and safety much!
Ok, the Bobbi Brown Blush Brush is from my Bobbi Brown set, and is super versatile.  Kind of flat and wide on one side, and less wide on the other, with a full, soft brush head, it can be used for everything from powder to contour to bronzer to blusher and even highlighter!  Big, fat multitasker of a brush that I loooooove!
The Bobbi Brown Cream Eyeshadow brush I started using with my Mac Paint Pots, but soon realised that it was the perfect shape for laying down and packing on a load of any eyeshadow.  It it also perfect for wet eye shadows, making them appear foil-like on the eyes.
The Crown Blending Brush is one I picked up recently, a dupe for the Mac Blending Brush that everyone seems to have - the tapering is beautifully narrow, the bristles themselves packed tightly, able to fill in the crease as well as blending out any eyeshadow.
Last of all, the Real Techniques Setting Brush.  I originally bought this for contour, and whilst I still use it for such, I have also found that is works well at defining the eye crease softly, and for setting concealer under the eye and around the nose with powder.
So there we have it! My most used brushes, a varied, but hugely useful lot!
Love A.x

Faves | March

4/01/2013 09:29:00 pm
Hola Munchkins!
This month's faves were easier to decide than normal, and here they are in all their technicolor glory!
As you may have noticed, this month's faves revolve around skincare with a little make-up thrown in for good measure and a dose of prettiness!  Let's have a little look!
Clarins Instant Eye Make Up Remover has reached OMG holy grail status here.  I am somewhat of an eye make up remover connoisseur - I almost always will use a separate eye make up remover, due in part to my heavy usage of eyeliner, and due in other part to my wearing of contact lenses.  I can't really rub a dub dub my eyes to get my eye make up off as this would cause my contacts to pop out.  I have been using Simple for a very, very long time, but found it to be less and less effective.  I picked up this little Clarins gem at the Professional Beauty Show and am quite literally amazed at it's powers.  Magical powers.  First of all, it looks pretty much like a potion and you need to shake it to activate it's bi-phase-ness.  Ooohhh errrrr.  Pretty fancy.  Shove a little on a cotton wool pad, and the lightest of touches takes of my ridiculous panda eyes, caused by aforementioned penchant for eyeliner.  Brilliant.  I have already worked my way through one 30ml bottle, and now have my sister's one to use. Yay!
Ok next up we have the Clarins Cleansing Milk for combination and oily skin - again picked up at Professional Beauty.  This is a lovely, simple, effective and comforting part of my skincare routine.  Thick but still slippy, and with a smell that I could not place for the longest time: a grown up version of baby lotion!  Utterly comforting, and really adds pleasure to the whole taking-off-the-old-make-up-at-1-am-when-you-really-should-have-done-it-when-you-came-home-at-7 kind of times!
Ok, second cleanser of the month - the L'oreal Skin Perfection 15 Second Cleansing Oil.  Ahhhhhh this is a gem of a product.  It covers ALL bases.  I love a cleansing oil or balm, they leave the skin ridiculously clean, but at the same time balance the skin, leaving it super soft.  This particular oil is lovely and thin, massages in well, and, for days when I am lazy about my eye make up, emulsifies to take off every little scrap of my painted face.  If I have already removed my eye make up I tend to just massage and massage, then use a hot flannel to take off the oil.  I super recommend this!
Right, mask time! This month has been another month of masks, and I have selected my two faves for this post - the Good Things Five Minute Facial Face Mask, and the Elemis Tri-Enzyme Face Mask.  The Good Things, which I have mentioned before, is a beautiful clay-based mask that works in 5minutes flat, but can be used for longer, and which leaves the face clarified and nurtured.  The Elemis is one that I have been using regularly for about a month.  It is a very mild 'peel' type mask, that is a beautiful loose jelly texture that spreads very nicely over the skin.  A little bit sticky in feel, it seems innocuous enough until after about 10 minutes the skin starts tingling, not in an alarming way, but in a slightly disconcerting way - as if a very strong minty toothpaste has been smeared on your skin!  I love a tingle - makes it seem that it's working!  Used together, the skin is clarified and then brightened!
Ah, a new discovery comes next - the Ginvera Green Tea Whitening Marvel Gel.  Slightly worrying name, buttttt beautiful, un-worrying product.  In essence, this is what I would call an 'almost-exfoliator'.  You spread the gel on your face, and then continue to work it in - watch as the product peels of the skin as you rub, and marvel at the fact that that is your dead skin!  Both ewwww and wow!  This really, really helps to clear the skin of dead cells, and of blackheads.
The Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium is my OMG what have I done I didn't have enough money to buy that type purchase.  The guilt wore off soon.  Within an hour!  Mostly because this is a truly beautiful, truly usable product.  I love everything about it from the deep red, sleek packaging, to the lovely cool tone of the actual powder.  It is just amazing, and I have used it every day since purchasing.
NYC Expert Last Lip Colour in Blue Rose was something I had seen on the internet as being a dupe for Mac Show Orchid.  Now, Mac Lipsticks are hardly ever on my purchase list anymore, the prices just seem to rise and rise, and I would much rather pay a cheaper price for a budget product, or a higher price for a more luxurious product. So when I heard of this dupe,, I set out to buy it straight away, and basically I LOVE IT.  Pink is my favourite colour, and this fuchsia shot through with blue is the colour I feel I have always been looking for!
Last, but not least,m we have two of my essentials - the Kleenex Shine Absorbing Blotting Sheets which are the best I've ever tried (when I remember to use them), and my Bobbi Brown Kabuki Brush.  Brilliant products, which I generally use every day!
And that is all!
I hope you found a little inspiration from here!
Love A.x